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Tactics and Multiplayer Guide (17/10/2015 Update)

Nick Thomadis

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In this thread I will share the strategy I often use to win battles in multiplayer.

The following information aims to help new players to win the more experienced generals and is not a definite winning guide.


I will first present below some useful tips on how to manage your army to successfully execute your plans in single player and multiplayer.


Keep morale high

Morale is affected by many tactical factors that I am not going to analyze much here. You need to maintain the morale of your units high so to preserve their battle efficiency. For example, you will notice that a disheartened unit will tend to reload slower, will do less melee damage and will be less accurate than when it has high morale. Moreover, when morale is at critically low state, your units will not respond always to your orders and will tend to waver and retreat. The following generic rules will help you to preserve the morale of your units at a high level.

  1. Keep your general near to your units: Watch the radius of your General to cover the area you defend or attack. Do not execute charges that are away of your General's reach unless your units are elite and have morale 50%+. 
  2. General's own units get more bonuses: Select a General to check his highlighted units and try to keep them all together and not isolated.
  3. Avoid sending only one unit to execute any kind of tactical maneuver: The minimum striking force to have a good effect is 2x brigades and at least one artillery battery for support. An isolated unit will be very vulnerable to morale shocks.
  4. Do not overuse low rank or badly beaten units: If your unit's rating is 1-star or is at very bad shape, use it with extreme caution so that it remains operational until the end of the battle. Do not run unless there is an emergency. Stand and rest in cover often. Place it near other units, especially 2-3 stars or an artillery battery so that it is properly supported. Use large 1-star units to preferably defend hills or gradually advance for an assault making a solid line. Do not isolate them and advance them too much forward.
  5. Place your units not randomly around but in positions of high cover and height: Ground plays enormous role in Ultimate General: Gettysburg. A unit gains morale bonus according to elevation. Cover reduces morale shocks as casualties are less. A unit may never break if it feels safe but can flee in a matter of seconds if you position it very badly and is attacked from many directions.
  6. Do not expose your flanks: When a unit is shot at the flanks, its morale will drain very fast. This morale drop will be slower if the unit is well protected in cover and has a general nearby. However, a flanked state will cause many casualties overtime and so you must disallow it. Even if your flank is targeted from very large distance by an enemy artillery, your first exposed unit will soon drain its morale to a low level if it stays for long in this position. Decide what you do with your exposed flank fast. Either you rapidly maneuver this side to support an attack or quickly turn to the direction of enemy fire and stand to reduce casualties and morale drop. Fall back command (if available) will help to position this unit automatically in a better position.
  7. Notice the kill ratio: Examine how many kills/losses has a unit. If it has inflicted many kills vs losses, it will be much encouraged and you can trust that is going to do well in attacks, its morale will hold more. If though kills are less than losses, this unit is already suffering a morale penalty and will need to be treated carefully or else its performance will drop dramatically.

Keep condition high 

The condition level not only affects the efficiency (shooting accuracy, melee effectiveness, movement reactions etc.) but also the morale. The maximum morale of the unit is determined by its condition state. If you want your units to effectively hold a position and not break (typical complain especially about CSA) then maintain your condition to high levels. A unit with high condition will generate morale faster, will reload faster, move faster, react faster and will be more accurate, thus it will be devastating vs exhausted enemies and can withstand assaults of great numbers. A unit with low condition will be mostly useless, unless it is an elite, it stands in a good fortified position and its flanks are protected. So it is extremely important to manage the condition of your units throughout the battle or else the battle will surely be lost, with no exaggeration. 

  1. Estimate cost vs gain when you have to run: Do not run (double quick) unless it is absolutely necessary. You need to remember that there is always a cost if you want to maneuver somewhere fast. Estimate the gain before you decide to run your troops. If you must capture a very important objective fast, then maintain double quick as much as it is needed to reach the destination then deactivate "Run" and rest your troops. Do not constantly run. Make bursts of quick maneuvers and then stand for some time to recover condition.
  2. High condition state recovers faster: Running your troops with maximum condition for some time and then stopping for a rest at about 80% condition will ensure that your units will rest faster if they are not under attack. Condition that becomes lower that 60-70% will drain faster and recover slower. So it is advised to double quick when your units are near 90% condition or more, maintain for some time and then rest. In that way, you can keep condition to 80%+ but in the meantime you may have gained a necessary momentum. 
  3. Keep units close to Generals: Generals boost condition recovery. You can use multiple Generals in an area to enhance the condition of nearby units.
  4. Do not overuse 0% condition units: Units that are exhausted and fought for much time are very sensitive to break. Most players tend to forget this and constantly send them to charge, attack, run around with the result of a fast retreat after a few shots. In reality a General would never order a wrecked unit to advance and run. Yet you have this power of fault, as in any game, and of course you see the penalty of your actions. So if you have units with low condition, use them defensively, do not maneuver them, do not turn them too much. As they stand and get less orders, they will slowly regain condition and will become much more useful.
  5. Be very determined of your plan: Since any tactical maneuver means a cost for condition, you need to be absolutely careful of your actions. If you have to take a hill, then organize in your mind which forces can successfully execute the plan and stick to it so that the used forces march steadily and reach the destination with high condition that will help them to fulfill their objectives. Running around in one direction, then change your mind to go to another direction and so on, will spend the energy of your units for nothing.
  6. Use reserves: Holding some troops in reserve, out of the fight for some time, helps them to raise their condition level. You can use them later at the right time to break the defenses of an exhausted enemy.

