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Thread: "He vows to endure to be burned, bound, beaten, and killed by the sword."

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    Chapter Master Whitwort Stormbringer's Avatar
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    "He vows to endure to be burned, bound, beaten, and killed by the sword."

    Having picked up the Warhammer Historicals game Gladiator and ordered some figures it's about time I got crackin' on my ludus. I have 20+ gladiators at the moment (all from Crusader Miniatures), and have some lofty plans to get some more from various other manufacturers, but for now I obviously have my hands pretty full. I'm aiming to have a pretty good variety of Imperial-era gladiators, and some more colorful personalities to serve as the various Primus Palus roles.

    For starters I have two pit fighters to share with you all.

    First up is the Myrmillo, a heavy gladiator equipped in the style of a Roman legionnaire. I painted mine in the same color scheme that I have planned for my praetorians, maybe representing a veteran gladiator with some standing in his ludus.



    Here's his helmet detail - my paint job doesn't do the figure's detail justice but if you can make out the decoration on the side of his crest, just under the plume, I believe it's actually supposed to be two gladiators fighting sculpted onto his helmet



    And to face him is the Thraex who would be (based on my rudimentary knowledge of gladiators) a standard opponent of the Myrmillo, representing the Roman armies fighting against their barbarian opponents.



    In time, as their brothers-in-arms join them, the gladiators might get a little bit rowdy and revolt against their Roman masters, in which case fellow forumite GomezAddams may be adding some Romans to this plog to quash the rebellion...
    Last edited by Whitwort Stormbringer; 01-02-2012 at 21:12.
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    Chapter Master Easy E's Avatar
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    Re: "He vows to endure to be burned, bound, beaten, and killed by the sword."

    The Thraex was specifically suppose to represent the barbarians from Thrace.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thrace

    Supposedly, Spartacus himself was a Thracian and may have been trained to be a Thraex.

    Edit: I would be interested in reading about or seeing some reports of how the game mechanics work.
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    Chapter Master Whitwort Stormbringer's Avatar
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    Re: "He vows to endure to be burned, bound, beaten, and killed by the sword."

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy E View Post
    The Thraex was specifically suppose to represent the barbarians from Thrace.

    Supposedly, Spartacus himself was a Thracian and may have been trained to be a Thraex.
    Ah yes, I meant the Myrmillo's opponents in general - including the Thraex (Thracian, as you mention) and probably the Hoplomachus as well (representing the Greeks, I gather). I guess some of the early gladiator types would have been named for, and armed as, a typical enemy of Rome although with time their equipment probably changed a bit. The Thraex's helmet has the sort of trademark forward-curving crest of a Thracian helmet, though, and the sica was a Thracian weapon as well.

    I would actually really like to get the Spartacus model from Xyston miniatures.

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy E View Post
    Edit: I would be interested in reading about or seeing some reports of how the game mechanics work.
    The basic game mechanics are very similar to GW's Lord of the Rings skirmish game (and therefore similar to LotOW and LotHS as well), but there are some differences in rules and some differences in conventions as well. Most stats are also renamed, but they are functionally the same as in Lord of the Rings.

    When I get around to painting more figures and playing a couple games, I'll try to snap some pictures and write up a battle report or two. If I get a chance and find someone to play with soon, I'll do a basic Myrmillo vs. Thraex just to give an idea of the game mechanics.

    Here's a quick rundown of my thoughts on the game:

    As far as differences from LotR go, the two biggest seem to be that a) once two gladiators have engaged in combat they must re-engage in subsequent rounds until one is defeated, and b) most weapons have their own strength value, meaning the gladiators' strength values don't come into play all that often.

    Most gladiators have above-average stats compared to those of a human from LotR, and some things like movement are also highly variable, with very light gladiators moving up to 7" and very heaviliy armored gladiators moving only 3". Nearly all gladiators have 2 wounds, which I assume is to keep 1 v. 1 fights more interesting.

    There are also advanced rules for hit allocation, which add a little more flavor to 1 v. 1 fights. If a gladiator wins a fight, he may either elect to make a high thrust or a low slash. After making his choice, you then roll to see which part of the opponent's body was hit (high attack will hit the chest, one of the arms, or the head while a low attack will hit the stomach, upper left leg, or lower left leg). The defense value of the body part that is struck is determined by what sort of protection is on it, ranging from 2 (unprotected) up to 6 (plate or segmented armor). The profiles don't offer detailed descriptions of the gladiators' armor so you pretty much have to go WYSIWYG if using the advanced hit allocation rules.

    All in all the book is very nice, lots of well-painted and well-photographed miniatures and the layout is generally good. Well worth what I paid for it, since I bought it during the 50% off sale.
    Pros:
    - LOTS of profiles, including many different animal types, elephants with crew, even ship combat.
    - Straightforward rules, not overly detailed or complicated game mechanics
    - There's also a nice "History of Gladiatorial Combat" section

    Con:
    - My biggest disappointment with this book was that the "campaign" section itself is more like loose guidelines on developing your own campaign, and lacks any sort of skill tables or injury charts. There's no experience point system for advancement - instead gladiators are promoted once they have achieved a certain number of victories and each rank has specific stat increases associated with it, rather than the advancement tables that other GW skirmish campaign systems use. I think generally speaking I prefer rolling on an advancement table - even if there is that random element to it you end up with more interesting or varied fighters. In this game, all Myrmillones (and Secutores, for that matter) will be exactly the same. It feels like an afterthought, and is generally just kind of unclear. I'm working on something a little more concrete, just so we have rules to follow when playing our campaign.

    It seems like it's really better suited for battles of at least a few gladiators per side, on up towards "mass battles." I think that's nice since a lot of gladiator games are perhaps a bit too detaily with the game mechanics to really play smoothly with more than one or a very few models on each side, and at the same time optional rules like the hit allocation chart do make 1 v. 1 combat more interesting than it would be with the LotR rules as they are.
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    Commander Zaustus's Avatar
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    Re: "He vows to endure to be burned, bound, beaten, and killed by the sword."

    Thanks for the rules summary writeup. I knew those rules were based off of LotR, but from playing LotOW I didn't think that the combat mechanics would make for a good gladiatorial game. I think you're definitely right that these rules favor multiple gladiators per side, since the LotR rules do promote quick resolution to combats, though they lack in detail. I'd imagine you'd want to play with the optional wound allocation rules pretty much all the time, or it'd get pretty dull.

    Nice-looking fighters you have there! I really like those Crusader models. Good work, and I look forward to seeing the rest of your ludus come to life!

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    Chapter Master Easy E's Avatar
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    Re: "He vows to endure to be burned, bound, beaten, and killed by the sword."

    Thanks for the summary!
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    Chapter Master Whitwort Stormbringer's Avatar
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    Re: "He vows to endure to be burned, bound, beaten, and killed by the sword."

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy E View Post
    Thanks for the summary!
    Sure thing!

    As Zaustus mentions, I'm sure we'll pretty much always be using the advanced hit allocation rules, unless in quite large battles which of course would be relatively rare so I don't know that we'll run them often, but maybe a couple over the course of a campaign.

    I think due to the higher wound and defense characteristics of a lot of models 1 v. 1 fights can work, and will be a little more drawn out than in Lord of the Rings, but even so I think what will make them more interesting is fighting 1 v. 1 in the context of a campaign since gladiators will have varied stats, skills, etc. (once I finish writing those campaign rules...) and players will have a vested interest in who wins. I imagine they'll still be quite quick compared to a normal gaming session, too, maybe 10-15 minutes for a duel, which means we'd be able to knock out several rounds at a time or a day's worth of games pretty quickly. I also think that as players' gladiators become tougher and tougher, we'll run fewer 1 v. 1 fights between them and maybe instead pit some of their gladiators against more interesting NPC's, noxii, etc.

    Gonna be busy the next few days but hopefully I'll be able to knock out another gladiator or two by the end of the weekend.
    Last edited by Whitwort Stormbringer; 06-02-2012 at 20:18.
    The great thing about the dwarves is that, even though there's this comic element, when they fight - they really fight!

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    Chapter Master Easy E's Avatar
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    Re: "He vows to endure to be burned, bound, beaten, and killed by the sword."

    Out of curiosity, what other Gladiators do you have in your "To be Painted" pile?
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    Chapter Master Whitwort Stormbringer's Avatar
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    Re: "He vows to endure to be burned, bound, beaten, and killed by the sword."

    Oh man, a lot.

    I think they break down as follows:

    3x Secutores
    3x Retiarii
    2x Myrmillones
    2x Hoplomachii
    2x Provocatores
    2x Dimachaeri
    1x Thraex
    1x Crupellarius
    1x Scissori
    1x Laquerarius
    1x Helmeted Retiarius
    1x Looks like a Myrmillow with a two-handed axe...
    1x "Tiberius of Gaul"
    1x Emperor Commodus

    All Crusader minis. Busy busy busy with schoolwork, but maybe this evening I'll paint up another. I really want to get back to them, it's just find the time. Spring break in two weeks might give me some much-needed down-time to make headway on the lead pile...
    The great thing about the dwarves is that, even though there's this comic element, when they fight - they really fight!

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    Chapter Master Easy E's Avatar
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    Re: "He vows to endure to be burned, bound, beaten, and killed by the sword."

    Crupellarius

    Huh, wasn't familiar with this type before. Thanks.
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    Chapter Master Whitwort Stormbringer's Avatar
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    Re: "He vows to endure to be burned, bound, beaten, and killed by the sword."

    Finally got back on track with the gladiators! Since I've signed up for the "Tale of Historical Painters" expect roughly two a month for at least a little while, as I'll be working on them at the same time as some other projects.

    Secutor and Retiarius this time:





    Like I said in the "Tale of" thread, I think giving a gladiator a tartan subligaculum is probably taking some liberties with historical accuracy, but it's a pattern I wanted to try my hand at. Overall happy with the both of them, except the net on the retiarius looks like it could use more highlighting...
    The great thing about the dwarves is that, even though there's this comic element, when they fight - they really fight!

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    Chapter Master Whitwort Stormbringer's Avatar
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    Re: "He vows to endure to be burned, bound, beaten, and killed by the sword."

    They're well overdue, but the next couple of gladiators are finally done!

    First up is another Myrmillo, this time in slightly more drab attire. I do like the studded linen belt around his waist, though, and the dynamic pose is a nice change from the one I painted earlier.



    And to oppose him, this time a Hoplomachus, armed and armored after the fashion of the Greek hoplites. As with the Myrmillo and the Thraex, this match-up would likely be at least loosely representative of Rome's conflicts with the Greek states. To drive home the theme of the Greek hoplite, I decided to go for bronze armor (which came out much brighter than I intended, may need to hit it with a chestnut wash to bring it down a bit) and a dolphin motiff on his shield, which seems to have been a common device in Greek art.



    Apologies for the poor photography on these two - my new apartment had to have some work done and it seems that the workers broke our lamp in the process, so I had a hell of a time getting decent lighting.
    The great thing about the dwarves is that, even though there's this comic element, when they fight - they really fight!

    My infrequently updated nerd blog.

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    Re: "He vows to endure to be burned, bound, beaten, and killed by the sword."

    Ohhhh...yes. Sporting events and players from the good ol' days. Spartacus and his friends. I just may get some of those.
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    Chapter Master Easy E's Avatar
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    Re: "He vows to endure to be burned, bound, beaten, and killed by the sword."

    Nice to see your Ludus grow!

    I love the different skin tone of the top Myrmillo.
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    Chapter Master Whitwort Stormbringer's Avatar
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    Re: "He vows to endure to be burned, bound, beaten, and killed by the sword."

    Thanks guys! Next pair should be up in about a week, no hints as to who they might be though as I haven't decided yet myself!
    The great thing about the dwarves is that, even though there's this comic element, when they fight - they really fight!

    My infrequently updated nerd blog.

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    Re: "He vows to endure to be burned, bound, beaten, and killed by the sword."

    Oh yeah, warriors of the arena. They DO look GOOD. Paint jobs, skin tones and all the other good points.
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    Chapter Master Whitwort Stormbringer's Avatar
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    Re: "He vows to endure to be burned, bound, beaten, and killed by the sword."

    And here they are!

    First up is a Scissori, another opponent of the Retiarius. This guy is pretty much tailor-made to face the Retiarius - with a helmet similar to that of the Secutor, manica (segmented armor) on both arms, greaves, and a coat of mail he would have been well-protected against the trident. Additionally, he trades the scutum of a Secutor for a bladed gauntlet which would allow him to cut himself free of the Retiarius's net if he became ensnared. All around I think this is really a cool model and was fun to paint, even if he wasn't terribly challenging (lots of metal goes quickly).



    And to follow up, a Laquearius. This variant on the Retiarius wields a lasso instead of a net and a spear (or a long, thin-bladed sword or dagger according to some sources) instead of a trident. Honestly I'm not sure what the advantage of a lasso over a net would be, it seems to me that it would be much easier for his opponents to cut themselves free. Maybe that's the point - given the number of modifications seen above (and in the Secutor) for countering a Retiarius, it would seem that they were quite formidable despite their light armament!



    The main reason I invested in gladiators is obviously an interest in the period, but a secondary bonus to this range is that it allows me to work on my human flesh tones, and experiment with new ones, which is exactly what I did on this guy. I was aiming for something towards the darker end of a middle-Easter skin tone, and frankly it turned out darker than I had intended (looks closer to an Indian skin tone to me). That said, I'm leaving him as-is because I think it still looks pretty decent.

    Also, like the Myrmillo in the first post, he has a cool detail sculpted onto his armor. In this case it's a fallen gladiator on his shoulder guard.



    And just to keep my motivation up, a shot of the ludus so far



    Hope you're enjoying them! As usual, two more in ~1 month's time.
    Last edited by Whitwort Stormbringer; 06-11-2012 at 14:36.
    The great thing about the dwarves is that, even though there's this comic element, when they fight - they really fight!

    My infrequently updated nerd blog.

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    Chapter Master Easy E's Avatar
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    Re: "He vows to endure to be burned, bound, beaten, and killed by the sword."

    Huh, I always thought the Scissori just wieled a pair of wierd shaped (like Scissors) swords and didn't have the bladed guantlet or mail shirt. Of course, I'm no expert on such matters.

    I like the skin tone on the Laquearious, it makes him look slightly more exotic. That was always a plus for the editor of the Games.
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    Chapter Master Whitwort Stormbringer's Avatar
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    Re: "He vows to endure to be burned, bound, beaten, and killed by the sword."

    You know, I've read that as well in some sources, while others describe him like this. It seems that little more than the name is definitively known about the Scissori, and the model Crusader made is based on one particular interpretation. Arbelas is another gladiator type known by name which might correspond to that particular image. Generally speaking, scissori, arbelas, and contra-retiarius seem to be classes that are not well-known.
    The great thing about the dwarves is that, even though there's this comic element, when they fight - they really fight!

    My infrequently updated nerd blog.

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    Chapter Master Whitwort Stormbringer's Avatar
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    Re: "He vows to endure to be burned, bound, beaten, and killed by the sword."

    Apologies to anyone following this thread (I may be optimistic ) - I updated the "Tale of Historical Gamers" thread a while back and forgot to post the latest update here too.

    Finished these last two a little bit back, one is a Dimachaerus which was a class or maybe sub-class of gladiator that eschewed a shield in favor of a second hand weapon. The other is a mini that's clearly inspired by Joaquin Phoenix's portrayal of Emperor Commodus from the 2000 film Gladiator, although I took a page out of Warhammer Historical's book and greenstuffed a beard onto him since the actual Commodus appears to have been bearded. He was an extremely straightforward paint job, I went for a cooler white on the armor and warmer on the cloth to add a bit of variety to the model. The monotone white costume works OK on the movie, but I think it would have a bit of an unfinished appearance in 28mm miniature form.






    Enjoy! As always, comments/criticism/questions welcome.
    The great thing about the dwarves is that, even though there's this comic element, when they fight - they really fight!

    My infrequently updated nerd blog.

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    Chapter Master Easy E's Avatar
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    Re: "He vows to endure to be burned, bound, beaten, and killed by the sword."

    Hmmm, I think Commodus may need a dark wash ove rthe white to bring out the detail.

    I had heard that the real Commodus liked to use a club in the Arena, and wore a Lion's skin. He fancied himself to be Heracles Rebron when he went into the arena.

    One of my favorite Commodus moments is when he supposedly killed one hundred lions in the arena.... by shooting them with a bow and arrow from a safely raised platform. Another, he also decapitated the fearsome Ostrich with a specially made javelin or arrow.

    Heracles Reborn indeed!
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