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Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery» Forums » General

Subject: Promo's Almost Required? rss

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Nico Buffing
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We played a 4 player game of this yesterday, and while we had fun we quickly found out that becasue we got Spartacus out quite early, there was no match for him for a while.
Spartacus was in the end set up in a primus and ganked/killed by a treacherous gladiator and Gannicus / Barca when they teamed up with 3 on him.
This lead to the situation that there was Theocoles, Gannicus and about 50 other completely useless Gladiators in comparison (even the revised primus Crixus was a pushover).

For added fun it seems almost like the promo gladiators are needed to have a few more viable gladiators in the market deck, as when one of the three big guys comes out the players with them will win any match without a sweat.

I know about the blue dice variant, but I wonder what you guys think about the promo characters being more then just a nice extra, but a serious boost to the game balance?
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Vincent Darlage
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I don't know. I've never played the game without them. You've got me thinking though. I'll have to pull them out and see if the game goes differently without them.
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Mattias Elfström
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They are nice, but certainly not needed. It doesn't matter if only one player gets one (or all) power gladiators. It can even be a liability. The game is not won in the arena, but rather in the intrigue and deal making that leads to the arena.

I can't see how you can ever get 50 gladiators in play, you must have played a really long game!
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David Treleaven

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I've usually played without the promo gladiators because with them I thought the value of the mid grade gladiators disappeared. Depending on the length of the game many times Spartacus/Gannicus/Egyptian don't make an appearance which keeps the arena phase fairly unpredictable which usually leads to more of the bantering we enjoy with the game.

Typically when playing with a veteran group of players everyone has a better idea of how to keep people out of the arena or scheme against them if there is one powerful gladiator that is on the table.

 
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Nico Buffing
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Mattias wrote:
They are nice, but certainly not needed. It doesn't matter if only one player gets one (or all) power gladiators. It can even be a liability. The game is not won in the arena, but rather in the intrigue and deal making that leads to the arena.

I can't see how you can ever get 50 gladiators in play, you must have played a really long game!


Ah no, we didnt have 50 gladiators on the table

I just meant that it was so obvious when the good ones appeared everybody bid their max on those, but for all the other gladiators that appeared they usually went for 1-3 gold to batiatus since no one really bid on them anymore. So it felt like the game had 3 really good gladiators come out, and all the others we had come up from the market deck were unwanted except for the Batiatus victory condition.

I ordered the german versions of the promo cards, I think it will make the game more enjoyable for me.

Our game was also mostly outside of the arena, I think Gannicus only saw the one fight where he killed Spartacus and some fights against fodder slaves if people did not want to refuse the invitation from Gannicus's dominus when he was the host.

Edit: and yes, we played a 4 player game from 1 influence to 12, that took 5 hours or so to play, and we saw a bit more then half the market deck.
The really good 3 gladiators we had (Spartacus, Gannicus and Theo), they all appeared in the first 2 turns of the game.

Come to think of it, Batiatus won the game with 2 blood on the sands in the end by sacrificing poor gladiators to the onslaught of the players who had Theo and Gannicus. So even though Batiatus didn't have any really powerful gladiators (unless you count Crixus or the Doctore), he still won.

Are the 5 batiatus champions the only promo's? I seem to remember from somewhere the other Doctore from season 2(Ulpius), but that might have been a fan-created custom card.

So yea, this might not be a balance issue like I made it out to be, but more of a variety one, where its nice to have more then just Spartacus and Gannicus who can destroy any and everyone.
 
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Mattias Elfström
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Perhaps you should bid up the price of the simple gladiators to prevent Batiatus from getting them cheap?

The promo gladiators are nice to have and we always include them.

Great game!
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Nico Buffing
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I received my 5 German promo's today (got the German ones for price consideration, was 5 euro for the 5 instead of 15 dollar + 20+ shipping each from America).
Do you guys have a suggestion for using the german cards in the market, since they have a different back. I could sleeve them all, but I thought maybe someone has the same situation in their game and has ideas how to deal with it.
I myself am almost thinking about leaving them like this unsleaved so when they come up people can see there is a powerful gladiator right there in the market phase, but not which one.
Would this unbalance the game too much in your opinions?
 
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I have sleeved my market cards to avoid such things. It's when I printed out all the promo cards and had to use an old alien vs predator card. Then I had to print out backs for them because they were slightly see through in the sleeves.

People will see a different card coming up in the market and hold their money. People with abilities to look at market cards will always look to see which one it is.

