|Tips for Controling your Units|
Nov 16, 2001: With so many shortcut commands requiring Shift or Control keys to be pressed, I have found it both faster and safer against mistakes, to use the mouse when controlling workers, especially later in the game. Trying to remember R for roads but Shift-R for railroads, and Ctrl-F for fortresses, etc, has been too much, and likewise it's a pain to manually move workers around. The GoTo feature is FINALLY reliable in its pathfinding, so once the railroads have hit the scene, I shift over into using GoTo mode (with the G key) and keeping my hand there, while I use the button panel at the bottom of the screen to select worker and unit actions, such as modifying terrain or loading into ships or armies. My turns go much faster now.
Nov 16, 2001: Frustrated in dealing with ships? Two things can help. First, there is a Load command, available both on hotkey (L) and via the button panel near the bottom of the screen. Load your units aboard ships without hassle. You can also unload by moving the ship to the shore. However, if your ship's turn ends at sea, but adjacent to shore, rather than waiting another turn to unload, you can right-click on the ship, wake your troops, and unload them immediately.
Nov 16, 2001: When using ships to transport units across small bays and the like, a unit's turn ends whenever it manually moves aboard or disembarks from a ship. However, if the ship is in port in a city, you may Load units or Wake them without their turn expiring. So it may benefit you later on to load your units aboard a transport inside a city, move the transport across the bay into another city on the same turn, and then wake the units. You can even attack on the same turn!
Aug 1, 2002: Patch 1.29f brings lots of new features for improving control. You can now wake or fortify all units in a tile at the same time. There is also the "J" key for moving all awakened units of a particular type in a "stack". This is great for leaving enough workers to build a railroad in a single turn in a stack, move them all at once and hit the rail command rapidly and you're done, much faster even than my tip higher up on the page about moving them individually.
Aug 1, 2002: You can use Shift-U to mass upgrade troops of a particular type. Say, you get Gunpowder. You wake a single pikeman (doesn't even have to be at barracks or even in town) and press Shift-U, the game offers to upgrade all upgradable units of that type (the ones in cities with barracks). If you have the money and resources to make an upgrade, that is. This can save you lots of time, and it's one way to upgrade troops yet still leave them fortified.
Aug 1, 2002: Another way to upgrade troops without waking them is when they are fortified in a city with a barracks, zoom the city, right click the unit at the bottom, and upgrade. This does not work if the unit has no movement left that turn, but if they do, they will spend it all, be upgraded, and remain fortified.
Aug 1, 2002: During the late game, if all of your tiles have been railroaded, irrigated and/or mined, and there is no work left for the workers, you can put them on auto pollution cleanup duty with Shift-A. They will wake on their own, clean the pollution, then go back to sleep. The only thing they won't do, is reassign your polluted city tiles. You have to zoom the city to put things right (or wait for the city to grow and/or starve, when it will fix itself).
Aug 1, 2002: Using the Goto command (press the "G" key then click on a destination tile) really is the fastest way to move units around, especially once you have railroads, but even good for roads and other uses earlier in the game. I only rarely move units any other way, in recent months. One situation where I WILL move manually is any time an unexpected threat may appear, like moving settlers around with barbarians active, or moving loaded ships while at war. Don't let laziness kill your troops!
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