A Nation Torn Apart - Brother against Brother gets a release date from Matrix Games

By Nik Gaukroger 18 Mar 2015 0

Last May, at their annual press conference, Slitherine/Matrix/Ageod (guess we should be adding Shenandoah to that now as well) gave us a preview of an American Civil War game called Brother Against Brother. Like World War 2 it seems that the wargaming community just can’t stop refighting the Civil War, so this will be of interest to a lot of people out there. It was originally slated for a winter 2014 release, but we know what happens to release schedules …



From what we were told last year this will be a regimental IGOUGO offering and is intended to be a series of releases with each instalment being a collection of 3-5 battles based around a related event, or events. For example the first will cover the opening stages of the conflict around the battles of 1st Bull Run and Williamsburg. The individual battle scenarios will be a mixture of historical and what if scenarios.

One of the big selling points that is being pushed on this game is the high degree of accuracy of the orders of battle and, especially, the maps. The latter have, we are told, involved a vast amount of primary research, and in some cases will change what is considered the definitive view of the battlefield as they include previously unpublished material. The underlying combat mechanisms are also very detailed in terms of casualties and the command and control process is a key part of the game. There is a proper chain of command involved and the physical separation of commander from the person or unit they are issuing order to is an important factor and can result in unit actions not being quite what the player desires. Incapacitated commanders also affect play, and the research into the game involves having known and named replacements, all with individual characteristics, available to be promoted in the field should their superior fall. Again, the effect of having a new man in place will affect how your orders are carried out. Hopefully this will not mean frustration, but an enjoyable battle management challenge.

Press release and some screenshots below …




Arlington, VT, March 18 , 2015.

"The time for war has not yet come, but it will come, and that soon; and when it does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." (Stonewall Jackson, Confederate General)

Following up on the success of their last foray into the American Civil War, the development team behind the award-winning “Forge of Freedom” have returned to the period at the tactical level. Brother against Brother: The Drawing of the Sword, the latest new wargame from Western Civilization Software, is finally ready to march. Indeed, this epic military strategy game covering the first year of the American Civil War will be available on April 16th!

It is 1861.  Nearly a million armed Americans face each other along a line stretching 1200 miles from Virginia to Missouri.  Tensions in the country reach a climax when Confederate forces fire upon a key Union fort in South Carolina in April. This is the starting point of a bloody four year conflict between the North and the South that would leave an indelible mark on American history.

In Brother against Brother: The Drawing of the Sword, the focus is on the opening battles of the American Civil War. Players will be able to command both sides and relive the major encounters of 1861 and early 1862. Thanks to extensive historical and topographical research, including in-person examinations of each battlefield and consultations of materials previously unavailable to game-designers, the maps and orders of battle each have been recreated at an unprecedented scale and level of detail.

Connoisseurs of the period will immediately notice that the behavior of the commanders and their soldiers perfectly matches the tactics of this era! However, Brother against Brother is much more than a rigorous simulation, it also offers several what-if scenarios for a very refreshing approach to famous battles such as 1st Manassas or Wilson’s Creek.

Erik Rutins, Director of Product Development at Matrix Games, said, “It’s always a pleasure to work with the team at Western Civilization Software, but I believe this release is truly special.  For Civil War computer wargame fans, I believe that the incredible research and great gameplay included in Brother against Brother will make this game the definitive treatment of these battles for years to come.”

Get more information on Brother against Brother – The Drawing of the Sword from its official product page.




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