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Exploring the Congo

October 3, 2004 8:59 PM - Posted by Robartes - Category: Game report

Yesterday, I managed to put on Schild en Vriend Revival game number 3 after an abortive attempt two weeks earlier. The S&V Revival games are games intended to relive the best parts of the Schild en Vriend golden age, set up in the tradition of the best games of that period.

Revival game number 3 was Exploring the Congo, a revisit of Darkest Africa. It featured a very basic campaign system, where players move around on the dark continent, with the aim of visiting a small number of key areas representing the uncharted regions of the Congo river, and getting back alive and in one piece. Each area visited resulted in either a decision to make by the player (should I carry my boats overland to bypass the cataracts, or leave them behind) or a tabletop encounter. These last proved to be the most challenging and dangerous for the players, even if many of them featured only a large amount of rustling in the bushes :)

The game played fairly well, if the players are to be believed, that is. The game was played at Stefan’s place, and present to explore the Congo were Stefan himself, Alan, BD and Patrick. Here’s how they did:

  • Stefan

The winner. After a scary and uncertain passage through the Haunted Forest, where his party was beset by arrows shot from a dark and gloomy forest by a seemingly invisible enemy, he somehow got declared God by a tribe of awed natives, and went on to speed down the Congo on a boat that previously belonged to another player. He arrived safely on the West Coast and was the first to report his results to the Royal Schild en Vriend Geographical Society, and thus win the honorary title of Fritz von Trappstein-Hohenschlieffen, governor of the Royal Schild en Vriend Congo Region.

  • Patrick

The runner up. Patrick was unlucky, reaching Cairo and setting off back home only days behind Stefan, after a somewhat safer passage through the Continent. His finest moment was when he entered a native village in the middle of a heated battle, arriving by boat and proclaiming his presence by shots fired from a cannon mounted on his boat. After suitably aweing the natives, he stepped down from the boat and presented himself, at no small risk to his person, in all his glory, to the chief of the village, and arranging free passage and food for himself and his party.

  • Alan, aka Sir Arthur Morton, First Reverend of the mission of the Isle of Wight

The unlucky one. Alan fought his way across the continent armed with faith and the bible. This went well until he came into close contact with BD, in the midst of a another raging battle involving three explorers and a rogue party of French. Alan made a valiant effort to pursuade the native chief that was also involved, managing to gain free passage for himself (his expedition being, by now, mostly dead), only to be shot at close range by BD, who apparently had other ideas. Alan’s finest moment was when he offered the bible to a bunch of pygmees, only to have it thrown back at him from the jungle some time later, slightly gnawed at the edges.

  • BD

The ruthless. BD was unlucky in the beginning of his expedition, when an attempt to find extra food on the shores of Lake Victoria resulted in a prolonged fight with a bunch of natives, forcing him to retreat back to Zanzibar to lick his wounds. Undeterred, he set back out into the heart of the Dark Continent, to end up in the battle referred to above. He came out the winner in this encounter (unfortunately, he was obliged to kill another expedition leader — such is the way of life on the Dark Continent), and remained in the Nyangwe region when other expeditions set off back home. By last accounts, he has set up a very successful ivory and African curiosa trade.

Stefan was presented a figure of Fritz von Trappstein-Hohenschlieffen as prize for winning the game. Well done, Stefan!

On a final note, I received a book, “Kleiner Deutscher Kolonialatlas”, signed by the players at the end of the day as a gift from the players. This was totally unexpected but I was touched and very pleasantly surprised. Thanks, guys!

On to S&V revival game number four, which will feature a revisit of the island of Little Vettusia in a one day HoTT campaign.

Comments on this entry

It was a terrific game, well thought out and excellently GMed by Bart. I found the idea of using the table to play out episodes in what became an amusing storyline was perfect. A nice cross in fact between role play and wargames. I think this will inspire us onto more. The only thing that we should perhaps develop is a set of rules, building on the Brother v Brother, but with some refinements. I may try to have a go at this.

October 5, 2004 6:36 PM - Posted by Alan

Announcement placed in the Freetown Gazette

Sunday 17th July, 187x

The late Sir Arthur Morstan’s estate lets it be known that the vile and digraced B.D. ‘Suikerbeethoofd’ from Tienen will pay for his heinous crimes. The murder of the much-loved and sorely missed St Arthur (as he is known here in the Isle of Wight Missionary Society)will not go unpunished.

A sum of 700 golden guineas plus expenses is offered to the brave and noble Man who can bring this coward to justice.

His daughter, the charming Mary, also of saintly demeanour, will personally sail for the Africas in the next weeks. In January next she will be in Freetown to lead the party charged with the arrest of the Belgian Bruiser.

October 5, 2004 6:46 PM - Posted by Lucy Morstan