TOM BROWN'S AFRICA DAYS
This is what I am calling my version of Darkest Africa games. I was thinking of why Flashman gets all the publicity. What ever happened to the hero of the book, Tom Brown, himself. He was such a goody-goody fellow, probably married, got a good job in London and lived happily ever after. Or maybe he had a proclivity for a more sporting life. Got into debt gambling, had to get a loan from some shady money lender (perhaps Professor Moriarity), then was caught embezzelling funds from his firm, and so fled to Africa. There he meets up with another Rugby school grad who is making a go of it in Africa -- Fred Selous and also a prominant Boer adventurer, Ardendorf.
Well, the good Professor cannot let a £1,000 debt go uncollected. So while he is in Cairo stealing some important documents on British Policy in India which he plans to sell to Turkey or Russia, he decides to continue on to the Lower Congo region and seek out the welshing Brown and collect and make a lesson out of him. Once in that area, he can contact a representative of the Sultan of Zanzibar (Zubier Pasha) and sell the papers. The Foreign Office, in the meantime, knows of only one man who can stop the Napoleon of Crime and retrieve the stolen papers and so they send Sherlock Holmes on the case (he takes along some Baker Street Irregulars and hopes to induce some Pigmys to join him).
About the same time, Richard Harding Davis is in the Lower Congo searching for Robert Clay, the renound "soldier of fortune," in hopes of writing the story of some of his adventures. Davis adds in some ivory hunting with his friend, Civil War veteran, Henry Fleming and his mistress, Jo Bahr (nee March). Clay is now the manager of the Langham gold mines, about to ship a large stock of gold back the New York. Not too many miles away is an expedition sponsored by the Royal Society, with Professor Challenger in charge, assisted by the famous French biologist, Pierre Aronnax, seeking golden artifacts and historical sites near the Mbetee village.
Alan Quatermain too, is around, helping Elizabeth Curtis track down her missing brother. The British do have an official presence in the district, the Royal Naval anti-slavery force is lead by Lt.C. George Maturin-Aubery, III, (VC) on board the HMS Brigitte. The land contingent, of Sikhs, is lead by Capt. Kimbal O'Hara of the famous "Red Bull" regiment. The local Mbeete tribe is trying to protect its golden idols and horde of ivory.
Oh, yes. coming down from the north is a company of the newly formed Force Publique under personal command of Henry Stanley, seeking to extend the borders of the forming Congo Free State. Further east, Charles Gordan, Governor of the Soudan, province leads an expedition looking for that infamous Zubier, who along with Tippo Tib, commands a large slaver group who are just now looking for that elusive Mbetee tribe. Did I forget the Aklanda canibals are seeking fresh meat anywhere they can find it, and not just the cattle in the Mbetee karral.
Well that sets the stage. I am calling this sort of activity with personalities from history and fiction gathering in one place a Convergence Role Play Game. There are many other factors in the adventure which I hope to post soon. In the meantime here are some pictures of the big game. We used the new Sword in Africa rules with some strategic-- hidden movement -- rules. The time is early 4th quarter 1800's, in the Lower Congo Region where the British, French, German, Belgian, Arab, and Portugese claims merge to conflict with each other and the natives.
Overview of the whole table at the end At start of game, none of the terrain features were shown except the River and the Mine offices. Just trees. As players moved, they discovered things. Natives were disperesed all over, marked on strategic map. Players move from one square foot sector to the next in strategic moving. If they had a scout they got lost only on a d6 roll of 1 or 2. Then re roll to see where they ended up. 1-2-3-4 adjacent squares (no diagonal), 6-5 in same square.
Charles Gordon with Soudan troops(from Castaways Miniatures in Australia. Gordon is Foundry Belgian Officer. The Castaways figures were painted by designer Gerry Webb)
Close up of Gordon
comparison of Castaways Miniatures with Foundry Darkest Africa
Alan Quatermain's group approches the Mbeete Village at bottom. The village is an "African Family Module" (it takes four of these to raise a child) from HG Walls. This is art.
Elizabeth threatens Mbeete chief to rescue her brother, to left Umbopo challenges the Chief's champion
Arab slavers lead captives to stockade
Henry Stanley commands Force Publique
Professor Challenger's expedition
Kimbal O'Hara and the Sikh force (Sikhs painted by Brian Langham)
Richard Harding Davis, ivory hunting (Davis is from Old Glory SAW range)
The Langham Mine with Robert Clay, chief engineer/soldier of fortune. The sailors are from Foundry Franco Prussian war range, great French sailors, but here representing the crew of Reggie King's yacht. The natives in Euro dress are Foundry pirate range Cimmerons. Now I have natives in Euro dress, came in last DA monthly set.
More of the mine Clay front right, Hope Langham behind, Reggie King back left, Ted Langham left
Slavers' stockade (made by me)
another of stockade
RN anti-slave force under command of George Maturin-Aburey (sailors from Foundry Indian Mutiny range were painted by Brian Langham)
Sherlock Holmes' contingent including Pigmys
Close up of Holmes and Watson
Another view of the village
Professor M (Ruga-Ruga painted by Brian Langham)