Friday, January 20, 2017

The Games: Blood and Spectacle- Battle Report- Exhibition in the Forum

The magistrate of Roman controlled Luptis Minor in North African welcomed the traveling Gladiator Troupe of Marcus Crassus Quintillius.  Quintillius had left the Spanish town of Tarraco in a world wide tour for his troupe.  It seemed logical that his first stop would be in his hometown's sister city.  

The Roman nobles whispered that the Troupe of Quintillius fled Roman Spain under a dark cloud.  Some claimed unpaid gambling debts, others an affair with the wife of a powerful man, and others claimed that he had secretly converted to some outlawed religion.  Whatever the truth, the Troupe of Quintillius was the talk of Lupti Minor.   

The Magistrate of Lupti Minor was eager to see how the Troupe of Quintillius fared against the local Gladiator ludus of Lanista Metallus.  His local school was know as the Ludus of Lupti Minor.  The Magistrate himself offered to be Editor of the Games between the local favorites and traveling gladiators.  However, before the main event of the Spectacle Gladiatora; he asked the rival Lanista to put on a display to the public masses in the marketplace.  

Before the days events, the Gladiators of the rival troupes marched from opposite ends of the town into the marketplace.  The citizens of Leptis Minor lined the streets to cheer and jeer.  For their part the Gladiators made a nice show of flexing, rattling their weapons, and thumping their chests.  

The two troupes met in the center of the marketplace. There they were surrounded by the crowd.  The Magistrate went to the center.  There he officially introduced the rival troupes.  

Since this was going to be our first run through for the campaign, my opponent and I decided to start with a “lighter and gentler” set of Games.  We purposely decided to make the crowd Merciful, and choose the events instead of randomly rolling them.  Plus, I didn't have any Noxii, chariots, or animals painted up so....

Event 1- Puglarius- Merciful- Sunny and Bright
House Quintillius to be represented by their Gaullus Marcomanni.
House Luptis Minor would be represented by Lupin Lupinious the Velite.

Event 2- Warm-up Match- Merciful- Normal Weather
House Quintillius would be fielding Priapus the Retarius.
The local boys of Luptis Minor would send out one of their Secutor, Ordinarri.

Event 3- Single Combat- Merciful- Normal
Quintillius sent out their champion Juggartha!
Versus Luptis Minor's own Mediocrates the Samnite.

Since this series of Games was suppose to take place in the forum, we pulled out a rectangular board 19 inches across and 14 wide.  We placed two rows of columns, three on each side as obstacles/terrain.  Luptis Minor got the South end of town, while House Quintillius got the North side.

Event 1 Puglarius
Both combatants handed their weapons, and slowly unlatched their armor.  With a flourish, Marcomanni removed his helm and hoisted in the air with a roar.  The crowd returned his cheer with vigor!  

Across the forum, Lupin carefully wrapped the heavy clothes around his hands and wrists.  When he was done, he inspected them carefully.  Then, to please the crowd he let out his trademark wolf howl, and his local fans picked it up and it carried around the forum.  

Satisfied, the two men eyed each other carefully.  The magistrate, and Editor for the Games introduced each combatant, beseech the Gods,  laid down the rules, and with a flourish gestured for the event to begin!

House Quintillius
Barbrian Gaulus- Cost 65
M CP  I  P  F  AV  XP  Matches
4   4    3  2  3   5+  24    0
Two-Handed Weapon- Can not be parried, -1 Armor Save

House of Luptis Minor
Lupin Lupinius
Slave Velite- Cost 35
M  CP  I  P  F  AV  XP  Matches
4    3    2  2  3  5+   16    0
2 Spears- Thrown
Shield- May parry    

Since this is a Pugliarius, neither Gladiator has their armor or weapons.  This is a bare-knuckled brawl!

Turn 1
The opening turn, both warriors confidently step forward towards each other.

Turn 2
Lupin turns and darts behind one of the pillars.  Marcomanni turns towards him and confidently strides closer, not even raising his fists.  Next turn looks like someone will make the first move.

