A Struggle for the Heartland: Perryville and Stones River 1862-1863 egy összetett társasjáték, 2 játékos részére, az átlagos játékidő hosszabb, akár 1 - 2 óra is lehet. A játékmenet erősen épít az akció pontok, a hatszög-rács, a szimuláció és a kockadobás mechanizmusokra.
"I was in every battle, skirmish and march that was made by the First Tennessee Regiment during the war, and I do not remember of a harder contest and more evenly fought battle...
"I was in every battle, skirmish and march that was made by the First Tennessee Regiment during the war, and I do not remember of a harder contest and more evenly fought battle than that of Perryville. If it had been two men wrestling, it would have been called a 'dog fall.' Both sides claim victory—both whipped." - Private Sam Watkins, 1st Tennessee Infantry
In September, Braxton Bragg's Army of Mississippi out-maneuvered Don Carlos Buell's Army of the Ohio and invaded Kentucky. Although victorious in two battles, Bragg found his army out of position, low on supplies, and with no more than 1,000 Kentuckians joining the ranks. Buell was forced to seek out Bragg although his army was inexperienced. Outside Perryville, the two armies blundered into each other. A short but brutal battle followed that left neither side satisfied. The Union failed to utilize their numerical advantage, while Bragg withdrew from Kentucky. The result was a narrow Union victory, although Buell was removed from command and middle Tennessee was again in Confederate hands.
“This army does not retreat.” - George Thomas when asked if the XIV Corps should retreat from Stones River
The next time Bragg would face the Army of the Ohio, both opponents had new names. The Rebels dubbed their force the Army of Tennessee and the Union called theirs the XIV Corps. The Union was led by William Rosecrans, one of the war's best commanders. With offensives in Virginia and Mississippi failing, Rosecrans was pressured into making a premature winter push. At Stones River near Murfreesboro the armies fought a three day battle. The Confederates nearly won, but were forced back. The defeat relinquished some of the best farmland in Tennessee and an area that was heavily pro-Confederate. More importantly, the defeat led to a series of recriminations in the Confederate high command that poisoned the army. The Union received a desperately needed morale boost. Although forgotten today, Abraham Lincoln considered Stones River one of the North's most crucial victories.
Rally 'Round the Flag! is a brigade grand tactical system that combines old school hex and counter maneuvers with rules for command and control, leader personalities, flexible artillery, and a CRT that favors quality and firepower over raw mass. For Perryville (Battle in the Bluegrass) there are rules for Union high command confusion and Joseph Wheeler's cavalry screen. For Stones River (Winter of Discontent) there are rules for Cheatham being drunk and Rosecrans coming under fire. Both come with multiple scenarios, including additional forces. Players can make Perryville a grand decisive battle or at Stones River bring in additional Confederate forces that could decide the battle and the war.
—description from the designer