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

Thursday, 4 October 2018

The Return Of Rufina

I do like this female gladiator figure, but she seems to be one of those miniatures that is cursed. On paper she's should be a reasonably OK fighter. She's a Thracian, and they generally do OK, and whilst she doesn't have the protection of a helmet, the extra mobility she gets should more than offset this. However she seems to lose more fights than she wins.

In an attempt to buck the trend I put her through a solo campaign. She actually rates as a light gladiator under Munera Sine Missione, so would fave medium and heavy foes only.


Her first fight was against Margareites, who fights with a sword and small shield. He was as unskilled and inexperienced as she but, true to form, he beat her in two turns without even raising a sweat. Fortunately the crowd were feeling merciful, and she survived to fight another day.


Her second opponent was Lenia, who fought with a sword and a curved sica. In this fight Rufina swapped her sica for a sword. And it seemed to be a good move ...


... as Rufina defeated her foe almost as rapidly as Margareites had defeated her. Again the crowd were merciful. This gave Rufina a skill. She improved her parrying ability.


Rufina's third foe was the Murmillo Achillia, who was equally skilled in defence, but who was also a favourite with the crowd.


This was a longer fight, as Rufina dodged around her heavier opponent, looking for an opening for her sica. Little by little she cut Achillia, dodging any return attacks, despite gradually tiring from her efforts. Finally she ducked under Achillia's guard, and fatally wounded Achillia. The opinion of the crowd would be irrelevant here, as their favourite bled to death on the sands of the arena.


This win gave Rufina a boost of prestige, and saw her replace Achillia as the darling of the crowd. However after her earlier defeat Lenia had also built up a following and had also practiced her parrying abilities as well. The two foes met again.


This time it was Rufina who was defeated, but the crowd had had enough of mercy - they had her put to the sword.


So the campaign lasted four bouts, and saw Rufina win two and lose two. So maybe she's not as cursed as I thought she was.

It was interesting that all three skilled gladiators ended up with the same two - Parry and Crowd-Pleaser.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Gladiators at MOAB

Victor and I were a bit disorganised getting a game ready for MOAB this year. We had considered running some Gaslands (based on the success of Machinas in previous years) but were preempted on that. And a good thing too, as the Gaslands game that was run at MOAB was outstanding. With Gaslands running on one table, Machinas didn't really seem to be an option either. So we fell back on our faithful standby - Munera Sine Missione.

We're currently putting the finishing touches to v3.0 of the game (in fact it's mostly waiting for me to do the reformatting and page-breaks, which seems to be a harder job than actually developing the rules), so we took the opportunity to try out some of the bits and pieces from it.

We started off with a fight between a whip-armed light gladiator, and a Provocator.



Victor was disappointed to see his Provocactor defeated rather easily, and then granted no mercy by the crowd because he'd resorted to using his special defensive breast-plate (a new feature of this gladiator type).


Victor tried out his Hoplomachus design against a helmetless Thracian.



I can't remember the result of this fight. Rufina the Thracian usually loses her bouts, though, so that's probably what happened.


Victor has a figure called 'The Shadow of Death' (or 'Umbra Mortis' in Latin), and tried him next - he has light armour and two swords. I used the Secutor, Hero. The Shadow of Death died.


Our first interested punter appeared, and played a couple of games. He tried a super-heavy gladiator first, and I opposed him with a spear-armed medium. I was incredibly lucky throughout the fight, twice finding a chink in his armour to badly wound him, and then breaking his sword. Needless to say I won that fight.


Our punter then switched to  light gladiator, and used Rodan, the whip-armed fighter I'd used earlier in the day.


Victor explained some of the finer points of the game.


This game saw an appearance of the referee. I can't remember the result though.


Victor and I played a few more bouts. I used Syalvania, a very light gladiator armed with a spear and lasso. Victor used his Maximus figure in the first fight, and I can't remember who won.


In the second fight he used his Scissor, and lost, although we forgot a couple of key special rules which may have affected the results.


We played a couple more games with passers-by, before we decided to try out the campaign rules and try some skilled gladiators. The campaign didn't go well for Victor. - his school lost three gladiators in quick succession, including some skilled ones, whilst mine racked up prestige.


Moderatus was my star fighter. Armed with a sword and cape, he won a couple of fights ...


... including this one against an armoured Scissor where he lost his sword and ended up subduing his opponent with his bare hands.


Another fight, and eventual victory, for Moderatus.



We fitted in several fights during the course of the day, without feeling too rushed. Victor's small arena looked lovely, and helped set the scene of the game very well. We also fitted in a couple of jousts using the rules I am developing, and they ran pretty smoothly as well.


Friday, 28 September 2018

Extreme Sports

With MOAB on this weekend I wanted to brush up on my Munera Sine Missione, as Victor and I are returning to running gladiators again this year. Caesar was up for a try, so away we went.

