Mwaantaangaand

SURVIVING THE COLD CITY OF CHALK

1. This is a game about modern Angola and neighboring regions, 1975-1980.
2. It starts as a hack of Malcolm Craig’s Cold City, but that’s not how it ends.
3. It is inspired by Sight A, Sound A, and Theme A.

  • A is for Prince Henry the Navigator, who backed Portuguese exploration into central and southwestern Africa, leading to contact with the great Kingdom of the Kongo and its many tributary mwaantaangaand, “lords of the earth,” in Angola.
  • A is for the haunting music of that other place, Mpemba, the City of Chalk, where only the lap-harp nsambi is played.
  • A is for the liminal barrier that Ndembo operatives cross regularly, the great river Kalunga, which separates the land of the living from the City of Chalk.

INTRODUCTION

This game takes place in the years immediately following 1975, when Angola gained its independence from Portugal after years of fighting. The Angolan struggle for independence from colonial rule has quickly devolved into a civil war, as various factions and political interests compete for control of the young nation.

The Angolan Civil War has quickly become a battlefield for the larger forces of the Cold War, as the Soviet Union, United States, Cuba, South Africa, Portugal, China, Nambia, and other African nations supply arms, funds, and troops to various Angolan armies, hoping to guide the eventual outcome.

The South African Defense Force has recently pulled back to their bases in South-West Africa (Namibia), leaving behind the experimental refuse of dark science. The top secret workings of Project Coast, South Africa’s covert biological weapons program, have unleashed untold horrors in the form of mahamba (sing. lihamba), possessing spirits that bring sickness.

Normally, mahamba are simply the vengeful spirits of your own ancestors, causing sickness and death unless diagnosed and properly treated by a nganga healer, but these mahamba have been warped and twisted, giving them powers that even the greatest nganga little understand. The makeshift laboratories and unfortunate villages where the Afrikaners tested out the weapons of Project Coast have sunken underground, down into the lands of Kalunga Ngombe, lord of the dead, down to Mpemba, the City of Chalk.

Like the heroes of legend, you and the fellow members of your Ndembo Unit descend into the earth to that land beyond life, hoping to repair the damage your land, hoping to prevent all of Angola from becoming an extension of Mpemba. You can make this journey because you are ritually dead; you have joined the Ndembo Society.

In the religious traditions of the Kongo region, the ndembo society of a given village oversees the spiritual rebirth of its members. Those inducted into the society fall down, apparently struck dead by some mysterious power. The newly dead are given a funeral and their bodies are taken taken into the society’s hut, where secret rituals occur over a number of days. Eventually, new members are resurrected through the power of the society’s nganga and leave the hut to return to their lives in a fresh, reborn body. Society members also share knowledge of the secret language Kizengi.

To combat the evil forces that Project Coast loosed upon their lands, the various warring factions of Angola have agreed to the formation of a national-level, coalition Ndembo Society. Several members of each of the various armed groups fighting for control of Angola will be placed in mixed units under the oversight of supposedly neutral nganga spiritualists. They will die in accordance with the rites of ndembo and spend time in a society hut, with the official huts being more like special forces training facilities.

Then, instead of being resurrected to new lives, the dead members of each Ndembo Unit will be tasked with journeying into the sunken pits left behind by Project Coast, walking the cold streets of Mpemba, combating the dark mahamba that dwell there, and hopefully cleansing the land of these dark forces. Hopefully Kalunga Ngombe and the dead will receive the Ndembo Units as allies, for neither the living or the dead enjoy the presence of a lihamba, but maybe the operatives will be blamed for the acts of Project Coast.

Who knows what awaits these modern day mwaantaangaand, these lords of the earth, far below in the cold City of Chalk? You do.

CREATING CHARACTERS

mwtg.jpg

Aside from one player, who takes the role of Game Master, every player is primarily responsible for one major character. Characters are defined by a number of characteristics and their position on the yowa cross, also know as tendwa nza Kongo, the “Kongo cosmogram.” The yowa will be discussed later.

Faction

Players should choose one of the following factions for their character to be involved with. It’s quite possible for characters to have complex backgrounds where they were formerly involved with other factions. Choose among the first three factions first (MPLA, UNITA, FNLA), making sure that those are covered before choosing members of other factions if you have additional players.

  • Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA): The MPLA is a nominally communist movement under António Agostinho Neto, strongly backed by the Soviet Union, Cuba, former Portuguese colony Mozambique, and a large number of other socialist, post-colonial, and Soviet Bloc nations around the world. Previous to Angolan independence, the MPLA had one of the most illustrious records when it came to resisting Portuguese rule. In 1975, the MPLA declared the establishment of the People’s Republic of Angola and is still considered the ruling party.
  • União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA): UNITA is a conservative socialist movement led by Jonas Savimbi, who has recieved some training in China and exhibits Maoist ideological tendencies despite of his American and, occasionally, South African backing. UNITA split from the MPLA & FNLA after Angola’s independence and was nearly annihilated by the MPLA. However, it barely survived and soon began an effective guerilla campaign, resisting MPLA rule with the backing of China, Western powers, and the FNLA.
  • Frente Nacional de Libertação de Angola (FNLA): The FNLA was one of the older anti-colonial factions in Angola, founded by Holden Álvaro Roberto and long involved in the struggle for independence. After 1975, the FNLA declared the establishment of the Social Democratic Republic of Angola along with UNITA.
  • Frente para a Libertação do Enclave de Cabinda (FLEC): Cabinda is a province of Angola that is entirely surrounded by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, seperated from the rest of the country. FLEC was founded by several factions that all sought independence for Cabinda, originally from Portuguese rule but eventually from Angola itself. Luiz Ranque Franque was the main leader of FLEC after 1975.
  • South-West African People’s Organization (SWAPO): “After World War I the League of Nations gave South-West Africa, formerly a German colony, to the United Kingdom as a mandate under the title of South Africa. The South African government turned this special mandate arrangement into a military occupation, and extended apartheid rule to Namibia… By the 1960s, SWAPO had emerged as the dominant liberation organization for the Namibian people… SWAPO was essentially a militant organization, using guerrilla tactics to fight the South African military. It was based in Zambia and then, after 1975, in Angola, where SWAPO was allied with their fellow Marxists in the MPLA.” — Wikipedia
  • Missao Internacionalista de Cubanos en Angola (MICA): Fidel Castro sent 30,000 Cuban troops to aid the MPLA in asserting control over Angola, despite pleas by the Soviet Union to limit Cuban involvement. With the US currently tied up in the Vietnam conflict, Cuban leaders thought intervention in Africa would not lead to a direct US response and they were quickly proved correct. The majority of the Cuban troops sent were of African ethnicity, many of them the descendants of slaves that were brought from the Kongo and Angola to the Caribbean, leading to interesting relationships with native groups.
  • Portuguese “Mercenaries”: Though supposedly “out” of Angola, there are still a number of Portuguese in Angola, many of whom are former members of the colonial armed forces or the Portuguese mlitary and have gotten involved in the civil war in some capacity.
  • South African Defence Force (SADF): Already involved in asserting white/Western/Christian dominance in the Rhodesian Bush War and efforts to fight SWAPO in South-West Africa, South Africa quickly became involved in Angola to keep itself from being surrounded by newly-independent, majority-ruled (i.e. black) states with communist leanings. The SADF saw themselves as the only thing keeping communism, Soviet influence, and dangerous black Africans from gaining control of all of Southern Africa. However, the SADF does not want to lose Western support for Apartheid by having Project Coast be exposed, so, in extenuating circumstances (and assuming they were invited in by other parties), SADF representatives might participate in efforts to right the damage they caused.

Ethnicity and Native Language

While there are many diverse peoples in Angola, this game focuses on the three main ethnic groups. Players are free to play characters from other ethnic groups, but they will clearly be minorities — which can make for great story material! Clearly, if your character is from SWAPO, Cuba, Portugal, or South Africa, they may not be from one of the following ethnicities.

