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Subject: A capsule overview of the game, with component manifest rss

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Man to Man Combat in the Arenas of Ancient Rome
Avalon Hill
(1981, $9.00)
Designed by Michael Matheny

Players: 2 or more
Playing Time: 15-30 minutes
Period: Ancients
Scale: Tactical
-- Turn: 4 seconds
-- Map: 3 feet
-- Unit: single gladiator

Box: 11x9" thin bookcase box

Components: 11x15.5" mounted mapboard, 16 page second edition rulebook, 48 die-cut counters, log pad, 6 plastic stands, Tables card, 3 six-sided dice, response postcards, General magazine flyer, Fall/Christmas 1982 catalog.

Counter Manifest: 12 1x1-5/8" gladiator counters, 36 5/8" counters.


Avalon Hill says: "The savage splendor and pageantry of ancient Rome lives again in this game of man-to-man gladiatorial combat . . . There are four classes of gladiator varying in type by armor and armament. Within each class the participants may vary according to individual ratings for training, strength, agility, constitution, combat capabilities, and types of armor worn . . . In the Basic Game both gladiators are armed with short sword and shield . . . In the Advanced Game, the Retarius makes its appearance, allowing the classic confrontation of antiquity: short sword vs. net and trident . . . In the Campaign Game, players assume the role of wealthy Romans vying to acquire great wealth through wise wagers on the success of their own stable of gladiators."

The reviewer says: "The Gladiator system appears rather complex . . . I feel that if the two players were very comfortable with the rules and mechanics, it would be fairly accurate and exciting. It is not designed for the novice or beginner." T.J. Kask in The Dragon #29 (commenting on the Battleline version).

Comments: Gladiator offered players an economical middle ground between miniatures and boardgaming. The game is a detailed treatment of gladiatorial combat, and the colorful stand up pieces add greatly to the atmosphere. Gladiator was first published together with a chariot racing game as part of Battleline's two-games-in-one title Circus Maximus (1979).

Collector's Notes: Boone's Internet Wargames Catalog (3rd edition) lists low/high/average auction prices of $3/$19/$10.89 and low/high/average sale listings of $7/$20/$12.23. Bargain hunters take note: Battleline's Circus Maximus may be an "economy buy" as Boone's average auction prices for it are pretty close to the individual prices quoted for AH's Gladiator and Circus Maximus.


Gladiator was first published in Battleline's two-in-one game Circus Maximus (left)

But was omitted from AH's racing-only reprint of Circus Maxiums (right)

Also from this designer: Asteroid Pirates, Beachhead, The Beastlord, Commando Actions, Demon's Run, and Hero (all from Yaquinto.)

This article was originally published in issue issue 11 of Simulacrum, April 2001.

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