The Rock Clan needs more furs and meat to survive the coming artic winter, a Mammoth has plenty of both, we just need to persuade it to part with them. Eat or be Eaten a Palaeo Diet Adventure.
They are a small group of Palaeolithic Hunters, who inhabit the scrubby plains that the Mammoth herds have to pass through on their way back from their summer feeding grounds of Dogger, the area that is now the North Sea. They need to make a big kill to survive the coming winter and so far they have had a lean time of it.
However they have been trailing a small group of mammoths and have managed to split 3 animals off from the main herd. Mammoth hunting is quite simple, you either find a big cliff and drive them over it, or the harder way is to dig a pit and herd one or more animals into it.
There is a 3rd way but no one in their right mind uses it as it involves walking up to the big beastie and hitting it until it dies. You will immediately see the flaw in this method.
The scrubby plains where they live is devoid of cliffs and so they have to dig a pit, a bloody big pit, but in the vast expanse of the plains it is quite a small target to hit with your chosen mammoth, at least an inner bull.
The method of driving the animals is not as easy as you might think, shouting and waving your arms about is just as likely to get them charging at you as stampeding away. Fire which is the other method can be just as difficult, carrying it about is quite tricky and lighting it on demand even trickier, there is the added danger of setting fire to the brush which is just as likely to roast you as your prey.
This link should take you to his blog, there a quite a few games showing the rules as he was developing them, with as cute a set of mini's as you will ever see, I think they are 15mm and from Australia I believe. http://irregularwars.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/palaeo-diet-bloodbath.html
I was keen to try them because they are designed for solo play, the animals reacting to an AI series of tables, there are 5 groupings of animals, Apex Predators, Pack Predators, Giant Grazers, Herd Grazers and Critters, all self explanatory.
The hunters all have the same statistics although as is customary with rules nowadays there are traits such as Alert, Healer, Thinker etc, takes me back to Bruce Quarrie with national characteristics.
This is something I dislike for two reasons, they usually seem so artificial and have some strange special effects but mainly because I can never remember to use them and have to continually look them up when I do remember. This is not aimed at these rules in particular, just rules in general, and yes I know I'm out of step with the rest of the world, or maybe the rest of the world is out of step with me.
I mention all this because I usually use character cards that give me some feeling for the figure are they brave, weak, fast etc, and this also does away with a lot of artificial traits. Well in this case I’m not, I'm using the rules as written, so the characters will hopefully develop as I go along, or they will die, whichever comes soonest.
My original intention was to steal Nic's AI ideas and incorporate them into the rules I normally use and I may still do that. This is the 5th game I've played though and I've not felt any great compulsion to make this change, there are a couple of things I might still be doing wrong, but if not I'll probably change the rule, but on the whole I'm very much enjoying them, they are simple enough for me to grasp easily and give a fun game.
Please note I am not recommending you buy the rules just explaining why I am using them for this game and the cover art picture is just there to break up the text.
OK sorry for the rambling introduction but you’re probably used to that if you’ve read anything else I’ve posted. So on with the game.
The Mammoths are only moving slowly, eating on the way and this has given the clan time to get into their designated ambush positions.
If I was serious about this stuff I would have created a beautiful pit for the mammoths to fall into like Frank did, but his Nickel and Dime film production company has a bigger budget than mine and anyway I’m not digging a hole in my table for anyone.
Hopefully you can see the two females who are either side of the planned route and will guide the beasts into the trap, and also out of sight just beyond the pit is the other male, Tumak, he is acting a bit like a line backer, his job is to stop the beasts if they are going to miss the pit. Good luck with that one.
The only other thing of note is that by each member of the tribe is a fire pit. This should have had small bits of wood in them, ready to catch fire but I’ve only just thought of it.
If you could just imagine they're there and we’ll all be good.
He moves forward quietly but fails the 2nd roll to howl, I guess being so close to a mammoth might make your throat go dry.
Failing the action causes the mammoth to react and it attacks him. Ironically with the same throw, if he had successfully howled the beast would have fled. What a difference a dice roll makes.
Those sweeping tusks miss by inches, Akoba ducks to one side. Next turn he activates and slams his club down on the mammoths leg, causing it 1 point of damage, 3 to go before the Mammoth is down. The mammoth reacts and attacks back, wounding Akoba, 1 more point and he is down.
Mammoths have a Resilience of 4 wounds and Hunters 2.
Next turn Akoba attacks again, bravely or stupidly but he hits again and the mammoth takes another point of damage – 2 to go.
Akoba needs to get the mammoths running and so he howls but it is more of a mewling noise and the beasts just turn and move away on their original path.
You can just see Yani in the distance – in front of the calf.
Akoba howls but the mother and calf ignore him, he really is a pathetic howler but both animals are wounded and obviously tiring. However when Nuponda howls they both move away from her and back towards Yani. I’m not going to make any comment about a female howl being more effective than a male howl.
A quick recap at this point might be a good idea, Nuponda and Yani have both been wounded, one more and they are down. The Mammoth has 3 wounds and the calf 2, 1 more for either of them and they are also down.
They obviously did not read my opening preamble about getting close to big beasties.
That’s not really true – I was after blood at this point – mammoth blood, rare steaks, veins in my teeth, I started jumping up and down, shouting kill - kill - KILL, and that's when the little white van arrived.
Anyone who has read these rules knows that the predators have a part to play in the game, when they are in sight of a wounded or dead animal they may move towards it and indeed may end up eating the animal before the hunters can drive them off. In the excitement of the game I forgot all about this and so they didn’t take any part. When I realized I’d forgotten them, all the clan were wounded and would have been eaten by the wolves who were still on the table. This seemed a bit rough on the poor old Rock Clan, especially as it was their first time on the table, so I ignored it. I also had far more animals on the board than the rules recommend, but I've spent time painting them and wanted to show more of them.
The game rules have a series of scenarios and after each game the hunters see if they survive or don’t, One hunter who has contributed most to a successful hunt gets to roll on a trait table (yes I know I don’t like them) and if it is unsuccessful something else happens but I can’t remember what.
I’m not sure how to call a game in which everyone on my side was taken out, even though the only thing to survive on my opponents side was a calf that will undoubtedly die or be eaten now that I’ve killed it’s parents. (There’s that uncomfortable feeling again). As the clan has enough food for quite a while I decided it was successful.
Nuponda recovered from the goring with a nasty disfiguring scar. She is my man of the match and becomes Alert. She gets to re-roll 1 failed activation dice if within medium distance of something.
Yani survived and made a full recovery with a disfiguring scar.
Akoba makes a full recovery but has a nasty disfiguring scar. ( all 3 of them rolled a 6 on the recovery table and I now have to change their name from the rather dignified Rock Clan to the UGLY Clan, I don’t think I can to do that.
Tumak – he was only mostly dead and makes a recovery for the next game but has a nasty disfiguring limp.
If you've not already read it Colgar6 posted a better resume of the rules than mine and its also a pretty good read. Here http://colgar6.blogspot.co.uk/2018/03/paleo-diet-hunt-begins.html
Well if you are still here – thanks for reading and please leave a comment so I know you were here.