N. Ramius is an entrepreneur, writer and avid gamer who wants to share his views on the games he has played.
One of the greatest Civil War games I have found, Civil War Generals 2 was ahead of its time back in 1997. For those who still own the original CD, the game is indeed compatible with Windows XP. For newcomers the game can be found on Amazon and Ebay or downloaded online if you know where to look and a basic guide on how to play can be found under this tech support. For those of you coming here for the patch, look below.
Here is how I got the game to work (CD Required) on my Windows XP Desktop. I make no guarantees or promises it will work for you and am merely offering my experience.
- Insert the CD and install the game
- Download and install the Civil War Generals 2 patch (Link available below)
- Go to the file folder you saved the game too and look for the CWG2 icon (.exe file)
- Right Click, select properties, compatibility tab, checkmark the box "Run this program in Compatibility mode for:" Windows 95.
- Start the game and enjoy.
- If you get error message about missing file Wing32.dll, go to the Original DLL site and download the Wing32 zip file, following the instructions on the site. DISCLAIMER: I have not downloaded from this site previously. Use at own risk. The last website link went offline so this was a replacement site I found. A Google search will probably find other sites with the Wing32.dll file.
- The game should now work. Good luck!
Patch Version 1.04
Click the last link on the page that follows "official 1998 patch to update CWG2 to ver 1.04" This patch is free from the site and does work. I have not tested or tried any of the other downloads on this site.
This patch fixed, for me, the issue of the game crashing after the battle ends in the Campaign mode.
Windows 7 & 8 1.04 Patch
- Civil War Generals Series Updates - The Sierra Help Pages
An online tech help database for playing classic Sierra On-line games on modern computers and OSs
Windows 7 Compatibility Patch
The above Windows XP and Patch instructions are being left intact as I know those instructions and links worked for getting the game to work on my Windows XP system.
As the below instructions and patch link to the right of this blurb have not been tested by me, I did not want to delete the above content that I know works.
I still have not done experimentation to get Civil War Generals 2 to work with Windows 7. However, I did find a site that has the 1.04 Patch for newer versions of Windows. Apparently the original Sierra 1.04 Patch was designed in 16 bit which is why it only worked on 32 bit machines.
The Sierra Help site (not an official Sierra site) has repackaged the original patch into a format compatible with Windows 7 and Windows 8 for 64-bit machines. It's the last patch on the page. Simply download, extract and follow the install instructions. You would install this in your Civil War Generals 2 game folder.
If you get the Wing32.dll error, follow the steps mentioned in XP Compatibility above.
WARNING: I have not tested this file. Use at own risk. You may need to disable anti-virus to install. In full disclosure, Norton gave me a virus warning. However, when I looked into it Norton only deemed it a possible threat and didn't detect an actual virus so I believe it was a false positive.
I hope this can provide some help to those of you using newer operating systems.
Battle and Campaign
Civil War Generals 2 offers multilevel difficulty and has a huge battle selection ranging from individual battles to full campaign. You can play as the Confederacy or as the Union. Almost every major battle of the Civil War is listed including Bull Run, Shiloh and Gettysburg. If you are up for a bigger challenge then try following one of the campaigns as the Confederacy or the Union. There are a great variety of campaigns to choose from including but not limited to the Eastern Theatre, Western Theatre and if up for a real challenge, the entire Civil War. Whatever you choose, at the start of an individual battle or any campaign battle a historical overview of the battle and its winner along with advice for the Union and Confederacy will be given.
Choosing an individual battle in Civil Wars General 2 is pretty straightforward with you choosing the Confederacy or the Union and playing until no enemies remain on the map or until the total turns allowed is up, whichever comes first.
