It is possible to recruit a new general unit from any unit. The original unit is unaffected by this, so in theory, with enough money, it is possible to suddenly create 19 generals from a single pawn.

Since a generals battle value is about the same as a slightly cheaper knight unit, not much money is lost. Also, one can save upkeep while moving the knight unit to the front, so it might even out. Additionally, there is the chance to get a highly ranked general that considerably increases the strength of all units.

Personally, I find this idea kind of lame, but I successfully used it and wondered how others think about it.


3 Answers 3


Generals are of limited value. Their main modifier affects morale and being a mounted unit, they have a charge bonus.

I treat "general" units like mounted units and only use them to support formations and raise morale on a flank that is under pressure. You need to consider who you're coming up against to. If you are coming up against an army with artillery, and you have no mounted units nor artillery, then make a couple of generals. Simply because you run your mounted units into the enemy artillery's flank. Don't forget that if you lose the nobles in your general unit, it will impact your army's morale to.

But if you have the a couple of turns before facing off, you're better off making one general, then recruit extra units as you require. This gives you the ability to round your army for considerably less cost, than the 800 credits to convert each unit into a "General".

  • "the 800 credits to convert each unit into a "General"" um you don't convert units to General in Empire. You just get new Generals for free. You convert ships to Admirals though and at near 1600 cost too (and not smaller upkeep like Generals).
    – Simanos
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 15:25

The money you will spend on extra generals would be far more effectively spent on a regular cavalry force. Both in the short term and in the long term.

Generals do not have combat stats comparable to regular cavalry. They don't hit as hard, they're more fragile, and if you lose them the loss can demoralize your army faster than the loss of a regular cavalry unit. So while this may be a stop-gap solution to a very particular problem (the problem where you have too much money and not enough time to raise/position an army), you shouldn't do this in common practice.

If you find yourself considering this, you should weigh the alternative of retreating and fighting another day. Sometimes a battle just isn't worth winning.


Note that Ottoman General has upkeep of 200 not 60. Also elephant generals in India are different units. Otherwise this is a GREAT tactic. You usually defeat the enemy with your cannons and infantry and use cavalry to chase routers. Generals are as good as any cav for that purpose (and a lot cheaper upkeep).

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