Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Gladiators


Something a bit different as under Warhammer Historical Gladiator game, bought by Dave M during the Warhammer Historical half price sale.

Played the basic version, but with some made up multi-player rules to allow for the four (later six) players. A mixture of types were randomly handed out and I got to play a heavy, with large shield and slow movement.

The most disappointing part is the roll to hit being a straight dice off with skill only being a factor in a draw. Most Stat-lines for the Gladiators appear nearly identical so everything ends up as a 50%-50% chance. This mechanism is also used in Legends of the Old West, itself derived from Lord of the Rings rules, and is criticised in it for allowing excessively easy lynchings where hordes of weak characters can smack-down ruthless killers.

The Retinarii also appear to be over powered, and in one on one combat have a good chance (about 1 in 10) of ending it straight off with the disabling entanglement. In both bouts they were the last ones standing using their ability to evade from combat and ranged netting to decisive effect. Comment was also passed upon the wound modifiers for the thrown Gladius and Dart being so radically different, not that any weapons got thrown during the game unless you count the annoying nets of the Retinarii.

The rules seem to work OK for mass brawls but there is something unsatisfying about it on one on one combat where it resolves down to straight dice rolls. It does not feel to be much of gladiatorial contest. This may change if playing the more advanced rules which, judging by the crib sheet, appear to use more advanced armour rules.

Having got some pre-painted Gladiators myself after getting a couple of Ludus Gladitorius sets off EM4 Miniatures at previous Phalanx shows, I'm not sure whether to purchase these rules myself. They could be good for the chrome and historical details but the rules could do with a re-write.

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