CWB 4.04 & more

Welcome to another weekend, and also another round of content from Wargame Design Studio. Today we are swinging back to the Civil War Battles series and rolling out updates for all 16 titles! In addition to covering the full round of updates for the CWB series we are going to cover a few other topics today too:

  • New video released on the WDS YouTube Channel
  • New Survey being conducted
  • New Game announced
  • Call for playtesters

On August 4th of this year we gave an initial release of the 4.03 version for the CWB series, with Antietam and the Demo receiving those updates. You can read about all those details in this blog post. We do a small roll out this way in order to get a wider base of exposure to the changes that have been made before rolling to the entire series. 4.03 was a major release with many, many changes brought to the plate. Since that release some problems were found and some other additions have been made, hence the increment in the version number. So the other 14 titles in the series will jump from 4.02 to 4.04 - the updates are all inclusive though, so every game in the series is now at the same level with all the included features.

Front and center we have a change that we made to the melee modifiers. After further review of the code we realized the change was stronger than our original intent, so we reduced the values. The details are now:

  • Adjustment to melee modifiers. If there are defending units that have not fired in the current turn, but the units are able to fire on the attacking units and the defender's strength is >= the attacker's strength, then 10% is subtracted from the attacking strength. However, if the defender strength is only >= half the attacker strength then only 5% is subtracted.

This is more in line with our original intent, to ensure the defender in melee is not penalized due to some abstraction of the turn based system - i.e. not getting Opportunity Fire triggered when being assaulted in the Turn Based mode. This is not an issue in Phases, as there is a separate sequence in place there.

As luck would have it several reports came in right when we were releasing 4.03 that had been present for a while but had not been caught yet such as:

  • Fix for legacy bug where End Game music would not stop when a New Game was started.
  • Fix for legacy bug with captured artillery when the optional rule was not selected.
  • Fix for legacy bug that gave a melee bonus to attackers for not firing that were out of ammo.
  • Fix for ZOC bug regarding skirmisher deployment.
  • Fix for legacy bug where Routed cavalry were exerting a skirmish ZOC.

And then some problems were uncovered with the 4.03 implementation that needed resolved:

  • Fix for Reachable Hexes display problem.
  • Fix for bug which allowed units to retreat on to a bridge ignoring stacking restrictions.
  • Fix for Fire Modifiers not being applied, issue occurred in 4.03 only.

So these fixes are the primary cause of us moving to a new version number.  And since these fixes needed to be rolled out we made some further additions and adjustments such as one request we received to make the 2D Symbols selection stick between sessions. So if you use the default symbols or silhouettes that will remain the default 2D view until you change it again. You can toggle between these two views from the Settings menu, then the "Alternative Units Symbols" option.

And a couple more display type changes:

  • Adjustment so that Leader command letters in 3D displayed on the map are now tied to the "Leaders On Top" command. If active they will display, if off they will not.
  • Adjustment to increase the size of the Show Organization dialog box.

Continued adjustments are being made to how the underlying game AI operates with:

  • Adjustment so that AI targeting priority assigns a lower value to Supply Wagons than combat units.
  • Adjustment so that Opportunity Fire is not triggered if fire value is too low to cause harm.

We also discovered some instances in Forgotten Campaigns which had a -110% combined terrain modifier because of the map elements that were in place, so we made the following change so that there is always some chance of a casualty taking place:

  • Adjustment so that the combined Terrain Fire Modifier is capped at -90%.

And finally:

  • Adjustment so that a unit must contain at least 10 men in order to initiate a melee.
  • Adjustment to when points are awarded for artillery casualties. When an artillery battery becomes uncrewed, be it by ranged fire, melee or capture, the points are awarded - assuming no friendly units occupy the same hex. These points can only be regained by re-crewing the artillery. Change necessary to accommodate the Fix for Captured artillery without the OR selected.

Again, these are only the new items implemented in 4.04 (for Antietam and the Demo) and are integral with the updates rolled to the rest of the series. For a more in depth look at the other changes please see the 4.03 blog post from August.