Turn 3
Lupin wins the Initiative, and decides to try to charge the Gaullus.  Lupin puts all his CP into the attack, and the +1 for charging.  Marcomanni, only puts 3 CP into it his defense and decides to save one for a potential counter-attack.

Lupin charges with a ferocious howl, but the wily barbarian is ready.  Not only does he intercept the attack, but he manages to land a solid counter-strike (Knock Down Striking Success Defense) that knocks the velite to the ground.  The Gaullus follows it up with a kick, that reduces Lupin to Pain 1.

After the blow, Lupin springs back to his feet.  Marcomanni finally takes a ready stance to fight.

Turn 4
After landing the first blow, Marcomanni gets ready for some serious brawling.  He decides to put 2 of his Combat Pool into the attack, and holds onto two for defending.  Lupin puts 2 to defense as well.

Marcomanni shows his ability with another striking success that gets past Lupin's guard.  The crowd shouts as the Velite looks like he will be momentarily Dazed, but the Velite shakes it off quickly.  However, his counter attack fails to find the mark as he shakes off a punch to the face.

Turn 5
Lupin puts all his dice into his attack, while Marcomanni puts only 2 to defend.   Lupin got a success and a striking success, and he decided to keep the double Success from his 6.  This is a wise move, and Marcomanni rolls 2 successful defense dice.  Marcomanni is reduced 1 Pain.  However, the Gaullus' return strike lands clean and the velite is reduced to 0 pain.

The crowd is beginning to get involved.

Turn 6
Marcomanni is quick to follow up his hits and attacks with all 4 dice!  Lupin had decided to defend with only 2.  Lupin is lucky and wards off the Barbarians frenzied blows.  However, he misses with his counter-attack.

Then, Lupin tries to break away from the combat by backing up.  However, Marcomanni keeps him locked up.  

Turn 7
Marcomanni again attacks, this time with 2 dice.  Lupin defends with 2.  The Barbarian's attacks are swatted aside, and the Velite pushes him back with a shove.  Marcomanni stumbles backwards fromt eh defensive striking success.

This gives the Velite some room to move.  He turns and moves away from the Barbarian with a  howl.  Safely out of range, he tries to Recover Strength.  Which he does successfully with double 1's!  This gives him a Pain of 1 again!

Turn 8
The Velite begins to run circles around his opponent.  True to his name, Lupin Lupinius begins the bay wildly, and signals for the crowd to join him!

Frustrated by his inability to take out the lighter gladiator, Marcomanni turns to give chase.    

Turn 9
This time, Marcomanni cuts the angle on the Velite, and charges him.  He puts all of his CP into the attack.  However, Lupin doesn't see him coming and can not properly defend.  Marcomanni easily thros the Velite to the ground and kicks him a few times too.  Lupin is Down and reduced below Pain 0.

Lupin crawls two inches away and tries to regain his strength, but fails.

Turn 10
Marcomanni begins to suffer from fatigue.  However, he easily walks up and knocks Lupin out while he is downed.  The crowd hisses, jeers, and boos as the local Gladiator is dragged unconcious from the forum.  However, he will recover with no serious injuries.  

Winner: Marcomanni!

Event 2- Warm-up Match
The attendants of the two Ludus' rush forward and clear the forum of any accumulated debris.  The slaves of House Luptis Minor drag Lupin from the forum, and revive him with a bucket full of water.  With a nod from his Laniste, Ordinarii the Numidian dons his Secutor's helm and steps into the Forum.  

The Magistrate proudly announces the Luptis Minor gladiator.  A ripple of approval and applause race through the crowd as Ordinarri raises his sword high in salute.  However, their enthusiasm is cut short as Priapus the Retarius steps in on the other end.  The Germanic barbarian and his blind hair hush the crowd.  He calmly stares down his opponent, before breaking into a deep chested laugh,  

The crowd bristles at the jeer from the blonde German, and begin to roundly boo him.  The Retarius seems to relish it.  

