Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cassius Tyranus

November 106 AD
Southwestern Britannia

As the life of the young fisherman Salvanius left his body, his previous opponent stood in the room's doorway. Lurio watched as he finally succumbed to the wound in his belly. A legionaire walked up to him to inform him that he was summoned.
Just outside the barracks awaited a well-to-do looking Roman citizen. He turned to Lurio as he approached.

"You sent for me?", asked Lurio.
The citizen replied, "I have recently become a lanista and am in need of gladiators. Your recent match was well fought...a good victory."
Lurio looked to him, "I took no pleasure in it, and have no desire to become part of a gladiator school."
"You have no choice in the've already been bought. I am now your dominus. Prepare yourself, we are to depart for Gaul."
When Lurio showed no sign of emotion, the citizen continued, "Be happy young one. This is a good day. You are to help spread my name throughout the republic. Welcome to my familia gladiatoria. I am Cassius Tyranus."

The new Ludus of Cassius Tyranus is starting in the "fringe of the empire" locale, so begins with 5,000 aurei.
The gladiators of House Tyranus:

Lurio, Rep 4 Retarius (due to his small size, he is to be trained as a Retarius...armed with a trident and net to keep his opponents from getting too close and hopefully trip them up).
Cost: 470

Avitus, Rep 4 Secutor (average size male)
Cost: 490

Tullio, Rep 4 Murmillo (a large man, sometimes referred to as "Tullio the Titan"...Cassius has high hopes for this one)
Cost: 520

Severus, Rep 4 Dimachaerus (average size male)
Cost: 470

Marcus Rusonius, Rep 4 Condemned Legionary (average sized free man who has been condemned to slavery and quickly purchased by House Tyranus hoping to profit from his experience in the Roman army)
Cost: 510

Total Cost: 2460 aurei

Cassius will hold the rest back(2540 aurei) to purchase replacements if necessary and to cover the costs of entering his gladiators in each contest.

Ludus Tyranus arrives in Gaul in November 106 A.D., in time for the winter games to be held there in honor of the begins the career of Cassius Tyranus in his quest to be the best lanista with the most well known familia gladiatoria in all of the Republic...

Next up: The Gaul Winter Games

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


September 106 AD
Southwestern Britannia
An account of Salvanius

I enjoyed my life as a fisherman. I loved living on the coast...the clear, cool days and the crisp nights. I'd spend the days on my father's boat, catching whatever would bite and earn my living. The evenings I would dine with the family and look west across the Pacific and wonder what lay beyond the horizon. Life was peaceful, life was good.

Until the Romans came...turns out I should have been looking East.

The Roman Legions overran our tribal defenses and we were forcibly integrated into what was called the greater "Roman Empire". Diplomats from Rome tried to convince us of the benfits of Roman citizenship. Those of us that resisted were taken and made public examples of what it was to stand against Rome. The lucky ones, like me, were made slaves to serve our new conquerers. Some of the able bodied males were rounded up by Legionaries and taken to their barracks.

Lining us up along a wall, a centurion walked by, inspecting us one by one. Stopping in front of me, he asked "What is your name?" When I didnt immediately reply, a nearby legionaire said, "Speak!", and I felt a sharp blow to my ribs from the pommel of his sword. I looked into the centurion's eyes and said, "Salvanius". I dont know why he singled me out. I like to think that he could see the hatred in my eyes. Unphased, he gave a nod to his subordinate.

I was given a large shield and a sword called a gladius, and led to a sand filled, square shaped area surrounded by a wooden wall. I was pushed through the door leading into it and looked across at a man similarly armed. I've never fought another man in my life. As we approached each other with weapons drawn, I heard a spectator yell "Now let's see what the barbarians can do!"

