Matrix Games Forums

Forums  Register  Login  Photo Gallery  Member List  Search  Calendars  FAQ 

My Profile  Inbox  Address Book  My Subscription  My Forums  Log Out

John Tiller's Battleground Series on Linux WINE

View related threads: (in this forum | in all forums)

Logged in as: Guest
Users viewing this topic: none
  Printable Version
All Forums >> [Current Games From Matrix.] >> [American Civil War] >> John Tiller's Battleground Series >> John Tiller's Battleground Series on Linux WINE Page: [1]
Message << Older Topic   Newer Topic >>
John Tiller's Battleground Series on Linux WINE - 7/10/2009 11:55:22 PM   

Posts: 20504
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
Status: offline
This will be a HOWTO on installing and running the John Tiller's Battleground Series of games under Linux WINE.

(I'm a long-standing Linux geek of 17 years, and a system administrator/programmer by trade. Although my knowledge and experience has helped me in this project, setting up BGS in Linux WINE is not that difficult.

And why bother? Why not just run BGS under Windows? Reacting to one of too many bad experiences with MS Windows over the years, I am on a campaign to rid Windows from my computing life. Also, and without the complexities of virtualizing Windows, I want a way to play the BGS (and other John Tiller/Talonsoft-now-Matrix games) games for years and years to come without having to worry about Windows XP expirations, licensing hassles, etc. Hence BGS on Linux WINE.)

I recommend using the latest version of Ubuntu Linux (see: Although it's possible to use other Linux distros (I run my servers under OpenSUSE Linux), Ubuntu is the simplest and most user friendly distro for ordinary user and gaming purposes.

You will need to install WINE, of course. DO NOT USE Ubuntu's default Add/Remove software function, as that will get you an old, much outdated version of WINE. With the outdated WINE version, you will have to do added, messy steps to achieve satisfactory results.

Instead, visit

and follow the instructions there to get the very latest development version (currently 1.1.25; if you use the default Ubuntu Add/Remove function, that will get you WINE version 1.0.1.)

If you already have an earlier version of WINE installed, just upgrade over the existing version.

With the latest WINE installed (or upgraded), select the Ubuntu Applications/Wine/Configure WINE applet to Autodetect your Drives. You probably shouldn't have to tweak the other settings under ordinary circumstances.

If this is a new WINE installation, doing the above will create a .wine subdirectory in your home directory, if there isn't one there already (due to a previous WINE installation).

Before installing your game, make note of the Serial Number on the CD. You will need the SN for the installation a bit later.

Insert your BGS CD (either ACW or Napoleon) in your CDROM drive. Go to the CD directory, e.g.,

$ cd /media/cdrom0

List the contents of that directory, e.g.,

$ ls
autorun.inf battleground-civilwar-setuprelease-drv1.exe

Run the installed program:

$ wine battleground-civilwar-setuprelease-drv1.exe

If Ubuntu complains about insufficient privileges, run this under sudo:

$ sudo wine battleground-civilwar-setuprelease-drv1.exe

The CDROM drive will begin to whirl, and continue doing so for a minute or two. Don't worry. It's just uncompacting the setup program.

By and by, you will see the familiar BGS setup dialog. Follow the usual setup routine. I recommend installing everything under C:\Program Files\Matrix Games\...

The install program will then do its thing.

After the program has successfully (hopefully) installed, be sure to check for program updates. Go to the program directory

% cd ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Matrix\ Games/John\ Tiller\'s\ Battleground\ Civil\ War

Run the update program:

$ wine update.exe

Amazingly, and impressively, the update program and process work.

Note: (a) the update program will update itself, and relaunch; and (b) you will need to re-enter your user info and game Serial Number.

Hopefully, everything has gone well to this point. You are now ready to run the game.

Move to the game directory of your choice, e.g.,

$ cd Shiloh

And run the game:

$ wine bgs.exe &

Miracle of miracles, the game starts up, and you are prompted for a scenario selection.

When the full game comes up, you will probably begin in window maximized mode. Click on the Unmaximize Window control to shrink the window.

Important: You should anchor your window in the upper left corner of your desktop. Resize the window, but only enough to the right in order to display the complete Toolbar but not much farther to the right than that. The reason is because if you extend the window to the right edge of your display, this will cause annoying graphical artifacts in the Unit List at the bottom right of the game window.

Start playing!

