Civil War Battleset Manual – 2. Main Menu and Game Parameters


2.1  Main Menu

The main menu appears as shown below. Additional information is provided in the following paragraphs.

    • Player : UNION
    • Load File
    • Save File
    • Fight
    • Parameters
    • Directory C:\CIVIL21
    • Scenario Editor
    • Quit

Menu options are selected by moving the highlighted bar over the desired choice (using up/down arrow keys) and pressing the ‘Enter’ key.

The choices are:

  • Select player (shows the current side selected and allows you to toggle between Union or Confederate side)
  • Load File (load EGA ‘xxx.CIV’ scenario file on current directory). A menu window will then appear listing the scenario files available on the current directory.
  • Save file (save in-progress battle) Most scenarios will play quickly enough that you will not need this option. You will need to use F10 to return to the MAIN MENU to save a game once it has Provision for up to 5 saved games (named $AVE1.CIV through $AVE5.CIV). The date and time of the games is stamped when the file is saved to help in identifying the files. NOTE: If you save over another saved game, the older one will be overwritten.
  • Fight (run a loaded battle file). Selecting this option will display the main battle screen (described elsewhere).  Once the battle is begun, you may return to the main menu by pressing the F10 key when it is your turn to move.
  • Adjust various game parameters. This gives you access to customize the game itself to meet your needs.
  • Directory allows you to enter a new drive and directory. Press “Enter” after you have typed the desired drive and directory. When the main menu reappears, the new directory information will be displayed. If there is an error, the directory will not be changed.
  • Option to go directly to the scenario editor, without having to exit to DOS. Be sure to save your game if you have one in progress.
  • Quit option (allows you to exit the program).

NOTE: All menus may be used by selecting desired option  with arrow keys (up/down, ‘Home’ for top, ‘End’ for bottom) and pressing ‘Enter’. A short cut is to enter the first letter of the desired command. ‘Escape’ cancels the menu.

2.2  2 Player Option

To choose this option, keep changing the SIDE option at the top of the main menu until it indicates “BOTH SIDES”. Then load a scenario and begin to play as usual. When the first side finishes, the screen is redrawn, and you will be allowed to play the other side.

This can be used for a 2 player game, with both players sitting at the keyboard. It is probably even better suited to allow one person to play both side to recreate an entire battle. The way the simulation is designed results in a lot of side changes, with some turns being very short. This  means that if 2 people are playing there will be a lot of switching from one to the other. Also, when this option is selected, the RECON condition is turned ON, which means that movement is not hidden.

Each time the side changes, the number of total possible moves for that side for that turn is shown. This number is also displayed at the top right of the screen during the turn. The number of actual units that can actually be moved may be fewer, since some units may be “under orders” and will move automatically.

Occasionally, one side will have no units that can be moved for a particular turn. In that case, the turn is advanced, and control is passed back to the other side.

As a convenience to the second person, some additional keys can be used for important commands. The gray “*” key on the numeric keypad can be used as the “escape” key, to facilitate a second person sharing the keyboard, without having to reach all the way across the keyboard to reach the “Esc”.

Likewise, the gray “+” key  on the numeric keypad can be used as the “F” key to fire artillery.

2.3  Game Parameters

CIVILWAR BATTLESET was designed for flexibility to suit your personal preference. Most of the important game parameters are available to you to customize as you wish. If you select the game parameter option, a sub menu will appear (as shown below) which allows you to select and adjust the parameters desired. Unless you save them in PREFER.CFG, they are set only for the duration of the game. Until they are adjusted, they will remain at a “normal” setting as specified by the current PREFER.CFG file.

