UNITS: HOW TO USE 'EM, NOT LOSE 'EM
These are the most plentiful units, both in the game and in the
actual battle. Infantry form the bulk of your force, and to use
them at their peak efficiency you'll need to keep some things in
First, keep them together whenever possible. Your brigade leaders'
command radius is only so large, and besides this, the more spread
out your troops are, the more harmful the effects of routing
become. Also, keep your troops as well rested as possible.
Fatigued infantry fight poorly, and since these guys are the
backbone of your forces, you'll want to keep them in tip-top
condition. The big exception to this rule is when you are setting
up for battle. In this case, you'll want to have your troops build
breastworks. Although they will not recover from fatigue this way,
they will gain valuable cover for the coming confrontation.
The most important thing to remember about artillery is its range
- you don't need (or want) to set it up on the firing line for it
to be effective. Placement of your cannons is vital for
establishing an effective field of fire since the artillery is far
to slow to reposition frequently in the heat of a battle. Use the
Check LOS tool to test different lines of sight for your artillery
so you can get an idea of where you want to position the big guns.
Hilltops often provide a nice field of fire, and were a
traditional emplacement for direct-fire artillery during the Civil
Despite what you might think, the last thing you want to use your
cavalry for is charging headlong into the enemy. Yes, they are
more effective than infantry, but there are far fewer of them.
Generally, hell-for -leather charges will yield the same result as
the Charge of the Light Brigade, if not worse.
The best thing to do with cavalry is use them defensively, as a
reaction force. With their speed and hitting power, they can do a
wonderful job backing up infantry and plugging gaps in the
defensive line. Another thing the horse boys are good for is
scouting, since they can ride ahead, then flee back to their lines
when they encounter the enemy.
As a general note, always keep your units within the command
radius of their brigade leader. Likewise, try and keep your
brigades within the radius of their division commander. The Show
Organization tool will be a great help with this. Remember, none
of your carefully positioned forces will amount to much without
leadership, and they will be more likely to rout.
STRATEGY AND TACTICS
This is very important. Always keep some troops on reserve. You
may make decent short-term gains by just throwing everything
you've got at the enemy, but if these troops get outflanked or cut
off and surrounded, you'll be in a world of trouble. Reserves can
make quite a difference here, serving to reinforce hard-hit units,
relieve units in trouble, plug gaps, or exploit gaps in the enemy
lines created by routing or attrition. Fresh, well rested reserve
troops can also turn the tide of a stalemated battle, punching
through their exhausted enemy and opening a gap in his lines.
Cavalry can make an effective reserve force, especially given
their great mobility. Reinforcements (see below) can also make a
good reserve force, assuming that they have arrived by the time
you need them.
These can play a vital role in a battle, especially with a little
bit of forethought. Not only do they make a good reserve force if
you don't want to detail any of your line troops to the job (and
are willing to take the risk), but by using the Reinforce menu to
determine when and where they will arrive you can often work them
into your attack plans, bolstering the strength of your attack
force or using them in a flanking maneuver.
Not all scenarios have reinforcements, but many do, so check it
out. Knowing when and where your fresh troops will show up is a
good idea, even if you don't employ them immediately.
Logistics may be boring, but they are what keep you fighting. Like
it or not, your troops do have to eat, and they're going to need
ammo to keep shooting. So give some thought to your supply lines.
Make sure that your supply wagons aren't more than five (5) hexes
from the front line, or your troops will not be able to go back
for their beans and their bullets. Keep them a few hexes back from
the front, so that your line soldiers can get re-supplied with
ease - just be careful not to put them too close to the fighting.
FIELDS OF FIRE
Eyes front! This is a pretty obvious tip, but always check your
unit facing. For one thing, it is quite important for establishing
effective fields of fire; for another, it save you from the
embarrassment of being hit from the flank of rear because your
units were turned the wrong way. Just another thing to keep in
mind when you're setting your troops up for battle.
FLANKING AND ENVELOPING
Just because it works under real combat conditions doesn't mean
that it won't work in a simulation. Pincers-style outflanking
maneuvers work well in Battleground: Gettysburg, since the enemy
will often concentrate his fire on one flank while the other arm
of the pincers hits him from the side and behind. Also,
fast-moving units can often be used to surround an enemy force,
cutting them off from reinforcements and supplies. Also, flanking
maneuvers make your troops less vulnerable to massed artillery
fire, as there are fewer of them in any one place. A bit of advice
on these tactics: beware of enveloping a stronger enemy force, as
you could easily find the arms of your pincers cut off and
enveloped in turn. Also keep in mind that human opponents are more
unpredictable than the computer and are likely to be more adept at
avoiding/breaking out of pincers attacks and envelopments.
Well, that about wraps up these suggestions. Have fun with them,
and good luck!