Chronicle: Ludo Ergo Sum 2017


We are back from the biggest convention in Madrid, Ludo Ergo Sum 2017. We played a a fair number of games, and we are in high spirits because our new prototype received great reviews, regarding both gameplay and appearance.

More than a thousand people gathered in the huge facility, that had a cafeteria, many shops, and dozens of tables dedicated to prototype showing, a lot of pen-and-paper roleplaying games, miniatures games, board games… and a games flea market (with a impossibly long queue).

On Friday afternoon, in the prototypes area, we assembled for the first time our new, freshly printed board, and received our first players. One of them was none other than Pedro Pedrotronicus, who, at last year’s LES2016, played 4 consecutive games and gifted us with a wonderfully detailed review.

Note: this new prototype still has several provisional elements, such as the CRONOS Board or the minis (which are conversions from other brands).

battle rOYaL

Four players are divided into two sides, for a game of only one Event, in the rectangular arena. From left to right: Pedro Pedrotronicus with Petauristae (Acrobats) and Alfonso with Sine Scuto (No Shield), are faced against Pablo Ginés with Scutarii (Great Shields) and Elías Ginés with Parmularii (Small Shields).

The battle involves almost all the fighters in each team: 2 Slaves, 3 Beasts and 1 Gladiator by player. Pablo decides not to bribe during the sortitio and its level III Samnita fails the roll… so a not-very-sure level I Secutor takes her place. Other players deploy their Gladiators without any problem: Paegniaria, Retiaria and Provocator, all level II.

Once explained the movement and attack rules, the battle begins!

The first casualty of our new prototype is an orange Slave, who dies devoured by a red Hyena. Pablo’s red team has a good start, but the green team, ignoring his partner’s advice, launchs his fighters against the enemy in a suicidal charge and are decimated. “Thus you will learn to listen to your father”, states Pablo.

CRONOS! Heat weakens all the fighters, suffering 1 wound. Also, a lethal pit opens a few steps away from the green Provocator: the goddess Minerva looks after her protégé, and there are no serious consequences. In the center of the arena, the Lion is attacked by the Leopard, the Retiaria and the Tiger, but its thick skin resists them all.

The moment being right, Pedro’s orange Paegniaria, while  fiercely attacked by Elías’ green Provocator, shouts “Jupiter’s Lightning!”, and spends a total of four maneuver cards. But Pablo answers in turn “Fatum!”, to save his partner, so the lightning dies in the sky… and we see the wrath of Pedro, who thunders over such an injustice.

The green Panther, surely because all that noise, gets scared so much that decides, voluntarily, to jump into the pit, taking refuge there.

As if it wasn’t enough, during the following turns, after the discard pile gets used again, Jupiter’s Lightning finds its way to Pablo’s hands, so now he can play the terrible combo Jupiter + Jupiter’s Lightning, and the red Lion kills the orange Tiger. It is the last success of the red and green team, though, being overcome by their opponents in the following turns… even a Lycaon jumps into the pit to finish off the cowardly Panther!

Victory for Pedro and Alfonso!

Our Champions get two Palms each, one for victory (three palms are to distribute, so one of them is divided into Sestertii) and another one for two secondary objectives achieved (defeating the most Beasts/Slaves and Gladiators).

Pedro Pedrotronicus (Petauristae): 15.700 ss
Alfonso Pratchettus: 14.100 ss
Elias Ginés Ultor: 2,200 ss
Pablo Ginés Pater: 900 ss

Asking new players for their opinion, Alfonso recognizes the anguish suffered by having their fighters down to their last wound, and Pablo highlights the streamlining of the combat rules and the maneuver cards. Elías proclaims: “I liked it, and I want revenge!” 😀

public punishment

This time, Attia Dimacherus sits at the table. She also played the game at LES2016 and supported the KS campaign last year. Attia is a real retiaria, from Ludus Gladiatorium Vulcanum, with great experience in (bloodless) combat. Of course we took a pic of her with our Retiaria! We recognised her right to play with the Sine Scutum, of course.

She was also very well accompanied by her two sons, Hernán and Alonso, who showed us the Roman salute while a score of jedi knights crossed the room with their lightsabers switched on.

On the other side of the table, two Gladiatoris newbies, though experts in many other board games: Pedro (Parmularii) and Alberto (Scutarii).

In the first event, beasts carve some helpless slaves up… and Alonso (who learns the rules immediately despite his young age) is truly sectacular when rolling dice.

Alberto manages to defeat two Slaves, so he earns the Palm for this first Event. In addition to a Gift from Caesar (munera card), he gets truly a fortune.

Attia is a goldmine of practical knowledge about Gladiators, and explains her difficulties to fight with the pugio in the same hand as the Trident: once the net is thrown, her combat style changes, and uses the dagger in his left hand while she leaves behind the trident in her right hand, as a 17th century duelist would do with his sword and maine gauche. She also tells us how she confronts the bulky murmillo or secutor, very heavy Gladiators: best to dodge them when they charge (and trip them if possible).

In the second Event, Gladiators jump into the arena: a Retiaria, a Provocator and a Secutor; they fight surrounded by big felines. The two shield-using Gladiators, ignoring the wild Beasts (although the Provocator, his legs being bitten, has to ignore some very serious wounds), focus on the Retiaria.

“You fear the retiario… that is because you can see our face” says Attia.

Pedro’s Provocator has lost a lot of blood, but he has salvation in hand, in the form of a combo Ceres + Breath of Ceres (which heals nothing less than 6 wounds). However, an Oracle of Juno, consulted by the Retiaria… takes away the Breath of Ceres! The Provocator screams helplessly while the big cats make short work of him, and spectators (specially Alonso) cheer with joy.

So at last we see the traditional duel between the Secutor and the Retiaria, which lasts for several turns: both fighters are well balanced, and the offensive power of the Retiaria is offset several times by the Secutor’s scutum. It seems that it will be a tie!

Finally, on the last turn, a lucky roll full of criticals defeats the Scutarii. Attia and Alonso celebrate their epic win. Both players played their cards well, but the Retiaria wins in the end.

Awarding the prizes, it turns out that both the green and red Beasts survived, so the three players split two palms among them (2,000 ss each).

And, finally, the victory is for the lanista Alberto, who is the richest of the three with 7,900 Sestertii. But that does not take away the (well deserved) “moral victory” from Attia and Alonso 🙂

Alberto Albhargalus (Scutarii): 7,900 ss
Pedro Chetus: 3,100 ss
Attia Dimacherus: 2,500 ss

solo game

On Saturday morning we went to the second day of the Ludo Ergo Sum 2017. Before the players arrived, we played a solo game, and Gerardo took command of the Parmularii (Small Shields).

It is a single 12-turn Event, with a team of Gladiators facing several waves of “gray” Slaves and Beasts. Investing their 3,000 ss, and after obtaining a Fors Fortuna, Gerardo Lanarch places on the sand a Provocator I, a Thraex II and an Hoplomaca III, with Jupiter’s help.

The game begins well, but suddenly two waves of wild Beasts attack at once, and the Gladiators find theirselves being defeated by level order.

Once the Thraex II falls, the situation becomes desperate for the Hoplomaca, who tries to take refuge against the arena wall. On turn II, very close to the end of the game, she is knocked down by a Slave II and devoured by the Hounds.

Gerardo Lanarch/Barb Maximus (Parmularii): 4.800 ss 

Looking at the victory table for the Solo Game, we find that 4,800 ss… is a “crushing defeat”! Playing against the board is not as easy as it seems… 😀

double axe

At the palace of the double axe, two novice players face the already veteran Attia (+ Alonso). Attia chooses this time the Parmularii (Small Shields), Denis the Scutarii (Great Shields) and Eduardo the Sine Scuto (No Shield). At the last moment I join the game (for the last Event of the Games an even number of players is needed) with the Petauristae (Acrobats).

1st Event: Gory Race. The first Gladiator that gets to the center of the arena, dodging a group of Slaves, will earn a Palm. The Gladiators with shield are slower: Attia’s Hoplomaca II moves 5 hexes, and Denis’ Samnita III moves 6 hexes, while Eduardo’s Dimachaerus III and my own Desultor II move 7 hexes each, so they can reach the center in two turns, if they run (+4 hexes)… that is, if the Slaves (or the gods) do not prevent it.

And that’s exactly what happens to poor Dimachaerus, who clashes with a melee made up of red and orange slaves, while the Desultor runs and arrives with ease to the goal, without even having to employ his pole to jump over his enemies. A Palm! 🙂

2nd Event: Enter The Beasts! Gladiators begin the Event in the same position they ended the previous one, and canids enter through the gates. There’s a Palm for the team that defeats more Beasts, and another one for the team that defeats more Gladiators.

The situation is tough for my Desultor, who is being looked upon by three enraged Gladiators, so he decides to run and jump over the blue hounds, to get as far as possible from the center of the arena. “Pavidus!”, all the other players shout in unison.

The flight of the Desultor ends when an unfortunate CRONOS card opens a pit under his feet… he falls in it and is defeated! But no other player is awarded that casualty, and the other lanistae split the Palm for defeating Gladiators, while Attia wins the Palm for hunting the most Beasts.

3rd Event: Two-sided Battle. Parmularii and Scutarii vs Sine Scutum and Petauristae. The Samnita lashes out against the Dimachaerus, but Eduardo’s super combo Jupiter + Jupiter’s Lightning turns her into a smoking crater before she can do anything. Good beginning! Also, due to an oil trap on the way, my fighters are the last to reach the violent combat.

Attia’s Hoplomaca is on a winning streak, and several Slaves fall by her spear, before facing the Dimachaerus in a deadly duel, trying to avenge her partner.

A series of exceptional attack rolls (the last one, 5 Successes and 1 Knock Down against 2 Stand) defeats the Dimachaerus. Watching this, my Desultor takes to his heels, but once again, a pit stands in his way, and he’s finally eaten by the red Lion.

All Gladiators were gone!

After awarding palms (and stealing some of them), victory is, without any doubt, for Attia’s Parmularii. Congratulations!

Attia Dimacherus Retiaria (Parmularii): 19.100 ss
David Thraex: 8,300 ss
Eduardo Laredus: 3,600 ss
Denis Samnes: 3,000 ss

augustus’ games

At a wealthy Roman landowner’s private Arena, two new players, Juanma (Acrobats) and Juan (Great Shields) are going to try their luck against Elías Ginés Ultor (Parmularii). This time, Luis will be in charge of the game, with Pedro Pedrotronicus at his side taking good note of everything… because at his request, we are going to try a new rule: the player who draws a CRONOS card will receive 200 ss (and it will not be replaced by another one if drawn before Saluting the Emperor).

1st Event: Venatio. The Beasts performed very well, hunting the hunters. Lycaon’s Juanma stands out, getting 7 successes with 3 atack dice (thanks to critical strikes) against Elías’ green Wolf. Orange and Green share victory, splitting the 1,500 ss prize (700 ss each). Bad luck for Juan!

2nd Event: Ludi Meridiani. The big cats quickly devour the sentenced ad bestias; Juan’s Lion has to eat its own Slave, so he can force a 3-way tie and split the Palm (3,000 ss, 1,000 ss each).

3rd Arena: Munus. Two Gladiators per player, matched up in singular duels. They have a good laugh when Gladiators start to fail their sortitio rolls: the Provocator II with Fors Fortuna and 300 ss in bribes gets a “1” and fails; the Desultor I fails; and Juan’s Samnita II, with 200 ss in bribes, gets a “3” and also fails.

Thraex I vs Paegniaria II
Hoplomaca II vs Murmillo I
Lusitor I vs Secutor II

And the duels begin! The Thraex suffers a “Back off!”; the Paegniaria dislocates his arm with her lasso and runs off to her friend, the Lusitor. The Hoplomaca gets 5 successes with 4 attack dice, not enough to hurt the armoured Murmillo, who then moves to support the Secutor. Facing no rivals, the Hoplomaca steps back instead of attacking, earning herself a few lashes for being PAVIDUS.

In the second turn, the lorarii work hard to try and separate the two Gladiators who have ignored their pairing. The red Secutor, changing his mind, comes back for the Hoplomaca, and is struck down by a Jupiter’s Lightning… shortly before the Murmillo awakens the Wrath of the Gods!

Juan cursed the gods, and we opened the debate about the new maneuver deck. We will have to reintroduce the Fatum card we took out for the new prototype (best not to change those rules that work well!).

In the next turns, the Orange finishes off the Thraex and the Hoplomaca; truly a landslide victory. Salve, Juanma!

Juanma Gratissimum (Petauristae): 11.800 ss
Elias Ginés Ultor: 1,200 ss
Juan Infelicis: 200 ss

rivers of blood

Elías is still eager to roll some dice, and Pedro wants to re-join, so Luis prepares a two-event game with water-filled moats… the most lethal traps! 🙂 It’s true: any fighter falling into the water will be immediately defeated; in addition, the moat borders are slippery (and anyone knocked over while in contact with the moat will fall into the water).

1st Event. Battle At The River. Elías’ Parmularii and Pedro’s Sine Scutum face Luis’ Petauristae and Gerardo’s Scutarii, in an uneven battle; long weapons will show their worth during it.

2nd Event. Savage Island. Gladiators and large Beasts face take their places for an all-out battle in an artificial forest surrounded by water. Luck is on the side of Pedro’s Retiaria II and Laquearius II, with the help of Bellona (6 attack dice each!), and, even if it’s not possible to use long weapons in the forest, they manage to defeat most of their enemies.

Peter Pedrotronicus/Cronus: 15,000 ss
Elias Ginés Ultor: 7,500 ss
Gerardo Lanarch/Barb Maximus: 5,400 ss
Luis Lusitor: 1,200 ss

Wild beasts fight

At the end of this long day of games, we still have time to teach the rules to some more players… but the convention staff let us know that there is no more time for playing today! We leave, exhausted but happy with our participation and reviews success.

Lord of the hill

Sunday morning, while we wait for the players who had reserved a game the previous day, Pedro (red), Luis (orange) and I (green) play a quick game of one Event: 1 Palm for surviving, 1 Palm for killing the most “grey” Slaves (the blue ones in the pic), and 1 Palm for defeating the most grey Gladiators; in addition, and with 3,000 initial ss, our level I fighters cost 500 ss.

The fighters have six bridges to access the island, and if they stumble and fall into the water will be defeated: it’s what happens to my Thraex, knocked over by the Lusitor’s reinforced staff. The center of the arena is quickly filled with fighters.

Although decimated, the Green fighters (all level I) manage to deliver the coup de grace to two Slaves and two grey Gladiators: 2 Palms! When the players we were waiting for show up, sudden death is declared, and with almost no time to count our Sestertii, the last Palm is split among the three of us (1,000 ss each).

David Thraex (Parmularii): 14,000 ss
Luis Lusitor😕
Pedro Pedrotronicus/Cronus😕

public Punishment

Adrián Petauristae (Acrobats, orange) and Jose Parmularii (Small Shields, green) sit at the table against my Scutarii (Great Shields, red).

1st Event: Slaves To The Wolves. Despite some fierce or cowardly Beasts, the Event ends in a draw and the three players split up the Palm (1,000 ss each).

With the new system, instead of the orange beast die, whenever a Beast attacks, a maneuver card is drawn and the small beast icon (if any) is looked upon.

Augurs could predict the future by observing the behaviour of the beasts…

2nd Event: Gladiators To The Lions. Surrounded by burning oil, the Gladiators play their maneuver cards. The Panther and the Tiger are first to fall, and the Desultor follows, through divine intervention.

The capricious CRONOS opens all the traps of the board, and the Murmillo and the Thraex, both badly wounded, end up in a duel at the bottom of the pit.

The Murmillo’s gladius final blow breaks through the Thraex’s guard and defeats him but, in a last move (an attack Fumble), the green Gladiator sticks his sica in the Murmillo’s jugular. Both of them fall dead on the pit slabs!

Fortunately, my red Lion manages to survive, obtaining 2 palms for its lanista. But it was a fair draw for the Gladiators!

At the end of the game, José’s review, from Alquimia Juegos, is great: “this is the kind of game my players like”. 😀

David Thraex (Scutarii): 12.900 ss
Jose Alchimia Ludi: 2,400 ss
Adrián Rugiet: 1,400 ss

killing of slaves

The last game of the LES 2017: a Killing of Slaves, but down to only two Events. Four players will take part: Javier with Scutarii (Great Shields), Leo with Parmularii (Small Shields), Alvaro with Sine Scuto (No Shield), and Esperanza with Petauristae (Acrobats).

1st Event: Slaves To The Lions. Each player places 2 Slaves in the center of the arena, and 1 large Beast at their door; whoever gets to kill more Slaves will earn 1 Palm. Javier’s red Lion stands out by deciding to flee whenever it has a good dice roll. The Palm is divided between the other players.

2nd Event: Gladiators And Vermin Fight. One Slave is thrown into the pit with two enemy Beasts, while Gladiators enter through the gates. Green player rigs the programme to make sure his Provocator jumps into the arena; he is going to devote himself to “Foul Play” (his special ability) and tricking everyone with his cards throughout the event.

The blue Dimachaerus jumps into the pit and finishes off both Beasts, making sure his team gets 1 Palm for killing the most vermin. The green Provocator also jumps in. The red Murmillo starts a tiring but unsuccessful race, trying to reach the orange Paegniaria.

The scutum is very heavy, after all!

The red Slave (a natural born survivor) gets surrounded in his pit with three players’ Beasts and two Gladiators… with the Paegniaria also attacking from above with her lasso.

The Dimachaerus and the Murmillo end up fighting at the bridge over the pit: Javier’s red Gladiator is victorious but, from the outside of the bridge, the Paegniaria and both Lycaons watch him hungrily… Victory will finally be for Esperanza, who ends the Event with her Beasts and Gladiator still standing. Great game for the Acrobats!

Esperanza Paegniaria Formidulosa (Petauristae): 12.900 ss
Álvaro Gladiator Foraminis: 8,300 ss
Leo Decipiat: 1,700 ss
Javier Leo Pavidus: 1,500 ss

Thanks to all the players!

Gladiatoris lives (and comes again to Ludo Ergo Sum)


After half a year shut in, working on the Gladiatoris relaunch (Impavidus!), we finally have our new prototype ready, and are eager to show it!

To do so we will return once again to Ludo Ergo Sum, a great Madrid convention, from 9th to 10th September.

We will set up our new arena this Friday 9th, from 18:00 to 21:30, in the prototypes section; and, if there are a lot of lanistae like last year, we will set it up wherever necessary on Saturday and Sunday (remember: the first amphitheaters were wooden and were assembled and dismantled when necessary).

The Games will be, as usual, fitting for newbies… but if any veteran shows up, I am willing to pick up the sica again (I’ve had enough laser beams this summer).

During the Games, we will take pictures of the new prototype, which includes much of the final art of Jaime González García’s (alias ‘Sector 6’) work. Until then, here you have some remarkable Gladiatoris pics from last year’s LES2016.

And… what’s different in the prototype? Well, during last year’s Kickstarter campaign you sent us a lot of ideas, so we have taken some time to study them all, and implement the best (incidentally, we have improved slightly the Murmillo so the Secutor doesn’t get all the cheers for the Scutarii). One of the more striking improvements will be the change of coloured miniatures (“Parchesi-type”) for a range of copper, silver and two different greys, in addition to the much-asked for coloured bases. We hope you’ll like them.

See you at Aluche! 🙂


Hi again, and happy new year!

GLADIATORIS is recovering 1 Wound per week… and we can already share some news:

1. Jaime González García, graphic designer for GLADIATORIS and author of the successful Sector 6 (the Kickstarter campaign ends this next Sunday, go grab your copy!) joins the EscenaRYS team as consultant.

2. We keep on working on the GLADIATORIS relaunch, making the most of all the experience levels gained during the 2016 campaign. ALL ideas and suggestions received (thanks again to all of you!) are being evaluated one by one, so we can select the best ones.

3. We’re working on a certain surprise for this 2017. We think you’ll like it, but we can’t reveal it yet. There’ll be GLADIATORIS for quite a while!

Thanks a lot for still being there! We’re delighted to find so many wonderful people interested in our game.

EscenaRYS cancels Gladiatoris KS

libellus numerarius III
novembris XXX-MMXVI 


The Gladiatoris Kickstarter campaign (November 2016) is cancelled, but we will relaunch!


Sadly, we have to cancel the campaign. It’s not going to reach the funding goal, so now we must take a step back and improve, so the next Gladiatoris campaign will be successful. We WILL relaunch- don’t think this is the end of Gladiatoris!

You have given us a lot of valuable advice and feedback- please keep it coming! Most of what we have learned is thanks to you, and that’s why we love to hear your ideas!

Also, we will send all backers the Print&Play as soon as possible. We will leave the Kickstarter campaign open for another 24 hours, so if you want to support us as a symbolic gesture, you still have time.

Don’t stop following us on social media- don’t miss any update. We won’t stop working.

Here’s the link to the full update. Thanks to all of you, and see you on the Arena!

Logo RYS preliminar
David Temprano “Thraex” and Luis Valleaguado “Lusitor”.

New gameplay video!


Last week, we played a new Gladiatoris game at Emerald Knights Burbank, CA, to shoot a video!

gladiatoris-video-ek-03These are the players. From left to right, Paul Ang (Scutarii, red), Kevin Barber (Sine Scuto, blue) and Jennifer Ho (Parmularii, green).

We chose the Great Public Punishment, a variant of one of the scenarios included in our Core Rules. It’s played not on a small domestic board but on the Amphitheatre… with 2 hidden traps revealed with every CRONOS!

This game (starting from 6:00 into the video) was completely improvised, but we have edited it into an abridged version… so we can focus on the brave Laquearius’ saga!

The first Event went by without great surprises, and the three players had to divide the Palm evenly (earning 1.000 sestertii each of them) after everyone managed to defeat a single Slave with their own small Beast. But in the second Event’s sortitio… the level III Dimachaerus fails his roll! And… so does the Retiaria! Thus, Kevin is forced to deploy into the arena a poor level I Laquearius. He would have to fight, not only against Great Beasts, but against two fearsome level III Gladiators: Paul’s red Secutor and Jennifer’s green Thraex! But the underdog didn’t give up… watch the video and see for yourself!

gladiatoris-video-ek-04It was a night full of excitement and laughs, and we will remember it fondly thanks to the wonderful video shot and edited by Tinieblas González, our friend and also a Gladiatoris fan. 🙂

See you on the arena!

Sources from Getty Villa


During the Gladiatoris design process, we have used hundreds of archaeological sources as a base for our gladiators’ initial sketches, both 2D and 3D.

This week we went to Getty Villa, the spectacular Greek, Etruscan and Roman museum at Malibu, near Los Angeles, located at a wonderful site with views to the Pacific Ocean.


We could see there some of the weapons we used as sources for our Samnite from the red Great Shields, the breastplate decorated with three circles that Alfonso didn’t allow us to use (and we had to observe his criterion), or the spectacular Greek helm (bronze, South Italy, 350-300 b. C.) with a griffon head at the top.



We also found the statue of Leda and the swan. We talked about it on February, 2016, when we discussed for weeks (yes, weeks!) about the orange acrobat Paegniaria‘s hairstyle 😛

This sculpture is a 1st century A.D. magnificent Roman work, copied from a Greek original c. 300 B.C., attributed to Timotheus. You can also enjoy another version of this statue at Madrid (Museo del Prado).


There are also some small bronze statues of gladiators and… what a coincidence! The very same urn I used back in 2004 for the Greek Heroes cover, with Heracles and Iolaus in it! I strongly recommend paying it a visit (I also recommend Universal Studios, of course).


It’s an Etruscan terracotta hydria, with a black painting in it, Heracles and the Hydra, dated around 525 B.C. One of the Getty collection masterpieces!


Chronicle: games at Tierra Ignota

An unknown land 2016Last Saturday we went to the Tierra Ignota Convention, hosted by club Reika, from Valladolid. We always try to go to every convention we can, especially if they are near home, but in this case we simply could not miss Tierra Ignota. A lot of Reika members have been Gladiatoris playtesters for years, and they have participated in the annual leagues that we celebrated in Valladolid. In fact, the award of the Ultima Test of 2014 was to design one of the miniatures of the game, something that finally Daniel Acebes (Maprenufus Victor / Amittere Finem Perserverandus Secutor), from Reika, was able to enjoy. You have the whole design process of the Secutor here.

We have designed a special game mode dedicated to their annual convention which, as it could not be otherwise, is called Tierra Ignota. As you can see, its board is somewhat… special:


Next door we had some friends: DracoIdeas with their game 2GM Tactics and Jaime González, the artist of our splendid board sections, demoing his game Sector 6, that will be crowdfunded in December. Stay tuned!

Back to Gladiatoris. We had four players in the morning: Alba, Guille, Diego and Bruno. Bruno is an expert and he chose the Petauristae (perhaps the most complex of the basic teams), while the rest tried the Murmillones, the Thraeces and the Retiarae (optional purchases on Kickstarter).tierraignota002

Tierra Ignota comprises two Events. In the first one, a fight with two sides, the Great Beasts try to get to the center of the Arena while dodging enemy Gladiators, barbarian slaves and pits that open under their feet. Well- that’s the theory at least! Two boodthirsty beasts, a Cheetah and an Atlas Lion, cornered without mercy a poor Lusitor, that barely escaped with his life. Meanwhile, the Tiger attacked the Murmillo, and the rest of the fighters tried to finish off the barbarians.tierraignota003

In the second Event, The Island, we had a close quarters fight in its central high platform; the small Beasts tried to climb to it to help their Gladiators. All around this beautiful free-for-all, several of the Gladiators proved that climbing up and down pits full of wild beasts was not their strong point.

In the afternoon, we played twice. I didn’t wrote names of the first players (David will kill me…) tierraignota005because they ran off to the next event. Three of them played with the three extra teams too and other one with the Armoured (from the future expansion Colosseum). We had hilarious moments, such as the competition of fumbles between the Auroch and the Retiaria; a real “ping-pong fumble” (you attack me and fumble, but I also fumble my counterattack, allowing you to counterattack me…) that produced an amazing four fumble streak. (Beasts cannot fumble, but the Auroch is one of the few exceptions)

If you want an ultradetailed review and you can read Spanish, one of our players with a prodigious memory has written a turn-by-turn account, down to every dice roll! Thank you!

This second Event of Tierra Ignota, The Island, is arguably one of the funniest in the Games Book. Several Gladiators compete in an elevated platform, trying to stand for as much time as possible (because there are special prizes involved). The platform is surrounded by a pit full of wild beasts, and from the ends of the board more Gladiators run towards the center to help their team mates, but they must cross the moat to do so. Also, the platform has a trap under it that can throw fighters on the brink down to the pit… among all those beasts!tierraignota009

This game was especially fun, and the participants had a lot of fun. The Beasts protected the moat quite well at the beginning (although a Retiaria made short notice of a pair of animals) but towards the end they constantly disobeyed their trainers. And we had a very bloody fight in the central platform that ended with the defeat of most of the Gladiators on it.

TierraIgnota010Victor and Javi with their palms
Thanks to @ponyoworld for this pic!

It was a fantastic day, with old and new friends. Thanks to all of you!

Burning oil at Emerald Knights

Best regards!

We have just launched our Kickstarter campaign, and people is throwing so many question at us that answering them is almost a full time job!

The day before starting the Kickstarter campaign, still somewhat calm, we went again to Emerald Knights, in Burbank, California, to play a Great Public Punishment game with expert Californian players.


Emerald-knights-encounter-01The store is packed with game tables and every Wednesday, they reserve the central space for board games.

The previous weekend we played a quick game, in which Tinieblas’ poor red Murmillo succumbed to my great beast and Thraex’s joint attacks.

“Go Thraex!” 🙂

David (Parmularii): 9.600 sestertii (“coins”)
Tinieblas (Scutarii): 1.500 sestertii


Kevin and Peter sat with us. We had chatted with them in previous visits; they were very kind, and excused my poor English. We played a Great Public Punishment, an Amphitheatre variant (i.e. bigger board) of the example scenario from our Games Book that you can download here… with 2 traps appearing on the arena for each Cronos!

Emerald-knights-encounter-04Kevin and his green tattoos chose the Small Shields; and Peter and his tattooed panther chose the Blue Team.

The first event was resolved very quickly, and Kevin was the victor with his magnificent Parmularii… but I stole his Palm with my Munera card!

In the second event, they had to carefully read their Maneuver cards… so carefully indeed, that Kevin nearly defeated my Level III Murmillo with a 3-card, triple-coloured combo!


Things looked bad for my Murmillo, who had just defeated the Leopard with a fierce attack, so he took to his heels, leaving the dirty work to the sturdy Red Lion.

But, Kevin’s Hoplomaca ran after my Gladiator and got to him with her spear, leaving it with only 1 wound left (“almost dead”). And then…

CRONOS! Kevin activates a burning oil trap in the exact section of the board where my Murmillo was! The poor thing burned like the Human Torch from Fantastic 4, and both rivals laughed heartily at my expense. I don’t blame them.

Emerald-knights-encounter-06The next trap opens a pit by surprise under the Retiaria’s feet. And Peter uses a Flee maneuver card to avoid it! That’s something I don’t remember happening ever before (in more than 200 games), and that certainly deserves my applause.

Nevertheless, she ended up falling into the Pit next turn, and there we had a gladiatrices duel: Hoplomaca vs Retiaria.

“As in the Gladiator pits from Conan the barbarian!”


Finally, the Retiaria was defeated, and my lion (who had fled but had to return to battle) finished up the green Great Beast. In the last turn, the Hoplomaca managed to take the Lion’s last wound… thus getting both Palms! Salve, Gladiator!


Kevin (Petauristae): 12.000 sestertii (“coins”)
David (Scutarii): 2.400 sestertii
Peter (Sine Scuto):? sestertii

Kevin: “Gladiatoris is a game of strategy, luck, and bribery were anything can happen in the arena. 

Just got to play a game yesterday. I got a lucky combo and took my opponents gladiator down to 1 and watch as a trap killed him. It was a funny game and a good show for the masses. Lol”

After the game, Kevin gave me very good advice and a lot of ideas about new scenarios. Thanks a lot!

Brief tutorial to join Kickstarter

Some of you have asked us how to register on Kickstater, so we have improvised this little tutorial.

  1. Go to the Kickstarter website. On the upper right corner you’ll see the small “Register” link. Click on it and Kickstarter will ask you to provide a username and an e-mail address, and to write a password for your new account.
  2. Congratulations – you already have a Kickstarter account! Now go again to the upper right corner and click on the little globe. A drop-down menu will appear. Select the “Account” option.
  3. From here you can change different account options, as is usual with e-mail or forum accounts. But in order to support projects you will need to stablish a payment method. Please click on the Payment methods link.
  4. Once there, you will need to click on “Add a new card”. A new window will ask for your credit card data.
    Kickstarter will only use this information to collect the money that you decide to use to support projects, and only if they reach 100% of their financial goal. Payment via Kickstarter is secure.

And that’s all it takes! You can now explore Kickstarter and discover interesting projects. But don’t forget about Gladiatoris!

3 more days… Encounter at Emerald Knights


Next Wednesday, November 2nd, we’ll be playing Gladiatoris at Emerald Knights’ Wednesday Night (4116 W Burbank Blvd, Burbank CA 91505).

We discovered this game store back in 2013, and wrote about it in a (very visited) post in our old blog.


We’ve been going there these past two weekends, and we’ve met some expert players very interested in trying the game. Luckily, we’ve got a good interpreter, Tinieblas Gonzalez, one of the first playtesters of our pre-2009 version. He then told us the game was “a good idea, but slow and too complex”. Yesterday, after having to explain him the rules (in English) he told us that “it keeps all the good ideas, but it’s fast and easy to learn; it’s way better”. He loved it , even if my Thraex defeated him!


This is the result of 7 years of playtesting and listening to a lot of different players 🙂

See you next Wednesday!

Only 5 days to go! Live on November 3rd

We’re having an interesting discussion on some forums about the size of our Lion. Some fans think that the miniature is unrealistically big.


We want the mini to be intimidating (hence its size, see the design notes), but we’ve always listened to our players’ opinion and we have never regretted it.

Gladiatoris - Comparativa Fieras

So… what do you think? The mini is already designed and we can change its size easily before sending it into production. Please let us know your opinion on this!


6 Days to go… Enter the Acrobats!

Enter the orange Petauristae, Acrobats!


gladiatoris-lusitor-sine-scuto-2dAnd after the beast hunt, before the actual gladiator duels, the public enjoys the performance of the… Acrobats!

The Petauristae (acrobats) drop the curtain on the four teams from the basic box. The Lusitor, their star gladiator, is one of the most loved fighters in Gladiatoris. And they have the Tiger too, a wild beast able to jump 3 squares! You can see all their combatants here.

Only 6 days to go!