Congo Campaign: Finale

The 5th game of the campaign sees both columns at opposite corners of the table with a ridge of high blocking terrain between them. The expedition leaders have to get to their opposing corners. There are also 4 campaign discoveries and 2 dangers to be found amongst the upland spine.

With no shooting over the high ground both sides use their first turn to move as far as possible with as much as possible.

Lady Mary is on the central highlands with her askari, as is a group of her sailors. She is trading shots with Ujuwa’s bundukai but is having difficulty moving forwards.

Ujuwa and a group of bowmen are over the hills and off. Lady Mary has revealed 3 of the hidden discoveries but only 1 turns out to be useful. The remaining 3 are all true discoveries and are easily mopped up by Ujuwa’s groups.

Coordinated shooting from 3 groups of Ujuwa’s warriors sees Lady Mary and her group of askari wiped out.

The focus moves to blocking Ujuwa from moving off table. There is a lot of back and forth but in the end he makes it accompanied by 1 surviving bowman.

At the game end we see where Ujuwa got away (11 o’ clock on the image below).

Onto the final game; both sides are clustered around the central idol. Ujuwa has too many models to fit in the deployment area so a group of archers are off board. Each side has to grab items from within the wooded areas and get them off the board at the opposite edge to where they deploy. This all complicated by 3 of the items being for Lady Mary and 3 for Ujuwa but all the items begin the game hidden. There are also additional discoveries amongst the bushes but a group carrying those can only move ‘short’.

Both sides are trying to move in opposite directions and also trying to stop their opponent from moving at all. There is additionally a degree of splitting up to find which items belong to whom.

Opposing groups rush past each other. Ujuwa’s archers (just off the left edge below) have an item that Lady Mary needs. She sets off with her best groups (sailors and adventurers). Ujuwa heads in the other direction.

A group of Ujuwa’s young warriors approaches their exit point. They are slowed by Lady Mary’s own young warriors. The latter have picked up a missionary that was found hiding amongst the trees (white suit, pith helmet).

Ujuwa’s scouts and pygmies are whittled down by rifle fire but they do shield the archers in the woods.

The sailors try to take on the archers in close combat but whiff it and are pushed back. In better news the adventurers get off board. At the other side of the table Ujuwa’s young warriors are also off map.

Largely due to losses inflicted Lady Mary pulls off a win. That is 3 wins each for anyone who is counting. The scenario rules as written imply a big victory points boost if Mary or Ujuwa themselves leave the board with an item required for their side. This is quite hard to do although Mary did come close with her assault on Ujuwa’s archers.

The final part of the campaign is adding up the accomplishment points earned by various bonus actions in the scenarios. These are combined with additional points from a dice race as Lady Mary and Ujuwa work around a track. The track movement is also affected by some of the previous scenario effects. Careful reading of all these effects would impact on how both sides treated the scenarios and the resulting game play. The campaign does work reasonably well by just going for it and seeing how the scores end up at the finish.

Adding it all up: Final score Ujuwa 37, Mary 28.

Congo Waiting for the Belazur

Game 3 of the Mungo Mah Lobeh campaign sees a change from the previous two with victory being based on control of territory. There are 3 quays along the river which Lady Mary must control as she is waiting for the arrival of the steam ship Belazur. There are also 6 hidden markers amongst the swampy terrain. 2 of these are dangerous and 4 contain discoveries. Lady Mary begins at one side of the river; Ujuwa in the centre of the edge opposite the river.

By the end of turn 1 Lady Mary has moved a group of sailors to the second quay. Ujuwa threatens them with a group of young warriors.

Keeping with the plan Lady Mary has groups by all 3 quays at the end of turn 3 but Ujuwa is hoovering up the discoveries. The swamp terrain could have different effects depending on a random die rol but in all cases during this game it revealed quicksand. This being difficult to get out of without racking up stress tokens.

Ujuwa starts to put on the pressure. The hold of the sailors on the middle quay is contested and constant attacks leaves the last man standing.

