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As found in forums, here is some detail about leaders for players to better understand. Thank you, McNaughton !!!!


Leader Groups (Land and Naval)

First, there are two groups of leaders, Land and Naval. While you can put land leaders in naval groups, and naval leaders in land groups, they do not provide any benefit. So, lesson 1, keep Land leaders in Land groups, and Naval leaders in Naval groups.

Leader Ranks

Next comes the three ranks (both naval and land have three ranks, 1*, 2* and 3*, currently only 2*& 3* for Naval are used). The ranks primarily denote how much CP (command points) the leader provides, but, there are also other benefits to be dealt with later (special abilities for generals of particular ranks).

A 1* General will have in their NATO symbol a single star
A 2* General will have in their NATO symbol a group of 2 stars
A 3* General will have in their NATO symbol a group of 3 stars
A 1* Admiral will have in their NATO symbol a single anchor
A 2* Admiral will have in their NATO symbol a group of 2 anchors
A 3* Admiral will have in their NATO symbol a group of 3 anchors


Each leader has three statistics, Strategic, Attack and Defense.


This is vitally important to denote wether or not your leader is active that round. Either a general is active or not, and the value of the number denotes the chance that the leader will be active (the higher the better). A leader of 1 strategic will rarely be active, 2 will not be active often, 3 will be about 50-50, 4 will mostly be active and 5 greater will probably always be active.

If a leader is active they are able to do specific tasks (move without penalty, provide the CP they have, as well as some abilities requiring the general to be active in order ot use).


This is critical, as the value provides a % bonus for forces attacking. Each value of Attack adds the % bonus to the force.


This is critical in relation to attack. Defence values of a defending general are used to subtract from the value of the attacker. This purely lowers the bonus of the attacker (max to zero). For example..

Attacker - Attack value of 2
Defender - Defence value of 1
Attacker - Defender = New Attacker Value (2-1=1)

However, a defender can only reduce an attacker's value to 0 (no % benefit). For example...

Attacker - Attack value of 2
Defender - Defence value of 3
Attacker - Defender = New Attacker Value (2-3=0)

This may appear that a defending general with a high defence value is useless, but, when up against a very good attacker having a very good defender can negate pretty much (if not all) of their ability.


Each general (barring generic replacements) will have at least two abilities in PON. Abilities are defined by general rank (special rank abilities) as well as role, personality and history.

Abilties can function by a series of requirements.

A) The leader is the top ranking and top seniority in the stack (i.e., ability will only trigger if the leader is the first in the stack, located at far left). These are LEADER abilities.
B) The leader is in the stack, but not necessarily the leader of the stack (abilities work in either role). These are GROUP abilities.
C) The leader is attached directly to another combat unit (abilities work only to elements directly attached). These are UNIT abilities.

In the stack below, von Reyher is the leader (given he has greater rank than Schrekenstein and Moltke, and greater seniority than Wrangel).


As leader, Reyher will apply his leader abilities (in this case, Diplomatic), while no other leaders in the stack will apply their LEADER abilities. However, all four generals, if they have them, will apply any GROUP abilities. Given that no leader is attached to another combat unit, no UNIT abilities would apply.

Field Marshals and Admirals - 3* Leaders

Nations will vary in their named ranks in this category. For example, for Great Britain all 3* generals are Generals, while for the United States all 3* generals are Major Generals. Regardless of their title rank, nations will not have any difference in commanding (i.e., a British General = an American Major General for game purposes). For reference purposes, I will call all 3* Generals Field Marshals and all 3* Admirals Admirals.


There are two main roles for Field Marshals/Admirals. Given their high CP value (48 in PON) they are able to directly command large numbers of troops, but they also have special abilities that make them useful not as a frontline commander, but as a theater commander.

Field Commander

Using a Field Marshal/Admiral as a field commander is useful when you have a large number of troops. Basically, these leaders are to command large fleets and individual armies (of about 100 000 men). Depending upon their abilities and stats denotes what type of cstack you would want them to command.

In the case of a Field Commander Field Marshal/Admiral, abilities that are LEADER abilities (Green, Blue, Red or Orange) are critical here.

  • All Green and Blue Abilities are seen as 'positive', as in provide the stack a benefit.
  • All Red and Orange Abilities are seen as 'negative', as in provide the stack a penalty.

The higher the stats, the better the general. Beware though, usually a good general known for attacks can be noted to have a very poor defence (and vice versa), so beware that even generals with good stats can be caught in the wrong position.

Theater Commander

In Pride of Nations, the world is cut up into provinces, groups of provinces, theatres, etc. For command purpsoes, Theaters are critical to understand. Field Marshals/Admirals have a special ability (is always their first ability, and is always with a Black Background and a White Image).

In order to see the theatres of the game, in the mini-map display click on the Mini-Map of Africa (see red highlited box in image below). You then get the map coloured according to Theatre.

