Monday, August 20, 2018

The Games: Blood and Spectacle- The Games of Leptis Magna

After the conclusion of the Munera games in Subhartha, Metallus was pleased to be booked in Leptis Magna. The consul of the city had heard of the exploits of the men from the colony of Leptis Magna and was curious to see them in action. Metallus booked passage on a coastal galley and quickly made way from Subhartha to Leptis Magna in the province of Africa.

Once there, he was greeted warmly by the cities council and treated as a bit of a celebrity. This pleased Metallus greatly. However, his pleasure led to caution. The Consul wanted the men of Leptis Minoris for their ampitheatre. However, they were to test their metal against the Consul's own Gladiators from the Gladiator school the Consul had invested in..

This made Metallus' politic instincts twitch. His men needed to be skilled in the arena, but was it better to let the Consul's Gladiators win the day? How would the Consul react if his own Gladiator's lost? How would the crowd react to the show? Caution would need to be the order of the day.
House of Letpis Minoris

For this series of The Games, I thought it would be fun to have a different set of rivals than the usual Picked Men of Quintillius. As much as I love to see Juggartha tear up his opponents, the world was starting to feel too small with only two Gladiator troupes constantly squaring off. I have enough Gladiators painted now for more than one Troupe, so this seemed like a good time to try them out.

This School in Leptis Magna would be called the Ludus Massinissa after the pre-Roman ruler of the area. The Ludus would include only Barbarian warriors of the following types:

2 Heavy- Murmillo and Hoplomachus
2 Medium- Provacatur and Dimechaerus
2 Light- Both Retarius
- In addition, I would start them with the “Baths” Professional servants. This would allow the Ludus Massinissa to re-roll a gate dice.
Ludus Massinissa
That should give a good show. The Ludus Massinissa (642 Troupe Rating) would enter the arena as Underdogs to the Ludus of Leptis Minor (750 Troupe Rating).

The day of the games, the people of Leptis Magna eagerly bought tickets for the event between the cities' consul and these men of the colony. The Consul himself was to be the editor of the games in honor of the grand history of the town and their loyalty to Caesar in Rome. It was a day that would surely be spoken about before the upcoming elections.

Event 1: Tertiarri

The Consul and Editor gave a short speech about the importance of the city, and the brotherly love it had for its former colony in Roman Spain of Leptis Minor. Metallus paid little attention as he measured the mood of the crowd. He knew it was to be a Tertiarri up first, which was a grueling event. They seemed good natured and the weather seemed perfect for the event.

Metallus looked over his men and decided who to send out. He decided to send out Normallus his new Thraex and Alexander the Eldar. Normallus would be the Primus. He noticed that his opponets would be a Murmillo and a Retarius. Good match-ups that the crowd should enjoy.

House of Leptis Minoris
  • Normallus a slave thraex
  • Alexander the Elder a slave Laquierious
    Ludus Massinissa
  • Brutus a barbarian murmillo
  • Ahenobarbus a barbarian retarius

In a Tertiarri, both sides select a Primus to fight. If he defeats his foe, he must then face off and defeat the second gladiator as well. If he does so, his Ludus wins. If he fails, the other Ludus wins.

Turn 1:
Both gladiators simply jog forward, eager to fight.

Turn 2:
Brutus walks forward, and the eager Normallus charges straight in to fight. The Thraex puts 3 CP in and holds one back to defend. Brutus defends with 4 and holds 2. Brutus rolls terrible and uses his last two to parry. However, it is not enough and Normallus gets a hit through. However, the curved blade can not find a weak spot in the Murmillo's armor this time.

Turn 3:
Locked into combat, Normallus attacks again this time with 2 and holds 1 to defend. Brutus does 4 and 2 respectively as he gets the measure of his foe. Again, Normallus' curved blade sneaks in under the murmillo's guard and this time reduces him 1 pain. The crowd cheers the display of swordsmanship, especially as Normallus uses his small shield to push Brutus away.

The Thraex used a striking success to push back his foe.

Turn 4:
After the push back, Normallus charges back in with a leaping attack. He uses 3 and holds back 1. Despite being injured, Brutus stays with 4 and 2. This time, Brutus gets the advantage on the thraex and twists his large shield to try and knock the blade from his foes hand. The small curved blade goes flying and lands in the dirt.

Brutus follows up with some savage close quarter jabs. Normallus knocks one away, but is forced to rely on his manica to defend. One gets through and reduces him to 1 Pain.

Turn 5:
Brutus senses his advantage and takes over. He presses the attack. He uses 5 dice to attack and holds 1, Normallus defends with 2 and holds 1 to parry with his shield. The Thraex's parry does little, and the Gladius of Brutus begins to do its work. The Thraex is reduced to 0 Pain.

