SID MEIER'S GETTYSBURG! & ANTIETAM! +1Clk Windows 11 10 8 7 Vista XP Install
Sid Meier's Gettysburg! recreates the pivotal, three-day Civil War battle fought on the rolling terrain around Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in July 1863.
Playing from either side of the conflict, you can take part in a single scenario or a campaign depicting the entire battle. Campaigns typically comprise seven scenarios and are dynamically strung together according to your performance in battle. For example, if you and the Confederate army can rewrite history and capture the high ground south of Gettysburg on July 1, you can earn the option of launching a fictional evening assault on Culp's Hill. In all, the game includes 25 predesigned scenarios, along with a random scenario option that allows for near-endless replay value. Also contributing to the game's replay value is the fact that no two campaigns unfold in exactly the same way.
Right from the start, Gettysburg! draws you in with its elegant interface and rich artwork. A nicely animated briefing prefaces each of the scenarios and adds tremendous atmosphere. Once you transition to the gameplay screen, you get more preliminary information, including a rundown of your objectives, your best troops, and the availability of reserves and reinforcements. In most scenarios, you will command a few brigades of infantry (each made up of three to five regiments) with at least one battery of artillery in support.
As a scenario begins, you must very quickly assess your situation and issue orders to redeploy your troops, as the default start positions are rarely effective. The clock is ticking, but the clean interface makes it easy to issue orders. To move a regiment, simply click on it and drag a line to the desired destination. You can move entire brigades this way as well, though the process is not as intuitive as it could be: You must select the brigade's commanding general, drag a line to the destination, then choose a formation for the brigade to assume upon reaching that spot.
Each unit's movement and fighting quality is affected by a variety of conditions, including its formation, experience, morale, and location. For example, a regiment with friendly units on either side will fight more effectively than one that is being flanked. Similarly, units ordered to charge a hill bristling with artillery will take a serious morale hit (not to mention several large, round iron hits) and will probably soon retreat in disarray.
Each scenario lasts about 30 minutes, but the computer will add some time at the end if one side is within striking distance of an objective. In other words, you don't win when you capture an objective - you win when you capture and hold it.
As in the real battle, the high ground is the key to victory and you won't have any trouble finding it on the beautifully rendered battle maps. Capturing that ground is another matter, as the AI can be quite formidable. Fortunately, the computer's style and effectiveness are completely customizable. Looking for a challenge? Try taking on an "aggressive, indirect" Confederate foe on the highest of the game's four difficulty settings.
The graphics and animation in Gettysburg! show tremendous attention to detail. Best of all, the graphics convey a reasonably accurate sense of scale - these are huge armies we're talking about, after all. The sound effects are also admirable. Shots ring out, rebel yells rise above the din, and your troops will even shout out to indicate that they're being flanked.
Simply put, this game is about as solid as the Union line on Cemetery Ridge. It has all the right ingredients to please Civil War buffs, hard-core strategy fans, and maybe even some casual gamers adventurous enough to try something new.Antietam
Sid Meier's Gettysburg was a remarkable wargame that managed to balance realism and accuracy with a user-friendly design and stylish visuals. Sid Meier's Antietam is also an impressive game that builds upon the foundation established by the original. It offers no dramatic graphics overhaul or drastic redesign - just a new setting, new subject matter, and more of the same great Civil War strategy, which is nicely refined through a series of subtle enhancements.
Antietam is based on the same game engine as Gettysburg and offers the same easy-to-use commands and menus. Moving troops requires a simple drag of the mouse, while facing and formation commands are marked by large, unmistakable buttons along the bottom of the screen. Icons indicate each unit's name, type, strength, experience, and current morale. You can also see if a unit is currently flanked or backed up by nearby supporting troops with a quick glance at the status bar.
Though most of the graphics in Antietam are just as they were in Gettysburg, there are a number of improvements that give the game a sleeker overall appearance. The battlefield itself is more dynamic because it has several new types of terrain and other features to liven it up. Antietam Creek itself is one natural obstacle you won't soon forget, as troops can only cross it by using one of the few bridges or finding a ford, neither of which is easy to do. This can definitely cause some headaches for the Union commander, as many of the northern troops enter the battle from the far side of the creek. Also, troops move slower through some areas of the map, such as wooded hills, and units get defensive bonuses in covered terrain, such as forests and cornfields.
One other notable enhancement is the inclusion of more uniquely uniformed units. If you look closely during a battle, you will notice units on both sides of the battle wearing decidedly different clothes from their comrades. Some of the most recognizable units include the US Sharpshooters and the flamboyantly dressed Zouaves on both sides of the battle. However, regardless of their dress, units still move, fire, charge, and retreat in exquisite detail.
Gameplay during the heat of battle is largely unchanged from Gettysburg, which is a good thing. Before each scenario, you are shown where your objective lies and which of your units are the most reliable. After a battle, you get a rundown of the units that fought most effectively. Each scenario is timed, so you have to reach your objectives quickly and hold them until the clock runs out. When one side loses possession of an objective just before time expires, the game length is extended a bit. After completing a scenario, you even have the option of returning to the action to continue fighting. However, this would be a better feature if you could select the amount of time you wanted to add to the game clock. As it stands, you generally fight for another five minutes before the game declares the scenario is complete again.Most of the noticeable gameplay changes are for the better, such as explanations for the game's "Can't do that General" error messages - now you can see why a unit cannot charge when you order it to do so. You can also see how effective your attacks are, as the game indicates how much fire the selected unit is taking and receiving at any given moment.
The biggest difference between Antietam and Gettysburg is the subject matter and its effect on the structure of the game. The battle of Gettysburg lasted three days. On the other hand, Antietam ran the course of a single, bloody day. As a result, you don't play through this game in a series of engagements while trying to amass a sufficient total of victory points to win the overall battle. Instead, you fight the entire battle, beginning at 5:50 in the morning and going right through to the early evening. This can be quite a handful, as the entire battle can last up to ten hours of real time (you can save the game at any time). It also forces you to manage your troops wisely, since not all units are available as the battle opens. In fact, some divisions do not become available until very late in the day, so success depends upon your ability to pace your troop movements and attacks.
Fortunately, you do not have to play the entire battle each time you load up Antietam. The game also offers chunks of the battle in more than 20 neatly wrapped scenarios, including both historical and hypothetical variants. In addition, the game's random-scenario generator lets you whip up an "instant action" battle ranging from a small skirmish to a major engagement. However, the random-scenario generator is not all it could be, as it often locks you in a little too close to the realities of the battle. For example, almost all of the small skirmishes end up being fought in and around the East Woods, which tends to get tiresome after a while. It also would have been good to be able to pick the main objectives and the relative troop sizes.
Sid Meier's Antietam is essentially more of the same great, approachable wargaming action that Firaxis gave us in Gettysburg but has been refined and enhanced for better gameplay.