Civil War Strategy 1.58 BETA (for Windows)

Well…I’ve been saying it for years and years and now I finally have something to show for it – albeit not much to show.

I’ve created a rough working beta of Hutsell’s classic VGA Civil War Strategy compiled as a Windows application. You can download it using the link below:

Civil War Strategy Game 1.58 BETA (please see download page instead, this is an outdated version)

I’ve included a bunch of notes below, but I’ll try and offer a brief summary of what this means for now and what it means for the future:

  • My goal is simply (initially) to port the games to Windows and to expand, optimize, and reorganize the code.
  • The first will allow individuals to quickly play the games on Windows without using DOSBox, the second is in preparation for an even larger undertaking once the application has been fully and successfully ported to QB64 and native Windows compilation – the creation of new written from the ground up games.
  • I could use help beta testing the game. Please give it a try and let me know if you run into anything that doesn’t work correctly. This is the first beta, so I expect there to be a number of issues…more hands to the shovel, the easier the task.
  • I’m doing this in my spare time (which isn’t much). I hope to release a new beta release once a week at least…even if it contains only the most minor changes. A lot of that will depend on how much feedback I receive providing insight into issue areas.

What’s Changed:

  • Runs as a native Windows application, no more necessity for DOSBox.
  • Removed mentions of DOS.
  • Removed links to 32-bit batch files that won’t work with 64-bit Windows.
  • Removed old extraneous files.

Known Bugs:

  • Music at beginning of game doesn’t play correctly.
  • You cannot save games.

Technical Notes:

  • The code has been compiled in QB64.
  • This removes the file length issues previously present in QuickBasic 4.5 and PDS 7.1, allowing for the consolidation of all code into one code file.
  • Minor code changes were made throughout – some removal of duplicate code between files, change of code to operate correctly within QB64, and so on.
  • Significant work has gone into (though not completed) expanding code using more verbose and clear techniques and to standardize code operations.

22 thoughts on “Civil War Strategy 1.58 BETA (for Windows)”

  1. I love Civil War Strategy. I’m a Unix/Linux Systems Administrator and have a small web/dev shop on the side. I’d love to test and see if I can help with porting in anyway. Thanks and Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays.

  2. Looks like you have quite a lot to show for your work — already looks like a solid basis for the ground-up game you probably have in mind. Always have been a fan of CWS and still run it now and then under DOSBox.

    Only items I noted: (1) the graphics display mixed-up colors) at the 2nd & subsequent turn starts, correctable with F3; and (2) the program sometimes responds only to the Enter key when the prompt “Press any key to continue” appears. Probably easiest to just change the prompt — I imagine you’re going to put mouse support in there at some point anyway.

    Thanks for the great work & best wishes for the year ahead!

  3. Please help!

    I’ve downloaded all the files for the windows version of Civil War Strategy, BUT I can figure out how to get it started. I noticed there is no “.exe” file, which is usually where I start. How do I get the game to run?

    Your help is profoundly appreciated!


    1. The download is a zip file. You will need a unzip program, available free from many sites. Run that, unpack the cwstrat to a folder on your drive and there will be a exe file for you to run.

  4. WOW! I just had to reinstall XP and wanted to load CWS. I purchased this a long time ago from Mr. Hutsell and thought that it was worth every penny. Unfortunatlly I cannot find the disc :(.
    Just got this from you sita and am really excited that you will port to Windows. After I get that running I will sure try the beta!
    Thanks for having this available!

  5. I just wanted to say thanks for putting in the effort to keep this great stragitic game alive. If you were ever able to get a sponsor, an app for the iPad or iPhone would be amazing to play on the go as well.
    The only few gameplay issues I noticed playing my first game were: immediatly when I switched from North to South, I could only recruit northern cities which I found strange, the color switch following the actions of the month from green to blue which I repeatedly corrected by changing the display option, and I noticed the CPU AI was not as smart as I seem to remember. I noticed they all seemed to bunch up around Richmond and continue to initiate battles to the point where they would end up destroying themselves. I had AI set at level 3 so I’m not sure that was the key. I will continue to play with the settings to see if I find anything else.
    All in all, a wonderful product and I am truly greatful for your efforts. Thank you!

  6. I downloaded the DOS version of this game from AOL in 1995. I played it quite a bit that year, and then misplaced it in an upgrade.

    I had no recollection of the name, only for the feel of the game. I went looking for it by posting on forums yesterday (2/19/12). Someone recommended this, and mentioned that there was a Windows version.

    So cool to find someone is keeping this alive and has ported it to Windows.

    I will let you know if I run into any problems with it.

  7. Its nice to see this ported to Windows. I have enjoyed this game for many years, and for me it does not get old. I can report that the one bug I noticed was that it does not save your settings, so if you prohibit January campaigns or adjust the aggressiveness level, it will not retain those setting after exiting. The program does run well on Windows 7 Home Premium, although the coding needs to be optimized, as it consumes nearly 50% of available processing power from a fairly new dual-core system.

  8. As a military buff, I find CWS and WON extremely well conceived (the system is less suitable to a WWII scenario IMO). Despite their ancient age with all the inherent limitations, I find them more enjoyable than the vast majority of the new fancy military strategy games. My thanks to the late Hutsell and the curators of this site for making them available for free!

