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"Dinosaur fossil hunting in the Gobi" Topic

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World War One
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701 hits since 11 Feb 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Double W Inactive Member11 Feb 2018 8:27 a.m. PST


I've been experimenting with a pulp scenario based on the Central Asiatic Expeditions of the 1920s: link A few years ago there was a supplement for Rattrap's .45 Adventure system based on the same setting, but I adapted those rules to Ganesha's Flying Lead rules, which I find much easier for solo play.


Basically I have an expedition of paleontologists search the play area for fossil sites. When they reach one, they must spend an action to search for fossils. I draw colored cubes from a bag to determine whether they find a fossil, have bandits appear in a random spot, or encounter a snake. They must carry three fossils back to the truck to win.


Still developing it but so far the scenario is too tough for reasonable play. Among other things, I need some more desert terrain because even easing enemy stats for pulp, Flying Lead is very deadly. Low level "mooks" can easily take out high-level heroes, given the deadliness of firearms. There is too much open terrain. I'm also going to switch from having bandits show up at random locations to having them show up at spawn points, since the former regularly has bandits showing practically right next to my team of heroes. (I use a 3x3 playing area and determine bandit locations by rolling and multiplying the results of two d6 to determine X and Y axis.)


In the future I hope to create a series of linked scenarios detailing the entire expedition. I also plan to purchase some mounted Mongolians (right now I'm using Chinese bandits as a stand in). And, as always, I someday need to invest in a better camera to take photos.

Giles the Zog11 Feb 2018 9:06 a.m. PST

Good luck.
There's plenty of literature out there to help you.
"Dragon Hunter"
Pity my stuff is all in storage (still)

Cacique Caribe Inactive Member11 Feb 2018 9:33 a.m. PST

Wow, fantastic stuff there! I love the fossil.


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP11 Feb 2018 11:38 a.m. PST

Nice work, but you realize that if you do a pulp dino hunt in the Gobi, you must at some stage find dino eggs and hatch them, don't you?

It's that or find a lost civilization, and the dino alternative is much cheaper.

rmaker11 Feb 2018 12:10 p.m. PST

You've got to read Roy Chapman Andrews' "Quest in the Desert". Yes, it's a kids book, but it has great ideas – and Genghis Khan's tomb!

Walking Sailor11 Feb 2018 2:58 p.m. PST

They dug a lot of that stuff out of strata at the base of bluffs or cliffs. For that terrain see Irish Serbs' posts: TMP link

14Bore11 Feb 2018 3:34 p.m. PST

Your Chinese bandits can't be to far off the mark

Double W Inactive Member11 Feb 2018 6:51 p.m. PST

Those bluffs you linked to are gorgeous but would require a time commitment I don't have at the moment.

The dinosaur fossil is from a terrain manufacturer whose name I can't remember. My apologies.

All the figures are Copplestone Back of Beyond range. The car is an old Matchbox yesteryear car that was missing its backseat that I bought at a store for used toys. I glued on some pieces from a military jerry can set to get something resembling the expedition cars used in real life.

If you can find it, I suggest picking up a copy of Dinosaurs at the Ends of the Earth by Brian Floca. It is a children's book that is fictional recreation of the expeditions. What makes it notable is its watercolor paintings, which may give you ideas of what colors to use. link

Sundance11 Feb 2018 7:29 p.m. PST

Cool idea! I did something similar with LEGO's deep sea exploration sets. I made a seafloor of cheap cloth marked in 6" squares. There are six undersea levels, represented by stacked clear plastic cups. Divers and submersibles could go up and down and from one square to the next. When they search a square, they have an opportunity to find treasure, a monster (shark or octopus), or more usually neither. The monsters move randomly. If a diver and monster end up at the same level in the same square, the monster eats the diver. Divers can find treasure, but only a submersible can retrieve it. There are two sides "good guys", trying to retrieve the treasure for a museum or such, and "bad guys" trying to retrieve the treasure, or steal it from the good guys for their own gain. I forget, there were a few more rules. Fun with the kids!

Sundance11 Feb 2018 7:30 p.m. PST

Oh, and BTW. More recent expeditions to Mongolia to dig dinos are finding them in the ground rather than bluffs, so you're good!

Double W Inactive Member11 Feb 2018 7:42 p.m. PST

That undersea adventure sounds really cool. I don't have any undersea models at the moment, but that may change in the future.

Also, if you are interested in Roy Chapman Andrews and the Central Asiatic Expeditions, check out this blog: link

It hasn't updated for years but still has a lot of photos from the expedition as well as promotional materials used to sell it to the public.


Sundance12 Feb 2018 5:38 a.m. PST

Heck you could almost use LRDG trucks minus the machine guns (or keep a Lewis gun for self-defense) in your scenarios.

Ex MAJIC Miniatures Inactive Member12 Feb 2018 7:37 a.m. PST

Wow! Looks amazing and really good fun. I have always wanted to do a Gobi Expedition game. Your rules sound like they have potential for other Bone Wars, such as Cope and Marsh.

Mike Tharme 3AC produces a beautiful scaled resin T-Rex Skeleton fridge magnet kit. I would suggest the Yellow Stone version of the 'Diana' T-Rex' as the best fit for the Gobi as a Tarbosaurus skeleton proxy. Each kit is handmade to order, so I am sure Mike would be happy to omit magnets, or supply it unpainted if you preferred. I intend to paint mine as a recently killed T-Rex, to be an objective for a 'Lost World' style of game.




bsrlee12 Feb 2018 9:01 a.m. PST

Interestingly, Andrews was regarded as a bit of a dilatant by the 'old hands' who ran camel trains of tobacco (and the odd gun) in the 1920's & '30's. There is at least one memoir in print which has lots of colourful characters, such as the Queen of Thieves who was used as a safe deposit by the caravaneers.

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