  • Bakongo: The Kingdom of the Kongo once dominated a vast section of Central Africa, ruling over what is now the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire), and northern Angola. The ancient capital of the Kongo kings was M’Banza Kongo, lying withing Angola’s borders. Much of the rest of Angola were formerly tributary states under the domination of the great Kongo. The Bakongo people are the descendants of this former empire, whose kings eventually became Catholic and exchanged letters with the Pope. Their native language is called Kikongo and their numbers are still very large on the other side of the porous northern border, but within Angola, the Bakongo are relatively few (less than 15% of the population). The Bakongo make up the majority of the FNLA.
  • Mbudu: The Mbundu’s language is Kimbundu, though in modern times Mbundu people are more likely to speak Portuguese as a native language, since their area was often dominated by foreign influence. They make up about 25% of the population of N’gola and once controlled the notable kingdoms of Ndongo, Matamba (near Malanje), and Kasanje. They also dominate the capitol city of Angola, Luanda. The Mbundu compose the core of the MPLA.
  • Ovimbundu: The Ovimbundu — who speak Umbundu — are the largest ethnic group in Angola, taking up most of the central plains east of Benguela and making up 35-40% of the population. The Ovimbundu form the main body of UNITA, but other peoples who feel left out of the ethnocentric MPLA and FNLA are often involved as well. However, UNITA leaders still make appeals to Ovimbundu nationalism at times.

All Ndembo operatives speak Portuguese (in addition to any other native language), which is generally the language for open communication. Depending on the depth of their training and the quality of their nganga, they may also speak the secret language Kizengi, which is non-intelligible to non-Ndembo Society members and (possibly more importantly) most of the dead. Whether Kalunga Ndombe and other powerful spirits of Mpemba can speak or understand Kizengi is up to the group and the GM.

Gender

Despite the picture at the beginning of this section, many women were involved in the Angolan Civil War as combatants. There’s actually a monument to the women of the MPLA in Luanda. I just haven’t found any pictures of them yet.

Name

I’ll come up with a list of appropriate names in a future draft. Come up with code names if you can’t find names of the appropriate language, but finding appropriate lists of African names online should be fairly easy, I suspect.

Occupation and Background

Not sure what to do with these yet, but you should probably come up with what your character did before the civil war and during the resistance before Angola gained independence. Were they a hardcore freedom fighter or did they do something more traditional before they were drawn into the war? Do they really believe in their cause or are they fighting to protect their loved ones and hoping things will go back to normal?

Agendas

Character motivations are defined by four (4) Agendas. These Agendas can be “hidden” or “open” to the other characters in the game, but Agendas should not be kept secret from the other players in the group. Progress on and development of Agendas is a key portion of the game and one that everyone should be able to enjoy observing.

Agendas come in two general varieties: factional and personal. Factional Agendas are the equivalent of “National Agendas” in Cold City, they are things your political faction want you to accomplish while a member of your Ndembo Unit. “Personal Agendas” are things you personally want to accomplish. Perhaps you want to find a relative, friend, or lover who died and bring them back to Nkele, the land of the living. Perhaps you want to find a mortal enemy and kill them again in the Mpemba. Perhaps you want to draw on the immense wisdom and knowledge of the dead to find some solution to the civil war that grips your country.

In selecting your characters’ four (4) Agendas, you can select any mixture of factional and personal agendas, but must have at least one of each. Some characters may be more convinced of the correctness of their faction and put factional loyalty above all else. Other characters may more concerned with their personal interests.

Whatever their split between factional and personal agendas, a character’s four (4) Agendas should be divided evenly among the four points of the yowa cross:

  • Kala: morning, birth and childhood, the color black
  • Tukula noon, the prime of life, the color red
  • Luvemba evening, late life and death, the color white
  • Musoni: midnight, rebirth, the color yellow

When keeping track of your character’s Agendas, it probably makes sense to record them in the following fashion:

  • Kala: (personal) Find my young daughter in Mpemba and apologize for failing her.
  • Tukula: (factional) Recover the dark South African science for UNITA.
  • Luvemba: etc.

Traits

Before you select character traits, you should probably decide if one of the player characters is the unit’s nganga. If not, the nganga can be played by the GM or, alternately, the group should decide why they no longer have a nganga. Maybe he died. Maybe one or more of the group members decided to kill him. Maybe he disappeared after training the group, possibly heading off into Mpemba by himself or simply running off to find a safer assignment. It happens.

Also, note that a large portion of the population is Christian, whether Catholic, Protestant, or a member of a syncretic church that mixes Christianity with traditional beliefs. This is surprisingly true even among the more Communist-leaning factions, though not among the upper leadership. There may be members of the unit that are less than happy about trafficking in traditional Kongo-Angolan spiritualism. Still, very few Christians would deny the power of traditional beliefs and spirits, even if they consider them to be unrighteous, and all Angolans are likely to show respect for their ancestors, the dead, Kalunga Ngombe, and Nzambi (the far-removed creator God, who is not commonly worshipped, “because he needs none”).

