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