Game of the Week...?


This week we kick off a new program, one we are calling "Game of the Week". Each Monday we will announce a new Game of the Week that will be on sale for $29.95 - and we'll include a post about the game, and why you may want to pick it up if you don't already have it. We will do this every week for the months not impacted by our bi-annual sales. So, not Dec/Jan and Jun/July, but all others.

Our first title up is Civil War Battles: Campaign Antietam. The game's title is a bit deceptive though, as this title covers more than just the 1862 actions around Antietam, or Sharpsburg, Maryland. Also included are 1st & 2nd Bull Run (Manassas), Groveton, Chantilly, Cedar Mountain and Hagerstown. In addition to those historical and "what if" fights there's a collection of "Equal Force Fights" and also a batch of Meeting Engagements - for those who like to fight with historical forces, just not in pre-set battles - where you are forced to deal with others decisions on deployment!

Campaign Antietam also contains 39 scenarios that have been specifically scripted to provide a challenging AI opponent. It is also worth noting that even if a scenario doesn't have specific scripting, it can still be played against the computer AI - as it then relies on the "flag" system of general orders for a side. There are also 6 different Campaign trees - 3 core ones, then "weather" variants of each. All told there are 370 scenarios included with this game. An absolutely amazing amount of gaming content.

Here is a snippet from the games Design Notes which can be read on-line in their entirety if you wish, here.

Campaign Antietam Notes By Richard Walker

Campaign Antietam follows my previous titles of Franklin, Shiloh, Atlanta, and Chickamauga. As such, it has been my first project (but not my last), to explore the Eastern Theater of Operations. It is certainly an honor to bring this most sacred battle, and those that preceded it, to the WDS ACW campaign series. Several years ago, I visited these battlefields. The impression I received cannot be put into words. These are indeed fields of honor that certainly deserve our attention.

Though not a part of the campaign feature for this simulation, the Battle of 1st Bull Run (Manassas) has been included to serve as a backdrop to the conflict yet to come. During this crucial first battle, the realization that this civil war would be bloody and long, began to sink in. It was also here that the nickname Stonewall was given to Confederate General Thomas Jackson.

Campaign Antietam seeks to recreate the crucial battles that concluded with America's bloodiest day. The first battle to be represented in this campaign is Cedar Mountain. A relatively small battle, but certainly a telling prelude of what was to come. Following are the increasingly intensive battles of Groveton (Brawner's Farm), 2nd Bull Run (Manassas), Chantilly (Ox Hill), South Mountain, and finally Antietam (Sharpsburg). Several variants are included that further expand the historical possibilities. These variants include a large battle near Hagerstown, and an entirely separate campaign file that incorporates one of the new features included with this release, the random reinforcements, time and location upgrade. This feature will make it so every new game will be different. No need for endless variants. One game will provide the needed variation. Neither side will have full knowledge of the time and location of new troops entering the battlefield.

As always, my objective in designing these games is to provide historical accuracy, tactical experience, and most of all, FUN!

The entire document is 13 pages which includes information on how research was conducted, a bibliography of sources and game play tactics and tips.

Following are some in-game screen shots of what to expect. Each image can be clicked for a full-sized view.

And if you are looking for a book to read on the topic, may we suggest: Landscape Turned Red, by Stephen W. Sears. You can click on the image below to be taken to Amazon.

Also, here's a link to the SmartWargames YouTube channel with a game play video if you want to check it out.

And that wraps up todays post and announcement. We'll be back next week with a new title for the Game of the Week promotion.

In the mean time, head on over to the product page for Campaign Antietam and pickup a copy for yourself!



  • mick

    Just want to say ‘Game of the Week’ great idea!
    You really do look after your customers what with upgrades improved graphics and so on.

  • Ernest J Exner

    Awesome idea! It gives me a little extra perk each week to look forward to. Including a book recommendation for the game topic is also a big bonus. I’ve put in dozens of hours in Antietam and particularly enjoyed both Bull Run battles. Please excuse me while I dive back into the Thirty Years War!

  • Adam Sabra

    A great idea and I look forward to more. Please continue to include book recommendations. They really help one appreciate the game.

  • Rosseau

    Excellent idea on the “game of the week” promotion. And yes, we old HPS/JTS customers really need to consider “re-buying” the latest game versions, as WDS needs to prosper.

    Campaign Antietam is indeed chock full of content besides “just” the Antietam scenarios and a ridiculous bargain at $40, no less $30. After 15 years, I finally “finished” this game. The maps and details are simply wonderful. It was SSI’s Battle of Antietam and Sears’ book that got me started in the 1980s, but the latest WDS game should not be missed by anyone. Best wishes!

  • zax

    The book suggestion is great. Please include one with each title. Background is necessary to enjoy these titles.

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