I was actually late getting there, and a few of us spent a fair chunk of the evening recounting our adventures at the St Ives Medieval Fair, so we only managed two bouts. I'll admit that the games were also slowed by the fact that I'd managed to forget most of the rules, and had to look tons of stuff up. I'm sure it's not age. Oh no.

Anyway, here we are in the first game.


I took the sword-wielding Margareites whilst Caesar had the hoplite, Helena. He found the long spear a tricky weapon to handle (to be fair, it is) but put up a pretty hard fight before I was able to knock her down and force an appeal to the crowd. To be fair she almost took off Margareites' head with her shield as well. The crowd must have liked that, because they granted her mercy.


Our next fight was between two diminutive gladiators - the retiarius Titan and the murmillo Pugnax. This ranged up and down the arena, with Pugnax being trapped in the net early on, but deflecting attacks from Titan before cutting free. Titan took a nasty wound, but was proving agile and dangerous in returning hits with his trident. Eventually the referee called the match a draw.


Fired up by our trip to the medieval fair, Caesar was happy to give my 'in progress' jousting rules a go. We played two matches, each of three passes. In the first match Caesar scored an advantage in the very first pass by unseating my knight. I clawed back some points in the other two passes, but the final result was then never in doubt. The second match was closer, almost coming down to a tie-break in which the Marshal of the Field's opinion of the knights would have determined the victor, but I managed a shattered lance in the third pass to squeak a victory margin of one point and make the Marshal's opinion an irrelevance.


Surprisingly we found a couple of minor points in Munera Sine Missione that could probably do with clarification; inevitable when you tend to hold the rules in your head and assume it's obvious how they're played. The jousting game needs a few tweaks and changes but is, I think, almost ready for posting on my Free Stuff page. We certainly both enjoyed it, and found it was fast enough to reflect the nature of the sport, offering a few decisions and tactical choices offset by enough randomness to create some moments of drama.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Whip It!

In an early post about our changes to Munera Sine Missione I said that we had added special rules for whips, rather than simply treating them as a lasso. I have been testing them with a lasso figure up until now, but I decided to convert one of my existing figures to wield a whip instead.

Here she is.


She's called Alba. I can't remember if she's featured on this blog before. I got her a while ago, and she's been painted for years - she's a Shadowforge Viking Berserker. In her original incarnation she had an axe in her right hand, and was raising her shield over her head. This is probably a great pose for a berserker, but looked odd in a gladiator, so I tended to leave her on the sidelines. Now she has a new lease of life, with a whip replacing the axe and a sword replacing the shield. The axe will see a use elsewhere.

She's had a few fights, with mixed results, but I can say for certain that the whip is a fun weapon to use.


Now I just need to find a suitable male figure to arm with one.

Update: Here he is. Rodan is from Castaway Arts, and was originally a retiarius, with a trident in his raised arm and nothing (I guess you were supposed to provide your own net) in his left. The whip was made from wire, whilst the sword is from a batch I 3D-printed last year.



Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Munera Sine Missione - Final Testing

The update to Munera Sine Missione hasn't been forgotten. Both Victor and I have been busy this past week or so, and we haven't has as much chance to discuss things as we;d like. However the main rules are finalised, bat renaming one of the terms in the game, and the solitaire campaign rules re done. All that's left is some final tweaking to the multi-player campaign system and some confirmation of how one or two of the more exotic weapons will work.

The exotic weapons are ones which will dismay purists, but which are included because of their presence in some popular figure ranges. First up is the cape, which we used to run as a poor-man's net, but which now acts to distract an attacker and improve a lighter gladiator's chance of survival.


The second weapon is the whip, which we used to treat as a lasso (and which is depicted here as one, since I don't have suitable figure) however it's now a weapon in its own right which has little chance of scoring real damage, but can annoy by inflicting critical hits, knocking away weapons or tripping an opponent.


I played some games using both weapons earlier this evening, and they seemed to work OK; not too powerful, but not so weak as to be useless.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Munera In The Country

I have little gaming to report this weekend; whilst the weather has been unseasonably nice we squeezed in a last camping trip. Winter will be on us soon, so that will be it until September. So this was our view.


And this.


I packed a few gladiators, though, and did some more testing for 'Munera Sine Missione'. I didn't get as much done as I'd have liked; despite the nice weather, at this time of year you don't get a lot of daylight to play by, and the fact hat we were camped in a hollow surrounded by trees and hills didn't help there at all.



Anyway, I think the basic rules are in a state I'm happy with, and we just need to tweak and finalise some of the campaign rules and other trimmings.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Munera Sine Missione - Update


Things have been quiet on this blog for a few days. But they haven't been quiet on the gaming front, as Victor and I have been thrashing out the latest set of changes to Munera Sine Missione. The changes are sufficiently radical for us to consider the next update, when it comes, to be a brand new version - Version 3.0.

