Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Japanese have arrived!

I finished painting my Japanese contingent for the game.

As per our decision to go for a 1:1 ratio for the defenders, I`ve done 24 men and four officers (including the two visitors).

Most of the figures are Combat Miniatures 20mm from their Russo-Japnaese War range.

The bulk of my force, painted up as line infantry in tropical uniform and light order equipment. The yellow hat band indicates a line regiment, the red shoulder boards are for their infantry branch of service.

Imperial Guard in full kit and dress uniform. Red hat band indicates they are Imperial Guard, once again red shoulder flashes for infantry branch of service.

Naval ratings (Elheim Figures - British Naval Landing Party)

Imperial Guard Lt. Haraj (converted standard bearer), Naval Capt. Morita (Elheim naval officer)

Capt. Ando, Col. Shirba - military attache (painted up with green hat band and shoulder boards as a cavalry officer)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

First Game

On Thursday night Will and I tried our first Boxer game using the figures I already had together with Terrain we had lying around. I had written a set of simple rules and had a few ideas I wanted to try out.

The table was set up with several legations:

The rules for the Colonials was using a D6 to hit. Range of 12" hitting on a 5. During the game we amended this to 0-6" hit on 4, 6-12" hit on 5,6 and 12-18" hit on a 6. Boxers who were poor shots only hit on a 6. Troops in the open get no saving roll. Behind sandbags and boxes save on a 4+ and behind a hard wall save on a 3+

Melee was by rolling a D6 for each figure in contact and adding all dice together. For each multiple of 6 a figure in the open is killed. Behind sand bags each multiple of 9 kills a figure and behind a wall each multiple of 12 killed a figure.

The basic combat rules worked very well.

D3 groups of boxers arrived per turn. At first we used a clock dial (on a D12) for arrivals. We tweaked this through the game so that boxers arrived in the Foo:

We settled on the numbers of boxers in a group as 8 + D6. There was certainly pressures on the legation.

Morale for the boxers was 2D6. when they took a casualty they had to score equal or less than the number of boxers left. Its surprising how a small group of 4 or 5 boxers can keep coming!!! If they failed a morale test and the group was very small it was removed from the table. larger groups that retreated stopped out of range (or joined another group). Each turn the group grew by 1D3 figures. Once they reached 12 they could advance again.

We tried a couple of method of ammunition limitations and we settled on a system I designed some time ago. At the start of the game each legation has 3 ammo chips (we used counters but for the final game we will use wooden cubes from german board games). Each turn a legation could fire as many times as they wished (up to 3). Now here's the kicker. At the end of each turn you have to draw new ammo chips from a bag, however, there are a number of dummy chips in there of a different colour. So you may get no ammo for next turn!!

Next turn you can throw all the dummy chips in and draw back up to 3. It gave a real dilemma for legations do they fire at long range or at medium range how many times do you fire. The British legation did run out of ammo at a critical time, yikes and the Italian legation was abandoned:

We also had random event by putting 2 or 3 different coloured chips in the bag too, fires to legations, the finding of the international gun etc.

The other thing we did was recovery of casualties. For each casualty you threw a D6 if a 6 is rolled you got one of your wounded back. If your legation was on fire you could not get them back so in encouraged the colonial players to put out the fires. Likewise if you abandoned the legation you could not get casualties back.

The game went really well and legations were under pressure and had difficult decisions to make.

The final photo shows Wills wall which we agreed he could extend and we'll use it as the city wall for 1 length of the table

Saturday, July 31, 2010

German Boxer Game

More research bought up these pictures of a German boxer game from:

Monday, July 26, 2010

Help From Danish Society Member

Rich Baber spoke to Alan Owen who lives in Denmark has offered to paint up some Boxers for the game and post them over to us to use. He has 50 boxers painted up and based in 2's.

This is excellent news and I thank Alan for his kind offer which we have accepted. This also means that I will be able to paint up some Chinese Imperial troops, as we now have a healthy supply of Boxers.

Alan also states
Stan Johansen Miniatures in the US he does the International gun with crew, a Colt and a Austrian Maxim as well as figures for the combatants.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Will's Boxers

Sine Pete has posted some of his figures to be used in next years game, here are my Boxers that I painted a while ago and still haven't seen action

The figures used are a mixture of Qualiticast 20mm metal and Orion plastics

For my own gaming convenience I have organised them into units with common jacket colours

The flags came from Matakishi's Tea House, which has some useful bits on the boxers

Andrews Wargaming Pages also has some information on the Boxers including some period colour pictures

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Early Troop Pictures

I already have some troops from long ago painted up. However the number you see in the picture is what I currently have. I intend to paint up at 1:1 for all the Colonial Troops.




Austro Hungarian
One of the reports I read said they hastily made unifroms out of Khaki Material




Currently have approx 100 boxers, I intend to double the numbers.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Nordenfeldt Gun

This is a Nordenfeldt gun on a naval mounting that's on display at the Royal Armouries in Leeds.

Figure manufacturers

Jacklex - produce a range for Russo-Japanese War figures including Japanese infantry; they also do Yanks in Montana cap in their Pershing`s Expedition into Mexico range. They also do a Zulu War range with Brits in sun helmet and naval personel.

