Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Run For Your Life...

A "Naked Prey" Exercise...

Another movie-themed game, this time based on the old Cornel Wilde piece - one of those recalled from childhood from the "telly", and found again online the other month.

Very simple rules;

"The Pursued" (the Player, as I'm doing this solo, but this could easily be played two or multiplayer) has to run to a point on the Table without getting killed (in this case cross the river)... Simple...

It's a "You go, I go" situation - no Activation Tokens/cards (I tried that, but a couple of bad token turns and "The Pursued" is toast..).  Activation could be used if desired, perhaps with a token/card for each figure and no "end move/Tiffin" token, but I abandoned that as adding one random factor too many.

Your Man, "The Pursued" starts on the board edge at the Entry Point. He has no footwear, no equipment or weapons. At intervals the "Pursuers" will enter the board. They will seek to kill him. There is also a "Random Events" card deck (see below).

Game Turn Sequence:

A) "The Pursued" move: "The Pursued" throws three 1x6d  (I used three different coloured dice - so one throw gives all results).

The First dice shows what movement bonus (for his standard move distances see below) he gets this move (1 pip on a dice = one inch the table in my version for 1/72s, but this could be played with with other scales - this might work better for 15mm bods; more room on the table, so a longer game), so he could get up to a 6" move bonus.

The Player chooses what action "The Pursued" will take, and moves him in the desired direction.

The Second dice indicates whether a card needs to be drawn from the Event Pack. On the throw of a "6" draw a card from the packs at the END of this move. Some Events will be applied immediately. Some will only affect the following move. Some call for the placing of animals/people.  Some can be held to be used when needed (see below).

Once used the card is discarded - not returned to the pack.

The Third dice indicates if a Pursuer has entered the table. On a throw of "1" a new pursuer is placed at the Entry Point at the end of this current move.

"The Pursued" can move up to the distance allowed - or not, can hide, strip a body, fashion a weapon or "refresh" himself as per the player wishes.

B)  Pursuer Move: Each Pursuer will move in sequence, starting with the Pursuer with shortest Line of Sight to  "The Pursued". This Pursuer is the first  Active  Pursuer. He decides what to do based on the following priorities;

1) If "The Pursued" is in sight a Pursuer will make a bee-line towards him by the shortest route by running.

Otherwise the Pursuer will follow any tracks made by "The Pursued".

If there is any occasion where a Pursuer is faced with a decision (e.g  run straight into a Forest rather than proceed cautiously, where there are two tracks to follow, or decide which direction to go, attack or hesitate etc.)  use a simple 1x6D decision, modifying as seems fit.

E.G. a solo pursuer is chasing "The Pursued". "The Pursued" runs into a forest, then carefully walks (leaving no tracks) and hides. I reckon the Pursuer has a decision to make:

1- stop at the forest edge and wait for back-up.

2-3 proceeded with caution into the forest ("Silent Creep")
4 - proceed carefully (Walk) into the forest

5-6 carry on running into the forest. On hitting the forest dice in an arc to see which direction the Pursuer goes and run full move.

-1 each wound

+1 each other Pursuer in line of sight.  

If  "The Pursued" is in sight of the Active Pursuer and at any time during the move another Pursuer is in sight of and within 2 feet of the Active Pursuer but is NOT in line of sight of "The Pursued", then the Active Pursuer can chose to lose 2MP shouting at and directing his colleague/s.

The active Pursuer tests for this with a 1x6D;  1-2 he does not shout. 3-6 he does.

When that second Pursuer activates due to shouting he will then act as if he can see "The Pursued" FOR THAT MOVE ONLY. If he does not actually catch sight of "The Pursued" or get redirected by shouts in subsequent moves he will head for where "The Pursued" was last seen when he was last shouted at (put a marker down to mark the spot).

Any number of Pursuers can be shouted at and so directed in a move, but each shout is tested for and each costs 2 Movement Point. Shouts can be likewise "telegraphed" along a line of pursuers by the same process.