Another turn and the sailors are gone; now the adventurers are suffering from Ujuwa’s attacks.

Ujuwa ends with control of 2 of the 3 quays. Lady Mary suffered with a group of her young warriors stuck in quicksand for much of the game. A group of bundukai were tied up in a similar situation. Heavy rain reduced all gunpowder missile ranges; a bigger problem for Lady Mary than Ujuwa.

The game end sees Lady Mary losing 2 entire groups, they will be back but that made it almost impossible to hold the quays. She had also lost a guide but he recovered. On the other hand Ujuwa’s chief is now grievously ill. Lady Mary won the game by points but with no discoveries to Ujuwa’s 3 is on the back foot of the campaign. She travels on slowly to the next adventure but does recruit 2 new bearers. Ujuwa has moved on swiftly and improved his campaign knowledge much more than Lady Mary

Onto scenario 4; unknown species and stone statues. Both columns start at the table corners in columns of 3, not all of Ujuwa’s lads fit on the table at start. There is an objective in each of the wooded areas and discoveries to be made in some of the areas of dense bush. The objectives make up 2 separate statues. The 2 sides want 3 parts from the same statue which causes a lot of back and forth action as they all end up with the wrong bits.

Keeping to the usual pattern both sides push forwards to grab what is uncontested.

It all starts to go wrong when a lion appears and chases the pygmies off their objective (number 4). The lion comes and goes throughout the game; inconveniently appearing amongst the objectives.

There are 6 objectives but the columns only have 5 (Lady Mary) or 6 (Ujuwa) groups so when additional loot tokens show up these get left alone. At times a group will drive an enemy off an objective but as they are already holding one of their own will have to leave it and hope that someone else picks it up. Ujuwa’s advantage in groups is furthered as one of the 3 groups is of pygmies who operate as 2 sets so he has 7 maneuver units to pick up objectives and reveal discoveries. Better still one of his regular groups is of scouts and they do not roll for the effect of dangerous terrain.

The lion was driven off objective 4 by a group of Ujuwa’s young warriors only to later show up around objective 5. No one fancies going in to pick that objective up

The game starts to consolidate with neither player having a full set of 3 objective parts. Ujuwa tries to pull back with what he has and avoid being badly shot up.

With a lot of back and forth as columns fight for objectives, the stress tokens mount up.

Lady Mary’s adventurers had held objective 1 for most of the game but lose control in melee and it is soon picked up by a group of pygmies.

Ujuwa ends up with a win due to picking up more discoveries and 4 of the 6 objectives. Unfortunately this did not include a full set of 3 parts of a statue. Both Ujuwa and Lady Mary were downed in the game but they recovered. Ujuwa’s chieftain is also starting to look a little more perky.

This game was a lot more back and forth than previous scenarios as the map layout encouraged taking back enemy objectives. The lion was run using the leopard rules for this scenario. It is uncommon for the beast token to come out in games of Congo but in this case it did and made quite an impact on proceedings.

Congo First Contact

The first two scenarios of the 6 in the Mungo Mah Lobeh campaign book.

There has been a recent trend away from game genres reflecting colonisation and exploitation. Studio Tomahawk’s Congo is not looking good from that viewpoint. While it is true that factions can be European, Arab or native African in almost all games there are other African resources and peoples that are getting exploited. Wargames Illustrated have published a 1920s Amazon variant. At least 1 player has moved the setting to the Caribbean but in both cases the ‘ethical stance’ is unchanged.

Mungo Mah Lobeh pits the European explorer Mary Kingsley against the native shaman Ujuwa. The majority of both columns are native roughnecks and ne’er do wells in it for the money. The 6 games are all played between the 2 same base columns although either can gain additional characters or units for single scenarios. The leaders have slightly different aims throughout the campaign but winning the individual scenarios does not do any harm. Either leader could die during the campaign and their column still win based on accumulated accomplishments but it is a good plan to try and keep your leader alive.

