Modder’s Secession: Ultimate General: Gettysburg

By Craig Pearson on July 2nd, 2013 at 8:00 pm.

Nice of these guys to give people with metal detectors something to do.
I once modded Oblivion to stop some text from popping up on screen, which technically makes me a modder. I don’t imagine I’ll be building the next Skyrim anytime soon, but if you need me Bethesda, I am here. In similar news, one of the main chaps behind DarthMod, probably the Total War series’ most famous mods, has decided to make a game. Not content with fixing and rebalancing The Creative Assembly’s war fiddlers, he’s making his own RTS: Ultimate General: Gettysburg,


Eight years and millions of downloads later, he probably deserves the opportunity to break free of CA’s bonds. What’s he making, then?

We commemorate the 150th anniversary of America’s Civil War most defining moment: the Battle of Gettysburg. Around 51,000 soldiers were casualties in this three-day battle which was fought 1-3 July 1863 around the small city of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The full order of battle for Union and Confederate – all the brigades and their important officers – will be available for you to command. A historically accurate map will include the most significant locations around Gettysburg. Brief historical data for units, people and places will help you understand the events and the tactics of this glorious battle.

That translates as you commanding the Union or Confederate troops while wearing the fancy hat of a general. You won’t need to micromanage the game’s apparently intelligent units: they’ll defend and retaliate on their own, while you can worry about grabbing terrain and ensuring troops morale doesn’t dip so low that they just give up. There’s bunch more details of how the war will be mongered on the dev blog.

Via PCG.

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35 Comments »

  1. pipman3000 says:

    i ain’t buying it unless it has a big ass picture of darth vader dressed as abe lincoln as the title screen, and maybe some civil war music remixed to sound like the imperial march

  2. riadsala says:

    So, is playing with DarthMod the recommended way to play Emp:TW? [I'm working my way very slowly through CA's back catalog!]

    • Leb says:

      Yes, also worth going straight for the additional darthmod submods that add more unit diversity/allow you to play as minor nations.

      There is also a submod that tweaks the battle AI some more. Although I cannot attest to it… It’s worth a try. Although DM empire battle AI is lightyears ahead of vanilla… it’s still pretty stupid

    • Jimbo says:

      I’ve been playing TW as long as they’ve been making them, but only recently got around to checking out DarthMod. I’m glad I did. I played a bunch of Empire DM and then Napoleon DM – both are big improvements over vanilla, but my advice would be to skip Empire and go straight to Napoleon. They scratch the same itch, but Napoleon just plays better in a bunch of little ways, and the fort battles in Empire are still a horrible, buggy mess, which kinda ruined the whole campaign for me.

      • Leb says:

        I’ve yet to try Napoleon, I liked the idea of empire due to the world wide scope. I have heard napoleon beats it on all other accounts though… will give it a go soon

        • MrEclectic says:

          Napoleon is the game Empire should have been. More stable, more refined gameplay and controls. And there are a lot of mods that further the experience.

    • luckystriker says:

      DarthMod is one of the best ways to play the game, but not necessarily the best imo. I personally enjoyed the Imperial Splendour mod more for Empire. I would recommend you to just browse through the mods at twcenter and pick one that best suits your taste.

      As a side note, the best Total War series mod, bar none, is The Third Age mod for Medieval 2. It’s a LoTR total conversion and it’s so good I take every opportunity to shamelessly plug it.

      • Charupa says:

        I agree, it is the coolest thing that was ever made, everyone that even likes Lord of the Rings and owns Medieval 2 should get it. Google Third Age Total war, what it lacks in graphics it more than makes up for in love

  3. kwyjibo says:

    Haven’t we done Gettysburg to death?

  4. X_kot says:

    I did love me some Sid Meier’s Gettysburg! back in the day (never played Antietam, though), and if this can recapture some of that goodness, I’m in.

    Especially if they include voice-acted briefings.

    • GenBanks says:

      Good thing I did a Ctrl+F for Sid Meier hehe… I LOVED Sid Meier’s Gettysburg. My first RTS and my first mp game.

      Why isn’t it on GOG?!

  5. DougyM says:

    I would hold off the wild praise for Darth… his mods for the Total War series have always primarily been taking other peoples work and combining them into a larger mod pack with his own small tweaks.

    Something that has caused a number of bust ups between him and the community as well as the developers over the years as he has consistently felt entitled to a job at Creative Assembly based on the success of his mods, and his tendency to spit the dummy out when CA snub him.

    For instance when CA hosted a mod summit before Rome 2 was announced they invited a bunch of mod makers from the TW franchise, particularly people who had developed tools and methods of modding the game in ways that CA had not anticipated would be possible. Darth never got an invite because he did not meet those criteria and he had a strop on the forums before announcing he was never making another mod for the series again.

    So in short… take his association with this title and its subsequent implied pedigree as a result with a pinch of salt.

    • laijka says:

      I think that was the second time he announced he would never make another mod for Total War series again.

      No denying his work is popular and improves the vanilla experience but he is a bit full of himself.

    • Reapy says:

      Funny that you say that as the text overlays on the darth mod video really keyed off my weirdo detector, had a feeling that was the exact kind of personality driving it. Still this looks interesting and will keep an eye on it.

    • kzrkp says:

      Darth mod doesn’t deserve the popularity. It’s pick-and-choose realism at the expense of game design, all very poorly executed.
      Also I will be amazed if anything playable comes from this, the guy doesn’t have the right personality to run a game project.

