It seems pretty clear to me that Hugh McGowan's Gladiators (published by Fantasy Games Unlimited in 1975) has some design influences on AH's Gladiator. (I've never read the rules to Battleline's version, but the parallels between FGU and AH are undeniable.
FGU Gladiators features some AH Gladiator trademark elements such as:
- A 5 phase turn with Heavy / Medium / Light Gladiators having a 2/3/4 Move, respectively.
- An attack / defend location 'guess' system for each attack
- Small and Large shields with system impacts that go behind a simple improved defensive modifier for the large
- Wounds that cause comparable growing reductions in Combat Factors
- Simultaneous Move plotting and execution with engaged Gladiators shifting facing automatically at the point of contact
It reads to me almost like a first draft, simplified AH Gladiator.
One element that I'm experimenting with is the movement system. In FGU Gladiators, the MF's are 2/3/4 as I've mentioned above. The FGU system calls for the Gladiators to move that number of hexes per turn, with movement halting when two Gladiators become adjacent to one another or collide, facing shifts occur and combat ensues. I'm testdriving a game or two of AH Gladiator replacing the AH phase / movement plotting with the FGU MF's. The only change is really no more required Rest plots. A side bonus is that Move plots become simpler. Just plot hex by hex moves for 2, 3 or 4 hexes. Every Gladiator plots a Move, every Phase. Lights are obviously more mobile and can choose to dodge away from Heavies after each contact to prevent from being trucked over by the Big Boys, etc. It would simplify some of the movement planning and prevent the Heavies from having to sit tight in the sand for 50% of the phases.
Any thoughts, reactions, comments?