Keep common sense in tactics
As in real life, it is not enough to just command a unit and expect it to do its duty as you desired, like a robot. There are multiple realism factors that can affect negatively your plans. Let’s see some tips that can help greatly, especially in multiplayer vs human opponents.


1.      Do not treat your army like a maniac murderer: If you treat your troops like lifeless and mindless zombies, because it’s a game after all, then do not expect any logical result in your actions. Have a goal to win an objective with the least amount of losses. Maybe “role play”, consider yourself a real general that commands a real army. The units will reward you by taking care of them, for example by not forgetting their flanks open to artillery bombardment, not doing suicidal attacks, not crashing to enemy defenses in column formation etc. because they will have less casualties, their morale will be higher and so they will be more effective during the battle. Let’s not forget that the outcome of the battle depends on casualties so you will increase your chances to win.

2.      Do not be afraid to charge but also do not over-charge: In this game, it is simulated the importance of ground and defense. We need to not forget why Civil War armies often attempted long flank maneuvers instead of direct frontal attacks. Frontal attacks towards a prepared enemy almost always failed terribly, because canister and rifle fire had tremendous impact in morale and casualties. You must always think this before you attempt an assault to a hill with a charge. A charge is a fast way to capture an enemy location but poses great risks:

·         First you should estimate the defenses. If many batteries are waiting for you, delay your attack. Try to neutralize some with counter-fire while you are at safe distance, away from canister range.

·         A properly organized charge can be devastating, clearing an area completely of enemies but for this to succeed surely you need to charge with a greater number of forces that have high morale and condition. So to execute a charge it is advised to use more than one unit or at least a very powerful brigade. Charging on the flanks or rear of units increases the chance of success.

·         Be sure that the enemy has fought for much time so possibly the defending units will have lower condition than you.

·         Start the charge at small distance from the enemy and preferably when enemy artillery is reloading.

·         If there are enemy units on the sides then make sure they are busy and are not going to fire you at the flanks.

·         Target the weakest enemy and do not do multiple clicks that can delay and may exhaust faster your brigade. One single charge command will serve the purpose if it was ordered at short distance. When your units succeed to reach their charge destination they will fight until only one side remains in the area.

As you read the above, the charge will succeed under certain circumstances. You need to create these circumstances first with a proper plan and not just charge ahead… this will always fail. Unfortunately, because many players fail to organize a proper charge they never charge and so they lose momentum when it is absolutely needed to win a battle.


3.      Flank and not get flanked: Position is everything. Your elite brigade, let’s say the “Iron Brigade” may perform very badly because it was exposed to flank fire, received many casualties and never managed to recover after this critical hit. On the other side, one of your 1-star brigades may have inflicted hundreds of casualties with few losses, because it defended successfully a hill and fired at the flanks of attacking enemies. So your units’ performance is much depended on how you position them in the battlefield. To have your flanks protected, maintain a solid long line across the battlefield. If your forces are not enough to cover the whole field, create some gaps inside that are covered by the fire arcs of the in-between units. This line does not have to be straight. Just make sure that the space that your units control with their fire arc is connected. If you over-advance some units, these isolated units will be very vulnerable to concentrated cross fire and flank attacks. A control tip here is to use the mouse right click to make lines (Select a group of units and right click on an area, rotate to the desired direction and release button). Another way to maintain solid lines is to create constantly short arrow paths for your units so they advance slowly and carefully near to each other. Be successful in maintaining the line and opportunities for flanking and encirclement will start to appear.

4.      Secure the high ground without hesitation: The battle can be determined by a few successful decisions that you must not delay to take.

·         Even if you have never played a battle before to know the map, like a general of those times, you need to “read” the ground fast and make tactical decisions first based on the ground you see and second on the visible enemy units.

·         Search for safe hills to deploy your units. Hills increase your visibility range, encourage your units and increase their accuracy.

·         If you defend, then make sure you establish a good line with artillery support that covers all possible directions of attack and is on sufficient cover. Increase visibility to trace the incoming enemies by deploying artillery across the map.

·         If you attack, advance methodically “flowing” at the direction of the high ground and large cover.

·         Gain ground step by step. Avoid marching long distances unless they are free of enemy presence.

·         Do not stand for long time on open terrain because you are very vulnerable to artillery and rifle fire.

·         Very often players tend to march slowly to preserve their army condition but sometimes it is needed to override this necessity for a greater cause, the battle momentum. If you find a very important hill undefended that can provide later advantage for your artillery, then act fast and take it, double quick, charge if possible. Act rapidly or else you will lose the chance to force your opponent into attacking you later.  

5.      Artillery needs gentle management: If you do not use properly your artillery vs an expert artillery commander, you will lose badly, so badly that you may want to rage quit. Your cannons’ efficiency is greatly depended on the ground. You cannot just place artillery randomly on the map and expect to spot and fire at every nearby enemy.