Along with this today we are releasing a new video on the WDS YouTube channel focused on the CWB 4.03/4.04 changes by Richard Walker. The link is embedded below, or you can check it out here.



Next we have a new survey. We want to get some feedback from everyone on the various methods we use to communicate what is happening within the company. Please take a few minutes to fill this out:

We also plan on conducting some other surveys that will be more game specific, so stand by for those.

New Game! 

Next item on the list is a new game. Yes, we do a lot more here than just work on updates! We generally like to keep a tight reign on news for on going projects until we are nearing the end of the production cycle, but today we are comfortable in sharing the following. The next title in the Musket & Pike series will be Thirty Years War!  We are bringing some graphical elements together at this point, but if all goes well by late October we should be able to do a preview blog post with screen shots and further details, so keep an eye open for that.

We also have a slew of other New development happening which will start to make an appearance in 2024.

And finally, sort of along the above lines as well, we want to put out another call for playtesters. It's a sizeable commitment, but it allows you to see new games earlier than anyone else and also gives you a chance to voice your thoughts during the development cycle.

As I said though - it is a commitment. Usually a testing cycle for a new game will run about 6 months and during that time we need you to communicate both through email but also in the private development forum. You'll need to play the particular game in question against the computer AI and in hot seat mode or PBEM. Solo play is a must for everyone as that allows the pace to proceed reasonably, as PBEM matches - while important - are pretty slow generally. A tester must complete at least 10 play throughs and reports on scenarios in order to be in the credits and receive a free copy of the game upon release.

We are looking for multiple genres of testers, so if you play any of our titles at this point and have in interest in participating drop us a line and we can discuss further at

And that brings us to a close for today... we'll leave you with a few screen shots from the games. And of course you can grab your copy of the updates from the Support section for CWB or by downloading a new installer from your Store Account.





  • William W. Haltiwanger

    I totally agree that your commitment to improvement of your already excellent
    games places you at the top of my list. Ofc TYW was the obvious choice after GNW, but that really means little. So very pleased with the decision to develop it, it will be an InstaBuy. Very curious about what other goodies you guys are working on. Have long thought the Crimean War and wars in India during the black powder era would be natural choices. Also, the Ottoman attacks on Vienna would fit into your new period as well. I’ve read that had Vienna fallen there was little to stop the Turks from reaching the Channel after the exhaustion of the TYW. Good Times inbound, keep up the good work.

  • Mr Ian David Leask

    Just finished updating my full set of Civil War Campaigns to 4.4 standard and noticed that for the “Civil War Demo” that the “Standard Toolbar Reference Guide” does not appear to be bundled in with the other manuals in its “manuals” folder although I think all the main titles have it. Guess you might want to put this in for the benefit of players using the Demo on a “try before you buy” basis. This is a great update and I really like the idea of releasing a video to talk through the update’s changes at the same.

    BTW not sure what is used to make these but I have been using “Microsoft Teams” at work to make training video’s (you invite yourself to a meeting and set the system to record the meeting) and found that in addition it has a really handy transcribe function you can run at the same time.

    What I tend to do now is to do a free-speak run through of my presentation and then use the transcription to refine my wording so I can iron out any inconsistencies and can avoid having to correct myself mid flow. I then do the presentation again reading from my refined script.

  • Jim Govostes

    I have played the new Antietam campaign and in general found it to be much, much better. Most of the problems were identified before I could comment so great work by the team. Thanks.
    Small request – I’d like to see a couple of campaigns covering 1866 -1871, i.e., the Prussian-Austrian conflict and the War of 1870 between France and Prussia. You already have the basis for a game with the civil war and just need some updating to cover this period – or extend into the Boer War.

  • Paul Sanders

    It took me a while, but sixteen new files have been freshly installed without using updates.

  • Peter

    Excellent news about TYW, been waiting for that for a long time!

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