Sunday, January 11, 2015

Stone Age Gaming

Stone Age gaming...I don't mean playing with sticks and stones. Or maybe I do...
In 1978, I stumbled on this one

from Metagaming. My friends and I played this one a bunch of times. Whose to say I didn't get my money's worth. The boardgames is still lurking somewhere in my collection.

Over the last few days, I've been weeding through my pile of lead, resin and plastic as I trim my periods and collections down to favorites. Too many moves over too many years where each move lead to a new club that played entirely different games, scales and periods led to a vast collection of rules and periods. In the process, I found several huts and structures from Steve Barber's Prehistoric Settlement game. This was a project I had started in 2001 after solo-playing the heck out of Tusk, by Weesex Games & Irregular Miniatures who sold 6mm and 15mm packs of figures. Check out the Boardgame Geek description. The game was good enough that I had even convincd visiting friends to try it...but it was solo.

Tusk was great but I wanted to add more players to the game. I fiddled around with Sticks & Stones but could not get it past the boardgame. I collected various figures from various 15mm lines, tried to find mastodons, Mamother, etc. Until finally, I switched scales.

I had admired many of the tribes men and animals from the Steve Barber figures and wanted to add another whole level to the Stone Age gaming, so I moved into a larger scale in 2002 and finished the project for a small four player game in 2005 (is a project ever finished?).

The game starts with up to four splinter tribes entering into a valley. There are many plants to be forgaaged, animals to be hunted, dagers, predators and the ever looming smoking volcano in the center of the valley. Much of your game is spent merely trying to feed, protect and build your settlement. The first tribe to build a religious site, wins. I played many games of this, some solo, some two, three and four player games. Each game was different. Many times nature, either through evetn, disease, rampaging Mammoths or marauding predators them game would win. Other times the struggles were epic. Once, I was forced to migrate to escape a salt water crocodile who regularly raided my village and reduced to cannibalism until I found a new home and actually won the game as the other two tribes had gone to war.

In 2006, I dicovered Matakishi's Tea House was starting a Prehistoric Settlement project. This is a fantastic site where he documents the various stages of a project from planning, budgeting, painting and follows through to play. I followed his Prehistoric Settlement project and discovered some good ideas. This led to a change ot two. Here's the bumper from their page which I think is Frank Frazetta artwork:

Over the intervening years, I have added tribesmen, structures and terrain. I purchased the expansion that is designed to play the next step in the rise to civilization but never played it. This expands the game past the one tribe dominating the valley and turns it more into a war for survival.

If you enter into the game, I would recomend the tribes from Steve Barber. Although the figures are not as fancy as many, they do represent exactly what you need for the game. There are other prehistoric figures out there, but you'll be forced to search and scartch build.  Some of Steve Barber animals are good but I would recommend the DeeZee Miniatures' Mammoth and other creatures which can be had Arcane Scenery & Models. which complement the game. Here are some photos of the various animals and cavemen. The photos are from the manufacturer sites.
Elasmotherium from DeeZee
Cave Bear from DeeZee
Giant Crocodile from DeeZee (possible Trent?) 
Wooly Mammoth herd from DeeZee 
Platybelodon from DeeZee
Wooly Rhino from DeeZee 
Steve Barber Animals & Accessories
Steve Barber Structures
Steve Barber Shark & Fishermen
Steve Barber Tribesmen & Women
Steve Barber Religious Leader, Captive & Slinger

It seems before my last move, I had found a bunch of structures and some tribesmen in a flea market. I bought them. I had planned to blend them into the collection. In the process of moving, I had forgotten the acquisition they convention came a few weeks before the move... Now the figures, the tents and the standing stones are found, added to the painting queue.The find has fostered the desire to play thegenre again.

In the mean time, I took out my
by ZMan games. Check out the link to Boardgame Geek. I puttered around with this one yesterday and had an enjoyable time. No combat, no natural disasters, no marauding tribes or animals; but there is a lot of fun. Try one of these out...they're fun.

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