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Thread: Gladiator Pit - Homebrew(ish) rules for Roman Gladiators

  1. #1
    Marine
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    Gladiator Pit - Homebrew(ish) rules for Roman Gladiators

    Dear all,

    I've been working on a set of gladiatorial combat rules and would dearly love some constructive feedback.

    The rules are based on the old Pit Fighter rules which were a spin off from the GW game Mordheim, but have been heavily modified, hopefully making them more suited to a historical game. From my playtesting the rules give interesting one on one games and have coped well with up to six players, with each one controlling a gladiator either in a free for all or a team battle.

    The game uses the same hex board as the pit fighter rules (found elsewhere on thew net and which I've attached to be helpful) and the idea of a movement scroll which gives specific types of movement, attack and defence factors and armour details for each type of gladiator. Pit fighter used the idea of initiative as being the deciding factor as to when models moved and attacked, and I've kept that system. A gladiator's initiative will drop during the game based on the type of movement or attack they make and the the weight of the armour they are wearing. Heavily armoured gladiators will tire more quickly than lightly armoured ones. Movement can be slow, medium or fast and attacks can be normal or 'mightly blows. fast movements or mighty blow attacks will cause the models initiative to drop.

    I've done away with toughness as a concept as it was more suited to Orcs and humans rather than humans v humans. fan based additions to Pit Fighter introduced the concept of body location cards to conviently show where atacks were to be aimed. I've built the cards concept into these rules. (again found elswehere on the Net - I'm sorry I can't remember where, but I'm happy to namecheck if the origonal creator can be located)

    I've made specific movement scrolls for various types of gladiator. I've also created rules for specific types of historical weapons, revamped critical hit tables and skills as a gladiator becomes more experienced. Lastly I've created a play record sheet to keep track of the weapon skill, initiative, strength and hit points each gladiator has as well as planning the movement that they will make in the upcoming turn.

    Currently I'm working on some special characters (based on the film 'Gladiator' of course) and rules for animals in the arena.

    Hopefully this will whet the appetite of folks out there. and I look forward to any feedback

    thanks all.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails movement scroll - basic gladiators.pdf   Gladiator Pit Rules.pdf   PitFighterBoard.pdf   gladiator game sheet.pdf   body cards.pdf  


  2. #2
    Chapter Master Whitwort Stormbringer's Avatar
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    Re: Gladiator Pit - Homebrew(ish) rules for Roman Gladiators

    I remember reading the Mordheim Pit Fighter rules many years ago and thinking they looked like fun. Since I'm am currently painting up a set of Crusader's gladiators for the Warhammer Historical game, I will definitely be looking to these for more detailed 1-on-1 fights or fights between small numbers of gladiators (the Warhammer Historical game is based on LotR rules and therefore better suited to at least a handful of models per side, IMO).

    Looks pretty good so far, definitely count me interested!
    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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  3. #3
    Marine
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    Re: Gladiator Pit - Homebrew(ish) rules for Roman Gladiators

    Thank's whitwort, I hope you enjoy the rules. It might take a bit of setting up if you don't already have a hex map, but I think it would be worth giving the game a try. From my playtesting with pupils at the school where I teach the rules are easy to get the hang of and very charcterful - much laughter has been had. Even the lowliest slave has a chance to get in a critical hit against a gladiator, albeit maybe only a small one, and probably only one chance!


    I too bought the Warhammer Historical Gladiator rulebook, which from an information point of view was fantastic, but I was dissapointed in the rules, which to me became a dice off contest very quickly and certainly so for one on one combats. The rules I've put together are anything but that, with tactical decisions needed during movement, attack and defence needing to be made as well as decisions as to when to expend initiative points.

    I've also bought the crusader gladiator figures, which I've suplimented with plastic celts and romans from Warlord Games.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    a couple of photo's from recent games.

    Cheers,

  4. #4
    Chapter Master Whitwort Stormbringer's Avatar
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    Re: Gladiator Pit - Homebrew(ish) rules for Roman Gladiators

    Haha, sounds like we have pretty much the same collection!

    I agree on the 1v1 dice contest nature of Warhammer Historicals' Gladiator game, although being a huge fan of LotR SBG I like the rules well enough to play battles with multiple combatants per side even if that would have been fairly rare IRL. I will also be using some house rules, though, including modifying a few of the profiles and bonuses to the die roll for the fighter with the higher fight value, multiple combatants, attacking from behind, etc. That way it's not strictly whoever gets the high roll that wins.

    What I like about these modified Pit Fighter rules for 1v1 though is that it actually takes into account, in the rules (rather than a vague WYSIWYG rule), how well-armored the different parts of a gladiator's body are and how he would have used his selective armoring and shield to protect himself, which obviously makes facing important. Even using the optional hit allocation rules, the Warhammer Historicals game pretty much always assumes that you're face-to-face with your opponent and therefore only the left and center of the body are ever targets.
    Last edited by Whitwort Stormbringer; 28-10-2012 at 15:28.
    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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