The first scenario sees Lady Mary with an additional unit of askaris granted by the campaign for that encounter only. Both sides are pegged at 6 units in play but additional campaign units can be used to replace less efficient core units as they are available. The core units replace losses between games but the characters and auxiliaries can increase or decrease in number. In the 1st game there are 3 masks to be recovered and sold; one by each hut and 6 discoveries of which 3 are harmful in the 6 wooded areas. The low bush areas are impassable. The value of the masks and discoveries is not known until they are found. A mask is worth more if sold to a dealer at a board edge that is randomly determined each turn. This all means that getting control of the majority of the game tokens does not guarantee a win although it does tip the odds in that favour.

The 2 sides start at opposite corners and with nothing in shooting range concentrate on moving up quickly. Actions depend on choosing 1 of 6 cards, 3 cards in a turn. The cards determine how many groups can move (including melee), shoot or make a terror action. There are not enough move symbols on the cards to get every group moving every turn so some groups are still stuck in the corners.

A single group could still move in each of the 3 card plays in a turn so both players get control of a mask by the huts. Ujuwa can gain campaign points by successfully casting spells so wants to be up in the front line. Lady Mary has a slight benefit in reducing combat losses but really wants to be out of the danger zone.

In turn 2 the action hots up as there is a choice between nailing down open objectives and putting damage onto opposing groups that already hold objectives. No one can get to the 3rd mask before it is removed from the game. The sailors move out of danger with their mask. There is some scattered shooting from the pygmies and both columns investigate the artifacts in the clumps of trees.

Ujuwa has 2 discoveries from the trees, is moving on a 3rd and holds 1 mask. The sailors get their mask to the off-table dealer for a victory point boost.

Lady Mary’s musketmen start to open up. Most of the opposition back off as they already have a decent haul of loot but one group (at 11:00 below) is isolated unable to get away.

They are overwhelmed losing their loot. The end game shows both sides pulling back. Running the numbers Lady Mary has pulled out a victory and a slight campaign advantage. Ujuwa had lost a sacred warrior who recovered and a native chief who is now rated as poorly.

Onto the next encounter; the search for deeper knowledge. The terrain is moved about a bit but the overall plot is similar. The 3 huts each have a villager who must be recruited to join a group. The 6 clumps of trees are high dangerous terrain. Each contains 1 of 6 objective markers. 1 through 4 are good but 5 and 6 generate a hazard. Which marker is which will not be revealed until they are moved onto. Here we see the deployment with the columns at opposite sides of the table.

At the end of turn 1 each column has met with 1 villager while the third is still to join the party. To recruit a villager a group must end an activation in contact and roll a 5+ on a D6. Lady Mary succeeds on the first attempt and later pulls back away from danger. Ujuwa spends most of the game trying to convince the other villages to join him. Instead his failed recruitment rolls provide Lady Mary with a steady supply of new event cards.

Action is focused around the 2 huts with unconvinced villagers. Lady Mary has a group of solders and another of adventurers. Both are armed with rifles and try to reduce Ujuwa’s strength by shooting. Ujuwa has 2 groups tied up in fruitless discussions. The solid green counters are the discoveries, flipped when revealed and for 5 and 6 removed after their effect. One of the discoveries was never revealed as numbers 1 to 4 had already come up and it would be a fair deduction that it would be best left alone.

Stress tokens mount up, Ujuwa is pretty strong by the centre hut but his young warriors near the other uncommitted villager are having a hard time of it. They break off negotiations to give the adventurers a swift kicking but Lady Mary brings up some of her young warriors to fill the gap.

Ujuwa finally has control of the 2 remaining villagers and pulls back with them, using other groups to cover his retreat. The young warrior group is down to 1 warrior and a sacred warrior (bottom of image, the 3rd model being the villager).

The final turn sees Ujuwa shed stress and continue to pull back.

Looking at the scores on the doors Ujuwa pulls off a win. He has 2 villagers and 2 discovery counters. Lady Mary has 1 villager and 1 discovery counter but also has a government official that was found hiding in the bushes amongst the trees. Lady Mary did posess an additional discovery counter but that was snatched away in dangerous terrain. It landed up in another area of dangerous terrain next to a pack of wild hyenas courtesy of some unfortunate events manipulated by Ujuwa. In other news Lady Mary has lost her bearer and Ujuwa’s chieftain is in worse health despite liberal applications of healing plants.

