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strategy they need to know, regular players can solve their
problems here and gain a few helpful tips.
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Its important to know the difference between the two armies. Difference?
Yes, there is indeed a difference between "The Army of the Potomac"
and "The Army of Northern Virginia" if we look at the troops.
The Confederate "Army of Northern Virginia" was commanded
by some of the finest officers that America had ever produced, under
the command of Robert E. Lee with corps commanders like Longstreet
and Jackson, division commanders such as Hood and AP Hill, Brigade
commanders like Toombs and Law. The troops were good too. You'll find
a lot of veterans and elite troops in the game.
The Federal "Army of the Potomac" also had some fine officers
like Hancock and Reynolds, "The Army of the Potomac" was
commanded by George McClellan who had been relieved of command one
time before the battle started due to his caution when on the attack.
The Union regiments were of a lower quality then the Confederate Regiments.
Most Union troops in the game are trained troops, and green troops
will also appear in the scenarios, but there are also veteran, crack,
and elite troops like Gibbon's "Iron" Brigade, Meagher's "Irish" Brigade,
Berdan's Sharpshooters, and Phelp's Sharpshooters.
It all comes down to this :
- The Confederates
have fewer regiments than the Union army. Many regiments had been
merged with one another in this game because they were too small
for the game. This means that the Union can extend their lines farther
than the Confederates and gain the flank. However, they Union troops
have to cross Antietam Creek to get to the rebel positions.
- The CSA is
usually in an attacking role. I'm sure you've played Burnside's
Bridge and discovered it is a pain to attack a set position from
downhill. You can save yourself time and aggravation if you can
get the flank and role up that line.
- There a few
bridges and fords that the Yanks can use to cross. The ones to the
north are undefended, but the ones to the south are very well defended.
The CSA is usually in an defending role. I'm sure you've played
Burnside's Bridge and discovered it is a good position to defend
once your men are dug in with artillery support. You can save yourself
time and aggravation if you can hold the bridge until A.P. Hill's
Light Division arrives from Harper's Ferry.
- In this battle,
the Rebel Army has been downsized greatly. Many of it's men were
on leave or deserted. But, because of this, Firaxis has added a
"Elite" fighting status for southern units so they can defend against
the greater numbers of the Union army. Also, at this point, the
Rebs did not have much artillery.
- The artillery
batteries they did have were mainly mixed together of older, outdated
types of artillery. But, still, not that you have the "canister"
feature for artillery, these close range guns could be helpful at
times. If you have some close range batteries, place them at a point
in the front line where they are well defended. These batteries
are not expendable, don't waste them.
Sometimes you spot an enemy Brigade on the other side of the woods
in Maneuver column. You have the chance to get his flank without him
seeing your troops in the woods. Those situations can appear more
often if you use your commanders to scout. Scouting is important,
you do not want to walk into an ambush do you?? When having the commander
selected push shift+r and your commander will move a whole
lot faster. But be careful which commander you use. When scouting,
there is always the chance that an officer will be wounded. Some commanders
have a superb or legendary rating. If these officers are wounded it
can severely damage the rate at which the rally routed troops.
Knowing where to fight is one of the most important things that will
determine an outcome. If you have the chance to grab the wooded bouldered
high ground do so. You should try to avoid having to attack from lower
elevation and the reverse is true. Defend from higher ground if at
Use the woods to your advantage. A regiment can be routed by an ambush
from a regiment hidden in the woods. Believe me on this one, I have
been on the receiving end to many times for my own comfort. Warning:
don't quick time the troops into position if you are a long way away.
The ground may be great but you won't be able to hold it if you've
worn out the men's morale by a hard march when the enemy comes and
says boo to you.
A straight battle line is a good battle line. A straight line gives
a morale block to the regiments in line. A morale block can be added
for each flank covered left, right and rear and helps eliminate flanking
fire as well. I have found that, what I call a "closed flanks" battle
line is good for concentrating fire on a smaller enemy force. To achieve
this battle line, you must press the maneuver column button. After
your brigade goes into maneuver formations press battle line. As they
move into battle line, quickly press brigade halt. As you'll be able
to see, there is no open area between regiments.
The flank is the key to victory in SMA if you can flank an enemy regiment
the battle is half won. Nothing beats a good flanking maneuver to
really hammer an opponent.
Artillery is for me the biggest enigma on the battlefield. I have
had my batteries wipe out an entire regiment with one volley, ah what
a beautiful site it was, and I've seen them hammer away at a regiment
with out doing a single morale block of damage. As best I can tell
only three things really affect the damage artillery does.
