|Fire and Advance|
|Research Points Needed||80|
Infantry units are trained to move forwards in sections, each firing turn to cover the advance of their comrades.
When using this tactic, infantry units do not move forward as a single block. Instead, groups take it in turn to advance towards the enemy, halt, and fire. While one group is firing, others are advancing or loading for another volley. Good discipline and weapons drill are also required, so that the stationary companies will always be ready to give fire when needed. The evolution requires a great deal of coordination by officers and sergeants, and faith in their fellows by the men.
Fire and advance remains in use today as a method of advance known as “bounding overwatch”, a particularly useful technique for armoured units where tanks give each other covering fire. The first unit moves into a predetermined position and becomes the “overwatching unit”; these tend to be in cover to provide the stationary unit with protection as it covers the bounding unit. In addition, armoured vehicles being able to fire on the move with gyro-stabilised weapons has made “fire and advance” mean exactly that.
Fire and Advance returns in Napoleon: Total War. As a technology, it is available for research at the very beginning of the European Campaign. It functions similarly to how it did in Empire: Total War: regiments utilizing it spread out, with the first rank firing, before being overtaken by the second rank, then third, and so on (depending on how many ranks deep the regiment is). After all ranks fire, the unit retreats to its original position. Unlike Empire, FIre and Advance significantly reduces the range of the regiment using it. Units also spread out as soon as the order to fire and advance is given, compared to Empire where they only spread out once within range of the enemy. This makes fire and advance considerably more responsive in Napoleon: Total War, if more dangerous to use due to the range penalty.
Fire and Advance has some unique implications in Napoleon: Total War. Unlike Empire, Fire by Rank and Platoon Firing are not available; therefore, if a regiment is three ranks deep (or deeper), Fire and Advance temporarily has more firepower than the default firing mode--an advantage that disappears after the unit has to waste time reforming. Another marginal benefit is that the act of spreading out makes the unit slightly less vulnerable to incoming artillery.