Saturday, November 18, 2017

Module Suitability Review - East Africa Sourcebook

Taken from, IP is GDW/FFE
We're now reviewing the first of two PDF-only releases for Twilight: 2000. The first is something that was bandied about on the Twilight: 2000 forums. Africa got scant attention in the development life of the game, a throwaway line here, or there, but there were three attempts to bring what has become this book to life.

The first was Frank Frey's post about the "Lions of Twilight" which was a bare-bones writeup about the 173rd Airborne Brigade being sent to secure Mombassa in Kenya and the refinery therein to make sure the oil flowed to the RDF in Iran. Another work was by the poster "Raelleus" whose work formed some of the basis of the third attempt, by David Adams, whose work we see here. The East Africa Sourcebook is currently available for $2.99 at

So, the cool factors? One, the book has plenty of mayhem and chaos to game out. Most of Africa has collapsed under the weight of war, disease, famine, and the not-so-occasional nuclear attack. Kenya has only survived an invasion by most of her neighbors because of direct US intervention (organized under AFRICOM or African Command), not to mention the exhaustion of the other combatants.

Even though the book says "East Africa/Kenya" we get a write-up for South Africa (now Apartheid-free and expanding at the expense of her chaos ridden (and in some cases, nuked) neighbors.

So, who's Kenya fighting now that the conventional war with her neighbors is over? It's mainly a marauder/terrorist/guerilla threat, which in Twilight: 2000, can often be one in the same. In Kenya's case, it's a group known as PARA (Pan African Revolutionary Army) who is often raiding the Kenyan forces occupying what was once Tanzania. There's also the Lord's Revolutionary Army (LRA) in Uganda, who's taken over Uganda, and has received some French aid after they overthrew the previously US-backed government. There's also the Somali warlord threat to the north as well, and they aren't behaving much differently then they do in our timeline.

There are detailed write-ups for most of the local militaries, as well as AFRICOM and some other players (namely the French). It also has entries for all of the prominent local NPCs as well as campaign suggestions that may as well be fodder for all sorts of miniature game ideas..and yes. we'll be discussing this later in the article.

I also like a discussion of the terrain, climate and people of Kenya, all of it very useful for not just the role-playing side, but the wargaming as well. I especially like that there are a few paragraphs on mercenaries and even in World War III, the wings of the Wild Geese flap somewhere. I also like the idea of Operation Harverster. The idea of raiding and trading all over Africa for parts and munitions to keep aircraft flying is a very Twilight: 2000 thing to do, and it's great scenario fodder.

Another thing I like? The real grab bag of gear. Everything from US Army run-Skyraiders found boxed up in some warehouse in Mombassa, to a "Volunteer" Mech Infantry Battalion made of US ex-pats and reenactors, complete with period gear and P-47s! And that's just the Americans!

But, how does this do for wargaming fodder?

Skirmish Scenarios

For skirmish scenarios, this is some pretty great stuff. Modern Africa has seen a real growth as a sub-period of modern wargaming, and Twilight: 2000 and Modern African wargaming go together like cookies and cream for ice cream. What I love about the book is how the role playing scenario ideas in the back of the book are such great ideas for miniature games as well.

Some of those ideas include:

  • Any number of raids or anti-marauder sweeps by American, British, French, or Kenyan forces against PARA or any of the Somali Islamist groups.
  • A boarding action on a pirate vessel by either elements of the USMC, the French Navy, or a mercenary group hired by one or more of the non-governmental interests in this part of the world.
  • A covert raid to decapitate the head of an LRA brigade before a raid. This would have to be done covertly of course because of the French support for the Ugandans. This game would make perfect Skirmish Sangin (which I plan to review and add to the rules section) or Black Ops fodder. If you make this part of an "Operation Harverster" raid, all the better.
  • Another LRA focused operation is the destruction of a series of hydroelectric dams under LRA control. This would also make excellent Black Ops fodder.
  • The initial invasion of Northern Kenya in 1997 by Somali Islamist bands, the Kenyans are simply trying to slow them up and inflict casualties, the Somalis need to take the town. You can also game out the counterattack by US Army Special Forces and Ranger units that retake the area.  

Larger Battles

For larger games, there are more than a few ideas here. Most of them are set in the backstory of the book because, by 2001, the combatants are mostly engaged in operations that are more skirmish game in size.

Some of the better ideas include:

  • Some of the battles from the initial invasion of Kenya by the Tanzanian-run coalition. The initial ambush 20km outside of Nairobi sounds interesting, as well as the fight for Mombassa.
  • US 173rd Airborne's attack with two battalions against the Tanzanian "volunteer" brigade that has cut the Mobassa-Nairobi railway. Considering the Americans have a company of M551s and the Tanzanians have Ferrets and PT-76s, it's actually a neat idea for a game.
  • A large scale raid on an isolated airfield in say, Zambia to seize parts and munitions to keep aircraft flying. This might make a better Rapid Fire or Battlegroup: NORTHAG (when it is released) game than something like Fistful of TOWs. 

This module is replete with ideas, and there's plenty of wargaming figure lines out there for it! Some of the ones off of the top of my head include:
Some rules I can also suggest to help give the local "flavor" include:
Post #60 is coming up! We'll be reviewing Rook's Gambit next, so stay tuned!


  1. Nicely done! Good write-up on an area previously neglected in T2K.

  2. Love the write-up and the ideas you have here. FYI one thing also could be a scenario in late 2001 early 2002 where the US or the French or the Rwandans decide that the LRA has to go - would be a huge variety of equipment to pick and choose from in that fight for sure. Thank you for the enthusiastic review.


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