Before too long, you might notice some graphical annoyances:

  • Some or all of the Toolbar icons will be monochrome black, not in color. Minimizing then restoring the window might correct this, but I recommend against it, because it might mess with your carefully sized window setup. Unless you/we discover a permanent fix for this Toolbar color problem, just live with it for now (and maybe forever).
  • Using the Jump Window, and a few other game functions/actions, might seriously mess with your display. The fix for this is to toggle the Full Screen (crossed arrows) Toolbar button between Full Screen and ordinary display mode. Remember, and get used to this. You will probably be toggling into and out of Full Screen mode alot.
  • If you are using an earlier, outdated version of WINE, fonts in the Unit List might be garbled. There are work-arounds for this, but if you use the very latest version of WINE, you shouldn't see this problem.

There might be other graphical annoyances, but we really haven't encountered any yet. Just be sure to

  • Run the latest version of WINE.
  • Run your Unmaximized Window properly sized.
  • Toggle the Full Screen on and off as often as needed.

That's it! I have loaded up many of the games, and run through at least one complete game. (And not even one of the stock scenarios, rather, one of the modded scenarios from the Napoleonic Archives.)

Caveat: Your Mileage May Vary. You may or may not see the same graphical glitches as I have, depending on your video card. (On this system, I have a NVIDIA nForce2 (?).)


< Message edited by berto -- 6/4/2011 5:01:29 PM >


Campaign Series Legion
Campaign Series Lead Coder
Panzer Campaigns, Panzer Battles, Civil War Battles Lead Coder
Post #: 1
RE: John Tiller's Battleground Series on Linux WINE - 6/4/2011 4:54:55 PM   

Posts: 20504
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
Status: offline
Following up, continuing my campaign to wean myself away from MS Windows, and to move my computing -- including my war gaming -- entirely to Linux:

I have retried installing and running Matrix Games' John Tiller's Battleground Napoleonic Wars under Linux WINE. I have installed and tested the entire 100+ battle collection at the Napoleonic Archive. I am extremely pleased to report that, so far, I have seen no problems whatsoever. (Aside from problems--e.g., missing or sub-par 3D graphics--intrinsic to some of the scenarios.) No lags. No quirks. Music plays. All of this on an "ancient" system manufactured circa 2003 (single core, 1 GB RAM, old ATI graphics card).

(In the course of my Napoleonic Archive installation, I filled my disk partition. Without having to abort or retry the half-finished and very tedious install sequence, I was able to rsync everything over to a larger disk and soft link to the new location. Worked like a charm!)

No tricks or tweaks needed. Ubuntu Linux 10.10. (Should work on the more recent Ubuntu 11.04.) The latest WINE beta/development release (1.3.21). Everything about this process was straightforward (aside from my disk-full issue). Go for it!

The neat thing about running JTBGS under Linux WINE is that now I have available to me the full panoply of Linux OS facilities, utilities, and scripting/development tools. I programmed a shell script to automate the install sequence. Armed with that script, I was able to download and install and run test the full Napoleonic Archive in just 6-8 hours. Doing that manually under Windows, it would take days (and probably be quite error prone, if it ever would get done). (I have tried using Unix-like Cygwin under Windows XP, but that's awkward compared to the full-fledged, mature Linux hosting environment.) Looking forward, I envision scripting a clean-up of the JTBGS/Napoleonic Archive graphics and sound files. It will be a joy, and an interesting challenge, to spiff up the JTBGS/Napoleonic Archive, to help usher it into the 21st Century.

I've dusted off my copy of David Chandler's The Campaigns of Napoleon (a Christmas present from a few years back). With the essentially complete Napoleonic Archive collection (not to mention my HPS ACW collection, maybe someday supplemented by the HPS Napoleonic titles? which also work on the latest WINE, by the way; and not to mention the ongoing development of my command & control overlay system) -- years and years of reading and research and development and gaming fun ahead of me. It never ceases to amaze me that we can play/simulate virtually every significant battle of the Napoleonic Wars, and American Civil War, at a detailed and decent level of historical accuracy/plausibility.

Thanks for older systems that continue to run reliably, and well (enough)!

Kudos to Linux! And WINE!

Bully for venerable, tried and true gaming software!

Hip hip hooray for the Napoleonic Archive team!

There's life in them thar older, "obsolete" hardware and software yet!

Life is good!!

< Message edited by berto -- 6/4/2011 5:05:46 PM >


Campaign Series Legion
Campaign Series Lead Coder
Panzer Campaigns, Panzer Battles, Civil War Battles Lead Coder

(in reply to berto)
Post #: 2
RE: John Tiller's Battleground Series on Linux WINE - 6/4/2011 11:40:34 PM   

Posts: 20504
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
Status: offline
I discovered a glitch in the Napoleonic Archive install process, which probably relates to how Windows and Linux handle file name cases differently. (Matrix' default JTBGS install process doesn't share this difficulty.)

