Tips & Tricks

This page has something for everybody, new players can learn the basic strategy they need to know, regular players can solve their problems and learn a new trick or two.

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  1. Understand Your Troops
  2. Basic Tactics
  3. Union Tactics
  4. Confederate Tactics
  5. Cheats

Understand Your Troops

Its important to know the difference between the two armies. Difference? Yes, there is indeed a difference between "The Army of the Potomac" and "The Army of Northern Virginia" if we look at the troops.

The Confederate "Army of Northern Virginia" was commanded by some of the finest officers that America had ever produced, under the command of Robert E. Lee with corps commanders like Longstreet, division commanders such as Hood and Brigade commanders like Ramseur. The troops were good too. You'll find a lot of veterans and elite troops in the game.

The Federal "Army of the Potomac" also had some fine officers like Hancock and Reynolds, "The Army of the Potomac" was commanded by George G. Meade who took command just days before the battle started. The Union regiments were of a lower quality then the Confederate Regiments. Most Union troops in the game are trained troops, and green troops will also appear in the scenarios but...veteran and elite troops like Meredith's Brigade, Kelly's Brigade, Berdan's Sharp Shooters and the 20th Maine were also in the army.

It all comes down to this :

  1. The Confederates have fewer regiments than the Union army. This means that the Union can extend their lines farther than the Confederates and gain the flank. Your troops might not break but you will take casualties and stress.
  2. The CSA is usually in an attacking role. I'm sure you've played Little Round Top and discovered it is a pain to attack a set position from downhill. You can save yourself time and aggravation if you can get the flank and role up that line.
  3. The Rebels are big and bad. If you can wrap a Brigade around a flank you can crush the end of line in seconds. Causing panic in the Union troops which will make the rest of your fight shorter and sweeter
  4. Time isn't on your side. Union troops tend to get more reinforcements than you do. They can afford to fight by attrition. If they wear out their troops and yours too they will win because more than likely they have another Brigade waiting to come at you.
  5. You don't have as many artillery batteries. This means the brunt of your damage is done by the infantry. You won't have that big barrage to soften up a position or to break and charge it.

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Basic Tactics

Sometimes you spot an enemy Brigade on the other side of the woods in Maneuver column. You have the chance to get his flank without him seeing your troops in the woods. Those situations can appear more often if you use your commanders to scout. Scouting is important, you do not want to walk into an ambush do you?? When having the commander selected push shift+r and your commander will move a whole lot faster.

Knowing where to fight is one of the most important things that will determine an outcome. If you have the chance to grab the wooded bouldered high ground do so. You should try to avoid having to attack from lower elevation and the reverse is true. Defend from higher ground if at all possible.

Use the woods to your advantage. A regiment can be routed by an ambush from a regiment hidden in the woods. Believe me on this one, I have been on the receiving end to many times for my own comfort. Warning: don't quick time the troops into position if you are a long way away. The ground may be great but you won't be able to hold it if you've worn out the men's morale by a hard march when the enemy comes and says boo to you.

A straight battle line is a good battle line. A straight line gives a morale block to the regiments in line. A morale block can be added for each flank covered left, right and rear and helps eliminate flanking fire as well.

The flank is the key to victory in SMG if you can flank an enemy regiment the battle is half won. Nothing beats a good flanking maneuver to really hammer an opponent.

Artillery is for me the biggest enigma on the battlefield. I have had my batteries wipe out an entire regiment with one volley, ah what a beautiful site it was, and I've seen them hammer away at a regiment with out doing a single morale block of damage. As best I can tell only three things really affect the damage artillery does.

  1. Range. The closer the better. Nothing like a good canister shot to break up an attack. But the closer you get the greater the chance of casualties which can really hurt you since every artillery casualties is 3 points to the enemy so you have to be careful.
  2. Angle. This goes back to the flanking attack. If you can get some cannons in enfilade position you really can make your life a lot easier.
  3. Height. The higher your artillery is the better.