Both scenarios were played on different days but looking back at the terrain and force set up they might be best played as a single longer session. Almost all the game elements being the same but moved around a bit. The next scenario sees a river, landing places to defend and crocodiles.

Tintin au Congo

Inspired by the ‘nosey youth and companions‘ set in 28mm from 1st Corps we are off to the Congo.   It is obvious that 1st Corps are producing Tintin, Captain Haddock, Professor Calculus and Snowy.  They are modelled with coats and pullovers so are not ideally equipped for the tropics but buying a set of explorers and running some head swaps is not going to be happening.  Tintin is possibly a little large for a lad and I imagine Captain Haddock to be bigger but overall a good set.


There are some other figures in the Follies range but unfortunately none really suitable as Thompson and Thomson (who only get a single frame cameo in the coloured edition of Tintin au Congo anyway).  Tintin and Captain Haddock are equipped with magazine pistols so our adventure will have to move into the 1930s.  The African Ruga Ruga are stuck with muzzle loaders.  This would not be out of place as I recall seeing muzzle loading percussion lock guns in use by native hunters in Mali in the 1980s.

This scenario is from Vae Victis 131.  In the magazine are 3 new ‘white men’ characters.  An archaeologist searching for dinosaur bones (now Professor Calculus, D6/D6/D8).  A big chap with a fondness for rum (Captain Haddock, D6/D8/D10) and a young lady who happens to be an excellent shot (morphed into Tintin, 2D10/-/D10).   There are full stats for each of these with the unfortunate omission of star ratings.  This is a party that could easily be deployed to other expeditions.  Captain Haddock has the special rules of being immune to magic and rolling 1D6 for each hit on his group.  If any of these are a success the Captain’s rum cache is destroyed and he rolls 2D10 in hand to hand not D8.

The scenario sees the white man’s column (70 points) needing to get its porters (no points cost paid for these) off the map edge before turn 6.  There are 100 points of African tribes with a compulsory sorcerer in the way. The porters cannot be targeted or blocked off and move ‘M’ for the 1st turn and then ‘S’ each turn.  The deployment is set so the porters should reach the map edge in 5 turns.  The porters will not move if a ‘white man’s’ unit is wiped out and 2 ‘white man’s’ units must always stay within ‘L’ of the porters.  Analysing the scenario half the map is a deployment area as neither side has much incentive to move directly away from the exit edge.  The porters merely act as a timer and a movement/line of sight hindering moving-terrain item.  The game is set to end in 6 turns so losing 2 groups will result in the white men losing.

In the set up we see the explorers lined up along the start line with the baggage in the middle.  The natives are on both sides of the table edge.  Ruga Ruga to the south and assegai armed warriors to the north.  The witch doctor is with a unit of 3 scouts.  The plan being to have him in a cheap unit to soak up the stress tokens used to boost his magic powers.


A close up of the line.  Tintin is with a group of sailors (using the Soldiers Congo statistic).  The scenario calls for 8 bearers in a line 2 abreast.  I have used 4 bearers and 3 mules behind them to take up the same table space.


The end of turn 1 and the explorers have moved forward.  Captain Haddock is with the Trained Askari to the north east. Tintin’s group moved out aggressively to whittle down the Ruga Ruga.  They suffered heavily from musket fire.   Each musket attack inflicts a stress marker (regardless of hits). This restricted the ability of the sailors to draw more stress to try to reduce the hits taken.  Drawing a stress allows an extra D8 to be rolled to try and stop hits but 4 is the maximum stress that a unit can voluntarily take.   There are 3 units of Ruga Ruga (one out of shot) in range of Tintin here.


Although Tintin is dangerously exposed the rest of the column appears secure.


