|Appears in||Napoleon: Total War|
|Belongs to||All Western factions|
|Soldiers in each unit||6/12/18/24|
|Produced from||Recruited directly from an army|
|Turns to Train||None|
These tough soldiers have only one job: keeping their general alive in the middle of a battle.
A routing unit can often cause other units to doubt themselves, and panic can easily spread through the ranks. When soldiers waver, a general’s presence can inspire courage and make men redouble their efforts. His importance also makes him a target for the enemy; a sensible general has a bodyguard of his best soldiers. These men are fiercely loyal and protective of their general, never leaving his side unless all else is lost.
In 1796, General Napoleon Bonaparte created his own bodyguard of 200 men after a too-close call with some Austrian cavalry. These men were forerunners to the Chasseurs à Cheval of the Guard. Naturally, being the first, they were favoured by Napoleon. Indeed, they were called the ‘Favoured Children’ and, like all children, were often indulged too much and undisciplined. Still, only the most talented men would be recruited to guard the Emperor and, during many of his battles, they proved their skill and bravery in defence of their Emperor.
When a general is recruited, he is accompanied by a general's staff: a small contingent of cavalry that serve as his personal bodyguards. This does not mean that they are well-suited to battle: they have weak stats compared to most other cavalry, and their scant numbers make them very vulnerable if caught in a melee, particularly if their general is killed. If the general dies for any reason (assassination, death in battle, natural causes) then the general's staff automatically disband. Nevertheless, they can safely be used as a last resort for cavalry, or for mopping up routing forces after the conclusion of a battle.
Despite their poor performance in combat, general's staff can be invaluable on the battlefield. They are some of the only units that can Rally and Inspire Units, giving strong temporary boosts to morale and other stats. The range that they can use these abilities is indicated by a blue circle that appears around them when they are selected. Such abilities have no impact on routing units, and are rather best used on troops that are wavering. General's staff innately inspire nearby units even without the use of their abilities (or their general, if he is killed). Without a unit of general's staff, the commander of the army is instead placed in a regiment of regular troops, thus running a high risk of getting him killed if his regiment is used aggressively in battle.
General's Staffs are recruited in a unique way. Instead of being trained at recruitment centers, they are picked directly from the general's tab (depicted as a button with a golden star next to the units tab on the world map). From the general's tab, the player may choose from up to three generals, each with their own traits, to recruit. The better the traits, the more expensive the general. Cost usually varies between 500 and 2,000 gold. More generals spawn slowly over time, and there may never be more than three generals in the cue. There is a limit to how many generals one may recruit. Such a limit is increased with the building or capturing of Staff Colleges.
- The best generals of each playable major faction except Austria have their own unique description text. Some generals have unique portraits, mostly based off of actual portraits depicting them in real life. Certain generals, such as Napoleon Bonaparte and Arthur Wellesley, also have their own special unit art.