The magistrate cuts the intro short, and motions the two gladiators to their ready positions.  Ludus slaves carefully replace the live weapons of the Gladiator's with their wooden training equivalent.  Priapus sneers at his wooded trident with disdain.

House Quintillius
Barbarian Retarius- Cost 65
M  CP  I  P  F  AV  XP  Matches
4    4    3  2  3  6+   24    0
Trident- Thrown, -1 Armor Save
Net- Thrown, Entangles

House of Luptis Minor
Slave Secutor- Cost 50
M   CP    I      P  F  AV  XP  Matches
4(3) 3(5) 2(1) 2  3  4+  12     0
Gladius- May Parry, +1 CP when attacking
Large Shield- +1 CP, May Parry
Heavy Armor- Reduce M and I by 1

Turn 1
Surprisingly, Ordinarri nimbly springs forward and runs towards his opponent on the other side of the forum.  Priapus jogs around behind a column and begins to swing his net.

Turn 2
Priapus jogs behind the next column.  From there he casually shouts insults to Ordinarri in Germanic.  Ordinarri begins the circle around the back of the column the Retarius is hiding behind.  The crowd begins to chant for Ordinarri.

Turn 3
The two Gladiators continue to circle around the column, and the crowd starts to get restless.

Turn 4
Priapus moves out from behind the column, and throws his Net.  He uses all 4 of his Combat Pool to try and entangle the Secutor.  He defends with 4 and saves 1 to attack.  The Net easily goes over Ordinarri, and entangles him.  The Secutor twists and turns in the Net, but is unable to disentangle himself from it.

In the Recovery Phase, Ordinarri again fails to get the net off himself.

Turn 5
With his opponent safely entangled, Priapus charges into him.  He puts all of his CP into the attack.  Ordinarri's CP is half due to being entangled, and decides to use 2 of his 3 to defend.  Priapus manages to land a hit on the Secutor, but the trident slides off Ordinarri's Manica.  The Secutor attacks back, but his sword fails to find the nimble German.      

In the Recovery Phase, Ordinarri tears the Net from him, and tosses it aside.  Priapus begins to sense the tide turning.

Turn 6
Priapus disengages and backpedals away from the Secutor.  However, freed from the net Ordinarri charges forward and attacks with all of his dice.  Priapus tries to block with all of his dice.

Ordinarri's sword strikes true, and he hits the Retarius potentially 3 times, but one of his swings is absorbed by Priapus' greave.  The Retarius is reduced to Pain 0.  Ordinarri locks him up.

Turn 7
Ordinarri wins initiative and presses his ferocious attack and wins Initiative!  Savagely, he puts all of his Combat Pool into the attack and holds nothing back.  Priapus tries to defend with 3 and holds one for a counter-attack.

The Retarius manages to beat back the Secutor, and pushes him back 2 inches due to a striking success.     With some breathing room, he darts away from his opponent and begins to circle towards his discarded net.

Turn 8
Priapus dashes forward and retrieves his net, and then quickly backpedals away from Ordinarri.   In return, the Secutor begins to turn towards his foe.

In the Recovery Phase, Priapus tries to regain strength, but fails.

Turn 9
Priapus again tries to entangle the Secutor.  He uses all of his CP, while Ordinarri defends with 3. The Net flies out, but Ordinarri easily swats it aside with his shield, and it lands behind a column and safely away from the Retarius's ability to retrieve it.

With that, Ordinarri manages to charge the Retarius and attack.  Using his shield as a weapon, the Numidian catches the German in the side of the head.  The Retarius goes down.

Turn 10
Priapus crawls away, but it won't be far enough.  Ordinarri runs up and with a shot from his wooden sword, puts the Retarius out of the fight.
Winner- Ordinarri the Secutor!

Event 3- Single Combat!
Lanista Quintillius grimaced as the final blow was struck.  His servants ran out and pulled the german to the north gate of the marketplace.  He turned to his prize Murmillo.

“It is up to you now.  Finish this rabble.”  

With a nod, the Nubian Murmillo latched the iron grill of his helm.  A slave adjusted the straps to his shield while another placed his Gladius in his hand. 

