Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Blood, Sweat and Cheers Campaign - Part 3

You can read the other two parts here: PART 1 and PART 2

Round 4 was the first round in which a school could win by reaching or exceeding 15 Prestige. All three of them could do it, although Secundus would have to win two bouts in which a novice defeated a skilled gladiator.

The Editor made his wishes known. Tertius had to provide a medium gladiator - the only option was Bremusa. Primus was asked for their most experienced gladiator, so the little dimacherius Philus took to the arena. And finally Secundus was asked for a light and selected Hippolytus.

The pairings ended up as:

Hippolytus (Retiarius) vs Memnon (Myrmillo)
Philus (Dimacherius) vs Mordax (Scissor)
Bremusa (Thraex) vs Alumnus (Hoplomachus)

Round 5 - Bout 1 - Hippolytus (Retiarius) vs Memnon (Myrmillo)

Both gladiators were unskilled, so neither would earn more than 2 Prestige from this bout. It also meant that Secundus couldn't earn enough Prestige to win in this round, even if Alumnus earned 3 Prestige for defeating Bremusa.

Memnon went on the offensive first, whilst Hippolytus was content to give ground.

Hippolytus countered Memnon's first serious attack by throwing sand in his face to put him off, much to the annoyance of the crowd.

But they became more enthusiastic when Hippolytus counter-attacked and knocked Memnon off-balance.

Hippolytus got in close with his dagger, and so badly wounded Memnon that he submitted.

The crowd spared Memnon, who earned 1 Prestige for Primus, whilst Hippolytus earned 2 Prestige for Secundus. Hippolytus gained +1 Attack, whilst Memnon picked up +1 Defence.

Round 5 - Bout 2 - Mordax (Scissor) vs Philus (Dimacherius)

This match was important. If Mordax won it then the 3 Prestige he got for defeating the skilled Philus would put Tertius on 15 Prestige with neither of the other two schools able to equal or exceed that this round. So it would be a win for Tertius. 

Mordax is a scissor. I gave him the stats of a myrmillo, but the dimacherius special abilities. With only a 3 Attack these weren't as ecffective as when used by a dimacherius, but with more armour Mordax had a better selection of tactics compared to the all-attack dimacherius.

Philus attacked from the start, relying on his rapid and skilled attacks to overwhelm Mordax and keep him on the defensive.

Mordax evaded and parried, helped by the hand of the goddess Fortuna, eventually getting past Philus' whirlwind of blades and wounding him.

But Philus rallied and drove Mordax back. In response Mordax could only offer blocks and parries; he was unable to make an effective attack of his own.

There was a lot of fierce fighting, as Mordax finally got his act together.

Mordax backed off again, biding his time.

Philus came in with another deadly attack, but Mordax caught him off-balance and the dimacherius ended up on the sand.

But even downed, the experienced gladiator was deadly, and kept up his attack. As Mordax, closed, hoping to finish his opponent, Philus struck out, cutting Mordax's legs, causing him to fall.

Philus stood up whilst Mordax struggled, and finished off the scissor.

The crowd spared Mordax, who earned 1 Prestige for Tertius. Philus picked up 2 Prestige for Primus.

The campaign would continue.

Round 5 - Bout 3 - Bremusa (Thraex) vs Alumnus (Hoplomachus)

A win by Bremusa would still give Tertius the campaign, whilst a win for the novice Alumnus would put Secundus in the running for a win next round.

Alumnus went straight into the attack.

The two gladiators exchanged blows.

Bremusa stepped back, and Alumnus wounded her with his spear.

Stunned by the wound she hesitated. Alumnus swung back his arm and hurled his spear, downing Bremusa for a rapid victory.

Although very much behind Alumnus, the cowd spared Bremusa, who earned 1 Prestige for Tertius. Alumnus earned 3 Prestige for his victory over the famous Bremusa.

Are you keeping track of the Prestige? All three schools ended this round with 14 Prestige!

So the next round will see a winner - it all boils down to who can win the most Prestige by the end. Primus and Tertius are both poised to pick up bonus prestige if they field their most experienced gladiators and they survive - either would be awarded the wooden sword of freedom and earn an extra 2 Prestige for their school. 

On to Round Six ...

Primus had to pick first, but was allowed a free choice. They went for Philus, looking to get him a fifth bout and the prestige of a wooden sword. Secundus had to put forward their best gladiator, so fielded Vocorix. And finally Tertius also had to put forward their best gladiator, and that saw Bremusa step into the arena for her fifth bout.

