AKA “Naval transport”
Convoys are an important concept to grasp, especially if you plan to pursue a naval strategy. “Convoy” is one of the four orders that units can be given, and can only be given to fleets.
The French fleet in the Gulf of Lyon can transport the French Army in Marseilles to Tuscany.
This requires two orders: 1. The French army in Marseille is ordered to move to Tuscany.
2.The French fleet is ordered to convoy the Army in Marseilles to Tuscany. If either order is omitted the convoy will fail.
Convoying over long distances
If you have enough fleets, army units can be convoyed over very long distances in one turn:
The French army in Spain can be convoyed all the way to Greece if so desired. This would require a move order for the Army in Spain to Greece, and three separate “Convoy Army in Spain to Greece” orders from France’s three fleets.
Breaking up a convoy: Convoy interdiction
The danger of a long convoy is that it can be disrupted at multiple points. If any fleet that is part of a convoy is dislodged
(not just bounced or stale-mated) then the entire convoy fails:
Here the Italian fleet is not strong enough to dislodge any of the french fleets, so the convoy succeeds.
Here, Italy has convinced Austria to provide naval support for it’s attack on the French fleet in the Ionian Sea. In this case that French fleet would be forced to retreat (dislodged) and the convoy as a whole would fail. The French army would remain in Spain.
Note that for supporting an attack, the supporting unit must border the province being attacked, not necessarily the province of the unit it is helping.
Mixing Convoys and Support: D-Day, motherfuckers
You can mix and match convoy orders with support orders. For example you can have fleets support other convoying fleets so they don’t get dislodged. Or, in the example below, you can lend a support order to an army’s convoyed move, as a kind of amphibious assault.
The French player wants to take Naples. He orders his army in Spain to move to Naples. He orders his fleets in (lyo) and (tys) to convoy that army. He gives his third fleet in (ion) a “support army in spain’s move to naples” order. This will dislodge the Italian force in Naples if it doesn’t receive support.
Please note: You can never “convoy” support!