Sunday, February 18, 2018

First Boxer Rebellion Games! Pic heavy!

At last! Today my good mate Cory from our regular gaming group came over after lunch we managed to get a couple of 55 Days at Peking games played out.

We had an absolute ball with both games, the first being a comfortable-ish relief for the legation defenders and the second a real nail-biter with just three German Seebatallion surviving when the relief arrived. We used The Natives are Restless Tonight colonial skirmish rules by Paul Ward a.k.a. Matakishi, freely available from his wonderful website and they worked a treat.

Action was fast, bloody and there was always something happening. In game one we broke or killed off 11 units of melee armed Boxers with several more on the table when relief arrived. In game two it was 13 units of Boxers, including several with firearms, before the relief arrived.

Here's a pile of photos I took with my phone. Not all the best quality but things were moving so quickly we didn't want to spend too much time on photography. Anyway, enjoy the images and at the end there's some conclusions and thoughts for future games.

The International Gun in action



Stout Japanese. They died to a man. Twice!






Big trouble in Little Britain. They're inside the walls!


Boxer artillery breaches the British legation compound wall! 



Kansu Braves preparing to chagre



Last ditch defence! German Seebatallion firing line defends the breach.


Russian reinforcements

"Pasha Tojo" in waiting. He earned his name with his second death...







Pasha Tojo assailed by hordes of Chinese fights to his last breath atop the stairs


Charlton Heston, going down fighting...


What a relief! The last of all the legation forces left alive in game two

Some thoughts...

The rules worked *really* well. They produce fast-paced games with a good balance of hordes of Boxers vs relatively few Imperial defenders concluded in around 90 minutes. With 50 Imperials and approximately twice that (at least) in Boxers that's a brilliant outcome.

Bigger games will produce some activation challenges. The most actions currently allowed for per turn is 3 for aces and 2 for court cards. This means in bigger games some units won't act very often if at all. Easy enough to fix by tinkering with the card activation to make some cards worth more activations or perhaps introduce a second deck.

Isolated legations don't last long. Historically these were abandoned and forces concentrated within a perimeter centred on the British Legation and this is how the game plays out too.

I'm not sure the Tartar Wall is necessary. It's fundamental to the history, being key to the defence but that was over a period of 55 days. I'm not sure how much value it would add for a 90 minute game and it will be a big build at even something like the right scale. Maybe smaller and still included is the answer?

Some plans...

I need to build another couple of legations but that will be it for buildings apart from the Palace of Prince Su (a small walled complex) and some other small bits and pieces, mostly set dressing. I have enough Boxers to support a game of that size and it will enable more players to participate. Some more Imperials will also be required.

I'll probably buy some sabot bases at some point to facilitate pitched battles outside Peking or at least large sizes skirmishes. That would also allow me to add some Imperial cavalry, and Chinese regular forces, and maybe a gunboat, and a railway, and... well you get the picture :-)

Anyway, that's enough for today. I was suffering a bit of project fatigue with all build / paint and no play. Now I've my enthusiasm back in spades!

Cheers,
Millsy


7 comments :

  1. Atmospheric and wonderful looking game! Boxer Rebellion is not a period I am familiar with, but this kind of report is very tempting...excellent!

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  2. What Phil said for sure! A great game but how in the Seven Hells were the Boxers able to get into the British Legation walls? Must be some traitor at work.

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  3. Brilliant . its great to see it getting game time!

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  4. Fantastic stuff mate - awesome to see it all come together after a year or so of watching you build the terrain and paint the minis. Must have been very satisfying for you as well as lots of fun!

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