The Story.

Comments 21


The main character in Grand Tactician: The Civil War (1861-1865) is the War itself. To make the War come to life for the players of the game, the game features cutscene videos with epic reenactment footage from Richmond, VA based LionHeart FilmWorks and a soundtrack created just for the game by Wasel and the Weasels. With these tools, among others, we wish to create an atmosphere true to the period.

In Their Words.

The campaign will have multiple starting dates, with the earliest one being set before the secession of the southern states. The pre-war scenario allows player to choose political guidelines that will effect how the United States looks like when the war erupts. For example, the South could try to industrialize or hail King Cotton like was done historically. The chosen policies will also effect the border states and diplomatic relations with Europe. The later scenarios will allow jumping off from a historical situation, from where the War will develop according to choices made by the player and the campaign AI of the enemy.

The War is divided into Chapters, each with their own objectives and possibilities for the Union and the Confederacy. Thinking again about the South, for example, during early war it could be possible to have the European superpowers intervene offering substantial military potential in the fight for independence. And later in the war, even if the fighting focuses on survival, it could be possible to demoralize the Union population by inflicting unbearable casualties, grinding the northern advance to a halt.

Each Chapter will start with with a video, telling the story. The above example is from Chapter II, named The Demon of War, where fighting has just erupted and the next step will be a major confrontation between the inexperienced volunteer armies. The videos are produced by our in-house director and editor Matti Veekamo, featuring epic Civil War reenactment footage from LionHeart FilmWorks, and music from the game’s soundtrack recorded by Wasel and the Weasels.

Writing the videos, I wanted them to give voice to the people that lived and fought during the war. In this we got great help from our friend and author Jonathan R. Allen, whose work 501 Civil War Quotes and Notes: Learn Civil War History From The Words Of Those Who Lived It And Made It we were allowed to use in the making of the game.

And as the war progresses, the atmosphere changes as well. From the fervor before the first major engagements, to the realization that the war would not be over by Christmas, to the shock of the new industrial war becoming total war.

Most Respy,

Gen’l. Ilja Varha,
Chief Designer, Video Writer, &c.


  1. So are these chapters dynamic? Will the objectives for chapters differ depending on the current status of the war?

  2. I am very excited for this game, but, I have to admit, the idea of “chapters” has me somewhat concerned. As Jared Fielder asked, are these dynamic? You have built such an incredibly detailed game that I would hate for the player’s options to be constrained in any way by a set of pre-determined chapters. I loved the open-ended dynamism of “The Seven Years War” and hope this title will embrace that same approach.

    That said, I wish you all the best in your continued development.

  3. Looks right purty and all.

  4. (Author)

    Dan & Jared,

    The Chapters do not constrain player’s choices in any way. There will be unique objectives, but these will not be “defeat CSA Army at Manassas” or “capture Vicksburg” or similar – but more about these later. Also the chapters allow new policies, of which we will also talk about in more detail in later devblogs.

  5. Im waiting this like a christmas. Sekä tämähän on suomalainen peli. =) Can we play this game PBEM somehow?

  6. Sounds interesting enough. For the Different Chapters and Objectives, if you, for instance, moved into part of Kentucky as the south, would this transfer over to the next chapter, or is it like Ultimate General Civil War where even if you take large swathes of land, you the player are penalized and pushed back to historical locations? or is it dynamic where it transfers over to each chapter. And with that would new “optional objectives” appear depending on how the war is going.

  7. (Author)


    When a chapter changes, the situation on the map will not be changed. You simply get a nice video, new objectives and new political possibilities.

  8. (Author)


    As the game is real-time, no PBEM I’m afraid. Also no multiplayer at this point. Ja kyllä – suurelta osin suomalaista tekoa =)

  9. Is Confederate Admiral Buchanan going to be in-game?

  10. (Author)

    CSS Virginia,


  11. Is General Marcellus M. Crocker, one of Grant’s division commanders present in-game? And my second question is are there set elite brigades in both the western and eastern armies (like the Iowa Brigade in the west- 11th, 13th, 15th, 16th Iowa, Wilder’s Lightning Brigade,Terry’s Texas Rangers, Orphan Brigade all in the west, and the Irish Brigade, Stonewall, and Texas Brigade in the east?).

  12. Illinois Volunteer,
    I thought I’d take a stab at answering your question, though I can only make an educated guess based on what I have seen. I think that the open-ended nature of the game allowing the player to install officers where they choose will alter which brigades end up being elite. Hood’s Texans might not be so great if the player makes them (Theophilus) Holmes’ Texans. Conversely, If one installed Cleburne in place of Gideon Pillow, then perhaps those Tennesseans become formidable.
    Iv (author), correct me if I am wrong.

  13. IV,

    Thank you for the response. You’ve allayed any concerns I had about the chapter system. As you’ve described, I actually think it might be a nice way to add some flavor to the game.

    Thanks for all your work. I’m looking forward to playing.

  14. Will foreign intervention (England and France) be featured in the game, and if so, how will it play out on the campaign map?

  15. How will naval combat be resolved?Also,how will blockade running be represented?

    I have to say-I have been looking forward to a game like this for DECADES.Lockdown just got longer….

  16. (Author)


    Naval combat (navy vs. navy or navy vs. fort) is automatically resolved. The model under the hood is quite nice, taking into account different weapon types, ranges, armor, penetration, rate of fire, turrets, ramming… But this happens underneath.

    Blockades and blockade running:
    -fleets can be ordered to blockade —> effected ports get blockaded by X %
    -using policies and subsidies to fund blockade running, the blockaded % of ports can be lowered.

  17. When I’m Going to play as the Union. I’m going to fight from Virginia to Texas. By Army and Navy. I’m going to use the blockade to strangle the south and attack (Norfolk, Wilmington, Charleston, Savannah, Jacksonville, Mobile, New Orleans and Galveston.) By striking these ports I’m going to destroy the south just like Sherman historically

  18. Will we be able to have USCT units like the 54th Mass at the start of the game?

  19. (Author)

    Curtis R.

    You can have USCT units in later scenarios, but not specific regiments as the game runs on brigade level.

  20. I appreciate your answer to the Chapter question, that players won’t be constrained nor the map changed. Wondering how this open world approach reconciles with the historic battlefields. For example, is Antietam an objective, or is it a fixed point along the player’s journey? Or can there be war-changing battles in new places?

  21. (Author)


    Antietam or any other historic engagement will not be an objective for player. For example, an objective would be to win 3 major battles in a succession to raise morale of your citizen. So it does not matter where this happens and with what units. The historic maps simple appear if armies clash near those locations on the map (or if playing a historic stand-alone battle scenario).

    Hope this helps!

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