Sunday, December 3, 2017

Paleo Diet: Clever Use of Fire!

An idyllic day in Cave Man world...about to be shattered by man and his newest tool - fire!
So, we decided to try Paleo Diet again, now that we understood (or think we understand) the helpful benefits of fire when fending off the attacks of nasty beasts we are hunting. Each of the five players had two hunters and one dog. All of chose to have one of our guys armed with fire, while the some chose bows or spears for the other hunter. I decided to give a club a test, considering it was a +1 to hit creatures (the problem being you have to move into contact, unlike the spear which you can shoot at Short range and the bow at Long).
Objective Number One - a rocky outcrop with a pack of four sabertooth tigers
Keith set up a board with a rocky outcrop on one end -- the lair of a family of four sabertooth tigers. He said the predators had been snatching the tribe's infants and young, and the womenfolk had demanded we come back with their skins or no fun around the campfire tonight -- or any other night in the near future! Mike W and Allen were dispatch to tackle the sabertooths, while Joel, Mike S, and myself were to bring down some bison from a herd that had entered our hunting lands. The herd, we noticed, was being stealthily stalked by a shortnose bear and a pack of wolves. So, we would possibly have competition for the meat!
Objective Number Two - a herd of bison that had wandered into our hunting grounds (note the bear stalking them)
We're not 100% sure we're doing the reaction tests correctly, but the way we decided to play it was this:  (1) Hunter rolls his choice of 1, 2 or 3 dice to activate. (2) Any failures are immediately checked for reaction by the closest animals (two failures, two animals; one failure, one animal, etc.). (3) Hunter takes his successful actions, which the possibly triggers possible reactions. We had noticed in our first game that predators will not attack a hunter who is within 1 Medium with fire. So, as long as we don't get split up, our pair of hunters should be fairly invulnerable to attacks...right?
My two hunters, Og and Ugg (with fire) and their trusty hound approach the animals
Hard-luck Allen found out one flaw in our plan immediately. He failed on his first two attempts at activation, prompting the charge by two hyenas who were outside of Medium, but inside of a Long distance. Allen dispatched one and chased off the other, which set the tone for the evening. We were wildly more successful than our first attempt at hunting prehistoric big game. My group ended up being the most successful of them all. Keith had handed me two fairly troglodyte looking figures, which I named Og and Ugg. We snuck through an area of brush (flaming brand in hand), which scattered some woodland creatures and a startled the bison when we emerged from the patch of woods. However, Joel and Mike were in position and we began a game of ping pong, spooking the bison in a circle between our three bands which had surrounded them.
Dashing forward, Og and Ugg strike down a bison with their clubs -- meat on the menu for this evening!
On my next turn, I charged into contact with the first bison and ka-THUNK! Two clubs came down on it and bison burgers were on the menu for the evening! Og, Ugg, and their pooch proceeded to take down three bison. After the hound dispatched the third one, he began howling in celebration, which lasted for three turns (three straight turns of 3 failures on my dice -- ha, ha!). Meanwhile, Og and Ugg decided to go help Allen and Mike W with the sabertooths. We spooked a pachyderm off with our fire, then closed within a good "lope" distance (Long). On my next turn, I rolled two successes for activation, again. We charged in and thwacked the big cat (they're not really felines, are they...?) on its noggin. Both Og and Ugg hooted in celebration. Not only would they enjoy lots of good bison for dinner, but their women would be happy and they would be able to partake in dessert, too!
My hunters pummel a second bison into dreamland, while the hound drags down another
All in all, we were very successful as hunters this time around. No dead humans, though one hound was savaged and killed by a sabertooth. Perusing the rules afterwards, we began to wonder if we were doing it wrong. We were uncertain if the animals are supposed to test reaction after every activation our hunters take. So, if Og gets 3 successes, does he do one activation, then check for reactions before doing his next one? Keith said he would check the FAQ and find out. Otherwise, we are getting a good idea why man was able to become the dominant species!
Elated with our success, we track down and kill a sabertooth tiger, too -- Og and Ugg are unstoppable!

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