Artillery is a unit type in Empire: Total War.
Artillery provide powerful support firepower to the battlefield, characterized by their high firepower and range, but tempered by their limited accuracy and slow reload speed. Even the weakest artillery types can cause heavy casualties with the right shot type and should their payload hit their mark. Artillery are also the only unit types that can destroy fortifications and buildings. Should they be attacked in a melee, artillery crew can fend for themselves with swords. However, their numbers are very few, and they can easily be wiped out in this capacity. Should their opponents retreat out of immediate melee range, artillery crew can be ordered to re-man their guns.
Loss of artillery crew can cause slower reload times for the guns. Should too many crew be lost, then they will only operate a portion of the guns in the unit.
Types of ArtilleryEdit
Most in-game artillery pieces are fairly traditional field guns, direct-fire weapons mounted on twin-tailed carriages. Ranging from fleet 3 pounders to the Ottomans' 64 pounder behemoths, these guns fire a variety of ammunition types. A variety of indirect-fire mortars, rockets and howitzers are also featured.
Cannon artillery can be fixed to the ground from the beginning to the end of battle, or they can be dragged (albeit usually slowly). They fire directly at their targets and need a clear line of sight to inflict damage. Fires Shrapnel Shot, Round Shot, and Canister Shot. In most situations, cannon are probably the best short-ranged artillery, thanks to their lethal and reliable canister shot, essentially converting them into giant shotguns.
Howitzers and MortarsEdit
Howitzers are relatively short-range, mobile artillery; on the other hand, mortars are long-range, fixed artillery. Howitzers and mortars fire in an arched trajectory, making them useful against entrenched targets. Fires Round Shot, Carcass Shot, Explosive Shells, Quicklime Shells,
Rockets are a relatively unique form of rocketry, scattering projectiles over a wide area at a very long range. They pay for their range and area with very low lethality; however, they can be useful for demoralizing enemies due to their high coverage of the battlefield.
Puckle guns are a unique form of artillery. Instead of firing various shot types at range, they fire musketballs at a high rate. Their relatively fast reloading speed makes them a good anti-cavalry tool, although they lack the range of regular artillery and the short-term punch of canister shot.