So what can you expect to see?

Well, the core game is still basically the same, so rest assured that you'll still recognise the game of gladiator mayhem you all know and love. The biggest change we have made is to how Fatigue is managed. this had a knock-on effect into most of the core mechanisms, and gave us a chance to tweak and refine a few things there that weren't quite right. At present Fatigue is something a gladiator acquires randomly, and is a figure which is compared against their stamina to see if the gladiator is fresh, tired or exhausted. In the new version a gladiator chooses to acquire fatigue in order to gain extra actions. However instead of the fatigue total being compared against the current stamina, there are situations where the fatigue is cancelled and converted into stamina loss. In other words we have (i) made fatigue something a gladiator chooses to acquire and (ii) combined the effect of wounds and fatigue into one statistic. This opens up extra choices for gladiators, and makes the bookkeeping easier as well.

The new mechanism allowed us to change some of the Special Events, and also led to a method by which lighter gladiators can try to avoid damage by dodging. Where possible we have tried to use existing die rolls to drive any changes, rather than adding in new tests and checks. This means that the game still flows quickly and smoothly.

The recent optional rules for the referee and for gaining favour with the crowd have been made part of the core game, as we found they add significant colour and that we weren't ever playing without them.

As ever, there have been several tweaks to weapons in order to better depict a range of gladiators from all eras of Rome's history. Victor has put together a list of gladiators by historical era, including their equipment and opponents. But the game still allows you to quickly determine game stats for any figures you have, even if they aren't entirely historical.

The biggest addition will be the campaign rules. Victor and I have both developed a system for running a single gladiator through a career in the arena, and regular readers of this blog will know that I have a similar system which allows a number of players to run gladiator schools against each other. Neither system is that sophisticated, but we thought that the time had come to at least include them in the published rules.

I'm very excited about these changes, and think they greatly improve the game, whilst keeping its original flavour. And you'll be the first to know when we finally get around to publishing it.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Maurice Part Deux

Gary and Caesar finally played their Maurice campaign game last night, completing the first round of our campaign. Gary defended with the Ottomans against Caesar's massed French columns.


Gary seemed to get off to a good start. His laid a dense terrain, which gave his massed artillery plenty of protection, but which also allowed his irregular cavalry to do a sweeping flank attack on the French infantry as it advanced. Caesar managed to stabilise that situation, and eliminate the Ottoman horse, but had suffered plenty of casualties. Eventually, though, his infantry met that of the Ottomans and a firefight ensued in which the Ottoman line slowly crumbled. Gary's artillery did fearful execution on the French cavalry, but it was too late; the Ottoman morale collapsed, giving the victory to the French.

Gary was part of the same alliance as Peter and myself, so his loss means that the war continues into another round, with many of us fighting with armies made up of hastily-raised conscript replacements. So the next set of battles look like they might be interesting, but short.


John and I played a few bouts of Munera Sine Missione, with a lot of the rules being in my head owing the the major rewrite they are currently undergoing. We ran a campaign setup, but only played out the first Games. We each had a school of six gladiators; two lights, two mediums and two heavies, putting two challengers forward each and matching them with something suitable from our school for a total of four bouts in the 'day'.

My fancy arena really only allows one bout at a time, so that's what we did.

Bout 1: I used Hero against the spear-using Alumnus. Alumnus couldn't get past Hero's armour, whilst the heavier gladiator slowly wore his opponent down and eventually forced him to his knees to seek mercy from the crowd. They spared him, but that meant there was a negative modifier on the next gladiator to appeal that day.


In the second fight, I used Bremusa against the dimachaerus Spiculus. Bremusa is armed as a thraex, but since Spiculus doesn't have a shield her sica simply counted as a sword (In MSM a sica is specialised for circumventing the opponent's shield).

This was probably the best fight of the evening, with both gladiators ending up wounded. It went for ten rounds before Bremusa finally backed Spiculus into the arena wall and ran him through, mortally wounding him.


The third fight was between the heavily armoured contra-retiarius Telamonius and my school's retiarius, Titan. Titan got in an early net attack, but couldn't exploit it before Telamonius cut his way free. However his agility mostly kept him out of trouble, and eventually he managed to fell Telamonius with a mighty blow from his trident. I'm hazy on what happened at that point (our notes are incomplete), but I think poor Telamonius fell victim to the crowd's desire for blood.


Finally John used the lasso-using Gracchus against my other heavy gladiator who, at some point, has lost his name label, so was called Anonymous for the evening. John had appalling AP rolls in this fight, to the point where Gracchus simply gave up trying to use his lasso, dropped it and fought with his trident in both hands, just so he stood a chance of getting in some attacks.


Anonymous had better luck with Action Points, and took down Gracchus fairly quickly. Like Alumnus, he was backed against the wall, and killed instantly.


We called a halt at that point, since John had lost all four bouts and decided that his school would close in shame.

The various changes we were trying out seemed to work OK, but Victor and I have plenty of work to do tying everything together, agreeing on terminology and (in at least one case) agreeing on mechanisms.

There were actually two other games on offer last night; Peter and Geoff played a big DBA game, whilst Ralph ran some Team Yankee at the back of the room. I didn't get photos of either of those games, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

The Mighty Mongo - Part 2

This post concludes the career of the gladiator Mongo, who you saw in action yesterday. When we left him he had taken part in four bouts, winning one, getting one draw and losing two. he had some experience and a little bit of prestige, but was still early in his career.

I played one quick fight this morning, in which he fought Crixus, a gladiator similar to himself  but with a smaller shield. The two fighters traded blows for a while, and Crixus took a decent hit, but it was obvious that they were evenly matched and the referee eventually called a halt to the proceedings, giving Mongo another draw. A pity, as Crixus was the favourite, so if Mongo had defeated him it would have earned him much prestige.


During the day I had a brainwave, and ended up rewriting the fatigue system in 'Munera Sine Missione' as well as bits of the wound system. This is still a work in progress, but I got enough of it sorted out during my commute and lunch-break to feel confident enough to try it out in the remaining games.

Mongo's sixth fight saw him face a similar gladiator to Crixus, the flamboyant Margareites. Despite the crowd being behind him, Margareites was no match for Mongo, who was keen for a victory. He wore down his opponent and denied the mob of even a chance to spare their hero, by backing him up against the arena wall and running him through.


This gave Mongo another skill; he replaced Margareites in the crowd's affections, becoming a Crowd-Pleaser. He also gained another point of Prestige, going up to 3.

In his next fight he was pitted against the barbarian Andromache. She was unarmoured but carried a sturdy big shield and a sharp sword. Despite her lack of experience she outfought Mongo from the start, dodging out of his reach and then darting in to hit him with thrust after thrust. Eventually Mongo was forced to appeal to the crowd, who spared him despite his not landing a single hit on his opponent. However his reputation suffered; losing to a less-experienced foe cost him a point of prestige.


Looking to build up his reputation again, his lanista arranged for him to fight a retiarius called Cupido. Needless to say it was only moments before Mongo found himself trapped in Cupido's net. He fended off the ensuing attacks, cut free, and took the fight to his lighter opponent. However he couldn't quite finish him off, and seeing that he was too exhausted to be entertaining, the referee stopped the bout and declared it a draw.


The ninth fight of Mongo's career saw him fight another spear-armed gladiator, the agile Spicula (sister of the dimachaerus Spiculus). She got in an early hit that saw Mongo seriously wounded, but he rallied and managed to cut his opponent to ribbons, forcing her to appeal to the crowd. Entertained, they spared her. Mongo gained no prestige or skills from this fight since Spicula was less-experienced than he.


Gannicus was Mongo's tenth foe. Under the campaign rules I was using, Mongo would be freed if he won this bout. He went in aggressively, but tired quickly even though he inflicted wounds on his opponent. Gannicus took advantage of Mongo slowing up, and felled him with a mighty slash of his sword, forcing him to seek mercy from the audience. They were happy to spare a gladiator who had kept them entertained for years.


Gannicus had the same number of skills as Mongo, so there was no loss of Prestige.

And so on to Mongo's eleventh fight. This time he was up against Flamma the thraex, who was very much the favourite; strong and skilled in defence, Mongo was going to have a hard time wounding his foe.


Mongo fought like a man possessed, fending off his opponent's sica, and driving him back across the arena. His steady attacks produced plenty of cheers from the crowd. A lucky blow saw Flamma wounded, and Mongo spotted his chance. Exerting himself to the full, he charged, sidestepped and, to the cheers of the mob, downed Flamma with a  mighty sweep of his sword. There was no question, after such a spectacle, that Flamma wouldn't be spared.


Having won the bout Mongo was granted the rudis, the wooden sword of freedom. For beating Flamma he gained 2 Prestige, bringing his total to 4, as well as an extra skill - he chose Stamina, although would never use it in the arena.


This is the first time I've had a gladiator survive at least ten bouts in a campaign. Mongo had fought eleven times, won four fights, lost four and drawn three times.

The new rules and changes didn't seem to be seriously broken, and just need a little refinement. Incorporating them into the main rules is going to be a fun exercise, however, as they will require modification to pretty much every section, and some major redefinition of key terms. If they prove viable, then it looks like the next version of 'Munera Sine Missione' will be a full v3.0 rather than a sub-version.

(The campaign system used for these bouts will also be part of the new version, as well as the one I use for multiple players. Those will be a major addition.)

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