Zeppelins vs. Pterodactyls

This is a board/card/dice game for 2-6 players. All dice are six-sided.

You are flying a zeppelin over a Lost World that is itself filled with dinosaurs and natives. You are trying to collect 3 treasures.


To begin the game, lay out the deck of terrain cards into a 6×6 grid.

Each player, in turn, places a pterodactyl on top of any terrain card that does not border the grid. There are a total of 5 pterodactyls; 4 regular ones and 1 cannon pterodactyl.

Each player then places his or her zeppelin on top of one terrain card on the border of the terrain.


Play proceeds in rounds. Each player has a turn in each round. The pterodactyls also have a turn in each round, and they always go first.

In the above playtest, the d4 dice represent pterodactyls, the plugs represent zeppelins, and the coins represent treasure or salvage. Red terrain cards are jungle, green cards are swamp, and white cards are mountains. Cards with lines showing have been flipped over. Click the image for a very high-res version.

Starting The Round: Pterodactyls

At the beginning of each round, each player moves any one pterodactyl of his or her choice one square (orthogonally, not diagonally).

Then, each pterodactyl will attack the nearest zeppelin. In case of ties, roll a die. To attack, roll a die; normal pterodactyls hit a zeppelin that is adjacent or in the same square on 5 or 6, while a cannon pterodactyl hits on 4-6. From one square away, a cannon pterodactyl will hit on 5-6.

Player Turns: Moving

On her first turn, the player places her zeppelin on any unoccupied square on the border of the grid.

At the start of every other turn, the player must move her zeppelin to an adjacent square (moving orthogonally, not diagonally) that does not already contain a zeppelin. Zeppelins cannot stay in one square for multiple turns.

If the card beneath the zeppelin shows only the map, flip the card over. If the revealed card shows a spot for treasure or salvage, place an appropriate treasure, armor, or cannon token on that card. Each card remains flipped for the rest of the game.

A zeppelin can, upon entering a new terrain card, decide to lower its altitude. If it does this, its player immediately takes any token on the terrain card, and also immediately faces an attack from one of the critters on the card (see the terrain card for a list of critters and attacks). A card's critter must be defeated before the salvage or treasure on that card may be taken.

Critters on each type of terrain:

1-3: T-Rex1-3: T-Rex1-3: T-Rex
4-6: Gigantosaurus4-5: Gigantosaurus4-5: Gigantosaurus
6:Terrosaurus6: Collision!

Once the critter is determined, roll a die for its attack. A T-Rex hits on a roll of 5-6, a gigantosaurus on a 4-6, and a terrosaurus on a 3-6. All critters do 1 damage. A collision automatically does 3 damage (no roll).

A crashed zeppelin (see below) can always be raided for 5 cannonballs. The crashed zeppelin will continue to have infinite ammunition.

Player Turns: Attacking

After moving, each zeppelin can fire a cannon at another zeppelin or a pterodactyl. A zeppelin can hit an enemy in its own square or an adjacent square on a 4-6, one square away on 5-6, and two squares away on 6. Each zeppelin starts with 8 cannon balls.

Each zeppelin has armor that protects it from six hits, while a pterodactyl can only take one hit.

If a cannon pterodactyl is hit, it crashes to the ground and becomes salvage, worth 2 cannonballs.

When a player kills a pterodactyl, the player immediately places the pterodactyl's token on any border card that is at least 2 cards from any zeppelin, creating a new pterodactyl.

Crashed Zeppelins

When all of a zeppelin's armor has been destroyed, the zeppelin crashes onto its terrain card, but the player may now play a crashed zeppelin crew, which can attack at the still-flying zeppelins. A grounded zeppelin has a better chance of hitting other zeppelins: 3-6 for an adjacent zeppelin, 4-6 for a zeppelin one square away, etc.

Also, grounded zeppelins have infinite ammunition.


The first zeppelin that collects 3 treasures wins the game.

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