Friday, August 31, 2018

Taiping Rebellion - The Valley of Sorrow

This is the last in a series of Taiping Rebellion games we have been playing in August.

I have returning generals: Jan and Phil, with new guys Mike P. and Mike J.

Jan and Mike J. are the Imperial commanders
Phil and Mike P. are the Taiping commanders

Scenario Background

It is getting late in the summer and the Taiping need food. They have sent out this raiding force of six thousand men to find and gather forage for the larger army. They take along the bandits as they are good at stripping the land bare of every usable item. Smoke can be seen up and done the valley as village after village is raided. The Taiping target this last village and thinking it will be easy pickings, they just send the bandits into the town, while the real muscle of the raiding force, the Brethren, hang back and protect them. The local peasants have mustered about 2000 men to defend this village and they are not going to leave without a fight. Meanwhile, an Imperial command of cavalry (900 men) and infantry (3000 men) arrive to hopefully save this village and their people.

Guess who now has flags?!?!? My Imperial forces have been without flags for years, and I finally got around to putting some on them. They need a lot more, but at least they are no longer "naked"! Lots of touch-ups on the flags to be done, and each unit will likely have two or more flags\banners on them.

The Forces
This was a smaller battle than the prior two games, as this was supposed to represent a small raid in the valley.

Imperial Forces:

4 x Peasant mobs (mixed weapons) - protecting their village
3 x Cavalry
6 x Imperial infantry
2 x Tigermen
1 x Heavy Jingall
1 x Light Jingall

Taiping Forces:

4 x Brethren with melee weapons
1 x Brethren with matchlocks
1 x Brethren with repeating crossbows
1 x Brethren cavalry
2 x Light Jingalls
5 x Bandits

The Battle

The Taiping draw the "Move in Open" card first and start a general advance on the right and begin to gather around the village with the Bandits.

Tigermen and Jingalls clash!

The peasants, not waiting for the Taiping to mass their forces jump on the last bandit (levy) unit in the line! Mike J. is always aggressive.

They rout the bandits, then turn and take the next one in the flank!

Bandits hit the village in force. Stink pots are throw, but appear to have no affect on the peasants. Maybe they are used to the smell?

Here you can see from the Imperial side the situation.

Another bandit group routed! Those peasants are nasty!

Mike J. is bringing his cavalry from the center to the aid of the peasants. The Mongol cavalry is hit by Jingall fire and is disordered. Jingall team to the center right of the photo, in the road.

The Taiping pressure the entire Imperial front!

Taiping repeating crossbowmen disorder an Imperial infantry unit.

Imperial Jingalls begin to have telling effect on the Taiping center with several Taiping units becoming disordered.

Fresh bandit unit attacks some peasants with bowfire (and miss).

The Imperial cavalry is swinging around the town to get into action.

then go into melee and are pushed back in disorder by the peasants! These peasants mean business!

The clash in the center! (Love my new Imperial flags I made!)

The Manchu cavalry charge!! Below is a stop action video of the charge! Fun stuff!

The Manchu cavalry routs the bandits, and the entire rear of the Taiping command is ripe for the destruction.

Now that the bandits are down to only 1000 men out of 2500, the Taiping brethren are aggressively attacking the left and center of the Imperial line, with very good results.

The Imperial stink pot successfully drives back the crossbowmen!

Taiping matchlockmen advance and deliver a volley. This routs the Imperial battalion

More hand-to-hand combat.

Taiping bandits have half the village in their possession.

The Bannermen cavalry have made a flank march and appear near the village!

The Manchu cavalry turn their wrath towards the bandits and rout another unit! The Manchu cavalry will have Battle Honors after this engagement.

The Manchu cavalry has run roughshod over the bandits, when the Taiping cavalry finally shows up on the scene.

The Manchu wait and the Mongols come to their assistance.

Then the Bannermen!

The Taiping are slowly rolling up the entire Imperial left flank as more Imperial units rout off the table.

Imperial unit caught by the Pingers!

Leaving the Mongols behind (they are still disordered from Jingall fire), the Manchu and Bannermen begin to advance against the Taiping cavalry.

Another Imperial unit disordered (green marker)

The cavalry clashes!

Taiping "Melee Resolution" card comes up. They could either start that cavalry melee before the Imperials can start it, or they can attempt to attack the peasants in the village section.

They chose the village section, driving the peasants out in disorder, taking the last village section and reducing the Imperials to zero morale! The Taiping have won a VERY close game.

We have had a wonderful time with these three Taiping battles and should see them on the table more often in 2019. I'm going to cry if I ever sell these!

We are going to play some board games over the coming weeks as September is a busy month and running miniature games takes a lot of work.



  1. Another super looking, nail biting game. Who could fail to love a game with stink pots as weapons?

  2. A beautiful looking game with colorful and splendid armies!

  3. Thanks Peter and Phil! This was a fun battle. Just need to finish adding flags to the IMperials then the flocking can begin!

  4. Yes, I was noticing that it must have been mud season in China! :-)
    I like the way you have painted the unit designations in the back edge of the thick bases.

  5. That was an exciting game, felt the tension building as I read.

  6. Fabulous battle report! Thanks for that write up.