  9. I have the following to report after playing this beta over 200 times:
    during middle of game end turn
    Unhandled error #9
    Line:3350 Subscript out of range
    train disappeared along with troops

    Unhandled error #9 (no train in transit)
    Line:2730 Subscript out of range
    errors continue as follows:
    screen appears and several moves are made then—-
    Unhandled error #9
    Line:4230 Subscript out of range
    screen appeared
    used f3 to redraw screen and
    Unhandled error #9
    Line:4230 Subscript out of range

    Starting new game after winning, unable to have ships raid. Option not available.

    Enemy troups annilated not always recognized. Have to play another round to get it to end game.

    When given ships by England, the option to raid is not always available.

    When other side attacks raiding ships or ships in a port they can continue to a port on the same move. Is that correct as my ships cannot do that, only attack the raiding fleet and then no further action.

    Please let me know if this is helpful.

  10. Unfortunately I have been having the same issues as Carl M, namely, multiple instances of “Unhandled error #9
    Line:XXXX Subscript out of range” it seems to be tied to using the railroad function to move troops and seems to error out about a year into a campaign. It has gotten so bad that I’ve had to go back to running it in DOS Box.

  11. I hope development on CW Strategy has not ceased.

    When I played CW Strategy many years ago, I edited the map to change some of the cities. I don’t remember which files I edited or if it is still possible to make manual edits after the changes to the new Windows version:

    1) Lexington & Knoxville should connect (Cumberland Gap – used by Kirby Smith in 1864 and Burnside in 1863)

    2) Corinth replaces Tullahoma (moves the location a little SW). To more accurately reflect the railroad system, I removed the Jackson-Montgomery connection and added connections from Corinth to Jackson and Mobile.

    3) Springfield feels unneccesary unless it is important to slow movement between Indianapolis and St. Louis. I replaced it with Little Rock (moving the location and changing the city connections accordingly). Alternatively, rather than replace Springfield would it be possible to add a few more cities without removing any? Little Rock, AR and Shreveport, LA would represent Trans-Mississippi operations.

    4) Lynchburg, VA would represent SW Virginia and connect to Knoxville, Richmond, and Front Royal. This represents real life rail connections and army routes (Longstreet returning from Knoxville in 1864, Stoneman’s Raid in 1865, the 1864 Shenandoah campaigns of Hunter & Early).

    5) Perhaps ‘Front Royal’ should be renamed ‘Shenandoah Valley’?

    A few inaccuracies on the starting positions:

    1) The first turn of the regular campaign is March 1861. That’s good for the alternative campaign featuring Montgomery as the CSA capital and the Upper South as neutral. Given the armies, it should actually start in May or June.

    2) Fremont shouldn’t be in Harper’s Ferry; that should be Patterson. If you want to skip Patterson since he only commanded for the first couple months of the war, I believe his replacement was Banks. Fremont should be in St. Louis. Buell should be the army commander in Columbus (not sure if his army should be in Columbus or Indianapolis). Pope shouldn’t be anywhere (he was Fremont’s subordinate at this point).

    3) The Shenandoah Valley army should be under Joe Johnston not Jackson. The Richmond army should be under Beauregard and should be at Manassas.

    4) Pemberton didn’t command in Mississippi in 1861. His army should probably be under Bragg and at Mobile. If the Trans-Mississippi cities are added there should also be a starting Rebel army at Little Rock under Price.

  12. Robert M Schwarrtz

    I appreciate your efforts to improve this game for Windows. I use Windows 7 with Beta version 1.58. I have noticed two issues. I take the side of the South. After I hit F7 to end my turn and the Union (PC) takes over, the map turns blue thus obscuring it. When each result is finished, I again have to hit F7. When all the results are finished, I have to hit F3 to redraw the map before starting my turn. I never had these issues under DOS. Also, I am using a 17″ laptop. The game will only display in a relatively small window.

    1. Hi Robert, this edition has been abandoned. I am working on a new edition that utilizes web-based technologies so that it will be able to be full-screen and played online.

      1. Thanks for keeping the older versions available!
        I sure hope that you will make sure that I can play the new one without going online. I never play any online games. I just want to have the updated version be able to use a mouse in addition to the keyboard. I will be happy to pay for this function (I originally bought CWS from Mr. Hutsell)

        I play this every week. 🙂

        1. Carlos – The short answer is that, yes, you will still be able to play the game offline. See my reply to Robert below for additional details.

          1. Please call me Carl.

            Glad to hear that you are still working on CWS. While full screen, or in a browser may make the code easier they are not the primary things for us loyal fans. Mostly we just want a mouse input. As a program on my PC. No other requirements.

            I do understand you wanting to put this onto multiple platforms. There will be more $$$$ coming in from the Linux, Android users.

            Again, thanks for continuing to work on this.

      2. Robert M Schwarrtz

        Your move to online gaming is a big mistake. Many people, including myself, only want to play offline primarily against a computer. Your best move would be to offer both options even if they require 2 separate games. I fail to understand why you provided a Windows beta only to abandon it. EA Sports made such a move beginning with Tiger Woods PGA Tour The Masters. There was a tremendous back lash from PC and Sony PSP users, including me. who considered it to be a slap in the face. EA then released an extremely limited PC edition which still required using their online service and still infuriated these users. I urge you to re-think this.

        1. Robert – I am using web-based technologies, but an internet connection will not be required to play. One will be able to play the game via a web browser, but it will also operate as a stand-alone application. These days there is a significant amount of convergence in the development world towards using web-based technologies for applications. There are a number of reasons for this, one being that it simplifies the development stack for individuals who want to create both web and native applications, another is that it allows for quicker cross-platform deployment – e.g., Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android, iOS.

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