Sunday, 27 November 2016

Congo - another game

The stars aligned, work stopped it's ceaseless merry-go-round and Steve, General B. and I could all get together for a game.
General B. once more was keen to host Congo (though Steve and I both vetoed his plan to get a litre of Umbongo to drink on the basis that it's horrid) so we turned up at the Ilko Gaming Hut with no need to prep soldiers, army list or anything.

The peaceful virgin jungle

Once more I would be playing the brave and noble African Slavers whilst Steve would have command of the despicable white explorers.

I had taken Lady Mingella Beatrice Quimm (known to her friends as Creamy Beatrix) into my care and was protectively escorting her to a place of safety, when my peaceful column was ambushed by the European colonisers desperate to get their hands on her ladyship.

 Lady Quimm and her selfless escort

 Brave Zanzibaris

The column moves out

The scenario rules are quite specific and restrictive, so I just raced up the road as fast as i could...

 Sneaky fellows in the pay of the explorers

 Lurking native ambushers

But what is this?! A Lion!

As the ambush was sprung several of my best troops went down in a hail of fire and I began to realise I'd been to reckless pushing on ahead. Fortunately the rumpus disturbed some of the native fauna and a lion appeared, ready to snack on a Sikh or two.

*Insert Indian Take-Away Joke Here*

Back on the road my column had become fractured (it's an age thing) and I was taking heavy casualties. The Emir tried to make a run for it with the curvaceous Lady Mingella, but stress soon put paid to that idea.

Meanwhile my Zanzibaris and tribesmen were engaged in a losing war of attrition with the bulk of the explorer forces.

The Sikhs eventually killed the lion and moved away, but another rummage in the stress token bag and a second lion appeared, with munching my men on his mind.

Another Lion!

Fortunately my chaps were made of stern stuff and managed to kill the noble beast before making a break toward the exit points of the board.

However it was all for nought as the explorers recaptured Lady Quimm and the victory went to Steve.

Safe at last!

This was a good fun game with good company.
Both Steve and General B really like the rules and we all agree it looks splendid.

Me, I'm less sold on the rules. I can see they're very "clever" but I think you spend more time thinking about the cards (the game) than you do pushing the soldiers around. It remains for me a card game that uses toy soldiers, rather than a soldiers game that uses cards.
The other thing I'm unsure about is that it doesn't feel particularly "Darkest Africa". I realise this is a challenge that could be leveled at most skirmish games (as essentially you're fighting a bloke against another bloke) but it feels like this is a ruleset that they've chosen to add a DA "skin" to, rather than a game designed to replicate a particular DA flavour. With only a choice of dice to differentiate between the troops there's a slight lack of granularity for me in a game played with only 30 or so models a side.

All that said I love the models and Gen B's paintjobs and the scenery means it all looks splendid. I don't dislike playing it I'm just not bowled over by it. I was thinking I'd buy the rules, but having played a couple of times, I think I'll make do with General B as the gamesmaster.
However the rest of the Sherwood Hucknall Ilkeston Team are big fans, so I expect we'll play it plenty more times.

You can read Steve's version of events, and how much he likes the game over on his blog.


  1. That looked like a lot of fun. Nice figures and terrain too.

    1. Thanks, it was indeed good fun.
      Credit for the models and terrain is all due to General ballroom - it's all his handiwork.