SGS Rules

Ostafrika 1914 campaign

SGS Heia Safari - scenario menu


This is the Ostafrika1914 scenario, the longest grand campaign scenario covering the most famous and longest colonial campaign of World War On in Eastern Africa, from August 1914 till November 1918.

The vastly outnumbered Germans managed to wage a successful defense and guerrilla war, never suffering a major defeat while keeping British Empire, Belgian and Portuguese forces tied in large numbers to a an unhealthy and meaningless theatre of operations, and this till the end of WW1.

  • The Entente forces are numerically superior, with bigger and stronger units, with mutliple paths of access to their targets, but are suffering from the terrain and weather more than their enemies. Only when the native troops can be brought to bear will their situation improve.
  • The Germans led by Von Lettow have better indivudual units, good commanders and velocity, but they are weak. Their initial advantages are the command of the African Lakes and the control of a central position and interior lines. They cannot receive reinforcements aside from local levies and a few volunteers.

The scenario starts when both sides are surprised by the war start and have to get ready for the fight.

The game Cards and Events allow full replay ability thanks to the numerous various situations that they create on the environmental, diplomatic, military, or political fields.


Duration: 10h+
Favored Side: Entente
Most Difficult Side to Play: Germany

The Ostafrika 1914 scenario lasts 53 turns with each turn representing 1 month, starting in August 1914 and lasting till November 1918.

The German player always plays first.

The Entente forces include British, Indian, South-African, Black, Belgian, Portuguese and Royal Navy units.

The German forces include German Schtuztruppe (Army) and Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy) units.


SGS Heia Safari - carte
SGS Heia Safari – map

The map represents Eastern Africa, from Kenya and Uganda in north and northwest down to most of Mozambique (in the southeast) and Nyasaland / Rhodesia (in the southwest). The center of the map is DOA [Deutsche Ost Afrika / German East Africa], i.e. modern day Tanzania, Ruanda and Burundi. In the west lies the Belgian Congo. Offmap boxes (OMB) represented homes of Indian, South African and Belgian units (far away from the theater).

Most of the Entente Native forces units are limited to their initial colonies until the Imperial HQ allows them to enter enemy territory. Belgian do not allow their allies to enter their territory most of the time, and so do the Portuguese after they join the war (closed before). However, special cards may change that and open all lands to a better cooperation between those ‘allies’.

Regions that cannot be entered in the scenario are grayed out.



The Entente player wins if he controls all cities and villages on the map or has destroyed all enemy mobile units.

The German player win immediate victory if the Entente Commitment is 25 or higher after 1917.

Otherwise, the player with the most Victory Points at the end of the scenario wins the game.


The Entente player earns 10 VP for the death of German field commander Von Lettow.
The Entente player earns 10 VP when the German ship SMS Koenigsberg is sunk.
The Entente player earns 5VP for the first time Dar-Es-Salaam and Tabora are controlled.
The Entente player earns 3VP for the first time Tanga, Arusha, Dodoma and Kigoma (each) are controlled.
The Entente player earns 1VP for the first time each other enemy city (not village) is controlled.

The German player earns 5 VP if Von Lettow is still in play at the end of the game.
The German player earns 1 VP if Schnee (German governor) is still in play at the end of the game.
The German player earns 3 VP / 1 VP for each enemy city captured / fort or depot eliminated.
The German player earns 10 VP if Dar-Es-Salaam is controlled at the end of the game.
The German player earns 5 VP (each) if Tabora, Tanga, Kigona, Arusha is controlled at the end of the game.
The German player earns 3 VP if another city (not village) in DOA is controlled at the end of the game.


Both players receive scheduled reinforcements in this scenario, but very limited in numbers, as described in the schedule below for each side.

Most of the new units they can receive in addition are through the play of cards, or via construction of what is inside their respective force pools. Note that cards and events may add units to the force pool, which means the players will need to pay for them if they want them on the map.

Last, but not least, the German player will not be able to rebuild most of his «white» infantry and cavalry units, as they represent troops from Germany or of European origin that cannot return to the theater of operations due to enemy blockade and control of the sea. Only the locally raised ‘Askaris’ can be rebuild if the necessary locations are under German control.

Scheduled Reinforcements

German player

September 1914 (Turn 2): 18 FK, 7ErK, Träger7
June 1915 (Turn 11): 19 FK, 8ErK, Träger6
August 1915 (Turn 13): 20 FK, 9ErK, Träger8
September 1915 (Turn 14): 21 FK, 10 ErK

Entente player

November 1914 (Turn 4): Supply Wagon
January 1915 (Turn 6): EAMR Cavalry, 6th Light Art.
May 1915 (Turn 10) : Arab Rifle
January 1916 (Turn 18) : 2nd Cape, 9th SA
May 1915 (Turn 10) : Arab Rifle

Other major Entente reinforcements by cards or events

Quite a few cards provide one unit as reinforcements, but the following ones (or events) bring more.

Tanga Expedition: 98th, 63rd, 3rd Kashmir, 61st KGO, 3rd Gwalior, 2nd Kashmir, 13th Rajput, 101st Bombay, 1st Light Art, 28th Mtn Art, Supplies, Porters, 1 Naval Squadron, 4 Naval transports. All off Tanga. 2 units and 2 transports in British India. Those are essentially Indian troops (can be rebuilt in India if destroyed. India economic gain is added).

