Monday, 11 April 2011

Back of Beyond or Darkest Africa?

I've been thinking about the Back of Beyond options, with regard to rules, campaign systems and figures. While I'm still up for some BoB games, I've been debating wether it's worth re-inventing the wheel for another full on club campaign.

I've looked at the Triumph and Tragedy rules and, while they look OK for one off small skirmish games, I'm not sure they'd dovetail with the Back of Beyond set up and the supplement. I've also been looking at various campaign systems and haven't found anything that quite translates over to the rather non-specific nature of the Back of Beyond.

However, I have re-discovered a good mini-campaign system and rules for colonial Darkest Africa in the Foundry Compendium, re-printed from an old article in WI 132. As a result, I've been about running a mini-campaign built around exploring Central Africa, either using these rules or the full blown In The Heart of Africa rules.

The Foundry Compendium campaign, In Darkest Africa,  is based on a map system with up to six players taking part. There would be four expedition parties and two 'native' armies in the campaign. The rules feature one European expedition, one Zanzibari party, one Tribal Herdsman force and one Native Warlord army as the key players.

However, I could easily adapt the system so that the four players could all be Europeans of different nationalities, which might be more appealing. This would have the added advantage of requiring fewer figures, as the European armies have only 16 - 24 figures on average, so not too much in terms of outlay or painting.

My initial thoughts were that this would be more popular than the Arabs, Herdsmen and Warlord armies, but I could be wrong. The latter need more figures (30 - 65 on average) but might be interesting for someone who wants to try something a bit different.

Anyway, I would provide all the terrain, the two large native 'non-player' armies and possibly one of the expeditions. I'd also do the background umpiring and campaign organisation, using the system in the Foundry Compendium or the full on In The Heart of Africa rules, depending on the preference of the players.

Either way,  the full In the Heart of Africa rules could be used as a follow on for club games. So, rather than a BoB campaign, I've proposed a Darkest Africa campaign for the Autumn, for between four and six players.

I wonder if anyone will sign up?

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