  6. Prime-Mover says:

    ” DarthMod, probably the Total War series’ most famous mods”

    Nope, certainly not the series.

    Medieval Total War had both ‘Third Age’ and ‘Stainless Steel’ both which surely surpassed DarthMod in popularity/famousness.

    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?654-Third-Age-Total-War
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?314-Stainless-Steel

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Thanks for telling us, we would never have known they were probably more famous otherwise.

    • paterah says:

      Nah, Darthmod has been releasing for every game and is the most popular mod nowadays.

  7. GenBanks says:

    Strange to think that exactly this day 150 years ago a bunch of guys from Maine and Alabama were killing each other in Pennsylvania on Little Round Top.

    • Gap Gen says:

      And a college professor was shouting BAYONETS at whoever would listen.

  8. MacTheGeek says:

    Hopefully, once Creative Assembly get tired of pumping out sequels to earlier games, they’ll move into new territory again. The period encompassing the second half of the 19th century (the American Civil War, the Franco-Prussian War, the Boer Wars) and stretching into the early 20th (the Boxer Rebellion, the Spanish-American War, the Russo-Japanese War) is ripe with potential for a new Total War game.

    The American Civil War introduced a huge number of technological innovations, from repeating rifles and machine guns to aerial reconnaissance to “ironclad” ships. Railroads enabled troops to move vast distances quickly; the telegraph enabled information to move even faster. These are the kinds of things I want to see in a TW game.

    • Leb says:

      Total war games are mainly about ‘stand your 400 dudes in a line and have them kill the other 400 dude line’

      I don’t see how this would translate to the American Civil War or others in that era

    • Zenicetus says:

      It gets suggested over and over, but personally I don’t think the American Civil War is a good match to the Total War design. By the time you get to the ACW, rifle and cannon engagement distances are much longer than in Empire:TW. You need big maps for that. They’re hyping big maps for Rome 2, so we’ll see… but I still suspect the engine and the UI can’t support the kind of distances you’d want.

      There is a tension in these Total War games between being able to zoom out far enough for tactical control, and zooming in to see all the pretty up-close animations. As long as they need those closeups for marketing the game, I just don’t see a UI that would work well at both scales.

      Another problem with the ACW is the fact that it’s a civil war, so you’d have even more similar armies than there are in Empire. One reason I’ve always liked Rome a little better than Shogun 2 is just the sheer variety of units. It’s interesting and fun to pit wildly different armies against each other, and in the ACW the armies would be essentially the same on both sides.

      The final nail in the coffin for the ACW is that the campaign map wouldn’t be that interesting. Historically, one side had vastly more industrial power and controlled the coastlines and ports. Giving the Rebels a decent chance on the campaign map would involve jerking around history pretty severely. I suppose you could bring in European support, but then it’s not exactly an ACW game any more.

      Anyway, just my personal preference but I like primitive artillery with short range, and people stabbing each other with sticks, up close and personal. I think their next game should be China 3 Kingdoms. Bronze Age Mediterranean might be fun too.

      • belgand says:

        China gets a nice big nod from me as well. It’s a fascinating era of history that would be well suited to their style of gameplay. And aside from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms series we haven’t really seen much of it in strategy games that have reached the West.

        I would like to see a Medieval III though. They’ve been on a kick of updating their back catalog and that’s one that could probably stand to undergo the conversion.

      • Gap Gen says:

        I dunno, Total War has never exactly been *realistic*, per se. When I went from playing Scourge of War to Shogun 2, the speed of the battles was terrifying – your entire formation can break in seconds, which gives very little time for tactical thought once the swords start flying (although, granted in real battles it’s unlikely you could have done much to change tactics once your forces engaged).

    • Fiyenyaa says:

      Fall of the Samurai is actually pretty good for that, MacTheGreek.
      You get the latter-19th century modern rifles, modern artillery, steam-powered ships (including ironclads), the increasing obsolesence of cavalry, and it’s certainly at the beginning of the period you’re talking about; late 1860s and 1870s.

  9. Gap Gen says:

    Seems like as good a time as any to pimp our Scourge of War: Gettysburg group – look up Rock Paper Secession on Steam. We don’t play that regularly these days but feel free to suggest games if people can make it.

  10. Fattsanta says:

    Goooooood fuck this game looks great. The art is fantastic.

  11. FFabian says:

    Meh ACW is boring. Blue guys shooting slightly less blue guys in America.

    American dudes (aka “Heros”) shooting other men makes up half of all available games.

    I know Americans like to show how awesome they think they are but enough is enough.

    • Gap Gen says:

      Disagree strongly. Firstly, it’s Americans shooting Americans, so they can’t use the usual xenophobic “evil enemy” narrative, and the way that’s handled says a lot about American culture and sensibility. Secondly, the result of the war is hugely important in shaping North American geopolitics, and hence world geopolitics (since the USA is now uncontested in North America and can spend its energy projecting power into the Atlantic and Pacific, rather than having two states spending time and energy manning a long border and arguing over access to the Mississippi). Thirdly, the reasons for the war and the way in which it was prosecuted are fascinating political case studies and highly relevant today in defining what a nation is and how one goes about creating one.

      I agree that America features too much in games, but it’s not like Switzerland fights any wars worth depicting in games these days. One reason the US military is so good is that as well as having the latest kit, they get to try it out. China may have bought an old Soviet carrier, but they haven’t ever fought a carrier battle or used carrier groups to launch operations, and these skills take time to filter down institutionally.