Rampart - FAQ
Are there some ships that should be shot at first?
Can fire from the ships be drawn by decoys?
Any overall strategic maneuvers or suggestions that are not immediately obvious?
A couple of thing that are really helpful to know are:
1) The ships with the red deck (it's easier to see which ones are red in the 2-D mode while your re-building you castle) will fire red connon balls that leave a flaming hole in the ground. The hole takes 3 rounds to clear and you can't build over it so it's important to destroy these ships as soon as possible.
2) The ships with the double sails are the only ones that can launch landers (the little tanks). Be sure to take out any of these that are closing in on your shores as soon as you can.
3) The last ships to take out are the little single sail ones.
4) A good strategy to use once you have let landers come ashore is to wall them in and cut them off as soon as you can and then re-build your castle. Take them out at the beginning of your next turn and then fire on the ships.
5) Another good strategy point to remember is that you don't HAVE to place every cannon that you are given. If you can't find a good place for it, don't use it. The best places to place them is as close as possible to your castle and as far as possible from your walls. And don't place them next to a wall that's at the edge of a map. If a single section of this wall is blown away, it's almost impossible to repair.
6) Practice turning and placing pieces as much as possible until you know which button is turn and which one is place without thinking. This makes building bigger castles alot easier. Also, single width walls are preferable to double or triple walls. They are easier to seal up when destroyed.
7) Finally, it is a good idea to place decoys if you have time. Put walls where you don't need them and the ships will fire on them (hopefully the red ones).
8) The dark ships only drop troops off on beach corners. Don't waste cannonballs on dark ships which are on straight edges of beach. Also try to build walls along the beach corners. Not only does this prevent the armies from landing, but sometimes the red ships will make burning squares (which armies can't land on either) when they shoot at the walls.
9) On the earlier levels, it may help to build a huge fortress, then shrink it as holes are made it.
10) Shoot your own walls if you're afraid that the red ships will clog your wall building attempts. Your own walls won't be set on fire if you level them yourself.
11) On the earlier levels, it helps to surround one castle with four cannon so that the armies can't demolish it. Build three cannon around the other castles (to keep them compact 6x6 fortresses), and place "field artillery" in empty areas of the map. Field artillery keeps extra cannon available if necessary, and helps decoy shots from your fortresses.
12) On the fourth level, the right island is harder than the left island,but it's a lot more fun, too.
13) The easiest path to go on Veteran is (IMO) NE/SE, NW, SW/NE, left island, island. If NW is the first level on Veteran, pick Beginner and do NW as the second level. If you follow this path, castles are a bit farther away from the beaches and the screen edge. For a challenge, do the NW corner as the 3rd Veteran level/4th Beginner level.