Sunday, 20 November 2016

Horisont VIII, 2016: Congo - My First Game

I played a much anticipated game of Congo at Horisont this year. I took up the bloody spear of the natives to avenge the theft of a sacred mask by the nefarious British expedition.

The explorers had to leave the table by one of the two edges of a pre-determined board edge - I had to prevent them from doing so.

My Jungle Cannibals charged right into the nearest group of Askaris.

And were beaten off.

Another group of Askaris and some Scouts moved to attack the Warriors on my right flank.

Followed by the White Explorers.

The Warriors swiftly charged in and drove back the enemy!

The Askaris decided that it was better to engage the natives from a distance, opening up with their rifles (I guess?).

The British tried to sneak out through some dense jungle.

My other unit of Warriors, led by the mighty Chief, swiftly moved to intercept the white devils...

...and charged thim on the next Activation Card.

The female lone surviving explorer ran off from the carnage, while the soldiers formed up to protect the rear of the expedition Column.

The expedition, hard pressed from 3 sides quickly re-grouped into a makeshift, almost square formation to protect the young woman,

With the Askaris out of the way, the Cannibals decided to ransack the camp.

And both the Maiden Archers and the musket-wielding guys (I forgot what they are called) moved to be able to pepper the British formation with lead and arrows.

Seeing the Cannibals looting the wardrobe of the English Miss, the Maiden Archers also decided to try their luck plundering the camp.

My decimated warriors on the far right withdrew, and the British circled my flank, going for the nearest corner. Again, the Chief's unit moved to intercept.

I was taking some beating, but managed to prevent the expedition from leaving the table with the sacred mask, depriving them of 5 victory points, and on the next to last Activation Card, my musket guys ran to the camp and secured loot worth 2 victory points, carrying the day for the Jungle Tribes!

I can only day: Studio Tomahawk did it again!

As with SAGA, the system is VERY streamlined and elegant, and although I am not a fan of too many counters/markers in the playing area (and I really think the rosters could be used for placing those on, instead), the gameplay is so easy and involving, that this game is a must for anyone interested in Victorian or Pulp games set in the Dark Continent.

It would be too time-consuming to explain the system, but it uses identical decks of Activation Cards for both sides - players choose 3 cards at will for each game turn, then both players reveal the first card they wish to use. The cards have an Initiative Value which determines who goes first on this card. Players the resolve the actions listed on the card, shooting/combats are resolved as soon as they occur, usually with one side retreating half a move. All 3 card are played each turn.

The game also has 'Totem Cards', usually 1 drawn before chosing the Activation Cards. They provide extra actions, dice, or other effects, and can be played at will when appropriate.

Try it, if you like fast-flowing, simple mechanics that till offer lots of depth and tactical choice!

I already ordered some minis form North Star/Copplestone to use along with the Zulu I have WIP, so that I can make my own native 'Column'. and I shall then probably purchase the rules after Chistmas (no need to rush, as I need to paint up quite a bunch of minis before I can play the game as intended).

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