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"Why wargame the Boxer Uprising?" Topic

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World War One

1,237 hits since 16 Oct 2016
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo DWilliams Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2016 5:08 p.m. PST

Why do you wargame the Boxer Uprising (a.k.a. Rebellion) of 1899-1901? Select any that apply, and/or list your any other reasons why you find this conflict intriguing for tabletop miniature gaming.

(a) Fascinated with the Chinese 'Boxers.'
(b) Interesting scenarios (e.g. siege/relief of Peking, coastal campaigns, interior missions).
(c) Classic colonial-era encounter between ancient v. modern empires.
(d) Colorful uniforms of soldiers fighting on all sides.
(e) Interested in the way military forces from eight nations fought together as allies.
(f) Sailors and marines play a big part in combat operations.
(g) Intrigue of Qing Dynasty imperial court (Empress Dowager, etc.).
(h) Railroads, gunboats, and walled forts are involved.
(i) ___________________________________

Coyotepunc and Hatshepsuut17 Oct 2016 6:04 p.m. PST

Opportunity for small scale skirmishes between just about every Colonial power.

vtsaogames Inactive Member17 Oct 2016 6:18 p.m. PST

(j) saw 55 Days at Peking back in the day.

Also, not as one-sided as the Opium Wars.

Weasel17 Oct 2016 6:18 p.m. PST

A conflict noone I know have any idea about, hence all preconceptions can be put aside.

skirmishcampaigns Inactive Member17 Oct 2016 6:20 p.m. PST

Easy, the uniforms!

dBerczerk17 Oct 2016 6:21 p.m. PST

(i) lots of cool flags!

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2016 6:32 p.m. PST

Had a great seige

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2016 7:48 p.m. PST

Seventeen different European nations involved.
The most colorful flags EVER for John Chinaman.

Personal logo chicklewis Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2016 8:31 p.m. PST


Or, rather, how they did NOT fight together as allies.

McKinstry Fezian17 Oct 2016 8:47 p.m. PST

All of the above. My favorite colonial period.

Rdfraf Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2016 9:19 p.m. PST

The number of different countries involved in fighting the Chinese! Each of the gamers in my gaming group can play a different colonial power.

evilgong Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2016 9:43 p.m. PST

The Australians went there and were upset at always being a bit late for the actions.

and tigermen


MHoxie Inactive Member18 Oct 2016 12:31 a.m. PST

Tigermen and jingals.

Andoreth18 Oct 2016 2:51 a.m. PST

(i) Lots of eye witness accounts and a good photographic record.

Personal logo Dances with Clydesdales Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2016 3:24 a.m. PST

Why not wargame the Boxer Rebellion?

Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2016 5:56 a.m. PST

I've asked myself this quite a few times and after reading a few books on the subject I've come to the conclusion that it wasn't much of a war! The Chinese army really had no chance against the Western powers as they had limited command & control, no infrastructure, their troops were poorly trained, and on and on. I admit that the uniforms are great, you get to see a wide variety of forces on the tabletop, but it's perhaps best for a fantasy setting. You really need to handicap the Western forces as the Chinese/Boxers didn't do too well in stand up fights.

vtsaogames Inactive Member18 Oct 2016 7:22 a.m. PST

Or change the victory conditions drastically: count a Boxer victory if they cause serious losses to the colonial powers before getting greased.

Patrick Sexton Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2016 7:23 a.m. PST

All of the above.

RX Bandit18 Oct 2016 8:48 a.m. PST

I. Tigermen

mghFond18 Oct 2016 9:47 a.m. PST

I do close to that, I play the Taiping Rebellion which is Chinese against Chinese. Huge war, huge armies, weaponry ranging from bows, spears, swords, arquebuses, repeating crossbows, rifled muskets, breechloaders, all sorts of artillery, stinkpots, you name it. Sieges, big naval battles on rivers and lakes, open field battles. And more interesting leaders than you can shake a stick at.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2016 10:46 a.m. PST

Why not.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Oct 2016 1:00 p.m. PST

Opportunity for small scale skirmishes between just about every Colonial power.


Also, many of the battles transfer to a sci-fi setting relatively easily.

CalypsoCommando Inactive Member18 Oct 2016 1:23 p.m. PST

This is an excellent question since the Tai-Ping rebellion is a VASTLY better conflict to game in roughly the same era and setting. It's only relative drawbacks are lesser figure availability and deficiency of English language sources.

Hafen von Schlockenberg Inactive Member18 Oct 2016 1:38 p.m. PST

CC--same era? 40-50 year time difference. Thats pretty "rough"! But I agree with you otherwise. I have some older "true" 25mm Chinese from Richard Houston for the First Opium/Arrow Wars period. He didn't do Taipings though. Foundry did some,I believe.

When Old Glory announced a line for First Afghan War, I hoped Russ might be talked into expanding into Opium War,since the Brits could be used for both. After that,another small step could bring in the Taipings. Sneaky,eh? And Russ does like periods where you need masses of figures!

Unfortunately,the Afghan line got put on hold,apparently indefinitely. I can dream,though. . .

TGerritsen Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2016 1:40 p.m. PST

i) Because the brief uprising (also known as the grundy uprising) made everyone wince rather than fight. Additionally, it was much too short of a conflict.

Also agreed that the ability to use small units from many countries is a big appeal.

Rdfraf Supporting Member of TMP19 Oct 2016 5:33 a.m. PST

This is a bit off topic but if anyone is interested I have hundred of unpainted miniatures from Foundry's China range including the Taipings, the Ever Victorious Army plus British troops that I would love to sell. PM me if interested

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP19 Oct 2016 6:35 a.m. PST

Cool figures. Different uniforms.

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP19 Oct 2016 8:19 a.m. PST

Because "55 Days at Peking" is one of those movies that should cause every red-blooded wargamer to at least get up and tell themselves "I should wargame this."

Same with Zulu, Sand Pebbles, A Bridge Too Far, The Wind and the Lion etc …

47Ronin20 Oct 2016 1:55 p.m. PST

+1 to Patrick R's comments.

I've played in (and run) several Boxer Rebellion games over the years using different rules. Regardless of which side you play or who "wins," everyone always has a good time. There should be at least one Boxer game at every convention.

To answer the question, (b) through (f), plus (h), are the main reasons I enjoy the period.

Cacique Caribe Inactive Member13 May 2018 3:02 a.m. PST

By the way, the Sand Pebbles (1966) airs once this month. I plan to take my time watching that flick. It's been decades for me.

PS. I think it's set in the mid 20s.

Legion 413 May 2018 6:53 a.m. PST

Why Not ! The Boxer Uprising ! With all the different nations and units involved it would be a very good looking game !

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