Those things noted, traits are chosen exactly as they are in Cold City, three positive and two negative at start. I’ll make some examples later.

Trust and Opinions

Trust is determined collectively, not individually, in this game, as a measure of how much you are invested in the unit. There is no need to determine your started trust levels during character creation.

However, it is probably important to jot down a few notes on how you feel about each other the other players. If the GM is playing your nganga as an NPC, you should probably note how you feel about him too.

PLAYING THE GAME

The rules of the game are based on a play style I’ve been developing over the course of several previous design projects, The Good Ship Revenge, my Avatar: The Last Airbender game, and my hack of White Wolf’s Exalted.

Using the Yowa Diagram

For the Exalted hack, I developed a vaguely circular diagram called the Undying Bell Chakra based on the counter-clockwise motion of the sun, rising in the east, setting in the west, traveling through the underworld, and coming out again to rise in the east.

Little did I know that, in creating this diagram, I was simply recreating an ancient Kongo symbol, the yowa, a cross that — when traveled counterclockwise — represents the sun at four points in its daily journey between Nseke, the land of the living, and Mpemba, the land of the dead. The first two portions of the diagram represent life in the world above, while the horizontal line represents the great river Kalunga, and the two portions below represent Mpemba.

In play, each player should have a pawn, a playing piece, to represent their character on the yowa diagram. All players place their pieces on the same diagram.

There are 8 “spaces” on the yowa, progressing counter-clockwise, counting both the lines of the cross and the spaces in between them:

  1. Kala
  2. Kala Rising
  3. Tukula
  4. Tukula Falling
  5. Luvemba
  6. Luvemba Falling
  7. Masoni
  8. Masoni Rising

Each space also has three (3) levels of “closeness” to the Hearthfire, the orange circle in the middle that represents the sense of community in your Ndembo Unit. The outer circle represents being as far from the center as you can be while still being a member of the group. The middle circle represents being an average group member, part of the group, but not one of the core leaders. The inner circle represents those members who are the heart and soul of the group and strongly believe in its mission.

No two pieces can share they same space and level. If a piece is either sitting on a space or a line at the middle level, no other piece can occupy that space until the first piece moves. If a movement would normally take a piece onto that space, that moving player can choose to have their piece stay where it is, or move his piece to the same space, but one level in or out, changing his character’s level of investment in the group in order to “go around” the piece that’s already there.

Generally, players will advance their pawn after every scene or, in face-paced situations like combat, after every flurry of actions you describe your character doing. Pawns always move counter-clockwise, in the direction of the sun, and generally move one space at a time.

Players can have their character’s piece “skip” a space, moving two spaces counterclockwise instead of one, by describing their character using a trait to overcome whatever difficulty they might have faced by landing on the space immediately ahead of them. Negative traits can also be used in this way, but using negative traits means the GM gets to narrate an unintended negative consequence that must be incorporated into descriptions of the scene or, in high speed situations, flurry of actions.

Scenes and Development

The basic system of pursing Agendas is described by Emily Care Boss in this very nice example of play from GenCon.

To summerize, each Agenda is attached to a certain stage on the yowa diagram, each stage being made up of two spaces, the spoke of the cross and the area immediately following it. When a player’s piece is in a particular stage, the GM should frame scenes that are about the Agenda attached to that stage, though the strength or weakness of the “aboutness” here can vary. Other players, including the player who’s character is involved, should feel free to suggest ideas for scenes, but ultimately it’s the GM’s call. GMs, in this particular case, should try to say “Yes, and…” or “Yes, but…” to any ideas the players throw out.

At the end of a scene, each player that was involved in the scene (and scenes can involve any number of the characters, from 1 to all) should write down, under their Agenda any progress or obstacles their character faced in the scene related to the Agenda that was being pursued. Players will likely be pursuing radically different agendas in the same scene. That is totally cool.

Whenever a player feels that their character has resolved an Agenda, either by completing it or just reaching the point where the Agenda needs to be revised, the player should change that Agenda to reflect the things they’ve encountered or accomplished in pursuing the original Agenda or create a new Agenda that the old one has led them to pursue.

Additionally, Agenda completion or alteration is also an opportunity to look over your Traits and see if there is one (just one per Agenda completed/altered) that also deserves to be changed.

