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Petersburg by Wargame Design Studio and John Tiller Software   Petersburg; the name calls to mind the beginn...

Petersburg by Wargame Design Studio and John Tiller Software Petersburg by Wargame Design Studio and John Tiller Software

Petersburg by Wargame Design Studio and John Tiller Software

Petersburg by Wargame Design Studio and John Tiller Software


Petersburg; the name calls to mind the beginning of trench warfare. Although in actual fact, the troops on both sides had been using anything to dig themselves in for most of the war. It seems strange that no generals in WWI studied this campaign. The Battle of the Crater is usually, and sometimes the only part of the long siege like campaign that is written about. Taking a page out of the history books, some Union generals decided to dig a mine and blow up some of the Confederate works. The mine itself actually worked perfectly. The problem was the African-American U.S. troops that were trained and ready for the attack were exchanged for other troops right before the attack (this was for political reasons). The attack ended in a debacle for the Union troops. Once again I have babbled on. So, let us now talk about the game. Let's look at the game's contents:


  • 195 scenarios are included, and all can be played as either side, against the A/I or other human challengers. And 31 of these scenarios have been specifically designed to be played against the A/I, for a greater challenge for those players that are more experienced.
  • Most scenarios can be played against the A/I in a single day, yet others may take several days to complete, or even weeks. Just save, and continue later at your own pace.
  • For more fun, challenge another human, and play either face to face, or PBEM (Play by email)
  • Battles include: the assaults on Petersburg in June, Ream’s Station, the Crater, Globe Tavern, Peebles Farm, Burgess Mill, Hatcher’s Run, Fort Stedman, White Oak Road, Dinwiddie Court House, Five Forks, and the final battles leading to and including Appomattox Court House.
  • Fight in normal conditions, or face you enemy using the added weather feature.
  • 3 campaigns are included. The early Petersburg battles, the later Petersburg battles, and the Appomattox Campaign battles.

A Shot Of The Battle Of The Crater

Features and Enhancements

  • All NEW graphics:
    • 3D hand drawn maps, and new 3D units, with individualized regimental flags.
    • Colorized leaders and unit files.
    • Traditional and refreshed B/W files are also an option.
    • New and improved 2D graphics, for both maps and units.
  • Scenario and Campaign editor: Build new, or improve existing battles and campaigns.
  • Many “What If” battles and maps, both large and small. Including the massive Petersburg Master map.
  • Added the Extreme Fog of War optional rule.
  • Greatly expanded and redesigned the Standard game engine Toolbar.
  • A true, large (4X) 2D map view.
  • Implemented dozens of new hot keys.

 This game finishes the series of John Tillers Civil Wars Battles. This game was the first game that was built from the ground up with all of the enhancements that Wargame Design Studio is bringing to the other battles (they are also updating some of the other John Tiller game series). The most striking feature of the enhanced games is their graphics. Many people have complained about the graphics bring dated in Tillers games, not really taking into account that some of them are almost twenty years old. Well, there should be no more complaints. You will even be able to see regimental flags when zoomed in. The next largest change is a toolbar that is twice the size and is color coded. For us old timers we can change it to the old toolbar if we choose. 

See The New Toolbar

 The scenarios are almost two hundred in number. There are many variations of the same scenarios. This is because the scenarios are all made with different play in mind. There are some meant to be played as one side or the other against the AI (this was another part of the games that had gamers wailing). Other scenarios are slightly historically changed or different in some way. The scenarios that were built to be played against the AI are very well done and more than a test for the solitaire player. There are also three different campaigns that the player can avail himself of. These are the same branching kind that we Tiller groupies are used to. There are new rules that include spiking guns, etc.

One Of The Closer Zoom Levels

 While it almost makes one sad that the series is finally complete, in other ways it gives me a glad feeling, especially for the fact that I was able to see it come to fruition and be on the right side of the grass. Unfortunately there is no PC demo of the Civil War Battles. There is, however, a free app for them that can be played on Android and other platforms. This will give a newbie a chance to see the system. 

 Thank you very much John Tiller Software and Wargame Design Studio for allowing me to review this excellent end to an excellent series. Especially now that they have all been worked on, and are new and shiny, by Wargame Design Studio.

 This is a list of the enhancements to the older series games, followed by a link to the updates:

For all that are wondering, here is what is included in these updates;

    Implemented Settings > Alternative Unit Symbols.
    Introduced the new Variable, Asymmetric, Turn-Based Victory Points System. [Available, but not really used yet.]
    Standardized weapon and movement values. Soon to be rolled out across prior and future titles
    Auto Defensive Fire has been adjusted so that artillery is set at "Min." This change will enhance play against the A/I, and will help conserve overall artillery ammunition supply levels. This setting can be changed by using the following hot key: Alt + F, or look under the A/I window during gameplay.
    Added to the Manuals Folder: Standard Toolbar Reference Guide
    Made the on-map elevation/coordinates/terrainmod font sizes a step smaller.
    Tweaked the in-game weapon descriptions.
    Fixed a damaged bridge crossing bug.
    Fixed a word-wrap bug in cp_start.exe.
    Implemented a true, large (4X) 2D map view, the new 2D Normal View, aka Zoom2D100. (Unlike before, where the largest 2D map view was achieved via software auto-magnification.)
    Greatly expanded and redesigned the Standard game engine Toolbar, now with 70 buttons. (The Classic Toolbar is retained.)
    Implemented: Settings > Toolbar > None/Classic Small/Classic Large/Standard Small/Standard Medium/Standard Large.
    Implemented dozens of new hot keys. Just about every menu option and game feature has been assigned a hot key. (This necessitated a number of hot key reassignments.)
    Hot keys are now documented in-game, in the menus, in the Status Bar and in Toolbar button tooltips.
    Reorganized the files and folders, such that everything is not stored in one big heap in the top-level game folder, rather is stored by file type and purpose in an expanded file folder hierarchy.
    Implemented a full-featured logging system, to aid in code development, debugging, and user support, among other purposes.
    Added the Extreme Fog of War optional rule. When Extreme Fog of War is in effect, the Visibility highlight only displays from friendly occupied hexes.  Also, for enemy units in obscuring terrain (e.g., Forest), enemy force counts will only display as XXX instead of, for example, 3XX.
    For artillery (and with the Manual Defensive Fire option toggled OFF), changed the Auto Defensive Fire default value from Max to Min.
    Implemented: Settings > Hex Highlights > Hex Outlines/Hex Shading.
    Implemented: Settings > Map Contours > Colors.../Widths...
    Implemented: Settings > Hand-Drawn 3D Map.
    Implemented: Settings > Unit/Leader Boxes > Color/No Color.
    Implemented: View > Map Elevation/Map Coordinates/Map Combat Modifiers.
    Implemented: View > 2D Map Slopes.
    New 3D hand-painted maps including settings toggle
    New 3D units (with customized regimental flags, etc.)
    New 2D terrain graphics
    Changed the brigade combat colors to display on counter edge (not on counter face).
    2D counter redesign including all counter symbology
    New unit card colorization for all formations including leaders (includes refreshed B&W images)
    Standardized naming in OOB's to be rolled out across prior and future titles