In the picture below, in the Second War of Independence Scenario, you will see two stacks commanded by Austrian Field Marshals. von Hess in Vienna is the highest seniority (only) 3* General in the 'Austrian Theatre' (Purple), while Gyulay is the highest seniority (only) 3* General in the 'Italian Theatre' (Red).


CinC Theatre abilities are active only if the general is active (Based upon their Strategic Rating, see above). If active, all commanders (1*, 2* and 3*) in that theatre will gain the specific CinC benefits of the highest seniority 3* general in that theatre. So, in the case above, all troops in Italy will gain benefits of Gyulay (if active), and all troops in Austria will gain benefits of Hess (if active). If Hess or Gyulay get to the same theatre of operation, the Field Marshal with the highest senioirty (in this case Hess) will take command of the theatre.

  • Bonus' can range from additional stats (Strategic, Attack, Defence), to special abilities (Cohesion regain, Initiative, Frontage, Supply, etc.). Each CinC ability provides certain bonus', no penalties, and depending upon your role of that theatre can depend upon who you want as the theatre CinC.

If there is no CinC in the theatre, then there is no ability to be passed on (i.e., functions as if the Theatre CinC is inactive). Also, if a CinC is inactive, this does not mean that the next ranking 3* Field Marshal will have a chance to apply their CinC ability. It is all-or-nothing with the top ranking 3* general.

Your Field Marshal/Admiral can be both the CinC and lead a Field Command. However, even a poor quality CinC will be better than no CinC in a theatre. Even colonial troops can benefit by having a CinC nearby, however, be cautious devoting a CinC to a colonial theatre as you have far too few to easily spare.

Generals and Vice Admirals - 2* Leaders

Nations will vary in their named ranks in this category. For example, for Great Britain all 2* generals are Lieutenant Generals, while for the United States all 2* generals are Brigadier Generals. Regardless of their title rank, nations will not have any difference in commanding (i.e., a British Lieutenant General = an American Brigadier General for game purposes).

Lietuenant General/Rear Admiral Remarks.

Details of Abilities

Like Field Marshals/Admirals, 2* Generals each have special abilities. In the first ability for all 2* Generals (barring generic generals) they have a specific 2* Ability. This ability represents their field of focus (Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery, Engineering, Administrative), plus also their field point of view (such as offensive artillery, or defensive artillery).

These abilities are all contingent upon the leader being active. If they are inactive, then the ability will be flashing and not apply.

These abilities are GROUP abilities, meaning that even if they are not in command of the stack, they will affect the specific units in the stack (this means that having 2* generals in a larger stack DOES pay off!).


Infantry Leader Group

  • Tactician of √Član
  • Open Order Tactician
  • Feu de Bataillion Tactician
  • Infiltration Tactician

Light Infantry Leader Group

  • Chasseur Tactician
  • Alpine Tactician

Artillery Leader Group

  • Massed Artillerist
  • Dispersed Artillerist

Cavalry Leader Group

  • Dragoon Cavalryman
  • Hussar Cavalryman
  • Aristocratic Cavalryman

Engineer Leader Group

  • Siege Expert
  • Fort Defender
  • Engineer

Administrative Group

  • Assistant Logistician
  • Staffer


Light Warships

  • Raider Hunter
  • Commerce Raider
  • Scouting Cruiser Admiral
  • Torpedo Boat Tactician
  • Submarine Chaser

Heavy Warships

  • Big Gun Admiral
  • Bombarder
  • Cruiser Hunter

Coastal Warships

  • Brown Water Admiral

Seniority effect

In the space below, you will notice that there are two Lieutenant Generals, with Schrekenstein having the a Cavalry Ability (horse on white background) and Moltke having an Administrative Ability (envilope).


If you should have two leaders in the same stack with the same ability group (i.e., two infantry leaders), then the one with the highest seniority will have theirs as the one determining the ability for the entire stack. Even if inactive, the second general will not have their ability felt. The key is the same ability group, not same ability (i.e., you could have a Hussar Cavalryman and Dragoon Cavalryman in the same stack, but since both are Cavalry abilities only one is used).

Abilities of Note

When selecting a leader to lead a stack, there are some things you should keep an eye out for. Sometimes there is no choice (nobody else left), but be aware of who you select!

A) Warnings! Look out for the following...