High pace scenes like combat work a bit differently, so I’ll talk about those in a bit.

Drawing on the Unit

This part of the rules isn’t fully developed or playtested, but here’s the basic idea: characters who put their faith in the group are subject to the group’s decisions while characters who are on the edges of the group are more easily picked off.

In play, this means that characters on the inside track of the diagram are subject to the other players being able to interrupt their narration by adding details, color, assistance, or minor challenges of their own, depending on how nice or mean they want to be. The player is not allowed to say “No” to any of these suggestions, though the GM can say “Yes, and…” or “Yes, but…” to help work them into the narrative. The other players can also use their traits to make you skip a space, whether to help you or send you into more trouble.

Players on the middle track are subject to the same “suggestions” but are allowed to say “No,” “Yes, and…” and “Yes, but…” along with the GM.

Players on the outside get no help and no hindrance.

When Mahamba Attack

You’re probably wondering what all this “space skipping” is about.

When the mahamba are inevitably encountered amidst the cold streets of Mpemba, they manifest in the rules by altering the meaning of a number of spaces on the yowa diagram. The spaces altered and their meaning are unique to each lihamba, but a lihamba‘s meaning supersedes whatever Agenda the player has attached to that stage. Players who land on a lihamba-dominated space must include encountering the menace of the lihamba and some aspect of the lihamba‘s new theme into the flurry of actions they take while on that space. When they record what happened while in that stage, the lihamba corrupting influence should be present in the pursuit of the given Agenda.

A corrupted lihamba does not always intend to impede your progress towards the goals it has superseded. The lihamba simply wants to destroy you and all those around you or, better yet, for you to destroy yourselves. If pushing you closer towards achieving your Agendas can help accomplish that, the lihamba may be all for it. Depending on your distance from the Hearthfire, the GM and the other players will surely be able to help you figure out what evils the lihamba has cooked up for you.

To make matters worse, mahamba “pounce” on all the players at once. That is to say, when a lihamba is encountered, all the spaces on the board that are altered by its appearance change instantly. Furthermore, all players that are currently on those spaces have to immediately deal with the lihamba‘s appearance by describing the initial flurry of actions (the GM and players will help with the lihamba‘s actions). Only after the initial “pounce” is dealt with will play proceed, generally in counterclockwise order around the group.

Besting Mahamba

Each lihamba has limited potency. The meaning that a lihamba imposes on a given yowa space has a numerical measurement which can either be generally known or a secret known only by the GM, depending on play preferences. Each time a character lands on a given space (dealing with the lihamba‘s influence) or uses a trait to jump over a space, the lihamba‘s imposed meaning loses a point of potency. Once a given meaning has no potency, the GM removes it from the board. In this way, characters gradually destroy mahamba by encountering them and being affected by them, but also by, in some circumstances, shooting them with donated Russian AK-47s.

MAHAMBA MANUAL

I will eventually provide a long list of some of the mahamba your Ndembo Unit may face in Mpemba. For now, here’s two, just as examples:

  • Kumayuwa / Jinga / Nyambango is a plague spirit associated with menstruation, “derived from a female relative who died a violent death especially involving the spilling of her blood.” Now corrupted, the ancestral spirit has possessed all who once lived in the place wherein she was loosed, making them spill the blood of all those around them, making the ground heavy and wet. She embeds Kala and Kala Rising (“birth”) with the meaning “Gore” at strength 5 (this potency is shared by those two spaces) and any characters currently in the Mpemba part of the diagram must deal with her arrival as if they were in an affected space.
  • Kayongo / Ngombo is a plague spirit “derived from an ancestor who was a diviner and wishes a living relative to continue his profession.” Twisted by dark science, Kayongo now blasts visions of possible futures into the minds of all those who encounter it, often involving their deaths or the destruction of things they care about. He embeds the vertical spokes of the yowa with “My Own Future is Dark” and the horizontal spokes with “I Will Live to See the Ruination of All I Know” at strength 2 (each point’s strength counted separately).

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Games

  • Malcolm Craig. Cold City (UK: Contested Ground Studios, 2007). Third Printing.
  • Jonathan Walton. The Good Ship Revenge. Unfinished.
  • Jonathan Walton. Avatar: The Last Airbender. Playtest Version.
  • Jonathan Walton. O How Glorious Thy Resplendent Transmigration You Children of the Undying Sun OR, Unconquered [the Exalted Hack]. Playtest Version.

