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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Save the Missionaries

I've sadly neglected this blog and it's one of my favorite periods. So I've dug into my game files to present another episode of the unfortunate Colonel Klink who has a rather lackluster performance again. 


Another mis-adventure for Colonel Klink, this time trying to rescue some Western civilians who have managed to get themselves trapped by hordes of Boxers at the Missionary complex. The rules are the reliable The Sword and the Flame (TSATF) with twenty man units. Allied units include one platoon Office and one sergeant or other NCO. Boxer units have only the one tribal leader. In this game, Colonel Klink must advance from the North edge of the table and rescue the civilians at the Mission before they are massacred. No time limit is given and it is either a win or loose proposition. 



  Forces used are given on the Scenario map below. Feel free to substitute with whatever Allied forces you have. Since this is Colonel Klink's story, I was compelled to include some Germans, but use what you have. Boxers should generally be short on ranged weapons as they had a disdain towards modern European weapons. The Mission Complex has high walls so troops inside cannot fire out nor be fired upon except by artillery. Boxers must move up to wall and stop. The next turn they can climb to top of wall and can melee troops inside. If they win, they are assumed to be inside the compound the next turn.Optionally, you can assume the allies would make loopholes in the walls and allow them to fire at any Boxers outside who have not yet reached the walls.

A view of the Mission with ten French Sailors, ten French Naval Brigade and the Civilians inside. The Sailors are actually inside the building and can fire out any windows. Naval Brigade is in the courtyard. A machine gun manned by German East Asia Brigade figures is in the redoubt at the front gate.

The Boxers advance towards the Mission refuge. Colonel Klink's relief column arrives on the road, but it looks like some Boxers have popped out of the walled enclosure to stop them. Boxers are leery of European firepower and advance slowly, waiting for their artillery to deploy.

Colonel Klink's Relief Column is ambushed by three Boxer units that were hidden in the terrain. Two Boxer units fail to go home and the third looses its melee with the German Marines.

Boxer bravery is no match for modern European firepower. Thirty two Boxers lay dead for cost of ten Allies. Two Boxer units are reduced to below Critical strength and route back. A third Boxer unit decides to head for cover after failing to charge.

Another view of the Relief Column after the firefight devastated the Boxer blocking force.

Boxers are moving up to the Mission walls. Next turn they can attempt to climb on top of the walls. Notice how the boxers avoid the rear of the Mission where the allies can fire out the windows.

Colonel Klink has his relief Column advancing but at this rate he'll never be in time.

A closer view of the assault on the Mission Compound. The French Naval Brigade has had to reinforce the Machine Gun crew reducing the number of troops defending the Courtyard.

French Sailors have moved to the Courtyard to help defend the walls. MG crew is still alive because all the Boxers charging them fail to go home.

Boxers are on the walls now on both sides, Doesn't look good for the Mission. Boxer muskets move to engage the Relief column. One Boxer group gets ready to charge the Machine Gun rather than the walls. There is only so much room on top of the walls.

Colonel Klink can hear the battle at the Mission, but he is too far away to help. He has eliminated all of the Boxer blocking forces and has only the Boxer muskets in front of him.

Too late! Boxers are inside the Courtyard. One Boxer attack was beaten off but the other one made it in. Allied troops shown out side the Mission are all casualties. Only the Machine Gun crew remains.

Klink hears the cries from the Mission, but there is nothing he can do.

Sadly, the Missionaries are left to their fates at the hands of the Boxers. We won't go into the details. The Machinegun has hosed down the Boxers who were contemplating charging them, but there are plenty more around. If the crew can beat feet before a Boxer unit can charge them they might be able to get away.


Colonel Klink will return to base and report that the Boxers overran the Mission before he could get there. The Boxers try to celebrate their victory, but having lost half their number, the rank and file were not in the mood for it. Many are beginning to doubt their invincibility to Western firearms. Regardless there will more battles to come.


This was a relatively short game, just under two hours. Although it looks like Colonel Klink was moving awful slow, the fight at the mission actually progressed very rapidly. The Boxers were able to get into the Mission too easily and the high wall prevented effective use of firepower by the allies inside. If playing this scenario, it would be best to assume the allies made firing loop holes in the walls. That should even up things a bit,


Hope you found something enjoyable in this AAR. Colonel Klink will return in another misadventure. I've been giving some thought to trying "The Men Who Would Be Kings" rules for this period. Played a game at 2017 Historicon and thought they worked well for this period.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Battle at Anting Station

This is a scenario taken from "Colonial Campaigns Boxer Rebellion by Mark Fastoso. It's a must for those interested in the Boxer Rebellion. Has a lot of historical background info, a small painting guide, modifications to TSATF rules and ten well done scenarios. The first three scenarios are Chinese Regulars vs Boxers which probably don't draw to much interest. All the rest are actions related to Admiral Seymour's attempt to relieve Peking. The scenarios use eight man units instead of the standard twenty man units found in The Sword and the Flame(TSATF). I'm not sure if like the small units, but they do make for a fast moving  and reasonable length game that came be completed in a couple of hours. The Scenario Book can he had for about $20 at places like this:

 The book is all in Black and White, no color images. Each scenario has a nicely done 2D map, set up description, victory conditions and roster of forces.Although developed for TSATF, you could use your own favorite set of skirmish rules instead.

