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Nick Thomadis

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Ultimate General: Gettysburg

In Ultimate General: Gettysburg, you’ll re-live the Battle of Gettysburg in a non-linear campaign that lasts for up to four days. You will command historically accurate forces from small skirmishing to the full strength of each army, as reinforcements arrive on the field to help you win the battle. The combat strength of your army depends greatly on your decision-making, because unit numbers, morale, fatigue and territory captured are carried from one battle phase to the next.

The battle is divided into phases, with up to three per day. Each phase is an individual battle that continues from where the previous phase ended, with unit numbers and territory captured carried over. During the battle, you may be presented with major strategic decisions, such as choosing between a flank attack or a central assault against the enemy. These choices are vital to the outcome of the battle.

Campaign

The battle campaign includes a progressive sequence of battles from Day One to Day Four. The sequence is created dynamically from a pool of over 80 battles in Ultimate General: Gettysburg. Depending upon your performance, the strategy you have chosen, and the critical choices you make during each battle, a different sequence of events and scenarios will be created. This way, you can attempt different strategies for fighting the Battle of Gettysburg, resulting in an enhanced experience that either follows the historical course of the battle, or results in numerous different scenarios that might offer challenges and outcomes not experienced by the original generals.

Custom Battles

The individual battles in the game are also offered as custom battles. When you advance to a new phase or day in your campaign, all the battles in previous phases/days unlock and are easily accessible from the Custom Battles menu. In custom battles, units begin at full strength by default, but you may also randomize starting positions, morale, fatigue, etc. You will have to play at least one full campaign (four days) from both sides to fully unlock all the available custom battles.

Map

The map was created by blending satellite imagery, topographical research data and historical maps into a unique, clear art style. All major terrain features such as houses, ridges, hills and forests are depicted as accurately as possible. Ultimate General: Gettysburg also features all the mechanics to make full use of the map: cover, movement, line of sight, fields of fire and more.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Ultimate General: Gettysburg introduces a unique artificial intelligence that aims to revolutionize the real-time strategy game genre. There are no hidden bonuses to AI strength or 'cheats'. In Ultimate General: Gettysburg, the gameplay challenge is set via nine AI personalities arrayed according to their capability and aggression. AI characters evaluate the situation, consider their goals and respond to threats effectively in real time, all based upon numerous factors that dictate their behavior.

Armies

Both armies include all historical units that fought at Gettysburg. The Union army deploys efficient artillery, quality armaments and well-drilled troops, while the Confederates have superior morale, inspiring leaders and deadly close combat proficiency. There are five basic types of units available in Ultimate General: Gettysburg: infantry, artillery, cavalry, skirmishers and command staff. You must use them wisely, gaining the most of their advantages and taking care that their weaknesses are not exploited by your foe.


Main Menu

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Fight new battle: Select this option to start a new battle campaign. If you have an ongoing campaign then the Continue battle option is visible.

Continue: Save menu opens. From here you select to continue your last battle (autosave) or load another save.

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Multiplayer: Select it to go to the Multiplayer.

Custom Battles: Choose to play a custom battle. In the Custom Battles menu you can choose an unlocked specific battle to play. If the Randomize is Off then the units will start the battle fresh and at full strength.

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Enabling Randomize will reduce the strength, moral and condition of all units by a random percentage as well as randomize their starting positions for both sides.

Guide and Tutorials: Select this to access the Online Guide or useful tutorial videos.

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Ultimate General: Gettysburg uses a set of innovative and easily mastered controls. When you begin a new battle the video tutorial auto-appears by default. It includes a collection of brief video clips highlighting the basic controls that will allow you to quickly learn how to fully control and command your army.  

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To disable the default auto appearance, tick the Don't Show Any More box. You can always access it at any time during the battle by selecting the in game options button (lower left corner) and then Tutorials.

Options: Here you can find useful options to adjust the Graphics, Sound, Controls (hotkeys) and Gameplay.

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In the Graphics sub-menu the screen resolution can be adjusted. You can additionally enable/disable the units' transparency and shadows which can reduce performance in old PC systems. The tilt-shift effect adds depth of field and perspective. Enable Tilt-Shift effect to experience an enhanced battle atmosphere.

