Showing posts with label munera sine missione. Show all posts
Showing posts with label munera sine missione. Show all posts

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Net Worth

I played some more retiarus/myrmillo/secutor bouts this morning, as part of my aim of playing out ten fights to see what the overall balance was like. In game terms I used the same gladiators in each bout, but swapped the figures around in order to make a more interesting blog post.

First up was a repeat performance from Valentinus and Mongo. Valentinus swiftly netted Mongo, and then ran him through with his trident. Quick and easy.

For the remaining five bouts I used an idea Victor is playing with of limiting each to ten turns and calling it a draw if it timed out. Draws seemed to be a more common occurrence during some periods of the games, but games tend not to reflect this. I have a mechanism in testing for forcing one when gladiators are exhausted, but Victor's change ends fights regardless of the state of the gladiators. I amended it to make it variable; at the end of the tenth turn and each turn thereafter you roll a D6 and on a 5+ the bout is ended. This prevents any 'Last Turn Syndrome'.

Anyway, for this set of bouts I started the retiarius was Rodan and was opposed by Astinax. In the first game Astinax easily outfought Rodan, who rolled terribly for Action Points, and wounded him to the point where he was forced to seek mercy from the crowd. The refight saw neither gladiator wounded and ended in a draw after ten turns, despite plenty of action.

I switched to Cupido vs Pugnax for the next fight. Cupido got in an early trident hit on Pugnax, which gave him the edge.

The fight went on well past the ten-turn limit. Towards the end Cupido lost both his net and trident, but he recovered. He managed to get hold of the net, then trip up the myrmillo. This gave him time to retrieve his trident as well and force Pugnax him to appeal to the crowd, who granted him mercy.

Finally I matched Thalia the retiarius against Fabia.

Fabia got the initiative early on in their first bout and quickly ran Thalia through with a critical hit.

The second bout lasted longer, but still saw Thalia defeated.

Overall, after ten bouts, the retiarius won two, lost five and three bouts were draws. I might need to experiment a bit more with various matchups to see if there is a disadvantage to being a light gladiator. As I see it at the moment, the biggest issue is that a light gladiator is less able to translate their agility to defence than a heavy gladiator is to simply block damage with armour.

Balancing games. I love it.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Valentinus and Mongo

I switched to some different models for a quick Munera Sine Missione test game this evening - the retiarius Valentinus and the myrmillo Mongo. I had planned to use the half an hour I had to run through a couple of games, but the one bout filled most of it, and the two fighters danced from one end of the arena to the other. Valentinus tired more quickly; he was able to keep at a range and make constant net and trident attacks, whilst Mongo couldn't close fast enough to get in a good strike with his sword. He was netted once, but struggled free and, when netted again, sliced the net to pieces, rendering it useless. Valentinus managed to get around his unshielded side and cause a nasty wound, but neither gladiator could finish the other off. In the end I had to create a rule on the fly for the referee ending the bout if both gladiators are exhausted, which I will look at developing further to cover exhausted gladiators accruing more fatigue knowing that there will be no additional penalties.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018


Thanks to some prompting from Victor, I got out my gladiators this evening, for the first time in well over a year. It was a reminder that, as always, there's still more tinkering to be done with 'Munera Sine Missione'; in this case it was to try out some thoughts Victor has on how weapons with a long reach work.

My usual test with any changes is to run through a few bouts between a Retiarius and a Secutor type; if the matchup gives a 50/50 split of wins then it's probably all good.

So here are Medusa the Retiarius and Achillia the Myrmillo. I ran though four bouts this evening. I would have done more, but we binged a pile of Gotham episodes, I had to print off a copy of the rules and, I admit, I played slowly because I'd forgotten how the game worked. Still, it's like riding a bike. Or I assume it is; I never really got the hang of bike-riding.

Strangely after even four bouts I'm beginning to think Victor's change has merit. However poor Medusa didn't do too well; in two bouts she was knocked down and had to appeal to the crowd (who failed to spare her) and in one bout she was simply killed outright. This was mostly due to utterly appaling rolls for Action Points on her part, combined with good ones on the part of Achillia. That, and the fact that if Medusa did manage an attack, she promptly tripped over doing it. The fourth bout saw her badly wounded but putting up an incredible fight, netting Achillia and running rings around her. But Achillia rolled armour saves like a woman possessed, and Medusa couldn't manage to finish her before exhaustion set in. Achillia had trouble cutting free of the net, and eventually her wounds saw her exhausted as well, so the referee called it a draw.

I'll try a few more games tomorrow evening if I get chance.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

MOAB 2016 - The Saturday

Saturday at MOAB has now become gladiator day for me, with Victor and I having planned an ambitious program of games revolving around the Roman arenas.

As it was, we played and ran some one-off games of Munera Sine Missione then tried a few linked games, although we didn't get as many of these done as we'd have liked. mostly due to the inexperience of some of the players.

Here's Victor looking thoughtful

And a small show in a big arena.

For later games we put on two fights at the same time.

The fight to the left of this picture was one of mine, with my Greek-armed gladiator fighting a Thracian. The Thracian lost his shield, then his sica but came close to beating my gladiator to death with his bare hands a couple of time. In the end, though, he was spitted on a spear.

We also played a game of Ave Caesar. I've played this before, and found the bizarre crossover raceway a complete turn-off for what was supposed to be a Roman arena chariot race. Victor has solved this by doing his own board, but keeping the rules the same. The game itself involves playing cards from a limited deck or possible movement options, where you have to manage when you play your high-point cards and when you play your low. Certain parts of the track allow you to block other players, forcing them to either use cards they don't want to play, or miss a turn altogether. Also, as I discovered, getting out in front early on is bad, as you can't play your highest cards if you are the leader. However I managed a creditable second place, after I messed up a possible game-winning block on the last curve.

I ran two sessions of Machinas. The game involved one or two players selecting vehicles from some pregenerated pairs, rolling for additional features and assigning stats to the drivers, and then being confronted with a juicy target on the dusty roads of the post-apocalypse Austalian outback. Two players could choose to cooperate, but it was made clear that the winner would be the one that took down the target, so an element of competition was expected. I ran the targets; a possible choice of five, ranging from a lone motorcyclist to a tanker.

In the first game Kelly took two cars, Mr Apollo and Rock Lobster, whilst Martin took the flamethrower-toting Anarchist and his motorcycle-riding sidekick. They were chasing the hobo roadster, Tom Sawyer.

Kelly went straight into the attack, bout couldn't line up a clear shot on Tom Sawyer.

It didn't help that, twice, Tom Sawyer brakes failed, causing Mr Apollo to shoot ahead.

Martin went for the competitive approach. Early in the game he flamed Rock Lobster with The Anarchist, seriously damaging it. When Rock Lobster tried to pass The Anarchist's sidekick, the green-haired punk lobbed a Molotov cocktail at him ...

... and he crashed and burned.

With Mr Apollo out in front, Tom Sawyer was forced into some aggressive driving in order to stay in the chase.

The punk almost got him with another petrol-bomb, but Tom Sawyer's driver extinguished the fire and kept control of his vehicle.

The chase kept on for a few turns after that, but eventually the pursuers became worried about their fuel-levels and broke off.

In the second game, Kelly took Mr Apollo and Rock Lobster again, whilst his friend Liam went for the two rat-rod buggies. Their target was the heavily-armed VW Kombi bus, Meeting Mr. Miandad.

Learning from the previous game, Kelly started whittling down the competition, with Rock Lobster wiping out one of the rat-rods very early on.

The chase continued with much gunfire, and a successful attack on the Kombi by an explosive spear. Possibly confused by their success the buggy pulled out of the chase, leaving the way clear for Kelly.

The cars both got ahead of the Kombi, forcing it to try and overtake in order to survive. It failed once, and was rammed by Mr Apollo, dropping back ...

... but a second ailed attempt to pass saw Mr Apollo ram the Kombi off the road, giving Kelly a win.

Both games were great fun, and ran very smoothly. Machinas is terribly random, but creates a good narrative regardless, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. I certainly did.

I didn't get much in the way of pictures of other games, aside from this beautiful ACW game (Regimental Fire and Fury), where the troops almost seemed lost in the landscape.

Tomorrow sees me back at MOAB, playing HOTT.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Munera Sine Missione 2.4

With MOAB only a week away, I have finally written up some of the changes that Victor and I have been making to 'Munera Sine Missione'. They can be found in Version 2.4, which you can find linked from my Free Stuff page.

The changes include some adjustments to critical hits, new and modified skills for campaign games and a streamlining of the weapon definitions and traits, as well as minor tweaks to the wording and intent of the core rules. The next version will probably be the one that I finally put the campaign system in the rules. It's about time I did that.

Enjoy, and if you're in Sydney next Saturday, come and see us at MOAB and give the game a try.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Final Gladiator Testing

When I was't out enjoying the sunshine this weekend, I played through some more games of 'Munera Sine Missione' in order to pin down the changes that will be made for v2.4

The changes are now all looking good. I think we'll be dropping Dirty Tricks for now, though, as I still can't the risk/reward balance to work; they'll be something to consider properly when we look at the next version.

Anyway, I took a few pictures. I tried to run Artemisia through a campaign again. In her first outing she fought the barbarian Albia.

She lost, and the crowd had her killed. A short campaign.

Another campaign saw the retiarius Titan go up against the spear-armed Ellenikos.

Titan triumphed after netting his foe.

His next fight saw him take on the veteran Danaos. It was a tense struggle ...

... Danaos was netted, but knocked Titan's trident away.

Danaos escaped from the net, but lost his shield. However experience told in the end, and a spear thrust took down Titan. The crowd were merciful, and Titan will live to fight another day.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016


Yet more gladiator testing? Does this man have nothing better to do?

Well, these games are pretty quick. That's my excuse. And this mini-campaign was the very tiniest of mini-campaigns. I used Artemisia, who has a sword, light armour a small shield and no helmet. She counts as a light gladiator, so under the Rules of the Arena (in my house) she will only fight those gladiators classed a medium or heavy.

I selected suitable foes for her from amongst my female gladiators, looking to have a bit of a Ladies' Night.

Her first opponent was Marpesia, who was armed and armoured in a similar fashion, but had a helmet. This made her less manoeuvrable, but better protected. Like Artemisia, Marpesia had no skills. Both gladiators smacked each other about, but it was Artemisia who finally fell wounded and sought the crowd's mercy. They liked her, and she lived to fight another day.

Her next opponent was Hippolyte, who had a large shield and a helmet to go with her armour and sword. She was also unskilled, but unlucky dice saw her start with a significantly higher stamina than Artemisia.

Artemisia used her edge in manoeuvre to good advantage. When Hippolyte stumbled, the nimble gladiator slipped round behind her and struck her a terrible blow. It left her bleeding heavily, but she kept fighting.

The fight ranged from one side of the arena to the other. Disaster struck for Artemisia when her sword broke, but she kept fighting, using her shield to push Hippolyte against the arena wall. A mighty blow almost downed her opponent, but she was still left with one wound. She struck back, knocking Atermisia's shield from her hand.

Artemisia was now wounded and her low stamina also meant she was tired as well. She couldn't get to her shield before Hippolyte, stumbling with exhaustion herself, sidestepped and ran her through, killing her instantly.

And that was it. Artemisia lasted two bouts. But I liked her style. We'll see how the Artemisia of a different universe fares another day.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Ellenikos Again

This evening I continued Ellenikos's career in the arena. So far he had fought five bouts, winning four and getting a draw in his fifth.

A few weeks after his epic fight with Telemonius he found himself facing his first truly dangerous opponent - Crixus. Armed with a sword and small shield, Crixus was a veteran of a number of bouts in the arena, and had the skills to prove it - Stamina, Agile, Defend and Veteran. Ellenikos was definitely the underdog in this fight.

Ellenikos went for the aggressive approach, and got in a good early hit, wounding Crixus. But Crixus was a veteran of the arena. he bided his time, and soon knocked Ellenikos down. From that moment our hero was on the back-foot.

He was backed against the arena wall, and with no room to manoeuvre was soon forced to yield. The fight had been entertaining, though - plenty of blood and fancy moves. The crowd were merciful.

Unfortunately things didn't get any better. After a period of recovery Ellenikos was put forward for a rematch with Cupido. However since their last meeting Cupido had acquired a seriously good reputation in the arena, and was one of the best gladiators in Rome - Veteran, Tactician, Stamina, Defend and Crowd-Pleaser were his skills. All Ellenikos could bring to the party was Agile and Attack.

Ellenikos once again scored the first wound - just a scratch, but a good start.

Cupido retaliated by catching Ellenikos in his net.

Try as he might, Ellenikos couldn't cut free. He put up a desperate fight ...

... but Cupido forced him to appeal to the crowd. The fact that he had wounded Cupido was all that saved him. He survived ... just.

It seemed, however, that the mob really enjoyed the bout (and, to be fair, this short write-up doesn't to credit to how tense and exciting it actually was). When Ellenikos recovered from his wounds, they asked for a rematch.

Cupido didn't mess around in this fight. Ellenikos was swiftly entangled again.

Before he could escape, Cupido sidestepped, and thrust with his trident. It went straight into Ellenikos's heart, and he breathed his last as his blood spilled onto the sand of the arena.

And that was it for Ellenikos. At least he fell to a straight kill, rather than via the whims of the baying crowd.

The 'campaign' lasted eight bouts. Ellenikos won four, lost three and drew one. He never became highly skilled or truly famous, but his fights were all entertaining.

This was a useful exercise in trying out the new skills, however, as they really came to the fore in the last three bouts. Both Veteran and Tactician allow a player to adjust the combat dice after they are rolled; Tactician swapping the dice and Veteran flipping one dice. They only work against a foe with fewer skills. Ellenikos was on the receiving end of both skills, and would have purchased one of them himself had he lived long enough.
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