1st Match

I rolled Rep 3 to begin with, so I figured an untested meager fisherman would be a way to start this campaign. I rolled a Rep 4 for my opponent. A small man named Lurio. I was bigger than he, but he was more experienced. It would make us equal in combat but since he was Rep 4, he had more attack dice than me. Neither of us have any armour or helmet, just a gladius and large shield to begin with. The Romans apparently want to see what we're made of...
Attack Dice:
Lurio 20
Salvanius 15

Turn 1 Initiative-Lurio
Lurio moved forward to engage...I moved forward to meet him...trying too hard, I overswung and missed wildly, while the smaller Lurio ducked and slashed toward my left leg. I was able to block with my shield at the last second...

but in doing so, I was knocked off balance and fell onto my back, burning an additional attack die...oh boy, what a great start...this is nothing like fishing...Lurio immediatelay moved to strike while I was down, but was unable to find an opening.
Attack Dice:
Lurio 17
Salvanius 10

Turn 2 Initiative-Lurio
Lurio maintained the initiative and put alot behind his next attack and struck at my head which I blocked with my shield, but he was able to press his advantage and strike again, putting everything he had into it...he seemed determined to finish this fight before I could regain my feet...the speed of his gladius proved to be too quick as it pierced my belly...I cried out and rolled to my left in an effort to stand but fell back to the sand out of breath and unable to continue...the centurion watching the fight called out, "That's enough." Lurio turned and left the arena as I was helped to my feet by another slave and led back to the barracks. As I left the sand, I heard the centurion say, "You have much to learn. First lesson is that size is not everything. Back to the barracks with you. Heal yourself and your training can begin."
Attack Dice:
Lurio 11
Salvanius 0

I lie in the barracks trying to heal the wound to my belly over the next few months. I begin to run a fever, which the healers are unable to my body temperature continues to rise my body begins to shut down. My final thoughts are of being out on the water, fishing as my vision dims and everything goes black.
Well, that was a short first fight I lose from a belly wound, and miserably fail all 3 of my healing rolls. The manual states that if you fail your 3 healing rolls that you are permanately injured and sold off at your current slave value, but I figured since my healing rolls werent even close to passing, that I eventually died from the wound, maybe from blood poisoning or was a pretty common thing back then, so I think it fits here, even if I didnt want it to happen...but then again that's the world of RSBS...very unforgiving...
Hmmm....I wonder if Salvanius had any brothers... (wink)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thinking of starting a gladitorial campaign in ancient Rome...beginning in Britannia...and if I can survive long enough and improve my fighting skills, sail across to the mainland and work my way towards the interior empire and hopefully one day to Rome itself and win my freedom...
Getting a few more gladiator images together so that I can begin this campaign...after that Secutor/Legionaire confrontation, I just have to hope that I can last long enough to improve my skills and make it out of Britannia...the Red Sands, Blue Sky world can be pretty unforgiving, as at times, your fate can be decided by a fickle and unruly crowd...perhaps that line from "Gladiator" was right, "Rome is the mob"...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Secutor Vs. Legionaire

Ok, gonna give it a go against a more armoured and experienced fighter this time: A Rep 6 Condemned opposed to my Rep 5 Secutor...the Legionaire has better armour and is going to have more dice in his pool...I'm gonna have to be a little more careful with my attacks and possibly spread them out a bit more, as I dont think I will be able to land very many(if at all) blows to his head or upper torso which is well armoured...his arms and legs are bare, but he has a large shield as I do, so that may be a problem.....
The gates open and we both enter...the legionaire enters weilding his pilum...if that thing embeds itself in my shield, I may have to abandon it...I will have to close with him quickly to take that possibility away...he is more experienced and in better shape than me, maybe I can take away the use of his exposed arms or legs...
I put some wooden posts in this arena, dont know if they will play a part in the fight or not...I suppose you could use them for cover from missile attacks, or cause your opponent to bump into them causing him to stumble...

Turn 1 Initiative-Legionaire
He moves forward to put me in range of his pilum, I charge forward hoping to engage him before he can launch it at me.
Attack Dice:
Secutor 25
Legionaire 30

Turn 2 Initiative-Secutor
Yes, I gain the initiative and move in to engage...I lung forward but the legionaire is able to use his large shield and block my initial attack...

knowing his pilum is not an effective close range weapon, he swings his large shield forward against mine and easily pushes me back...

