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Subject: Fast moving Boxers! rss

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Rod Bauer
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I just lost a quick game when a large Boxer unit got to move two spaces, and just blew past the wall and into the streets. On my Melee roll I promptly rolled a "one." Is it correct that on the legation movement phase I could not reinforce this position (bring over the British or German unit for example to gain the +1 casualty effect)?

Prior to this tragic and sudden collapse, I had played two games where I only played the "Relief Column" aspect of the game, as I have had great difficulty in this phase of the campaign. Very difficult to advance with the international forces against the Chinese. Although I failed in both games to reach Peking, I came close enough, that I thought I was ready try the complete game again. Then WHAMO. What a demoralizing feeling . .YIKES!!!!! cry

John, you have done a masterful job with all of the historical research and applying it to the game. I always like to read the historical text on the cards in all of the SOS games,and the pictures on the cards are beautiful. I really want to like this game, and although I still don't know how much "fun" I am having, I must say that it is certainly challenging!
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John Welch
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Hello Rod - I'm so pleased you are keeping at the game and I hope some fun sneaks in :-) Your rules read is correct - as long as a Chinese unit is in the 'Wall' or 'Street' space then the Legation forces present are considered "engaged" and can't move nor can replacements be brought in. Juggling Legation defenders as the Chinese advance is one of the games-within-the-game and can be decisive.

The mechanics of the Relief Column portion of the game are meant to simulate the historical reality that the Europeans tried several times to advance to Peking without proper strength and were soundly defeated. The strength of the Blocking Force drawn on each turn is key as is the difficult choice to wait and build up Combat Power and Speed AND then hope you have enough time to use it to battle to the rescue. The Event Cards can also provide some key help if you're lucky enough to draw them when creating the decks.

Thanks for the last comment - if you haven't had the chance, there is a link to a simply fantastic paper on the Boxer Rebellion written by one of the playtesters and the designer of 'Hero of Weehawken', Bob Leonhard. You know it's important to me to get the 'history' right
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Rod Bauer
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Yes John, I have read the Leonhard article. It is excellent. Thanks for including it on the VP site for the game. I will admit that KUTF is growing on me and I can see that it will be a great educational tool. Although I have been a wargamer for nearly 50 years and have tasted many offerings from many different companies, I have to say that Victory Point Games is really something very special. A seemingly unending production of games that are intelligent, fun to play, full of decision making, and historically sound.
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andy williams
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Dear John,
I only know of the Seymour column as the first attempt to relieve Peking and that was launched before the Allied forces bombarded and took the Taku forts. Between that and the August 4th relief force- the Allied intentions were on securing Tienstin and defeating the Chinese forces engaged with them. No other march on Peking was taken until the second and successful attempt.
The Taku forts precipitated the Qing Imperial army attacking the Allied forces- which is what really stopped Seymour- Boxer staying power against the Allied forces was non-existent, they did not wreck havoc, only against unarmed Chinese Christians and missionaries.
Apart from the much mentioned 5 Italian sailors picked off by Boxers during the Seymour expedition, most casualties in number (ie; more than 1,2) from actions during the rebellion were inflicted by Imperial troops and the majority of that was long range sniping, and artillery.

The most feared troops were Tung fu Hsiang's Kansu Braves division.If it was not for the political game played by the factions at the Imperial court those siding with the Boxer movement and those siding with suppressing the Boxer movement, then the legations would have fallen.

The truces spare the legations as did the denial from Jung-Lu in giving the Kansu division the Krupp artillery in Peking to use. To me the game is a game rather than a historical flavoured game because you place too much emphasis on the Boxer movement as an attacking force-when really it's strength lies in being a disruptive force to allied lines of communication.

That said, it is enjoyable and well structured (well-made game), but historical - no.
Would have liked to have seen more historical side notes from the other participants rather than the strong American flavour when really the Japanese, Russian and British forces provided the strength of the Allied army.

Hope you take this in the spirit of which it is written and not as a personal attack.
I have read quite a bit about it and had a relative who fought in the Rebellion at Taku.
kind regards
Andrew
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