What’s Gus Playing?: Ultimate General: Civil War!

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Happy holidays all!  What better way to kick off the New Year than by trying out a new game, finding it to be engaging, fun and interesting, and also that I am not half bad at it? None, I say. None.

The last couple of games that I have been playing have been kicking my rear end, including Pike and Shot: Campaigns and the Warpath Campaign in Empire: Total War. I lost in both, but not by too wide of a margin margin – I held my own in most of the missions of the Gustav Adolf campaign in Pike & Shot, and I made it almost to the end date of the Warpath campaign, but I was still handed my butt in the end (see what I did there?).

By: Lloyd Sabin,

So there I was, crestfallen, beaten, depressed…when I remembered I bought Ultimate General: Civil War over the summer during the Steam sale.  Reviews for this game are pretty stellar – everyone love’s it.  I have always loved Darth Vader’s work in the Total War series. He’s the modder who went on to found Game Labs, the developer and publisher of the Ultimate General series…and soon, the Ultimate Admiral series.  The first game under the Ultimate Admiral series, Dreadnoughts, sounds made for me, specifically, and is in beta testing now.

But none of that really matters. What matters is that I fired up Ultimate General: Civil War for my first foray, turned down the difficulty, and selected The Battle of Dunker Church, which I had never heard of.  I played as the Confederates, and won!  I cried tears of joy after weeks of being pummeled by AIs left and right. It was good, and winning for a change was so much fun!

The interface of Ultimate General: Civil War is intuitive, the objectives laid out clearly, the AI no pushover despite my choice of ‘easy’ difficulty and the graphics and weapons effects are just great. In the couple of hours I have spent with the game so far I have had a great time, with real nail-biter action.  The engagements I have played were over in about an hour and I never lost interest.  I am saying that as a gamer who never had much interest in the American Civil War, either.  However, Ultimate General: Civil War has really engaged me.  I cannot wait to fire up a campaign after I play through some more battles and perhaps raise the difficulty.


Battle of Dunker Church, 1862. Never heard of it, but as a defensive engagement for the CSA I thought this would be an appropriate tutorial. I was right.


Ultimate General: Civil War is great at setting up objectives for the player and explaining exactly what is expected.


My two small corps set up, I am ready for the Union Army’s arrival.


More units become available to me.


First contact with Union troops is made.


Eager and zealous, I charge the Union bastards! Maybe I was a little overzealous. I didn’t care – the game creates such an electric atmosphere that it’s hard not to have fun.


My artillery also opens up. And even though I have been playing history-based games for 30+ years, it was still a thrill. The visuals and sound are very good.


Cannon on both sides begin a duel.


Lines on both sides begin to shift and grow chaotic, but my Rebels are holding their own.


Using my cavalry to take out Union cannon. Turned out to be an aggressive, but wise move.


Sweet victory! After I charged and spiked the Union guns, it was over for them.


High on my first win, I decided to take on the 1st Battle of Bull Run next, again as the CSA. I’ll go in to more detail on that game next week.

Also, due to the holidays, I have had some more time to get back into games that I have been wanting to return to after being away, including Shogun 2: Total War – Fall of the Samurai.

I have modded my edition of the game with the ‘Total FotS’ mod, which is a pseudo-fantasy/historical what-if campaign that envisions the colonization of 19th century Japan by the competing Western powers of Britain, France and the United States (all playable). Rumor is that playable German and Russian Empires may be added in the future too.

I have not chose a faction to play yet, but it will be one of the Western factions. Check out the selection screen below.


Thanks for reading this week and I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday season!






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