I am able to stay on my feet, but I am forced to burn an attack die...
Attack Dice:
Secutor 20
Legionaire 25

Turn 3 Initiative-Secutor
Before the legionaire was able to throw his pilum, I quickly closed again to strike...the experienced soldier was ready, easily knocking aside my gladius and thrusting towards my outstretched left leg...I barely blocked the lunge with my shield...

but the force of the blow knocked me back, and losing my feet I fell back onto the sand and had to burn another attack die...he quickly followed up and stabbed down...his pilum came straight at my face as I twisted my head at the last second and took a grazing blow on the side of my helmet...I was using alot of energy on the sand and needed to get to my feet again quickly...
Attack Dice:
Secutor 13
Legionaire 21

Turn 4 Initiative-Secutor
Whew...I was sweating that...retaining the initiative here was critical so I could stand, which I do...the legionaire uses this opportunity to cast his pilum aside and draw his sword...
Attack Dice:
Secutor 13
Legionaire 21

Turn 5 Initiative-Secutor
I needed an advantage here, so darted to my left in a flanking maneuver, but the legionaire was ready and blocked my attempt, causing me to burn another attack die...I stabbed forwards before he could bring his shield around...luckily, my gladius slipped through the plate armour of his belly and I drew first blood...he grunted in pain and lost an additional 3 attack dice...

He became angry and swung high and fast and caught me square in the forehead...

my helmet held firm but the power of his sword arm knocked me on my back again, losing yet another attack die from the fall...leaping to me, he swung down and it was all I could do to hold my shield up and stop his sword, causing me to use more energy, and was almost depleted...I was desperate...the next initiative would decide my fate...
Attack Dice:
Secutor 2
Legionaire 11

Turn 6 Initiative-Secutor
Ok , I barely retained initiative...but using my turn to stand(which I must), I would fight this round of melee at -1 to my Rep, but I had no other I roll to my feet and use my last bit of strength to strike at the legionaire...I used my last 2 attack dice left and while rolling on the "NPC Dice Allocation Table" to see how many he would use I rolled high resulting in him using 3, which made perfect sense since he had plenty left to give compared to me(made perfect sense, damn it all)...I swung forward, and the legionaire batted my gladius to the side and struck me in the chest, not wounding me but causing me to give ground and lose another attack die...

I collided with the post behind me as I was pushed back and then fell forward and face down in front of the legionaire with no energy left to give...the legionaire now stood before me while my fate was decided...
Attack Dice:
Secutor 0
Legionaire 8

Fate of the Fallen
Awaiting the crowd's decision, I realized that I had a couple of things going for me here, I was spent of energy(meaning that I put up a good fight) and had dealt a wound to my opponent, while sustaining no wounds myself...that would help me in the decision...
Ok then...even having the decision in my favor didnt help me as I rolled a 9 and a 10, thus passing 0 dice...I felt pretty confident having my Rep altered to a 7 from being spent and dealing a wound to the legionaire, but it mattered not as the dice Gods clearly were against me and influenced the crowd to have me put down...

I started at a disadvantage by fighting an opponent with a Rep that was 1 higher than mine...I was able to keep him from using his pilum effectively and taking out my shield, but being knocked to the sand twice is what really killed me, causing me to use twice the amount of attack dice in melee...even when wounding the legionaire caused him to lose 3 attack dice, the energy I used from the 2 knockdowns was more than twice that...just goes to show you that you can still be defeated even when not being can also outlast your opponent...your energy is such an important factor...
Also having an unfortunate dice roll when the crowd decided my fate didnt help any...curse them...
Hope you enjoyed...even in defeat I had fun...until next time...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

BatRep...Secutor vs. Retarius

Turn 1 Initiative-Retarius

Retarius takes the initiative and moves into range to prepare for a Net Attack on his next turn...I move forward to engage hoping to get the initiative next turn.

Turn 2 Initiative-Retarius

As I closed, the Retarius quickly threw his net before I could react and was ensnared(damn the luck...I was already getting nervous here) but he couldnt pull me to the ground and while still ensnared, I was able to stay on my feet...

The Retarius sprung forward to attack while I was caught in his net(at a -2 to my Rep) to strike a finishing blow and quickly finish me...miraculously I was able to fend him off(although I burned 4 melee dice to his 2...being caught in a net and fighting at a -2 to Rep, I decided to use 4 melee dice while he used the trade off was me expending twice as much energy just to keep him at bay so that I could free myself on my turn...

which I did and threw it behind me...whew, close call...but now let's see how tough he is without his net).