·         As in reality, you need to find first a high enough hill that provides clear visibility to your desired targets. Unquestionably it is not the easiest task but if you get used of this technique you will greatly increase the performance of your army. The height map helps to find the best spots on the map (Press the key “M”).

·         Visibility is blocked by trees, houses or other taller objects. So it is advised to deploy artillery at the edges of a forested area and in front of houses.

·         Friendly units can block the visibility of your artillery or reduce its accuracy. To preserve the maximum damage for your artillery place them in front of your brigades.

·         If you want to protect an artillery battery from incoming fire, then place it a little behind, attached to the brigades but not visible enough to be directly targeted (so they receive only collateral damage). If you deploy them too far behind they may stop shooting because they are blocked.

·         Make massed lines of artillery that can concentrate the attack on the same target and gain fire superiority.

·         Always protect your artillery with some infantry. Do not isolate artillery batteries because they are less effective and become easy targets for enemy cannons.

·         If you want to weaken significantly the enemy defenses then place your cannons at medium or shell range. Switch manually to shell shot to ensure that your batteries fire only at nearby enemies.

·         Coming closer to canister range you risk to lose many batteries so you need to be very careful. Switch first to canister shot and gradually advance until your cannons’ range includes the enemy units. If you make a too long maneuver arrow, your cannons will unlimber, so they will become more vulnerable to fire and lose time in re-deploying.

·         Use seldom the manual targeting. Let your cannon commanders to decide which is the most suitable target and concentrate on other more important army tasks. However if you want to persist on artillery counter-fire then some micromanagement will be needed.

·         If you see enemies closing for a charge then switch your cannons manually to canister. This will ensure that they will fire only when enemy is at canister range, maximizing the damage.

·         If you want your cannons to hold fire, to start gaining some condition, then switch to canister. They will fire only when threatened from a nearby enemy.

·         Never lose an opportunity to hit with your cannons the flanks of your opponent. You can occupy some distant hills and systematically bombard the flanks of the enemy army. The casualties may not be very heavy, due to the distance, but you can take advantage of the increased morale shock (simulating the attempt of enemies to hide from flank fire) and charge this weakened flank with increased chances of success.

6.      Create a clear line of fire: Very important is to not blob your units. Make sure that your brigades not only create a solid line (as described above) but they do not block each other. If you want to maximize firepower then make a long clear line with no merged units. Keep no unnecessary reserves behind. This way you can utilize all your available firepower and can disintegrate any incoming charge.

7.      Civil War Cavalry units are not medieval knights: Lastly but not least, you have to accept that the cavalry units of this era, were lightly equipped. They wore no armor and their primary weapons were rifles or pistols. They are big and easy targets vs concentrated musket or cannon fire so you have to avoid direct frontal attacks. They will be suicidal especially if the enemy is on a hilly and rough terrain. However you will be surprised how useful they can be in chasing and taking down limbered artillery, harassing flanks from distance and scouting. If you want to murder them then just charge them to the enemy once or twice…



Below we will see some basic opening moves for all the multiplayer maps.

As in a chess game, these are basic opening tactics that in most cases will be beneficial but do not cover all the available tactics combinations according to enemy movements. Feel free to add your own ideas with a following post.

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Guide is finished.

All 18 Multiplayer scenarios have been added.

Additional info

Here are the Win Thresholds for all multiplayer maps.

You get Victory if you have more points than your opponent + [Win Threshold]. Else, you get Draw or Defeat depending on VP difference and this threshold. You earn Victory Points by capturing objectives and kills (1VP per casualty).
The armies approach Gettysburg
Win Threshold = 500
Battle of McPherson Ridge
Win Threshold = 0
Chance to Change History
Win Threshold = 1000
The Battle of Devil's Den
Win Threshold = 1000
The Union attacks Benner's Hill
Win Threshold = 1000
Conquer the map
Win Threshold = 1000
Fight for two hills
Win Threshold = 500
The Confederates counter attack Seminary Ridge
Win Threshold = 2000
Meeting at Cemetery Ridge
Win Threshold = 1200
Pickett's charge
Win Threshold = 3000
The Round Top Hills attacked from the south
Win Threshold = 1000
What if Buford had not held McPherson Ridge
Win Threshold = 500
Ewell advances
Win Threshold = 1000
Night assault
Win Threshold = 1000
Union on the offensive
Win Threshold = 1000
Defensive line along Warfield Ridge
Win Threshold = 2000
Corner your opponent
Win Threshold = 350
Night battle on the Round Tops
Win Threshold = 1000
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  • 1 month later...

Thank you, very good and I learned some things I didn't know or realize properly, such as 


- There is a direct morale benefit from elevation alone..

- Condition drains faster and recovers slower if lower than 60-70%. I sort of assumed it was basically linear and that the threshold was lower..
- Rest breaks and burst movement - work that having even short rest breaks matters and can keep moving troops in condition as in real life.
- Multiple general bonuses can stack to help condition. 
-Positioning of guns just a touch behind infantry allows them to shoot without being blocked.  
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  • 4 months later...

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