It seems that after the prescribed install procedure, one is left with *two* versions of various .bmp/.BMP files, for example:

-rw-r--r-- 1 berto berto 684838 1997-04-08 01:28 UNITS.BMP
-rw-r--r-- 1 berto berto 3041334 2002-06-25 21:56 Units.bmp

Not good, because you see all sorts of screwy results, for example: no unit graphics in the hex info area; Austrian units as Russians; French units as Russians; etc.

After browsing through the Series* directory, I could see that the .bmp files are the versions customized for the scenario, while the .BMP files are the default NIR (or BGW) files, apparently. It seems, too, that the main program gives preference to the .BMP files over their .bmp counterparts.

This explains why, for some scenarios, the generic Talonsoft splash screens show; while for other scenarios, scenario-customized splash screens show. And other anomalies.

Linux shell script to the rescue!



set -x

cp Bases3d0.bmp BASES3D0.BMP
cp Bases3d1.bmp BASES3D1.BMP
cp Unitbox.bmp UNITBOX.BMP
cp Units.bmp UNITS.BMP

exit 0


(I wrote that by, first executing


ls -1 *.bmp *.BMP | tee


then loading up into emacs and, with a suitable emacs macro, reassembling the various mv & cp statements in the proper order. After a 'chmod 755', I ran the script.

Problem solved! Everything now looks as it should.

Again, the beauty of Linux is that, with this script technique, I can automate the fixing across all 100+ installed Napoleonic Archive battles as needed. I may yet have to fix sound and other files. We shall see...

< Message edited by berto -- 6/6/2011 6:33:08 PM >


Campaign Series Legion
Campaign Series Lead Coder
Panzer Campaigns, Panzer Battles, Civil War Battles Lead Coder

(in reply to berto)
Post #: 3
RE: John Tiller's Battleground Series on Linux WINE - 6/6/2011 6:30:41 PM   

Posts: 20504
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
Status: offline
Here is the handy-dandy shell script (I gave it the name 'install') that I used to help ease the otherwise very lengthy, tedious, and error-prone Napoleonic Archive install process for Linux WINE:




#echo $GAME
#echo $SERIES
#echo $MAIN
#echo $MODULE
#echo $DIR

if [ ! -d $SERIES ]; then
#rsync -vapH Waterloo/* $SERIES
rsync -vapH Napoleon\ in\ Russia/* $SERIES

if [ ! -f $SERIES/$MAIN ]; then
cp /home/berto/Downloads/$MAIN $SERIES
unzip -o $MAIN
#rm -rf WL CA HM LHS PN PL
rm -rf BD CK FF GR SR SU
cd ..

if [ ! -d $SERIES/$DIR ]; then
mkdir $SERIES/$DIR
cp /home/berto/Downloads/$MODULE $SERIES/$DIR
unzip -o $MODULE
cd ..
#ln -s bgw.exe $GAME.exe
ln -s nir.exe $GAME.exe

exit 0


Sample use:


berto@brito:~/.wine/drive_c/Games/Matrix Games/John Tiller's Battleground Napoleonic Wars$ ./install Katzbach Series5A FF


(This assumes that you have downloaded the & files -- into your ~/Downloads directory -- beforehand. You could automate the downloads en masse too, of course.)

Then apply the described in the previous post as needed.

For the scenarios requiring the BGW base, be sure to switch the commenting on the rsync, rm & ln statements. (I could embellish the script, by adding a command-line switch to handle the different NIR vs. BGW install bases, for example; or super-size the script to handle the (download and) installation of the entire Archive in one mega-operation; but this is a one-off script, so I KISSed it.)

To run the scenario, for example:


berto@brito:~/.wine/drive_c/Games/Matrix Games/John Tiller's Battleground Napoleonic Wars$ wine Katzbach &


Hope somebody finds this to be useful.


Campaign Series Legion
Campaign Series Lead Coder
Panzer Campaigns, Panzer Battles, Civil War Battles Lead Coder

(in reply to berto)
Post #: 4
Page:   [1]
All Forums >> [Current Games From Matrix.] >> [American Civil War] >> John Tiller's Battleground Series >> John Tiller's Battleground Series on Linux WINE Page: [1]
Jump to:

New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts

Forum Software © ASPPlayground.NET Advanced Edition 2.4.5 ANSI