The year is 1878, Queen Victoria has been on the throne for forty years (well that’s what happens when there’s no paper!) and Sir Harold Fotherington Smyth the famous zoologist, hunter, explorer, and all round good egg has heard tell of great prehistoric beasts seen deep in the jungles of India, so having collected together a party of hunters, native porters and soldiers from his old regiment “The Queens own foot and mouth” he has set forth into darkest India in search of Dinosaurs…
What follows is a set of rules that hopefully simulate “Sir Harry” and his fellow adventurers attempts at hunting and capturing dinosaurs for the “British Zoological Society”, they can be played either as a solo game or with multiple players each of which controls their own hunting party. I hope I have covered most situations but should something arise that is not covered please try to keep all decisions within the “spirit of the rules”.
Object of/The Game:
The object of the game is to capture as many dinosaurs as possible, either before they eat or trample all of your figures, in a set amount of time (you know before “Eastenders” starts or something) or in set scenario’s which I will leave for you to write (If you’ve ever seen “The Land That Time Forgot” you shouldn’t have to much difficulty). You capture the dinosaurs by either driving them over the pits (see Pits), or by getting them to charge at you across them thus getting them to fall in. You will find that different dinosaurs are easier to capture in different ways. You can also kill the dinosaurs though this is not really the object of the game.
There is no set size (or shape) of table required to play this game, though anything under the size of the average kitchen table may be a little small. You will also require approximately four or more dinosaur figures or counters of different types (see Dinosaur Reaction Tables) and a damage/reaction track for each one (see damage/reaction tracks), at least six figures or counters to represent the hunting parties, some model trees or moss to represent vegetation, stones or something to represent impassable terrain, two “pits” (see Pits), one D4 a D6 and D10 dice. You can also use a river or pond; blue painted card of the appropriate size can be used to represent this. Marshes can be made in the same way but painted a different colour.
Setting Up the Table:
The table should be set up with the vegetation randomly placed all over it about eight or more inches apart. Any ponds, rivers, marshes or impassable terrain should also be set out again a reasonable distance apart. Then divide up the human figures into hunting parties and give one party to each of the players (inform the player with Sir Harry in his party that if he gets a six on his movement points roll to inform the person with the rule book (see Movement)). I have found in play testing that the game gets going a lot quicker if the hunting parties start in the centre of the table (though if your scenario calls for them to start at the edge of the table feel free to do so).
- Players dice for movement points.
- Figures move.
- Figures fire.
- Dice to see if more dino’s come on.
- Close combat takes place.
- Dinosaurs take damage points.
- Dinosaurs dice for activation points.
- Dinosaurs move.
Sir Harry & Party Descriptions:
The figures are divided up into hunting parties of about six figures a group, then each player receives one hunting party (each party should be made up of about the same number of adventurers, stalwarts etc…). If you wish you can make up your parties to a specific points value (decided before the game), using the point’s values listed below along with the descriptions of the characters involved. It is a good idea to colour code or mark the bases of the different types of figures for easier identification.
Sir Harry (the slightly tipsy leader of the expedition) 5
Adventurers (Brave soldiers or big game hunters) 6
Stalwarts (Regular soldiers or sailors) 4
Rabble (Native porters or cowardly civilians) 2
Artillery (anything from “Gatling” guns up to howitzers) 8
Sir Harry’s Reaction Table: (D6)
|2||Sir Harry falls down drunk for 3 turns (someone must stay with him).|
|3||Sir Harry decides a rousing chorus of “God save the Queen” is needed, so bursts into song putting the nearest dinosaur on a +2 reaction.|
|4||Sir Harry thinks he saw “Raquel Welch” in a fur bikini so heads off in a D4 random direction for 2 turns then returns dejected (must use 1 of his parties movement points each turn).|
|5||Sir Harry decides it is time for “Tiffin” so all parties must stop for 3 turns while they have tea (dinosaurs carry on as usual and if they go into close combat with a human during this that human may stop “Tiffin” to fight).|
|6||Sir Harry goes completely mad and runs at 10cm a turn to engage the nearest dinosaur in close combat, he gets a +2 on his dice roll for combat (must use 2 of his parties movement points each turn he runs).|
Dinosaur Damage/Reaction Tracks:
Each Dinosaur requires a Damage/Reaction track to record that dino’s current damage status and what it should be doing at any time. For this all you require is a strip of paper with that dino’s name on it and a row of squares numbered 1 to 10, in addition to this you need two counters (of different colours) one to plot it’s damage and one it’s currant reaction level. If you are using more than one Dinosaur of the same type it may be a good idea to number or letter the bases of said dino’s and mark their track accordingly.
Bringing Dinosaurs on Table:
At the start of the game line up all the dinosaurs you wish to use in the game in a row so that when you get to number 4 on the sequence of play table you can throw the appropriate die for that number of dino’s (e.g. if you have four dino’s roll a D4, eight dino’s roll a D8 etc…) then bring on the dino that corresponds to that number in the line, continue to count its space in the line so you may not get a dino coming on table every turn. Dinosaurs enter at the mid point of a D4 random table edge.
Then roll a D6 to decide that dinosaurs original level on its reaction table then mark this level on that dinosaurs damage/reaction track, from then on roll 1D6 for each dino each turn, on a 1 or 2 the dino goes down one level on its track and thus reacts as per its table, 3 or 4 and it stays the same and 5 or 6 it goes up one.
Terrain can be divided up into four different types,
Vegetation this has not effect on movement and is only really there so the dinosaurs can graze on it (see dinosaur reaction tables).
Marshes this causes all figures to move half distance, any dino’s with 3 or less damage points remaining who roll a 1 or 2 on their reaction roll are considered to weak to move and thus are considered drowned and removed from the game.
Impassable Terrain/ Rocks these can not be crossed by any type of figure and must be gone around, dino’s panicking can run into them, these then take 1 point of damage and get a –1 on their reaction table (if the result is still panic they can run into them again next turn).
Ponds/ Water this is also impassable and must be gone around but if any panicking dino runs into it they must roll a D6, on a 1 2 or 3 they drown and are removed from the game, on a 4 5 or 6 they escape (exiting from the same place they entered), they also get 1 point of damage and a –1 on their reaction table (if the result is still panic the can run back in next turn).
Pits & Traps:
Pits are used to trap dinosaurs, so if any part of a dinosaurs base passes over a pit it is considered to have fallen in and is thus counted as trapped, it is assumed that all pits are covered with twigs and brush strong enough to support the weight of a man but not the weight of a dinosaur! If you wish once a trap in full (has a dino in it) any hunting party can dig a new one, to do this takes 6 movement points, takes two full turns and requires at least three figures to dig it (figures digging a pit may not fire or move in those same turns). Pits can be represented by a rectangle of card 30mm by 45mm painted black. I recommend that you only use two pits on the table at any one time.
At the start of each turn each of the hunting parties roll a D6 this is the number of movement points that party has that turn and thus the number of figures that can move in that turn (e.g. a party throws a 5 thus up to five figures can move in this turn) if the party including ”Sir Harry” throws a 6 then they must roll for “Sir Harry” on his reaction table, depending on the result the rest of the party are treated as normal and keep the six as their movement score.
Humans move 5cm per turn, but they can run up to 10cm a turn (to do this you must use 2 movement points for each figure that runs), any figures that run may not fire in the same turn.
Artillery moves 2cm per turn but may not fire in the same turn it has moved.
Dinosaurs are not controlled by any of the players but act according to their reaction table, each column of that specific dinosaurs table refers to the action that it should perform on the score it currently has (see dinosaur reaction tables).
Rifles have a range of 12cm but get a +2 at under 5cm.
