Part One: Capture some Artillery
From the onset of the mission you are given 30 Don Cossacks and 20 Serdiuks. Be prepared to loose more than two thirds of these men. You are greeted by some of the kingís men telling you that without artillery, the assault on Smolensk is hopeless. Now watch the 5 Pikemen as they move to the east and are killed by the Russian soldiers. You will notice that there is a hill directly to the east, and beyond that, a tight valley and then another hill at the same height. On the near hill there are 4 groups of Strelets. A small group guarding the small ascent to the hill. A group guarding a Howitzer overlooking the eastern valley, a group guarding two cannons, and a larger group of about 20 Strelets at the northern point of the hill. Now, in order to capture the artillery speed is essential because, once you begin your attack there will be two groups of 20 Russian Spearmen headed your way. First use your Donís to kill the group guarding the hill. Then, once you have killed them bring your Serdiuks up on that point to guard the hill. Split your Don Cossacks into two even groups and capture the lookout points where the cannons are. Once the cannons are captured use your remaining Donís, about 20 by now, to kill the last group of Strelets to the north. Once this is all done, the howitzer and the two cannons will be helping you out automatically by firing at the two groups of Spearmen ascending the hill. One group will come from the south, the other, from the north. Deploy your Don Cossacks in front of your Serdiuks if you have time to. This part of the battle will happen very quickly and you may need to do this many times before you get it right.
Part Two: Liberating the Prisoners
OK, now that you have your three artillery pieces, have the 2 cannons take out the 7 howitzer guarding the immediate entrances to the holding pens where the prisoners are kept. While this is happening, have your howitzer go down and into the valley in between the two hills and have it kill as many Strelets as it can in about 2 minutes time, remember time is essential, you have a limited amount of gold, coal and iron. After about 2 minutes of bombardment, have the howitzer open those paling gates, and, even if there are still troops guarding then entrances to the pens, have your remaining Don Cossacks liberate the prisoners. Have all of your men and cannons assemble to the south of the hill you originally captured. Now that your forces are replenished to a degree it is time to move out.
Part Three - Supplying Your Army
Now that your troops are assembled, have them move only a little ways down the dirt path as there is a Russian tower awaiting you. Send your cannons in the lead in order to make quick work of it. Throughout the rest of the mission, your gold levels are like a countdown clock, watch it carefully. Proceed down the dirt road to the middle of the map, you will meet some Russian gatekeepers who will tell you that there is a Russian fortress to the north that should be taken out. Just to the north of the bridge, along the dirt road to the fortress there are 2 cannons and a large group of Strelets. There are two ways you can start this fight without getting all of your Don Cossacks killed, you can send your three howitzers to attack the cannons, or lure the howitzers fire by attacking with one Don Cossack. Once theyíve fired once, send in all of your Don Cossacks in order to clear out everything. To the north there is a group of Spearmen guarding some of your men and a group of pack camels that contain need resources of gold, coal, and iron. In order to capture the camels before they get in range of the fortress cannons use a large group of Don Cossacks to thrust into the heart of the Spearmen, and a small group of Don Cossacks to cut off the retreat of the camels and their owners. As an added bonus, you get 5 Serdiuks that were being held prisoner by the Russians. This is a good time to save the game. Now, there really isnít much point in capturing the fortress, itís really just a ploy to kill your men and waste your ammo. Before you begin to cross the river, disable the attack on all of your troops, you are passing very close to Russian lines, if you donít disable the attack and fire youíre doomed to fail. Once youíre assembled and ready move to the gatehouse and cross the river.
Part Four: Taking Smolensk
Now for the hard part. Move your cannons to the hill in front of the Russian lines and have the cannons only, not the howitzers try to take out as many howitzers and multibarreled cannons as possible before the assault begins. When the assault commences, DONíT send in any of your troops, for the assault will fail, but it will buy you howitzers some time to take out the cannons guarding the southern entrance to the Smolensk area. If you can, once the Polish commander is dead try to save any troops that are still alive, for you might need them if you donít have a lot of Don Cossacks left. If successful you should have a nice open spot where you can eliminate the remaining Russian troops with cannon and cross over and into the valley. In order to stay safe when you begin to attack Smolensk, keep your cannons as far away from the hills as you can while still not being able to be hit by the towers guarding Smolensk. You may notice a group of hussars in the valley area, simply kill the towers around them and use your howitzers to attack them, if the come at your in a large group, your Don Cossacks will handle them. After some fancy cannon work and destroying all of the towers guarding the city, move your howitzers in, kill as many troops inside the walls as you can without popping open the gates. Once this is done, there should be only minimal resistance inside the city walls, light enough resistance that all you need is your small group of Don Cossacks and howitzers to kill everyone. If you are lucky and use your cannon to your advantage you will win!