Turn 3 Initiative-Secutor

Yes, I had the first to move inside the range of his trident. I leaped forward and put 3 melee dice into my attack and caught him off guard(rolling on the NPC Dice Allocation table, the Retarius only used 1 melee dice in defense, a lucky roll for me, so I dramatically attribute this to "catching him off guard" )...I swung high and caught him in the head...he was wearing no helmet, so he suffered a wound and staggered back, stunned and was unable to fight back during his lucky strike forced him to use up a few extra dice in his pool and lowered his Rep by 1 until he cleared his that I had the advantage, I had to move in and end this.

Turn 4 Initiative-Secutor
The Retarius was unable to clear his head and remained stunned, so I moved in for the kill...again I decided to put more energy into this attack, but could not find a mark as the stunned Retarius was able to parry and dodge every thrust and swing I threw at him.

Turn 5 Initiative-Secutor

The Retarius was able to clear his head and raise his Rep back to 5, so that now we were on equal footing, although from the effort I put into my last attack, my Dice Pool was lower than his now, so I had to be careful so as to not wear myself out too quickly...I tried a flanking move to his left to gain an advantage and failed miserably, exposing my own left flank(so much for having the Initiative advantage)...

he stabbed forward to my exposed ribcage but I was able to bat the trident away with my shield and follow up with my gladius with a slash across his unarmoured chest...he was now bleeding from the head and chest now, and I was breathing heavily from the efforts I was throwing into my attacks...I didnt have much energy left.

Turn 6 Initiative-Retarius

The Retarius stabbed high for my head, and I ducked low and and slashed at his lower left leg, his armour there prevented any injury to him, but it did force him back limping a bit...we were both very tired...I was almost exhausted...

as he staggered back, I closed on him but even being wounded, he was still able to parry my attacks on him...I was gasping for breath now as my dice pool was almost spent...he had just a little more than me and was slowing down as I was...I felt that this next turn would be the last for one of us...

Turn 7 Initiative-Secutor
This was it...I put everything I had left into my last assault...I knew I wouldnt have anything left to give after this attack and would end up lying on the sand...I just hoped that he would be lying there as well, preferably defeated...the Retarius took a defensive stance, right foot back, left leg forward with his trident pointed towards me...I rushed in low and was able to push his trident upwards and away from me with my shield and with my last bit of strength, slash his unarmoured upper left leg, wounding him a third time...this wound took the last bit of energy he had left and he fell backwards onto the sand...I also fell forwards onto my hands and knees gasping for breath...I crawled over to where he lay and pointed my gladius at him...bleeding from the 3 wounds I was fortunate enough to give him, and exhausted, he was forced to submit and I was declared the victor...just barely the victor...
The Fate of the Fallen

I looked to the crowd to see what the fate of the defeated Retarius would be...there were cheers for my victory but also there were just as many pleas for mercy to spare him(seems like they wanted to see a rematch)...the crowd looked to the editor up in his chair...he quickly gave a thumbs down so I finished my opponent for good...I slowly rose to my feet and staggered my way back to the holding pens, not having the strength left to raise my arms and acknowledge the cheers of the crowd...
Man, what a close fight this was...literally came down to the wire...I took a chance early on and used a lot of energy in my initial attacks, and was fortunate to land some strikes...but in doing so, I very nearly exhausted myself and almost collapsed on the sand from over exertion...planning your attacks carefully knowing when to reserve your energy are key elements...but sometimes just taking chances can turn the tide as well...but we are all equally at the mercy of the dice gods...

Vassal Mod for Red Sand, Blue Sky

Been trying my hand at creating a mod for "Red Sand, Blue Sky" for Vassal...Red Sand, Blue Sky is a game by Two Hour Wargames, involving gladitorial combat in Ancient all Two Hour Wargame titles, it can be played solo, which is a huge plus for me...I use Vassal for this as I cant paint minis worth a damn at all....

Here's a screen shot of a work in progress, my Vassal mod for Red Sand, Blue Sky...
This is a small, square and very plain arena made for the "fringe of the Empire" areas...
I like top-down views, and this shows a Secutor entering from the north, ready to square off against a Retarius, entering from the southern entrance...the numbers on the combatants signify their the right are the stat sheets for each fighter...I feel it's handy to have all information needed on one screen for quick reference...
For my first game, I am trying my hand at playing the Secutor, armed with gladius and shield, and taking on the Retarius, armed with net and trident, who is controlled by the game's solo mechanics...