Round Shot is a shot type in Empire: Total War. Round shot is a simple, metal ball that is available to nearly all artillery and ships.
On land, round shot is available to cannons, mortars and howitzers by default. Though it deals only nominal damage to infantry, it can be effective against cavalry and is also the best choice for bringing down fortifications and buildings. Finally, it has the greatest range of all the shot types for cannon.
For anti-infantry and cavalry roles, Round Shot is made partially obsolete by Canister Shot and Shrapnel Shot for cannons and Carcass Shot, Quicklime Shells, Explosive Shells and Percussion Shells for howitzers and mortars, respectively. In some scenarios, round shot remains more effective and consistent than shrapnel at long range against cavalry.
On land, round shot has a longer range than what its statistics imply. A cannon firing at a unit that has moved out of range can still cause casualties, albeit minimal ones.
At sea, Round Shot is available from the beginning with Chain Shot and Grape Shot. It is the best suited for damaging hulls. For ships that do not have open decks (such as heavier frigates and ships of the line), round shot can help grape shot be more effective by punching holes in hulls, exposing the crew within.
Round Shot is most effective at very close range, where few of the shots are likely to miss. Heavier ships carry more powerful cannons, which fire round shot that deals heavier damage.