Friday, September 9, 2011

Meanwhile Back at the Ludus

It's Friday and time to recount tales of blood, gore, and hard-won glory in the sands of my solo Red Sand Blue Sky campaign.

Thanks to the speed demons at Noble Knight, I received yesterday with great excitement the package containing the five metal gladiators (seen training above under the stern direction of their lanista). They guys are some real monsters, standing more like 30-32mm than the 28mms I was expecting.

Gone now are the weaselly, thin plastic figures with their whining demands for epoxy--as are the stand-in 28mm early-medieval Normans and Moor/Andalusians. Though the latter at least got a run with some of the campaign's early matches that graced my writing desk as seen below.
Not quite the right aesthetic. 
Again proving my point about my general ineptitude and impatience--the two reinforce each other really--with gluing things, I managed to super-glue one of the hex bases to my office desk (note screwdriver and nail polish remover to the rescue). How's that for self-fulfilling prophesy?
Cheerleaders for the grizzled lanista Kutalikus Cacophonus will be pleased to note that his shiny new ludus has been kicking gluteus maximus on the frontier circuit of Britannia. At the first day of events he entered gladiators in three of five matches—winning each and all.

In match one, Decundus took on Jana, a decidly terribly-trained Thraex (in Thracian style armament, sav 2, str 2, spd 2) in his debut. Needless to say a very quick bout. Decundus accidentally killed Jana—battles on the frontier circuit aren't automatically to the death-- with a second jab to the lower belly in the fifth round of the match. He earns a mere two fame points because the odds (based on the sum of the three attributes) favor him.

Net prize of 100 aureii, an extra 20 made from Kutalikus' safe bet .

Match two pitted Sertius vs. Mora a strong, but slow Hoplomachus (spear-and-armor dude, sav 3, str 4, spd 2). This match was longer and closer eventually being called on a “technicality” for Sertius after Mora falls over from exhaustion (a character is considered “spent” if they use up all their bonus dice pool).

Sertius is severally wounded in the upper left leg by the mighty blow that poops Mora out. The doctors say he'll have to sit out the next two months worth of matches. Despite his nasty bleeder, Sertius is highly pleased, Mora was favored heavily meaning that he earns a whopping 18 fame for the win. He spends 12 fame training his savvy and strength up to three.

His lanista kicks himself for not putting down some faith and money on Sertius, but grins at the 100 aureii nonetheless.

In the next two weeks I plan on pushing up the ambition level on the project a couple more notches expanding and painting a larger posse of gladiators and fanged beasts (I am in dire need of the net-man retarii or two)--perhaps even taking out the foam cutter and slicing up some foam board in a scratch-built arena.

Any suggestions on who does nice ranges of appropriate 28mm scale figures? I have been looking at Wargames Foundry's, but anyone else do quality sculpts?


  1. Foundry's figures are very nice -but your current collection will look like giants when standing next to them.

  2. Irregular Miniatures ( ) make a comprehensive line of gladiators at a good price. Slightly cheaper would be Black Hat Miniatures gladiators, available in the US through Scale Creep ( ) - including neato dead gladiators and mounted gladiators, presumably for use in gaming the Third Servile War.
    Gripping Beast also make some in 28mm, but alas, they do not have retiari.
    Warrior ( )also makes gladiators, but they don't have any pictures... Some of Warrior's new lines look nice, but other ones are very rough. They are the cheapest of the lot, though.

  3. I'd like to agree with the commentators; the Foundry figures are very close to 'true 25mm', and don't seem to mix very well with other companies' figures. They are also about the most expensive offerings on the market, sad to say, but the line is pretty extensive.

    Both Irregular and Black Hat have very nice lines, and mix well in the arena. I can personally recommend the female gladiators from Bronze Age Miniatures ( ) which look very good and have been getting a lot of use as all sorts of tough female fighters in our games. West Wind used to have a line of figures for their "Gladiator Wars" rules, and we have some of those; their 'casualties' are very good, and add a nice bit of visual detail to the arena.

    Spectators and officials, sorry to say, are harder to get but also not as important for games; they look nice, but can get in the way.

    yours, Chirine