The explorers try to screen Tintin (note the Askari unit to the right of the picture) as he is buried in stress markers but the Ruga Ruga charge in to finish the job.  1 unit down and the bearers will not be moving on turn 2.  Characters are still in play if their unit is destroyed but a single figure with 4 stress tokens is removed so Tintin might not have made it this far.


Captain Haddock is knocked out by witchcraft.  The 3 stress on the witchdoctor’s unit at top right were to ensure success for the spell.  On checking the scenario Haddock is immune to magic so this attack should have been void.  The explorers have another problem here because they should end each turn with 2 units within ‘L’ of the line of porters.  The Trained Askari unit make one but the other Askari unit to the South of the porters has 2 pins, is unloaded and is very close to some dangerous Ruga Ruga in the nearby woods..


Its all getting mixed up with (from left to right) Professor Calculus, Askaris (by the hut), Ruga Ruga, Young Warriors (behind the trees at rear), Askaris, Older Warriors, (also right at the back)  Ruga Ruga and Trained Askaris.   To make sense of this the White Men’s units are in italics.


Turn 3, the porter convoy plods on but the native warriors to the North of the scene are coming out.  The Askari unit that was by the trees in the South has taken a 5th stress check and been forced to flee away from trouble.  Unfortunately this is also away from the porters and towards more natives armed with assegais.


The warriors are dragging 2 stress, 1 will reduce their hand-to-hand dice by 1 but they are within charge range and mean business.


A predictable result.  The other Askari unit has also taken some losses from the Young Warriors assegai shooting.


With another unit gone and no unit able to get within ‘L’ of the porters (except the Trained Askari) it is all over for the explorers.


The remaining explorer units are cut off from the porters and are subject to more native shooting.


The final table view.  To win the white men would have needed to not lose 2 units and to have kept another unit close to the porters.

tintin14Losing Tintin and his group of sailors at the beginning of the game was a major blow to the white men.  Having got all the figures out and laid out the terrain I played it all through again.  Tintin and the sailors were more cautious and were able to put some serious dice out on the natives.  The natives still won, by destroying 2 white men groups and thus slowing the column but the result was much closer.

This scenario is more combat orientated than those in the Congo book.  The natives need to destroy 2 white men units.  As the white men must keep close to the porters there is very little opportunity for them to move into cover.  Excess stress is also likely to slow them down and taking stress is a key way to reduce combat casualties (roll another D8 save for each stress token drawn).  The Ruga Ruga are expensive but come into their own in a straight fight.  With 3 Ruga Ruga units close together they can ensure that at least 2 are loaded and in range of a target when the ‘3 shooting’ card is played.  Each shooting action guarantees a stress on the target.  As a unit can only draw up to 4 stress and drawing stress in combat gives an extra D8 save dice, a stressed unit is less able to defend itself and will take more losses.  Without some geographical distraction such as an item to seize or point to reach the Ruga Ruga can concentrate on shooting and moving with the sole aim of bringing down a single unit.  In all cases action took place in the area to the right of the huts.  roughly 1/4 of the playing area was wasted as it was not needed for set up and there is no reason for any unit to move away from the porter’s ultimate destination.

Despite some mathematical errors on the part of the scenario design (not enough leeway in getting the porters off in time and wasted gaming area) the scenario does play well and may work better with a different explorer force load out.  Having fewer but better equipped units does fit in with the limited activations set by the Congo cards.

Approaching the scenario from a time and motion perspective the following should provide an improvement but take note that it has yet to be tested.  The porter column could move ‘M’ in a straight line each turn and Congo games generally last 6 or 7 turns. A Congo table would be 48″ or 6’M’ long.  ‘M’ is 8″ but the base of the lead unit is added on so an ‘M’ move could be 9″.  In metric terms the distances will change but the maths will be the same.

