Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Studio Tomahawk: Congo - Historical Adventure Games - Discover the Setting, Rules and Miniatures


Studio Tomahawk: Congo - Adventures in the Heart of Africa - From Studio Tomahawk, the creators of SAGA, Muskets & Tomahawks, and Jugula! Explore the rules and available miniatures in this thorough article by Wargame News and Terrain.



Congo© is a game of adventure played with miniatures and taking place in a unexplored, fantasized, wild, dangerous and enchanted Africa, as imagined by newspapers at the end of the 19th century. The Adventures related by Le Bulletin de la Société Géographique are at the heart of the game. As you live them out, you will cross a giant ape protected by fierce guardians, try to take back a princess captures by Zanzibari slavers, and cross rivers teeming with crocodiles... Thanks to sheer perseverance, you may even discover the source of the Congo river itself. Congo is, however, a hostile enviroment in which wild animals and witchcraft abound... Not to mention many other surprises.


Congo Introduction - Explore the Dark Continent

The period covered by Congo is fascinating. Well before the massive arrival of europeans, adventurers pioneered the exploration of the African subcontinent. They were explorers, scientists or Arab merchants and traders. At the head of columns of many men (most of them natives), they went into the jungle or followed the tracks of the savannah, with various objectives (some of them being less than moral). And throughout their journeys, their journey brought them into the lands of many indigenous tribes who have never seen white people and their path took them through the kingdoms of major African powers like the Azande.

Today,  a mouse click allows us to contemplate vast exotic landscapes or communicate with remote friends living thousands of kilometers away, and it is hard to imagine the difficulties these explorers faced. The climate, environment, fauna, flora and local population were so many pitfalls that could transform the expedition into a terrible and deadly fiasco. And you really needed a good dose of courage, recklessness or greed to sink in the Congo Basin.


But our game will not only about progressing in the savannah under sweltering heat or painfully advance in the moist jungle infested with mosquitoes. Congo also draws its inspiration from the contemporary accounts that mingled happily fantasies, embellishment and novelization of the stories of explorers (like the famous penny dreadfuls did with folklore). More than being informative, these papers were intended to distract the reader, kind of pulp novels of their time!

Thus, Congo invites you to experience adventures, rather than play scenarios. The adventures are the subject of separate sheets inserted in the book, and presented as a fictional articles published by « Le Bulletin de la Société Géographique » (ed. note : the Bulletin of the Geographical Society!). Each Adventure presents a unique situation, which will provide its share of incidents and tensions. Due to their nature, they have a great replayability, and you will certainly some game before getting a grasp on all possible approaches and strategies for each adventure.

During these Adventures, you will lead a column taken from on of the 4 cultures presented in the game: White Men Expedition, the Sultanate of Zanzibar, the Forest Tribes and the African Kingdoms. Each culture has its own troops, characters and special rules. A column is generally made of 20-30 miniatures, and adventures only require a small gaming surface (120cm x 90cm) to be played. Thus, if the scenery items are an essential part of the fun of the game, the table surface will not require a disproportionate investment to provide a satisfactory framework for your games.




Congo takes the shape of a book (hardcover) 108 pages, full color. Inserted in the book you will find 8 Adventures and a dangerous terrain cardboard sheet. In addition to the book, your retailer will hand you a bag containing the deck of cards needed to play, and a punchboard with the tokens needed for the game and that also includes the measuring sticks.  Not included in the game, you will need some dice (D6, D8 and D10) miniatures (available as Column boxes for each culture) and some scenery to start your adventure! We will soon return to the game mechanics, and continue to introduce Congo, hoping that this invitation to adventure was interesting!


Congo - The adventure wargame rules showcase

Wargames Illustrated checked out the rules and they have written a rules showcase which you can download here. Our latest set of rules is the new offering from the famous Studio Tomahawk team, taking the player on a journey into the Heart of Darkness…


Congo Miniatures - Assemble your Column

Both Wargames Foundry and Northstar Miniatures offer ready to play - starter sets consisting out of the needed miniatures for the game based on the official points and rules from Studio Tomahawk. These sets allow you to field the following factions or columns but also include the adventure pack needed to play the scenarios from the rulebook.

Playing a game of Congo, you might head a scientific expedition, a ferocious tribe, a group of slave traffickers out of Zanzibar or take command of a warband of Azandes, defending to their last drop of blood their culture and their lands! Each Player's column will be made up of around 30 figures, including colourful characters.


Wargames Foundry has repackaged their lovely figures from their popular Darkest Africa range into starter box sets sets for each of the four main factions and an Adventure Pack of all the extra figures you need to play the Adventures that come with Congo. The figures in these official Congo Box Sets were selected by Studio Tomahawk out of our extensive Darkest Africa range of figures. The spears included with the Congo Box Sets are the cast type that are normally sold seperately and are supplied as a randomly assorted out of four possible variants.

