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Gannicus: Blood & Treachery and Spartacus pummelling

Sooooo, It finally arrived.. I haven't been this excited about a new board game since Zombicide (which I am very happy with, thank you for asking, which is probably the first game in a number of years I was hyped about, some of which of been the wait and it being my first kickstarter.)

I arranged a couples game night me (Solonius) my girlfriend (Batiatus), and invited an other a friend (Tullius) and his relatively new girlfriend (Glaber), who is a euro-gamer but not a hard-core or thematic gamer. What could be better for getting to know your friends new girlfriend by thumbing down, poisoning her gladiators and bribing her guards.

I am not going to cover the rules more the feelings.
We started playing the standard game (starting from 7) with rules explain around 6.30 and ended around 11 with several snack breaks. I am the only one to have seen the show and to be fair the others were probably humouring my frantic demands to come and play my latest game..

The game was extremely fun, rules simple with very few questions. All players played to the strengths of the houses and were brutal in using their intrigue cards to take down other opponents. It is one of my favourite games although I will have to see how it stands up.

Highlights,

I saw Batiatus was weak so teamed up to push my influence into second place but in the act pushed Baitatus way ahead, the others fell for it and decimated him, removing gladiators / slaves and then hitting hard with down influence schemes. This was the downfall of Baitatus and he never recovered…

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Gannicus came up midgame and a fierce bidding war went on with 9, 10, 13 being bid, he was the first of the 5 cost gladiators, and with only one 4 cost gladiator out everyone wanted him. He decimated everyone he came up against in the arena in the following rounds. Tullus was collecting slaves and massing gold (30+ on average,rest of us around 10 average) and dominating the marketing and hosting so was in the lead despite having no decent gladiators, he was using the hosting to control and weaken the rest of us. This lead to a lot of bartering, begging and threats.

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Later, quite late in the game Spartacus came up…. Finally Someone who can stand up to Gannicus, Batiatus, was behind and short on gladiators, begging me Solonius to lend him money to go in with the share, I extorted the promises of favours, I had me eye on a skilled slave to take me up to 3 of each guard, slave and gladiator each so I could use my house power for intrigue, I also wanted the money to compete with Tullus who was still power housing the game without ever stepping into the arena. I lend 7 gold to Batatius and together and he went in for 17 gold beating the 15 offered from Tullus.

Tullus wins the hosting and sets up the fights taking bribes setting up Gannicus armed to the teeth against Spartacus unfortunately untrained and green as Batiatus hadn’t purchased any of the armour or equipment. Within 3 rounds Spartacus was down, with Gannicus being unwounded. Batiatus learned the lesson that day about training his gladiators. I thought to myself how like the show, Spartacus will bounce back more determined than ever. A quick thumb down from the host after a hefty bribe from Glaber ended Spartacus’s dream before it began. And this is why we now call the game Gannicus: Blood and treachery….. and no I never got paid back….

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Tullis the super host hit 12 first (no threat no gladiators, but I wanted to knock him down for a clean win), Glaber tried to knock him down with intruige cards but failed and then through all her actions to get to 11 including conspriring with Batiatus to up him 10, gold changed hands. Batiatus raised Glaber to 12. On my turn I failed to lower Glaber back to 11 with my target being Glaber as he had Gannicus. I raised by Influence from 8 to 12, using 2 schemes (paying gold to lower level) and disracrding 3 sets of minions. If i hadn't been saving key schemes for the start I would have had to give away my gladiators means an autoloss in they case of a tie.. coming from behind was my plan from the start, not look like a threat and build my empire. As it happened one of my schemes raised two families by one so I raised Batiatus to 11 as revenge. Soo close.... but he still owned a slave or two.

Batiatus lost me the game, Tullus was no threat, my girlfriend chuckled evilly knowing she was handing the game to Glaber, at this point is was my 4 coin tools gladiator vs a starter gladiator, (we didn’t read the tie rules until not far from the end and Tullus the then leader realised that neglecting his gladatiors was a bad idea)

A three way ties meant I battled i arena with Tullus and masacred him (We were put together as we had the least gladiators and equipmnent) My gladiator then went against Glabers Gannicus. I knew I would need luck to survive… I didn’t. My gladiator was diced with Glaber rolling ALL 5 and 6s both on attack and defence. Reducing my Gladiator to -1.. that’s one below decapitated. I think I got diced.

The game ended in a 3 way tie in the intrique round with Batiatus on 11.

Summary

It was great game with a huge amount of lieing, blackmailing, backstabbing, and we were all smiling throughout. I love the game and I love my gaming group.P.s. this game is no for people who can't take a knock or two.

Rules errors,
The host thumbing injured gladiators.
Discarding exhausted cards and
not reading the tie breaker rules before the end, and then finding out the guy without the decent gladiator had no chance of winning in a tie.
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Chris Schenck
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Speshul wrote:
Rules errors,
The host thumbing injured gladiators.

There's no rule against thumbing injured gladiators.
Or am I misunderstanding what the error was?
 
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We didn't thumb them.. which was the error.
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Chris Walker
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Your report makes me wish the gods favored me with pockets heavy of coin and friends flowing forth like wine.
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I did think about finding screengrabs and awesome quotes, and I probably will next time, but seeing as this is the second session report I thought it would be of more value to get it out quicker.

Jupitors C??? card came out and saved the day, it is infact the card which also lost me the game as it was played by Glaber and stopped him being lowered to 11. Booo.

I can't wait to play this again, i love games and love company and I am normally happy as long as I play a game I like, i don't normally get super excited about a particular game.

If any one from my area wants to join me for a game of spartacus I could probably accomodate
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That was a great session report and makes me all the more anxious waiting for my copy of the game to arrive. Thanks for writing it up.
 
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My report doesn't do it justice, but it gets the spirit across fairly well

I'm still waiting for my second game of it!!! Its definately up there with my favourite games, its made me want to break out BSG, its reminded me how much I like the interaction in games. I'm definately not a multiplayer solitare / euro gamer.

My promos are here yet either, there was a not saying to come...
 
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