Playing as Great-Britain puts you in a unique position: your home region is protected from assault by the sea which is ruled by your navy. This gives you the opportunity to sit back and build up and then strike when you want where you want. This guide will outline a strategy for Great-Britain focusing on building a powerful trade imperium to afford your eventual war against France.
The focus for the start of the campaign will be on expanding your naval dominance. Gibraltar is key to this at is controls the passage between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It is likely to be attacked by Spain, so your first act should be to send an army under Arthur Wellesley to defend it. Do include some of London’s garrison, as it won’t be needed to defend the city.
My navy of choice for transporting Wellesley is the one led by Horatio Nelson, the best admiral in the game. His superior skill rating will give you a big advantage in any naval battle you’ll fight, and the southern seas are were you will fight most of your naval battles.
Gibraltar will be your main military dock as it is closest to the action, so upgrade the dock there as soon as possible. As it is your only settlement there and you don’t want to lose it upgrade the barracks as well.
This does leave the Channel and the North Sea a bit vulnerable, but your other admirals can take care of that. Keep raiding the French ports to prevent them from building up a navy. If France garrisons a port check the recruitment queue there regularly to see if there’s a ship under construction so you can recruit one of your own if necessary.
All your trading ports should be building Merchant Ships constantly, which you should send out to Trade Posts (TP’s) around the map. Focus on getting a ship in as many of them as you can, then once they’re all yours start putting more ships in the Trade Posts. The TP’s to the north-west are pretty safe, so concentrate on ones that are more likely to be taken by other nations first.
As you get your hands on more and more Trade Posts your income will increase rapidly. Invest the extra money in your economy: get any Trade Posts you haven’t got yet and keep churning out ships to trade from them and other ships to protect those. If you have money left over invest it in economical buildings such as smiths, mines and roads. Don’t forget to kick enemy nations out of their trade posts ASAP. When your income is high enough to fuel an army without cutting your naval budget you can start expanding. Your best general is in Spain, so this is an ideal place to start. Expanding here is also easier than expanding into France as Spain is a less powerful nation. By capturing Spain you’ll have a solid base of operations to eventually take on Napoléon.
Whenever possible build a college in Spain to speed up your research. With only one intellectual centre you’ll likely lag behind a bit so try to catch up now you gain more. You can also try trading techs with your allies Austria and Russia (and possibly Prussia). This will also make things harder for France which will come in useful later.
By now you control almost all Trade Points on the map (it is possible to lack just two of them). Combined with Spain this will make your economy flourish, so you can now afford a lot of. Make as many armies as you want and send them to attack. I prefer sending one along the Mediterranean coast and into Italy (if France holds regions there) while another goes along the Atlantic Coast before taking Paris, but feel free to take another approach if you want or the if the circumstances require it.
France’s army is better than yours, so you won’t always be successful in battle. If you struggle a lot just get another army into the fray: with a booming economy you can afford it easily.
Once you’ve captured Paris things become a lot easier. Capturing the remaining French regions on the road to Hannover (which you need to win) shouldn’t be a problem. Capturing Hannover can be a bit difficult as it may have been captured b Prussia. If it has only declare war when you’ve met the other victory conditions so you don’t have to fight a long war against a superior military.
With France overthrown and the British ruling all Western Europe you’ve achieved your goals. Great Britain is the new super-power, not that pitiful France. Go Brittania!