Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Republic of Lopongo

I did it. To relax from the stress caused by the global financial meltdown, I took a breather and created my imaginary Western Africa nation, the Republic of Lopongo. I opened a blog about it, "Qui Lopongo", where an independent news agency will report events, breaking news, and in-depth analysis from that unfortunate spot on earth. I even drew a few maps, that you will find in the blog under a detailed "Country Brief". I plan to keep "Qui Lopongo" in character, and post all the wargaming information on "Desto Fante".

A few words of introduction. I was fascinated by Peter Pig's AK-47 miniatures when they were first released. After all, who didn't love a book like "Dogs of War" or a movie like "Wild Geese"? My problem in embarking on a wargaming project, though, was the AK-47 rules. I love the tongue-in-cheek style - which I deem necessary to a subject that may be unsettling to many - but I was less than impressed by the actual gaming mechanisms. A couple of things have changed. TooFatLardies just published a supplement for the post-colonial African conflicts, B'Maso, tailored for their WWII rules IABSM (which I enjoy a lot) and for their skirmish set TWT (I never remember what that stands for, but it is IABSM at a smaller level, i.e. IABSM is company vs TWT is platoon.) Second, an interesting ruleset is out there for modern regulars vs. irregulars types of fight, "Ambush Alley". Thus, I came to the conclusion that with IABSM, TWT, "Ambush Alley", and the compass of B'Maso it will be possible to play AK-47 scenarios - even a nation-wide campaign! - which both maintains the chrome and provides fun game mechanics & narrative.

In the Country Brief, I went to some length to set the background, and I also add some "color" to the personalities involved. Italian-speaking friends will probably take note of the ironic nature of the names used - unfortunately, with a few exceptions, most of the jokes go lost in English.

Finally, a few acknowledgments. There are two great websites that have offered ever-ending inspiration for Lopongo: Ztum-Setum and Bongolesia. I've never met personally the gentlemen behind Ztum and Bongolesia, the members of the South East Scotland Wargames Club and Mr. Murph in Indianapolis, but my kudos to them! I hope Lopongo will be as inspiring and fun as their African imaginations!


Snickering Corpses said...

Best wishes for success and fun with your Republic :)

For TW&T, the title is Troops, Weapons, and Tactics.

Roby said...

Ciao, mi sono incuriosito ad AK-47 Republic.
Però sento pareri discordi. Vedo che anche tu lo hai sostituito. Ma vale la pena comprarlo? Cos'ha che non va?

Snickering Corpses said...

Google's translation of Roby's question:

Hello, I was intrigued with AK-47 Republic.
But I hear opinions differed. I see that you have it replaced. But it is worth buy? What's wrong?