Civil War Battles 4.05 Updates

Today we bring you the beginning of a new round of updates for the Civil War Battles series of games. We are leading with updated versions of Campaign Antietam and the Demo.
** A completely Clean Install is required to obtain this update. You can grab a new copy of the installers from your Store Account. Yes, even for the Demo - please do not get another copy from the Store as that issues a new serial number and also creates duplicate entries in your order history.


Beginning with the recent Squad Battles updates, then Panzer Battles then Musket & Pike updates and now on to Civil War Battles - we have been requiring a complete clean install of your games to get the new version. There's a variety of reasons for this - core changes to file formats (moving to PNG files in some cases), new infrastructure for future A/I enhancements, Windows 11 compatibility changes and the enormous size many of the updates have grown to be. Regarding that last point, many of the updates were retaining backwards compatibility with ancient installers, in some cases back to the HPS days! This required inclusion of a huge amount of files, and in some cases an additional Batch file to reorganize everything into the new file structures. It was getting problematic on several points, not the least of which was some security software packages were blocking the batch files from running.

So, these fresh installs will resolve all of those problems in one fell swoop. You uninstall your existing copy of the game using the built in Windows "App Management" feature in the Control Panel. You then do a clean install of the game and everything is in its proper place. 

We will be doing this for every game series we publish, in time - if all goes well during the course of 2024. Once the new "base line" is established we will begin to offer incremental updates again on the site. These will only include files changed since that new baseline for that series. With that said, you can ALWAYS do a clean install at any time, and the installer linked in your Store Account is the most recent version.

So, again, how do you get these new versions? 

You must go and login to your Store Account to download new full installers. 

Notes regarding Store Accounts.

  1. If you go to login using one of the above links and it tells you "no account found" - don't worry! - just send us an email at the Help Desk and we will locate your records. It's just a matter of completing the account setup process.
  2. When you login you will see all your orders listed there. Under each order number is the word (Downloads). If you click that it will take you to a page where you can do a new download of the game and it will also display your serial number. Again, each of the installers is fully up-to date with the latest patches already included.

Ok, now on to the details of what this update cycle has to offer.

(All images can be clicked for Full Size view.)

These items are covered in the Changelog for each game, but we like to cover some of them in a bit more detail when they are released. There was a few minor bugs that were squashed with this round, but nothing too major. So lets move directly to new features.

Usability Changes

  • Added ability for most dialog boxes to be resized. Parameter Data window can now remain open while game play continues.
As pictured above, I run a three-monitor setup. So, I can now keep the Parameter Data Window open to the side - and expanded to show more data - without sucking up my game screen real estate. And you are now able to continue play and leave this open. Then I have the User Manual on the left most screen. This dialog box change allowing windows to be resized is very helpful and applies to the Strength Dialog, Locations, Arrival Dialog, etc. You can also re-set all game settings to original defaults through the Settings --> Clear Settings menu option if needed.
Related to the Dialog changes we have:
  • Addition, selecting info leader casualties will display the reason (wounded/killed/captured) in the hex.
  • Adjusted the Find Leader or Unit function to no longer be case sensitive. Default button is now Search instead of OK.
Further, relating to Leaders we have:
  • Reduced the points assigned when using the optional rule Victory Points for Leader Casualties. See the Victory Dialog entry of the Main Program Help File for details.
  • PDT Change: Adjusted Leader Loss values and standardized across the series. Fire Wound – 2%, Fire Kill – 1%, Melee Wound – 3%, Melee Kill – 2%, Melee Capture 2%.
Next we made some changes relating to Optional Rules:
  • Adjusted Disrupted movement to be 2/3 of normal, as opposed to the previous 1/2. Removed the “Higher Disrupted Movement” optional rule from the available list.
  • Made the following four rules standard behavior and eliminated them from the Optional Rule selection screen. Mounted Cavalry Skirmishers, Bridge Limit and Repairing, Artillery Retire by Prolonge & Artillery Ammo by Cannon.
  • Set new baseline of “Default” optional rules that will be selected when the “Default” button is clicked on the Optional Rules dialog box. These can be altered based on user preference when each new scenario is started.

The drive behind making these changes is to reduce the amount of potential options and variations in which the game can be run - thereby reducing the number of potential problems that can exist. This simplifies our testing process (to an extent) and delivers a more stable game for your enjoyment - as no one likes bugs. The changes made were less than originally planned, but we felt the ones eliminated were universally used and would not be missed.

Content Changes

As you probably noticed from the leading screen shots, we've implemented some graphical changes this round. Now the Default 2D icon set is "Blue & Gray". However, if you prefer Butternut for the Confederates you can choose the "Alternative Units Symbols" option from the Settings menu and it will revert to that background, and Silhouettes.

A variety of other graphical elements have also been updated to include Confederate Leader & Unit boxes, Terrain Info Boxes and Unit Info Arrows.

If for some reason you do not like the graphics changes you can revert to the old style. Included under the \Info & \Map folders is a sub-folder called \Traditional - the old files live there. Just copy them up one level and overwrite the existing files and you'll be back to the originals.

We've updated the documentation on several points to resolve missing info and to account for the new changes.

As things relate to the AI, we've made some adjustments to the file which controls the over all behavior of the AI in various circumstances. Quite a few adjustments have been made in the engine as well relating to how the AI works, and we believe it makes a noticeable difference.

And to further bolster that we have gone over all the scenarios for the Demo to optimize their performance against the AI, as well as all the "AI Challenge" scenarios included in Antietam. Those are scenarios numbered 143 - 182.

Ok, we'll that covers the big items from this round. Here's a variety of screen shots from the updated games to give you an idea of what to expect.


As is our norm, we will move to release the balance of this series new versions in approximately two weeks, assuming no significant problems arise.

We are also removing all the existing updates from the Support page today. If you have a need to reinstall prior to the rest of the games updates being released you can also grab those installers from your Store Account. They are all at the 4.04.1 level currently.

That completes our post for today. When you are ready you can login to your Store Account to grab the updated versions.




  • Rich Hamilton

    Nick - no update was made to the Getting Started document for this round. If you have suggestions on what should be changed feel free to send them to

  • Nick Kunz

    Rich, was just wondering if any updates to the CWB Demo tutorial was made? As with most others I am in awe of all the wonderful upgrades you folks at WDS continue to make and certainly appreciate how enjoyable these games continue to be!

  • Rich Hamilton

    @Chris – you should not have to download the 3D map package again. To verify that simply look in the old game folder that is left after you run the Uninstall. Generally speaking, the only files removed with an Uninstall are those added with the original installation. So you should see a \Maps folder with all the .bmp files in it. Also, I imagine you may still have the original zip in your \Downloads folder with the files too.

    There was a period of time those map files were embedded with the installers, so in that case they will be removed and you will need to download the files again if you no longer have a copy.

    **Note – those files have not changed since original release – so if you have a local copy anywhere, they are the latest and greatest.

  • Chris Sloan

    Wonderful work, as always! A quick question: do I need to download/install the Antietam Maps file if I’ve done a clean install of 4.05?

  • Darrell

    I really appreciate all of your updates! That being said, it would be nice to also have an option to show the silhouettes of the units in Confederate Gray as well as the counters (when I think of Civil War battles, I think “Blue and Gray” not “Blue and Butternut”). ;)

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.