Choosing a campaign is a bit harder as results from one battle carry on to the next. When a battle ends you are taken to a casualty screen where you learn whether you suffered a major defeat, a minor defeat, a draw, a minor victory or a major victory. Also will be listed both sides killed and wounded, troops captured, surrendered or fled and how much supply, weapons points and victory points you acquired. Victory points, overall casualty figures and a combination of the stats on this screen are used to determine what type of victory or defeat there was. If both sides had about equal results across the board then it would be considered a draw. Some minor weight is also given to the historical winner. The next screen is the hospital screen where you can see how your injured officers are doing, if they are recovering, deteriorating or have died. The replacement officer is also listed underneath. The next screen is the weapons purchase screen. This is where your supply and weapons points come in handy. As your troops generally carry over, their experience as well as weapons will carry over with them so this is your chance to upgrade. Depending on what troops you had in the battle will determine whether you can buy better rifles, sabers, cannons or howitzers and marksman weapons for each unit. Prices to equip a better weapon for each unit along with the weapons power and hand to hand power (used when charging the enemy) are displayed. You can upgrade units for as long as you have weapon and supply money left. The next historical overview is on the following screen.
Should you do exceptionally well or exceptionally bad in a campaign setting can result in an alternate battle being set up. For example, Bull Run is the second battle in the Full Civil War campaign and has Alts 1 – 5. The alts have different amount of turns and men, one alt with units made up of units with a few hundred men to another alt with units made up of thousands of men. If you do exceptionally well you can sometimes cut short the campaign and advance faster in purely fictional battles. Sometimes after a battle (campaign mode) you will be given a choice of two different battles as they represent different paths. It is generally a good idea to save at the last turn of your battle so if you are presented with two choices you can always go back and choose the other battle pathway.
There is also a custom battle editor and online play so you can make your own mock battles and play people in your creations or preset battles online. The official Sierra supported online play is gone but doing an internet search will bring up several websites with Civil War General 2 clans and people who have set up ways to play against each other online.
Each unit on a hex square can have anywhere from a couple hundred to thousands of men depending on which Civil War battle you are playing. Weapon power (normal attack) and Hand to hand (charge attack) are displayed should you click on one of your units. Also will be listed little icons and number values for morale, fatigue and organization as attacking and moving reduce them and resting raises the values. You can also see what type of weapon they have equipped and other stats as well. You can also click on the opposing sides troops’ to get their stats. Determining who to attack, launching consecutive attacks and using strategy to surround your enemy so they surrender is all tactics and strategy if you play on the harder difficulties.
There is some difference in AI difficulty under options but enabling options like line of sight, line of fire and fatigue can make a complete game play difference. Line of fire means cannons can only fire if they have direct line of sight, making cannon positions (ie. hills) more important. The same with your troops, you have to find the enemy through scouting and you and the enemy don’t know where each other are. It adds a challenge. The fatigue/morale option in Civil Wars General 2 makes it so that your morale, health and organization (all part of a unit’s effectiveness) are affected by what your troops do whether attacking, resting or moving. Having it off means you could move your troops everywhere and it would have no effect on you. Playing with the options in Civil War Generals 2 can be quite a fun and make the battles more realistic.
Tips for Success
1. Save right before the end of a battle
2. Choose what weapons you buy wisely
3. Surround the enemy to force them to surrender
4. Make sure your troops are rested. Don’t move them too much
5. Retreating in a campaign may be the best strategy if you face certain defeat
Made by Sierra in 1997, Civil War Generals 2 has been the best Civil War game I could fine as most focus on WWII or other wars. It has decent game play, good music and offers many strategic challenges especially if you try to do the full Civil War campaign.
The game is no longer sold and online play no longer
supported, but the game can be found in online searches and occasionally on the auction sites EBay and Amazon. Originally designed for Windows 95, the game can run on Windows XP if installed and patched. However, the game lacks official support and the patches are almost impossible to find.The game is runnable without patches but after the first scenario, I always crashed and the game wouldn't continue on so the patches in my experience are a must.
After much searching I managed to find the 1.04 version patch for the game, the final patch, but I believe the 1.02 patch may be gone for good. See the link below for a website that offers the 1.04 patch. On the website, it's the last link at the bottom of the page . Your standard zip file, I downloaded it myself and came up virus free but remember to always scan anything downloaded from the internet. Enjoy the game.
