So when you go into a battle, there's these nice big buildings that you can send your troops into to occupy and use as cover. However in my experience, they seem to be totally useless (and in fact hurt my chances at victory), so I assume I must be doing something wrong.

I order my unit (in this most recent specific example, it was a garbage firelock-armed mob) to occupy a building. The troops march in, take up positions by the windows, and then when the enemies approach they smash out said windows, fire, and... then they just stand there. They don't even all fire. Most of them just stand around like they're having lunch or something, admiring the view. The ones that do shoot, don't appear to reload. Occasionally, ordering them to attack causes them to shuffle about the building, concentrating on the side nearest the enemy unit, so they can all look out the windows and wave at the army of angry Poles, while two or three of the soldiers already over there take potshots.

Can anyone help? What am I doing wrong? Or is this just another unresolved bug?

  • Great question; I was having trouble with this in Napoleon, but I blamed my tactics rather than the building. Buildings don't seem to confer an obvious advantage in a firefight, plus they are prone to getting charged... – Fadeway Dec 22 '12 at 6:43

I'll try and make an educated guess: Units cannot fire to the place right below them. This may be either a bug or a feature (for instance, Age of Empires 2 required you to research a technology to enable this).

I don't have Empires (or Napoleon) installed right now, but I suggest you occupy several buildings and check if they do fire on enemies who are more distant. If this still yields no positive result, we're stuck with a bug and need to hope for a patch (which is pretty unlikely, for EA games this old).

For what it's worth, personally, I never occupy buildings because of the weirdness you described as well as the slightly reduced flexibility.

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