Civil War Strategy – 7. Move and Combat Phase

 7      M O V E    &    C O M B A T    P H A S E

 7.1    Computer Decisions

If you are playing a 1-player game versus the computer, you will see the computer decisions being made. The computer does not ‘cheat’ by taking advantage of knowledge of the moves you have selected.  If the side played by the computer has an advantage in play balance, it will be a more difficult opponent because it will get more resources, and will receive a combat handicap.

You will be prompted to “press any key for month/year events”. During the update phase, the message “UPDATE” will appear in the lower right of the map area. The computer will move the armies, provide information on battles, state of supplies, and so on. From time to time the display will pause to give you time to read the messages. You can press any key to move on.

 7.2   Army Movement

When you see the message “press any key for (current month and year) events”, the move and update phase has begun. During this phase both sides have their move orders carried out. When enemy armies meet in the same city, combat occurs. After combat, only one side will continue to occupy the city. The side that was driven off loses the battle.

The rail movement for BOTH sides takes place at the BEGINNING of the move and combat phase. Thus, armies being transported by rail will appear in their  destinations BEFORE any other army movement takes place. |

The order in which armies move depends on (1) ability of the leader (better ones tend to move first), (2) supply (out of supply units move last) and (3) a random factor. Armies carry out their orders one at a time. The flag icon will move from the starting location to the destination city.

 7.3   Combat

If combat occurs, a set of statistics will appear on the right of the screen giving important information on how the battle will be resolved. The information for both attacker and defender begins with a base calculation, which goes through a series of adjustments to arrive at a final value for this battle.

BaseBase combat strength, obtained by dividing unit strength by 10,000 and rounding up. Thus, an army with 23,000 men has a base combat strength of 3. The base for defenders is increased to account for their reduced exposure to fire.
Ldr/ExpBase combat strength, adjusted for leadership and experience. Armies outmanned by more than 5:1 will usually not receive this adjustment. However, elite armies with experience levels of 8 or more automatically receive a bonus, even if hopelessly outnumbered.
SmallAdjusted strength after penalizing for very small forces (i.e., small force has less than 1,500 men).
OutmanAdditional adjustment if the opposing army is much larger than this army proportionately. This occurs for the attacker if outnumbered by more than 5:1 or for the defender if outnumbered by more than 10:1.
SupplyAdditional adjustment if unit is out of supply (will be in contrasting color). Out-of-supply units fight at half strength.
DifcltAdditional adjustment based on difficulty level.
Fort(FOR DEFENDERS ONLY) – Additional adjustment if location is fortified and defender has not moved or fought previously in this turn. NOTE: Occasionally an exceptional commander will get the fort bonus even if he has fought previously in the turn.


The exact combat adjustment for outmanned armies has been is shown below:

Attacker / Defender RatioAttack AdjustDefend Adjust
1:10 or worseset to 1 (min)set to 20 (max)
1:10 to 1:5set to 1 (min)+2
1:5 to 1:2-2+2
1:2 to 2:100
2:1 to 3:10-2
3:1 to 5:1+2-2
5:1 to 10:1+2set to 1 (min)
10:1 or betterset to 20 (max)set to 1 (min)




Note that this is in addition to any other combat adjustments, such as leadership, fortification, supply, etc.

All combat adjustments are made sequentially, and the final result is the one actually used in the combat calculations. The final result for both the Attacker and the Defender is shown in a highlighted box. The final values can never be less than 1 nor more than 20. A calculation of the odds of an attacker victory are also given as A GUIDE ONLY. The computer actually resolves the combat separately from this calculation of attacker odds, but it should provide a good indicator of who is likely to win the battle.

The actual results of the battle will be displayed after you press a key. The winner is announced at the bottom of the screen. Casualty information (numbers and percentages for each side) are shown at the top of the screen. Notice that an army can win the battle but suffer greater losses than the enemy.

The loser must retreat to an adjacent friendly city. The human player is given the option as to which city to retreat to if a player-controlled DEFENDING army must retreat (if there is more than one choice for retreat). If there are no retreat options, the loser will surrender. Even if there is a retreat option, a unit may be so outnumbered and reduced in size so much that it can no longer function. Such shattered units will also surrender. When units surrender, their commanders are PERMANENTLY removed from the game.

If there is more than one defending army in a city, the attacker must defeat each defender one at a time until all defenders are driven out before occupying the city.

7.4   Income Update

After all combat and moves are resolved, the supplies are distributed, and income and victory points are updated based on present game situations. Note that the Union side always receives income from other parts of the country outside the region shown (e.g., Boston, New York, Chicago, etc.) Thus, the Union in effect has an income bonus. Supplies are distributed based on cash remaining, to the armies in numerical order.