So yes, I would sleeve them in something with a non transparent back that you can absolutely not see through.

Or you "could" make however many piles of players and always draw the bottom card from the stack to avoid having to buy sleeves.
 
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Darin N
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I've had the promos for quite a while, and while i agree that if a big gladiator comes out early, that person gets a big boost in the arena... but only if they get invited...

so the trick is don't give him someone to fight, or don't let him go in.

As was mentioned above, Spartacus isn't won in the arena... the arena is actually a trap... it looks like it's the meat of the game, but it really isn't.

granted it's a really fun trap, and i've been known to fall into it before. and even when i do fall into it, i have a hell of a good time playing... so i'm not even mad.

We've had games where even a semi decent gladiator comes out (thing in the pit) on the first phase, then nothing but the stupid 2 and 3 cost gladiators, so it happens even without the crazy promo gladiators.

I find the Arena alot of fun, and since we instituted the house rule that a primus can be called at 8 influence, we have had some really big fights... like 4 of the 5 cost gladiators and all 4 of them had a reason to fight, so it was a blood bath... and absolutely amazing!!!!

anyhow, still love this game, and will play it any chance i get... i know that doesn't add to this conversation but GF9 you made an awesome game, and i preach the good word any chance i get... (A friend at work calls me the board game evangelist, I correct him i'm a Spartacus evangelist)
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We have your same problem with few Big Gladiators, if they went out to early the Arena-game get a boring way, the solution was to use promo gladiators!
The only one that is a big mistery is Acerbitas... we are thinking how help him, with BlueDice variant and 2 DEF dice are very useless.
I suggest you to use sleeves and keep their coming hide for not change market/wager strategies.
 
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Nico Buffing
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We played last weekend, and I didnt have proper sleeves yet. As a solution I just created a stack of x cards for the market phase and turned over the top one. The only problem I can forsee is the slaves who enable you to look at one of the cards in advance during the market phase, but no one had one of those during the game.
We played a shorter game, and we had plenty of strong gladiators come out, but hardly any fair fights were fought in the arena (all victories were pretty much clear from the start based on speed).

Batiatus won again, I read somewhere people remove batiatus and one other house from the game. I thought this was because Batiatus is too weak and cannot stand against the other houses. Was I mistaken and is batiatus considered too strong instead?
I thought having to have gladiators as opposed to guards for influence would make them weaker, but the other ability seems pretty strong and the house can focus on gladiators instead of needing slaves.
 
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for balance the Arena we have divided all the Gladiators in 3 classes
- 9 or less Dice Gladiators
- 10 Dice Gladiators
- 11 or more Dice Gladiators

9 or less Dice Gladiators can fight only against 7-8-9-10 Dice Gladiators
10 Dice Gladiators can fight against ALL others Gladiators
11 or more Dice Gladiator can fight only against 10-11-12-13 Dice Gladiators

We also introduce that u can make max 2 influence points/Intrigue Phase to force players in more Arena Fights


Batiatus have to pay in his Balance Phase for every Gladiator... his start is very difficoult, he always has to pay the coins that he earn with his rule at the start of his next turn... His rules have to be changed in some way, as example we have made his starting "slave", Lucretia. Only for the Balance she can maintain up to 2 gladiators, you don't earn extra-Coin if you have only 1 gladiator.

The real broken character is Glaber... he draw too many cards that allow him to draw others cards, he sells every card that doesn't be Guards and can win every Host Auction. Low strategy, Auto-driven Win...

 
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Batiatus. His ability isn't very good. I had him one game and people were complaining about how much gold I was getting per turn off of him. I said "I'm not getting ANY gold from his abilities" because I have to pay for the gladiators in upkeep. THEN use them to gain the gold I had to spend back. So while he might be generating say 10 gold. You also have to first spend 10 gold during the upkeep. So his ability is only breaking even.

They understood what I meant and agreed.

Also because of him you need to hold back more gold than normal at the end of the rounds or else you won't be able to pay for your huge stable of gladiators in upkeep.
 
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Jo Bartok
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Tree11 wrote:
I've usually played without the promo gladiators because with them I thought the value of the mid grade gladiators disappeared. Depending on the length of the game many times Spartacus/Gannicus/Egyptian don't make an appearance which keeps the arena phase fairly unpredictable which usually leads to more of the bantering we enjoy with the game.

Typically when playing with a veteran group of players everyone has a better idea of how to keep people out of the arena or scheme against them if there is one powerful gladiator that is on the table.



What I do is introduce them only once someone hits 7 influence or after 2 rounds
 
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