Ways of using a Great General

Super Healer

The most common use in multiplayer of a general is a Super Healer, a unit (almost always scout or explorer) with Medic I-III promotion. It is moved together with slow stacks in order to hit, heal and hit another city. Also in defense it can factually strengthen all your defending units in case the attack lasts longer then one turn.

The March promotion only works for the healer itself, not for the stack itīs healing. Is it negligible since the healer is supposed to net get into fights himself till the bitter end anyway, hence scout or explorer as unit of choice.

Military Academy

+50% military unit production
Can be built by Great General
The Military Academy requires the technology Military Science which so low priority in Renaissance games that you will see it only in Industrial and above. In Modern and Future it is very easy to get a city to producing one unit per turn. So the only target for the Military Academy are Industrial games. There though itīs a good and often overseen option to get that magic one unit per turn in a city.

Settling in City

The main reason for settling a general in a city is in order to boost a not Aggressive (the trait) against an aggressive civ or the other way round. The general enables a not aggressive civ which is at an disadvantage during early unit on unit fights (ancient to medieval start) access to the shock promotion (+25% vs. melee units). An aggressive civ can promote city raider I and II or forest cover I and II, giving it different options for early action. The boost of a settled general gets slower the more cities a player has making the percentage of the army that comes from that city smaller.

Super Unit

A example of a Super Unit would be a Swordsman with Cover (+25% against archers) and City Raider I-III (80% city attack).Such a unit can make the difference between choking and killing someone who is defending with archers against early send metal units or enable pillaging a players metal.The main use for the Super Unit though is a defensive unit, like a Spear that was even more strenghtened against horseback units or a Longbow with city defense I-III and more. In a crucial situation where bare survival of a player means the victory for his team, such a unit can make all the difference.

Additional promotion for small stack

Another nice trick is the ability of a general to give several units one additional promotion. This can be a an additional city raider and shock promotion for a stack of 10 Swordsman. Units having 3 experience require another 2 (if not charismatic, then 1) for the next (crucial) promotion. Thatīs 10 units for a non-charismatic and 20 for a charismatic that a general can "upgrade".

Example: In an ancient start 5v5 Team_Battleground you got Bouddicca of Rome with a non-agressive leader. you build 20 praetorians with barracks and receive a general from your bravely fighting Imperialistic team mate. Now your 20 praetorians got enourmously stronger by each receiving another promotion. City Raider I and II is an option, combat I and Shock another.


In order to promote a galley with a general, it has to be empty and the general loaded in and then attached. Once done the galley has access to promotions Morale, Flanking I -> Navigation I and II, giving it an overall of 5 moves.
This can be used to hit opposing cities that otherwise at this technological point in the game wouldnīt be accessible by sea units or at least none with 5 moves. Itīs not often a 5-move-galley can kill a city because of its suprising nature, but Iīve seen it done in competetive games more often then youīd think.

The Commando

Promoting a unit to a Commando is the best - so good, itīs the only choice in Modern and Future start games. Here is a description done by Imhotep in an earlier article on Attacking in multiplayer.

Using the Commando promotion is an advanced attack option in the later eras. The Commando promotion is enabled if a unit has the Combat IV promotion and is eligible for another promotion (so basically it’s enabled at 26 XP for non-aggressive and non-charismatic leaders/ at 17 XP for aggressive leaders / at 13 XP for aggressive and charismatic leaders). The Commando promotion allows the unit to use the roads/railroads in enemy terrain. This is used a lot in Modern and Future era games – you can either direct hit a city with Gunships and then use the Commando unit to kill the empty city (of course the Commando needs enemy roads leading to the city for that) or you can aim for the back cities which often are empty or only garrisoned with 1 or 2 units. To see how this works I’d suggest creating a Commando unit and toy around with it in Single Player mode using WorldBuilder. A Commando in action: