Saturday, May 7, 2016

Star Wars Dinosaur hunting @ 28mm using Saurian Safari rules

My friend Jeff came over today and I decided on a game I haven't done in a while called Saurian Safari, by HLBS Publishing, which is a miniature dinosaur hunting game.

The game weapons and setting is the 19th/20th Century, but I decided to mix things up and make it a Star Wars theme, with two stormtroopers as the great white hunters (literally in that armour).

Since Jeff and I were to play stormtroopers, I made the exact same stats for both hunters.

You need to roll percentile dice to spot a dinosaur using the Accuracy stat, and when you shoot, you roll percentile dice to shoot.. They both have modifiers of course. I made the stormtroopers slightly less agile but slightly more tough in that armour. 

I converted the game stats on submachine guns slightly to make the E-11 Stormtrooper blaster a bit more accurate and doing slightly more damage than a 20th century SMG. (The blaster prop in case you don't know is the Sterling Submachine gun, an actual weapon).

I have a prop by the way of the E-11 that I painted from a kit..

Anyways, I made the E-11 slightly more accurate than SMGs in the game rules ( -15% modifier vs -20% for modern SMGs). Thus, our stormtroopers will need to shoot, barring other modifiers, 40% or less every time to hit. (55% less 15%).  I gave the E-11 one more Penetration and Damage hit point each than the 20th Century SMG (2 vs 1 Damage Factor for example). 

Let's say I hit a Brontosaurus in a 4 round burst and all 4 shots hit.. I roll 1d6 + the penetration factor of my E-11 for every hit.. That roll for every hit has to beat the toughness of the Bronto (a 7), just to inflict 2 damage on it's health of 40.

I had to modify the "Classic Safari" encounter chart found in the rules as I didn't have all the different dinosaur types.. You roll to see which dinosaur type appears, if any, every turn. 

The original safari encounter table requires having a lot of different dinosaur types..

I've been buying Schleich dinosaur toys slowly and didn't have every one of the above....

so I made my own modified encounter table. 

Every dinosaur has a Movement rating in inches, a toughness factor that your weapon must beat to inflict damage as I mentioned and a Damage which is their health. 

The dinosaurs have more or less automatic movement, and each has text in the rules to see how they react to you if spotted. A brontosaurus will flee when shot, but a T-Rex will attack and such.

The game requires you to set up an X and Y axis around your battlefield so you can roll 2 d10s to place the dinosaurs who come in to the area. Thus, if you roll a 3 and 9, you find the grid on the map to place your dinosaur that lines up to 3 on the Y axis and 9 on the X axis.

So I carefully measured the Y axis at every 4.8 inches and the X axis every 7 inches and put in yellow sticky paper to mark out the grid.

I made up a scenario in which two stormtroopers got lost on this jungle world but in 20 turns, an AT-ST was going to come and pick them up. The player who kills the most dinosaurs, using the dinosaurs DMG rating (i.e. their health points) as score points, wins. If a stormtrooper is killed before being picked up by the AT-ST, he loses. 

The AT-ST at the end of the 20th turn will be rolled to see which grid it is coming from, like you would for a dinosaur. 

Terrain affects line of sight as in the rules. I just modified that the river can only be crossed by the stormtroopers in one particular area where the terrain model has boulders in the middle of the water. 

Jeff and I placed our stormtroopers at the most Southern edge and started to move Northward. 
I went to the right of  a copse of trees, while Jeff passed a long forgotten statue at first..

Jeff spotted a large leaf-eating Diplodochus and fired a burst, hitting it with 2 shots and causing minimal damage. It resulted in a stampede and the thing headed in my direction, where I also just hit it with one shot, but not enough to kill it. 

This thing had twenty hit points and it will take a while for our 2 damage maximum E-11s to take effect. It was a peaceful leaf eater, and was not going to charge us, but go off on a stampede. 

However, Jeff though fluked off a critical hit which resulted in this thing going on for two more turns and then dying..

First kill to Jeff. 

Lucky, lucky..

We continued North, but then another Diplodochus briefly turned up behind me but was facing away and heading off the map again. I didn't bother shooting it and continued on. 

The next couple of turns, there were virtually no enounters rolled and we kept heading North..

Then all of a sudden, we got several of the tough Triceratops, Anklysaurus and Stegosaurus, one after the other. 

We had to be careful, as these things had tougher armour and instead of stampeding, would charge you if you shot at them. Even if you didn't, they would make awareness rolls to see if they see/smell you and then run you down. Luckily, at 4 inches a turn, they were slow. They were like big tanks. 

Jeff was banking he could always outrun these 4-inches-a-turn charges and so he got closer and closer to them, to take a shot. 

It then got funny, as for like 4 turns, Jeff couldn't kill it off and he kept retreating, turning and firing, and then retreating again, all the way until his back was to the river. 

I swung toward his way, hoping Jeff would would wound it but not kill it outright, allowing me to put in the kill shot and get the points.

The Stegosaurus kept charging Jeff.. or as we started calling it, "the Steg!"

A couple of times, Jeff would roll a critical hit on it only to find out it bounced off it's armour.

Here you could see Jeff retreating South-East but still firing, while I take a shot on its side.

The Steg and Jeff contined to head off South-East, but then horror of horrors though, I took a parting shot at the Steg and misfired, jamming my Blaster (i.e. a malfunction). This happened right before a T-Rex shows up near me and I being out in the open in it's line of sight.  I stayed put one more turn to unjam my weapon, which I did, but the T-Rex closed in at 14 inches a turn..

If I can get out of sight, I would probably survive the T-Rex.. Or alternatively, I can stand still with only a 30% chance of the T-Rex spotting me.

Well,  I decided to make a run for it behind either some rock outcrops or behind the stargate to get out of it's line of sight, depending on my movement roll.
My damn 2D6 roll (a run, not a walk) resulted in a 5.

I thus ran 5 inches which resulted in me still being out in the open. The T-Rex at 14 inches ran me down and ate me.

I lost the game just as Jeff killed off the Steg.

Getting a misfire at the worse possible time, just as the T-Rex went on the table near me was a Dice Hall of Shame moment if ever..

The T-Rex, per the rules, devoured me and walked off the map. No doubt, I was going to come out of the T-Rex's bowels eventually. I just hope my white armour would give it heartburn.

Jeff was now the undeniable winner with 2 kills and being the sole survivor. He was safe and we decided that since there were only 4 turns left, he should continue and try and rack up the points.

But then a funny thing happened..

An Ankylosaurus showed up near him across the river and Jeff decided to take a shot at it.

Jeff fired and then he miraculously jammed as well.. 

No big deal.. the AT-ST was coming in 3 turns, so he could safely wait it out..

However, just then a Pteradon showed up near the Ankylosaurus.. This thing can fly 24 inches on the board and can see just about everything..

It was fast, but it only had a health point of 1.. So, in a 4 round burst, all Jeff had to do was clear his jam and hit it to finish it off. 

He need to roll a 50% or under to unjam.. but rolled a 97%.. His weapon remained malfunctioning. 

The Pterodon per the rules was going to swoop down and try and scoop up Jeff. It needed a 20% less the character's Strength (a 7) to do so. Thus, if Jeff rolled a 13% or less, it would scoop him up and kill him..

Jeff rolled a 5%..

We both howled in laughter as he too with just 2 turns to go, died as well.

We rolled to see where the AT-ST was going to show up, and it was really close to Jeff's last known whereabouts, before being snatched. 

Stormtroopers TK-391 and TL-212 are listed in the Imperial Records as missing, presumed dead.

We both enjoyed the game. It was light and fun to play with, with lots of tension and laughs. 

We were thinking that since the rules had bows, spears and such, it can easily be ported to magic characters and substitute fireballs for rifle bullets. 

But that is another day. 

Thumbs up!

A miniature game that I continue to enjoy, however obscure and light. 

We finished off the afternoon playing our first try of the fantasy sports boardgame Kaosball. I won't go into too much here on this game. We found the rulebook not very well written and the game a bit frustrating. However, Jeff and I both see something positive in the game and will delve deeply into it with future plays. Jeff bought almost all the teams from someone on ebay, so we have variety. 

Another fine game day on the weekend!


  1. Strange, creative and this amazing terrain!

  2. Stormtroopers vs Dinosaurs ... that's something you don't see everyday. :) And I wouldn't want to face a T-Rex in that tin can of a vehicle called AT-ST XD
    Nice batrep by the way!

  3. I would have left via the Stargate ;-)

  4. What about the honour of the Emperor? :-)

  5. You have a nice board game site with a good stroke of comedy!

    If you are also interested in writing about digital game aides then check out this Kickstarter project:

  6. Brilliant. Saurian Safari is great fun but even better with a Star Wars twist. Very funny too!

  7. Thanks. It's a fun game.. Too bad it's hard to find...