Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Kammebalango: A modern Africa wargaming campaign

This blog is set up to illustrate the progress of a modern Africa wargaming campaign. Kammebalango is a fictional country (though inspired by the post-independence tribulations of The Congo), and is not meant to satirize any real or living persons. That said, the players have created tongue-in-cheek factional names that echo the plethora of acronyms with which rebel movements used to identify themselves in the 1960s and 1970s. Hopefully, these and the events of the campaign will give the participants and any observors the feel of the tragic and chaotic events that accompanied post-colonial independence for many African nations.

The campaign rules are called Path to Power and were written by the game master. They are simple with few logistics to keep track of from turn to turn. There is not a strict "game turn" timeline. When the GM and players meet, a series of battles will be fought, sometimes faction on faction, but more often against government or other "non player" forces. The results of the battles will cause factions to advance along paths detailed on the campaign. Each faction has its own path running from the hinterlands of the country to the capital of Kammebalango. The first player faction to arrive at the capital and win a battle wins the campaign.

Battles are fought using the GM's own simple modern skirmish rules, called "Uh-oh, Congo!" Players will usually control from 3 to 5 squads of individual figures. Troops are armed with small arms, light machine guns, RPGs or mortars. Vehicles (armored or unarmored) can be armed with heavy machine guns or recoilless rifles. This is a "low tech" campaign, so there are no tanks, aircraft or heavy artillery. This is bush warfare, with rebels, militias, government troops and even United Nations peacekeepers slugging it out at short range.

The campaign will begin on Sunday, Nov. 22. I anticipate players meeting to game out a turn about every month to six weeks or so. On that schedule, it should last at least a year -- assuming my players don't get bored and want to move onto something else! I anticipate publishing an "issue" of the Kammebalango Cryer after each turn, and will upload it in PDF version here.

Welcome aboard, and get ready to send "Lawyers, Guns and Money" to 1960s Africa...!

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