The Jackson Gamers' Adventure in 1920s China
The Back End of Nowhere

This game was played on May 17, 2003. We used a variant to Larry Brom's The Sword and The Flame rules, which have since been published as The Sword to Adventure.

Photo by John Switzer

Communist peasants have seized the village. AND they have stolen all the money from the telegraph office which also functioned as a branch of Barclay's bank.

Photo by John Switzer

Chinese Infantry and field gun of Colonel Hau Jou (Jay Stribling). Part of these forces started in this compound on the western edge of the table, but trotted down the ramp to engage the American Sailors more closely. They spent almost the entire game fighting the American Sailors, and received NO victory points.

Photo by John Switzer

This is the compound where the Christians took shelter. A few heads peek over the wall, but this place was set up for a good Christian multi-layered defense. FOUR units of Christian Chinese defended the compound, along with the four Missionaries and five Jpanese archeologists who took shelter there from the bandit threat. The U.S. Marines showed up on turn one, so this place was secure!

Building constructed by Vince Clyant of the London War Room, located in Hattiesburg Mississippi.

The Players and their commands:

  • Ohio Jones (Ed Sansing) leader of the American Archeology Expedition.

    You have acquired, through dubious means, ancient and priceless artifacts, and are trying to get it to the river to ship it back to "The Museum" in New York. Your fortune will be made if you can get this thing off the board. Your yellow truck must not travel faster than 2xD6 per turn or you risk damaging the precious artifact.

    You have 1 unit of 10 of your own university men (class B), $300 in cash, a 10-man unit of hired Chinese guards (class C), and a machine-gun car. You get 25 victory points if you get your find off the other edge of the board.

  • "General" Wei Mie (John Switzer) commands a group of Chinese Infantry which you have "borrowed" from your superior officer who really IS a General. You are here to suppress bandits, destroy communists, and, MOSTLY, to enrich your bank account.

    You have 3 units of Chinese troops (class C), one machine gun, and $100 in Chinese paper money. You receive 5 victory points for every $100 you hold at game's end.

  • "Colonel" Hung Lo (Ken Hafer) commands a group of Chinese Infantry and has come to stop the exploitation of China's past by these foreign devils calling themselves "Archeologists". You have no love for missionaries and hate the foreign intervention troops

    You have 3 units of Chinese troops (class C) and a field gun. You will receive one victroy point for each foreigner or Christian Chinese killed, and 10 extra VP if you can stop the Archeologists from getting their stolen goods off the table.

  • Major Seemingly-Rigid (Mark Stevens) of the Indian Army (British). You command two 10-man units of Ghurka Infantry and one unit of British infantry (all class A) along with a light machine gun. You are here toe to suppress banditry in the countryside (anyone that you shoot is classed as "a bandit".

    You receive one Victory point for each bandit killed.

  • Captain J.R. Hedd (Larry Reeves) of the United States Marines commands three 10-man infantry units of America's finest and a machine gun team (all class A troops). You are here to rescue the American Missionaries and their flock who are threatened by Communists.

    You receive three victory points for each Missionary, and one victory point for each Chinese Christian alive at game's end.

  • Major Aigo Sayonara (Jim Woodrick) of His Imperial Japanese Majesty's Army is here, in this sewer of a country, to rescue the Japanese archeological expedition and to recover the artifacts that have been looted from these most honorable men by the American thief, Ohio Jones.

    You receive 20 victory points if the Fossils are in your hand at game's end, and 5 victory points for each Japanese Archeologist alive and in your hands at game's end.

  • Lieutenant I.B. Wasp (Robert Whitfield) of the United States Navy is here to rescue the Missionaries and assist the American Archeologists to the river.

    You have three units of U.S. Sailors and a Lewis Gun (class B troops). You receive three victory points for each European Missionary, and each Archeologist alive at game's end.

  • "Leader" Hau Jou (Jay Stribling) commands three 10-man units of Chinese communist Infantry (class C) and has come to stop the exploitation of China's past by these foreign devils calling themselves "Archeologists".One of his units is "Big Sword" men who fight at +1 in close combat. Hau Jou> also has no love for missionaries and hates the foreign intervention troops

    You receive three victory points for each Missionary, or Archeologist whom you have killed by game end.

  • The Reverend P. Salm (Ed Sansing) is the leader of the American Missionaries here. He has taken refuge from the mobs terrorizing the countryside in a walled Chinese compound. He leads two 10-man units of Chinese with rifles and two 10-man units of Chinese with melee weapons, (all Class D). Several Japanese civilians have also taken shelter with him and they say that the most evil of the bandits, are careening around the countryside in a yellow truck.

    The Reverend has $500 in U.S. Dollars that has been sent to him by the faithful in Chicago. he will receive 2 victory points for each of his flock, European or Chinese, alive at game's end. Also, one point each for the Japanese Guests.