  • Set Game Parameters
    • Difficulty 3
    • Adjust Start Position
    • Visibility 16
    • Enemy Aggression 3
    • Message Display 3
    • SOUND
    • Scoring Factors
    • Unit Reliability 3
    • Computer vs. Computer
    • Stack Limit 500
    • Limber: ON
    • Line of Sight : ON
    • Capture Artil: ON
    • History : ON
    • Artillery Fire Rate:3
    • SAVE Settings
  • DIFFICULTY : Difficulty level makes your opponent either easier or harder to fight. If difficulty is low, the enemy takes proportionately more losses, and is more likely to retreat. If difficulty level is high, the enemy takes fewer losses, and will tenaciously hold his ground. Difficulty ranges from 1 (very easy) to 5 (very hard) and is maintained in PREFER.CFG.
  • ADJUST START POSITION : Adjusting the starting position randomizes the initial position of units slightly to provide variety in scenarios. Adjusting the start position will randomly shift unit locations slightly (both yours and the enemy’s). This has no effect on the scenario file; only the game currently being played is affected. This is NOT maintained in the configuration  file.
  • VISIBILITY : Visibility affects the range at which units can see other units and fire on them with artillery. This is normally set at 18 spaces (a hex is 2 spaces). (See also Visibility and Movement).
  • ENEMY AGGRESSION : The enemy is preset with an ‘aggression level’ from 1 (very timid) to 5 (recklessly aggressive), which controls his likelihood of moving to engage and attack, and the intensity of his attacks. This can be adjusted to make the enemy either more or less aggressive. A more aggressive enemy will shift to the offensive and launch more and stronger attacks. A timid enemy will seek cover, launch weaker attacks, and play a more defensive-minded battle. Increased aggressiveness does not necessarily make the enemy harder to defeat, nor does more timidity mean he will be easier to defeat. Good defensive terrain, coupled with a less aggressive strategy, can be very effective.
  • MESSAGE DISPLAY : Option to let you set how long messages are displayed. Previously if the sound option was turned off, some messages went by too fast for some users to read. Now you can play without the noises and still see what just happened. This can be set in 5 graduations from very fast (1) to very slow (5). The default setting is 3. NOTE: Anytime a message is being displayed in the game and you want to go on, simply hit a key. This works regardless of how long message are set to be displayed.
  • SOUND : Option to let you toggle between SOUND and QUIET. This is mainly for the purpose of saving in your PREFER.CFG since the game has another toggle that is easier to access when it is in progress. (See GAME OPTIONS menu).
  • SCORING FACTORS : You can adjust the some of the factors used in scoring the game. These factors are:
    • Number of enemy casualties caused…… 1 point
    • Number of enemy units eliminated……. x points
    • Number of turns Objective controlled… y points
    • Bonus: Objective held on last turn….. z points
    • Bonus: Annihilating All Enemy Units.. 250 points (fixed)
    • Initially x is 5 points, y is 10 points, and z is 100 points. You should be careful not to vary these values too much from the initial values. Very large scoring factors may result in numbers too large to compute, causing an overflow error.
  • UNIT RELIABILITY : Leaders in the Civil War often acted on local initiative rather than following the original plan. This is simulated through unit reliability. A very reliable unit will always follow your orders exactly. A very unreliable unit will be difficult to control, and will often charge in directions and engage in fights you didn’t intend. This tendency can be somewhat frustrating (although realistic) and can be adjusted from 1 (100% reliable) to 5 (maverick). The default is 3, which provides some of the challenge of controlling the units without being reduced to the role of spectator. A option is provided a truly ‘absolutely reliable’ setting. However, this override prevents issuing ‘move to location’ orders when units are set on maximum reliability. The override essentially clears ALL move orders a unit might have prior to its turn.
  • A computer vs. computer option has been provided to help in evaluating playability/ balance of scenarios you design. You must first load a scenario, then select  the “Computer vs. Computer” option. Sound is automatically turned OFF and message delays are set at minimum level to make this play as fast as possible. The RECON option is turned ON to allow you to view all units in play. (Note that units that have not yet arrived will NOT be shown until their time of arrival). The elapsed time used (real time) is displayed as the game progresses. Play should proceed very rapidly.
    • Although the computer plays both sides using the same logic rules, it displays the score from the point of view of the side you have chosen (in your preference file).
    • To interrupt the computer vs. computer game in progress, press AND HOLD F10 until the opening menu appears. (Control-Break will not interrupt the game). However, once the automatic computer vs. computer mode is begun, you CANNOT toggle to the normal fight mode from the opening menu. If you wish to play a game normally after you have used this option, you should restart the program.
  • The STACK LIMIT can be adjusted in increments of 500 from a stack limit of 0 (no stacking permitted) to 2000. The default is 500.
  • Artillery LIMBER toggle : The default setting is ON, which means that artillery must be limbered to move and unlimbered to fire. (See unit information for instructions on limbering/unlimbering artillery).
  • Artillery LINE OF SIGHT toggle : The default setting is ON, which means that artillery must have a clear line of sight to target an enemy.  (See unit information for more detail on how line of sight is determined).
  • Artillery CAPTURE option toggle : The default setting is ON, which means that some portion of eliminated artillery units may be captured. (See COMBAT section below for a more complete explanation).
  • HISTORY toggle : The default setting is ON, which means that game high scores will be reported and saved (file MAXSKORS), as well as the cumulative performance of each commander (file GENERALZ).
  • ARTILLERY FIRE RATE : Artillery rate of fire can be adjusted in the PARAMETERS menu from 1 (very slow) to 5 (very fast). This setting applies to all artillery pieces in the battle. Default setting is 3 (moderate).
  • SAVE SETTINGS : Option to create a new PREFER.CFG file. The setting will be displayed on the title screen when the game is started.

2.4  Screen Blank Function

A screen blank function has been added, activated by “Ctrl-B”. The game screen will be replaced by a blank screen with a C:> prompt. To go back to the game type “Ctrl-B” again.

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