The matchups ended up as:

Philus (Dimacherius) vs Baccibus (Veles)
Vocorix (Dimacherius) vs Memnon (Myrmillo)
Bremusa (Thraex) vs Achillia (Myrmillo)

Round 6 - Bout 1 - Philus (Dimacherius) vs Baccibus (Veles)

Tertius had been very successful in the early rounds of the campaign, so only had one inexpereienced gladiator. But an inexperienced gladiator was needed to try and take down one of the famous ones in order to get enough Prestige to be in with a chance of victory. Baccibus was the only choice.

But not a bad one. So long as the veles could keep his distance from Philus, he could evade the dimacherius's lethal attacks and eventually find an opening for a thrown javelin or two.

So that's what he did; Baccibus danced around the circuit of the arena, whilst Philus tried to close.

Baccibus threw a couple of javelins, but missed.

Philus charged, and Baccibus stumbled as he fell back.

However before Philus could exploit the advatage, Baccibus was up on his feet and dancing away. Philus closed with a whirlwind attack, and Baccibus barely evaded, still taking a light wound.

He backed away and threw another javelin, but the experienced Philus dodged it and came in for another attack. Baccibus was down and defeated.

The crowd didn't spare the unknown veles. Their cheers were for Philus, who had won another fight and his freedom. He earned 4 Prestige for Primus.

Tertius earned nothing. The best he could hope for now was a draw with Primus if Bremusa won her fight and Primus not only lost the next bout but had his gladiator killed as well.

Round 6 - Bout 2 - Memnon (Myrmillo) vs Vocorix (Dimacherius)

Memnon went straight into the attack.

This had been shown to be a poor opening before when facing Vocorix who simply sidestepped the attack and then countered with a mighty swing of his sword ...

.... defeating Memnon.

Vocorix scored 2 Prestige for Secundus, and the crowd spared Memnon so he earned another point of Prestige for Primus.

Primus had 19 Prestige. Secundus had 16 Prestige. The next bout woud be important.

Round 6 - Bout 3 - Achillia (Myrmillo) vs Bremusa (Thraex)

If Achillia could win this bout she would earn 3 Prestige for Secundus and tie the end result. If Bremusa won Tertius would pick up 4 Prestige and come in a strong second, with Secundus in third place.

Bremusa went straight for the win. Achillia adopted an attack stance, so Bremusa closed in rapidly, threw sand to distract her foe and tripped her as she countered the rush.

Bremusa pressed her attack ...

... but Achillia put up an epic defence even from her position of disadvantage.

When Bremusa's attacks faltered, Achillia leapt up ...

... and ignoring a wicked slash from Bremusa, charged in to smash her foe into defeat, with a cheering crowd backing her up all the way.

Bremusa was down, but the crowd spared her.

So Achillia earned 3 prestige for Secundus, putting them on 19 Prestige as well. Bremusa gave Tertius 1 Prestige, but earned her freedom for 2 more, leaving Tertius on 17 Prestige.

So the final scores:

Primus - 19 Prestige

Artemisia (Thraex) - 2 Bouts, +1 Speed
Philus (Dimacherius) - 5 Bouts, +1 Attack, Freedom
Memnon (Myrmillo) - 3 Bouts, +1 Defence
Culex (Veles) - 1 Bout

Secundus - 19 Prestige

Hippolytus (Retiarius) - 2 Bouts, +1 Attack
Vocorix (Dimacherius) - 3 Bouts, +1 Attack
Alumnus (Hoplomachus) - 1 Bout
Achillia (Myrmillo) - 2 Bouts

Tertius - 17 Prestige

Gracchus (Retiarius)- 2 Bouts, +1 Speed
Bremusa (Thraex) - 5 Bouts, +1 Defence, Freedom
Mordax (Scissor) - 1 Bout

So there was a tie for first place. And that meant a tie-break. Both schools would put forward their best gladiators in a match to decide the best of the best.

Tie-Break - Memnon (Myrmillo) vs Vocorix (Dimacherius)

Yes, it was a replay of their Round 6 bout.

This time Memnon played a craftier game, making use of his defensive skills to simply block Vocorix's attacks. Eventually the dimacherius would run out of steam and Memnon could strike back. And defence wasn't his opponent's best feature.

And it worked. Memnon blocked a series of attacks, and then countered, but only drove his opponent back.

Vocorix rallied, and pushed forward again

And Memnon drove him back.

But, as in nearly all of his other bouts, Vocorix resorted to a wild swing, and Memnon was defeated once more.

The crowd spared Memnon, but his defeat gave Secundus the overall victory as top lanista in Rome.

This was a close and dramatic end to the campaign, and I was pleased with how it played out. Secundus was very much bringing up the rear for the first half, but wins by Alumnus, Hippolytus and Achillia against experienced foes caused his Prestige to rocket in the final rounds. And the mighty Vocorix sealed the victory.

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