Boxer Rebellion Battle Part 1

On Wednesday 21st as no moves on the strategic front of the club’s American Civil War campaign game had caused a battle we had a free week. This led to a decision to play a Boxer Rebellion game. This is a period the club played a lot at one time. I know it was very popular and the club has figures for the various western powers and Chinese forces in 15mm. Del was able to put together some rules borrowing from two rules sets one being Space 1889 and another set that the name escapes me at this time.

The Scenario Del arranged was a mixed Chinese force must hold a village the Imperialist dogs must push them out of the village and off the table. The Imperialist where represented this evening by Russian and Japanese Troops. Interesting combination no doubt and George and Rick did not want to be Chinese with their inferior firepower. This left Kon, Stephen and myself as Chinese players. The Chinese don’t shoot well but have fairly good melee troops.  The Imperialist Dogs have more firepower but could be overwhelmed by melee forces. The fire ranges are incredible in this game.  Such as the rifles medium range I believe is 37 inches.  The artillery pretty much could fire the length of the board.  We spent a long time planning the set up for the game with many hidden units.  I kind of think we over thought the whole thing trying to figure out what George and Rick would do.  Time would tell if that is true.

(Click images for larger view)

Del explaining scenario to George

Del explaining scenario to George

 

Stephen ready to do battle with the Imperialist Dogs

Stephen ready to do battle with the Imperialist Dogs

Chinese General all alone

Chinese General all alone

Turn 1

Chinese lose initiative but are made to move first, Kon decides to move troops out of cornfield in front of the large hill towards the Imperialist deployment zone.  Poor rolls means for slow going. My Chinese cannon are on the left in an orchard to draw out the enemy and they have as George and rick have set up to try to flank that position with everything they have.  Really did not see that coming but oh well, “no plan survives contact with the enemy.”

George and Rick Western forces march onwards

George and Rick Western forces march onwards

Turn 2

George’s Japanese infantry and machine guns get into the open and fire at my cannon as the Chinese lose the initiative again.  The long fire range and George’s good rolls allow for a company of his infantry to reach a hill overlooking the orchard with the Chinese cannon.  One of my cannon takes some hits and a kill.  Stephen though supports me with his cannon on back hillside causing a hit to the Japanese infantry company.  My cannons are pretty ineffective including my Krupp gun.  (Must be those corrupt Chinese officials not filling the shells with gunpowder.)

Companies of Japanese infantry move forward

Companies of Japanese infantry move forward

Japanese rapid advance

Japanese rapid advance

Both George and I are forced to make morale rolls my cannon even though only a C morale makes the roll, I  had to roll a 10 or higher on two dice and did.  George did not need to roll nearly so high and failed.  The emperor will not be pleased the first company retreats after facing only one hit from Stephen’s guns.  The shame of it all.

Turn 3

Chinese lose the initiative roll even with a plus two for loosing twice in a row.  Kind of a theme with initiative rolls for the Chinese.  The Russians are shielded from Kon and Stephen on the right flank by a large hill and it is unsure what they are doing.  The Japanese under George are marching onwards around the Chinese left flank.  Not a direct approach at the village is being taken and I think that is a little of a surprise.  The Japanese machine gun fires at my Krupp gun in the rear for no effect just as I have no effect on them.  The Japanese infantry does hurt my artillery trying to flee the Orchard and two of the three guns do break and flee. (as seen below)  Fortunately they took the guns with them.  Stephen fires with his guns and improved rifles from the hillside behind the Village to try to break up the Japanese attack with little effect.

My Chinese cannon have to abandon the orchard

My Chinese cannon have to abandon the orchard

(We  the Chinese players had hidden troops all over the place but I could not remember if they were in the woods. Otherwise it might have been very dramatic with the Japanese advancing.)

Japanese infantry moving through the woods

Japanese infantry moving through the woods

Turn 4

Yes, again the Chinese loose the initiative roll even with a bigger bonus. My guns move further away from the on coming Japanese infantry while Kon moves his troops back into the corn.  Stephen misses with most of his fire but still one Russian unit failed morale.

Rick's Russian decide to come over the hill

Rick’s Russian decide to come over the hill

My cannon rallies except for one hit again by the Japanese and breaks seen down below.

Chinese cannon retreat behind wall

Chinese cannon retreat behind wall

Turn 5

Chinese loose initiative which we did the whole game so far.  My Boxers hiding in the defile are spotted by the Japanese engineer unit seen below.