C) Movement and Activity:

1) "The Pursued"

Until he gains "sandals" runs at 6" + 1x6d. Leaves tracks in all terrain.

With sandals 8" + 1x6d. Leaves tracks in all terrain except Rocky Ground and inside huts, where he does not leave tracks unless 2 wounds or more.

Careful walk in open:  4" + 1x6d.  Does not leave tracks unless 2 wounds or more.

Careful walk in forest: 3". Does not leave tracks unless 2 wounds or more.
Careful walk in maize field: 1x6d. Does not leave tracks unless 2 wounds or more.

Silent Creep: 2". Does not leave tracks unless 2 wounds or more.

Swim: Slow - 5". Fast 6" + 1x6d but can be heard by pursuers within 4". Does not leave tracks unless 2 wounds of more.

Does not leave tracks on hut roofs or if swimming in river/pool unless 2 wounds or more.

Always leaves tracks at riverside/poolside.

Hide (in Forest, Field, Riverside and Rocky Ground only): 2 cost Movement Points.

Refresh (from Pool, River, Well or Gourd of Pursuer):  3 Movement Points (refresh from Card as Card instructions).

Lose 1 Movement point per wound.

Strip Body: Costs 2 Movement Points per item. Pursuers each have sandals, spear or sword, knife, shield, cloth and a slung water gourd.

Put on sandals: 2 Movement points.

Use cloth to bind wound (remove 1 wound marker); 4 Movement points.

Shield; carrying a shield reduces his movement by 1 Movement Point.

Carrying a non-slung water gourd reduces his movement by 1 Movement Point

Water Gourd can be drained to Refresh; cost 3 Movement points. 

Make club/pointy stick:  Must be in  Forest.  Cost 6 Movement points.

Pick up rocks: Rocky ground only. Cost 3 Movement points. If not using them at once lose 1 Movement point until discarded/thrown.

Throw an item while moving: Cost 1 Movement point.

Search Hut: 6 Movement Points. Throw 1x6D.  On a throw of 5-6 a knife is found. On a throw of 4 a pair of sandals are found. On a throw of 3 an unslung water gourd is found.

Conceal body: 6 Movement Points.

Jump: Cost 1 Movement point per inch jumped. Use fumble test. Take 1 from the test throw per 1" or height/distance. Max jump 3". 

Climb: 3 Movement Points. Tree, rock face (or down), jump 

2) Pursuers:

Run: 8" + 1x6d. But must test to lose the trail. Will miss/lose tracks on throw of 1x6d. Throw of 1-4 loses the tracks.

Trot: 6" + 1x6d. Will miss/lose tracks on throw of 1x6d. Throw of 1-2 loses the tracks.

Walk: 4" + 1x6d. Can follow any tracks.

Silent creep: 2". Always rediscovers lost tracks. If The Pursued is hiding within 2" carry out "Concealment Test".  Throw 2x6D per Pursuer close enough.  2-8 Pursued is discovered. Modifiers: Plus 2 if in forest. Plus 3 if in Riverside. Minus 1 per wound to Pursued.   

Shouting costs 2 Movement Points.

To regain a lost track Walk, but use the 1x6D as a Tracking test, not movement. Throw a 4-6 to regain the track.

Stop and track/search: Test with 1x6D up to twice that move. Throw a 2-6 regain/find track/discover hidden Target or body. Or if Pursdued is hidden within 2" stay still and carry out Concealment Test for whole move - modified by Minus 3 and as above.

Lose 2 Movement points per wound.

Throw spear and draw knife: 3 Movement Points.

3) Fighting: 

Thrown items:  Must be within 3" of the other party to throw. 

Spears, rocks, knives, shields, gourds, staff, sandals, anything small may be thrown by Target.

Only spears may be thrown by Pursuers. They test 1x6D to throw if within 3" of target. Result of 5-6 they throw, then draw knife (3 Movement points covers both actions).