We used the Quick Reference Charts contained in the Scenario Booklet for our game rather than the ones found in the TSATF Boxer Rebellion Supplement by the late Lynn Bodin. Since this is a Blog about Colonel Klink, we used our own mix of German Allies instead of the historical allies used in the Scenario Booklet.

Below is a 3D Scenario Map I did. The Allies set up within eight inches of Anting Station. Two Boxer units may set up hidden anywhere at least twenty four inches from North map edge. The rest come on one unit a turn at one of three locations determined by a die roll shown on the map. Ron Berry and I played the Allies with me taking the German Marines and Ron the Austro-Hungarian sailors. Tom Condo and Gary Williams played the Boxers. The Allies must hold at least two building at Anting Station AND prevent the Boxers from Damaging the Tracks town The Boxers had to either capture three buildings at the Station OR damage the railroad tracks within two foot of the North edge.To damage the tracks, each Boxer figure that spends the Melee phase on the tracks, does one point of damage. Twenty Four points are needed to sufficiently make the rails unusable. Game length is ten turns.

Well here we go with the set up. I arrange the Marines around the South end of the Station. Ron puts one squad of sailors defending the tracks and the other squad into one of the buildings. The two Boxer units visible aren't really there. They are somewhere hidden on the table.

A view looking toward North end of table. Those Boxers aren't there either. They are awaiting their arrival on the table. The Boxer side spent several turns building up their forces. It was about turn five before they decided to show themselves.

Seeing nothing happening, Ron moves his 1st squad of sailors out of the house to go look for trouble. He finds it soon enough. I send a squad of Marines to support.

Finally feeling they have enough units on the table, Tom sends a unit of Boxers to attack the sailors defending the Station. Rolling four dice they achieved enough movement to come rushing over the hill. Another unit attacks the Marines, but didn't have enough movement to reach. I forgot to take a picture of the attack, but the results can be seen in the next photo.

Ron successfully drives off the 1st wave, but has taken some casualties. With only eight man units, its easy to reach the "Critical" unit morale point easily. We used Mitch's Alternate Wounded Accounting Procedure (MAWAP) to resolve wounded figures. (i.e. On next activation unit rolls 1D6 for each wounded figure. 1,2,3 they come back; 3,4,6 they're dead) We find this cleans up the battlefield of the many wounded figures if using the standard TSATF rules.

The Allies fend off several Boxer attacks on the Station. I send some Marines over to help Ron's sailors who are getting whittled down. Ron sends his other unit of sailors to deal with the Boxers who have been accumulating North of the Station on the tracks.

Ron's sailors are attacked by a unit of Boxers that were hidden in the woods. Facing the wrong direction, only a couple of figures can fire. The sailors decide discretion is the better part of valor and fail their "Stand to Charge" morale test.

The sailors promptly run away, but avoid any casualties. Not to worry the Marines are moving up to defend the North section of the Station. They subsequently drive off the Boxers that had attacked Ron with firepower alone.

Another Boxer attack on the Station is fought off by the Marines with encouragement being given by Colonel Klink. Ron has sent his squad of sailors who have taken several casualties into the white building. His other squad of sailors have rallied and are advancing again. My unit of Marines to the North tries to drive the Boxers off the rails by gunfire, but are out of range and only succeed in diving off a small unit of Boxers that had reached "Critical" morale.

Colonel Klink survives the last Boxer attack on the station, but realizes too late that he needed to also prevent the Boxers from damaging the railroad tracks.

The Boxers arriving at the North entry point went straight to the tracks and began their nefarious work of tearing up the rails. Being unmolested by the Allies, it was easy for them to reach the 24 points of damage in a few turns.

The Boxers are victorious over the foreign devil today. The allies at Peking will not get relieved any time soon. Lets hope Charleston Heston and David Niven can hold out a little longer. Colonel Klink and his Austro/German troops face a long march back to Lang Fang.

 In retrospect, the Allies must send some units North immediately to prevent the Boxers form being able to damage the tracks. If I had it to do over again, I would send two squads North to protect the rails and keep three at the Station. As it happened in this game, no Boxer units appeared at the South end of the table, not that it would have made any difference. But imagine if the allies had sent units North and the Boxers all appear at the South end.  The variable appearance location of the Boxers in this scenario, keeps one guessing making for an exciting game.

At any rate, we enjoyed playing the game. I hope you enjoyed this after action report and encourage you to try out this scenario. If you have any questions about this scenario, the figures of this blog, leave a comment or email me at bandrsntch at wavecableDOTcom. Thanks for viewing.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Colonel Klink to the Rescue!

 To start this blog out, I've added this game we played some time ago( November 2007). We used the standard TSATF rules with my 15mm Boxer Rebellion figures. This is the standard save the outpost type scenario. A small force of Allies has to fend off a horde of Boxers until a Relief Force arrives to save them. In this case some British Sailors and Italian Bersiglieri have to defend an arsenal somewhere in China until Colonel Klink arrives with the Relief Force which is being contested by Regular Chinese forces. Can the Arsenal  hold out? Read on and we shall see.

The Chinese have it in for Colonel Klink who will be our reluctant hero in this Blog. The Chinese have taken to taunting him whenever possible as evidenced by the banners they carry. Look at  the Banner above. If you don't see it, tilt your head slightly to the right.