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BERTHIER CAMPAIGN MANAGER

Free software to help run wargame campaigns.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).


Q. Why is Berthier limited to just 20 units per side? Can I have more?

Q. Will you please add feature .... to Berthier?

Q. Will future versions allow for reference grids larger than 99 x 99?

Q. I run under Windows. How do I put everything together so that it all runs correctly?

Q. What about a text editor?

Q. The setup also mentions some better external image viewers?

Q. I don't understand how I can view maps? I just see coloured squares.

Q. How does the Combat Resolution function work?

Q. Why does Berthier use a square based movement system?

Q. What does the Berthier Version Number mean?


Q. Why is Berthier limited to just 20 units per side? Can I have more?

A. One of my design criteria for Berthier was to keep it simple - the KISS principle. This included putting all relevant information on single screens. That way all the information a campaigner ever needs to know about his forces or the strategic situation is captured on a single screen display. It makes it easy for the campaigner to take in the strategic situation at a glance. The disadvantage is that each campaigner is limited to 20 campaign units per side as this is the maximum that could be formatted on a single screen.

But think about it. This is a campaign. You are playing at least at a level or two above table top games. So aggregate your table top forces. If you control battalions on the table top then control divisions or corps or even armies in the campaign.


Q. Will you please add feature .... to Berthier?

A. I am always pleased to hear suggestions from Berthier users on how to improve Berthier. Many of Berthier's features have come about from such suggestions.

I do however place one design constraint. Berthier is a generic campaign engine designed to be applicable to as many periods and campaigns as possible. I do not want Berthier to have very specific features that will narrowly constrain it to one particular type of campaign.

An example -

A while back I was asked if I could add a feature to allow submarines in naval campaigns to remain undetected by reconnaissance reflecting their ability to submerge. Normally I would not add such a feature as this would be too narrow a constraint. However some reflection showed that the ability to hide from reconnaissance would be a very useful generic feature. It would allow the simulation of -

There was a host of possibilities so I added hidden units to Berthier.


Q. Will future versions allow for reference grids larger than 99 x 99?

A. No. Most people's experience seems to be that workable grided maps are in the 30 - 50 square range.


Q. What about a text editor?

A. Berthier uses the standard Windows text editor - Notepad - as its default. Notepad comes on all Windows systems. If you want to try something different, see the file README.TXT in the Berthier package on how to use an alternative text editor


Q. The setup also mentions some better external image viewers?

A. Berthier comes with a very simple BMP viewer called VIEWER. See the file README.TXT in the Berthier package for ideas on using an alternative viewer.


Q. I don't understand how I can view maps? I just see coloured squares.

A. Images of maps in BMP format can be viewed from the Intelligence Reports/Campaign Map Image (BMP) menu option. All this means is that if you have some map captured as a BMP file you can look at it from within Berthier instead of having to start up a different program outside Berthier to view it.

Both the Marnon3 and Waterloo example campaigns have BMP map image files in them. You should be able call up these BMP examples:

Folder - WATERLOO File - WATERLOO.BMP

Folder - MARNON3  File - MARNON3.BMP

You must have an image viewer set up in Berthier Edit Campaign/Campaign Options screen for this option to work. See previous question.

Other than the Intelligence Reports/Campaign Map Image (BMP) menu option remember Berthier is dealing with, and only displays, the map reference grid coloured as to terrain type. It does not deal with topographical maps only the reference grid. You run the campaign over your own map - paper or computer based.


Q. How does the Combat Resolution function work?

A. Combat resolution was kept simple as Berthier is not meant to be an alternative to tabletop encounters. The only parameter to combat resolution is the number (or points value) of the combatants involved. The combat resolution model is based on Weiss's statistical analysis of American Civil War battles. It has been assumed that this combat resolution model is applicable beyond the American Civil War. The key features of Weiss's analysis incorporated into the combat resolution model are:

  1. The probability of winning is a function of the initial force ratios. In Berthier a 1:1 force ration gives a 50% chance of winning and a 2:1 force ratio gives the larger force a 90% chance of winning.
  2. Casualty ratios are independent of which side attacks, or who wins or origin initial force ratios, and lie within the range of 0.46 to 2.33. Berthier uses the range 0.5 to 2.0.
  3. On average the loser sustained 15% casualties and the winner 12%.

Q. Why does Berthier use a square based movement system?

A. Berthier uses an square based movement system ie. campaign units move from one square of the map to another square. Square based movement was chosen because:


Q. What does the Berthier Version Number mean?

A. Berthier has a versioning number of the form x.y.z eg. Version 4.12.5. The parts are –

x - Version number.

This is updated whenever the underlying structure of the Berthier campaign file changes.

y - Release number.

This changes whenever a new version of Berthier with new features is released to the public.

z - Build number.

Used by me to keep track of my development changes.


Last Updated:May 2009.

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