Handsome devil huh?
Gladiatori sounds like a very interesting game of gladiatorial combat. I particularly like how you have to allocate cards to Hit Points or use them for Action Energy, and how the player in last place on the VP track goes first, so it may not always be advantageous to press your advantage too much. It sounds like the game will have some tense moments and tough decisions - something I enjoy a lot!
Sadly, my demo of the game at SPIEL 2013 was very underwhelming, to the point of me losing all my co-players, as they bowed out of the game. We were playing a "venationes", i.e. the morning animal hunts, prior to the actual munera. The game featured us, the players and their gladiators, against the demo monkey as game master. We requested that the demonstrator instead referee and let us try some ordinarii, i.e. paired fights, but they thought this would be more fun. If that is the case, then this game certainly isn't for me. We weren't taught the rules, as much as instructed as to what to do at every step, that is until my fellow players pulled out of the game in disgust.
While there may be potential here, and I'd love to hear from fans, I have little desire to invest in the game in order to play it again. So what am I missing?
The Publisher wrote:
During the Roman Empire, gladiator combat was the most popular form of entertainment. Fighters from all parts of the Empire were included in the shows, including female gladiators. So much fame and glory was there, that wealthy Roman citizens, and in some cases, Aristocrats participated.
Now the time has come for you to gain the immortal glory of the Arena. Fight for your honor, fame and for your life!
Gladiatori is a card-driven game in which each player assumes the role of a gladiator in the Ancient Roman Empire.
Simultaneous action selection drives figure movement on the board. Combat cards give energy to the character actions and are used as hit points. Characters are customizable, and each player has to choose his deck composition, character skills, and participate in the auctions for Arena items. At the end, the winner will be determined by victory points – or simply by being the only one left alive!
The players are fighters that clash in the Arena during the Ancient Roman Empire. The aim of the game is to become the most famous Gladiator in Rome. Fame and glory are measured by Victory Points (VP) which are scored fighting with honor and defeating other gladiators.
A game lasts 6 turns or until all players except one are eliminated (or when a team is eliminated). At the end of the game, the player with the most VPs is the winner (or the team with the most VP).
The game has a character creation part, followed by the combat. Each player has a number of creation points to create his character. With creation points, a player buys Character Skills and then Combat cards. When this process is finished, players choose Item Cards and are then ready to play.
Gladiatori is a strategic game for 2-4 players ages 12+. A game lasts about 60 minutes (20 minutes per player). The box is a Multi-language version (Italian, German, English, and French).
Box contents: 16 Action cards, 8 Cover cards, 4 Bluff cards, 88 Combat cards, 18 Item cards, 4 wooden Skill markers, 12 Status markers, 4 player block notes, 4 player screens, 4 miniatures, 1 game board, 1 rulebook.
Gladiators vs Animals
Gladiator Types: 4 (Secutor, Mirmillo, Thraex, and Hoplomacus). In addition to the 4 pre-generated gladiators, the game features Gladiator Training rules that allow you to purchase the gladiator of your choice.
Historical Accuracy: Unknown at this time, but the aim here is on making your own gladiators, therefore it is more up to the players in a sense.
Animals: 4 (dogs, wolves, lions, and bears)
Board: Hexes (mounted arena board included)
Page Count: 12
Purchasing the Game:
You can pre-order it directly from the publisher, giochix.it. The Gladiatori Deluxe version is scheduled for an October 2013 release and will be at SPIEL in Essen.
The designer is active on BGG and provides quick support in the game's forum.