Hounds (Sine Scuto)

Gladiatoris - dogs of Presa (Sine Scutum)hounds

Trained to harass great beasts or those sentenced to beasts, their trainers arm them with thick spiked collars.


At level II, they gain Grapple, a Beast attack that adds +2 Knock Down (+2 Damage Dice against knocked over opponents and beasts). They always have the special skill Follow, so they can bite a coward’s leg and force them to keep fighting.

Design process

Dogs trained for use in the amphitheater were very popular, and expansions have some more types:

  • “Venatio” expansion: Tamers (Yellow) have Hunting Dogs.
  • “Circus” expansion: Knights (golden) have Molossus.
  • “Bellum” expansion: Legionaries (bronze) have War Dogs.
  • “Veterani” expansion: there are Alaunt Dogs and Royal Egyptian Dogs (saluki), that can be chosen by Uniques (silver) and Favourites (dark silver).
  • “Gregatim” expansion: Retiarii (dark blue) have Mastiffs (formerly Dogos).
  • And finally, “Mercenarii” have a Guardian Dog.

Once more, we found contradictory information on the Internet, but we had our historian to address our doubts.

The dog type more frequently mentioned in the venationes is the Molossus:

Marcial, Spect., 30: “Concita veloces fugeret cum damma Molossos/ et varia lentas necteret arte moras (A roused hind was flying from the swift Molossian hounds, and tangled the drawn-out chase by divers wiles).”

Marcial, Epigrammata, 5.24: “Pulcher adest onager: mitti venatio debet/ dentis Erythraei: iam removete sinus (Here comes the handsome wild ass. The hunt of the Erythraean tusk should be dismissed. Now pluck back your gowns).”

By “Erythraean tusk” he means molossus dogs, those who were used to hunt the onager; dogs that must say goodbye to the onager because it’s so beautiful that the public is going to indult it (by flapping the end of their togas). Martial talks about “Erythraean” in relation to molossus dogs because those dogs originally came from India, whose occidental shore is washed by the Eritrean Sea. Alexander the Great brought them to the West, being Molossia the region in which more of them were bred.

We know how these dogs looked like thanks to some sculptures from those days. One of them is at the Vatican Museums; another identical one is at the British Museum. Both of them are I-II century Roman marble copies of Greek bronze statues from III-II century b. C. We can safely assume that the molossus Martial talks about in the colosseum’s venationes from 80 A.D. looked the same (the type “molossus” seems to be set since some centuries before, as they look the same that the molossus in Assysrian reliefs from VII-V centuries b.C.).

Therefore, I think you can give the miniature the look of a molossus; in essence, a big, musclebound dog with powerful jaws. With that appearance, it will stand out easily from the hyaenas, lycaons and wolves.

Alfonso Mañas’ notes on molossus dogs.

Gladiatoris-dogs of Presa of the prototype (Foundry Miniatures, modified)So it is settled: molossus! But we’ll keep on calling them “Hounds” so that we can tell them apart from the Knights’ dogs in our expansion “Circus”. We considered some stances, and we ended up working on a defensive one, crouching and growling (if the crowdfunding campaign is a success, we hope that we can give the second dog a more offensive outlook, as in our prototype).

Gladiatoris - Perro de Presa 3D in process

Our first design was made on November 2014, and we liked it, with some exceptions: the spikes on the collar should be pyramidal, with a flatter side, instead of conical (as in the Retiaria‘s trident)… and we also wanted more fury and muscles, in general.

Gladiatoris - Perro de Presa 3D in process3DBreed: “Heres’s the revised molossus, with all the changes:

  • Pyramidal spikes instead of rounded ones, four-sided to give it more consistency.
  • More aggressive look.
  • More muscular volume. I’ve thickened above all, its four legs and all its front end. Personally, I (Guillermo) think it’s a good idea to give it more volume to make it different from the Wolves and all the future dog breeds.

A year later, November 2015, already with EscenaRYS, we gave it some last touches to provide the miniature of a unique, even more menacing look.

David: “More than a revision, it looks like you are modeling all over again… Good work, as with the others, it’s way cooler than the one we had.”

The Hounds were also the first Gladiatoris Beasts to get an illustration, at the same time we approved the last 3D. They were the easiest to associate with their team, as we could paint blue the spike collar (the other beasts do not wear any decoration or armour).

Gladiatoris - dogs of Presa 2DWe saw in the mosaics Alfonso sent us that the dogs were portrayed with their light brown fur, so we used them as a guide, in addition to the statues at the Vatican Museums and British Museum.

With a really fierce and terribly cruel look, this illustration exceeded our expectations. What a difference with our old prototype’s card!