If the porter column starts ‘M’ in from a short edge and moves ahead ‘M’ at the start of each turn it will be off table on turn 4 (5*9, too soon).   If it moves ‘M’ on odd turns and ‘S’ on short but allowing for the extra 1″ of the base in Congo moves it will move 9″, 5″, 9″, 5″, 9″, 5″ or 42″  on turn 6, spot on.  A Congo group could move ‘S’ + ‘S’ each activation or 9″ in a straight line for 6 activations to get from 1 table edge to the opposite edge and off.  The group could be activated to move 3 times in every turn so could beat the porters in 2 turns.  Groups will slow to a maximum of ‘S’ if there is an enemy group within ‘S’ so moving from 1 edge to the other would take 10 activations of 5″ if all the movements were hindered.   So 3 turns to catch up and some left over to move in on the porters if the explorers do nothing to stop them.  These are all ideal numbers and do not consider other units activating and diverting around or moving into terrain.

Chasing the porters scenario

The explorer’s expedition is a 70 point column.  They also receive 8 porters free of cost.  The porters are deployed in a column 2 abreast ‘M’ in from the West map edge.  At the beginning of each turn (including turn 1) the porters column moves for free ‘M’ (on odd turns) or ‘S’ (on even turns).  If the column crosses the East map edge it is removed and the game ends.  The porter column may not break any terrain movement rules and may move ‘S’ + ‘S’ instead of ‘M’ if the explorer wishes.  The porter column may not voluntarily move within ‘S’ of a tribal unit.  Within those restrictions it may move in any direction.  Neither side may attack the porters with shooting or melee.  They break line of sight like any other unit.  The native force is a 100 point column

The game lasts for 6 or 7 turns if there is no automatic victory.  On turn 6 roll D8 on a fail the game ends immediately.  All expedition units deploy ‘M’ or less from the West map edge.  No native units are deployed at start, they all enter on activation from the West map edge.  There should be 3 clear paths with no terrain at least ‘S’ wide from West to East edges.  Through the table centre and along the North and South edges.

Basic victory conditions:

If a native group ends its turn within ‘S’ of the porter column the natives win.  If at any time there are not at least 2 expedition groups within ‘L’ of the porters the natives win.  If the column is still on the table at the game end the natives win. If at least 1 porter crosses the West map edge the porter column is removed from play and the explorers win.

Optional victory conditions (instead of the basic conditions)

Any explorer unit may leave the West map edge on the same turn or after the porter column has exited that edge.  At the game end count fatigues the side with at least 3 in excess of the other has won, otherwise it is a draw.  Destroyed groups count as 5 fatigues.  Groups exiting the table count as 0 fatigues regardless of how many they may have had when they left the table.  Native units may not leave the table.  Any victory point earned through a random event counts as -1 fatigue for the owner.

Congo: The King of the Apes

I had a go at scenario 2 (the King of the Apes) at the club with one of our younger members and again (solo) at home.  The advantage of Congo lies in its scenarios.  With the forces duking it out on open terrain those with the best guns are going to be at an advantage.  By forcing the columns to do something else than a straight punch up the odds are evened out.

Congo comes with all the cardboard counters and templates that you need but I bought some more from Blotz who do a range of plastic and MDF tokens and gaming aids together with MDF buidings.


Their tokens come in various colours but I fancied the see through green would be a good combination of clarity and subtlety.  I took this photo with the flash off as with it on they show up with a supernatural glare.


The rulers are in Congo sizes which just happen to differ from the Saga sizes.  I bought some standard rules to cover the missing 6″ ruler needed for Saga.


I kept to the regular cards but did sleeve them.  Each side has to choose 3 out of 7 manouevre cards each turn and can then play them in any order.  The cards are marked for permissable actions and initiative with higher numbered cards being played first.  Some thought has been given to what is on each card so the strong rally or terror card will usually force a player to go last.  Just moving but not being allowed to charge into combat will take precedance over the cards that allow less movement but the ability to do something else at the same time and also allow moving into close combat.  The chance or totem cards have a bigger effect on the game generally allowing additional extra actions, dice or range bonuses.  If the white men do not get units within Kong’s layer (and risk being attacked by him) the forest tribes draw a bonus totem card each turn.