Normallus sees the danger he is in and tries to back away, but Brutus keeps him locked.

Turn 6:
Normallus tries to break away again, but fails. Instead, he tries to use his shield to bash his way out of close combat with 2 dice, while Brutus defends with 3. The Murmillo easily avoids the attack and counters with his own, but the Thraex manages to avoid the jab and slash combination.

Turn 7:
With an eye towards the Tertiarri in the corner, Brutus wants to finish Normallus. The Thraex again fails to break away and his awkward attacks are easily. Brutus manages to wrench Normallus' shield away and toss it aside. However, the Thraex ducks and weaves away from Brutus' attacks.

Turn 8:
Brutus puts 5 dice into his attacks and holds only 1 back. Normallus desperately defends with all 3 dice. The Thraex blocks or dodges away from a flurry of blows, but it isn't enough and he is taken out of the fight. The crowd is suitably amused by the Thraex, and allow him to live, however he may still have serious injuries.

Turn 9:
Alexander the Elder hefts his spear and jogs into the arena. Brutus simply waits.

Turn 10:
The older gladiator maneuvers to stay out of charge range of the Murmillo. Again, Brutus waits to avoid fatigue.

Turn 11:
Alexander swings his lasso around his head while the crowd chants. He tosses it towards Brutus. The Murmillo tries to swat it away, but misses the timing and is entangled! However, before the Laquerious can capitalize, the Murmillo manages to cut his way free.

Turn 12:
This time, Brutus turns towards Alexander and moves slowly towards him. Alexander tries to lasso his opponent again, but this time is unsuccessful.

Turn 13:
Brutus can feel the fatigue spreading through his body. Again, he swats away the lasso as it lashes out for him. However, he is now close enough and charges the older Gladiator. A darting sword reduces the old man 1 Pain.

Turn 14:
Brutus passes his fatigue test as he sense victory. He attacks with 4 and holds 1, while Alexander uses 2 and holds 2. The Murmillo is too much for the Laquerious and knocks him down, reduces him below Pain 0, and Dazes him. The old man raises his two fingers in the missio. The crowd grants him mercy as well, but he was not taken out of action.

With pride, the editor announces the Ludus Massinissa the winner of the first event!

Event 2: Pairs

The crowd roared their approval and lauded Brutus' victory against his two foes! The crowd had been entertained, but Metallus could see that their blood lust had been roused. They wanted more from this event. He would need to choose his fighters wisely.

House of Leptis Minor
  • Minoris the slave Murmillo
  • Janus the slave dimachaerus

Ludus Massinassa
  • Gallus the Barbarian Provactur
  • Petronius the barbarian Dimachaerus
Minoris is paired against Gallus, while Janus will face Petronius. It is considered bad form for a gladiator to interfere with a fight until the pairs each have a victor.

Turn 1:
Gallus rushes forward bellowing a challenge in his barbarian language. He beats his sword against his breastplate to arouse the crowd. Petronius dashes to the side and behind a pillar. Minoris saunters forwad and takes huge leap to show off his ability, to great cheers. Janus moves out behind him and much slower.

Turn 2:
Minoris misjudges the distance and his charged by the bellowing Provacatur. Gallus puts 5 into the attack and holds back 1, while Minoris puts 6 in defense since he all ready acted this turn.. Their blades ring off each other.

The other two stalk around the arena.

Turn 3:
Petronius charges in and attacks Janus. Petronius puts 4 and holds back 2. Janus uses all 3 to defend. The barbarians blade slips by and reduces Janus 1 Pain.

Minoris puts 5 into his attack, and holds back 1. Gallus uses 3 to defend and holds back 2 to counter-attack. 2 hits ring off the Provocatur's armor. Gallus returns the favor and attacks back, but no connections occur.

Turn 4:
Minoris again leads off with 5 dice and holds 1 to try and finish Gallus off quicker. He defends with 4 this time. Again, a sword blow rings off of Gallus' armor. Gallus counter-attacks, but Minoris dodges and begins to circle his prey.

Petronius puts 4 into attacking, while Janus defends with 2. Both hold back 1. There fight is inconclusive as no one finds an opening.

Turn 5:
Minoris keeps up his offensive, determined to strike flesh. Gallus defends with 4 again. The barbarian is wise to the Murmillo's circling technique and follows him with a striking success of his own.

Janus attacks with 2, while Petronius counters with 2 and holds 3 for his own attack. The barbarian outmaneuvers his foe and sends him off-balance and sprawling into the dirt. He quickly attacks. This reduces Janus to Pain 0.

