Saturday, March 9, 2013

Sharp Practice Battle Report: The Boxers Are Rebeling!

Last Saturday we gathered our Colonial troops at the table and launched ourselves into our new campaign setting of Turkistan!  With the political maps drawn up and brief write ups for all the powers involved it was time to get down to the business at hand!  In this case, troops led by myself and Sky Captain were moving in from the southern end of the board to relieve American troops in the north that were cut off by Chinese and German troops.  Meanwhile, the White Russian forces of the exile Tzar held position on the east side of the board with their guns (and cannons... can't forget the cannons...) at the ready.

The game is afoot!  (aka deployment is complete)
 For the first turn the card was flipped and my British troops sprang into action!  Well actually they more orderly marched into action but you get the idea.  In this case, my troops consisted of two sections of Kings Rifles led by my Captain on east side of the road and two supporting sections of Indian Sepoys on the far side of the road.

Right after my Big Man's card the card for the infernal devices was flipped and we got to see the iron behemoths grind into motion.  In addition to my light tank, we also had a Rolls Royce with a turret and a half track mounting with two turrets supporting the British troops.

Meanwhile, on the northern end of the board the German infernal drove up next to the American position and opened fire with its turret cannon and two side mounted machine guns! (This is part of the reason for my earlier post about my tank needing more guns.  Guess you could say I had a little machine gun envy going on.)

Thankfully the cover served them well and they were able to withstand the fusillade of fire with little ill effect.

Next in the flip was the Warlord Terrence with his motley mix of regular troops and Boxer rebels.  The Boxers charged the American position but managed to fall just short of their mark.

This left them in the perfect position for the Americans but there was little he could do to protect them at this point.  Meanwhile his two sections of regular troops moved over onto the hill overlooking the road to get themselves into a better position.

As luck would have it the Americans were next!  Captain Aaron was quick to have his troops open fire on the Boxers in front of him and was able to land an couple of devastating volleys though the Boxers remained unbroken.

The other American Marines tried to do anything to damage the German armored truck nearby but none of their weapons were able to put a dent in the steel monstrosity.

With this, the second tiffin was drown with ended the turn.  At this point any troops that had not activated yet had the option of firing.  This only left Comrade Alex with his sleeping bear to the east and Sky Captain with the remainder of the the Indian Sepoys but they were both content to see how things continued to develop.

Turn two opened with the infernal devices activating first so our little armored column continued its way down the road toward the Americans.  I was not liking the look of all the Russian forces overlooking our progress so I did the only logical thing; I jabbed the sleeping bear with a stick!

My Gauntlet tractor opened fire but due to cover I was barely able to have any effect on the two cannons on the roof beyond pissing them off royally (afterward we realized that this shouldn't have been the case but more on that later...).  Meanwhile the Rolls leading the charge took a cannon blast that sheared off the turret and the gunner's head with one shot!

The Americans then followed things up by loosing a withering volley against the Chinese forces.

One group of Boxers was broken and driven back while the other group and the regular troops were both badly shaken by the onslaught.

Next the Indian Sepoy under the command of Sky Captain were finally able to move and move they did!

Charging up the western side of the board, they quickly headed toward our actual objective of relieving the besiege American troops.  You know, the troops that were in the process of routing one of the attacking forces?  The poor Yanks definitely needed saving, let me tell you!

In another first for the game, Dastardly Dan finally got to activate his German minions!

They quickly moved along the eastern side of the road into cover and positioned themselves to bolster the crumbling Chinese front.

Next the mighty bear stirred in the east.  Quickly turning both of the cannons in my direction, the Russians let loose a volley that utterly decimated my tank!

The Indian Sepoy sections on the western side of the board moved next, continuing their rapid advance toward the American position and managed to set themselves up in an ideal position to deal with the remnants of one of the sections of Chinese rabble.

After this the second tiffin was drawn bringing turn two to a close.  With only the disorganized Chinese forces and my own British troops who were without a target, there was little that could be done as far as shooting so all we could do was brace ourselves for the next turn.

Turn three opened with the Russians activating first and who should arrive but the Russian cavalry!

Charging at a full gallop, both sections wheeled to the south and smashed right into one of my infantry sections.  Faced by the full brunt of twenty four cavalry men, my troops did the only logical thing; they ran!  As this happened, all of the Russian infantry also advanced and then opened fire on the remaining section up on the hill so they did the only logical thing; followed the first section off the board!

Next the Sepoy on the western side of the board opened fire on the already disorganized Chinese Boxers which broke them and sent them running for the hills.

This was followed by the second unit of Boxers charging toward the American position but once again they managed to have little effect on the entrenched Marines.

The Marines did not take this threat lightly though and responded with force!  The Marines on the roof and by the road drove back the rabble and the regular Chinese troops while the other half of the Marines broke cover and began moving south to meet up with the Sepoys.

This lead to the Chinese forces being devastated once again as the infernal devices activated next and Sky Captain did the only thing he could with the Rolls; plowed right into the Chinese regulars.

The regulars decided at that point that they'd had enough and headed for the hills as well, leaving the Americans with a clear path down the western edge of the board.

There were a few more volleys fired between the Sepoys and the Russians on the southern end of the board but at this point the battle was basically over.  And the victor was...  the American Marines and the British Empire!  Even with all of my British troops routed from the board and the White Russian forces swarming like angry bees we were able to achieve our objective of freeing up the Marines.

Overall, this game went much smoother than our attempt at the Big Hunt.  It really seemed like a lot of the kinks in the rules that were causing problems were hashed out between the two games and it seemed like we all really had a great time.  Heck, halfway through the game my face was hurting from laughing so much!  I am definitely looking forward to the next game which unfortunately isn't scheduled until May but I am hoping to be able to pick up a few smaller games in between now and then.  Until next time...

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