The Fire is Born field guide
The Fire is Born (Mayan: Siyah K'ak) was a famous warlord who conquered many Mayan cities and built a Mesoamerican empire in 4th century AD. Now he is there to teach you, so listen carefully, students!
How to wage battle
Fire is Born says: Everyone fights to his last breath. So if he doesn't live, he doesn't fight.
In Seven Kingdoms, there is no penalty to damage based on life percentage. A soldier near death will deal the same damage as a completely healthy one. So concentrate your attack on one soldier to quickly kill him. This is very effective with Berserker nations which can, with their Berserk attack, kill even a well trained soldier in seconds.
Archery nations can concentrate on one soldier no-matter-what. They don't have to charge him and can pick up any target in a large range. And when enemy units move at you, just pick that soldier and move with him, while enemy troops will be showered by arrows.
Fire is Born says: Greenhorns will die easily but will club you like veterans.
Apart from a general's leadership bonus, your unit will only gain life and not more attack power. So greenhorns (green life bar) have the same normal attack like trained soldiers. The only bonus is Berserk attack for Berserker nations. Some nations, like the Normans, will get ranged attacks after a certain percentage of increased skill.
Fire is Born says: If you want to lose a battle, forget about your general.
Generals are very important in Seven Kingdoms. Not only that they train you troops, but they command your troops even on the battlefield. If a general is near your troops, he will give your troops a bonus percentage to their attack. The percentage is derived from your general's leadership skill. 100 leadership (your king and very good generals) mean 100% bonus to damage, so your troops will deal twice as much damage as usual.
But generals are a good target. They fight like normal soldiers and are as strong as them, but the enemy will attack them very happily, so you have to guard him, protect him, and keep him in the back of the battlefield. If your general is ranged, that can be easy, but when your general is melee, it can be dangerous. So combination of a ranged general and melee troops is good. This squad can be quite self-sufficient on the battlefield. On the other side, a combination of a melee general and ranged troops can lead to disaster.
Fire is Born says: There are two main strategies of waging battle: kill greenhorns or kill the general.
Fire is Born is right. From previous lines, you could easily discover that yourself. If you kill a greenhorn, he will have a problem fighting if he's bleeding on the ground. That unit is easily removed from the battlefield. So facing a group of soldiers with different combat experiences, kill the weakest one, the one with least life.
But, if you facing group of experienced soldiers, and killing one would be quite long, kill the general first.
How to wage war
Fire is Born says: Concentration is the key to success, not only on the battlefield, but in war too.
Historically, it doesn't matter if the enemy is three-times stronger than you. With proper concentration of your smaller army, you cold easily win. Same is in Seven Kingdoms. Killing enemies troops one by one or one squad after another by your three squads is better than face them at once. That means preparing for war by concentrating your lesser force near your enemies weak bases.
Fire is Born says: If you can, attack their back.
Not honorable, but efficient. If you see the enemy or Kingdom which you want to see destroyed is fighting with another, and it's troops are on long battle-line, bring your soldiers together and declare war on them. The kingdom will have a hard time fighting on both fronts of you. Strategically attack their units or bases while they're engaged in open combat. In desperation, the AI kingdom will bring its king to that battle. This presents a large opportunity to cause a civil panic in the enemy kingdom from his death.
Fire is Born says: War machines don't betray you.
The best tactic to win a war is with war machines. If you have time, go for Cannons (ballista->ballista II->cannon). They are slower but have an area effect damage and that is, in large numbers, disastrous. But if you don't have time and the enemy is much stronger than your area and is aggressive towards you, go for Catapults. Catapult Mark III behaves much like a "cannon light," less damage but good area of effect damage.
The unicorn is the pinnacle of the war machine technology; however, what it lacks in area of effect damage, it makes up for with speed and single target damage. Each war machine will be good at a specific type of battle, so choose wisely.