The Game FAQ     The Web Site FAQ

The Game FAQ

Sometimes the following icons appear in the lower-right corner of the screen.  What do they mean?

This unit cannot be seen.
This unit has been routed.
This unit is fighting hand-to-hand.  It's taking and/or receiving far more casualties and stress than normal.
In all three cases you'll see the icon on the left if you're playing Union and the icon on the right if you're playing Confederate.

Why do regiments kneel?

Because they can't be seen by the enemy.  If you select a kneeling regiment you'll also see the hidden icon.
What is the meaning of  those brown lines that sometimes appear in front of regiments?
A single line means that the regiment is entrenched.  Enemy fire on this regiment will be 12% less effective.
A double line means that the regiment is double entrenched.  Enemy fire will be 25% less effective.  In addition, this regiment gets an extra morale block as shown below.  (The Union version is on the left, the Confederate version on the right.)
How does a regiment become entrenched?

By doing nothing for a few minutes - not moving, firing or being fired upon.  It becomes double entrenched if this continues a few minutes more.

How does a regiment lose its entrenchment?

By moving.  However, it can wheel and fire without losing its entrenchment.

How do I use the volley command?

  1. Click the volley button.  This will instruct the men of the selected regiment to load and hold their fire.
  2. Wait until all the men have loaded their muskets.  This can take several seconds depending on the size of the regiment, its stress level and the speed of the game.
  3. Click the volley button again.  This will instruct them to fire.
(Read about the pause and volley trick in the Loopholes section of the Cheats/Tweaks page.)

How do I tell when all the men have loaded their muskets?

Have a look at the animation below.  It shows a figure loading, aiming and firing, i.e., he's normally engaged.

The figure below has been given the first volley command.  We know he's already loaded his musket because he doesn't stand it on end to load it as the figure above does.   We also know he's holding his fire because there are no puffs of smoke.  The 40 men he represents are ready to fire a volley.
What is the significance of the movement arrow color?
The unit is moving normally.
Dark Green
One of the unit's commanders is selected.  For example, if you select a commander, then make a brigade-level move, the arrow of each of the regiments will be dark green.   Likewise, if you move a regiment, then select one of its commanders, the arrow will turn from white to dark green.
White and dark green arrows can be superseded by the following three colors.
Light Blue
The unit is moving obliquely.  It will maintain its original facing throughout (so as not to turn away from enemy fire).  Note that artwork for oblique movement didn't make it into the game so it will often appear that your regiment is exposing its side or rear when it isn't.
Light Green
The unit was ordered to move while it was being fired upon, while it was firing on someone or because it was given a don't stop command (the G key was pressed during the move).
The unit is moving at the double quick.
The unit has been routed or is retreating.
If you drag a movement arrow through areas that the unit cannot see, those areas will be shown in black.  They return to white when you release the mouse button.
Sometimes I drag a movement arrow, then decide I want the unit to stay put.  How do I abort a movement command without first letting go of the mouse button?

Hit the Space bar.

How do I remove the trees and buildings so I can see what's going on?

Hit the J key.  It toggles trees and buildings off and on.

Is there a way to randomize the AI personality?

Yes.  Once a scenario has started, the K key randomly changes the AI personality.

I've heard of an undocumented keyboard shortcut for a brigade-level refuse the flank command.  What is it?

With a brigade commander selected, Shift-< refuses the left flank and Shift-> refuses the right flank.  That is, hold down the Shift key and press < or >.   These are toggles.  Hitting one twice will return the brigade to a straight formation.

What is a refuse the flank formation.

A line with one or both ends bent back.

In this case I've given the command to refuse the left flank.
What are the specifics of the difficulty levels?

Level 1

Level 2 Level 3 - At this level you and the AI are on equal footing.

Level 4

How can I tell who I'm fighting?

Click on a unit that's firing. Its target is displayed in the lower-right corner of the screen.  For example, the unit in the screen shot below is shooting at the 31st Virginia.

For more information, pause the game and look up the 31st Virginia in the back of the manual.  There you'll find that it's a trained unit of 267 men in Smith's brigade.   Smith is only mediocre.  The other regiments under his command are the 49th and 52nd Virginia, both trained.  They're probably nearby.  Hmm, maybe this is a good part of the Rebel line to pick on.

