Old Dogs Vol II: Win 7 & 10 Compatibility Guides for Classic Wargames

By Zach Zimmerman 23 May 2018 0

Old Dogs is back with more titles to cover! Continuing the idea that there are plenty of games out there which require extra push or are not supported by developers anymore by modern operating systems such as Windows 7 and Windows 10.

This series of articles serve the purpose of taking a look at classic wargames, and ensure through a step by step guide per game that they are still playable today as they were on release. Whether it be from CD installation, digital distribution or other online means, the intent is to make sure these titles are approachable and playable today.

Soldiers: Heroes of World War II 

Developer/Publisher: Best Way / 1C Company
Tags: WW2, Real Time, Multiple Theatres, Moddable
Purchase:  Steam | GoG

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Best Way, famous for founding the well established Men of War series, started with Soldiers: Heroes of World War II. While the mechanics are better established in the subsequent releases, Soldiers holds it own. Over a decade old, it manages to have astounding physics, soldier/vehicle animation and great audio development that could be considered far beyond that of contemporary releases.

While by no means as difficult to set up as other titles on this list, Soldiers can still throw up technical difficulties that aren’t to be expected in it’s current digital distributed form. Windows 7 or 10 users may find several inconveniences during setup and gameplay.

The easiest way to insure that you can start Soldiers without headaches is making sure to run the program in compatibility mode, specifically Windows XP Service Pack 2. Historically, the game has struggled on older versions of Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10. But with this compatibility change, there should be no problems.

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GoG Version

Soldiers: Heroes of World War II is probably most stable on the GoG release, but still can suffer from issues particularly for Windows 10 users. This is related to the constant Window 10 updates and the subsequent havoc it can bring to older titles.

Currently the GoG Galaxy version is pre-scripted to run the compatible Windows XP Service Pack 2 for the game (which enables you to play it). Bizarrely, once through the manual install, it was found that one instance seemed to miss this automatic compatibility setting script. Through downloading it again, it was there! Ensure your compatible settings are working by running the game, checking the files and making the change or reinstall just to be sure.

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Steam Version

If you have or are looking to purchase, the Steam version is still a viable choice. Primarily all that is different is the necessary compatibility change to ensure you are able to play the game. First off right click Soldiers: Heroes of World War II in Steam game list, and go down to properties. Click browse local files and you’ll find the folder.

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Right click on the “Soldiers” application and again, go down to properties. Check the combability mode box, and select the Windows XP Service Pack 2 option. Make sure to run as administrator as well, just in case.

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CD Version

Those who can scrounge up a working CD copy of this game, the steps are pretty straight forward, if your computer can recognize the disc. However you will require the most recent patch version 1.28 found here. Simply apply it to your installation folder, and follow the compatibility setting changes. There are also no-CD cracks available online as well, for convenience.

One final note to consider playing Soldiers: Heroes of World War II is to consider while going into the settings of any version and being familiar with the key bindings, settings (such as turning down or off the voice acting if unbearable) or resolution/display settings.

The resolution of the game can be quite a pain, and game breaking if you start poking around. It would be recommended that you leave the resolution as Use Desktop Settings. In-game changing and applying of a resolution setting can lock-up your game and rebooting will not go past the profile log-in screen. If this happens to you, the quick way to get rid of this issue is to reinstall AND to delete your existing profile (as pointed out below). 

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Grant, Lee, Sherman: Civil War Generals 2 

Developer/Publisher: Impressions Games / Sierra On-Line
Tags: Hex, Strategy, American Civil War, Moddable
Purchase:  Free

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Impressions Games is famous for making great variety of games throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. But for many, nothing stands out more than Civil War Generals 2. The wide variety of scenarios and easy to use UI is what keeps this civil war game a cut above the rest, then and now. Yet what remains surprising is there is little options for modern purchase for CWG 2. Currently there lacks a Steam or GoG option.

In order to successfully install CWG 2 several step by step actions are necessary.