So where do you place your artillery?? I prefer to place my rifled artillery, which are made for long range fire, at the end of my lines and if possible on high ground. My napoleons, which can fire with canister, are spread over the center of my line and close to it so that when enemy troops come too close they'll get some canister. That's got to hurt!.

Cavalry for me delivers a lot of bang for the buck. Unfortunately/fortunately for us, cavalry doesn't play a big role in Gettysburg. I have very seldom been able to use Confederate cavalry during a battle campaign and Union cavalry only in the beginning scenario - McPherson's Ridge, but I have the best time with them.
What are cavalry best for :

  1. Scouting. The cavalry does this very well due to its speed in column or better know as mounted and being able to move in skirmish without losing morale.
  2. Chasing Artillery. For whatever reason the computer does two amazing things with his artillery.
    1. Leaves it unguarded a large majority of the time
    2. Limbers and moves location in a very short period of time

Since the cavalry is the fastest unit on the field. I use them to chase artillery all over the field and if I'm lucky, capture the guns and rack up some casualty points.

      3. Flanking. Another nifty benefit of being able to move fast is you can take your men out of line. Mount them up. Swing around the enemy, and attack them from a flank.

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Union Tactics

Union regiments tend to be smaller, some of them seem to be ridiculously small like Kelly's Brigade, but on the whole have more troops than the Confederates. With a greater number of Brigades and Regiments you have to micro-manage a bit more than with Confederates.

In Sid Meier's Gettysburg each regiment can only fire at one regiment. The Union has more regiments. Lets say your going against one of the big regiments like Pettigrew's 659 man 26th NC and in his way are 300 Union soldiers. But instead of one regiment it is divided into two 150 man regiments. It doesn't look good for which ever regiment the 26th decides to pick on but that 2nd Union regiment isn't being fired upon which leaves it free to ease on around and increase it's angle of attack which increases the firing effectiveness. If you can get to a flanking position your regiment's firing effectiveness goes up 5 times. This means if you got our 2nd regiment onto Pettigrew's flank those 150 men act like 750 men firing at the 26th NC. This evens up the fight pretty quickly.

Having more regiments than the CSA allows you to extend your lines farther making it easier to gain a flanking position and then rolling up their lines. Of course you have to worry about a breakthrough in your lines which happens all to often for my comfort. With the double line formation you can manage your men's stress level better. When one unit gets tired you can use fallback while pushing the reserve unit forward. With these two tactics you can usually wear down the Confederate army quickly because while you can have a few regiments resting or not being fired upon and the Confederates are almost always fighting.

Another advantage the Union has is an abundance of artillery. These batteries often give the Union that little edge needed to soften that position or stop an attack in it's tracks.

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Confederate Tactics

As said before, the Confederates have large and strong regiments. A Confederate regiment can stand in action for a long time except when flanked during battle. I am a Confederate fan and most of the time I play with them but I have also played with the Union to find out the advantages of both sides. It is true that Union has more regiments but I have found several tactics which can be used with the Confederates.

  1. Confederate regiments are perfect for detaching and skirmishing alone because they are so big and strong.
  2. Even when moving up slopes, the Confederate Brigades can capture the enemy positions.
  3. Due to the firepower flanking isn't always necessary but it still is a wise move.
  4. The Southern commanders are often better then the Union officers and because of their quality they boost morale all over their Brigade while the Union commanders sometimes can't boost the morale of the Regiments on the flanks.

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Cheats/Design Codes

The Cheat can only be used during a single person game.
To activate: pause, hit shift+enter, type the code and then enter. (What you type does not appear on the screen.)

Cheat

Union

Confederate

AI vs AI
Halleck
Halleck
Clock Reset
Buford
Stuart
Fortify all units
Hooker
Longstreet
Eliminate Stress
Hancock
Jackson
End scenario
Sedgwick
Pickett
Increase experience
McClellan
Beauregard
Bring up all reinforcments
Reynolds
Hill
Rally all troops
Sheridan
Lee
See enemy OOB
Custer
Harrison
See all troops
Warren
Hotchkiss


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