Gladiator miniature review

1200 BC-1095 AD (Greek & Roman Wars)

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Gladiator miniature review

Postby wuxia » Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:37 pm

Hail Caesar! is a miniature gladiator combat game by David P. Gundt and published in 2000.

The rule book is only 15 pages and includes some information about the historical aspects of gladiator combat. The rules are explained well and not complex as compared to some other rule sets that I have read concerning gladiator games.

A game typically will last 30-45 minutes but can vary depending upon the number of gladiators in the arena. 2 to 8 figures can be used but 4-6 seems to be a good number. During the play testing the book states that an 8 year old can pick up the basics after a game or two. Two years ago my 7 year old understood enough to have fun with it. There is enough meat for seasoned wargamers to find tactics to remain engaging despite it being light for a wargame.

The scale is 1 hex = 10 feet. 54mm and 25mm figures are recommended. I have only used 54mm giving it a better feel and look.

Materials needed:
- A pair of d10 for percentage rolls.
- Miniatures
- A play area that is approximately 20 x 30 hexes. These can be the less expensive paper ones or a vinyl type mat. I use a battlemat hex grid made by Chessex for durability.
- A hex base in which to mount the gladiator. I find it very helpful to mark the front of the base to indicate forward facing.

Gladiator Creation:
There are 10 different types of gladiators represented in the rules.
Retarius, Samnite, Secutor, Thracian, Dimachaeri, Velite, Essedarii, Equites, Andabates, and Laquearii. Each has a brief description of weapons and armor.
The back of the rule book has a Gladiator Character Record Sheet. Make multiple copies of this as it will be a working document for each figure represented. It will be referred to during the game.
The 2 d10 will then be used to determine character traits that will effect actions and outcomes. Traits include strength, stamina, speed, dexterity, and skill. A gladiator's life level is determined by strength, stamina, and skill added together. If a life level gets to 0, then the gladiator dies.
There are some quick formulas to figure out and add to the Character Sheet for quick reference.
These include: Percentage chance to hit number (modified by skill). Extra damage inflicted due to strength.
Number of strikes or blows per turn.
Number of strikes before rest or fatigue.
Movement rating and running rating.
Number of turns you can run before rest.

Combat is usually base to base unless the gladiator is equipped with a range weapon such as a lasso, spear, lance, or net.
Damage is determined by the difference of the percent roll and to hit number + strength bonus + weapon damage bonus from the chart - armor effects table from the opponent.

Ex: To hit # is 40. I roll a 60. Difference = 20. + strength of 5 = 25. + weapon 25 (trident) = 50. - 20 (leather breastplate) = 30 damage to life points.

A gladiator can also aim for a specific body part at an increased difficulty. This can be quite helpful when trying to take down a stronger opponent. After so many points to a specific body part, it renders that area useless. Weapons and shields can be dropped.

There are also rules for animals in the arena and chariot combat.

When it comes to the final blow, or the opponent is unconscious the fickle crowd's mood must be determined (die roll). Then, based on that outcome, the emperor (through die rolling) gives the thumb up or down.

The rules allow for rewards is gold sesterces to survivors and victors. Money spent can be used to heal life points. Victors will also gain a boost is trait ratings for experience when they fight again. This lends itself to be able to have tournaments or just keep track of your gladiator until the next match.

Overall, I enjoy this game. Some things I change however. I equip my gladiator according to what the actual figure has. I also don't randomize with a die roll the speed. I assign it according to how heavily armored they are. A very lightly armored Velite should be faster than a Thracian.

I wrote this a while back as I was evaluating and searching for a rule set for gladiator combat. Red Sand, Blue Sky is my current favorite. Much larger rule book than the above, and seems to play better. I may write up some other reviews if people are interested.
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Re: Gladiator miniature review

Postby Double Deuce » Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:42 am

I have seen these around but never checked them out. I have been using Battlelust rules for games like this, although they are Dark Age era and not Ancient Rome.

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Re: Gladiator miniature review

Postby Whiterook » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:59 pm

Oh, hail that's cool!
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Re: Gladiator miniature review

Postby KG_Panzerschreck » Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:18 am

Sounds cool.

Why oh why dont i have the money to buy all the games that interest me!
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Re: Gladiator miniature review

Postby Frizzenspark » Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:10 pm

KG_Panzerschreck wrote:Sounds cool.

Why oh why dont i have the money to buy all the games that interest me!

We never do...... :cry:

wuxia, we may have to throw down........ :lol:
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