© 2009 N. Ramius
N. Ramius (author) on July 28, 2017:
I have updated this article with an untested, by me, Windows 7 and 8 compatible version 1.04 Patch. I hope this helps.
I have not tested installing the game itself on Windows 7 so I cannot offer advice in that regard.
Ron on March 17, 2014:
Go to Oldgames.com For $5 you can download older games. One is Civil War General 2 and it DOES work with Windows 7 !!!! No patch problem anymore!!!
Zack on May 16, 2013:
If anyone has been able to get this to work please email me, email@example.com...need help installing
Andrew on August 28, 2012:
Having same problem. Can't get the patch to work on Windows 7 and so game is almost unplayable.
Rob on June 30, 2012:
Has anybody found a way to get the 1.04 patch to work on Windows 7? When I download it, it says it can't run because it's not set up for a 64-bit system. I have the game working fine, except that it crashes at the end of any battle within a campaign, and I think the patch will fix that if I can just get it to run!
Ron on April 08, 2012:
I am having the same problem as mmillergfe where the game plays fine, but crashes during the campaign mode when you choose the next battle. I really love this game, but can't find how to fix this. Did the wing32.dll to get to work, tried the video rename, but to no avail. Is there anyone still out there that could help?
Aaron on June 21, 2011:
I am trying to install cwg2 on windows xp. every time i put the cd in, the auto play appears. But when I click install nothing ever happens. no other screens appear.
do you have any suggestions??
ellon on May 16, 2011:
I think this game is very exciting and interesting enough to attract players towards them.This game is having certain different characteristics which is making players more anxious to play this game.
N Jones on March 30, 2011:
I got the game to work on Windows 7 (64 bit) by installing it and then renaming C:\Sierra\CWG2\Video to C:\Sierra\CWG2\Video0 in order to disable the video. Otherwise, the game would crash when it tried to load video when opening.
mmillergfe on October 15, 2010:
I have had trouble with the game crashing immediately after selecting the next mission in campaign mode. This does not depend on which mission I choose. The first time I got around it by loading at a much earlier time, ~20 turns prior to victory. Loading later then this did not work. The second time I have saves going back 7 turns and 15 turns. Going back 7 turns doesn't work.
I imagine this is one of the bugs fixed with the patch but I cannot install i since I am running x64 win7.
Does anyone know how to get around this problem?
Toby on October 01, 2010:
I've got the big-box Sierra original of this game, I had such a great time playing this all those years ago.
I did have one problem though- the game would lock-up in the campaign scenario that included monitors and Ironclads, I got round it by creating my own campaign that missed out that scenario, I don't know if this is the same one James above refers to?
N. Ramius (author) on May 13, 2010:
I'm not sure. My workaround is basically to make the game playable on Windows XP.
My guess would be its either a glitch in the game,or else the file is corrupted. If you can't get it to work, here are my suggestions:
If it is a single stand alone battle, simply don't play it.
If it's part of a campaign, hopefully you have some saves from before the battle. Load one of those. If you have the option choose a different battle when you are victorious or play the current battle so as to get a different outcome and perhaps an alt. version of Kernsville.
I don't know if the above will work, but those are my thoughts. Maybe someone will have specifics for your Kernsville battle.
James Moore on May 13, 2010:
I have the CD and have successfully installed the game on Windows XP. I can play it for a while and then, after a few battles in the full Civil War Campaign, it freezes mid battle...every time (during the Kernsville battle). Has anyone else encounted this problem? If so, were you able to fix it? How?
I installed the 1.04 patch and set the compatibility to Windows 95 as described above.
