The Civil War
Description official descriptions
The Civil War covers the American Civil War from the years 1861 to 1865. You can play as the North or South, and the object is to take over a certain amount of cities of the opposing side before the war ends. It features both strategic and tactical parts in a turn-based format.
This game has about 45 difficulty levels (9 different "strategy factors" like supply, unit types, fatigue, etc. x 5 realism levels each). However, even with all 9 set to the highest difficulty, the game can be won in a few hours.
Credits (DOS version)
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|Designed & Developed by
|Music / Sound Programming
|[ full credits ]
Average score: 63% (based on 8 ratings)
Average score: 2.5 out of 5 (based on 7 ratings with 1 reviews)
I must say that the programmer, Steven Morle-Green, really tried to improve it. He asked for suggestions and implemented many of them in a series of patches. It had an encyclopedia which was ok, but it didn't have very detailed information (the average entry was about 5 sentences long!). It also came with a little illustrated book that told how life was for soldiers during the Civil War. This was one of the most interesting parts of the whole package.
Another nice thing was the game featured multiplayer support via LAN or modem. Since I didn't know anyone else with the game, I never tried it in multiplayer until several years after I got it (over LAN), and it crashed during the first battle...
The "icons" -- from the main screen to the unit identification icons -- are so badly done it's almost impossible to tell what they're representing in some cases. The sprites that represent the units during battles are horrendous... the regiments move like stick figures. Also, the game would have to re-render the graphics everytime zooming in or out during battles. With the computers back in 95, this took several seconds and made for bad gameplay...
The music -- traditional Civil War songs -- is pretty dismal. It's like bad MIDI stuff. There are no volume controls... only on or off.
The game also had a lot of bugs. During battles, sometimes units would suddenly fly across the screen for no reason. In the strategic mode, if units moved by water sometimes they would get "stuck" in the water! Argh! It was hard to tell if some units weren't moving because of the difficulty setting (you could make it so that units wouldn't always act on orders immediately because of delays in the order reaching them) or if it was just a bug. I tend to think that in many cases they were bugs, because I don't think it should've taken a unit the whole course of the war before it would finally begin to act on the order. :)
I must admit that the programmer did improve the sprites and icons, and also fixed a lot of bugs, as patches came out. The references above are to the original version.
The Bottom Line
The game could have been really good. It was a quasi-real time strategy game... You would spend the "night hours" planning moves and ordering cities to raise and train regiments, build railroads, etc. In the day hours, the units would move and real-time battles would occur. However, with the poor graphics, bad music, and bugs, it just wasn't a very good game.
A valiant attempt, but it just falls short in too many areas.
DOS · by Raphael (1245) · 1999
The game was re-released a year later in USA as the Master Player's Edition with new graphics from Strategy First and a rewritten AI.
- Computer Gaming World
- November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #10 Worst Game of All Time
Related Sites +
Civil War Updates
You can get the latest patch for The Civil War here, but I think one of the files is corrupted. Never fear, there are uncorrupted versions out there...
CivilWar on sourceforge
Open Sourced version of Civil War and links to patches of published version.
Greenius Civil War page.
Steven Green's web site, contains upgrade to version 2.0.3
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Raphael.
Windows added by Plok.
Game added September 18, 1999. Last modified February 12, 2024.