Game of the Week - April 15th - 21st

A new week brings us a new title in our Game of the Week promotion. This round we go back "across the pond" from our last title (Sealion '40) with Campaign Gettysburg from the Civil War Battles series. This title is on sale for 25% off now through Sunday, April 21st.

** Special Note ** This is being released as version 4.05.1 - which is the latest and greatest version. So existing owners can grab a new copy of the installer from their Store Account as well. Like other recent updates this does require a Clean Install. You can continue on-going games after you are on the new version.

This title, or Antietam, is usually what people select as their first foray into the Civil War Battles series when they are testing the waters. And naturally so, as who hasn't heard of Gettysburg? But like Antietam (covered in our first GOTW post) - Gettysburg covers so much more than just that single 3-day battle in July of 1863.

Doug Strickler really went "all in" on including content for this game. Doug was a prolific map maker and this title includes over 624,000 unique hexes in mapped territory ranging from Northern Virginia, Maryland & into Pennsylvania in 9 different main map files. He also did the million+ hex map for Campaign Overland and also did the maps for Campaign Petersburg and Campaign Shenandoah. Sadly Doug is no longer with us, as he lost his battle with cancer in 2017. His work and passion lives on through these games however.

Here's a portion of the Design Notes for this title:

The Campaign

After Chancellorsville and Jackson's death, Lee resolved to take the war to the north. During May and early June Lee reorganized the Army of Northern Virginia. The effect of this change in command structure is one of the intriguing aspects of the campaign. He also lobbied for and got additional troops. He didn't get all the troops he'd hoped for. The possible additional forces beyond those actually received are accounted for in the game by the inclusion of an extra regiment, and extra brigade and an extra corps in the Confederate OOB.

Brandy Station:

Lee resolved on an invasion of Pennsylvania via the Valley. The southern army shifted north along the Rappahannock River. The Cavalry division massed near Brandy Station, east of Culpeper, and conducted a series of grand reviews. Shortly after the last of these the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Potomac crossed the Rappahannock. The Battle of Brandy Station, and the start of every campaign, resulted. While a minor Confederate victory, or a draw, in campaign terms, the battle stung Stuart, and many cite it as a reason for his later ride around the Union army, and consequent absence from his real job of intelligence
gathering. Stuart's absence is another major issue in the campaign.

I believe that the employment of cavalry is one of the main areas of concern in game play in this era. My hope is that the larger maps used in this game will encourage and reward employment of these troops in a more realistic fashion than that which one usually sees in current game play. You should see cavalry employed in a more traditional scouting and screening role during the games. The difference in victory points for cavalry and infantry also dictates that horse soldiers not be used as assault forces if at all possible.

In the meantime the Army of the Potomac and Hooker had to contend with a substantial decrease in strength as at least 20 regiments mustered out during June/early July of 1863. Hooker made some half hearted suggestions about taking the offensive. These were not met with any enthusiasm in Washington, neither before the campaign began, nor later as the armies maneuvered.

2nd Winchester:

After Brandy Station Ewell's 2nd Corps opened the campaign by marching into the Valley. Milroy's division of the Union 8th Corps/Department of the Middle lingered too long at Winchester, and was all but destroyed by Ewell. Just as the south's OOBs contain extra units, the Union's contain all of the 8th Corps units, and all of the 22nd Corps/Department of Washington units. Some end up coming into play, others don't.


As Ewell's Corps continued north to the Potomac river, the rest of the Army of Northern Virginia finished shifting north from Fredericksburg, and screened the Valley from the west side of the Bull Run Mountains. The Battle's of Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville occurred at this time between Union cavalry with some limited infantry support and Stuart aided at the end by some infantry support. Upperville is not modeled in the game. Aldie and Middleburg are treated as part of a continuous flow of events in the game.

