Ave, Imperator, morituri te salutant

The time has come for my arena to return.

The summer sun beat down on the young man standing alone on the sand. He glanced about as the odd murmured conversation reached his ears. Sweat stung his eyes and he slid his hands down the rough material of his tunic. Without taking his eyes of the large doors he knelt down and rubbed his hands in the sand to help get a better grip on the spear that lay by his side.

From the other side of the doors angry shouts burst out. There was the clanking of chains on metal then silence. Germanicus retrieved his weapon and stood tall, ready to face whatever came through the forbidding portal.

As the doors swung open on their chains the crowd roared their approval as the tawny beast slunk into the arena.

This was no bear, Germanicus had hunted bears with dog and spear in his homeland, but this was a cat! Large and lithe with an agile grace that made him pause.

The cat trotted towards him growling at the back of its throat.

Throwing caution to the wind Germanicus charged, hoping to pierce the heart or lungs, but although his aim was true, the beast leapt sideways and his killing blow, drew blood but little more.

The beast struck back, but perhaps the noise of the crowd or the sudden pain in its shoulder caused it to mistime the strike. Germanicus easily blocked the swipe of the claws.

Germanicus lunged again, but this time the cat expected it an swatted aside the spear point.

Claws raked the spear shaft as Germanicus protected himself from the enraged creature. Who, with some form of detached interest, noted the anger in those yellow-brown eyes. He also spotted the burns where heated iron had been pressed against its skin.

Another lunge and another blocked attack. The crowed heckled and screamed their anger, they had come to see blood and so far very little had been spilled.

Blood appeared soon enough, Germanicus misjudged the attack and his thigh and chest seemed to open up before his eyes.

Stumbling slightly and gripping his spear more tightly, he lunged again, the pain seemed distant. As did the roar of the crowds.

The beast swatted aside his feeble blow with ease. As the great paws struck again and again Germanicus collapsed to the blood soaked sand. As his vision dimmed he realised that he would never again see the rain soaked hills of his beloved homelands.

As the lion dragged the still warm body across the arena men with whips and red hot iron ran forward. They had a timetable to keep to. Any infringement would mean the Fat tub of grease sitting on the dais with his smug smile would have them in front of the crowds like poor Germanicus. The best they could do now was give the poor lad’s remains a proper burial.

As it is our local Games day/convention tomorrow I was asked to bring the Gladiator game again. It is a nice easy system.

This lion was pretty tough, the one liked by the crowds as it became a skilled man killer. Normally the lions in the games are NPC’s and actually don’t have any defence dice. I thought I would see what would happen when they do.

For the first couple of turns the Bestiarius had it pretty much all his own way, and then in three turn the tables were turned and down he went.

The thing about a lion is that it doesn’t really care if someone waves their thumb up or down.

The rules and some of the miniatures are from EM4. The Lions are Foundry and the rest of the gladiators are Westwind ones, to my knowledge no longer available in the uk.

I have enough ‘special’ cards to have four people playing at once.

Each player has a gladiator miniature and associated card

Marcus has 8 hit points, moves 5 and throws 2 standard dice and a boosted dice.

His specials are:

Savage attack

2x feint

2x Doughty defence

2x Dodge

All gladiators get seven specials plus a blank special to avoid your opponent having an advantage. The specials are crossed off the card once used. The blank card can be used as often as required.

We will see how tomorrow goes and feed back tomorrow evening.

Ludus Gladiatorius Arena III

Working on the dais tonight.

Wooden floor and expensive Persian rugs. The rugs (if full size) would have cost me £3000+ 

Still a load of work to do before Saturday, the time is taken up with waiting for the PVA to dry. I am still waiting on the internal palisade to dry. The carpet on the raised stones is to be draped over, the seat will be covered with cloth and if I have time- cushions.


I decided to add a stone face to the front wall rather than timber.

Gladiators – slow progress 

Slow progress indeed. With working on the arena at home and trying to paint at work (people forget I am allowed a lunch break) with the phone going and people wanting me these are taking forever.

To be honest though, there is really only the metallics to do and the weapon shafts hair and nets washed and highlighted. I don’t think I am going to bother painting in the eyes. Once these are done I have a Hopolomachus, a few lions and a Dimacherius to finish. All before Saturday.

