In a complete departure from the current gaming theme, we headed off to the jungle yesterday. Bull and I trundled down to the south coast to Awdry Towers to partake in a game or two of Michael's current passion project—Congo.
Let's start by saying that Mr Awdry had a table set up the likes of which I have only seen in rulebooks. It was exquisite. He has spent the bulk of his summer break creating terrain features and painting models for a day such as this and it was an absolute pleasure to take part. Not only did the gaming table (which included a swamp gaming mat from Deep Cut Studios) set the scene, you felt completely immersed in the adventure as you played. Kudos to Mr Awdry for what can only be described as the most professional demo game ever. I won't go into any detail about the individual terrain pieces, as Michael has a host of blog posts coming up to explain how he did it!
Congo, the game itself, was an unknown quantity to me going in. Michael had been kind enough to send us PDFs during the week to provide a backdrop and basic rules for the game. Alas I am not great with homework and didn't have much of a look. It didn't matter in the end as Michael explain things excellently and we were soon up and running. I won't go into too much detail about the individual games: the opening game (my Explorers vs Bull's Jungle tribes) was a landslide as I was incapable of rolling 5+ on handfuls of D10s whilst Bull was rolling 5+ on D6s at will; the second game (my now more experienced Explorers vs Michael's Jungle tribes) was a much closer affair and came down to a nail-biting 7th turn.
Being a rulebook geek I have a hankering to pick this one up, it is fantastic to look at. We will no doubt have more Congo adventures at Awdry Towers in the near future—I am eager to see some of the other scenarios in action as the 'Capture Kong' one we played was excellent.
I also came away from the day inspired. This is just the kind of adventure game I've wanted 'Hood' to be, and when combined with a set of beautifully painted miniatures and a stunning gaming table it certainly has raised the bar for gaming experiences. I am now keen to create my own gaming table to a comparable level to this one—though let's be honest, Mr Awdry is in a league of his own right now!
Bull's blog has his take on our day out.