Another way to identify enemy units is through the Verbose option.  From the Game menu (place the cursor in the upper-left corner of the screen while playing) choose Text.  Then choose Verbose.  Among other things, this will caption every enemy unit that's firing or being fired on.  Below is an example of what it looks like.  You can make out that one of your units is exchanging fire with the 74th Penn and receiving fire from the 25th Ohio.

Be aware that the display can get pretty cluttered with this option.  Unit captions often overlap and becomes illegible.

How can I tell the condition of enemy units?

There are several indicators.  First of all, look at their flag.  Its droopiness indicates the state of their morale - the droopier the flag, the worse the morale.  Below, for example, the regiment on the left is in good shape.  The regiment on the right is not.

When a flag waves it means that the unit is taking casualties and/or stress.  The faster it waves, the more casualties and/or stress the unit is accumulating.  Note that if a flag bounces up and down it's been given a Hold command.  It may or may not be taking casualties at the moment.

If you hear any of the following it means that the unit you've selected is in better shape than its target:

Another indicator is the number of human figures or cannon in a unit.

How many men does each figure represent?

About 40.  For example, the regiment on the right above has about 160 men left.

I've played one scenario several times with the Historical option chosen.  Each time units start in a slightly different place and/or reinforcements arrive earlier, later or not at all.  They sometimes appear in different places too.  What's going on?

Every scenario has randomness built-in.  It comes in two forms:

  1. The arrival time of reinforcements is always slightly randomized.   For example, a unit may arrive at 5:15 the first time you play a scenario, but at 5:20 the next.

  2. An individual unit's appearance/arrival can be purposely varied, e.g., a unit can have a 50% chance of even appearing in the scenario.  If it does arrive, it may be in a different place at a different time than you saw it the last time.
What does the Fewer Units/More Units preference mean?

If you're playing a pre-written scenario (Union Breakout: Taneytown Road, for example) More Units is the standard setting.  If you choose Fewer Units, units will appear as though you were playing at the next lower difficulty level.   Sometimes this means fewer units will participate in the scenario.  Sometimes this means nothing.  It depends on the scenario.  You can look up the details in Firaxis' Official Guide or you can wade through the scenario files on your own.  They're the .scn files in the Sid Meier's Gettysburg! folder.

If you're playing a randomized scenario* Fewer Units is the standard setting.   If you choose More Units the scenario size is supposed to increase by one step.  However, choosing one or the other has never made any difference when I've played randomized scenarios.

*Not a scenario where you choose Randomized from the Options screen, but one where you choose Randomized Scenario from the Select a Scenario screen.

What are the randomized scenario sizes?

This is what the Guide says:

Skirmish 2-3 brigades per side plus artillery
Altercation   3-4 brigades per side plus artillery
Engagement   4-6 brigades per side plus artillery
Battle 6-8 brigades per side plus artillery

However, the game has a bug that often increases the first two sizes even when you have Fewer Units chosen.

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The Web Site FAQ

This site looks familiar. Did you create it yourself?

No. This site was originally The SMG Alternative which was created by Steve Barba. He decided to stop maintaining that site, and I couldn't just let it go away, so I got his permission to use the content from his site here.

I have a comment about the site. Whom should I contact, you or Steve?

Please address all comments about the current web site to me, Larry Hookins, at [email protected]

The name of the game is Sid Meier's Gettysburg!.  Why do you always leave out the exclamation point?

We all have our limits.

Where did the artwork for the site come from?

From the art patch and screen shots.  Map representations on the Gmap Editor page were produced by my GMap Editor program, currently in development.

How do you take a screen shot?

Start your favorite paint program.  Start SMG.  Hit the Print Screen key (on your keyboard) while playing the game.  Alt-tab to the paint program and paste.

What software do you use to maintain the site?

I use the Brief text editor, Paint Shop Pro, PowerZip and the Win 95 command line FTP program.

Steve used Front Page, Paint Shop Pro, FTP Explorer, Textpad and Winzip to create the original page.

Who are you and how can I get in touch with you?

I'm a gamer and programmer who enjoys playing SMG and creating enhancements for games. My name is Larry Hookins and my e-mail address is [email protected].

Is the game really that good?

It has to be the best game tactical wargame I've ever played.

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