United Kingdom
flag msg tools
mb
Historically the host of the games (called the "editor") had to compensate the owning lanista for each gladiator of their ludus who died in the arena. Thus, the granting of missus (mercy) tended to be quite common, as the editor had a financial incentive to spare the gladiator's life. According to some sources, as many as 90% of contests may have ended with the vanquished gladiator being granted mercy. Despite the added expense however, the editor was sometimes obliged to execute a defeated gladiator if the crowd thought he was particularly inept or cowardly. To go against the crowd's wishes in such circumstances would be to invite ridicule. To simulate this aspect of the games, use the following house rules. They are designed to be used together rather than singularly.

"Blood Money" House Rule:

If during the Arena Phase a Dominus discards a gladiator or slave card due to "Decapitation" or "Execution", the Host must pay Blood Money to that Dominus equal to the Gold value of the card discarded, or lose 1 Influence. Only Gold in the Host's Treasury may be used for this purpose but the Host is free to make deals with other players in exchange for some or all of the Gold. The Host does not have to honour any such deals once the Gold has been exchanged.

"Will of the Crowd" House Rule:

The crowd tends to love champions and hate new fighters, at least until they've proven themselves in the arena. They also value aggression and agility over defence. However, the crowd is fickle, and even champions occasionally earn the crowd's displeasure.

Whenever a combatant is defeated but not Decapitated, roll a die. Subtract 1 from the roll if the combatant has a Champion token, and add 1 to the roll if the combatant has no Favour or Champion token. If the result is equal to or less than the combatant's printed ATK or SPD rating (whichever is highest), the crowd demands Mercy, otherwise the crowd demands Execution. Exception: The crowd always demands Mercy on an unmodified "1" result, and always demands Execution on an unmodified "6" result. The Host must honour the will of the crowd, or lose 1 Influence.

N.B. - This house rule overrides the rules as written regarding Influence loss for executing combatants with Favour tokens, and being unable to execute combatants with Champion tokens. Using the house rule above, only the Will of the Crowd matters when it comes to the fate of the combatant and the Influence of the Host.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Samu Lattu
Finland
Helsinki
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
Interesting ideas! Could you elaborate on what kind of effect these house rules have had on your games? Did you come up with these mostly for historical reasons or for gameplay reasons?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
mb
Salattu wrote:
Interesting ideas! Could you elaborate on what kind of effect these house rules have had on your games? Did you come up with these mostly for historical reasons or for gameplay reasons?


I don't get to play "Spartacus" that often (not enough players and lots of 2-player games I can play more easily) so I confess, these rules are untested.

They are based on history, to reflect the fact that it was quite expensive for the host if gladiators were killed/put to death during games he was sponsoring, and because the crowd could call for death if a defeated gladiator was seen to be inept/cowardly. I just tried to come up with rules which would portray this.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
mb
It was a while ago since I posted this suggested variant and today I've thought of an optional addition. To avoid the situation of the Host constantly losing -1 Influence due to being broke when a gladiator dies in the arena and therefore being unable to compensate the owning Dominus, players may hand the owning Dominus an "I Owe You" note for all or some of the amount. They still lose -1 Influence for non-payment of the debt but as soon as it is paid the lost Influence point is restored. Production of the "I Owe You" notes would be a great opportunity to indulge in some creativity in the form of parchment note paper and calligraphy pens!! You could also prepare some blank ones in advance and just scribble the amount and the name of the debtor on it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tala Mare
msg tools
mb
You misunderstood something, in historic times the true host of the game is the Editor

You are never the Editor in game, when you pay to host the games, you are bribing the Editor to take your suggestion on who should be invited to the game, but you are never the actual host.

So the proper variant would be then that the bank would pay the cost of the dead Gladiators
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
mb
Talamare wrote:
You misunderstood something, in historic times the true host of the game is the Editor

You are never the Editor in game, when you pay to host the games, you are bribing the Editor to take your suggestion on who should be invited to the game, but you are never the actual host.

So the proper variant would be then that the bank would pay the cost of the dead Gladiators


In the game, players bid to host the games and the winner gets to choose the order in which lanistae are invited to the games and also gets to give the thumbs up/down on a defeated gladiator, so effectively the host IS the editor, at least thematically. In any case, paying owners of dead gladiators from the bank would not work as it defeats the object - which is to make it financially costly for a player to Execute a defeated gladiator.

[EDIT] If it helps, think of it as an extra bribe to the "real" editor to Execute the yielding gladiator (as the editor - effectively the bank - has to pay for any gladiators that die in the arena).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.