- Range. The
closer the better. Nothing like a good canister shot to break up
an attack. But the closer you get the greater the chance of casualties
which can really hurt you since every artillery casualties is 3
points to the enemy so you have to be careful.
- Angle. This
goes back to the flanking attack. If you can get some cannons in
enfilade position you really can make your life a lot easier. It
causes great stress on enemy regiments and can make them closer
to rout with each volley.
- Height. The
higher your artillery is the better. This "plunging fire" as it
is called, can again, easily rout enemy units and cause heavier
So where do you place your artillery?? I prefer to place my close-range
artillery (Howitzers, 6-pound Smoothbores, 12-pound Napoleons, and
sometimes mixed batteries.) Right up on the front line with the men
with the canister option on. As for long-range artillery (20 and 10-pound
Parrot rifles, 10-pound James rifles, 3-inch Ordinance rifles, and
some mixed batteries.), I like to place them on the high ground, further
away from the fighting, where they can do the most damage.
Cavalry for me delivers a lot of bang for the buck. Unfortunately/fortunately
for us, cavalry doesn't play a big role in Antietam. I have very seldom
been able to use Confederate and Union cavalry during a battle. However,
if there is a hole in your line forming, and Calvary is nearby, they
can be used to plug the gap until reinforcements arrive.
What are cavalry best for :
The cavalry does this very well due to its speed in column or better
know as mounted and being able to move in skirmish without losing
morale. However, skirmish lines fall back easily, so you may want
to "stack" them up to hold off enemy troops longer.
- Chasing Artillery.
For whatever reason the computer does two amazing things with his
it unguarded a large majority of the time
and moves location in a very short period of time
Since the cavalry is the fastest unit on the field. I use them to
chase artillery all over the field and if I'm lucky, capture the guns
and rack up some casualty points.
3. Flanking. Another nifty benefit of being able to
move fast is you can take your men out of line.
Mount them up.
Swing around the enemy, and attack them from
Union regiments tend to be smaller, some of them seem to be ridiculously
small, but on the whole have more troops then the Confederates. With
a greater number of Brigades and Regiments you have to micro-manage
a bit more than with Confederates.
In Sid Meier's Antietam each regiment can only fire at one regiment.
The Union has more regiments. Lets say your going against one of the
big regiments like 118th Pennsylvania and in his way are 300 Rebel
soldiers. But instead of one regiment it is divided into two 150 man
regiments. It doesn't look good for which ever regiment the 118th
decides to pick on but that 2nd Union regiment isn't being fired upon
which leaves it free to ease on around and increase it's angle of
attack which increases the firing effectiveness. If you can get to
a flanking position your regiment's firing effectiveness goes up 5
times. This means if you got our 2nd regiment onto the 118th's flank
those 150 men act like 750 men firing at the 118th Penn. This evens
up the fight pretty quickly.
Having more regiments than the CSA allows you to extend your lines
farther making it easier to gain a flanking position and then rolling
up their lines. Of course you have to worry about a breakthrough in
your lines which happens all to often for my comfort. With the double
line formation you can manage your men's stress level better. When
one unit gets tired you can use fallback while pushing the reserve
unit forward. With these two tactics you can usually wear down the
Confederate army quickly because while you can have a few regiments
resting or not being fired upon and the Confederates are almost always
Another advantage the Union has is an abundance of artillery. These
batteries often give the Union that little edge needed to soften that
position or stop an attack in it's tracks.
No, I am a Union fan and mainly play the Union. Here is one tip that
I have found out. The greater number of Union regiments, no matter
what the skill, can eventually overpower the smaller Confederate regiments.
As said before, the Confederates have smaller but highly skilled regiments.
A Confederate regiment can stand in action for a long time except
when flanked during battle. Jeroen Hill is a Confederate fan and most
of the time he plays them but he has also played with the Union to
find out the advantages of both sides. It is true that Union has more
regiments but he has found several tactics which can be used with
regiments are perfect for detaching and skirmishing alone because
they are so strong.
- Even when
moving up slopes, the Confederate Brigades can capture the enemy
positions cause of their extra morale blocks.
- Due to the
firepower flanking isn't always necessary but it still is a wise
- The Southern
commanders are often better then the Union officers and because
of their quality they boost morale all over their Brigade while
the Union commanders sometimes cant boost the morale of the Regiments
on the flanks.
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