22 April 2020

Congo: The Jewel of Africa

I played another solo game of Congo today, I held off for a couple of days as I had a couple of questions about the rules and it took a day or two to get answers. There does not seem there are a lot of Congo players out there (I subsequently found the FB page), the Studio Tomahawk forum is dying a slow death like all other gaming forums, mostly because of Facebook. I am now a member of 10-12 groups and although they are very useful with nice people I am still just not impressed with FB, the forums are a much better vehicle to discuss rules and games and to be able find previously answered questions. I really have to wonder what is wrong with people, everyone has the attention span of demented rabbits, the language is slowly being destroyed, it is all abbreviations and grammatically incorrect phrasing. But anyway no one is going to listen to me, so I shall just shut up.

Eight scenarios come with the ruleset, so I picked the Jewel of Africa scenario this time. Essentially a African Princess has been captured by an enemy tribe and is being carted off by them with 4 of her slaves. A rescue party has been sent out, they have to stop the kidnappers by rescuing the princess and her slaves. One is also rewarding of course for killing the kidnappers. I will illustrate the action with some photos.

Basic 4x3' terrain. Path down the centre with tall grass on each side with areas of dense jungle. Neither side starts on the table and the kidnappers enter the table at the start of the path at the top of the photo. They have to escape off the bottom edge of the table. The rescuers come in from one of the 6 areas on the sides of the table. The kidnappers just have to be activated to enter while the rescuers have to be both activated and then pass a dice roll to come on. The further down the path the kidnappers have got, the more difficult for the rescuers to enter the table.
I played the White Explorers group as the rescuers, a total of 70 points in 5 groups.
The African Kingdoms group were the kidnappers, they are accompanied by the 4 slaves distributed among each of the groups, there is also a Zanzibare Trader with one of the groups. The Jewel of Africa  is with a group of Warriors, as designated by the red arrow.
The table after turn 2, the rescuers have managed to get 5 of their groups on the table while the kidnappers  have all 4 groups on. The rescuers have yet to be spotted as they are crawling around in the deep grass, they do suffer Terror though!
End of turn 3, the rescuers are now revealed. The Explorer with his Trained Askaris is in the clump of forest in the lower right. The Warriors with the Princess are trying to get down the left side of the table.
After turn 4, the Fanatical Warriors have been all killed and the African is by himself facing off with a group of Ruga-Ruga. A large kidnapper group of Married Warriors is at the edge of the table but decide not to escape in order to cover the retreat of the group with the Princess. They have been whittled down to a single warrior.
After turn 5, on the far left you can see the Princess with a single warrior, they are getting close but the excellent gunfire from a 3 man group of Explorers is causing havoc.
Sixth turn, last 2 action cards, the kidnappers (left have 2 movement activations plus a bonus activation, they move closer to the edge. The rescuers are foiled by having their last card being 4 movement activations but with red feet, meaning they can not move into melee. Remember that I am using Confusion in my solo games, meaning that the order and type of action card that gets played is completely random.
So it was a close game but the Kidnappers won by one VP.
So a marginal victory for the kidnappers! Another fun game and a great ruleset.

So I think I will pack these guys away for a while and have a look at another Studio Tomahawk game.....Muskets and Tomahawks version 2.

By the way.....How to play Congo, excellent you tube video.
And I just found the Facebook page and there are a lot of members!


  1. Superb looking game, never tried Congo but very tempting!

  2. Congo is very interesting game, last year I was a spectator to a game of Congo, the terrain,natives and explorer figures were all impressive and tempted to buy the set of rules but I too much on my plate.
    Anyway thanks for AAR John.
    Happy gaming John.