The Afriborian Campaign is situated in an imaginary world that resembles our own planet and its history (roughly 1874-1914), but events and developments that took place in our world might be set at different dates or in different places in the Afriborian world, thus making any resemblance between Afriboria and real history, -people, -events and -places purely a matter of imagination.

BACKGROUND: From the American Civil War (1860-1869), that ended with the peace-treaty of Alabama, two new countries emerged: C.S.A. (Confederate States of America) and U.S.A. (United States of America). Science & technology (as so often is the case during armed conflicts) flourished during this period of internal struggle in North America. The technology of steampower developped further and faster than anyone could have imagined, but it was the immigration of two European gentlemen to the New World that lead to the development of an even more powerful tool: the "automobile vehicle". This new type of transport would play an important role in the latter part of the Civil War. The first of these young men - Karl Benz - was born on 25th November 1844 in Karlsruhe, his father being a mechanic. He started out as an apprentice and this brilliant young engineer soon thereafter developped a two-stroke gas engine, followed by a four-stroke one. Since the four-stroke engine was patented in Germany under the Otto-Patent, he decided to try his luck in America, where he offered his services to the U.S. Army. The U.S.-military immediately realised the potential of his invention and he was granted the necessary funds for further development. This resulted in the first (three-wheel) automobile. The Southern Government, very much alarmed by this Northern move, formed a committee which was sent te Europe to negociate with one Gottlieb Daimler, who designed a similar power-source, and who was confronted with the same problems as Benz regarding the patent. Daimler accepted the offer of the C.S.A. and came - in the utmost secrecy - to America on board the blockade-runner "CSS Creeck". Both North and South started - almost simultaniously - to equip their armies with motorised transport. By the end of the war the simple three-wheelers had evolved into true motorcars. The imperialist powers that were competing to colonialise Afriboria started transforming standard motor vehicles into small series of armoured cars armed with machineguns (or even heavier stuff) which gave them an edge over massed attacks by native armies and which partually countered the inconvenience of the tsetse fly that made the use of horses unpractical in many Afriborian regions. Although the internal combustion engine had already revolutionized mobile warfare during the American Civil War, a petrol engine powerful enough for larger (tracked) vehicles had yet to be developed. This remained the exclusive domain of steam engines, at least as in so far a suitable transmission and gearbox could be built for the propulsion of heavy steamtanks or massive landships… A brilliant engineer by the name of Hanssen succeeded in building both a transmission and gearbox up to the job. Being a technical super mind (but not much of a salesman…) he allied himself with a business man called William Gates to market his products. Gates immediately patented both inventions and suggested to his partner not to sell their products as such on the international market, but instead monopolize by founding a company that would not only market transmissions and gearboxes but rather complete steam monsters, thus optimising profits. In order to keep out of reach of the Great Powers they had to base their company in a country not controlled by any of the big boys. This left them with only one option: the island of Tebu, off the Afriborian mainland, where the "Afriborian Steamtank & Landship company" was based. True to their principles, Gates & Hanssen supplied their own steam propelled super weapons (or anything made to order) to any government with the appropriate means… Although very much favoured by the European powers, these new and mighty weapons were costly and most certainly not available to every force that skirmished or battled in these wild and untamed regions. The infantryman (European or askari) often - but not always - backed by artillery and/or machineguns continued to bear the burden of combat during the Afriborian wars.

The vehicles and flying machines shown below are as much the result of being constantly on the lookout for suitable toys, models or bits and pieces to turn into Afriborian war machines as of building or converting the actual models themselves. The construction of each vehicle came first, the story behind it followed (sort of automatically) after the model had been finished. The basic idea behind the vehicles and aircraft is that the TECHNOLOGY (but perhaps not the appearance) is more or less "realistic and feasable" for the period and would have been available prior to 1920 in our own real world.

Fowler, as leading manufacturer, could not stay behind in the race and designed an armoured steam tractor. To reduce the wheel-base as much as possible, the boiler ended up being a very compact affair with a hugh diameter indeed. The otherwise useless space between the big aft wheels was transformed into an armoured compartment with room for 8 fully packed soldiers. At the back of the tractor was a (steam operated) hinged door to fast unload the troops. The armament consisted of a single machinegun on top of the cockpit. During trials, the small front wheels proved inadequate and were substituted by the Adolphe Kegresse track system, much improving the (otherwise very poor) terrain performance of the vehicle. The tractor was designed to haul heavy artillery or coal & wood tenders for the hungry steam powered landships, but could double as a (slow) APC. The vehicle was nicknamed "Pig" by the British and "Sau" by the Germans. Built by the Afriborian Steamtank & Landship company - A.S.L.)

