Would that were true of its gaming namesake by Peter Pig AK47 Republic.
|Shaun#s splendidly painted Giraffe wait for something to happen. They had a long wait.|
For our February game Shaun was in the chair and elected to run a game using these rules for the first time along with his rather spiffing collection of 15mm African forces. So enthusiasm was quite high in the pub when the 4 of us arrived Andrew the Tekkie ,Mechanical Shaun ad Theatrical Steve and myself- your Gentle Author- being unusually last to arrive despite having most- but by no means all - of the scenery.
Now first off AK47 is not a set of wargames rules for battles in post colonial Africa. A better description would be "A game based very vaguely on Politico- Military shennanigans in Post Colonial anywhere that might look a bit like Africa".
Now this was the game's first outing for us but the amount of faff and farting about even before you get to lay some lead was to say the least significant. Rather than present some scenarios the rules writer chose to give us a somewhat tortuous dice rolling contest to decide what type of battle we might- or might not- be fighting. The idea was actually quite clever but the execution long winded.
Then once it had been decided that I would have to fight a defensive battle against a full blown attack by Andrew and Steve there was more faffing about with the terrain generation system. The after THAT there was more faffing about to decide which units of each of our 5 unit "armies" actually turned up on time or even at all.. By now it has to be said I'm afraid my bore-o-meter was reading 11 so it was good that lunch in the usual form of Landlady Jean's fine hot beef butties had turned up so the four of us set to on those aided by pints of Consett Brewery's fine "White Hot" for those of us not driving motor vehicles.
|After shooting up the square village to their front the enemy armour moves down the straight African road.|
After lunch we finally got down to a bit of action but again more faffing as to how we laid out the few troops we had to begin the game with. Now obviously more familiarity with the system would have speeded things up quite a bit but, so far, not a single military or tactical decision had been in the hands of any of the players- though a few landscaping ones had using there gridded and rather stereotyped terrain choice system. The troops any player had in hand were entirely dice controlled and bore no resemblance to the mission in hand for either side. There were some good bits- units which had lost parts in the deployment phase could have some troops back again in a neat little sort of observation rule as - for example the enemies 2 approaching technicals became 4 as the dust subsided. Combat mechanisms were theoretically simple but since attacking troops fired first on hidden defenders I never got a chance to find out how it all worked. Except to realise that the one unit at a time IGOUGO system was glacially slow even with tiny numbers of troops on the table. Tactically this was nonsense as in reality my out numbered and out gunned troops would simply have piled into their technicals and bugged out.
|One enemy tank has gone of for a crafty spliff.|
The rule book included a bibliography- of which I own about half or more but missed other major sources out= so while I own Mockler, Cocks and Forsyth amongst others cited in the rules there was no mention of Hoare, Puren or Reid- Daly let alone Cole or Moorcroft and McLaughlin or many more modern writers I don't yet own. I'm not convinced however that the writer had actually read any of these- or possibly a book ever.
Yet having savaged the system I still think there is potential here given a little imagination. Although a bit- well a lot- long winded the "Approach to War" preamble has its points if you want to set up a scenario without benefit of a scenario . My main problem with the system is simple. It is once again the lack of "positive freedom" and the idea that dice rolling should take the place of actual thought or knowledge of the period in hand.