NTW3' main curse, and the main cause is NTW (vanilla) was designed for short 1v1 or 2v2 battles. Avoid the following to improve stability:
- Don't ever use alt-tab, even in the lobby: this undoubftully increases instability a lot
- Don't use the Steam overlay, especially the Steam chat: while you are typing the NTW network bandwidth it greatly reduced
If you need to check your emails or do something else while in NTW, please configure NTW in windowed mode. I am personally using it for years. If you don't like how it looks, you can use "Borderless gaming": http://store.steampowered.com/app/388080/Borderless_Gaming/
2v2 or 3v3 are also more stable than 4v4, for obvious statistical reasons.
NTW network code is crap: if you lose your connection to Steam for 1/10th of a second, it's over, unlike in many other games. Basically it's due to an anti-cheat procedure developped by CA (data checksum between players constantly sent to Steam servers). The only way to get rid of this is to play with local virtual network, like Hamachi.
Multiplayer battles in NTW3 have no rules. But are official suggestions and statements for NTW3 MP players:
- The oldest habit on NTW3, even NTW2: don't select France and United Kingdom in the same team
- Try not to mix factions from different alliances (France/allies on one side, coalition on the other): France has rich enough rosters to be played the way you want (numbers, elite, defense, attack, rush), and it's not worth having a mod so careful with historical details if nonsensical alliances are selected all the time.
- A long and heated debate: generals. The rule is clear: there is no rule: you can do anything with your general, and to the enemies' generals. I have heard countless times about a so-called "gentleman rule" to spare enemy generals. If that indeed existed in previous wars, it was certainly not the case in the Napoleonic Wars. Hundreds of generals were killed, they were priority targets.If you don't protect your general, don't complain it has been killed.
- Embedded artillery: don't put a infantry over your artillery crew, with just the tip of the guns out in front of it. Leave your gun crew alone.
This is okay:
But this is not: