Balanced (between offensive and defensive) combat style.
The Small Shields fight with a small shield (parmula) they only use in the arena. The Thraex fights with a curved or L-shaped dagger (sica), the Hoplomachus uses a spear (hasta), and the Provocator brandishes a long sword (spatha).
The most famous of them is the Thraex, armed with a sica. Protected by a small square shield; this gladiator is able to pierce even the best armor, and is favored by a lot of lanistae.
The Small Shields gladiators are well-rounded fighters; with 3 Attack Dice and 2 Defense Dice at level I, they can sustain enemy strikes and cause grave wounds themselves. The Hoplomaca and the Provocator have very useful skills to avoid knock downs and counterattack, while the Thraex is lethal against other gladiators.
The Thraex is very loved (and hated) for his special skill Overcome Shield. The Hoplomaca hides a Dagger under the Shield that allows her to counterattack a rival by surprise if she activates her special defense. And the boastful Provocator can use his special attack Foul Play to trip his rival up… he likes to step on his enemies!
beasts and slaves
The Panther can knock down its enemies with ease, and if they manage to get up and flee, it can follow them to cut their escape short.
Wolves are fast and have been trained to dodge attacks; with a little luck, they can use the best Small Beast special attack.
Green Slaves are not trained to fight in the Arena, and only the gods’ favor can change their ill-fated end.