CONGO from Studio Tomahawk are probably the best looking wargaming rules I ever got my hands on, at least top 3 with Donnybrook and ...?
Anyway I must really say that Fred Machu have made a greate work with the layout of the CONGO rulebook that are the latest wargaming rules from Studio Tomahawk (SAGA, Musket and Tomahawk, Jugula).
It is a set of skirmish rules set in the Darkest Africa as imagined by newspapers at the end of the 19th century. You play one of 4 diferent fractions The White Men Expeditions, The Sultanate of Zanzibar, The Forest Tribes or The African Kingdoms, each of them allows you to bring different warriors and characters for your African adventure. Each of the fractions would need about 25-35 minis, depending a bit on wheter you bring expensive elit warriors or more cheap ones. The gaming are are needed are quite small about 120x90cm would be enought.
The rules in them selvs are easy to understand and quick to learn and gives a good and interesting flow to the games much due to the activation cards that can limit you ideeas but also give you a puch in the right direction at a crucial time. The rules uses D6, D8 and D10 dice to describe the miniatures abilitys, the higher the better.
What I really like is that they managed to get a "mental" view to the combat to by making it possible to influence the minds of your enemies. They might be so scared that they performe lousy in the following combat or maybe even has run their way, leaving your White man explorer all by himselvs surounded by jungle cannibals.
What I dont like about the rules are all the markers needed and that ruin the good look of the gaming table... suppouse I can cope with that, but still a bit annoying.
The 8 Scenarios are presented in a stunning way, in the form of a 1870´s Newspaper "Le Bulletin de la Société Géographique", very inovative and gives a good feel for the era.
They also managed to keep out of the dubious exploitation of Congo by King Leopold of Belgium as they have placed the settings a decade before King Leopold hired H.M. Stanley to conquer the Congo Basin for his to be Congo Freestate.
The CONGO Rulebook are hardcover, full color and 108 pages. You also get a deck of 44 cards for activations and a Punch out sheet of tokens and measuring sticks needed for the game. Ofcourse also 4 double sided "The Bulletin" sheets (8 Adventures for the game) and a Double sided Dangerous Terrain sheet. The Rules cost £34 wich feels a bit costy in my mind, but you get plenty for your hard earned cach, and you won´t need that many minis to get started.
Dice (D6, D8 and D10) and Miniatures are not included but both Wargames Foundry and North Star Miniatures have Box Miniature Sets for each faction in the game.
If you got the funds for it and like darkest Africa gaming I would defently recomentd the CONGO rules as they give interesting and fun games and best of all the production value and layout of the rules, very inspirational indeed !