$2,108
pledged of $1,000pledged of $1,000 goal
33
backers
32days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, October 25 2018 9:43 PM UTC +00:00.

Big Cat GamesBy Big Cat Games
First created
Big Cat GamesBy Big Cat Games
First created
$2,108
pledged of $1,000pledged of $1,000 goal
33
backers
32days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, October 25 2018 9:43 PM UTC +00:00.

About

For over 20 years, the United Nations, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and dozens of armed groups have been locked in a deadly struggle for control of the Eastern Provinces. With untold billions of dollars in mineral wealth at stake, many warring ethnic groups, neighboring and distant countries trying to influence the battlefield, the ever present threat of disease outbreaks or natural disaster, the interaction of criminal enterprises with politically motivated rebel groups, and strategies dictated by corrupt leaders, means the war is always only one miscalculation away from spiraling out of control and unleashing a catastrophe that could draw in regional powers and plunge the continent into all out war...

Yet, despite everything at stake, very few people understand the conflict and how the external and internal actors are fighting for control from everything from the illegal fishery sites to the diamond mines to the political and economic centers to the kidnapping of tourists for profit. This simulation of the conflict will change your perception of what is happening and why the region remains in eternal conflict. This is a war few people know about, but is the most important battlefield of the 21st century.

Reflecting the complexity of the war, this  is not just a simulation of military options. Because of the nature of the conflict, the players must contend with many factors including budgeting for operations, the recruitment of new forces, carefully balancing the development of infrastructure, and events they have no control over. A failure to strike a balance on any of these, could spell disaster later in the game. Do the Congolese and UN players forgo internal development and concentrate on a military objective to wipe out the armed groups in a series of crushing blows? Or do they concentrate their efforts on making political, economic, and security improvements to keep the armed groups from recruiting more members? Congolese and UN players must learn how to conduct military operations with civilians ever present on the battlefield.  An accidental attack on civilians could mean the offending forces are taken off the battlefield and the armed groups using the tragedy to recruit more fighters. Do the armed groups strike out at the Congolese and UN forces to drive them from the battlefield, or do they capture the mines and poaching sites, using the wealth to build up their forces? Do the various armed groups decide the Congolese and UN forces are too strong and decide to bypass them and attack each other for control of the natural resources?

Originally developed as a training tool for the US Government, the United Nations, and Non-Governmental Organizations, this simulation was designed to allow strategists the ability to map out different tactics and strategies in the conflict. There are not enough Congolese and UN forces to control every objective on the map nor fight every single armed group formation.  This presents a crucial problem: Does the Congolese government and UN forces concentrate their forces where they can mutually support each other and hold ground and give up trying to control the outer bands of the region? Or do they actively pursue the armed groups wherever they may be to wear them down? Do the armed groups strike for the gold, diamond, and other mining sites or do they go after the cities? Should they conduct poaching or capture mineral resources? Do they conduct hit and run attacks, or attempt to hold ground?

This wargame presents the players with the challenge of controlling multiple factions including the UN forces, (MONUSCO), the Force Intervention Brigade, the FARDC, the FARDC Republican Guard, the Virunga Park Rangers, the specially trained Mine Police, the Congolese National Police, the M23, the FDLR, the FRPI, the ADF, the M23, the SPLA-IO, and the MaiMai. Attack and transport helicopters, drones, armor units, and artillery all have a role in deciding the battle. 

Random event cards can instantly change the shape of the battlefield. From volcanic activity to political changes in Washington to tourists being kidnapped to weather conditions, the seemingly infinite variety of random events that wreck havoc on UN and Congolese and armed group planning are replicated here to turn up the stress on the players.

Even though the game features multiple internal and external actors and nearly countless variables influencing the battlefield, it is a very simple system. Developed with non-wargamers in mind, battles are conducted with very simple odds ratio, modified by terrain or unit capabilities. One simple combat results table determines everything. This simulation uses the block fog of war method for playing pieces meaning players don't have a complete picture of what their opponents are moving around the board. Are those forces heading your way an armed group or civilians? If it is an armed group, how strong are they? Is that UN force you are about to attack one of the weaker units, or an elite force? 

The game can be played  with two to six players, dividing up their forces between them, and trying to come up with a unified strategy. Random activation of forces makes command and control and coordinated offenses very difficult.  Each actor on the battlefield has different fighting capabilities. Among the armed groups, victory conditions are as varied as the origins of the armed groups. Some can claim many victory points just by surviving, whereas others need to capture diamond mines, and others must capture cities. The armed group players have the choice. Stick with high payoff, but difficult, victory conditions or try something entirely different to gain the points. Because the armed groups need some of the same objectives, they are inevitably drawn into a conflict with each other.

Can you come up with a strategy to end the war, or will you also find yourself locked into an endless cycle of conflict, never winning, but never able to leave. This is African Purgatory: The Battle For The Eastern Democratic Republic Of The Congo. Designed by someone who was on the ground for two years and experienced first hand the tragedy of the conflict and saw a need for an unique training tool for those deploying to the region as a government employee, a humanitarian, or a peacekeeper. 

Risks and challenges

For an emailed electronic print and play contribution, there is no risk beyond a slight delay if final edits are needed. For a hard copy the only risk is if the supplier of game parts runs out of stock which is highly unlikely. Mailing costs overseas may vary depending on location.

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    Donate a $1.00 or more and get credited with helping finance this important teaching tool of one of the longest running conflicts few people know about. Your contribution will also help fund the development of future games exploring misunderstood, forgotten, or little studied conflicts.

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    Print and Play Copy of African Purgatory

    A print and play copy of African Purgatory: The Battle For The Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo wargame to be emailed to you. The electronic copy will include the full rules, and the electronic files to print the map, game pieces, random event cards, charts and graphs, and game currency. This allows you to customize your game with the quality and size of components and map you want. Because this is a current conflict, print and play and access to the files, gives you the option to make modifications as the situation changes. For example, if the conflict expands, you can easily add the forces of another country by simply modifying the files.

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    Physical Copy of African Purgatory

    The physical copy of African Purgatory: The Battle For The Eastern Democratic Republic Of The Congo includes a large, full color paper map of the battlefield. Over 100 20x20mm multi-colored blocks depicting the combatants, the over 100 activation, event, and control markers. A deck of over 30 random event cards, in-game currency, the rules, charts, and graphs.

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