The above is how I store the game.
The last game session I did:
Menoetius, the Titan, starts the game with 5 health. In each end of the Coliseum, sits a pillar with 4 health with an inactive Shard on top.
Menoetius cannot be killed unless 3 of the shards are active. Furthermore, he cannot be damaged by Basic Attacks unless he is stunned or unless a unit is carrying an Active shard from one of the 4 destroyed pillars.
When a pillar is damaged, the health is added to Menoetius's health and the shard on top is activated. Once all the health on the pillar is removed, you may pick up the Shard with the unit who did the final damage.
Meanwhile each damage you inflict to a pillar or to Menoetius, raises the Crowd Favor meter up one point, allowing you to place footholds on the board to try to pin Menoetius down a bit, as well as activate your Champion, and finally obtain a Crowd Favor Gladiator to help take Menoetius down (you see mine pictured below, Sextus, along with my Champion, and Menoetius with 0 health as I had just landed the final blow. You also see vacant active shards lying there from units of mine who had them but were slain by Menoetius and dropped them.)
Now, Menoetius's AI is driven by rolling 6 different colored dice and looking at a card and following what it says. If he moves, he goes toward the nearest pillar with an Active shard. If within two spaces of it on a Black Green roll, he adds 2 health to the pillar (which essentially will give him more HP) and the shard deactivates.
This is where the challenge comes: If he rolls a blue hit (50% chance), all units adjacent to an active shard take 1 damage. If a double blue roll, the former happens and any units carrying Active shards are stunned and take 1 damage.
Also on yellow die roll hits, Menoetius gets to make either a melee or ranged attack depending on an ensuing d6 roll as indicated on the Titan Card. On a 6 he gets to make an attack on Three units in range of 2 (which is absolutely devastating since he rolls 4 dice on his basic attack). If it is a double yellow hit, he gets to make 2 attacks. Thankfully the yellow dice are only 33% chance, so it doesn't happen a lot.
So since you can't damage Menoetius (some alt attacks can, but they are rare) unless you are carrying an Active shard and since he gains health from damage to pillars And does damage to units carrying or around active shards, it makes for one awesome battle of what I would call, brilliant design.
It really feels like you are against some epically powerful "Goliath"-type opponent who can single highhandedly take you out or that you can ever so closely whittle away and finally slay. I literally yelled out load in excitement as Sextus scored a 3 hit roll at the end to put the Menoetius down to one health and then My Champion missed on a black and hit on his yellow die (33% verses 83%) to end it.
My Champion had 3 health left and all my units were dead except for the CF Gladiator that I obtained from doing damage and gaining Crowd Favor!
This was my first solo battle in Rise of Rome and I must say that it was one of the coolest experiences I have had in board gaming ever. The AI is so cleverly designed that it presented a very surprising challenge. At one point Menoetius had a towering stack of around 20 health chips lol!
I love the Boss battles in TLC but this Titan battle was epically fun and surpasses the former experience, although I love both games.
Feel free to post about your epic battles in Hoplo here! I'd love to see and hear your Gladiator Tales.
I hope that helps you, and others, understand my excitement more!