If standing still this costs  2 Movement points. Throw 1x6D modified as below. A throw of 4-6 scores a hit = 1 wound.


Target is running or in cover - 2

Thrower is wounded -1 per wound
Thrower is dehydrated or exhausted -2
Target is wounded +1 per wound
Target is face-on with shield -1
Thrower is hidden +2

Target is animal - 1

If throwing while moving this costs 1 Movement point and a Fumble Test (see below). If successful on the Fumble test this counts as a wound on the person struck. No need to test as above. If part of the combat phase this takes place in lieu of a fighting throw.

Hand to Hand; To fight pursuer and target must be adjacent. Three rounds of combat are fought per move - even if there has been movement that move.

Each fighter throws 2x6D.  If the total of one fighter exceeds the total of a hostile fighter by 3 -6 then the loser must step back. Winner can advance to make further combat. If they cannot step back, due to obstruction, they take a wound.

If the total of one fighter exceeds the total of a hostile fighter by 3 -6 then the loser steps back and takes a wound.Winner can advance to make further combat.

Modifiers (cumulative): 

Has knife or sharp rock +1
Has shield +2
His long weapon (spear or shaft) +2
Has wound -2 each wound.
Each hostile assailant fighting that move - 1
Exhausted, dehydrated or has stitch - 3
Jumping from hiding or Silent Creep to attack +4 for attacker
Attacker was attacking from behind +2 for attacker

Defender is in "Silent Creep" mode -3 for attacker

Pursuers and Target can absorb 3 wounds. On the fourth they collapse.

4) Fumble Test:

When throwing something, climbing something (rock face, tree, hut), jumping from something or jumping from hiding or high point onto enemy.

Throw 2x6D. 

Minus score, fail and suffer 1 wound (if throwing, item has dropped on foot, if climbing - fall and start again, if jumping - fail and land 1" from starting point, if swimming - water swallowed). 

2-7; fail.  Stand still for 3 Movement points next move.
7+ Succeed.

Modifiers (cumulative):

Plus 2 if running and going to jump/climb.

Minus 2 if running and throwing.
Minus 1 per hand engaged (with weapon other than item being thrown, shield, item - e.g. gourd, food etc).
Minus 1 per wound.
Minus 1 per 1" of height/distance jumped. 

Minus 1 if wet (has just emerged from river/pool).
Minus 2 per exhausted/dehydrated card held. 

Cannot jump if has "Stitch".

5) Animal Test:

See cards.

Forest: 1- big cat, 2-3 spider, 4-6 snake.

Forest edge: 1-2 big solitary cat, 3 spider, 4-6 snake.

Open Ground: 1-3 lions, 4-5 scorpion, 6 wild dogs.

Rocks: 1-3 scorpion, 4-6 snake.

Field: 1-2 spider, 3-4 scorpion, 5-6 snake.

Riverside: 1-3 crocodile, 4-5 hippo, 6 snake.

Building/woodpile: 1-3 scorpion, 4-6 snake.
Throw 1x6D for direction test, 3x1x6D for max distance for cats/other, 2x1x6D for max distance for crocodiles/hippo, 1x6D snake. Snakes, scorpions & spiders are adjacent.

Throw for activity:

Note: Scorpions & spiders are always active.

Scorpions, snakes & spiders and always solitary.

Snakes and crocodiles: Throw 1x6D for number of crocodiles present. Activate individually on a throw of 3-6.  Add 1 to the dice if tester moving at walk/trot/run. Minus 2 from dice if Silent Creep. Activated animal will attack on a further throw of 4-6, with modifiers as above. Add 4 to any crocodile attack test if Tester is in or within 1" of water linked to the animal (i.e. same pool/river).

Crocodiles, if not actively attacking will run from shooters.

Hippo: Throw 1x6D for number of hippo present 1-3 = 1, 4-6 = 2. Activate individually on a throw of 3-6.  Add 2 to the dice if tester moving at walk/trot/run. Minus 2 from dice if Silent Creep. Activated animal will attack on a further throw of 3-6, with modifiers as above. Add 4 to any hippo attack test if Tester is in or within 3" of water linked to the animal (i.e. same pool/river).