(Mc Donalds "Atlantis" Happy Meal conversion).
The "Type A" was the first attempt to convert the small DAF-truck into an armoured car. An armoured box was placed behind the driver's compartment with 3 fire-ports on each side. The main doors were at the back and behind the driver there were two smaller doors to permit the crew to take refuge in the armoured box. All doors had fireports. The (armour-plated) windscreen could be folded down to improve vision. The vehicle was topped by a turret with a Hotchkiss machinegun.
(25/28 mm Oxford Diecast conversion).


Only a few of these land-borne battleships have been launched by the British, who want to rule the land as well as the waves. HMLS UNSINKABLE is armed with a single massive 12" gun with a protective shield. "HMLS UNSINKABLE" is a fully tracked steam-powered monster. The gun can - of course - only be fired when the landship is stationary. Land-monitors are designed for besieging towns and fortifications and not for regular battles. Built by A.S.L.
/28 mm Games Workshop conversion).

German "Punktlichkeit" (punctuality) was a big issue with the "Postverwaltung" (German Post Office). Mail had to be delivered as fast as possible across the vast German Empire. Therefor the post-office commissioned the airship constructor Zeppelin and the aircraft manufacturer Messerschmidt to design and build the "Zepperschmidt": a compact flying machine, part airship, part plane. in fact this was the very first VTOL. Since the military were also interested, a twin machinegun turret (in unbreakable mirrorglass & aluminium) was added to the nose section as well as a machinegun amidships on each side of the Zepperschmidt, thus creating a powerful bomber-gunship, performing much like a modern helicopter. The craft had a crew of four: one turret-gunner, two side-gunners/engineers and one commander/helmsman. Communication was by an early form of intercom. Although the ship looked massive and sturdy, the materials used were - apart from the engine - almost exclusively canvas, glass and aluminium. When flying low it proved to be vunerable even to small arms fire, but from a certain altitude and without other aircraft or AA-guns near, it could strafe the enemy unpunished.
(Mc Donalds "Atlantis" Happy Meal conversion).
When Belgium entered the race for Afriboria, King Franz II of Belgium himself ORDERED the A.S.L. to provide his expeditionary forces with some muscle. One of the most powerful results was the "Rhino" steam tank. Much smaller and lighter than most other steam propulsed warmachines, this tank proved to be very efficient indeed. Armed with a fine short-barreled gun-howitser in the turret, its steam-engine positioned at the back and with a streamline other steam-powered vehicles could not even come near to, the "Rhino" was a reliable fighting machine loved by the troops. It served as an example for more recent petrol-engined tank design.
(Disney "Atlantis" toy conversion).


The American agricultural machinery manufacturer BUSH created the "Bush Burner", a tall contraption on three wheels intented to burn down fields en bushes in an industrialised fashion. Some of these machines were shipped to the Suid-Kolonie to help create new farmland. During a Zulu-raid on a group of Boers, a "Bush Burner" was at hand and the driver desperately aimed it's fire at the charging impi, killing many Zulu warriors and routing & demoralising the rest, thus saving his companions from a certain death. From that time onwards the "Bush Burner" was used on many occasions as a flame-throwing weapon by army and militia alike. The boost in sales and prestige that followed made the Bush-family very influential people. The family entered politics and reached the highest level. The "Bush Burner" Mk 1 had a petrol-engine with two vertical exhaust pipes at the back, whereas rechargeable batteries formed the power source of the Mk 2. The maximum speed of this machine - due to it's design - was 4 miles/h (6 km/h); a good thing because without the cover of infantry it made an easy target to surround and destroy.

(Disney "Atlantis" toy conversion).

" PanzerDampfwagen VII - LÖWE " (PzDw VII Amf) by the A.S.L.
Since the German Empire was known for innovation in design, their new wooden steam wagon may have looked outdated when introduced, but in fact it was very much ahead of its time. It was specifically designed for operations in Afriboria. The wooden hull was not only lighter than steel or iron, but was bolted together so it could easily be taken apart to be transported aboard river craft. The mechanical components were kept as basic as possible (as was the steam engine) to simplify repairs in the field. For the same reason wheels were used instead of tracks. The pontoonshaped watertight wooden hull (with metal lining) made the vehicle amphibious (note the aft propeller - steering in water was by means of the forward wheels, acting as rudders). In combat, the tarpaulin protecting the cockpit had to be removed to enable the gun to fire forward. The cockpit could accomodate both driver and guncrew.
(western cowboy wagon toy conversion - figure for scale reference is a 28 mm West Wind).