And what better way to spend the afternoon than playing it?
Because it's a battle I have something of a soft-spot for, I set up the Antietam scenario. Catherine was happy to give it a go, so away we went.
Here's the board set up:
Catherine took the role of George McClellan, reasoning that she couldn't do any worse than he did:
I played the part of Lee. Here I am looking for loopholes in the scenario:
The course of the battle was basically the reverse of what happened historically. It opened with Burnside assaulting across Antietam Creek, moved on to Sumner's assault on the Sunken Road and then finished with Hooker stirring himself into action on the Union right.
Burnside attempted to push across the creek, and was repulsed:
A second attempt saw the Confederates pushed back:
The Union were across, in force:
Action switched to the centre. Despite mounting casualties the Union managed to outflank the Sunken Road. Not good:
The position about halfway through. The Confederates had two flags, the Union only one:
Hooker had probed nervously towards the Cornfield on the Confederate left, but was hit by a fierce counter-attack by Jackson's Corps, supported by Stuart's cavalry:
Meanwhile Longstreet noticed that the Sunken Road was no longer occupied by any Confederate troops:
Fighting raged around the Cornfield:
Disaster - Jackson and Longstreet were felled in the same turn:
And on the Confederate right Burnside pushed out of his bridgehead, and engaged A.P.Hill's Division, inflicting the last casualty needed to win the game:
The final position. There are no Confederates in the centre at all, and they're looking a bit sick on the right as well. There was still fight remaining on the left (and the cards to back it up), but the day was lost:
Catherine won through taking the Sunken Road, and then killing two of my three generals. The other casualties were an infantry unit on my right, and my one artillery unit over by the Cornfield. I destroyed four Union units - two from Burnside's Corps and two from Sumner's.
The two generals, taken the day before, ready to play ... The Spoon Of Destiny!