Saturday, February 18, 2012

Battle of Peitsang

Rules: Colonial Adventures
Scale: 28mm
Figures: Old Glory, Copplestone
Rules Modifications: 
Western trained Chinese will react better than Boxer Peasants
1/2 Fire power dice to shoot at entrenched units
Volley Fire always creates a tight ammo result for the firing unit
-1 Fire power die for open order and Gun Crew target is cumulative
 Kansu are Ferocious
Rolling a received casualty per occurrence (once) rather than per figure(multiple times)...we did this on purpose to make the game play longer for sake of the convention.

We are play testing a game for Cold Wars and it is based on a scenario from a skirmish campaign book.

A combined force of British, Americans, Austrians, Japanese, Germans, Russians and French are advancing to an armory. The force is being lead by a charismatic Italian general (might as well include another country) and the attacking force is split on opposite side of a river. The attacking forces are starting 24" from the edge. All units are REP 4 except US Marines, Italian General, and British Artillery who are REP5.

The Chinese forces include 4 units of Kansu braves, Imperial Rifles, 4 artillery pieces, and a cavalry units which will not be included in the future OOB. We are contemplating the use of 2-3 mobs of peasants for cannon fodder and suicidal charges to get things started. Kansu are REP4 and all other units are REP3.

The goals for the Allies is to seize the gun battery on the west side of the river and take the two buildings on the east side of the river. The Chinese must stop the Allies and kill as many of the foreigners as possible in the process. The Players are Cliff, Tom, Leo, Jack, Kyle while Jim and I were the umpires.

The Allied Powers deploy for the attack.
 The Allies got off to a slow start an on turn 1 blew the initiative roll with a 6, so none of there units moved. The Chinese rolled a 5 so the General (Rep 5) moved to the cannon to activate it and fire. The allies took some casualties early but they continued to advance in open order to get the benefit of the 12" movement and a defensive bonus.  A few French and British troops are lost in the opening moves to the Chinese artillery. Acceptable losses in order to seize the objectives. The range for rifles is 24 inches and artillery range is up to 36 inches.

Kansu and Imperial Rifles entrenched and ready
On turn 2 and 3 the Allies cautiously advanced and the British received most of the attention from the Chinese rifle units. The British and French fired in the opening salvo and took out a gun crew which really helped their cause. The Chinese players thought the crew was killed too easily and suggested that entrenchments should offer more cover. Some of the Kansu Braves are hit and a failed casualty roll means 1 in 6 braves leaves the field. On a second received casualty roll the unit stands.

Rules Note: We are going to add a defensive bonus for units in prepared defenses. Fire power dice against entrenched units will be reduced by half.

British, French and Germans advance in the center toward the ford.
On the Chinese left flank the cavalry keep a unit of Austrians in check. The Austrians slowly advance in open order and begin to fire.  The cavalry lose one of their number but carry on. The Kansu Braves in the center begin to become thinned out by accurate rifle fire. The Kansu fire also hits on target as the British and French infantry lose several men. The Germans are moved in support through the woods but are slowed to a half move.

The Kansu have artillery to help repel the onslaught
The Kansu braves on the front line take several more hits and receive a tight ammo result which means they lose a die in their fire power rolls. The Imperial Rifles are moved to plug the gap that is developing.
The Chinese do not waver as their numbers thin. The captured Krupp guns are used to support the defensive positions but they also receive low ammo results. The Mules are brought forward to resupply the units.

Chinese Artillery and Infantry have tight ammo....and the allies keep advancing.
Rather than close the allied stop to exchange fire and soften the defenders before the inevitable assault. The only way to cross the ford is in open order so the allies decide to keep dispersed. The woods slowed the Germans to a 6 inch movement. The French marines were leading the way with the German Seebattalion in support.

The Allies stop to exchange fire avoiding a melee
The Kansu in the entrenchments take several Received Casualty checks through the game and stay in cover. Eventually the Allies artillery fires and causes no casualties which generates a Received Fire check. The Received Fire check causes the Kansu braves to charge as they feel invincible and want to kill people up close and personal. The Chinese players groaned at the result of having troops in good defensive positions charge mindlessly into the open. Thats the fun of the game as you really can't control every action or reaction of your units...people do crazy things in combat. The Kansu did survive the advance and ended up in the flank of the British unit. On the next Chinese activation the British were shot at and charged from the flank. So the result of having to advance worked out very well for the Chinese.

Imperial rifles advance...the French take a test of Wills check...they fire and miss with volley fire!
 The British rolled very well and never broke, there may even be a Victoria Cross for some of the Brits for being so resolute. In melee you only count the figures in contact. Being in open order is great for movement and fire but when you have a unit close in for melee you are at a disadvantage. The 1" gap between figures in open order means a single figure can be attacked by multiple figures. The British figures in contact are out number 3 to 1 by the Chinese who had no problem ganging up on them. The Chinese did win the melee but did not inflict as much damage as hoped for allowing the British to retire 12 inches away in the following turn.
The Kansu react to being shot at and advance from the entrenchments then on their turn they charge!
On turn 4  at the opposite side of the river the Russians and Japanese advance to seize the gun battery. The entry of these units, according to the scenario, is random. I think we will bring them in on turn 2 for the convention. A few Russians become casualties from the long range shooting of the artillery. Moving 12 inches in open order means the Allies can close in 3 turns and can fire in 2 turns.

Russians and Japanese advance under fire
The Russians and Japanese have a long open field ahead. On this turn the Austrians have won their combat against the Chinese cavalry. We assigned the cavalry a reputation of 3 to reflect their unpredictable nature as they are bandits and thieves looking for an opportunity to loot the bodies of the fallen.  They flee the field but were successful in stalling the Austrians for most of the game.

There is a long way to go...hurry up!
 On turn 6 the Chinese commander, who was attached to the artillery unit in the center,  is killed. The battery took casualties and the Chinese player rolled an 11! A Leader Loss result meant that 1 in 3 figures from each unit runs away. We then called the game as the Chinese units were melting away from continuous Received Casualty rolls.


The game lasted over 3 hours. I did forget to add the leader die and +1 die for cover to the rolls on the crisis table. I should have known better and need to do a better job preparing for the game, but that's why we play test. The Chinese would have lasted longer than they did in some of the Crisis results, the only way to improve is to play more which is fine with me. What I really like about these rules is the reaction of your units. Most rules cover the negative actions and reactions of an army. Units in many rules sets rout, surrender, become disordered, etc. These rules are unique because they not only cover the negative reactions of routing but also cover successful reactions that include charging, advancing, and firing. The rules were well received by the new players with a few tweaks suggested. Everyone likes the fact that you can finish a game in a reasonable amount of time.

Joe from DAWGS....adios amigos


  1. Looking forward to seeing this at Cold Wars.

  2. One of my favourite periods and great write up, I have fought this battle sevral times and always makes for a great game.
    Cheers Stu