|Fire and Advance (Empire: Total War)|
|Research Points Needed|
|Building Needed||Military Academy|
A tactic which allows a unit to move forward in sections, while enjoying the benefits of covering fire from its own men.
When using this evolution, infantry units do not advance as a solid mass, but divide into smaller groups, each of which then advances a short distance in turn. While a group is stationary, it loads and then discharges the muskets at the enemy, harassing them and covering the advance of their moving fellows. Overall, a unit advances more slowly because of the repeated stops made by its companies to fire, but the constant, though limited, fire maintained against the enemy is compensation enough.
This manoeuvre it demands a great deal of comradely loyalty from both officers and men, as each manoeuvring group relies on the fire of the other to keep the enemy at bay while it advances. Good discipline and weapons drill are also required, so that the stationary companies will always be ready to give fire when needed. Properly executed, it can be a devastating and effective way of closing with the enemy.
The tactic has remained in use to the present day as a method of advance called "bounding overwatch", a particularly useful technique for armoured units where tanks give each other covering fire.
Fire and Advance allows line infantry to approach an enemy steadily while maintaining fire. This makes it a useful way for infantry to close a gap before engaging in melee combat. However, their volume of fire is not as great as Fire by Rank and (in some circumstances) Platoon Firing. In addition, the infantry spread out, which increases the chance of friendly fire if they are standing abreast to other units and takes precious time in the middle of a firefight.
Fire and Advance does not work against most cavalry including horse and camel riders. Instead, the first rank of infantry fire, followed by sporadic firing. However, Fire and Advance is still utilized against elephants.
Fire and Advance is available only to Line Infantry and their equivalents.