I recently played a game of Two Hour Wargames' "Adventures in the Lost Lands" (AitLL) with a friend. We were a bit rushed, and I was a bit rusty with the rules, but it was fun. We encountered two herds of plant-eaters, I shot one of them, saved the carcass and was in the process of leaving the table when a couple of vicious predators showed up. My friend was closer to them than I was so I high-tailed it out of there, while Tom got charged and eventually eaten (serves him right for abandoning me, long, long ago [scroll to the very end for the grisly story]).
Nevertheless this left me wanting more, so the next day I dug out my brand new copy of Saurian Safari. I'd read through it once, and after only a second quick skim I was ready to play. This time I was solo, but the game is perfectly suited to solo play. Since this was a first-time test of the rules for me, I took a single Victorian-era Hunter, wielding a Martini-Henry bolt-action rifle, and went a-huntin'. I played the first scenario, the very basic Jurassic Park hunt. (I started to take the fabled Dinosaur Gun, but the chance of it knocking me down scared me away from it.)
First I rolled up my Hunter's stats. Believe it or not, and I swear it's true, the dice were very good to me. I gave them a very thorough shake before rolling. Sometimes I get lucky. Sometimes.
Martini-Henry rifle: 1 shot/turn. Misfire chance 3%. Black powder. Penetration: 5. Damage Factor: 8.
Turn 1. I roll for my Movement on 1d6 = 6". Dinosaur encounter roll = 50%. No dinosaurs are encountered.
Turn 2. I roll for my Movement on 1d6 = 6". Dinosaur encounter roll = 51%. No dinosaurs are encountered.
|I decide heading for the safety of cover is a good idea.|
Turn 3. I roll for my Movement on 1d6 = 3". Dinosaur encounter roll = 35%. No dinosaurs are encountered.
|I manage to enter the depths of the cover. From here I should have a good view of the whole table.|
Turn 4. I choose not to move. Dinosaur encounter roll = 62%. A dinosaur is encountered! It is a Stegosaurus (Move 4", Toughness 7, Damage 12). It comes on the table at coordinates 7 x 3 (long [left to right], by side [top to bottom]), facing 4 o'clock. On my 6' x 4' table, this puts it roughly 49" x 14" in. It is in the open and I self-rule that it did not emerge from cover (what cover?).
|What luck! I swear it was randomized with the dice, but you'd think I just put him there, right in my line of sight.|
I decide I would like to shoot at said dinosaur.
|Steady. Steaaady. Fire!|
The Stegosaurus is more than 12" away, but not more than 24" so I take one -10% modifier to my Awareness of 100 = 90. I roll percentage dice (d100) = 43%. I am aware of the six ton monster. I roll to see if my gun misfires; I roll 82%, far more than the 3% chance. It does not misfire. I shoot: I take the same -10% penalty to my Shooting score (100), no other factors apply; I roll d100 = 37. I hit! But did I do damage? I roll 1d6 + the gun's penetration value = 1 + 5 = 6. I compare this to the Toughness of the dinosaur, 6 vs 7. It bounces off his scaly hide! Drat!
According to the rules, Stegosauruses (Stegosauri?) are not very bright, but they will charge anyone shooting at them. I am in his front facing, so he can see me, even though I have a cloud of black powder smoke around me, and I am in cover. Nevertheless, he will charge me at his fearsome 4" per turn!
Turn 5. I choose not to move. Dinosaur encounter roll = 11%. No other dinosaurs are encountered. The Stegosaurus moves 4" closer to me.
|He may be big and slow, but he won't stop. Keep shooting!|
I decide to shoot again. The same modifiers apply. My Awareness roll = 61 vs 90. I am aware. My misfire roll = 48 vs 3. No misfire. My Shooting roll = 78 vs 90. I hit! Damage = 2 + 5 = 7 compared to Toughness of 7. No effect!
I decide to stand my ground.
Turn 6. I choose not to move. Dinosaur encounter roll = 54%. No other dinosaurs are encountered. The Stegosaurus moves 4" closer to me.
|He's getting closer....|
According to the rules, if one shot removes more than half its remaining Damage Value, it is stunned.
The Stegosaurus is stunned! It falls over. Huzzah! That's good, because he was getting pretty close.
|The ground trembles as the multi-ton monster falls over.|
Turn 7. I choose not to move. Dinosaur encounter roll = 38%. No other dinosaurs are encountered (which is probably a good thing, since I'm having so much trouble with just one). The Stegosaurus has fallen over and does not rise (I forgot until just now that it should have had a chance to stand, 4+ on 1d6. Oops. Oh well).
I decide to shoot yet again. My Awareness roll = 54 vs 99 (seems a little silly to roll for Awareness of a downed, motionless dinosaur at which I've been shooting continuously for 3 turns, but them's the rules). I am aware. My misfire roll = 35 vs 3, no misfire. My Shooting roll = 3 vs 99. I hit! Penetration = 3 + 5 = 8 vs Toughness 7 = I hit! Was it a critical? I roll d100 = 77, no critical. I deduct the rifle's Damage rating from the Stegosaurus's Damage Value; (now)4 - 8 = -4. It's dead!
Turn 8. I decide to run off the table. I roll 2d6 = 7". Dinosaur encounter roll = 55%. No other dinosaurs are encountered.
Turn 9. I decide to run off the table. I roll 2d6 = 4". Dinosaur encounter roll = 43%. No other dinosaurs are encountered, which is good since it's taking me longer to RUN off the table than it did to WALK on at the start.
Turn 10. I finally run off the table, 2d6 = 7". Dinosaur encounter roll = 68%. A dinosaur is encountered! It is another Stegosaurus, but since I have now left the table I don't go any further with the results. (This was partly because I was time-crunched in real life, too).
Verdict: A successful dinosaur-hunting expedition. I bagged a dinosaur and survived. I may have acted somewhat overly-cautious and dare-I-say-it cowardly, but my only other experience is with AitLL, where the ferocious dinos are ferocious indeed! Plus, I didn't have a lot a time to play as thoroughly as I would have liked, but the mere fact that I was able to play A GAME in 30 minutes, at all, is a "good thing" in my opinion.
I will definitely be returning to these rules sooner rather than later.
Thanks for reading!