Welcome to my blog, the story of my continuing journey into the World of Zombie Wargames.

Monday 27 June 2022

Spartacus, the Board Game

 About a week before I was rushed to hospital, I'd bought the board game "Spartacus, a game of Blood and Spectacle", fairly cheaply (well under £40). The game itself is based on the well-known TV series and simply oozes theme from the box artwork to the contents, with many characters instantly recognisable and just about any named character is represented. Those characters that are not in the game are, of course, represented in either of the two supplements - both of which are sadly not in production and would probably need a second mortgage to purchase.  The supplements, make provision to make the game six players and give additional cards and some figures. The photograph below shows the four figures (tokens) that come with the game and don't relate at all to their gladiatorial purpose, they're merely one for each player.
Not bad minis, l to r, a Retiarius, a Myrmillo, a Dimachaerius and a goodness knows. what

Cards for each player's Ludus, with influence track and special abilities. etc.

The arena playing area, but not where all the action takes place!

The intrigue deck of cards- all 104 of them
Other than some 'housekeeping' needs, the first phase of play is the "Intrigur" phase, were deals are made, schemes are untertaken withor without assistance and general spying and skullduggery can be undertaken. This is an important part of the game, shaping alliance and enemies etc.
The auction is the second major phase of the game and will gain greater importance as the game moves  n, when cash is everything.
The Market cards, slaves, weapons, potential gladiators all up for Auction

Rules, dice, counters (lots) and coins.
The last phase is the Arena phase, bidding to host the games, invite gladiators etc. all with the intention of gaining influence over the others.
Turn Summary card
So how does it play out ? Well, I  don't know, the chance of getting four willing participants is currently not on the horizon, but I can sit in hope - and the game does look good !

 Well that's it for another week where I probably pushed myself far too much and regretted it very quickly so this week I'm taking it far easier.

Thanks for taking the time to visit, hopefully there was something of interest and as always your comments are welcomed and truly appreciated.

Monday 20 June 2022

To the Death ? (-Not Quite)

 After a few days doing some important sitting , resting and recuperation and very little else I had three friends around to help me play-test version 1.3 of Frank Sultan's gladiator combat game Blood on the Sands. .Luckily, given the chance to playtest these rules.I've managed to have six friends give their all in several games  - all of which (even given the many mistakes we made) were very enjoyable affairs.
So this week I had one of my two original playtesters and a husband and wife that had never played before.
As we explained how to play the game, we all rolled six characters to facilitate the start of an attempt at a campaign.
My longtime tester, Bilius (not his real name) andmyself were to play the first game, as a learning experience for the two Tyros (newbs).
My Thraex (in the foreground of the photograph on the right) was randomly drawn against Bilius' Hoplomachus. 
The fact that I only took one photograph of this bout and nearly two dozen of the second bout speaks volumes of the two fights.
My bout lasted about four to six turns, I think I may have scratched my opponent, whilst he laid into my Thraex, giving him a deep cut to an arm and then another wound to the same arm, ending the match. My Thraex managed his appeal to the crowd.
Three hexes apart at the start
The second fight saw a Retiarius (played by Benoic's  wife - not his real name) because she liked the model (?), using a net and trident This left Benoic playing the part of chaser - a Secutor.

Each turn an initiative die is thrown, winner getting the hoice tto move first or second, The Retiarius had the trait 'cunning' meaning he added '1' to his initiative roll, but in reality it meant Benoic's Secutor won the intiative twice over the course of about two dozen turns.

Once initiative dice are rolled, six Action Dice (all d6s) determine whether you move (a '1'), attack (a '4') or make a special attack (a '5'). Spec and attacks ial attacks are what they say, they give different advantages.

The retiarius; weapon is a Trident, good for defending and attacking at distance (like the Hoplomachus' spear above).

Given the starting distance between the two gladiators at the start of this match the retiarius could strike with his trident or throw his net without moving (and given the right action dice).
Here's the photographic evidence of the debacle that followed:
A successful net throw, followed up by a quick attack...

...and the secutor is driven back (most attacks make a defender withdraw

One of the few attacks the Secutor landed, knocking the Retiarius over

In no time, back on his feet, the Retiarius makes the Secutor drop his shield

The retiarius has backed off, the Secutor is booed for not landing a blow!

The Retiarius attack once more, occupying the Secortor's shield hex

Once more, the Secutor is forced back again
It was about this time in the match that a deep wound was inflicted on the Secutor, the effect of which would speed up his fatigue level until he eventually dropped. - Time was definetly against the Secutor.

No matter how hard he tried the Secutor, couldn't land a blow !

The Retiarius is disarmed, but quickly draws his back-up weapon, a pugio (a knife)

Toe to toe and still no blood !

(obligatory blurred photograph)

Dance aound the Trident

The Secutor, not giving up as he bleeds out

The Retiarius, despite the presenceof his opponent picks his Trident up...

...and backs off, the Secutor has three fatigue points left and is losing two a turn!

His next (and last) Action dice roll - no movement possible 

The Retiarius gives the initiative to the Secutor, whom given the roll above can't make any headway towards his opponent. At this stage of the game, he is still covered in the Retiarius' net (he needed a Six to remove it and hadn;t thrown more than one other since the start. It may have been a tactic to lose an action die for being entangled and thereby not allowing the retiarius the use of his net!
The final turn and the Secutor drops of exhaustion.
Benoics appeal to the crowdu is successful even given his two disfavour token and much hilarity ensue as one spouse berated the other!  The biout took aout an hour and a half (some of which was due to the two particpants having never played before), but was well worth it imo.

I'm hopefully playing again this week, with the same ecellent company and I'll let you know the outcome next week.

That's it though for another week; thanks for taking the itme to visit and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday 13 June 2022


 I may not be able to play games currently, but that  doesn't mean  I've been completely idle.Whilst any form of me bending over causes great discomfort, I've managed to up-date, some of the paperwork needed to play the Gladiator game "Blood on the Sands" that I was playtesting before my recent untimely departure to hospial. 
The rules are in their third version and luckily all I needed to do was update the three categories of 'paperwork' that I had already done for the first two versons. I felt extra 'paperwork' was needed to play the game more effectively.
The games uses character sheets that record wounds, fatigue etc. to the Gladiators (six different sheets) and once laminated can be re-used if white board pens are used. The sheets have been changed so these too needed renewing.
Secondly each gladiator has access to ten 'special attacks' and three gladiator-type specific "special attacks", which I listed on six sheets (one for each type of  gladiator). Finally I 've made two, two-sided qrs sheets (one for each combatatnt) which are a bt rough and ready, but do the job.
The rules are contuning to evolve and each version has had significant changes, without changing the feel of the game.
All the print-outs - just ten sheets of A4
My £15 'Wilko' laminator in action !
It's slow but gets the jub done - all sheets laminated
A4 to handy A5 sheets
Slicing six of the eight laminted sheets and the job's a good'un

That's it from me this week - at least I've managed something, even though it took a lot longer that I'd normally take.

I'm now going to try and view a few blogs.

Thanks for taking the time to visit, hopefully there was something of interest and your comments, as always, are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday 6 June 2022

Hospital again

 Today was yet another visit to hospital to have a minor procedure done (a abag removel), but has left me a bit tired and listless with  a general feeling of unwellness. Couple this with the trouble I've had over the last week commenting on blogs (or in some case not being able to) and finally add to this mess my camera needing charging means I've decided not to put togehter a 'proper' post for this week. It may well be that if this commenting  problem doesn;t sort itself out soon that I'll not e posting again next week.
The main reason for this half-hearted post this week though, was to put any followers' minds at rest, rather than not having a post at all.

That's all I've got - sleepy nap time now... until next week