Saturday, 22 October 2016

Congo! A first game

As part of the ongoing inability to agree on a whether or not to play Warhammer like men or fart about with round-based-pseudo-fantasy-bobbins AoS the Sherwood Hucknall and Ilkeston Team has been experimenting with taking it in turns to host games.
As a result of which we've taken a turn toward Darkest Africa.
Firstly I ran Steve and General B through a DA game of Triumph and Tragedy, then after a hiatus, during which he vanquished Dan the Second in unarmed combat, General Ballroom laid on a game of the new fashionable thing all the cool kidz are doing - Congo!

General B. despite having a stroke just over a year ago has managed to paint and assemble both forces and all the terrain. And it all looked nicer than mine. I'm thinking I might have a stroke to see if it improves my painting and makes me better at wrestling strange men called Dan.

So we turned up to this.

Looks good, dunnit?

And, naturally this - the only thing to drink while playing Congo!

Apart from beer. I had some beer.

Steve took the part of the rapacious explorers, ravishing valuable stuff from the beleaguered natives. I took the role of the native population turning up to politely request the return of our valuables.

Legitimate owner of ransacked goods

Here's the pictures

 The explorer camp is roused from sleep and points in all directions

 Native troops arrive

 The Diplomat urges the young warriors on

 From the far side more troops close in

 Tha alarm begins to sound in camp

 Whilst the warriors close on the tents

 The first attackers breach the perimeter

 Whilst the explorers send their allies on the offensive

 Confusion reigns in the camp as warriors arrive

 Venerable muskets wreak havoc on warriors

 Dr Greenwick with his Sikh escort quits camp

 The diplomat and his boys get amongst the tents

 Meanwhile the attackers have set a tent on fire (and grabbed some loot)

At about this point I drank the Umbongo! 
It was horrid.

 Dr. Greenwick (after a brief diversion through thick jungle) is able to make good his escape

After early success of my troops in ransacking the camp the elite Sikh's and their leader were able to hot-foot it toward the board edge. Poor card choices by me (and a reliance on shooting instead of cold steel) meant my men were unable to catch them and the precious heirlooms were spirited away to form pride of place in a European collection

So what did I think of the game?
It's easy to pick up and moves along at a reasonable clip. Even buffoons like the three of us seemed to get most of it right most of the time.
And it delivered a good result - the scenario was quite finely balanced with the victor in doubt up to the final turn.
My reservation is probably around the picking the card part of the game. It felt to me like the game is won or lost in the decisions you make around the cards you choose and the order you play them, rather than the actions of the little lead men. So it felt a bit like a card game with toy soldiers, rather than a toy soldier game with cards.
But it's a minor quibble - it looked awesome and we had a fun and convivial time. I expect we'll be playing again.

Steve's version of the events can be read over on his blog


  1. I really want to get into this and I can't believe that you actually found Umbongo, I surprised that wasn't outlawed years ago!

    1. Given how it tasted I rather wish it had been outlawed...