Here is the starting situation with Kong in the middle.  He cannot move further than ‘M’ from the monument.  The 4 skulls on sticks highlight this area and give a bonus totem card to the white men for each one captured.


The 2 sides are going to come in from opposite corners.  The white man’s expedition had 90 points and needed to capture Kong.  Kong has 8 life points but the final point must be removed in hand to hand to count as a capture.  In our club game the hunters poured lead into Kong to weaken him then easily finished him off.  The forest tribes had spent too much effort on knocking lumps off the hunters intead of trying to protect Kong.  The key to doing this is to try and move him out of the line of fire and to get native troops in the way of the hunter’s guns.  All the trees are blocking and dangerous terrain.

The white men had a unit of adventurers, one of trained askaris, 3 of regular askaris, one of bowmen and one of ruga ruga led by an explorer aided by a reporter. In this playthrough I forgot that the explorers started exhausted so had a 2/3 chance of each unit beginning with a stress token and 1/6 chance of being a man down.

The forest tribes had only 70 points so took 2 units of warriors (the models with some sort of hat), 2 of young warriors (bareheaded), 1 of  bundukis (with muskets), 1 of scouts (without shields).  The tribes also had a chieftain, war drum and sacred warrior.  The bundukis may have been a poor choice as it was the only forest unit with firearms and this faction are better off charging into combat compared to throwing spears or shooting their muskets.

The white men bring in trained (in kahki) and ordinary askari (in robes) at the SE board edge.  The forest tribes quickly bring up warriors and bunduki to slow them dowm.


In the NW the adventurers lead the way.  The forect tribes will be finding it hard to keep Kong out of the line of fire.


Warriors aggressivly bottle up the trained askari.  In retrospect they should have finished off the weakened hunter units.


Askari get into the dense trees (minus 1 askari attacked by a leopard) and get the first hit on Kong.


The explorer moves past the warrior unit.  These units are pretty close.  We must assume that all the board is desnse jungle and that it is relatively easy to sneak past your enemy.  The hunters have no direct gain in killing natives.  They need to concentrate on Kong.


Back with the adventurers at the NW corner the white man’s units are racking up stress.  Two examples here are hand icons which prevent the unit acting again this turn unlesss they pass a rally action.


A close up of the askari in the tall trees.  For them the hit counter means that they must reload before shooting again.  For Kong it is his wounds taken.


The last 2 askari in the centre here are in a bad way but the ruga ruga  (white kilts) have come up to take the pressure off.  The bowmen in the woods are keeping a low profile (I forgot about them for 2 turns).


The trained askari sneak past the warriors, the bunduki ahead of them are unloaded.


The big picture, Kong has to stay away from hunters to the NW and SE.  The forest tribes are doing their best to block line of sight to Kong.


The explorers get 2 more hits on Kong before the forest tribes can shield him again.


The expedition is moving in for the capture but is running out of time.


The archers have wiped out a unit of forest warriors.  Not knocking out the sole askari on the left cost the forest tribes the game.


The scouts (at left, no shields) move in on the askari.


A close up of some of the askari


The final curtain.  Kong is alive but has 3 wounds.  An explorer win.  If the lone askari in the NW with 2 fatigue had been taken down this would have been a draw.


This all took about 1 1/2 hours including getting the terrain out and units set up.  As everything was still good to go I played it all through again.  The white man’s expedition never really got going and suffered badly in hand to hand combat resulting in a win for the forest tribe column.

Here are some useful links for background inspiration.  A 3 part article originally published on the Wargames Foundry site and now archived gives some background detail to the setting and a campaign that could be adapted to Congo.  Here are parts background, rules and the campaign map.  The authorised biography of Tippoo Tib (published 1907), trader, slaver, plantation owner.  Henry Morton Stanley gets a bad press these days but the guy could write: A good start would be How he found Livingstone,together with the rescue of Emin Pasha and volume 2 of the rescue.  It could be argued that Livingstone did not need to be found not did Emin Pasha require rescuing.  Certainly Emin’s troops had gone native and had a nice little earner going on that would not fit in well with returning to the Sudan.