  • Tu Hrong (Jay Stribling), is the leader of the peasant revolution. A devout believer in Mao Tse Tung, he knows that the future lies with the Communists and believes that the moment of revolution is at hand. He wishes to kill all foreigners in China, and also hates the puppet troops - tools of the imperialist foreign devils!

    He has two units of peasants with rifles and two with melee weapons, all class E troops. He also has one machine gun, sent at great expense from Vladivostok (class C)- It must not be lost! His men have looted the foreign bank in the town and have $500 in Chinese paper currency. He receives 2 victory points for each foreigner killed, and 1 victory point for each puppet soldier killed. He will lose 20 points if the machine gun is destroyed or captured.

  • "Colonel" Wye Mie (Ken Hafer) has been strictly charged by the Generalissimo Chiang to make certain that the American Archeologists get their artifacts to the river. He commands two units of Chinese Infantry and one of the General's armored cars (all class C). He will shoot anyone who tries to stop that truck load of artifacts, and will receive 25 victroy points if the Archeologists' truck makes it off the game board. Since the Generalissimo hates the Communists, Wye Mie also will receive 1 point for every communist that he kills.

Photo by John Switzer

Part of the U.S. Shore party, these figures are from Cannon Fodder Miniatures' "Yangtze Patrol" line. They were painted by Ken Hafer, and formed part of the force of armed sailors under the command of Robert Whitfield, in our game.

Photo by John Switzer

.S. Marines (in old blue uniforms), guarding the Christian compound, formed part of the force under Larry Reeves in our game. When it became evident that the Christians were secure, Larry moved most of his force to try to stop the "Yellow Bandits'Truck". Unknown to him, this was actually the vehicle of the American Archeologist Ohio Jones. After a long chase, the marines seized the vehicle and fought off a number of banks of Chinese to keep this truck, which was carrying Jones' freshly discovered artifacts, from exiting the table.

Photo by John Switzer

Another view of the missionaries' compound - prepared for visitors! The missionaries were never really bothered, aside from some desultory artillery fire, but you can see their carefully layered defenses. This "Compound" was also constructed by Vince Clyant of the London War Room.

Photo by John Switzer

The village, with communists running through the streets. These peasants had ransacked the bank on turn one, but could not get away from the village. Because of the semi-random deployment, they found themselves between the British and Ghurkas to the west, warlord infantry to the east, and the American soldiers to the north.

Some rules changes from the standard The Sword and The Flame

Since we had 11 factions on the board, sequencing the game did not seem to fall within the standard "Imperialists move on red cards and natives move on black". I prepared a card deck with 11 index cards, each containing the name of a command. When a card was drawn from this deck the listed command moved all of it's units. We then shuffled the deck again and drew for firing. As a player's card was drawn, he would fire all of his units.

In addition we used 10-man units. This seemed to work very well, Most players had three units in their "command" along with a machine gun or artillery piece. All of the artillery had limited ammunition (about 3 turns worth of shooting dice).

Each wounded man was diced for during the Rally Phase, to see the effect of medical care. The "owning player" rolled a D6 for each of his wounded, and the following results were applied immediately.

  • 1 or 2 Man recovers, returns to duty.
  • 3 or 4 Man remains wounded.
  • 5 or 6 Man dies due to ham-handed medical care!

Because we were unable to set the game up on Friday night, and only have access to the table when HOBBYTOWN opens at 10:00am on Saturday, we took some time in organizing the troops which belonged to four different persons, and most of which had to come 100+ miles to reach Jackson on Saturday morning. The game began at 11:20am and we broke for lunch at around 2:00pm. We continued the game after lunch till about 3:45pm and picking up took 30 minues or so.

Normally we are finished with a Saturday game at Hobbytown by 2:30pm, so the late start delayed us quite a bit.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the game and we will have another one this year. Jay Stribling wants to to build a "Sand Pebbles" gun boat, but Ken Hafer already has one!

Photo by John Switzer

The "Yellow Truck" which was rumored to be inhabited by Bandits. Actually, Ohio Jones was using this truck (lettered for some defunct German cartel) to haul his artifacts to the river where he could ship them to the coast, on the first stop to the big New York museum. There were some trifling charges by a Japanese digging party, that Jones had stolen the items from them, rather than discovering them himself, but Jones cared nothing for their "sour grapes".

Note the silver Rolls touring car behind the truck, from which Jones supervised his carvan. Note also the red Ford Sedan with wild American female archeologists behind Jones. His detractors said that they were "working girls" all right, but knew nothing of archeology.

Photo by John Switzer

Warlord infantry closes in on the town from the east. These are Copplestone minatures, painted by John Switzer, who commanded them in our game. They struggled and struggled to take the town, finally carrying the bank building on the third assault, only to find that the Communists had taken all the funds before them.

Photo by John Switzer.

British infantry moving through the grove, west of the town. These are old Frontier figures, with their coats removed because of the heat, prepared to do battle in their shirt-sleeves. Mark Stevens painted these guys, and then commanded them in our game.

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