Monday, 24 August 2015

First Post, with Apologia

What follows is an occasional attempt to record my thoughts and progress on an AK47 wargames campaign, much of which will likely be fought in my own head. 

For those who aren't in the know, let me quote from the Peter Pig rules set "AK47 Republic":

"These rules are intended to cover warfare at the battalion/Local Warlord level. The rules cover the period from c. 1955 until about 1990. 

It is accepted that these rules make many generalities. The reason for this is to provide a playable game. The rules should allow players to gain a good flavour of military operations in Africa whilst giving a satisfying and sociable game. 

The rule writers have considered that the game must not only attempt to simulate warfare but to provide an opportunity for players to socialise and have fun.

Modern wars in Africa have been frequent and bloody. Little ever changes for the civilian population. A new leader's title, be it democrat or saviour, does not necessarily indicate his true political nature. 

It is important at this stage that it is made clear that the suffering of people is not a subject for glorification by these rules. However the warfare on the African continent is very different from that in other theatres and therefore deserves study.

The term "army" in Africa covers forces ranging from the highly professional South African Army to the wild militias that so many conflicts let loose. What they do have in common is the ability to change a leadership. Many African leaders are put into power by strong support from their own tribal or ethnic faction. These factions are not necessarily the most numerous of a country’s inhabitants but the most powerful/able at that point. With the necessary backing a very small fraction of a population can indulge in its own policies to the detriment of the majority of a population. Such "backers" might be neighbouring countries, industrial giants or superpowers." 

My musings will hopefully lead me to an "Imaginations" state, with its residents and neighbours; its trials and tribulations; its PR face and its darker underbelly. If I do get it right it will take on a life of its own, for better or for worse. 

One of the first thoughts in an imagination campaign is to visualise the layout of the nation. Not in full technicolour detail, perhaps, but in broad terms so that you can get an idea of it's layout. Where are its borders and who/what lies beyond them? Is it blessed with natural resources, and are any of these in easy reach of its grasping neighbours? In my initial musings I panned through Google Earth, and came across an area that seemed to offer an ideal canvas on which I could paint the picture of the campaign.

I must therefore make an up-front apology to the good people of Zambia and its neighbours for freely plagiarising, adapting and corrupting their geography, history, administration and ethic groupings to suit the storyline. On occasion I may have been too lazy or forgetful to change the names of entirely innocent people and places, or changed them only slightly, and perhaps I have even hit upon them by random chance. Nothing is intended or implied by such thoughtless misuse of real names and their close proxies. This truly is a work of fiction.   

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