Erik Johnson on May 03, 2010:
I have windows 7 ultimate 64 bit OS, I was trying everything to get this game to work on the computer, Don´t remember where I found it but I copied and pasted wing32.dll from system 32 and pasted in sysWOW64 ran cwg2 in compatability mode for win 98 and am now playing the game. questions and comments can be asked and said to my hotmail account hope this works for you
General Macomb on February 03, 2010:
You can get information on downloading CWG2 or playing it online, go to Civil War Generals 2 Headquarters, http://cwg2.multiply.com/. The site tells you how to modify the free download to play without disks and how to play online at Kali.
John on January 13, 2010:
Are there any good online downloadable versions out there? Every one I try to open with WinZip says it is not from a valid archive....not sure what to do.
N. Ramius (author) on December 14, 2009:
trav on December 13, 2009:
were can we play online
snare3825 on October 26, 2009:
Well finally had to buy the game off ebay, got it in today, installed the update patch and I'm currently playing the game. Thanks for all your help Ramius
snare3825 on October 14, 2009:
Alrighty well that worked but now it says to insert my game CD, which I don't have so I assume when I get the CD it should work. Downloading that file did solve the problem though, thanks a bunch bro, your awesome.
N. Ramius (author) on October 14, 2009:
Hold off on buying the CD. You'll run into the same issue. I had to deal with it too. My memory is a little fuzzy on what I did but I believed it involved downloading a file from the internet.
I think I had to download and install a program called WingDing, that or the Wing32.dll file. It's been so long that I forget which, but I did find a Civil War Generals 2 Site that mentions Wingding. The file can be found at http://cwg2.multiply.com/journal along with instructions for installing it. That should take care of that issue.
Note: Remember to scan it for viruses after you Download it. I offer no guarantees that it will work or that it will solve your issue. Do so at your own risk.
Assuming it does work and is installed properly, then go to your Cwg2 file, right click it, select properties, go to the Compatibility tab and check mark the Windows 95 box. This step may be optional. I am not sure of the full effects it has.
Let me know if this helps and if that file works, if so I'll update the instructions and add them up top.
snare3825 on October 13, 2009:
Yes I have all of that and when I click on the icon you have posted below I get. "This application has failed to start because WING32.dll was not found. Re-installing the application may fix this problem". Well I have re-installed it and still the same problem. I think I am just going to buy a CD off ebay even though they are really expensive for some reason. I've been trying to play this game for 5 years and will not give up. Thanks for taking time to respond Ramius
N. Ramius (author) on October 12, 2009:
Hard to say exactly as I use a CD but...
After you unzipped and extracted the file, I assume you went to wherever you extracted the file too, double clicked the extracted install file and installed the game. You probably were asked where to install the game. So the game file should be wherever you designated the game to be installed too. Are you able to find the folder where the game installed and see a bunch of CWG2 related items?
The icon on mine to launch the game says Civil War 2 in yellow against a red background and two silver bars, one above and one below the text.
Here's a screenprint of my CWG2 folder. Does this help at all?
snare3825 on October 12, 2009:
I was able to get in online for $5. I'm still having a problem with getting it to start. I have the game and the patch installed, unzipped and extracted. That's as far as I can get though. Sierra doesn't show up on my programs and going through the folders I can't find how to start the game. Do you have any suggestions???
N. Ramius (author) on October 11, 2009:
No I can't. Sorry. Your best bet is to try finding it on Google. I still own the original Civil War Generals 2 CD and used that and then patched it.
If you do find a link though feel free to send it to me and I'll post it up here. I just don't have the patience to scour the web for the game itself, much less any installation issues that may be involved.
snare3825 on October 11, 2009:
Can you provide a website where you can download the game online? Very excitied to know that you can play on XP, I thought the game was lost forever.
N. Ramius (author) on September 04, 2009:
I still think this is the best Civil War game made. I play it on XP with minor glitches, mostly with Sound but my greatest accomplishment was finding a site for the patch for everyone to use.
euro-pen from Europe on July 22, 2009:
Your description and praise of the game made me curious. Too bad that this game is not supported anymore. I love historic games with strategic gameplay. I used to play games like Age of Empires or Sudden Strike for hours and even whole evenings.