Gladiatores: Blood for Roses

Gladiatores is a combat-focused hand management, risk-taking bluffing and betting card game for 2-5 players.
Play as a powerful Lanista (the owner/trainer of a famous gladiator school), sending your five specialist gladiators into deadly events sponsored by powerful roman officials. Each gladiator school chooses which of their gladiators to pitch into battle to win fame and glory in the arena. Hidden tactics, skillful card play, betting on fights, or manipulating fight outcomes are all options required to rise above your opponents and take the champion’s gold wreath.

Gladiatores: Blood for Roses offers five unique gladiators with unique abilities and specialist combat moves that change in each game. Make side bets on who will likely win the fight, set your Gladiator up to take a fall or gain glory by showboating to the bloodthirsty crowd. All is possible as you reap in the glory!

Single or Campaign mode.
Gladiatores can be played as a single battle between matched gladiators (taking ~15mins/player) or in campaign mode where players gain glory over 3 – 5 separate battles using some or all of the gladiator types in their school. Only those who can complete their wheel of glory will be famous enough to perform before great Caesar in Rome – while those who fail will be left behind in the arena dust!

Gladiatores game box

Game Info

Gladiatores is currently at the review stage prior to Kickstarter launch in late 2018.

Age: 10+
Duration: approx. 15 mins/player (for the single game)
Players: 2-5 (base game) – most fun with 4 or 5
Price: TBC

Game Contents
5 Unique Gladiator cards
144 combat cards (Attack, Defense, Effects)
5 sets of Gladiator specific combat cards
12 Sponsor cards
6 Event cards
25 Tactics cards
5 Turn order tokens
Wound tokens
Glory tokens
Active player marker
25 Gambling tokens
20 rose petal tokens (crowd favour)
Combat Reference card

Game components

Game Play

Gladiatores uses a set of different gladiator specialists (with unique abilities) including the Murmillo, Hoplomachus, Secutor, Retiarius and Thracian with a wide array of specific combat move cards (such as Thrust, Dodge, Feint etc) that allow players to feel the visceral struggle of tactical close combat as they fight to survive, claim victory and glory. Combat uses a simple ‘trumping’ system to resolve combat moves, allowing cards to be chained in complex but intuitive sequences of attack and counterattack. Variable tactics can be employed and devious Sponsors add secret strategies to each combat and with careful planning, can dramatically change the expected outcomes of battles and make all the difference to the glory gained when blades flash and the blood flows.

A game lasts five (or less) rounds (events) depending on the number of players and time available. Each round, players get to choose which gladiators take part in the fight (1 per player), which secret tactic their lanista will employ and place secret bets on who is likely to win the fight.

The combat then begins with each player able to target any other available gladiator on 1:1 trades of blows and counterblows until a gladiator suffers enough wounds that they are out of combat. The last gladiator standing after these grandes melees is declared the winner of the event and gains the glory.

Main gladiator cards

Winning the Game

Event card

To win the game, a player must use his gladiators and abilities wisely, gaining as much fame and glory as possible in the arenas to win the victory wreaths for each match. At the same time, a Lanista made rich through careful gambling on fight outcomes and fame from pleasing the crowd can gain enough extra glory to attract Caesar’s attention and win the game.

Glory tokens are worth variable victory points (VPs) and are converted at the end of the game.

There are six different possible events in the game (5 are randomly drawn for each game), with players entering one gladiator for each of these 5 events. Each event is worth either bronze, silver or gold wreaths and the size and wealth (glory) in the crowd varies between each. A player winning the event will gain the 1st prize while the runner-up will gain the 2nd place wreath. All players have a chance to gain glory from impressing the crowd (gaining favour/petal tokens) which converts to glory tokens after every combat.

The glory tokens are placed on the player’s board in the Glory Wheel section. Any player that can complete this glory wheel (that is, fill in all the spaces) by the end of the game gains extra VPs and a place at Caesar’s Colosseum arena in Rome.

Gladiator sample player board