Sunday, July 12, 2015

Dinosaurs of the Lost World

A dreadful thing has happened to us. Who could have foreseen it? I cannot foresee any end to our troubles. It may be that we are condemned to spend our whole lives in this strange, inaccessible place. I am still so confused that I can hardly think clearly of the facts of the present or of the chances of the future. To my astounded senses the one seems most terrible and the other as black as night. 

 No men have ever found themselves in a worse position; nor is there any use in disclosing to you our exact geographical situation and asking our friends for a relief party. Even if they could send one, our fate will in all human probability be decided long before it could arrive in South America . . . 

Let me give you, with as much detail as I can, the sequence of events which have led us to this ca And there we were, the four of us, upon the dreamland, the lost world, of Maple White. To all of us it seemed the moment of our supreme triumph. Who could have guessed that it was the prelude to our supreme disaster? 

We had turned away from the edge, and had penetrated about fifty yards of close brushwood, when there came a frightful rending crash from behind us. With one impulse we rushed back the way that we had come. The bridge was gone!  From The Lost World, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Dinosaurs of the Lost World is a board game inspired by The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Trapped on the plateau of the Lost World, each player leads an expedition of exploration while trying to find a way to escape the dangers and return to civilization.  The game features many of the events from the book: the lost expedition of Maple White, ape men, and of course dinosaurs!  The object of the game is to earn 25 victory points through discovery, adventure and collecting specimens. Once your expedition has done this, and you have items to help you escape - then be the first to escape the plateau!

Honorable Son #5 and myself had a pleasant afternoon introducing a friend to the fantastic Lost World of exploration, danger, treachery . . .  and of course dinosaurs.

Honorable Son #5 on the left and friend on the right.

The game is set up with an outside track running around the edge of the board and a map of the plateau is in the center. On the plateau map are 30 unexplored area hexagonal cards which are randomly set up to make each game different. While exploring they are turned up and reveal various locations such as a Geyser, a Phorusrhacos (the mighty prehistoric chicken) nest, Ape Town, a Lava pit or the lair of the Tyrannosaurus Rex - or nothing at all!

At the beginning of the game, you get to choose eight tools in which your expedition is equipped.  Different tools provided bonuses, in the form of experience cards, for different encounters and adventurer while some tools (rifles and gas bombs) are used for battle. Losing a battle can be traumatic - if you lose you are chased by a creature on the chase track.  If they catch you tools are lost. Not only that, if you lose you have to return back to the base camp and lose a turn.

 My expedition is chased by a T Rex after I ran out of ammunition and lost a battle.
There is a tool sheet and a reference list that indicates which adventures different tools are useful – so there can be some strategy in choosing your tool set, or you can just ignore that and pick what you think sounds cool.  Based on experience, I always start with 2 rifles (the maximum allowed) and some gas bombs to put those creatures to sleep. While exploring you may find more tools or even steal them from other expeditions.

My list of tools . . . a few turn before I ran out of ammunition!

Each turn you can either roll two dice and move on the outer-board or decide for your expedition to have an encounter on their current hex on the inner-board (e.g., movement on the inner-board is governed by the spaces on the outer-board).

What is unique about the game is the use of "comic book" adventures that add another dimension to each location site.  Expeditions can explore each location on the comic book cards which can result in encounters with dinosaurs, the rescue of an Indian ally, discoveries of new creatures and the map from the lost Maple White expedition.

The game comes with cardboard counters and plastic pawns to represent the expeditions and other participants of the Lost World; but we used figures from Wargames Foundry for the first time to represent the expeditions on the plateau map.  Tarzan even represented the Indian Tribe and a goblin from the Lord of the Rings game ended up being an ape man tribe.  Next up will be to get little plastic dinosaurs to battle on the board.  There are also solitaire rules for the game as your expedition races against the clock before the volcano erupts and destroys the plateau with you on it.  A great game that is easy to learn and will challenge and entertain.  So fill those canteens (ran out of water last game) and cut your way through with a machete to escape before that T - Rex gets you!

 The figure that represented me along with my Indian allies. 

 The ape men attack!
 President Roosevelt (Honorable Son #5) eyes a potential trophy for the Smithsonian Museum.
 One way to escape is to make a balloon and fill it with gas.

TR decides to investigate an area near the ape men . . .  

 TR is attacked by the ape men too!  In fact they attacked everyone in the game this time.

Note the mighty prehistoric chicken in the upper right hand corner . . . yeah he beat me and battle and I lost 4 tools running away.

 Crossing the lake in a canoe . . . what is that behind?
I had 25 Victory points and the means to escape the plateau . . . so of course the ape men attacked me again!
Almost there where I can repair the bridge and escape the plateau . . . yikes. Where did that T Rex come from?
 How will we survive?
 One gas bomb left . . . 

  . . . and the king of the dinosaurs gets to sleep one off.
 Now that I am at the bridge I can fix it with the rope and win!


  1. This looks great! I may incorporate some ideas into my own dino hunts.

  2. That game has passed me by....looks wonderful!