Artillery has a range of 22cm but gets a +1 at under 12cm
Firing Chart: (D10)
|1||Miss||Miss||Miss||Shot Self||+1 Reaction|
|5||+1 Reaction||Miss||Miss||Miss||-3 Reaction|
|6||1 Hit||+1 Reaction||+1 Reaction||Miss||2 Hits|
|7||1 Hit||1 Hit||-1 Reaction||Miss||3 Hits|
|8||1 Hit||1 Hit||1 Hit||+1 Reaction||1D6 –2 Hits|
|9||1 Hit||1 Hit||1 Hit||-1 Reaction||1D6 –1 Hits|
|10||1 Hit||1 Hit||1 Hit||1 Hit||1D6 Hits|
Note: For a dinosaur to react on its “under fire” column that dinosaur must be fired at directly. You cannot deliberately miss a dinosaur.
When the bases of two figures (human or dinosaur) touch each other those figures go into close combat. To do this the dinosaur figure/s must first do what it says to do on the close combat column of their reaction table at their currant reaction level, if this is withdraw, flee or panic that figure does this instead of fighting in close combat, the other figure may then follow up next turn if they wish (or if their reaction table allows them to for dinosaurs). If however the dinosaur’s reaction level is high enough it fights as follows (humans will always fight).
Both figures roll one D6 adding or taking away any points as mentioned in the rules/ charts. The highest remaining number is then the winner, if the loser is a dinosaur then it loses 2 damage points however if it is a human figure then he is immediately considered to be dead and is removed from the game.
Only one figure (human or dinosaur) may engage another at any one time, any others wishing to engage that figure in close combat must wait 1cm from the combat until either one combatant is dead or has broken off the combat, the new figure may then engage in close combat next turn.
If a dinosaur is engaged in close combat it always reacts on its close combat column even if shot at.
Whenever a dinosaur takes a hit (see firing chart) the number of hits is taken away from its damage rating as in close combat, when all of its damage points have gone the dinosaur is considered dead and is removed from the game. To reduce the number of dinosaurs you need to play the game and so you don’t have to many dino’s to move each turn I would advise you use just four or five dino’s and when one is captured or killed put it back in the line of dino’s waiting to come on table.
Dinosaur Reaction Codes:
|Graze||Move 5cm towards nearest vegetation (if at vegetation does not move)|
|Withdraw||Move 6cm in opposite direction to threat|
|Flee||Move 8cm in opposite direction to threat|
|Panic||Move 10cm in opposite direction, ignoring terrain features|
|Stand||Dinosaur does not move but roars a bit|
|Stalk||Move 6cm in direction of nearest other piece (human or dinosaur)|
|Advance||Move 8cm in direction of nearest other piece (human or dinosaur)|
|Charge||Move 10cm in direction of nearest other piece (human or dinosaur)|
|Enraged||Move 12cm in direction of nearest other piece (human or dinosaur)|
Dinosaur Reaction Tables:
The T’rex is basically an eating machine and will happily roam around the table eating the other dino’s or people until it is captured or killed.
|Normal||Close Combat||Under Fire|
Triceratops is basically a peaceful dinosaur though is more aggressive than most when roused.
|Normal||Close Combat||Under Fire|
The Stegosaurus and Brontosaurus are shy peaceful dinosaurs that wouldn’t hurt a fly (but could trample one to death accidentally!).
|Normal||Close Combat||Under Fire|
(See Dinosaur Reaction Codes for descriptions of reactions).
Figures & Scales:
This game has been written for use with 15mm figures however if you change the measurements from centimetres to inches it can easily be used with 25mm figures instead. All the figures needed to play this game are available in the 15mm “Sir Harry Pack” for use with “Tusk” from Irregular Miniatures (£8.00 at time of writing).
These rules were greatly inspired (and a little plagiarized) by Matthew Hartley’s excellent “Tusk” rules for Mammoth hunting and are in no way meant to replace them. It is with grateful thanks that Matthew has allowed them to be published.