Boxers waiting in defile for enemy

Boxers waiting in defile for enemy

Stephen shoots the Japanese with guns and infantry to support the boxers.  Rick’s Russians are also fired upon by Stephen on the hill.  Meanwhile my Boxer’s survive fire from George’s troops but all is not well for Stephen.

Russians fire from hillside

Russians fire from hillside

Kon's Jingle gunners open fire

Kon’s Jingle gunners open fire

Rick and Stephen exchange fire with different effects.  Rick gets hit and makes the morale roll getting a fortune roll.  His commander becomes great.  Stephen does not make the morale and a gun breaks and his roll is a catastrophe.  His commander looses command for a period of time.

We finished the night at this point with the expectations of finishing next week.  The next turn is an important turn as the Chinese never won a single initiative roll, but with the bonus for the roll we should win and then be able to charge the Japanese that are now in range of my Boxers.  Meanwhile with the Russian’s moving forward it should be interesting to see if they rest of the Chinese forces which up to now have little to do can have an effect on the game.  We will have to see what happens Wednesday.  Next week we will finish this out and see if the Chinese can hold it together and win a initiative roll.  It will be difficult I have a feeling.

 

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Painted a figure for my nephew

My nephew’s birthday was approaching and he had expressed an interest in Dungeons & Dragons. Actually I learned he likes it a lot. I actually got into painting figures by first painting figures for D&D as that was a game my parents gave me as gift.

I was given the TSR box set long ago in the 1970’s. My sister-in-law gave my nephew the latest edition of the rules for Christmas as it was on his list. I got him some dice and decided to paint him a figure or two. I ended up only getting to paint one before the birthday party that was moved up but I have included it here.

Finished figure after I was don basing it.

Finished figure after I was don basing it.

The figure was called a Spectre and by Elmore Masterworks that I bought from the Cool Mini or Not website. I did not paint it 100% like the painted figure on the website.  After gluing on the sword arm and horns I painted the cloak black but did it a little differently than I normally would looking for a different look.

(Early shot of the figure working on the black coat)

Working on coat and horns.

Working on coat and horns.

I painted the coat mixing black with lighter and lighter parts of the Foundry Deep Blue Triads of paints.  Then adding a little white for the final highlight.  This was different from my more normal style of black with grey highlights.  The dagger scabbard I painted mixing Foundry Musket Brown with the Foundry Deep Blue Triads of paints.  I liked the effect but I doubt my pictures really show it.

Final figure with shot of scabbard.

Final figure with shot of scabbard.

The horns I painted with Vallejo Pale Sand and used a dark wash of nuln oil.  I tried to build up the using lighter shades of base color at the tips of the horns.  The base is just regular Masonite base with a twig from the yard to be a deformed damaged tree and dirt and flocking on top of modeling clay.

Pointing towards doom?

Pointing towards doom?

I was able to get a dirty look around the base of the cloak which I think works well for the figure.  As the figure is not really specific it could be used as undead, a demon, spectre and monster of any kind. That was one of the reasons I was drawn towards it as it could be used for many things.

My nephew expressed that he was really happy with it.  “It looks so much better than the plastic ones they make”.  To quote him.  I for one was surprised he liked it to be honest.  I have seen the plastic D&D figures they make now and will agree with him they are not very good.  So I got to make someone happy and try out different techniques for painting so it was a win for everyone.  I admit I really did like the casting though not my normal choice of type of figure to work on it really was nicely done. Even if the photographs don’t show it the figure turned out much better than I originally hoped for especially as I was working under a deadline.

Wednesday Night Gamers travel to the Corvus Cluster for Warhammer 40K

So for two weeks the Wednesday Night Gamers have been playing a Warhammer 40K game set in the Corvus Cluster. This last Wednesday we finished off the game which was in the balance after the first night. Kon and myself known as Captain Stevrous Stark of the Imperial Infantry within the Cluster were against Del and George with the alien Tau. I had only really plaid the rules once and defeated the Tau once before and Kon mainly plays Orks I understand. The imperium set up first the battle being to wipe the other side out with points given for first unit killed, killing the leader, having a unit in the other sides deployment zone by the end of the game and on losses.

Imperial Forces

Imperial Forces

The Imperial forces which I will not totally describe had decided to try and set up a cross fire and draw the Tau in.  The Imperial troops had lots of infantry and Chimera, three walkers and a Leman Russ tank.  I hoped for the mortar team to be as devastating as they were to the Tau in the last game I played.  The Tau had a tank, some fast attack ships Kroot and lots of Crisis suites to pop in out of combat with jump jets.

