Wargaming the Exploration and Colonisation of Tropical Africa by European powers from 1850 until 1918.

Wednesday 17 August 2016

Um Bongo, Um Bongo! Where do they drink it?

My Force Publique Belgians

In the Congo, of course and having spent two and a half weeks in Southern Africa last month (back to Africa next month) I am very excited to look at the new Congo rules from Studio Tomahawk, whose Muskets and Tomahawk rules I have played and enjoyed.

In Botswana last month

Alastair has already got his and posted a helpful introduction to the rules.  Now, I am always panicked by cards and counters (apart from the fact that I don't like the look of them) but am hoping they will be easy enough for me to follow.  

The very first metal 28mm figures I bought were Wargames Foundry's Darkest Africa ones which were first released, rather depressingly, eighteen years ago.  I have most of them (except the pygmies - I hate pygmies) and, even more amazingly I have painted hundreds of them.  As an example, here are my Belgians who have already seen action in a couple of games against my son (they lost).

Anbroos Vanderpump was delighted with what you could get with a bit of red trade cloth

Now, actually it sounds like the rules are more to do with the pre-colonial period, so rather than having troops like this I will need explorers but I have plenty of these too, although some might need repainting as I did them eighteen years ago.

I have now ordered the (really rather expensive) rules from North Star so once I have them I will be able to work out which of my existing figures I can use for the required forces.  It does sound like they are more Hollywood than historical, which is probably a good thing.  


Ogilvie VC said...

Dont be too daunted by cards. I've been playing Sharp Practice which is the first card turn based rules Ive ever used and they seem to work fine. I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of my Congo Rules.

Mallius Vane said...

Look forward to hearing what you think once the rules arrive!

johny hop said...

I see you were in Botswana and I was wondering if you managed to travel up North through the Maghadgadi as you can still see the long lines of Ilala Palms showing the slave routs crossing the salt pans. Haveing been brought up in Northern Rhodesia I have become interested in the fight against slavery in Zambia and Malawi. I am really enjoying your blogs on Africa. I have just completed my first Barotse Native Police, North East Rhodesia Constabulary and of course the CAR.

legatus hedlius said...

No confined to Gaborone and Francis town so far but that may all change this year!

johny hop said...

Yes you must get some one to take you across the Maghadgadi the western half. Basicly it was the rout of the missionaries and explorers like Baines etc. Visit Baines baobabs up in Nxai Pan to the north of Maghadgadi. Just west of Orapa you turn north on a dirt track and it takes on the old missionary explorer rout. Done it many times. There are baobabs on the north end of Maghadigadi signed by the explorers. At present I am trying to identify all the earth forts that were built in Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland so digging deep to find their construction sizes, design, and locations.

johny hop said...

Recently found a great book 'Lakeside Pioneers' and I am looking at the early fight against the slavers by the missionaries in Malawi. Karonga Mission African Lakes Company 1887 is an interesting opener on lake Nyasa. Some lovely detail on the fortifications at Karonga and the fact they were resupplied by SS Ilala (Livingstones) steam boat. Found photos of it on line. This is all getting very interesting.I have other tribal groups mentioned, the Mamwamba so wondering what they looked like or were they an off shoot of the Angoni.

johny hop said...

I forgot to mension that in Gabarone there is the pioneer cemetary, remains of the old Fort of Gabarone. Earth banks in the yard of an arts centre in olf Gabarone. WWI emplacements outside town towards Makalodi. On the old road to Jwaneng is the olf mission of Livingstones I believe. Will check on those facts. I was lucky in that I was taken to most of these places by an old Rhodesia sionce passed away.

legatus hedlius said...

So many tribes so few figures! I am off to Botswana again next week and I wish I could get some Tswana figures (distinctive H shaped shields) They fought with the British against the Matabele.

johny hop said...

yES I found a photo the other day of the Tswana with H shaped shields. Now where did I find it? Think they will be a must to make and add to my B.S.A.C. troops. Think they operated in the west Figtree and Plumtree area, but will check that.I did visit many of the battlefields and Forts of the Matopos in Rhodesia many years ago. Never got to the Shangani though.