Civil War Strategy – 3. Main Menu


 3.1   Main Menu

Screenshot of Main Menu of VGA Civil War Strategy GameThis menu shows the primary decisions you can make. At the bottom of the menu are symbols that tell you what setup options are active, and a reminder that F7 is a shortcut “speed” key to go to the next turn. (WARNING: F7 will take you to the next turn without asking for confirmation; be SURE you are through with your moves). The “music note” symbol tells you that music is ON. ‘Snd’ tells you that sound is ON. The “G” symbol tells you that graphics are ON for combat scenes. The number ‘1’ or ‘2’ tells you whether this is a 1- or 2-player game.

When graphics are turned ON, the connection links between cities are shown. Also, there are displays for battles and special events, such as the surrender of an army. Play will be slowed slightly by when graphics are ON, due to time required to draw these displays.




 3.2   Troops (Recruits)

Allows you to recruit new armies or build up existing armies. Each recruitment requires 100 money units. If you do not have enough money, you cannot recruit.

You will be given one or more randomly selected cities where you may recruit (only ones that your side currently controls). If the city is vacant, a NEW army is placed there, along with a commander and his corresponding abilities. Adding recruits to an existing army increases its strength, but does not change the commander.

Each side has 20 commanders available to lead separate armies. As the game progresses, the number of available commanders will be reduced as commanders are captured or are occupied leading other units.

If the list of 20 preset commanders is exhausted, there is list of “generic” commanders provided so you can still recruit and finish the game. Generic units are given Roman numeral identifiers. For instance, Union army 12 is designated Union XII. Rebel army 22 is designated Rebel II, and so forth.

Newly created armies MAY NOT move this turn, while they train and organize. Existing armies that are increased in strength CAN MOVE in the current turn.

At the balanced play level, newly created stand-alone armies are 7,000 men. Additions to existing armies are 4,500 men. (See REALISM toggle).

Experience level of recruits will be low (varies slightly, with slightly better levels for Rebel armies).

NOTE: Once you have begin to recruit, you should NOT change  sides or number of players, since the cities to recruit in are already selected for that part of the turn.


3.3   Ships


Allows you to build and move fleets and bombard enemy

cities. Each side has one fleet, consisting of 0-10 ships.

Ships can be added to the fleet only in friendly port



Two type of ships may now be built: wooden ships or

ironclads. Wooden ships cost 100 money units; ironclads cost

200 money units; Ironclads are no more effective than wooden

ships in bombarding cities or conducting invasions. However,

ironclads are superior to wooden ships in ship-to-ship

combat. They are 10% more effective in scoring a hit than a

wooden ship, and they can take 20 hits whereas wooden ships

can only take 10 hits.


As fleets are formed, ironclads are always added to the

left most position in the fleet. Wooden ships are always

added to the rightmost position. When combat or invasions

occur, it proceeds from right to left. This means the ships

to the right are engaged first.


The ship icon displayed on the map is the one corresponding

to the ship type of the first (left most position) in the

fleet. Information on the composition of the enemy fleet can

be found using the Inform option.


Ships can be moved to any port city. This means ships may

move much more rapidly than armies, but their effect is



If the two fleets meet in a port, they will engage in

combat. During each round of combat, the attacker has the

option to press the attack or retire. Each ship can take 10

enemy hits before it sinks. The current number of hits

remaining is shown below the ship icon. Combat continues

until one fleet either retreats or is eliminated. At the end

of the turn, there can be only one fleet in a given port.


Ships do not transport armies, but can bombard enemy cities

to damage defending armies or fortifications, or to drive

the city to neutrality. If the city has an enemy army, the

bombardment will damage the enemy. The fleet will also

blockade the enemy army in the port, reducing his supplies.

Fortified cities may have the forts damaged or reduced.

However, forts may sink attacking ships.


Unfortified cities not occupied by a defending army may

become neutral as a result of the bombardment.


Note that both human and computer players are now prohibited

from moving to a port and attacking the port on the same





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3.4   Invasions


The realism toggle also affects the ability for seaborne

units to conduct invasions.


If the realism toggle is ON, the Union player ONLY

may conduct invasions. Otherwise, BOTH sides may conduct



Invasions may be conducted only at neutral cities if there

is more than one ship in the invading fleet. The fleet size

will be reduced by 1 and the new army will seize the neutral

city, under the leadership of the next available commander.

The invading army is small (3500 men) and vulnerable to

attack. However, the captured city is eligible for possible

recruiting later.


