Are your gladiators prepared for combat? We’re about to find out! Recruit the best gladiators you can, come to battle prepared with plenty of tactics, and do not forget to garner plenty of support from your patrons too. It’s time to put your combat skills to the test!

Deck Building – Players will build their deck throughout the game in order to defeat their opponent. Players can buy gladiators, training cards (tactics/reactions), and/or economy cards (income/patrons/schemes) to flesh out their deck for their best strategy. They will play as many cards as they can each turn to buy more cards, take actions from schemes, and/or place gladiators into arenas

Combat – Once enough gladiators are assigned to arenas, players will take turns attacking with those gladiators, and/or using tactic cards to try and defeat their opponent’s fighters, and win the point(s) from that arena

Race – The 1st player to 6 glory points is the winner, and the game will end immediately when this happen

  • 2 Players – Head-to-head battle; works well, but I would definitely recommend it to 2 players at the same skill level
  • Ages 13 & Up / Mid-Weight Gamers – Not too complex rules-wise, but strategic in nature and you have to know how to balance the different types of cards, since you always have multiple options available to you. Important to be able to build effective synergies
  • Fans of the gladiator theme, deck building, and that 1v1 combat style

  • Aesthetics – The art is nice, good graphic design, symbology is clear
  • Player board is great for reference
  • I like the 3 separate store decks. It allows variety in what’s available, while still having some guarantee of the types of things out on every turn; good variety of cards
  • Theme works well with the game play
  • Turns are fairly quick and smooth
  • Nice level of strategy during combat with attack paired with playing just the right tactic at the right time, and using reaction cards
  • I like that you have to balance buying patrons and gladiators since you need influence to have gladiators out at arenas
  • The coin tokens is a cool feature to let you stock up on money for later rounds. And I like that you can use them on their own, or combine them with income cards
    • I also like that you get coin tokens as compensation when gladiators are defeated
  • Rules – Bit clunky/overly wordy in some areas
  • Length – Runs too long for what it is; it starts to get repetitive, which makes it drag more
  • Replay Value – Plays weren’t terribly different from one another, so I didn’t find myself excited to come back to it often
  • I wish there were more “card combos” like you see in many deck building games – i.e. being able to draw more cards to have bigger/better turns

I have played a lot of deck builders, and I definitely thought this had a unique feel to it.

I liked the varied card markets and the 2 different phases (playing cards, then combat) seemed to work well overall.

I just thought that, keeping an eye on the bloodlust of gladiators to see when combat triggered was inconvenient, and, unfortunately, the arena phases dragged on, especially in later rounds when more gladiators are out. For me, it just didn’t hold my interest over multiple plays.

With all that in mind, if you like deck building, and you’re into this theme, it might be one worth checking out!

Additional Information:

Designer – Alex Wolf
Artists – Jacob Atienza, Crimzon Studio
Publisher – Spielcraft Games
MSRP – $49.99 (standard edition)

*I was provided a copy of this game to do this review*

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