Tau Commander

Tau Commander

So here we were with two shooting armies and lots of terrain in the way.  The pictures may not show it but I was at a loss on how to negate that factor.  I already knew the Tau commanders would use their Crisis Suites to pop back forth out of sight shooting at troops and vehicles.  This is exactly what they did.

I had placed most of the troops in the woods in the Imperial deployment zone with the vehicles except for the Chimera on the left.  Kon and I tried to set up cross fires for our heavy weapons in the open areas of the board.

The first several turns were mostly inconclusive with little real fire. Kon tried to line up shots with the big gun on the tank and I moved up on our right flank.

Kon Moves and Fires the Imperial Guard

Kon Moves and Fires the Imperial Guard

When you click and enlarge the picture above you can see some of Del’s really nice homemade alien buildings.  Also my chimaera full of troops begins to move towards the enemy.

Del's Tau Crisis Suites and Kroot hide in the woods

Del’s Tau Crisis Suites and Kroot hide in the woods

I got worried after the first few turns as even thought the Tau retreated back towards the trees on Kon’s side of the board a lot of shooting was going on at the Imperial forces.  Though mostly for no effect.  Del was really rolling a lot of one’s that night.  He kept rolling one with his tank’s big gun and the Crisis Suits I know it was frustrating him to no end.  For me I was not doing well either.  What I found weird in the rules and the Crisis Suits have to roll to see if the get damage if they jump back into the woods on a 1 they do get a hit of damage but get to have a saving roll of 3 or higher so George was saving himself from damage again and again.

George and Del await the Imperial Move

George and Del await the Imperial Move

Kroot and Tau the first dead of the game.

Kroot and Tau the first dead of the game.

Mostly mortar fire was responsible for the first kills of the game but I take them any way I can get them.  At this point I worried about my Guardsmen in the APC and tried to get them out before the vehicle was blown away.  I was successful but this left them alone and vulnerable to a lot of fire.  They ended up braking but so did the Kroot they faced around turn 3 or 4.  So in the end I lost them and the vehicle in the end.

  • So at the end the first night that and one other thing was the pivotal issue for the night.The loss of the vehicle and the troops to the Crisis Suites and Kroot.  Thought the Kroot did also break they were rallied.
Imperial Guard APC about to get blasted.

Imperial Guard APC about to get blasted.

Imperial Guard and Kroot shoot it out

Imperial Guard and Kroot shoot it out.

  •           Del’s Rolls
Del's rolls all night long

Del’s rolls all night long

So the next Wednesday we continued with the same players as before Del having gone to a Games Workshop store over the weekend to get some pointers.  Again the fire was not what one would have hoped I made a critical mistake.  I tried to attack a crisis suite with my Special Weapons Squad bringing them out of the woods to attack the unit that had attacked the Imperial Walkers.  I rolled low they were then destroyed and Del leveled a lot of firepower at them.  This was important.

The game ground on.  I hurt two Tau unit of George’s who did not totally break but stayed back out of site for the rest of the game and Del moved back and forth with his troops in and out of range.

Tau units damaged and staying behind cover

Tau units damaged and staying behind cover

Lemann Russ tank and troops in the middle.

Lemann Russ tank and troops in the middle.

I did not use my troops well I feel.  I learned late how powerful my psyker was as I used him once to destroy She who must be obeyed for  the Tau with a Lightning Bolt.  I destroyed George’s female Crisis Suite Commander and knocked the unit pretty much out of the game.  Only problem he had already immobilized my tank.  Del made the really smart move of leaving some of my troops alone and instead going for points and my deployment zone with fast attack.  So even though Kon got into a melee with Del’s Crisis Suits at the end of the game we really could not win.  Del and George stayed out of range and I could not reach the fast attack for the deployment zone points.  The Tau won 4-2 on points. The loss of the Special Weapons team when I moved them out of the woods to attack cost me a tie.  It was the deciding factor. I used a unit that really had little chance of doing damage that was easy to kill and cost a lot of points.  Not a good move on my part. Obviously the fact that Del had moved all the good dice from the night before was a disappointment but still this I guess happens.

