What can I say? I saw this at the cinema as a dinosaur obsessed young boy but now as a adult I can better appreciate the historical accuracy, the tender human interest and sparkling dialogue - not to mention a couple of other assets….So we know humans were not around when the dinosaurs were but why let such a detail get in the way of a good story?
A number of bloggers have been dabbling with a set of rules published by Ganesha Games under the title Palaeo Diet - Eat or be Eaten. The subject is basically a pre-historic hunting style game that is ideal for solo gaming or co-operative play. It requires very little in the way of material - perhaps a dozen or so hunters and their targets and if one is not too fussy then happily using cheap plastic dinosaurs would be a great option.
In short, it is an ideal game for those limited in space, time or resources or those that do not enjoy painting vast amount of figures - like me! If I was not able to paint up a couple of dozen cavemen I may as well give up one and take up something rather like collecting antique snuff boxes or similar….
Anyway, inspired by the efforts of the good Kaptain Kobold as well as the legend that is the Jolly Broom Man I took a cheeky look at the Ganesha Games website and before you knew it I had pulled the trigger on a PDF version for a paltry USD 10. As a side note whilst buying PDFs is a great idea it is also more than a person of my notoriously feeble resolve can bear - this is why I try to keep away from the Wargames Vault if I can (and usually fail I should add….).
I actually saw both of these in the double bill you see above and remember being quite freaked out by the scene in She where ‘she’ - spoiler alert - turns into a very old woman. Raquel Welch and Ursula Andress in a double bill at the peak of their powers. More than mortal man deserves!
The first thing that struck me about the Palaeo Diet rules is their size - some 58 pages. They are nicely laid out with some wonderfully whimsical ‘cave painting’ style illustrations and with plenty of caveman style names in use for the examples of play. There are scenarios with some quite tongue in cheek names as well as the inevitable play sheets. It all looks straightforward enough and eminently playable and when I noticed the name of the author I could see why.
Nicholas Wright has penned a number of Ganesha Games titles including Galleys and Galleons which are a really good set of naval rules for battles in the age of discovery - say the 16th and 17th centuries.
I plan to knock up a modest set up for this using 15mm figures and so I turned to the Irregular Miniatures website as I recalled a similar set of rules from a number of years ago covering a similar genre (although expanded to include Victorian dinosaur hunting) called Tusk and written by Matthew Hartley. Sure enough the rules and the battle packs are still available so with my resistance level at an all time low I placed a very modest order with them. Tusk was expanded to include Sci Fi and Pulp (Tusk 2 The Wrath of Kong and Tusk 3 Steel Tusk) settings and Irregular Miniatures issued a number of expansion figure pack to go with the rules.
Purely in the interests of high quality and detailed research I watched the 1966 Hammer classic One Million Years B.C. starring Raquel Welch which was a real blast from the past. Aside from the dinosaurs - Ray Harryhausen at his finest - and a very dodgy Iguana and a Tarantula it was actually not a bad film. I had forgotten most of it from having seen it at the cinema years ago but it ticked the boxes in respect of certain elements of how we would imagine early man lived - bear in mind I am saying certain elements!
I would have enjoyed watching She again - I did not know that a follow up was made in 1968 but with different actors called the Vengeance of She - and of course She is the inspiration of SWMBO or ‘She Who Must Be Obeyed’….
Classic swinging 60’s Sci Fi and the inspiration for the band Duran Duran.
After having watched this and made some Stone Age style plans I then sat down to watch another classic from the swinging 60’s - Barbarella starring Jane Fonda. Now there is an idea for a game or two…
So my Saturday evening was spent watching Raquel Welch and Jane Fonda with a side dish of remembering Ursula Andress whilst planning some cave man gaming.
As Jack Nicholson said when playing the Joker in Batman….
“Gonna need a moment alone boys…..”