Gameplay: Select it to set the Line of Sight mode (LoS).

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In Ultimate General: Gettysburg the player can see during battle both the total LoS of his army and the individual one of each unit. With the LOS indicator enabled (default), the unit individual Line of Sight is briefly displayed every time you select a unit. If the LOS indicator is set to Off then you have to briefly hold the left mouse button on a unit, in order to see its individual LoS. Use the LOS intensity and LOS Fade Out Time bars to set the intensity and the fade out time of the Line of Sight.


Controls table:

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Single Player

1. In the main menu select Fight new battle (if you are in Multiplayer select first Single Player to return to main menu).

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2. In the next sub-menu choose the side you would like to play.

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3. In the next window, pick the AI character of your opponent. There are nine characters available in a table that shows three levels of difficulty and three levels of aggressiveness. If you want to face the unexpected, select the Random button and the game will choose a random AI character to oppose you.

4. Select Go to Battle.

Multiplayer

Important: Make sure that you are connected to Steam and your friends can see you online.

Multiplayer Menu

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The multiplayer menu is slightly different from the main menu. On the left of the menu, you can see your avatar and current rank. Click on your avatar to replace it with one of the available game General portraits.

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Multiplayer: Select this option to start a new online game with a friend or with another fan of Ultimate General: Gettysburg.

Leaderboard: Select it to see a list of your Steam friends that have played the game online and their rank based upon their total performance so far.

The rest of the available selections in the multiplayer menu are in common with those of the main menu.

Invite a Friend

1. In multiplayer menu, select Multiplayer.

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2. Select Invite Friend if you want to challenge a friend.

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3. Select battle and press Choose Side.

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4. Choose your side.

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5. Select your friend from the list and press Invite.

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6. After the connection is established the inviter has to select Start Battle. Both players will be transferred to battle preview. The battle will automatically start after the 10" counter dawn finishes.

Find Opponent

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1. If none of your friends are available or you want to play against a random human player, select Find Opponent.

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2. Select a battle and then press Select Battle (select Random to play a random battle). In the example above, there is one available opponent for this battle. He has chosen the Union side, and is waiting for a Confederate player to be his opponent.

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3. If you want to accept the challenge select Confederates.

If you wish to play as the Union and there is not any currently available opponent, you can select Union and wait for an opponent to accept the challenge.

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4. In the next window you can see information about your opponent. After the connection is established the host player selects Start Battle. Both players will be transferred to battle preview. The battle will automatically start after the 10" counter dawn finishes.

 

Plan your strategy

Battle preview

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Before the battle begins, the pre-battle window appears with useful information about the upcoming fight. Under the title there are brief references about the total number of men and guns for both sides, and between them there is a preview of the battlefield with the opponents' starting positions. In the middle of the window there is a brief description of the battle.

By selecting the Army Details button, you can access detailed information about the forces of both sides which are going to take part in that battle. Units on the field at start are shown in white, and reinforcements are shown in gray:

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Battle outcome

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After the battle ends, the post-battle window appears. Here you can see the outcome, the controlled objectives, and the losses for each side. By selecting the Statistics button, the detailed outcome report appears:

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In the Statistics window there is a list of the units involved, and information about their type, their starting and remaining strength, their losses and casualties they have inflicted. When a unit is selected from the list, additional information about the Morale and Condition appear beside its commander's portrait. This list can be sorted by side and by type of units. The Order of Battle button shows the Order of Battle of your entire army:

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Decision Room

After the opening battle, you will often have a chance to plan your strategy by choosing the next battlefield, the objectives, and the deployment of your army. On the Plan your strategy menu there are up to four selections from which you can choose. Selecting a decision button, causes a brief description of the suggested plan and a related map to appear.

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You can toggle between the description and the map, using the Briefing/Tactical Map button.

