The ACWGC supports numerous gaming titles that our Members can choose from. The most popular and played games though are those produced by John Tiller Software entitled “Civil War Battles.” This collection of games encompasses the entire war from 1861 to 1865 with each Campaign game featuring a different set of battles and alternate “what if” scenarios. These games greatly resemble the tabletop wargames of old and can be viewed as simply a modern upgrade on that style of classic wargaming. The battlefields are divided into hexes with each hex representing 125 yards of terrain. The turns in the games each represent 20 minutes of battle. The Order of Battles are historically based and very detailed with units being represented from the regimental size all the way up to full armies.
The games are conducted through Play By Email (PBEM) in which you and your opponent will trade turns and send them back and forth via email. This system allows Members the freedom to sit down and play when they can during the day and exchange a turn, or multiple turns, with an online opponent. Their opponent will then make their moves and send them back to complete the turn of the game. This will go on until all the turns are played, or an outcome agreed upon for the battle, and the game ends.
One of the first questions people ask about the John Tiller games is “which one is the best?” That is a matter of personal taste but the Club consensus, I feel safe to say, is that Gettysburg or Antietam are the most frequently used games in the club. Shiloh and Chickamauga are also popular titles. By going to the John Tiller Store you can start and expand your collection at anytime by buying digital downloads of the games. You will be able to find opponents easier and, obviously, have a better selection of scenarios to choose from with the more titles you own. While few Members own all the games I believe most own two or more.
Once you own a game be sure to update it as soon as possible to the latest version. This sounds harder than it is. Simply go to this website for John Tiller Software Updates and follow the prompts on the screen. Your opponent and you MUST be using the same version of the game in order to play successfully. If you are using different versions you will open the gaming file and a black screen will appear where the gaming board usually is. If you see this then be sure to contact your opponent to resolve the issue.
The games we currently play are the Civil War Battles series by John Tiller Software (JTS), John Tiller's Battleground Civil War by Talonsoft/Matrix Games and HPS Simulations American Civil War Series designed by John Tiller, the latter is the same as the JTS Civil War Battles series, but are the original game releases. We also support the games Forge of Freedom (FoF), Gary Grigsby's War Between the States (WBTS) by Matrix Games and American Civil War I & Civil War II by AGEOD/Matrix Games.