Dino Riders were on the telly and in the toy shops - I had most of the dino's in this pic but sadly only a few of the dinosaur models survive today for my kids to play with.
Zoidz were another favourite...
Not to mention the various Harryhausen Dinosaur movies I devoured as a kid
... and ones with good old rubber suits
Then there was the documentary Dinosaur! which I may have seen in the early '90's that I mainly remember for the Dinosaur Man (featured around 7.00).
Later I would find this concept even more fascinating when I became a certified Whovian and read Dr Who and the Cave Monsters
... which even later played its part in getting me back into painting and wargaming
The Lizard Man Empire is a vast dominion lying in the thick jungles and swamplands of Silur Cha in the southern regions of the Allansian continent. The Empire is an evil domain that has slowly begun to threaten to spread out across the face of the southlands, dominating the region. The eastern part is known to us as Silur Cha, a Lizard Man term which (very approximately) means 'Home to the Supreme Majesties of all Lizards'. At the heart of the swampland there is the unholy city of Silur Cha itself, which is indeed home to the Lizard Man emperors and their human-hating followers.
No race, other than Lizardman itself, except in the scrying pools of sorcerers, has ever seen Silur Cha and lived to tell the tale. Lizard Men hate all intelligent life and will allow nothing to cross their swamplands - as if anyone could!
The swamplands themselves cover an area almost equal in size to the Pagan Plains, and are inhabited by giant snakes, crocodiles and, of course, the Lizard Men themselves. The Vymorn River borders it to the north, and at its mouth stands the ruined city of Vymorna. Besieged for almost eleven years, the city was the last haven of humans in the area until slowly and relentlessly the inner fortifications and the keep was broken and its last remaining people were enslaved. With Vymorna's fall, the Lizard Empire found that they were opposing the equally vile Caarth, the Snake People who dwell in stone cities excavated on the fringes of the Desert of Skulls known as the Snakeland. The resulting Serpent Wars continue to this day.
Although they bare some similarities to the crocodilian C19 Lizardmen of Lustria, their society and civilisation are entirely different.
1st/2nd Edition paints them as a diverse, possibly genetically unstable group of races. As with Goblins their are several main tribal groupings based on size. They live in the deeper regions of cave systems, emerging into the lower levels of Goblin dens or Dwarf Holds to raid and take captives.
Icluded in this group are the lesser Lizardmen
Troglodytes - larger but smellier and stupider
as wells as the C19 Lizardmen warriors
Including the Regiment of Renown - Karnac's Lizardmen Raiders
When the Dwarfs built the mountain city of Caraz-A-Carak in the East of the Old World, they created the largest, most wonderful and impregnable fortress the world was ever to see. Its chambers and halls opened into the heart of the mountain and deep into its roots. Unknown to the Dwarfs their tunnellings were to lead them into the still vaster, still deeper and unfathomably more ancient caverns below the mountains.
Within these caverns dwelt many foul creatures. Little did the Dwarfs guess of the blood-letting and savagery that was to rise from beneath their feet. Soon the lower passages of the Dwarf Kingdoms became the hunting grounds of the perilous Lizardmen, the most feared of whom was the reptile known to the Dwarfs as Karnac, leader of a savage band of Lizard men including the dread animal called Huris. For almost a hundred years the Dwarfs battled against the Lizardmen, chamber by chamber and level by level. But the Lizardmen proved too strong, and grew ever stronger as they feasted upon the flesh of the slain and drank the blood of their doomed captives. Eventually the Dwarfs gave up hope of ever recovering the lower levels, and sealed them off by collapsing the connecting passages. What then became of Karnac, Huris and the Lizardmen can only be imagined.
Interestingly there is no mention of Lizardmen in Lustria in 1st Edition apart from a brief note on how the Slann occasionally ride the large reptilian Cold Ones, though how these creatures arrived in Southern Lustria is a mystery hidden in the days of the Old Slann. Nor is there any mention of the genocidal campaign the Slann pursued against the Lizardmen - at least not in the Forces of Fantasy volume I've flicked through.
The 2nd Edition Battle Bestiary widens the distribution of Lizardmen by saying, Lizardmen are curious in that they appear all over the world, wherever there are mountain ranges with deep caverns. Perhaps these are all linked up far below the earth. Which is good as I can have Karnac's raiders popping up in Lustria in a plausible manner!
It seems that 3rd Edition is where the persecution by the Slann first appears (do correct me if I've missed any earlier references!) -
When the Slann arrived on the planet, it was already inhabited by creatures, some of whom had developed a degree of civilisation utterly unlike that of the Slann or the races of modern times. During the Slann's assessment and restructuring of the world, many of these races were destroyed. The ancestors of the Lizardmen were among the more advanced of the cultures of their time and were ruthlessly hounded by the Slann who saw no role for them in the world of the future. As the world warmed the few surviving Lizardmen sought refuge in the cool, dark caverns beneath the ground. They survive there still, in spite of all efforts to remove them.
Also Lizardmen finally appear as part of Slann armies in Warhammer Armies
Many thousands of years ago, the ancestors of the Slann waged war against and destroyed the ancient civilisation of the Lizardmen. Today most Lizardmen live reclusive underground lives, but some have been subjugated by the Emperor and fight in his armies.
Which brings me onto, by way of a slight preamble, to the topic of this post - Lizardmen! My fondness for which had its roots in all this Dino-mania.
So to round off here's some more pics of my LPL entry, including the Gourgaz - one of my favourite baddies from the excellent Lone Wolf series of game books.
Love this Sorceror/Shaman and the fact there are no rules for him matters not!
I have a small, but growing number of Lone Wolf miniatures and would love to game with them at some point in the far distant future. This is one of my faves though - need some Giaks to go with him though -
Gourgaz are large, grey scaled, cold blooded, carnivorous, intelligent reptilian creatures from Maakenmire. Gourgaz secrete, from the underside of their tail, an oil whose molecules, when inhaled by Giaks, reacted with other molecules in their bloodstream, driving them into a frenzy of courage. Thus they were used by the Darklords to lead Giak battle units.
As a final thought - going back to the fact that everything is better with Dinsoaurs in - I'm not sure why the newer GW Lizardmen leave me a little cold - pun intended!
They have all the right ingredients - Mesoamerican stylings, huge Dinosaur like riding beasts and some of the models are really nice. Its probably something to do with the rewriting of the original Lustrian setting that I really buy into - no doubt to rework an old faction into a new army of awesomeness to flog to the kiddies. Perhaps I detect a whiff of the old cynical ploy of adding dinosaurs to a product to make it much more sell-able to boys of a certain age and I'd never fall for that... right?