3.5   Raid Commerce


Ships from both sides have the option to raid enemy commerce

on the high seas. This is shown as the “Raid” option on the

Ships menu. Selecting this option will cause a red box to

appear, with the word “Commerce” in it, along with the ship

icon. Each turn that the fleet stays in this box, there is a

probability of doing damage to the enemy by destroying

commerce and thereby reducing his income. There is also a

chance that one or more of the raiding ships will be sunk.

If both fleets enter the commerce raiding zone, combat will

occur and one fleet will either be destroyed or have to

retreat. Only one fleet can remain in this zone at the end

of the turn. It is that fleet which can attempt to raid

enemy commerce.


3.6   Move Orders


Allows you to select an army to move and where to move it. A

menu will cycle through all your armies that are able to

move this turn. Armies that already have move orders, or

that have been combined this turn, or that have built

fortifications this turn, or newly created armies are not

eligible to move in the current turn.


Once you select the army to move, the choice of all possible

connecting destinations for that army are shown. Selecting a

destination will result in a white dotted line from the

selected unit to the destination. Note that the army does

not move immediately. Rather, it will attempt to move during

the move and update phase.


If an army with move orders is attacked during the move and

update phase, there is a chance that it will not be able to

carry out those orders. If it is defeated, it must retreat,

but even if it wins it may have its orders cancelled.


During the month of January, you may not carry out any land

campaigns (i.e., attack enemy or neutral cities). You may



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move armies to friendly cities, fortify, or conduct other

land operations. Naval operations are unaffected by the

January restriction.


3.7   Railroad


Both sides have access to railroads to rapidly move 1 army

per side from a friendly city to another. In order to use

the railroad, it must not already be in use by an army on

this turn. In order to be an origin or  destination for a

railroad move, a city has to join with at least 2 other

friendly cities.  Both terminals must be part of a “chain”

of least 3 connected friendly cities. (In earlier versions,

a “chain” of 2 friendly cities was considered a valid origin

or destination). In other words, neither terminal can be cut

off” by the enemy. Once selected, railroad moves can NOT be



The Union railroad can carry an army up to 60,000 men. The

Rebel railroad can carry an army up to 30,000 men. (These

values can be adjusted in the configuration file and will

vary somewhat if the REALISM toggle is on). The current

railroad capacity for your side is shown at the bottom of

the screen. There is no cost for the rail movement. Note

that to be eligible to move by rail, an army may not have

other move orders, nor may it have used its turn in any

other way (such as in fortifying a city).


When an army is placed on the railroad, a small train icon

of appropriate color will appear in the box in the upper

left corner of the screen. The destination for railroad

moves is shown in the railroad box. If you are playing a

2-player game, your opponent will know  you have an army on

the train, but will not know its destination. The arrival of

armies moved by rail for BOTH sides takes place at the

BEGINNING of the move and combat phase. Thus, armies

transported by rail will appear at their destinations BEFORE

any other land moves or attacks are made.


3.8   Next Turn


When you have completed your decisions for the current turn,

select this option to continue with the game sequence. Note

that once the game sequence progresses, you cannot back up.

Thus, when you select this option, you will be asked to

confirm before the turn actually progresses.


3.9   Inform (Reports)


Seven different reports are potentially available; there is

no cost for any of the reports.


1) Friendly Army report

Shows the status of all your armies, and other useful

statistics on the progress of the game. After the

first turn, it will also show the total strength of



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the enemy forces.


2) Enemy Army report

Shows information similar to Friendly army report,

except that it shows less complete information on the

enemy forces. It includes the composition of the

enemy navy.


3) City report

Provides information on the cities, their worth,

status, and so on.


4) Force summary

Shows on the map the strength of all armies (in 100’s

of men).


5) Intelligence report

Provides an on-map summary of attributes of all

FRIENDLY armies (strength, leadership, experience,

and supply).


6) Battle Summary report

Shows number of battles won and casualties incurred

for each side.


7) Recap report (if HISTORY option is ON in the Utility


Scrolls you through a chronicle of the history of the

game thus far (battle outcomes and losses)


Typical chronicle entries might look like this:


Manassas *Lee (3200/29600) defeats McDowell (5400/30200)

Memphis  Pope (1000/9900) defeats *Johnston (2900/12400)


The asterisk indicates the attacker. Casualties and

total troop strength are indicated in the parentheses.


3.10  Commands


See Commands Submenu for a description of the choices. These

generally relate to special commands available for

individual armies.


3.11  Utility


See Utility Submenu. These provide game options that allow

various features of overall game play to be modified.


3.12  Files


Allows you to load or save games and to quit then program.

There can be up to 9 saved games,”CWSx.SAV”, where “x” is

a number from 1 to 9. Those file names for which a saved

game exists are marked with a “û” as a reminder.




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When the game is started, the base game is automatically

initialized, configured according to the current CWS.CFG