I joined Bruce Meyer at his palace of gaming wonder along with the Olympia gamers (which seems to include gamers from all over the South Sound) for a playtest of Jurassic Reich. Sound a little weird? Well, weird and wonderful. While Bruce explained the background details for the game's rationale, I simply can't remember it all. Let's just say that the Germans have found ways to re-animate dino DNA and have bred nasty meat eating critters. In the scenario the Germans have turned their creations loose against an armored train and its escorts. The train carries the scientist with all the DNA re-animation information, and is headed to Russia and the caring arms of every Nazi's friend, Uncle Joe Stalin.
The game is simple and straight forward. Things move, shoot, fight (or eat) and die. Vehicles and dinos accumulate damage. The dino riders can shoot. Alas, the poor foolish Polish cavalry do not. The flying dinos are pretty nasty and carry bombs, or can dive down on unsuspecting train gunners and guards and gulp them down. One dino carries a light machine gunner and a 37mm AT gun with a couple of rounds. They are nasty buggers. The dino pilots/riders are aided by German glider borne regular infantry. Their job is to stop the train from leaving the table, while avoiding action that will kill the professor-such as derailing the train, or bombing/destroying/eating the car he's in.
I was one of the lucky Poles. I commanded the small unit of Polish lancers and a few sub machine gunners riding on the roof of the train, and a Model T based armored car. Our job was to get the train off the table. The German dino pilots immediately made that difficult by bombing the tracks. At first the track trashing was a ways ahead of us. within a couple of turns the damage occurred much close to us and the train came to a stop. The train came to a stop--a lot like the jeep came to a stop just before the T-Rex ate the silly lawyer next to Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park. That was our lot. Shoot the hell out of the dinos before they eat you is the name of the game. My lance armed cavalry vs. the SMG armed dino riders was pretty much a mismatch. I had little chance of winning a melee, but I was nimble, and could perhaps entice them to chase me away from the marooned train. I mostly missed with the heavy machine gun on the armored car, and once dinos got hold of it, they shook it up pretty good. The train managed to use its assets, a mix of heavy and light machine guns and riflemen to inflict some damage, but a melee attack by the dinos, and fire from the ground and air destroyed must of the train's AA ability.
Polish planes (oops, forgot to mention those) managed to shoot down one of the stukasauruses, but we were in a fairly bad way when the game ended to debrief the rules. The rules were fun and playable, but with room to fill them out with more detail once the basic procedures are in place. A good time was had by all.
I'm a high school history and journalism teacher, a career I've loved and continued to enjoy. Aside from my family I have several passions-miniature wargaming, movies, books and music. I'm also a died in the wool Mariners fan and baseball lover.