Colonial wargaming in Darkest Africa is a common theme among wargamers. Of cours there are other theaters aswell. But I personally prefer the dark continent. Cannibals, wild animals and other mysteries. You have to love it.
There are a lot of rules for colonial wargaming. My favorite one is Triumph & Tragedy (mostly known as T&T) made by Björn Reichel and Christian Steimel. In addition to the core rules I strongly advice to buy the colonial supplement. It adds special rules and more designed for the colonial period.
I won’t give a full review about Triumph & Tragedy here. But it includes some nice ideas. Like order cards for example, which are used by the players to plan their actions in advance. For every unit you also have a unit card, which determines the order of activation. By planing your turn in advance and without knowing the startegy of your enemies some tough decision have to be made. I really like the simplicity of the rules. There is no need for dozens of special rules, tables or stuff like that. The game is fast and brutal.
Schutztruppe for East Africa
As a german I decided to build a german force for colonial wargaming in Darkest Africa. The good thing about T&T is the modest number of miniatures needed. For my Schutztruppe I picked a mix of heroes, veterans and – of course – Askaris. In T&T the troop quality decides the order of activation. In a nutshell, veterans are more likely to act before then non trained units like tribal warriors for example.
German Marines (Veterans)
Schutztruppe Askaris (Trained)
A hero represents the player on the tabletop. Heroes not only have superior stats. They could also perform special actions, which are very important for winning the game. For the most part in T&T winning the game is similar to winning a specific scenario, because T&T is best played as a scenario driven game. If you are a die hard tournament player who loves to optimize his army lists, then T&T is definitely not for you. But if you like a more pulpish feeling, you should give T&T a go.