“The hardest lesson of my life has come to me late. It is that a nation can win freedom without its people becoming free.” – ZAPU founder Joshua Nkomo
THE WHITE TRIBE is a strategic solitaire (one player) game on the 1966-1980 civil war in the African nation of Rhodesia (today called Zimbabwe). Published by White Dog Games and designed by R. Ben Madison, it is the second game in Ben Madison’s Cold War Trilogy series. The player plays the forces of the White minority government (and its Portuguese and South African allies) against the “ZANU” and “ZAPU” guerrilla forces which eventually won the war with Chinese and Soviet aid. The game focuses on domestic and international politics as much as it does on the military conflict itself. Players should be aware that they are a tiny country fighting a war in a world beyond their control.
It’s not a detailed historical simulation, but is designed as a fun, challenging game that illustrates the general strategic course of the conflict and highlights important historical themes.
The White Tribe is a unique SOLITAIRE game with military and political aspects. You play the White government of Rhodesia, besieged by a Black guerrilla army, using your potent armed forces to hold it back while you try to persuade your colonialist voters to compromise and move to a system of Black majority rule. The balance of military and political factors makes for an intriguing and very different sort of game; you'll fight guerrillas, fight elections, and even pass bills with the same level of tension! Advancing generous policy positions, to win over African public opinion, can endanger you with the European voters you depend on for power. At the same time, you have to persuade foreign states that your reforms are moving forward -- they have different visions for Rhodesia than you do, and they can bring you down with economic sanctions or military strikes. And looming over you are the unstable Portuguese, whose empire in Mozambique is vital to your strategic safety! Your aim is to build a government based on justice and equality, while holding off extremists on every side using all your military and political tools.