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Front Cover

Keep Up The Fire!

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John Welch
Play Time:
60 minutes
Keep Up The Fire!, from designer John Welch, is a solitaire States of SiegeTM game set in early 20th century Peking (modern day Beijing), China, where Foreign Legations (areas assigned to Imperial powers including ambassadors, business people, and a handful of troops to provide security) are besieged in their Compound by Chinese anti-imperialist forces. The Chinese "Boxers" (Society of the Harmonious Fists), along with the Imperial Manchu forces of the Qing Army, are angry and determined to expel these foreigners from China.

At the Legation Compound siege, you must coordinate the various foreign detachments that have joined to defend their position until a Relief Column arrives. You also command the Relief Column, battling their way from the port of Taku, inland through hostile territory, to break the siege at Peking.

Note that this game can also be enjoyed in teams working together (just as the Eight Nations had to), deciding how best to defend the Legation Compound and get the Relief Column to Peking in time!

A set of five standard-based lesson plans are also available for classroom teachers should they wish to use this game as a teaching tool. See the Game Resources tab.

The game is a race against time as the Chinese forces besieging the Legation Compound are attacking relentlessly while the Relief Column battles its way to the rescue. With limited time and relentless attacks on the Compound, will you manage to Keep Up The Fire?

Game Components:

• One 6-page, full-color Rules booklet with examples of play
• One 11" x 17" paper game map
• 36 Event cards
• 40 double-sided 5/8" square unit markers
• Five standard-based lesson plans for classroom teachers! (Downloadable only)
• Polybag packaging and component storage


Game Design and Documentation: John Welch
Docs & Development: Alan Emrich and Noelle Le Bienvenu
Map Art: Tim Allen
Playtesting: Dylan Alliata, SM Cross, Vince DeNardo, Nathan Hansen, Thomas Heaney, Noelle Le Bienvenu, Rob Leonard, Alex Mortenson, Robert Nielsen, Hayne Palmer, David Spangler, Chris Stueck, Ian Wakeham
Proofreading: Bill Barrett, Michael Matecha, Leigh Toms, Ian Wakeham


Knocking Out a Different Kind of Boxer by Jeff McAleer (The Gaming Gang)
The theme is interesting, it plays well, and it has loads of tension to keep you coming back for more. (8.2/10)
Keep Up The Fire! by Boardgames in Blighty
I am a big fan of the States of Siege system to begin with and Keep up the Fire! is a great addition to the suite of games adapting the system for different sieges. In fact, the tension has been ratcheted up a notch as the tactical situation is extremely harrowing and the difficulty of getting the relief force through is enough to make you scream -- but with delight and frustration at the same time as the tide swings for or against you. This game will definitely get more play. It is loads of fun, has an interesting theme, and loads of tension. I have got to find a way to beat the Chinese hordes!!! Due to the dual tactical and strategic challenges, I would say it's one of the best solitaire games I’ve played. (9/10)