On the other side, The Luptis Minor slaves and Gladiators whooped and cheered their Secutor champion.  The winner grasped the forearm of the next man, a fellow Numidian.  With that, the Samnite Gladiator stepped into the forum and drank in the wild cheers of the crowd.  

Quintillius sneered, “A samnite?  How archaic.” 

With that, the Magistrate introduced the Lutpis Minor gladiator as Mediocrates.  The crowd was going wild for him.  Then, he introduced Juggartha and a terrified hush fell across the forum.  As he entered, the Murmillo slowly gazed around the arena before settling his gaze on the distant Samnite.  With that he offered a traditional salute.  

As the magistrate signaled the fight to begin, an expectant hush fell over the forums.

House Quintillius
Prisoner-of-War Murmillo- Cost 90
M     CP     I     P     F     AV     XP     Matches
4(3)  4(6)   3(2)2    4      3+      25      0
Gladius- +1CP Attacking, May Parry
Large Shield- +1 CP, May Parry
Heavy Armor- Reduce M and I by 1

House Luptis Minor
Slave Samnite- Cost 60
M     CP     I     P     F     AV    XP     Matches
4 (3) 3(4)   2(1)2     3     4+     15       0
Short Sword- May parry
Large Shield- +1 CP, May Parry
Heavy Armor- Reduce M and I by 1
Turn 1
Juggartha jogged forward, eager to slug it out.  Mediocrates was a bit more cautious, but came forward.

Turn 2
They both moved towards each other, carefully sizing up the opponent.

Turn 3
Juggartha judge the distance to be right, and charged forward with only the sound of metal-on-metal as his armor jingled together. He put 4 CP into the attack and +1 for charging.  Mediocrates decided to defend with 3 CP and saved one to counter-attack.  The wily Murmillo's attack managed to sneak through and draw blood, reducing Mediocrates to Pain 1.  The Samnite's counter-attack banged loudly off the Murmillo's greave.

Turn 4
Mediocrates attacked with 4 CP, while Juggartha defends with 3 CP.  The Murmillo easily defends and gets a pair of Striking Successes.  He attempts to disarm Mediocrates sword, and the blade goes flying and lands with a  clang on the tiles of the Forum.  This is followed up with another Striking Success that disorients Mediocrates with a solid shot from the Murmillo's shild into his opponents face mask.  The crowd gasps at the martial display!

With that Juggartha goes on the offensive.  He hits Mediocrates twice, but worse goes past his guard with a striking success!  This reduces the dazed Samnite's armor save.  He is injured twice and reduced below Pain 0, and downs Mediocrates!

In the Recovery Phase, Mediocrates lifts the two fingers in a sign of submission.  With that, the battle is over!
Winner- Juggartha!

The crowd, awed by Juggartha's martial display roared with approval.  The Nubian reached down and helped Mediocrates to his feet and congratulated him on a well-fought and honorable battle.  The two clasped forearms in friendship before returning to there sides.  This sign of solidarity and sportsmanship only caused the crowd to grow even louder.    

With that, the Magistrate declared House Quintillius the winner of the demonstration and announced the date of the first set of official games in the Arena between the rival Gladiator schools.

Campaign Post-game
Well, as the first game of the campaign let's see how it goes....

1. Determine Permanent Injuries

No injuries occurred since this was mostly a demonstration match, and Mediocrates asked for mercy without going Out of the Fight.

2. Allocate Experience

Juggartha earned an Initiative Increase!

3. Earnings

House Quintillius earned 110 Denarri at the gate, which equals 40 in profit!
Luptis Minor earned 70 Denarri at the gate, which equals 18 in profit!

4. Reputation

House Quintillius earned 1 reputation

5. Troupe Rating

House Quintillius is now 674
House of Luptis Minor is now 620

Next time they face-off, House Luptis Minor will be the Underdogs.

That about wraps it up for this first campaign Games of the Gladiator season! With set-up, post-game and documentation that took about 2 hours.  Right about where it should be! You can try the rules out for yourself right here.

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