For those interested here is a report on how the scenario worked out when we played it and a few pictures. Much chaos, laughter and bad dice rolls made for a very enjoyable evening’s entertainment. If anyone finds Ken’s lost grenade don’t pick it up, you never know when it might go off!
“A Nice Cup of Tea” AAR
The opening set up saw half the Warlord’s forces arrayed around a building on one side of the village square with the prisoner under guard in the centre covered by some riflemen on the roof. The Cossacks are approaching in force from the west while the Imperial Chinese have announced their presence in the north by killing one guard and knocking down another.
The Cossacks hauling the ransom crates kept close watch on the Chinese. Out of their sight a Corps of Guides private has just been knocked over at the corner of the building by one of the Warlord’s men. He would have his revenge on the subsequent turn taking out his assailant after recovering from the near miss.
The Imperial Chinese arrived and soon made their presence felt with some accurate rifle fire as they moved to occupy the building on the north side of the square.
Meanwhile the Warlord’s reinforcements were skulking just east of the village trying to decide where to go. They decided to chase off the lone Guide private to the south before moving to tackle the Imperials in the north.
The British party of Poppington, Martyn and young Carruthers with a single Guide private were heading for the rear of the southern building to effect an entry through the rear window. Sneaky what!
Some turns later accurate fire by the Imperials had largely cleared the square of the Warlords men but they were now coming under fire from a Cossack marksman hidden in one of the buildings. (Figures on the roofs are actually inside the buildings – a drawback of using resin buildings without removable roofs.)
The Warlord decides to try to get around the rear of the Imperial position. His henchman’s attempt to push a grenade through the window failed miserably when it didn’t go off.
The prisoner Dubois has just seen his last guard shot and is wandering in a daze. The 3 Chinese coolies sent to collect the crates are huddled in a heap refusing to move while bullets fly all around. They stayed that way for several turns, refusing to budge (failed pluck rolls) despite threats and exhortations.
Meantime half the Cossacks were huddling behind a building trying to pluck up courage to charge the Imperial Chinese. When their lead figure was shot they decided it might be better to go tackle the lone Guide private covering the British flank.
The rest were engaged in an unseemly brawl with 2 Guides within and at the entrance to the other building. Their Captain Poliakoff is trying and failing to climb through the window to gang up on the Guide inside.
Alas our photographer was unable to record the dramatic scenes which followed. Enraged by the unsporting behaviour of the Cossacks ganging up on his men who were frantically defending themselves, Lt. Martyn rushed across the square and swiftly despatched the Cossacks attacking the Guide at the door. Then flinging himself into the building he engaged the Cossack Captain and swiftly rendered him hors de combat. With their leaders taken out of action the remaining Cossacks close discretion over valour and fled the field.
In the meantime, while Poppington was still searching the building for some tea, Young Carruthers, not to be outdone by his fellow officer, dashed bravely into the square towards the befuddled Professor Dubois and began leading him to safety in the British lines.
Elsewhere the fight between the Warlord’s men and the Imperial Chinese built to a climax with both leaders facing of in a final confrontation. The Warlord simply could not break through the SRC breastplate worn by the Imperial captain, while he in turn could not land a final telling blow on Isimo despite knocking him to the ground.
With his henchman bodyguard killed and his other men taken out by the Imperial soldiers, General Isimo was surrounded and forced to surrender.
So when the dust finally settled, the British had succeeded in rescuing Professor Dubois and Lt. Martyn had secured one of the Cossack crates. However, being a soldier he had seized one of the crates of rifles rather than the tea chest which Poppington would have preferred. Of course as leader of the expedition it was Poppington who reaped the rewards having done nothing throughout, while Martyn and Carruthers had to settle for their Sovereign’s grateful thanks since officially they were on leave and not in active service in a foreign country currently at peace with Her Majesty.
For his part the Imperial Captain could feel well pleased with the capture of the rebel commander who could be handed over to the relevant authorities for due sentence to be carried out. His pleasure was short lived however when on return to Peking he received reports that Isimo had escaped and was once more at large raising hell. The Captain swore an oath that justice would prevail and next time his sword would strike true.
As for Captain Poliakoff, best draw a veil over what happens to any servant of the Ohkrana who fails to fulfill his duty. Long nights on guard duty in the wintry depths of Siberia would be considered a blessing by such unfortunates.