I guess that many of the players here came from diplomacy, as I did. Well, there are no garrisons, so this is one of the difficult concepts to understand, or at least it was for me. For example, Milan and Arezzo are walled cities, while Croatia is not.
What can we do with garrisons?
- They offer an unbreakable support: If we have a garrison in a city and a unit for another power on the province, the garrison can support other unit, ours or from an ally, to enter the province. This support can´t be cut, not like others.
- Delay an enemy attack creating garrisons: You can retire a unit into the city, avoiding leaving the province empty. That way, you delay the conquering of your territories, cause they will need to waste two turns besieging you in order to destroy the unit. This "extra time" can be use wisely to reagroup or obtain supports using diplomacy.
- Previous step to convert armies into fleets and vice versa: If you only have armies and you need fleets, or the other way around, you have to convert first into garrison and, after that, to the other unit type. It is important to remember that fleets can only garrison, or be created, on ports. Ports are walled cities marked with an anchor on the map. For example, Naples is a Port, Rome is not. A fleet can never retreat as a garrison if the city is not a port. Forget these had made some players lost a lot of fleets over time.
- Protect vulnerable cities, as Genoa or Milan: Garrisons on mayor cities, plotted in the map with a number, like Genoa or Milan, that provides aditional incomes, needs a double expense to bribe them. No matter if you want to buy or disband. So, if you have a garrison in a city like Genoa, moreo on the scenarios in which it has a chest, it should be a great idea to have a garrison there and keep the income.
- Avoid that cities without port could be conquered by fleets: Obviously, cities like Rome can´t be besiege and conquered by fleets. Your foe will need to carry there a land unit if he wants to make it.
- Autonomous garrisons: At the begging of the game they are set on the map as neutral territories, easy target to groth when the game is young. They do nothing, they don´t convert into other type of unit, they don´t support others. It is good to be aware of the bribes related with garrisons:
- Spend 6 ducats to disband an autonomous garrison. That can be usefull for the "Winning Coups", for example, using 18 ducats you can obtain 3 empty cities and enter into them with your units. If you do so carefully at fall season, you can get a win in a game at 12 or 15 cities.
- Spend 9 ducats and you convert an autonomous garrison into one of yours, being able to convert it into army or fleet on this same turn. I will always remember how Migue eliminated me by converting an autonomous garrison into on of him, converting it and breaking the suppor of my unit at the process. Of course, I needed these support to survive.
- Spend 9 ducats and you can convert a garrison that belongs to another player into an autonomous one (not in a mayor city, in that case it would cost you 18 ducats). With these trick you can eliminate a player of leave him without a desire fleet.
That is all folks