Hothead/Reckless - These abilities can get you into trouble. Usually connected with leaders who are good attackers, they will cause your stacks problems should the force be in a bad position and want to retreat, since these abilities hinder this! Also, Hothead/Recless leaders tend to randomly switch to offensive stature, due to the leader's aggressivness. Sometimes it is good to have an aggressive leader, sometimes not!
Over Cautious - This ability causes severe problems if you are planning to have this stack attack into enemy territory. While not much of an issue if you are using this force defending, having this stack led by an Over Cautious leader can result in the leader sitting put if you happen to be unlucky. Somtimes it is good to have a cautious leader, sometimes not!
Defiant/Arrogant - This ability functions even if you are not leader of the stack. This represents a leader who gets along poorly with everyone, meaning that as a subordinate to a leader in a larger stack they provide a CP penalty, and their own stack results in a CP pelanty as well. Many good leaders were Arrogant, so you have to weigh the benefits of the leader and the fact they will lower CP.
Dispersed/Slow Move - This can wreck an advance, it means that an enemy will be well aware of your force moving into territories. Also, for Slow Move, even if you are a subordinate you can slow down a larger force (you move only as fast as your slowest part).

B) Benefits! Keep an eye out for these...

Offensive/Defensive School - These are double edged swords, they are great if you happen to time the leader with the proper action (i.e., attack with an offensive school), but are dire if you misuse them (i.e., defend with an offensive school). This provides frontage bonus and penalties depending upon the focus. Frontage is important for out manoevering your foe in a battle, having greater frontage means you can put more troops in the line, less frontage means fewer troops.
Loyal - This ability has the leader provide CP benefits to their own stack, and larger stacks. A loyal leader may not be the best general, but, since they do what they are told they provide no problem for a commander. Putting a loyal commander in your larger armies will provide a few extra CP points to use to top up the stack in support troops.
Master Logistician - This ability is really good as it lowers the supply usage of your forces. Great when you are having to move large armies into foreign territory. This ability alone makes generals like McClellan actually viable, given that it re-balances their lower stats. Combine this with Administrative Logisticians and you can reduce supply usage of a large stack by 35%!
Ambusher/Supriser - Getting any edge on an opponent in battle is important, having surprise can throw off a mis-balanced engagement.
Withdrawer/Superior Withdrawer - You may think that this ability is bad, but, it is actually good! It allows a force to slip away whenever the situation is getting out of hand. Wars are not won by retreating, but they are won by fighting the right battles. Retreating from bad battles can have you live to fight another day.
Multinational - Many nations use a multitue of nationalities. Some nations have more than others, some are lucky enough to have none. Nations like Austria, Germany and Russia have a great number of metropolitan troops requiring a particular national leader, and if you want to command the British Indian Army, you need British Indian Leaders! French commanders leading Algerian forces require certain leaders, as well as any other nation commanding native troops. Look out for those few special leaders with the specific 'Multinational' leader ability, this means they can command any combination of troops (not just a specific combo).
  • If you have a stack led by a leader who is not designed to command the force, all non-national units in the stack have a double cost of CP. If you have a French stack of 1 FRA brigade and 1 FNF brigade and a regular leader, the FRA brigade costs 2 CP, FNF brigade costs 4 CP for a total of 6 CP (although two regular brigade should cost 4 CP). This can really add up.

National Variance in PON

You will notice that some nations have more or less of a particular ability family for their 2* generals than others. So, depending on who you are you will get leaders who are more common in certain commands than others (all nations have a large amount of infantry commanders).

  • Germany - Large numbers of Infantry, Cavalry and Administrative
  • Austria - Large numbers of Infantry and Cavalry
  • Russia - Large numbers of Infantry and Cavalry
  • France - Large numbers of Infantry and Artillery
  • Japan - Large numbers of Infantry
  • United States - Large numbers of Infantry and Cavalry
  • Italy - Large numbers of Infantry and Administrative
  • Great Britain - Large numbers of Infantry


I am sure that you can come up with your own conclusions, but here are some suggestions...

A) Optimally having a diverse set of 2* leaders of a diverse stack is useful. Having more than one of any ability group is somewhat redundant for a larger stack.

B) Depending upon a leaders statistics or abilities they may be more useful leading independent corps than as a part of a larger stacks. There are five general types of leaders.

  • Poor - A combination of 2-2-1 stats (2-2-1, 2-3-0, 2-1-2, 2-0-3)
  • Basic - A combination of 3-1-1 stats (3-1-1, 3-2-0, 3-0-2)
  • Average - A cobination of 3-2-1 stats (3-2-1, 3-3-0, 3-1-2, 3-0-3)
  • Good - A combination of 3-2-2 stats (3-2-2, 3-3-1, 3-4-0, 3-1-3, 3-0-4)
  • Excellent - A combination of 4-3-2 stats (4-3-2, 4-4-1, 4-5-0, 4-2-3, 4-1-4, 4-0-5)
  • Superb - These are few and far between, and have their own rules

It is recommended that Poor, Basic, Average, and Good 2* leaders are best used within a larger stack commanded by a 3* Field Marshal/Admiral.

However Excellent and Superb 2* leaders are probably best used as individual corps commanders, detached from larger corps. Their high strategic rating, and attack and defence above average, will result in this force being active more often than not, and multiply the force value much more than if they just sat in a larger command.