Monday, November 4, 2013

Rules for Wargaming the German Herero War of 1904

Once I get my colonial German and Herero figures painted up, I will need a good set of war gaming rules.  I am thrilled that there is already an option, based on close examination of German source material and game tested over a number of years, that is about to be published.

The team of Roy S. Jones, Jr. and Eric Alvarado have been working on a Herero War scenario and rules book for a number of years and plan to have a draft to the printers by the end of this year.  I've had the pleasure of corresponding with Dr. Jones and am deeply impressed by his dedication to this project and the extensive research that he and his co-author Mr. Alvarado have undertaken.

The rules and scenario book is based on The Sword and the Flame system (TSATF), originally drafted by Larry V. Brom  in the late 1970s for British colonial tabletop war games.    These rules have been modified  by Jones and Alvaredo to address the unique conditions that apply to the German Herero War of 1904.  The book is planned to include 13 scenarios, each representing an actual skirmish or battle from this conflict, many of which have been featured in war games run by Dr. Jones at various conventions such as FALL-IN!™ in Lancaster, PA, and in the metropolitan Washington D.C. area.  Dr. Jones maintain a Hererowars  blog that has descriptions of many of these scenarios and other information about the project and the period.

TSATF has a 1:1 ratio with each figure representing a single soldier, so even though my lead pile feels very large it may require me to order some duplicate figures once I know what is required for the various scenarios covered in the Herero Wars rules.  The size of the base is unimportant in TSARF as long as facing direction and field of fire are clear.  This is different from another rules set often used for colonial war gaming in Africa - Death in the Dark Continent - which requires 3 figures  / base.  There are other rules systems out there as well, such as In the Heart of Africa, but I have not played them and am unable to offer further comment.

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