Turn 6:
Petronius sense victory and puts all 5 dice into his attack. Janus tries to defend with all of his own. Janus manages to block the hit with his shoulder guard, and the crowd cheers in approval. He then manages to clamber to his feet.

Gallus attacks Minoris with 4 dice and holds 1, and this time Minoris defends with 4 and holds 2. Minoris uses 1 to parry. This keeps him from having to make a save. Then, he counters with his 1 vs. 1, with no impact.

Turn 7:
Gallus again gets the drop on Minoris and attacks with 4 and Minoris defends with 4. Gallus has a strong roll and uses a stiking success to Go Past His Guard. The Murmillo's armor blocks two, but a third gets by and reduces him to 1 Pain. However, his counter attack is solid, but bounces off the barbarian's armored chest plate.

Janus senses the bloodlust of the crowd and puts 3 dice into his attack. His only chance is to defeat his foe. No Missio will probably be given. Petronius defends with 3. With a ferocity, Janus reduces his foe to 0 Pain as well.

Turn 8:
Gallus senses victory and presses his attack on Minoris. However, he is over eager, and poor foot work allows Minoris to circle him outside of his combat arc. Gallus will not be able to parry or use striking successes, unless he breaks off and re-centers himself. Minoris then follows up with a fierce attack of his own that reduces Gallus to 0 Pain.

Petronius is now feeling the desperation of the crowd chanting for blood too. He attacks with 4 dice and holds only 1. Janus defends with 3. However, it doesn't look good as Petronius has 2 potential hits. Janus' armor fails and he is taken Out of Action.

The Mercy roll for Janus can not have any modifiers. He needs a 7+ to survive. Janus is killed in the arena by Petronius. The crowd roars in approval!

Turn 9:
Petronius turns to face his next potential opponent.

Gallus gets desperate and puts it all into an awkward attack on Minoris. He defends with 4 again. The attack reduces Minoris to 0 pain as a sword strike gets past him. The Murmillo responds with a savage blow to Gallus' helmet that knocks him flat and dazes him.

Turn 10:
Petronius gets ready to fight Minoris, and saves his strength from fatigue.

The dazed Gallus fails to get up, and tries to crawl away as fatigue saps his strength. Minoris also feels fatigue. Minoris moves in for the kill, but manages to put the Gladiator down but not OOA.

Turn 11:
Minoris passes his fatigue test while Petronius waits for him to finish off Gallus. Before the Provocatur can raise the two fingers, Minoris smashes him senseless with his shield. He turns to the crowd who chant for blood. Minoris kills Gallus in the arena.

Turn 12:
Minoris fails another fatigue test, reducing his CP 2.

Petronius has been patiently waiting, and charge the Murmillo. He attacks with 4 and holds 1 while Minoris defends with 3. Minoris uses his last CP to force a parry. However, the medium gladiator uses a striking success to go past the Murmillo's guard. However, it was not enough Minoris blocks the hit with the brim of his helmet. The Dimachaerus rushes past the Murmillo after completing the charge.

He is hoping that by the time the Murmillo can turn around, he will be exhausted.

Turn 13:
Both gladiators fail a fatigue test. Petronius moves away and begins to turn, while Minoris pivots in place.

Turn 14:
This time, they both pass their fatigue test.

Petronius stumbles in to attack with 3 dice and holds 1, while Minoris defends with 2 and holds 1. Minoris uses his last CP to parry, but the blade slides harmlessly across his manica.

Turn 15:
Both again pass their fatigue tests. This time Minoris successfully blocks Petronius attack and tries to knock him down, but the other gladiator stays upright. It serves as distraction enough as Minoris downs Petronius with a hit across the side of his helmet.

Turn 16:
Minoris fails his fatigue test and collapses to the floor of the arena next to the body of his foe.

The crowd rises to their feet in honor of the hard fought battle and the two Gladiators. Thunderous applause fill the amphitheatre. The editor looks on with a huge smile on his face. Such a contest is the stuff of legends and election victories!

Both Ludus are declared victorious!

Event 3: Single Combat

The editor rises to his feet to give a stir speech in honor of Minoris and Petronius and how they overcame their foes and fought to an honorable stalemate. The excitement of the crowd is halted as a heavy downpour stirs up suddenly and forces everyone to seek shelter, much to the Counsels chagrin. When the weather clears and the games can continue, the crowd is much smaller and the arena is filled with mud.

House of Leptis Minor
  • Ordinarri the slave secutor

Ludus Massinissa
  • Domitius the barbarian Hoplomachus

Turn 1-3:
Ordinarri slogged through the mud forward, while Domitius made his way behind a pillar.

Turn 4:
Ordinarri turned and moved towards Domitius. The secutor moved so close that the Hoplomachus decided to charge him instead of throwing his spear. He used 4 dice while Ordinarri used 3 to counter. Domitius used a single striking success to try and knock down the Secutor. With a sweep of his spear, he sent Ordinarri into the mud.

He manages to crawl away, before pulling himself upright.

Turn 5:
Ordinarri reacted quickly and charged back into fight. He put 5 into the attack, while this time Domitius used 3 to defend. He used his skilled swordsmanship to get 4 potential hits, but 3 just clanged off the Hoplomachus' heavy armor. However, he was reduced 1 Pain.

However, the return attacks from Domitius were just as fierce! He used a striking success to go past his guard, and a second one to try to knock him down again! The attacks did not get through to cause pain, but Ordinarri landed in the mud again! He was unable to get up in the recovery phase.

Turn 6:
Domitius went to work attacking the downed gladiator. He used 3 to attack, while Ordinarri used all 5 to defend. Again, Domitius goes past his guard but fails to find a weak spot.

Ordinarri again crawls away in the mud, but this time is too mired to rise.

Turn 7:
Ordinarri manages to hustle back to his feet, and again charge back into the fight. The fighting is inconclusive, but this time Ordinarri manages to knock the Hoplomachus into the mud. However, Domitius jumps back up to continue the fight.

Turn 8:
Ordinarri goes back into the attack with 4 dice. This time, the Hoplomacchus forces Ordinarri into poor footing with a striking success. He loses his last banked CP. However, Domitius can not capitalize on it.

Turn 9:
Ordinarri wades in again. A loud pair of clangs fill the arena as Domitius blocks the swings with his shoulder guard. Neither warrior seems to be getting the upper hand.

Turn 10:
With the encouragement of his servant, Ordinarri passes a fatigue test. Domitius does as well.

Domitius comes in with his spear whistling and going wide and then with a tight thrust. This time, it is Ordinarri's turn to deflect them with his armor. However, it is a feint as the haft of the spear ends up between Ordinarri's legs and he is toppled into the mud again!

Turn 11:
Ordinarri fails a fatigue test, but Domitius passes.

Ordinarri again scrambles back to his feet quickly, not allowing the other gladiator a chance to capitalize on downing him. This time, his sword work pays off as he manages to find a weak spot in Domitius's armor and wounds him, bringing him to pain 0.

Turn 12:
Ordinarri fails another fatigue test that Domitius passes.

The secutor sense his limbs weakening and judges the time is now to end this battle. He puts everything he has left into the attack. He manages to get past Domitius' guard and downs the Hoplomachus.

Domitius raises his two fingers in the missio. The crowd was amused by his ability to throw his opponent into the mud, and grants him mercy.

The Ludus of Leptis Minor is the winner of the event.

At the end of the games, the Editor grudgingly rose and awarded the laurel's of victory to Metallus and the gladiator's of Leptis Minor. He then transitioned into a speech about the grandeur of Leptis Magna being evident in its Spanish colonies valor in the arena.

Metallus tuned the rest out. He was more interested in counting the gate. After all, he had to replace Janus some how.

* * * * *

Campaign Stuff

Janus from Leptis Minor
Gallus from Ludus Missanissa

Serious Injury:
Normallus from Leptis Minor- However, he has a full recovery.

Ludus Massinissa get +3 XP for underdogs

Brutus= +15- Earned a Chariot Skill- Emergency Stop
Ahernobarbus= +4
Petronius= +9- Earned a Chariot Skill- Stand Aside
Domitius= +4- Earned a Ferocity Skill- Throw Sand

Normallus= +1
Alexander the Eldar= +1
Minoris= +12- Earned +1 Combat Pool
Ordinnarri= +7

The House of Leptis Minoris earned 40 coin, while the Ludus Massinissa earned 30 coins.

Metallus purchased a new Dimachaerus gladiator to replace Janus.

The Reputation of Ludus Massinissa went up 1 despite their loss in the games. There performance even as underdogs spurred much pre-election talk, much to the consuls delight!

Troupe Rating
Both Troupes lost rating due to the death of Gladiators.
Ludus Massinissa is at 572 Rating
House of Leptis Minor is at 681 Rating
* * * * * * 

Final Thoughts
Wow, a Tertiarri and Pairs in the same Games!  What a slug fest.  The Bloodthirsty crowd during the Pairs was especially dangerous.  Neither Lanista could gamble on asking for the Missio and had to fight on until they could not fight anymore, which is what ended up happening!  Due to the documenting, this may have been one of the longest Games we have played yet!  I think it took about 2 and a half hours, but without documenting and some rules review probably would have been closer to 2.  Still, a brutal match. 

You can check out these rules here:

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