Cats & dogs: 1-5 inactive. 6 active. If inactive make a Wake-up throw each move while in LOS - throw 2x6D and awake on throw of 9 or above. Minus 1 from the dice per 3" distance from tester. Add 3 to dice if tester trotting or running, add 2 to dice if walking.

If social animals (e.g. lions/wild dogs) 1x6d for number of figures for lions. 3x1x6d for dogs. Activate as a pride/pack.

Activated  animals will flee from target in 1-2. Stand 3-4. Will approach and attack 5-6.
Take 2 from the dice per additional figure with the tester, add 1 to the dice for every cat figure in the group and 2 for every four dogs in the group.  Add three to the test throw if tester is wounded and alone.  Add 1 to the test throw for any/every wounded person with the testing group/pair.

If not actively attacking will run from shooters.

6) Animal Attacks:

Fight "hand to hand" like human v humans. Weapons/modifiers count as above.

Scorpion, snake or  spider: Use 2 "fighting dice". A "hit" from scorpion, snake or  spider is a poisoned wound.

Big Cat: Use four "fighting dice" per animal attacking.

Wild Dogs: Use two "fighting dice" per animal attacking.

Crocodile: Use five "fighting dice" per animal attacking.

Hippo: Use eight "fighting dice" per animal attacking.

7) Cards

Standard card deck. On a throw of a 6 on a 2x6D each Pursued move turn a card, apply and hold or discard. Right click and open in New tab to read. 

8) Campaign thoughts:

If playing on a large table or series of tables, or with small scale figures a range of additional factors can be brought in, including fatigue and finding or making things....

The card values may be tweaked to allow Lucky Finds - "lost" spear (blade),  thong, arrowhead (blade), spearhead (blade), broken sandals, sharp stone (blade), flinty stones (blade), broken knife (blade), lion tooth, antelope horn, gourd, carcass etc.  A combination of items may allow the making of tools/weapons. For example;

Finding things:

In Forest:

By spending 6MPs; gain staff.

By spending 5MPs: gain creeper length.

By spending 5MPs: gain unslung water gourd.

In Rocks:

By spending 3MPs; gain sharp stone.

Carcass; spend 5MP - gain tooth or horn. If sharp stone or blade (any type) held spend 6MPs gain thong or skin.


Thong +  broken sandals or skin + sharp stone or any blade; by spending 10MPs sandals can be jury-rigged. Add three to movement. Add 2 to every "possible injury" test.

Thong + spearhead if in woods or has staff: by spending one move a spear can be made.

Thong + blade + lion tooth or antelope horn if in woods or had staff: by spending one move a spear can be made.

Spearhead: if in Forest, by spending 8MPs a creeper-held spear can be made.

Blade + lion tooth or antelope horn: if in woods, by spending three moves a spear can be made.

Gourd:  can be used to carry water. Minus one from movement.

Gourd + thong + blade: by spending 5MPs a slingable gourd can be made; no gourd movement penalty thereafter.

Gourd + blade: if in woods, by spending 8MPs a slingable gourd can be made; no gourd movement penalty thereafter.


Well there we are.  Had about 5 basic games with the above last week. Short but fun - and the principles can be applied to a range of situations and periods.

Next up; a big fight....


  1. Blimey! That´s one heap of rules for a running away game! Mind you, they seem to cover just about every eventuality, even stich. I would never have thought of including that

  2. He, he... Typical me; over-engineering, as usual.... I was once commissioned to build half a dozen workbenches for a local electronics firm.. I think you could probably have stood a small elephant on them..

    Was just chucking ideas together for me (and anyone else) to pick n' mix to start with... Trouble is I then get "Oh, but what if" moments... So bang does my "Simplest if Best" motto......

  3. Most interesting, thanks for posting.


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