The White Men Expeditions - £36 - This box allows you to build a 70pts Column of "The White Men Expeditions" for games of Congo. Contents: 1 Explorer, 1 Kirangozi, 3 Adventurers, 5 Askaris, 4 Trained Askaris, 5 Ruga Rugas, 5 Young Warriors, 5 assorted cast spears, 5 shields. Contains 24 figures which are supplied unpainted. Bases not included.


The Sultanate of Zanzibar - £36 - This box allows you to build a 70pts Column of "The Sultanate of Zanzibar" for games of Congo. Contents: 1 Emir, 1 Diplomat, 5 Zanzibaris, 4 Trained Troops, 5 Young Warriors, 5 Baluchis, 3 Scouts, 8 assorted cast spears, 5 shields. Contains 24 figures which are supplied unpainted. Bases not included.


The Forest Tribes - £48 - This box allows you to build a 70pts Column of "The Forest Tribes" for games of Congo. Contents: 1 Chieftain, 1 Witchdoctor, 5 Warriors, 4 Archers, 5 Bundukis, 5 Young Warriors, 6 Pygmy Archers, 3 Scouts, 14 assorted cast spears, 10 shields (5 of each type). Contains 32 figures which are supplied unpainted. Bases not included.


The African Kingdoms - £38 - This box allows you to build a 70pts Column of "The African Kingdoms" for games of Congo. Contents: 1 King, 1 War Drum, 5 Askaris, 4 Fanatical Warriors, 5 Young Warriors, 5 Married Warriors, 3 Scouts, 17 assorted cast spears, 15 shields. Contains 24 figures which are supplied unpainted. Bases not included.


Adventure Pack - £35 - This box contains the extra figures you need to play the Adventures that come with Congo. Contents: Princess Ikwané, Father Marcelin, 2 Hostages, 4 Bearers, 2 Crocodiles, 1 Lion, 1 Gorilla, 4 Totems, Contains 16 figures which are supplied unpainted. Bases not included.


Congo Bundle Deal - Buy The White Men Expeditions, The African Kingdoms, the Adventure Pack and the Rulebook at the same time for 10% off and free shipping - £128


Congo Bundle Deal - Buy the Sultanate of Zanzibar, The Forest Tribes, the Adventure Pack and the Rulebook for 10% off and free shipping - £137


Congo Bundle Deal - Buy all four factions, the Adventure Pack and the Rulebook for 15% off and free shipping £192




Northstar Miniatures put together some ready made Columns for use in the game Congo using a selection of figures available through North Star. This is a 70 points White Men Expedition. - £32 - This is made up of: The Explorer, The Reporter, Four Bearers, Adventurers, Soldiers, Askaris, Young Warriors, Scouts, A total of 26 figures.


We have put together some ready made Columns for use in the game Congo using a selection of figures available through North Star. This African Kingdoms Column is based on the Ngoni figures from Copplestone Castings. The African Kingdoms. - £24 - The King, Witch Doctor, Sacred Warrior, Married Warriors, Fanatical Warriors, Askari, Young Warriors, A total of 22 figures.


We have put together some ready made Columns for use in the game Congo using a selection of figures available through North Star. This White Men Expedition Column is based on the French Foreign Legion figures from Artizan Design. The White Men Expeditions. - £28 - The Explorer, The Scientist, Two Bearers, Soldiers, Trained Askaris, Askaris, Ruga-ruga, A total of 22 figures.


We have put together some ready made Columns for use in the game Congo using a selection of figures available through North Star. This Forest Tribes Column is based on the Jungle Cannibals figures from North Star. The Forest Tribes - £31 - The Chieftain, The Witchdoctor, Sacred Warrior, Cannibals, Hunters, Warriors, Young Warriors, Scouts, A total of 25 figures.


We have put together some ready made Columns for use in the game Congo using a selection of figures available through North Star. This Sultanate of Zanzibar Column is based on the figures from North Star and Artizan Design. The Sultanate of Zanzibar - £34 - The Emir, The Diplomat, One Bearer, Zanzibaris, Zanzibaris, Trained Troops, Bundukis, Young Warriors, A total of 27 figures.


We have put together some ready made Columns for use in the game Congo using a selection of figures available through North Star. This African Kingdoms Column is based on the Matabele figures from North Star. The African Kingdoms. - £28 - The King, Witch Doctor, Sacred Warrior, Married Warriors, Fanatical Warriors, Askari, Young Warriors, A total of 22 figures.



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