Newline Designs - do lots of nice figures in their Zulu War range

Combat Miniatures - do Russo-Japanese war figures

Friday, July 9, 2010

Boxer Resources

I have drawn up a list of essential resources:

Osprey's Men at Arms no. 95 The Boxer Rebellion by Lynn E. Bodin. A great general reference and the painting guide.

Osprey Campaign Series no. 85, Peking 1900 by Peter Harrington. Good photos and illustrations, bird's eye view of Peking legation, and maps.

The Boxer Rebellion by Paul H. Clements. Addresses causes, politics, and may give some insight into motivations. No photos or illustrations.

The Siege at Peking by Peter Flemming. Offers some useful details with respect to modelling and general details of the relief expeditions and battles. Few maps, no photos.

James Ricalton's Photographs of China During the Boxer Rebellion by Christopher J. Lucas. Only a few photos were specifically of the legations.

The Colonial Wars Sourcebook by Philip J. Haythornethwaite. A small section is dedicated to the Boxer Rebellion, it offers an overview of the Rebellion. B&W photos throughout.

The Fists of Righteous Harmony by Henry Keown Boyd. Similar to Flemmings book above. Many good photos and maps.

The Boxer Rebellion by Diana Preston . A well-written account of the Boxer Rebellion but as seen through the eyes of the Western participants only.. Some b&w photos and maps.

Miniature Wargames magazine Nos. 65,66,67,68 (Oct '88 thru Jan'89) have a four part article. It covers uniforms, history, maps, etc.

Practical Wargamer magazine Autumn '88 has an article on the British Legation with birdseye view.

Wargames Illustrated no. 27 contains an article called "55 Minutes at Peking", which inspired me for the period. Contains pictures and rules.

Forces at Peking

8 nations were represented in the legations and the following forces were involved:

Autro-Hungary: 5 officers and 30 men
France: 2 officers and 45 men
Germany: 1 officer and 51 men
Great Britain: 3 officers and 79 men
Italy: 1 officer and 28 men
Japan: 2 officer and 24 men
Russia: 2 officers and 79 men
USA: 3 officers and 53 men

There were also 75 men who had military experience.

Lastly there was second group of 50 civilians who called themselves Thornhill's Rough.

Heavy weapons included:
Austrian Maxim Gun
British Nordenfeldt gun (which incidentally jammed every 3 to 4 rounds)
Italian 1 pdr quick firing gun
US Colt Machine Gun

Later on some Chinese workers found an old Anglo-French rifled cannon. The Russians had some old 9lb artillery shells which they had thrown down the well to stop them getting in Chinese hands. The Americans got the cannon working, the Italians supplied a working gun carriage to place it on. It was called many names but the name that stuck was the International Gun.

In 20mm there are 3 manufacturers that I know:
Kennington Miniatures
Orion Plastic Boxers
Rec Box Plastics that cover a host of colonial troops and some of the relief troops too.

Legation Buildings

Old Glory used to make some legation building but these are now long out of production but I have some images of them as we are going to have to scratch build them:

Boxer Rebellion Siege

Courtesy of wikipedia:

The compound in Beijing remained under siege from Boxer forces from 20 June - 14 August. A total of 473 foreign civilians, 409 soldiers from eight countries, and about 3,000 Chinese Christians took refuge in the Legation Quarter. Under the command of the British minister to China, Claude Maxwell MacDonald, the legation staff and security personnel defended the compound with one old muzzle-loaded cannon; it was nicknamed the International Gun because the barrel was British, the carriage was Italian, the shells were Russian and the crew was American.

During the defence of the legations, a small Japanese force of one officer and 24 sailors commanded by Colonel Shiba, distinguished itself in several ways. Of particular note was that it had the almost unique distinction of suffering greater than 100 percent casualties. This was possible because a great many of the Japanese troops were wounded, entered into the casualty lists, then returned to the line of battle only to be wounded once more and again entered in the casualty lists.

Also under siege in Peking was the North Cathedral, the Beidang, of the Catholic Church. The Beidang was defended by 43 French and Italian soldiers, 33 Catholic Priests and nuns, and about 3,200 Chinese Catholics. The defenders suffered heavy casualties especially from lack of food and Chinese mines exploded in tunnels dug beneath the compound.

Foreign media described the fighting going on in Beijing, as well as the alleged torture and murder of captured foreigners. While it is true that thousands of Chinese Christians were massacred in north China, many horrible stories that appeared in world newspapers were based on the actual murder of men, women and children within the foreign legation. Nonetheless a wave of anti-Chinese[citation needed] sentiment arose in Europe, the United States and Japan. The poorly-armed Boxer rebels were unable to break into the compound, which was relieved by an international army of the Eight-Nation Alliance in August.

The map of the city looked like this:

Gauntlet 2011

Now 2010 is over its time to look forward to next years show which is: 2nd and 3rd July 2011.

This time we are going to push the Twentieth Century Wargamers to its limits. Next year will be:

55 Days at Peking

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Pictures and videos of Tifaruin game

I now have photos and videos of the two day game at gauntlet.

SOTCW Game 2010 - The Rif Wars from Pete Jones on Vimeo.

You can find more photos at my flickr page: