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Early American Wars Series            *click here for games*

Mexican-American WarFrench and Indian WarWar of 1812Campaign 1776

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-Early American Wars User Manuals-

Titles in this series will share common traits with one another. The following is an extract from the user documentation.

Sides: An Early American War battle is played by two sides, one typically the Americans and the other typically the British, although this can vary by game. A battle may be played by one person against the computer, or by two persons using a variety of modes such as Two-Player Hot Seat, Play-By-E-Mail (PBEM), or Network Play.

-Game Scale-

Hexes: Each scenario is played on a map made up of hexagons (hexes). Each hex measures 125 feet across. Each hex contains terrain which affects movement and combat in that hex.

Turns: Each scenario is conducted in turns each of which typically represents 5 minutes of real time, although this may vary by scenario. Each player has a number of units under their control, some of which are on the map at the beginning of the battle, while others arrive as Reinforcements.

Most unit information is displayed in much the same manner as information cards are used in board games or miniature wargaming. This conveys information that is not able to fit on unit/leader counters.

Click to Enlarge

Units: Typically, each unit is a company of Infantry, a troop of Cavalry, or a piece of Artillery. Each Infantry and Cavalry unit has a strength value in increments of single men, while each Artillery unit has a strength value in number of guns. In addition there are specialized units such as Leaders and Supply Wagons. Infantry, Cavalry, and Artillery units are capable of firing on enemy units (for Cavalry, only when Dismounted) and each has a range value indicating the number of hexes that unit may fire.

-Style of Play-

Turns vs. Phases: Each battle can be fought in one of two modes. In the default Turn-based mode, each player moves, fires, and melees using units under his control in his turn. There are only a few restrictions on this:

  • After firing, a unit cannot move for the remainder of the turn, but may melee in that turn.
  • After meleeing, a unit cannot move or fire for the remainder of the turn.

The purpose of these restrictions is to help ensure that the resulting battles are fought in a manner similar to historical battles and with less flexibility that would be found in more modern combat. As each player performs actions in their turn, Defensive Fire is possible by the opposing side under the control of the computer. In the Phase-based mode, invoked using the Manual Defensive Fire Optional Rule, each turn is played as described in the next section.

Phases: Under the Manual Defensive Fire Option, each turn of the battle is divided into Phases. A Phase will be under the control of one side or the other. A complete turn is made up of a total of 8 phases. Thus the phases will be:

  • Side A Movement Phase
  • Side B Defensive Phase
  • Side A Offensive Fire Phase
  • Side A Melee Phase
  • Side B Movement Phase
  • Side A Defensive Phase
  • Side B Offensive Fire Phase
  • Side B Melee Phase

At the beginning of each Phase (under Local Control) the Phase Dialog is displayed (see the Main Program Help File). In each phase only certain actions are possible. Movement is restricted to the Movement Phase and firing is restricted to the Fire phases, Defensive and Offensive. The Melee Phase allows hexes containing enemy units to be assaulted and possibly captured.

End of Game: As each player finishes their turn or phase, they advance the battle to the next turn or phase by using the Next Turn or Next Phase function of the Turn/Phase Menu. This continues until the time limit specified in the scenario at which point the win, lose, or draw outcome of the battle is determined. Winning and losing are determined by a calculation based on the ownership of certain objective hexes and the relative losses of the two sides.

-Unit Types-

This section describes many of the various unit types that are in the game. Understanding the various unit types, their abilities and their restrictions, is key to successfully mastering Early American Wars' tactics.

Leaders: Leaders represent individuals that command the various forces. Leaders are used to improve the effectiveness of the forces under their command and to support other commanders subordinate to them. In general, the presence of commanders improves the Morale of units and thus increases their fighting abilities.

Infantry Units: Infantry units have a strength measured in number of men. They have a Quality value which affects their effectiveness in combat. In general, they have a weapon that allows them to fire at enemy units. They can also attack enemy units in melee attacks.

Cavalry Units: Cavalry units in this series, all represent dragoon units, and as such each cavalry unit is capable of dismounting, and adopting line formation.

Artillery Units: Artillery units have a strength measured in number of guns. They can be either Limbered or Unlimbered. When Limbered, they can move but cannot fire. When Unlimbered, they can fire, but not move other than to change their facing.

Supply Wagons: Supply Wagons are used to resupply Infantry units that become Low or Out of Supply. For each unit of strength, they can resupply 10 men. They have no ability to attack the enemy but they can be captured by the enemy.

-Unit Formations-

This section describes the various formations that units may have. Each formation has a purpose, and strengths and weaknesses in the game.

Line Formation: Line formation can be used by Infantry units. It is the only formation capable of firing and is less vulnerable to enemy fire.Dismounted cavalry will adopt line formation. It is a good defensive formation.

Column Formation: Column formation can be used by Infantry units. It has increased mobility over line formations, but units in column formation are unable to fire. Column formation is also the only formation that Supply Wagons can have.

Mounted Formation: Mounted formation is the column formation for infantry. The formation has excellent mobility; but keep in mind that your cavalry can also fight dismounted. The cavalry in this series represents dragoon units. These soldiers carried guns and could dismount and fight on foot. Since there is not a lot of cavalry in any battle, you cannot use your cavalry the same way you would in a Napoleonic battle. In general, cavalry charges will only be effective against routed or other vulnerable units. Otherwise, you should use your cavalry for scouting and as advance units. For example, at Princeton, the British cavalry was used to ride ahead and hold an important position until the infantry could join it.

Limbered Formation: Limbered formation is used by Artillery units and represents Artillery ready to be moved. While this is the formation you must use to move Artillery, it cannot fire in this formation.

Unlimbered Formation: Unlimbered formation is used by Artillery units and represents Artillery ready to fire. While in this formation, Artillery units cannot move, but may only change Facing.

Extended Formation: Unlike in the Napoleonic Battles series, in the Early American Wars series, Extended Formation improves the defensive abilities of your units. Extended formation represents the open order formation used by skirmishers as opposed to the shoulder-to-shoulder formation used by units in line. Light units, grenadier and militia can use this formation to improve their ability to withstand the fire and charges of units in line while retaining their own fire power.This is also the only formation that Indian units can use when not in column formation.

-Special Units-

In addition to the standard unit types of Infantry, Artillery, and Cavalry, there are special unit types that apply. These special types have special or restrictive rules that apply to them that are described in detail in the game manual.

Light Infantry: While a normal Infantry battalion had only a single company of Light Infantry, certain Infantry battalions consisted entirely of Light Infantry. These battalions can adopt Extended Line formation.

Engineer Units/Leaders: Certain units and leaders in the game are identified as being Engineers. This gives the units and leaders an ability to assist in the rebuilding of bridges.

-The Campaign Game-

A Campaign consists of a series of Situations. Each Situation offers each side in the Campaign a list of Choices. Each side picks one of these Choices not knowing what the other side has decided. After each side has selected their Choice, then the selections are cross referenced to arrive at an Outcome. An Outcome consists of a Scenario in a Module and 5 other Situations associated with the 5 possible victory conditions that can result from a battle:

  • Major Defeat
  • Minor Defeat
  • Draw
  • Minor Victory
  • Major Victory

In addition, an Expected Value is associated with each Outcome for use by the A/I (Artificial Intelligence).

The Scenario is fought by the two sides and the victory condition resulting from this battle is used to determine the next Situation according to the 5 Situations associated with the Outcome. This process is repeated and continues until a Terminal Situation is reached which represents the resolution of the Campaign.

The Early American Wars Campaign Editor supports the creation and modification of Campaigns for use in the Early American Wars series' games.

- Scenario Editor-

The Scenario Editor can be used to create new scenarios and to modify existing scenarios in the Campaign Series of Early American Wars series' games. The Editor has full support for all unit placement and modification (such as strength and fatigue modification) and full support for other scenario features. The Editor also supports the creation and modification of A/I Scripts in the scenarios.