Mark came over yesterday. Spent some time yakking, and looking over his copy of Conquest of Paradise.

Most of the time, however, was spent playing The Biafran Civil War. A little game included as an extra in the 2007 Annual issue of Against the Odds (the main game is on the Atalanta campaign). Mark particularly wanted to try that one as he was having a hard time working it out himself.

Not a bad little game. The odd part is that it’s almost impossible to kill units by attacking them. An attacker can be eliminated, but a defender will usually just be pushed around. Which seems reasonably appropriate for the fighting in a modern civil war.

The rebels have an “endurance” track, which counts down each turn, and also is lowered as the Nigerian Federal forces take the cities and towns that are truly important to the rebels, and can be pushed back up again, at the expense of buying new units and equipment to carry on the war with. On the other hand, they get to use all of their troops every turn, while the Federals have to roll randomly to see how many brigades are actually active.

A random roll got me the rebels, and eventually a very narrow win. Mark had been unable to figure out how to get them to last more than a few turns. It’s tricky. At the beginning they just don’t have enough troops to do much, and early captures of a few towns, and some poor random events had the Endurance in freefall. But, then I actually managed to stalemate his main thrust after pulling back a minute. Personally, I think Mark took too long shifting to another front, and trying to overstrain me, but it’s really hard for the Federal forces to do much coordinated action with their random activation.

The game suffers from a good number of unanswerable questions, probably mostly due to them trying to fit all the rules into a small space, but it has some nice potential.