Scholarship

  • Gerald J. Bender. “Angola: Left, Right, and Wrong,” Foreign Policy 43 (1981).
  • Philippe le Billion. “Angola’s Political Economy of War: The Role of Oil and Diamonds, 1975-2000,” African Affairs 100 (2001).
  • Simon Bockie. Death and the Invisible Powers: The World of Kongo Belief (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993).
  • Gladwyn Murray Childs. “The Peoples of Angola in the Seventeenth Century According to Cadornega,” Journal of African History 1, no. 2 (1960).
  • Daniel Chipenda. “Commenorating the Eleventh Anniversary of the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola,” Speech Given January 1972 in Dar es Salaam.
  • James Denbow. “Heart and Soul: Glimpses of Ideology and Cosmology in the Iconography of Tombstones from the Loango Coast of Africa,” Journal of American Folklore 112 (1999).
  • T. J. Desch-Obi. “Deadly Dances: The Spiritual Dimensions of Kongo-Angolan Martial Art Traditions in the New World,” Fragments of Bone: Neo-African Religions in a New World ed. Patrick Bellegard-Smith (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2005).
  • Kimbwandende Kia Bunseki Fu-Kiau. Tying the Spiritual Knot: African Cosmology of the Bantu-Kongo, Principles for Life and Living (Brooklyn: Athelia Henrietta Press, 2000).
  • Robin Hallett. “The South African Intervention in Angola, 1975-1976,” African Affairs 77, no. 308 (1978).
  • Wyatt Macgaffey. “Oral Tradition in Central Africa,” The International Journal of African Historical Studies 7, no. 3 (1975).
  • Assis Malaquias. “Ethnicity and Conflict in Angola: Prospects for Reconciliation.”
  • John A. Marcum. “The Anguish of Angola: On Becoming Independent in the Last Quarter of the Twentieth Century,” Issue: A Quarterly Journal of Africanist Opinion 5, no. 4 (1975).
  • Eugenio Matibag. “Re-Marking the Bantu Center,” Afro-Cuban Religious Experience: Cultural Reflections in Narrative (Gainsville: University Press of Florida, 1996).
  • Joseph C. Miller. “Angola Before 1900: A Review of Recent Research,” African Studies Review 20, no. 1 (1977).
  • Antonio da Silva Rego. “Syncretic Movements in Angola,” Luso-Brazilian Review 7, no. 2 (1970).
  • John Thorton. “The Slave Trade in Eighteeth Century Angola: Effects on Demographic Structures,” Canadian Journal of African Studies 14, no. 3 (1980).
  • H. W. Turner. “The Place of Independent Religious Movements in the Modernization of Africa,” Journal of Religion in Africa 2, no. 1 (1969).
  • John H. Weeks. Among the Primitive Bakongo : A Record of Thirty Years’ Close Intercourse with the Bakongo and Other Tribes of Equatorial Africa, with a Description of Their Habits, Customs, & Religious Beliefs (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1914).

5 Responses to “Mwaantaangaand”

  1. Matthijs Holter Says:

    Jonathan, this looks different + cool. Is there any way to find an easily printable version of this? You don’t have a PDF of it or anything…?


  2. I just emailed the shortened 4-page contest PDF version to you. I’ll post it too, in case other people want to see it.


  3. Hi Jonathan, I put a link to this up on the Collective Endeavour website. I think this is a really well researched piece. We need more games about, and set in, Africa. I’d really like to see one about the Algerian War of Independence, for example (there have been some really gritty films in French cinema about this in the very recent past, see http://film.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,,2183062,00.html).


  4. Thanks, Gregor! I definitely see games as a great method of teaching people about the important bits of history that we don’t learn in schools. The Chinese Civil War is definitely on my list too.

    Algeria is a great topic. I spent a fair bit of time talking with my Algerian friend Rashid in Nanjing (he was there studying business) who was from one of the Berber regions. Crazy stuff. All of Africa is full of terrible stories. The Italians in Libya. Ivory Coast. Ethiopia and Eritrea. Somalia. Mozambique. Rhodesia.


  5. […] Walton’s Mwaantaangaand is probably where I first picked up the idea of having scenes represented physically on a board. […]


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