Even after rolling to prolong the game several times it does end

Even after rolling to prolong the game several times it does end

Warhammer 40K can be interesting but learning how to best use your troops there is a learning curve as George pointed out.  Del does make really nice terrain.  A great part of the club is we can wait for other members to come the following week to make a strategic move in the American Civil War Campaign and play a game of 40k one week.  Next week it looks to be a Boxer Rebellion Game.  Not done that in a while.

For those really into Warhammer 40K Del Stover has a real good narrative blog with lots of stuff including on this battle.

Corvus Cluster Home Page: http://thecorvuscluster.com/

Story about this battle:  https://moralroll.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=388&action=edit&message=10

Terrain Article: http://thecorvuscluster.com/2015/01/13/making-martian-terrain-tiles/

Finished a Stand of Prussian Cuirassiers

Been working on these for sometime and now I have them painted and based. I actually finished the painting on New Years Day but needed to base them.  These three figures are supposed to reflect 2 Squadrons of the Prussian 3rd Cuirassiers Regiment in 1866.  (Click photograph for a larger view.)

Prussian 3rd Currissars Regiment

Prussian 3rd Cuirassiers Regiment

I have been experimenting with doing different things to the basing with figures the last few month.  Instead of a green painted or flocked base I went for a more dirt and rock base.  For infantry I think that works as you might notice the French infantry in the background that I left on the table in the background.  Upon reflection a bit more green would look good for this base so perhaps a combination of the two styles would be best.  Oh well.

The 3rd Regiment served under Von Bredow in 1866 in the Prussian Reserve Cavalry Brigade attached to 1st Corp of the Prussian Second Army.  For those interested in history yes that is the 3rd (East Prussian) Cuirassiers “Count Wrangle”.  They served in both the Six Weeks War of 1866 against the Austrians and against the French in 1870 which another reason to paint them.  No they did not charge with Von Bredow at the battle of Mars-La-Tour in 1870 that was the 7th Cuirassiers.  I will let those who are not familiar with the battle look it up on Wikipedia or even better read a book on the Franco-Prussian war of 1870.  Right me I will suggest some titles to you. Von Bredow’s Death Ride will be sure to be mentioned.

Prussian 3rd Currissars Regiment

Prussian 3rd Cuirassiers Regiment

These figures are by Freikorp 15 and even if my poor photography does not show it I feel the horses are a bit on the chunky side.  I wanted some variety and bought some Freikorp 15 figures a few years ago.  I admit to not liking to paint cavalry a lot and feel I am not the best at it.  Still I feel the sculpts on these are a bit chunky. Still on a Wargaming table with 15mm figures it might be totally unnoticeable.  I know that no one will be able to tell I painted the sword knots on these figures different colors to reflect a non-commission officer, one trooper from the 1st squadron and another from 2nd squadron.  I tend to doubt you could see that on a 28mm figure on a table top.

I actually have another figure painted up and ready to base.  I need to prime and paint two more figures to complete the unit.  That will give me a enough figures for a two stand 4 squadron regiment which I am building.  The Brigade was composed of the 3rd Cuirassiers Regiment the 8th Uhlans and the 12th Uhlans.  I have a bag of Prussian Uhlands from Old Glory to paint up the finish the brigade. They will have to wait though as I finish some figures I am painting up as gifts.

On another note I would like to thank the person or persons who gave me a supporting membership to The Miniatures Page this Christmas as I had let my supporting membership lapse with my under employment.  It was a very thoughtful and considerate thing to do for a friend.  Thank you,

Steven

With a New Year some changes to the Blog

I have decided to make changes to the blog I started in 2014 with the new year in 2015.  I have not done nearly as much blogging as I expected to do especially when I was unemployed as I figured I would be writing and painting up a storm and that just did not turn out to be so.

You can see from a recent post the stats for the blog over 2014.  Not something I really thought much about but the information was sent to me so I decided to post it.  Perhaps in 2015 I will do more blogging or at least be more consistent.

I do have several projects in the works right now, most are really continuations of things I have been working on in 2014.

  1. Continue to paint Prussian and Austrian cavalry figures for the 1859 thru 1870 period.  I started and stalled on these in 2014 but got going again in October with a fair amount of work again in November.  Looks like I will get some finished in December.
  2. Paint some D&D fantasy figures for my nephews birthday.  I have a variety of fantasy figures that have been laying around for years for one reason or another.  I am going to try to get a Spectre, Dwarf and one or two Orks done for him before his birthday at the end of January.

For the blog itself I am looking into changing up the look a little and would like to add more links and blogs.