First up, download the .zip packages for CWG 2 found here. There are three .zips that you need to download on this site and they are:

    • Civil War Generals 2 (zip, ~177MB)
    • Civil War Generals 2 Enhanced (zip, ~7MB) (optional – see later)
    • Sound & Video Files (zip, ~115MB) (optional – see later)
  • Extract each .zip file in a location that is convenient for you, such as the desktop or a folder you can keep track of.
  • Click on the extracted Civil War General 2 folder. Which will look full of applications and folders. Select the first folder, named “CWG2”.

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  • Run the cwg2.part01 application which will begin the file extraction process. The extraction path should be named C:\SIERRA or somewhere on the C:\ drive you can keep track of! CWG2 only likes to play nice if it is on the C:\ drive or what is to be considered your main partition. 

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  • Once the files have extracted, return to the previous folder CIVIL WAR GENERALS 2, and look for the NO CD-REQUIRED PATCH.zip. Open it up and prepare to extract and replace the files found in the place where you recently extracted to. 

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  • In order, install each of the 6 CWG FILES applications found in CIVIL WAR GENERALS 2 folder that you extracted at the start. All of these applications are going to feed into the C:\ directory you are currently building. Note: It is important to make sure that the directory lines up with your install location. Each application will begin to fill a sub category, and windows can be picky where you are putting files. To make sure it’s proper, change the lower case c in the install prompt to an upper case C for the directory. The sub categories must not change from the install prompt! Example C:\Sierra\CWG2 à CWG2 is the sub category that the files are being dump to and must not change. C:\Sierra (or whatever directory you decided in the C:\ drive) refers to you extracted cwg2.part01. 

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  • Next step is to ensure that your version of Windows 7 or 10 has the right .dll files that are associated with Civil War Generals 2. The .dll file is called WING32.DLL, and has to be placed in two locations within your System files. 

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  • Take the downloaded .dll file and place it in System folders. Where you downloaded the .dll file, there is a good guide on locating these folders. Otherwise paste the file once at C:\Windows\System32 and again under C:\Windows\SysWOW64 to be sure.
  • You must now apply the Civil War Generals II Update (CW29514H32) found here, near the bottom of the page. Download and extract to the desktop or a folder you can keep track of. Execute the file and remove the Destination Folder that is offered. It is going to where all of the other files have been placed within the C:\ folder you determined. 

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  • For all intents and purposes, you could start playing Civil War General 2, but there are still optional (but very recommended steps) in order to have the best playing experience. Find the extracted CWG2 ENHANCED folder, and extract in order the 7,8,9 applications. Make sure to follow the same rule of making sure they are going to the appropriate folder and right sub category of that main folder. 

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  • The installation is complete, and you wont be needed these installation files anymore. Either clean them up or delete them. Locate your CWG2 application and launch to make sure it works. You’ll find the resolution to be quite shrunk and your screen struggling to make it work. Exit the program and look in the same folder for the Sierra.inf (Setup Information) file. Click on it and open with notepad if prompted for program type. Edit the System Test resolution to the resolution of your choice and save to get the game to cooperate with your monitor. Note: The base game will remain in it’s native resolution but will play less havok on your computer’s native resolution and other windows. 

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  • Once in game, pick a battle or campaign. For those who are unfamiliar with the settings and menus of the game, once in game there are menu buttons at the bottom that enable the menu tabs for settings and other options to appear at the top. Options such as constant showing of grid (hexes), in-game music among others. Also you may be wondering what that other optional folder SOUND & VIDEO is for right? Well if you don’t like the sounds that are apart of the current install package, you can roll back to the originals following the same in order extraction steps to the C:\ location as you did before. 

Alternatively:  Civil War Generals 2 has a Facebook community that is keen on keeping the game alive! Visit them here. On this Facebook page there is also a link to a site that sells a prepackaged version of Civil War General 2 that does the heavy lifting for you (which would similarly be found in these steps). 

Are there more classic wargames that you would like to see, and if they will place nice with modern operating systems? Let us know in the comments!

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