Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Gladiator Testing

I've been running a few gladiatorial bouts this evening. MOAB is coming up in October and, once again, we will be running some games of 'Munera Sine Missione' on the Saturday. Over the last year or so Victor and I have been coming up with more tweaks and changes to the rules to make them even better than before, but they need some fine-tuning. I'd like to have a new version of the game available by MOAB, so testing is required.

What will you be seeing? Well, there will be some streamlining of the weapon definitions. Some of them are redundant, and others could do with a rewrite. The end result should see more consistency in how they work, and fewer special cases to remember.

We have also been looking at ways of toning down the effects of two of the criticals, either of which can pretty much end a fight straight away. We think we have a solution now, which balances the need for there to be some form of instant disaster (because it's fun) against games ending abruptly on a single die-roll.

Dirty tricks is another area we are working on. Your gladiators can already work the crowd to gain adulation, which then propels them to greater feats. But we also liked the idea of gladiators who cheat their way to victory, even though it earns the hostility of the mob and risks them being disqualified (or worse) by the referee.

There are a number of smaller tweaks ongoing as well, some of which you'll probably only notice by reading the rules carefully. But trust me, they'll be awesome.


  1. Sounds cool, look forward to seeing the tweaks

  2. This is my favorite Gladiator game so please don't add or change too much! Personally I like the criticals as they are. As they don't occur every game the sudden death factor is actually quite cool. Have you considered adding rules for beast fighting? Not strictly gladiatorial of course, but some great possibilities. Incidentally I'm also a regular See the Elephant player, and would like to say a big thank you, as that game revolutionized my wargaming!

    1. Don't worry; the changes aren't that radical. The sudden death can still be a proper sudden death, but will be linked to how injured or tired you are, so a fresh gladiator will be less likely to suffer it now. Some weapons will change, but hopefully the rules will eliminate some of the fiddly special cases and makes games easier to run.

      I was amazed to hear that you play 'See The Elephant'. Truth to tell it's one of those projects I haven't looked at pretty much since I posted it, as I felt it wasn't really going where I wanted it to. I'd love to hear how you've got on with it and how your games play out.

    2. Sounds cool! You've put my mind at rest about the changes and I like the idea to streamline the weapons. I remember you did this a little while back and I use those changes. For See the Elephant I make up printable 2D maps at A4 size & use 2mm miniatures. As such I can flick through my folder and pick a map and play instantly. Very cheap and very portable. I'm putting together a similar game for Iraq, combining some ideas from STE with Andrew Thomas' mechanized rules. Again I'll be using 2mm and 2D maps. I'm also toying with a variant for ECW or Fantasy but so far its just ideas. Quick set up and limited space is an important factor for me as I get my solo games in when the kids are napping! Large battles are broken down into a number of maps and played almost as a campaign. I always use the amendment you blogged where units not getting activation dice can rally, and I nearly always use combat advantages. Also, I don't use "If the target is Vet then discard a dice that rolled a 5", instead letting Vet units take one more hit. I don't often use rifled artillery though. When units are forced to retreat diagonally I dice for which square. 50/50 chance of either, unless one has some reason to be more likely, when I use 1-4 vs 5-6. I find my cavalry usually die first but I think this is probably more how I use them than anything else. I'd like to see a force generator like in your ECW rules (I don't own a copy of OHW). With two young kids, no space and no money STE really was a revelation for me, especially as it coincided with my getting into small scale miniatures. Many thanks.


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