More Belgians: 4th Bn, 6th Bn, 2nd Bie in Congo

More Blacks : free automatic monthly rebuild of Native troops.

More British: 25th RF, 9th Naval Art and other British units in force pool.

More Imperial: 2nd Rhodesian in Rhodesia and other white imperial troops in force pool.

More Indians: 129th Baluch, 40th Pathan in India and more units in the force pool.

Force Publique: 8th Bn, 9th Bn, 13th Bn, 3rd Bie in Congo

King’s African Rifles: 3 extra KAR units added each year, plus movement limitation lifted.

Portugal Enters War: all Portuguese units in Mozambique (now accessible to German forces too).

South Africa Intervenes: all South African units, in South Africa and/or major ports (plus economic gain)



The Entente player has an index called «Entente Commitment» which represent the amount of efforts (troops, materials, supplies, funds) that he is assigning to the conquest of the German colony. The higher the level, the more the opponent will receive Victory Points (5 VP for the Germans each level of 5 points for this inex), as it means its defense is succesfull in taking away all of the above from the war effort on the main fronts of World War One.

Most of the key cards allowing new troops to come into play make the Entente Commitment rise (usually +1) and some key city captures (major German cities) will lower it by -1.


All replacements and constructions are handled both by the economic system and by cards. A few regions in the game are providing income to their owner, with which to purchase new units (cost between $0 and $5), replacements for units already on map ($2 each) and cards (cost $3 each). In addition the Entente receives 1 free replacement each turn.


– For the Entente player units: Most major Ports
– For the German player units: Major cities in DOA


Both sides benefit from a partial fog of war, i.e. the playercannot see what an enemy stack could contain (only a flag is displayed on those for the Germans, or the main unit of the stack for the Entente). To observe the enemy content, you need to play a Reconnaissance card (Air or Land).


Decoy unit.

In addition to the fog of war, the German player can use a few Decoy units that have no combat value, are eliminated when involved in battle with the enemy, but look alike any other German unit (due to fog of war) and cost $0 to replace. This simulates, in part, the permanent uncertainty the Germans managed to leave their opponent in when it came to the actual location of their forces.


The whole of Eastern Africa has a weather and seasons schedule which is roughly divided into bad seasons (rain or hot) and fair seasons. During the bad seasons, movement is more or less hampered, and extral losses can be suffered. In addition losses during rain seasons are higher in the coastal lowlands (roughly the two regions-deep area close the sea with jungles and mangroves) than in the interior (2 or more regions away from the ocean, mostly hills). The Entente suffers more than its opponent (who is more acclimated).

Hot Seasons: each year in January and February. Mostly hits from the heat, stronger on the coastline.

Short Rain Seasons: each year in November and December. Hits from deseases and movement penaly, stronger on the coastline.

Long Rain Seasons: each year from March to May. Many hits from deseases and strong movement penaly, more painful on the coastal lowlands than on interior plateaux.

In essence, it is a bad time to go to war half of the year, from November till May!


In all terrains except Clear or Steppes, most German native troops and a few European troops (veterans) will get an Ambush round, IF they are defending, during which they will be the only type of units allowed to fire. Basically this will give the Germans an edge in defense.


No units besides cavalry and armored cars may breakthrough in this game, and only in open terrains.


The German SMS Koenigsberg light cruiser did some damage and created a lot of anxiety in the British Admiralty, much more than its actual military actions would mean. There was a long chase and hide and seek game between both sides between the start of the war and July 1915 historically. In the game, this is represented by a succession of cards and events that can represent this course of action, that can be summarized as follows:

Early 1914: Koenigsberg strikes and goes into the Indian Ocean for commerce raiding. From September 1914: chance (increasing) that British Admiralty decrees ‘Pursuit’. In same time, if the Koenigsberg stays at sea, it deprives Entente from income, but runs the risk to be sunk, which would cost Germany as much as -10 VP.

At some point (early 1915), Koenigsberg can «hide» in the Rufiji river delta, south of Dar-Es-Salaam, where it will utlimately be found by the British. It will take 3-6 months for the British to sink it there, the more it last, the more they lose VP. Final destruction will bring a VP gain though.

If the Koenigsberg is not sunk at sea, the Germans can play cards giving them interesting new units (like the ship’s artillery, some lake ships, sailors detachments, etc…)


Von LettowThe German overall miliatry commander is the hero of this game and an interesting and useful unit.

It is not a leader (i.e. not bringing its combat value directly in battle), so cannot be killed by enemy fire. But it is a booster, i.e. giving morale and combat bonuses to the units he is stacked with.

In addition, when in game, he will allow the German player to receive extra cards are regular intervals, as well as extra units such as decoys or porters (supply units).

However, if eliminated, the Germans will suffer greatly: loss of 5 VP (and opponents gains 10) plus a permanent loss of Morale to all their units.


Both sides draw 1 card per turn, but some events, or other cards, may provoke the draw of extra cards. Von Lettow existence allows the German to regularly draw more cards (mostly tactical ones).

Most cards with tactical influence (e.g. combat or economic cards) can be purchased, but all those with an important event or strategic influence are not purchasable.


For the PDF version, use the links below :

SGS Heia Safari – Fact sheets (PDF) : Ostafrika 1914 Grand campaign.

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