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"Darkest Africa Rule choice " Topic

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Captain Carter30 Dec 2017 9:19 p.m. PST


I've just started a new project for 2018 which is to cover the struggle for Africa by the major powers of the day. Lots of exploring into the Heart of Africa and fighting the various factions and discovering resources and lost cities and civilisations. I intend it to be more of a Boys Own type of game with a very Hollywood feel to it. Anyway I ordered two sets of rules to read over and choose. Congo by Foundry and Death in the Dark Continent by Northstar. Both have just arrived and both look amazing with lots of pics of Miniatures. Very exciting. But I'm wondering which is the best set. I've not had chance to play either of them yet. But the basing is different. I'm wondering what you guys are using to play the era. Or if it's good to have both sets at different levels of play. Cheers

Comicbook Hero31 Dec 2017 1:49 a.m. PST

I know you asked about two specific rule sets, but "Boys own type of game with a Hollywood feel to it" pretty much sums up The Sword and the Flame.

Although a larger skirmish set they also contain a great smaller skirmish set called A Sword in Africa which allows some great fun adventures in Darkest Africa.

I have used both rules to successfully game tales of derring do and adventure and they always give action packed thematic games. To be honest, games of TSATF always seem to end up being nail biting affairs with much apprehension over the possible loss of some much loved but somewhat inept officer who Should have known better!

They are well worth the investment.

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP31 Dec 2017 2:24 a.m. PST

Our group uses a modified version of DITDC. We've played >75 games with at least a dozen or more of the armies.

I think it gives a pretty good feel for the period. You need to be mindful of your army, especially natives. There are definitely tactics involved for each army and those that don't grasp them will have difficulty with the system.

Some of the scenarios could use some fiddling as well but I haven't quite got to that yet. I've got another three armies 80% done that I'm trying to finish off.

Dexter Ward31 Dec 2017 3:12 a.m. PST

Death in the Dark Continent is for small battles rather than skirmishes, and it has a much broader scope. Congo is more of a skirmish game and is almost a role playing game. It has a very cinematic feel, and there are many interesting tactical decisions. If you get some sabot bases you can use the same figures for both.

Basha Felika31 Dec 2017 4:05 a.m. PST

Whichever rules you go for, it's a good idea to base the figures individually and then use sabots/movement trays for those rules like DITDC that use multi-figure bases.

Cyrus the Great31 Dec 2017 6:13 a.m. PST

I you want a "Hollywood feel" you should look at "The Men Who Would Be Kings" by Osprey. IMHO neither set you've picked is going to do that without some tinkering.

Leadjunky31 Dec 2017 8:14 a.m. PST

I would second Comicbook Hero with TSATF Sword in Africa. No shiny pictures, but great and fun rules.

Personal logo chicklewis Supporting Member of TMP31 Dec 2017 9:27 a.m. PST

DitDC is my favorite, but it may not be "HOLLYWOOD" enough for your desire.

Crow Bait31 Dec 2017 9:32 a.m. PST

"Adventures in Jimland" from is what I perfer due to it's solitare ability. Small games, few figures, a good exploration/encounter/victory point system, campaign system, inexpensive, and dinosaurs.There are a few messages on TMP about the rules.
Edit: I just went to Minden games web site and saw it was out of print. It may be available from Noble Knight Games or Ebay.

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP31 Dec 2017 9:56 a.m. PST

While I have not played AIJ I have read it and it looks interesting.

I believe it is out there somewhere as a pdf.

Also note that an "army" in DITDC can be as few as 20-30 figures for some of the Euro powers and is rarely over 100 figures for a native army. To me that is more skirmish size but YMMV.

Striker31 Dec 2017 11:23 a.m. PST

PDF link

Found a pdf version of AIJ.

altfritz31 Dec 2017 8:15 p.m. PST

We used to use Warhammer Colonial, a free set based on 40K (for turn sequence: move/shoot/assault). Worked really well with 20 figure units.

SylvainArizona01 Jan 2018 10:19 a.m. PST

The Sword in Africa by Larry Brom. In the rule book of the Sword and the Flame

Captain Carter01 Jan 2018 4:45 p.m. PST

Thanks guys really helpful comments. I think I'm going to have to play a few games with several rule sets to form a preference

surdu2005 Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Jan 2018 9:11 a.m. PST

GASLIGHT is a good option. The rules work fine for straight historical games, and then if you want to mix in some VSF elements, it is easy to do so.

mrinku Inactive Member03 Jan 2018 12:09 p.m. PST

Even if you don't use it as the ruleset, you won't be disappointed by DITDC. It's a superb sourcebook.

SgtGuinness04 Jan 2018 2:33 p.m. PST

Captain Carter, I know you mentioned two specific sets, but my personal preference is The Sword In Africa. It's a cut down variant of Larry Brom's Classic The Sword And The Flame and comes in the same rule book. I've played both rules you mention, however only once each time. I enjoyed Congo but not the other. Congo to me is for a smaller type skirmish game while the TSIA is a larger type skirmish and DITDC altogether different yet again. I hope this doesn't muddy the waters more. I love TSIA for its playability, speed, and versitality.

Captain Carter13 Jan 2018 2:05 a.m. PST

I'm going to be using Congo and DITDC because they deal with different aspects of gaming scale. But I will search out Sword and Flame.

Recently a friend and I tried the old TTG Soldiers of the Queen for a Boer War battle. Its showed its age but gave a remarkably accurate result. I loved the card that gave random results. I think at one point the Lone Ranger Turned up you cannot get more Hollywood then that lol

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