Sunday, May 29, 2016

Tribal games

A bad omen as two jokers are played!
Adrian, fg and I got together to play Tribal today. Adrian and I played the Revenge scenario, with him fielding his dwarves against my Night Goblins. He fielded his Slayer champion as a Berserker hero, while I took a unit of archers for a total of four warrior units.

With more terrain and units this time the game was more tactical. My gobbos were doing very well until the Blue Shield units moved in to defend their wounded Chieftain (one wound from death!), whereupon they were attacked and wiped out. It turns out that they were the target of the dwarves' vengeance, and Adrian won the game by a single Honour Point!

After the game we cleared the terrain and turned the tabletop into an arena.

I made stat cards for some of the gladiator figures I already have the evening before: printed an arena backdrop, posed the figures in front of it, then made the cards with an online Magic card maker.

The point costs didn't allow an even split, so I invented a system of drafting where we took turns to buy from the stable of gladiators, with any leftover Honour (or should it be Fame?) points kept for victory purposes. There were no rules for multi-players in the rules as written, but it was a simple matter of each player drawing a card for initiative.

As predicted, the game played very differently from a standard battle. The presence of armour made things more unpredictable and exciting. We each had three gladiators, and it was a free-for-all. In the end it came down to two of fg's gladiators against one of Adrian's, and against the odds the lone survivor of his ludus defeated both opponents to emerge overall champion.

The game was a lot of fun, and would have been even better had there been more specific rules for say the net or kicking sand into an opponent's eyes (Dirty Tricks?). Perhaps the rules can be expanded for gladiatorial combat with rules for running a ludus, including recruiting for gladiators, advancement, and accounting for winnings and fame?

We ended the afternoon's gaming with another game of Small World, which Adrian too won. So all in all it was a great day out for Adrian.


Mana Press said...

Nice one, enjoyed reading that a LOT! Glad someone has played the gladiator rules, we're think they're pretty cool fun. Your ideas about character cards, multiplayer rules and gladiator weapons-rules has given us pause for thought about future rules developments...

captain arjun said...

I have been trying for years to find a method to use a deck of cards to represent hand-to-hand combat for skirmish games, and Tribal does exactly what I have been unable to do!

I think the system works well to represent the parry and thrust of melee combat, and so works very well for gladiatorial combat; we just need more moves!

I hope to see a full-fledged campaign system for gladiators, and volunteer to playtest them. :)