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You can zoom in and out of the map by clicking on it. Please note that, when you make a decision, the AI does so as well. For example, if you are playing the Confederate side, you can choose to attack the Union left at Devil's Den on the second day, but you then will have to wait until the afternoon for General Longstreet to arrive with his corps, and take the lead in the attack. At the same time, there is a possibility that the AI opponent will attack your center or left earlier in the morning. In this case, you will be forced to fight this engagement and defend your positions, instead of attacking. These decisions, that may be interrupted by the AI opponent's plans, always have a warning at the end of the briefing text, so you will know if you risk letting the AI take the initiative.


Battle interface

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Options

Select Options to restart the battle, save your game, load a saved game or watch a video tutorial.

Movement Controls

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Select: Left click on a unit to select it. Left click on an empty area of the map to deselect. The currently selected unit is highlighted in green.

Move: Left click on a unit's area or its flag and drag to create a movement arrow to your desired location.

Halt: Double left click on a moving unit to stop it. Alternative: Select a unit and press the Halt button.

Run/Walk: When this button is enabled, your unit moves faster but it will become fatigued more quickly. Cavalry, Skirmishers and General units run by default. Artillery cannot run. If you order a unit to move while running, its status will remain in Run mode after reaching its destination. You must select Walk mode if you do not want your unit to continue running afterward.

Unit Rotation: Hold the middle mouse button on a unit and move the mouse right or left to change the unit's facing clockwise or counter-clockwise, respectively.

Special Controls

Unit Line of Sight: By default, when you select a unit, its individual Line of Sight appears. Checking a unit's line of sight, will give you a precise view of the area it can see and fire upon. This is extremely useful for your artillery units, which rely on positioning to cover large areas with their firepower. By default the individual LoS of units is visible for some time when you select them.

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On the Main Menu, Options, Gameplay. You can change the way that the unit LoS is triggered and adjust its intensity and the fade out time.

Hold: Select a unit and press Hold button. Your unit will hold position and formation until it receives new orders or withdraws due to low morale. Alternative: Select a unit and press H.

Fall Back: This button is highlighted when the unit has enemies in range that threaten it. Press to execute a reverse movement while your unit continues to fire and protect its flanks and rear.

Manual Ranged Attack: A unit's current targeted enemy is always highlighted in red. Units will automatically attempt to target the most suitable enemy that is near them. You can override their decision by selecting your unit and left clicking a new target. If this target is within your unit's range and within its line of sight, then your unit will start firing. If not, your unit will move into range. If the target later moves out of your unit's range or its line of sight, your unit will return to auto-targeting.

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Charge: This button is highlighted when an enemy unit is close enough to be charged. Ordering a unit to attack a target, then pressing the Charge button will begin a charge. Pressing Charge without having first selected a target will cause your unit to charge toward the unit it considers most suitable to attack. The Charge button is disabled if your unit has taken too many casualties or is exhausted and low on morale. Alternative: Select you unit and double left click on a target to charge, regardless of its distance. Charging long distance targets will increase fatigue and reduce the charge effectiveness.

Artillery Controls

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Auto: Enabled by default. In this state, your artillery will use the most suitable ammunition for the current target's range.

Solid/Shell/Canister: Left click the Solid/Shell/Canister buttons to specify an ammunition type to use. Ammo types have different effective ranges and loading times. Solid shot has the longest range and fastest rate of fire, but is the least powerful. Shells have medium range and longer reloads, but can devastate nearby enemy formations due to their explosive charge. Canister has a very short range, very slow rate of fire and is the deadliest.

General Unit Controls

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Generals have fewer controls, since they are able to fall back automatically to evade nearby threats. By selecting a General unit, you can see its command radius as a circle and the units under its influence highlighted in green. The highlighted units within the radius get bonuses to morale and condition recovery. Units not under the general's command recover morale and condition much more slowly.

Map Controls

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Map movement: Move the mouse while pressing the right mouse button. Alternative: “WASD” or Arrow keys.

Zoom In/Out: Roll the middle mouse button up or down to zoom in out on the map. From a higher perspective, you can observe the battlefield and your whole army. With a closer view, you can give more precise commands. Alternative: Use the Num Plus (+) or Num Sub (-).

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Elevation: Select M key to add/remove the elevation lines on the map.

