BATTLES FOR EMPIRE: 1870-1902
Recreating the campaigns and battles of late nineteenth century imperial
conquest, particularly the British campaigns in the Sudan and against
the Zulus in southern Africa, has long been popular amongst wargamers.
Part of the interest lies in the stark contrast between the military
systems of the Europeans and their Native opponents; it is a contrast
that generally set well equipped but small European armies against
archaically armed but large Native hosts. When European technology,
organization, and discipline were coordinated there was little chance of
failure and the Native armies were horribly defeated. Nevertheless, the
fact that the European assets were not always well employed and that
courageous Native forces sometimes enjoyed success makes colonial
wargaming an exciting challenge.
However, even in the most favourable circumstances, players commanding
Zulus or Dervishes will often have to endure the demoralizing reality of
many casualties long before they close with the British -- and even then
they must face cold Sheffield steel! Of course, diverse scenario design
options will allow for terrain suitable for Native ambushes or concealed
movement , and the Imperial forces might not be steady British regulars
but rather less enthusiastic locally raised forces. The options are
BATTLES FOR EMPIRE: 1870-1902 (BFE) captures the flavour of these so
called little wars while ensuring that both sides have an entertaining
chance at victory. A combination of traditional game mechanics and new
approaches to wargaming allows players to experience the drama of large
battles with elements of skirmish level games. With careful scenario
design, Isandlwana or Rorke's Drift can be re-fought using one rules
The Dervishes of the Sudan, the Zulus and Boers of southern Africa, and
the Pathans of the North-West frontier of India have been selected to
represent the major fighting styles opposing the British. These
opponents are the most popular amongst wargamers. However, with the
proliferation of figures available to simulate even the most obscure
conflicts, other enemies of Great Britain can be represented by using
the Native substitution recommendations provided in the rules. Of
course, other Imperial powers like the French and Italians could be used
to replace the British. With some imagination, any colonial conflict
can be represented with BFE.
Good luck and enjoy your battles for, or against, empire.
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