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Civil War Battles Series            *click here for games*

Campaign OverlandCampaign ChancellorsvilleCampaign AntietamCampaign ChickamaugaCampaign AtlantaCampaign VicksburgCampaign ShilohCampaign PeninsulaCampaign GettysburgCampaign FranklinCampaign OzarkCampaign Cornith


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-Civil War Battles User Manuals-

Titles in this series will share common traits with one another. The following is an extract from the user documentation.

Sides: A Civil War Battle is played by two sides, one Union and one Confederate. A battle may be played by one person against the computer, or by two persons using a variety of modes such as Two-Player Hot Seat Play-By-E-Mail (PBEM), or Network Play.

-Game Scale-

Hexes: Each battle is played on a map made up of hexagons (hexes). Each hex measures 125 yards across. Each hex contains terrain which affects movement and combat in that hex.

Turns: Each battle is conducted in turns each of which typically represents 20 minutes of real time, although this may vary by scenario. Each player has a number of units under their control, some of which are on the map at the beginning of the battle, while others arrive as Reinforcements.

Most unit information is displayed in much the same manner as information cards are used in board games or miniature wargaming. This conveys information that is not able to fit on unit/leader counters.

 
Click to Enlarge
 

Units: Typically, each unit is a regiment of Infantry, a regiment of Cavalry, or a battery of Artillery. Each Infantry and Cavalry unit has a strength value in increments of single men, while each Artillery unit has a strength value in number of guns. In addition there are specialized units such as Leaders and Supply Wagons. Infantry, Cavalry, and Artillery units are capable of firing on enemy units and each has a range value indicating the number of hexes that unit may fire.

-Style of Play-

Turns vs. Phases: Each battle can be fought in one of two modes. In the default Turn-based mode, each player moves, fires, and melees using units under his control in his turn. There are only a few restrictions on this:

  • After firing, a unit cannot move for the remainder of the turn, but may melee in that turn.
  • After meleeing, a unit cannot move or fire for the remainder of the turn.

The purpose of these restrictions is to help ensure that the resulting battles are fought in a manner similar to historical battles and with less flexibility that would be found in more modern combat. As each player performs actions in their turn, Defensive Fire is possible by the opposing side under the control of the computer. In the Phase-based mode, invoked using the Manual Defensive Fire Optional Rule, each turn is played as described in the next section.

Phases: Under the Manual Defensive Fire Option, each turn of the battle is divided into Phases. A Phase will be under the control of one side or the other. A complete turn is made up of a total of 8 phases. Thus the phases will be:

  • Side A Movement Phase
  • Side B Defensive Phase
  • Side A Offensive Fire Phase
  • Side A Melee Phase
  • Side B Movement Phase
  • Side A Defensive Phase
  • Side B Offensive Fire Phase
  • Side B Melee Phase

At the beginning of each Phase (under Local Control) the Phase Dialog is displayed (see the Main Program Help File). In each phase only certain actions are possible. Movement is restricted to the Movement Phase and firing is restricted to the Fire phases, Defensive and Offensive. The Melee Phase allows hexes containing enemy units to be assaulted and possibly captured.

End of Game: As each player finishes their turn or phase, they advance the battle to the next turn or phase by using the Next Turn or Next Phase function of the Turn/Phase Menu. This continues until the time limit specified in the scenario at which point the win, lose, or draw outcome of the battle is determined. Winning and losing are determined by a calculation based on the ownership of certain objective hexes and the relative losses of the two sides.

-Unit Types-

This section describes many of the various unit types that are in the game. Understanding the various unit types, their abilities and their restrictions, is key to successfully mastering Civil War tactics.

Leaders: Leaders represent individuals that command the various forces. Leaders are used to improve the effectiveness of the forces under their command and to support other commanders subordinate to them. In general, the presence of commanders improves the Morale of units and thus increases their fighting abilities. Leaders can be Mounted (on horseback) or Dismounted (on foot).

Infantry Units: Infantry units have a strength measured in number of men. They have a Quality value which affects their effectiveness in combat. They have a weapon that allows them to fire at enemy units. They can also attack enemy units in melee attacks.

Cavalry Units: Cavalry units have a strength measured in number of men. They may be Mounted on their horses or Dismounted on foot. They have a weapon which may only be fired while Dismounted. They may Melee either Mounted or Dismounted, but Cavalry charges are not that effective against Infantry.

Artillery Units: Artillery units have a strength measured in number of guns. They can be either Limbered or Unlimbered. When Limbered, they can move but cannot fire. When Unlimbered, they can fire, but not move other than to change their facing.

Gunboats: Gunboats can only move in Water hexes. The can fire against ground units, but they may not melee. It is possible to fire on Gunboats, but generally that is not very effective.

Supply Wagons: Supply Wagons are used to resupply Infantry units that become Low or Out of Supply. For each unit of strength, they can resupply 10 men. They have no ability to attack the enemy but they can be captured by the enemy.

-Unit Formations-

Each formation has a purpose, and strengths and weaknesses in the game.

Line Formation: Line formation can be used by Infantry units. The unit can fire while in this formation as well as move. This formation is the standard one for Infantry while in combat.

Column Formation: Column formation is used by Infantry units. It has increased mobility over Line formation and allows the unit to take advantage of roads and paths, but the unit cannot fire while in this formation. Column formation is also the only formation that Supply Wagons can have.

Mounted Formation: Mounted formation is the standard formation for Cavalry. The formation has good mobility, but Cavalry cannot fire and it is vulnerable to enemy fire while in this formation.

Dismounted Formation: Dismounted formation allows a cavalry unit to fire its weapons. In this formation, it moves and fights much like Infantry, however its effective strength is reduced by the need to have soldiers hold the horses.

Limbered Formation: Limbered formation is used by Artillery units and represents Artillery ready to be moved. While this is the formation you must use to move Artillery, it cannot fire in this formation.

Unlimbered Formation: Unlimbered formation is used by Artillery units and represents Artillery ready to fire. While in this formation, Artillery units cannot move, but may only change Facing.

Emplaced Formation: This represents artillery units that have been emplaced into fortifications or some other fixed position. Such units cannot move, change their facing, or change formation during the game.

-The Campaign Game-

A Campaign consists of a series of Situations. Each Situation offers each side in the Campaign a list of Choices. Each side picks one of these Choices not knowing what the other side has decided. After each side has selected their Choice, then the selections are cross referenced to arrive at an Outcome. An Outcome consists of a Scenario in a Module and 5 other Situations associated with the 5 possible victory conditions that can result from a battle:

  • Major Defeat
  • Minor Defeat
  • Draw
  • Minor Victory
  • Major Victory

In addition, an Expected Value is associated with each Outcome for use by the A/I (Artificial Intelligence).

The Scenario is fought by the two sides and the victory condition resulting from this battle is used to determine the next Situation according to the 5 Situations associated with the Outcome. This process is repeated and continues until a Terminal Situation is reached which represents the resolution of the Campaign.

The Civil War Battles Campaign Editor supports the creation and modification of Campaigns for use in the Civil War Battles series' games.

- Scenario Editor-

The Scenario Editor can be used to create new scenarios and to modify existing scenarios in the Campaign Series of Civil War Battles series' games. The Editor has full support for all unit placement and modification (such as strength and fatigue modification) and full support for other scenario features (such as breastwork and objective placement). The Editor also supports the creation and modification of A/I Scripts in the scenarios.