By the time of Aldie, the northern army had shifted north and screened the east slopes of the Bull Run Mountains. After the events of June 17th to the 20th, the army concentrated mostly to the east of the mountains. 1st and 3rd Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia screened the Valley, then moved to the Valley and across the Potomac. 2nd Corps moved into Pennsylvania with elements of the command moving far enough to threaten the state capitol. 1st and 3rd Corps concentrated at Chambersburg, west of a crossroads town named Gettysburg.

Stuart fell off the radar on the aforementioned ride around the Union army and the southern forces lost their eyes and ears. For the north the civilian leadership decided in a change in army command during the middle of the campaign. The contentious Hooker was relieved and replaced by Meade. His actions as army commander led to the meeting engagement at Gettysburg on July 1st.


Not the highlight of the Army of Northern Virginia's record. The command problems in the army contributed to disjointed, uncoordinated attacks. The Army of the Potomac was able to take advantage of a good defensive position after the 1st days disaster, and was able to use interior lines of communication to shift reserves to the action during the 2nd and 3rd days. July 3rd was an unmitigated disaster for the south. The game models Gettysburg (as it does for Brandy Station, Winchester, and Aldie) by providing a full range of possibilities from the starting positions on July 1st. It also provides about 20 historical scenarios from Gettysburg.

Falling Waters:

The Confederate retreat from Gettysburg went fairly unmolested - cavalry clashes culminated in a fight near Falling Waters - the Confederate supply source. The Army of the Potomac, after just surviving an epic battle, and under the command of a man new to the job, pursued its foe cautiously, which resulted in much criticism of Meade. With the Confederate army at bay with its back to a rain-swollen Potomac River, the Union army frittered away days concentrating and preparing for an attack on a prepared position. The Army of Northern Virginia improvised a pontoon bridge to replace the one that had been swept away, and crossed back into Virginia. The northern advance bagged only a portion of the rear guard.

You can read the balance of the Design Notes here, which include further details on the project, source material and a full listing of the scenarios included at the time of initial publication. Since then however "weather" variants have been added in for each scenario - as that feature was not part of the series when the game was originally published. There are 629 scenarios in the main folder now and an additional 3,086 in the \Campaign directory.

There is only 1 campaign offered with this title, but two version - the original, and then a second with the weather variant scenarios used.
This is a *true* campaign, as covered in our blog post a few weeks back explaining the differences - essentially, losses do carry over between battles.
The campaign covers the time frame between June 1st and July 10th, and you can either start at the beginning, or later in the timeline as you see fit.
It is built with the "wildcard" system so that the program will pull from a pool of available scenarios at each decision point - so there is a high amount of replayability built in, as you are very unlikely to get the same scenario each time you visit a decision point. 
Books? Man, there's a lot of books on this topic... I've enjoyed Stephen Sears writing as he includes a good amount of detail and is an enjoyable read.
There are numerous other suggested titles included in the Design Notes as well, starting in Appendix A.
As for videos we have: SmartWargames - Gettysburg
Here's a few in-game screen shots for you. All can be click for a full sized version.
And that wraps up todays post. 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 Gettysburg and pickup a copy for yourself!



  • Nick Kunz

    I guess I am confused which is a normal state of being at my age. Over the weekend I downloaded successfully both the Antietam and CWB Demo new 4.05 updates and now you roll out Campaign Gettysburg with a 4.05.1update! So why the difference? Will there be a new (4.05.1) for Antietam and the Demo too and is there going to be an explanation for what has been added to it? You guys are the best, keep on rolling! Signed a confused olde man!

  • jim

    I recently had a game where, as the Union I fully delayed the Confederate advance, build a defensive line along Seminary Ridge and prevented them from ever entering Gettysburg. Every game played is a story unto itself. The Pipe Creek Scenario is a very interesting play as well.

  • Jens L

    It is almost rendundant to comment on this. This IS the ultimate game on Gettysburg and the Great Battle of the Civil War.
    I play it all the time, from different perspectives. My personal Favourite in the Civil War series, of which i have all, is Antietam, mainly because i am a sucker for the struggles of the first corps, but this game is a close second. Buy it!

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