Units Interface

The units on the battlefield have their nation's flag, unit type, numbers and names on display. Units usually carry the surnames of their commanders, but sometimes have a historical nickname, such as is the case with the Iron Brigade, the Stonewall Brigade, etc.

Flags: The appearance of the flag indicates the unit's status. A black, blinking flag indicates that the unit is charging or is in melee. A white blinking, flag indicates that a unit is wavering or retreating in panic. This blinking is more intense depending on the situation. A darkened flag indicates that a unit is holding position.

Info Panel: A selected unit has a graphical interface at the upper left corner of the screen with the unit's info panel. It is important to check your unit's condition before assigning orders, to ensure that it will be able to complete its task successfully. The info panel includes:

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1. A historical portrait of the unit's commander.

2. The commander's rank, name and the position in the army's order of battle.

3. The skill rating of the unit, indicated by gold stars at the base of the portrait (up to 3 stars for the most skilled).

4. The four colored bars with the unit's current morale, condition, cover and reload time.

5. The number of casualties inflicted by the unit.

Generals are special units and their panel has some differences from those of the other units. The General's info panel displays information about the units under his command and not that of the General unit itself.

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1. The total number of men under the General's influence and the number of casualties units have suffered while under his command.
2. The average morale and condition of all units under the General's command.
3. The number of kills inflicted by units under the General's command. 

Timer

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A battle timer is displayed at the top middle of the screen. The game may be paused by clicking the button. The time remaining in the battle phase is indicated by the green bar. The phase normally ends if the green bar is full. However, if the player or the AI is in the middle of charging or if a capture point is contested, the end of the battle will be delayed. In that case, the green bar will begin to refill with red. The battle then ends when one of the following is true: either the actions that caused the delay have ended, or the red bar becomes full and the maximum delay is reached.

Armies' Strength Bar

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The armies' strength bar, at the upper right corner, indicates the current balance of each side's strength. Troop firepower, condition (morale, fatigue, etc.) is calculated in real time and the resulting balance is reflected in this bar. Keep an eye on it, especially when you are planning your next move. Clicking on the bar will also show/hide the total number of soldiers per side.

Messages

Messages appear on the middle right side of your screen. They will inform you about critical enemy movements and the arrival of reinforcements on both sides, simulating the reports that a general receives from his staff during the battle. AI movement will only be reported if it takes place in a visible area.

Grouping Units

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In Ultimate General: Gettysburg you can select multiple units and give them orders as a group. The simplest way to accomplish this is by drawing a free line (lasso) around the units you want selected.

You can give an order to the whole group to attack a target, move to a destination, etc.

Another way to select multiple units is to:

            1. Hold the Ctrl key

            2. Left click and drag a square around the units you want to select

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To select units that are spread out:

            1. Hold the Ctrl key

            2. Left click to select the units one by one

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You can also use a General to create a group with his units that are located in his command radius. To do that, just double click on the General.

Grouping in Formation

If you want your selected units to deploy in a formation:

            1. Select your units

            2. Holding Ctrl key, right click on any position of the map

            3. While pressing right mouse button, rotate the mouse to give to the formation the desired facing.

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The standard formation for a group with multiple unit types is:

First line: Skirmishers
Second line: Infantry
   Third line: Artillery and General

Assigning groups

When creating a group, you can select the Group button to assign a number to that group. A numbered Group button is created to control the grouped units. You can assign up to five groups. Order your groups by selecting the respective button. If you want to assign a specific number to a group, create the group, hold the Ctrl key and press an unused number from 1 to 5. To disband a group, select the respective group button, then select Ungroup.

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Moving assigned groups: Select the group button and drag one of the highlighted grouped units.

 

Basic Gameplay Factors

The General unit

Generals are special units that increase the army's combat effectiveness. This group of officers simulates the corps' command staff. It is recommended to deploy the units that belong to the same corps in the same area so that their General can support them more efficiently.

Generals are not fighting units (they cannot attack or be attacked) and fall back automatically to evade potential threats. Their presence inspires units, replenishes morale and improves their condition more quickly. Using Generals wisely will allow you to strengthen your troops with higher determination and persistence in defensive and offensive engagements.

