When starting a new game, you will be presented with several types of scenarios to choose from. There are  basically four levels of play ranging from the shorter scenarios, involving a limited number of Units for a short  period of time on a portion of the map, to the full Grand Campaign:

• The Grand Campaign covers the whole duration of the war up through 1865 using the whole map. You can begin in April 1861, allowing you to raise and organize the initial armies, or in July 1861, after the initial armies have already been raised and are taking the field for action.
• Theater Campaigns cover the whole duration of the war but only in a specific geographical region.
• Scenarios are more limited in scope and feature individual Campaigns or Battles, such as Shiloh. The time period, the Units involved and the map area covered are accordingly limited. As such, scenarios are highly recommended as an introduction to the game.


The list also includes three Tutorials, which are instructive scenarios designed to help learn the basic game mechanics and provide some gameplay tips. Players are strongly encouraged to play through these early, perhaps before finishing this manual. These tutorial scenarios are designed not only to introduce certain core
game concepts (through a series of step-by-step instructional event boxes) but also to provide a hands-on introduction to the game interface.

Procedure: Selecting the name of a Campaign/Scenario displays a short description of the scenario. After selecting a Campaign/Scenario, you get to choose your side and play begins.

Note: the stars next to the scenario pictures indicate the level of complexity (the more stars the higher).


Instead of starting a new game, you can resume a game you previously saved or that was saved automatically. You also have the option to rename, delete or restore a previous turn, of any saved game, as indicated by each entry’s tooltip (there is a settings file that adjusts the number of turns saved). Selecting CPU chip icon in the upper right of the screen opens the icons for renaming save game, deleting and restoring the previous turn. Selecting restore previous turn icon erases the current save and loads the save from the end of the previous turn. This can be used repeatedly to access an even earlier save. It is not advised to rename a saved game other than through this CW II interface. It is best to rename files only through this interface.


At any time during a game, you can reach the Main Menu (Esc key). From here, you can select the Save Game menu. You don’t generally have to save a game, as this is done automatically each turn once you hit End Turn. As explained previously, you have the option to restore previous turns of any saved game. Usually, the only cases where you would want to manually save a game is either if you halt your planning in the middle of a turn and want to resume giving orders after quitting the game or to change the name of the save game from its default.

In other words, if you click End Turn, watch it unfold and only check your forces without entering new orders, you can quit safely and everything is saved by default.


CW II can be played against another human opponent using PBEM or any other valid file transfer protocol, such as Instant Messaging or file sharing. One of the players (the “Host”) will have to initiate the game. The procedure is detailed below:

1. Create a game:Edit

The Hosting player chooses a Campaign/Scenario and a side and starts the game as usual. This automatically generates a sub-folder in the "My Documents\Games\Civil War II\CW2\Saves\directory named after the Campaign or Scenario selected" (1861 Campaign if you play the “1861 Campaign” scenario, for example). In this newly created folder you will find a HST file.

Please note that a number helps differentiate between multiple instances of the same Campaign/
Scenario. However, the best way to avoid confusion is to rename the in-game Save (e.g. 1861 Campaign John vs. Joe). Do NOT rename any ACW files externally to the game.

2. Host sends HST file to opponent:

The Hosting player now sends his opponent the HST file. The opponent must store this file in the folder "My Documents\Games\Civil War II\CW2\Saves\directory named after the Campaign or Scenario selected"
It is advisable to use subfolders to keep all PBEM games in progress separate.

Note: In order to avoid possible data corruption if transferred by E-mail, it is strongly advised to E-Mail using some type of compressed format such as ZIP or RAR.

3. Non-Host sends ORD file to Host:

Each player now loads the game and gives his orders for the upcoming turn. When ready, each player saves the game. This will generate an ORD file (in the folders mentioned above).
Important: do not click on End Turn at this step.
The Non-Hosting player then sends his ORD file to the Hosting player.

4. Host resolves turn

The Hosting player saves the ORD file received from his opponent into the appropriate directory and loads the game again. He now clicks on End Turn to launch the turn resolution, where all orders are then executed. A new turn is now ready to start. Go back to step # 2 and repeat.

Note: The Non-Hosting player doesn’t get to “play back” his opponent’s turn. However, he can watch the turn replay and check the turn’s Message Log to see what has occurred during the turn, including battle and important event's reports.

5. Double hostingEdit

There is an added posibility of double hosting. In this procedure, host sends the entire save game folder containing HST and his ORD file. The opponent hosts the turn, then sends the entire folder (with his HST and ORD file) to the opponent who will host the next turn.