Unit status

Your unit status is calculated dynamically. The summary of these parameters is visualized by their morale, condition (simulating fatigue and ammunition replenishment), cover and reload bars in unit info panel. Unit status has an immense impact on a unit's performance and should always be considered when making decisions.

Morale

The morale of your units is a critical factor that affects its capability in combat. It is depending on the condition of the unit and its army, its deployment position and the success of your plans and actions over the course of the battle. The presence of a General, deployment in a solid front line with protected flanks, high ground, good cover, careful use of your units and their success on the field (kills, charges, etc.), are some of the factors that will reinforce their morale. Conversely, units deployed in a bad position and/or with low cover, under fire or targeted by the enemy artillery will lose morale. Unwise use of your units in constant charges and failed attacks will also have a negative effect on their morale. A badly planned and coordinated attack will probably create a chain reaction of morale loss that will affect many of your units. A unit exposed and receiving fire from the flank or rear will lose its morale extremely quickly. Morale can be replenished by the presence of a General or by withdrawing your unit to a safe position for a period of time.

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Condition

Morale directly affects (and is affected by) a unit's condition. This factor is a combination of the current physical state of the unit and an "abstracted" status of its supplies. The unit's condition is affected by its speed, terrain and the distances it has to cover. The use of firepower increases unit fatigue and the need for resupply. You have to be cautious when using your run or charge to conserve a unit's condition. Constant assaults will exhaust and disorganize them. Infantry units are also not suited to engagements involving long marches. Remember that a unit in bad condition will lose its morale more quickly. You can replenish the unit's condition by placing it in a safe location and near a General.

Cover

Cover is depending on the position of a unit and is related to terrain features. A unit with good cover will be better protected and more resistant to morale loss, but will have reduced line of sight. A unit is considered totally protected when the entire unit is covered - not only its center part or the flag bearer. Partially exposed units will take reduced damage, but will still receive some protection. Be careful with your unit deployment - a large number of units in a single group are likely to take more damage from artillery.

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Reload

Unit reload time is not only affected by weapon type but is also affected by condition and morale. Units in bad shape have lower rates of fire. Additionally, artillery reload times vary depending on ammunition type, with solid shot being the fastest and canister being the slowest. If you order an artillery unit to change ammunition type while it's already loaded, it will need to reload. It is recommended that players take note of reload times in order to better coordinate their artillery and infantry fire.

Unit Self-Awareness

Units do not need your micromanagement because they are able to act on their own initiative and re-align, switch targets, and withdraw and form battle lines without player input. Consequently, you are able to give generic commands to your units and can rely on them to fight efficiently without the need for 'babysitting'. If you want a unit to hold its position and facing, you can order it to do so. This overrides the unit's AI and it will remain in this state until it is given new orders or withdraws.
Line of Sight & Fog of War

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Ultimate General: Gettysburg comes with an accurate Fog of War system that simulates line of sight. Simply, units can only spot what they can directly see. It is important to understand line of sight when selecting positions.

Every unit sees and reacts according to its individual line of sight. You may be able to see a hostile unit because it is inside the LoS of at least one of your units, but this does not mean that all of your units can see it as well. Objects such as trees or hills block sightlines. On the other hand, high ground increases a unit’s LoS and firing range, but can also make it more vulnerable to hostile artillery. Use the terrain wisely to make your units more effective or to protect them from enemy fire. For more information please read: http://www.ultimategeneral.com/blog/the-innovative-line-of-sight

Capture points

Every battle you fight in Ultimate General: Gettysburg presents you with objective points to capture. Usually, they are important strategic points such as hills and ridges. In some cases, such as Blocher's Knoll (later known as Barlow's Knoll), they are less important but still hold a special place in history because of an important engagement fought there. All points hold a score value and the outcome of every phase comes from that score plus casualties inflicted on an opponent. This outcome is an arithmetic factor, tracking your progress through the campaign. Moreover, it will define the starting positions of the next phase of the battle.

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Your ultimate objective should be to win the battle. Capturing an objective early at the expense of manpower may lead to severe consequences later on. Remember that when a phase is completed, casualties are not replenished and the current condition of your troops is transferred to the next phase.

Edited by Husserl
Field manual content

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