Ludus Gladiatorius – the Arena

As you can tell, Gladiators are my next big thing, well actually they have already been a thing for years. Now as mentioned on a previous post or two Ludus Gladiatorius comes with absolutely everything you need to play the game. But for the Games day I decided to make a simple provincial arena.  

This is being made out of 10mm extruded polystyrene.  For speed I decided to do squares instead of hexagons. 

This will have an internal planked wall (and possibly external) the gates will be under the dais at the back. To be honest for speed I haven’t really bothered with a way in, but this may change 🤣.

Regarding Ludus Gladiatorius. Doug from EM4 replied to my email stating that LG II is sold out and there aren’t that many of LG left either, but that a new version was in the pipeline with ‘lots of goodies’.

I will most certainly be waiting for it to come out, You can never have too many gladiators 👍. 

EM4 has loads of good stuff at really good prices. It is well worth giving them a look for both Painted and unpainted figures. 


Ludus Gladiatorius II

Yippee, I have the second set of the rules and it does indeed have a lion and a retiarius, not to mention a  venator/bestiarius an amazon and a poor condemned slave.

Once again a big thank you to EM4 who gave me access to the Yahoo group and allowed me to download the LGII. 

The retiarius type will be useful for my Laquearius types armed with a lasso and a whip.

My Ludus will now be able to field a wider range of types than before.


I cracked on a bit with these. I really do like the poses of them, however I think you can only get them from Old Glory in the states.

I only ever bought the lights and mediums, but never ever got round to getting some heavies. I will have to see what else is out there in terms of figures.

Ludis Gladiatorius – Game play

Well my eldest and I decided to give this a go this afternoon. We took a gladiator each Caladus a heavy type and Marcus Arillius a light (yours truly  ended up with the light). Although fast it would hurt if he got caught by the heavy.

Marcus is at the top and Caladus is in the bottom. 

Caladus moved first and advanced across the arena to engage Marcus,

Marcus then took his turn and advanced quickly. He was lucky and managed to go first. He rushed at Caladus and used a special action to increase his chance of hitting which failed miserably. Caladus  allowed the blows to connect with his shield and retaliated. Because of the savage attack he had undertaken Marcus had to take whatever Caladus threw at him.

  Luckily he managed to avoid all strikes. This stand off carried on for a good while as the crowds booed and threw threw fruit at the hapless pair. This seemed to spur Marcus on and he managed to get past the shield and draw blood.

Angered Caladus threw caution to the wind and attacked wildly. Sadly the enraged Gaul was so angry that he forgot all of his training and. completely missed his target.

Sadly for Marcus his luck ran out a few Moments later and he ran straight into. Caladus’ sword. Bleeding profusely he fought back managing to inflict another wound on the big Gaul. 

Sensing  his opponent was near the end of the line Caladus used his weight and strength to shower blows on his opponent. Marcus tried to protect himself but sadly the attacks came thick and fast. Thrown to the ground he had to wait for the Editor to decide his fate.

Luckily the home crowd was rooting for him and he avoided the blade to the throat. He would have a few more scars to show off to his adoring fans. Not to mention a nice share of the takings.

Well What do I think?

Both my daughter and I both enjoyed them. She thinks they will be good for the games day, easy to learn and quick play, which will allow drop in sessions.

She is trying to get me to use my alternative gladiators….

Now for the games day I am in two minds whether or not to make my own arena. I think the one that comes is fine, but I really do enjoy making things.

For a speedy game these rules are ideal and I would recommend them for a nice simple (and I don’t mean this in an insulting way) I can see me and the kids are going to be getting to grips with these. Version 2 is out, but sadly I can’t  find the rules anywhere. It comes with a retiarius, a lion and, from what it says on these rules,  some form of campaign setting.

Once again a big shout out to EM4 for their absolute lightning speed delivery. I had asked if they could get it to me ASAP thinking it would arrive mid week next week. Instead 2 days later I am playing with it.

We will see what we go for in terms of figures for the game I am speed painting extra gladiators from the Westwind range for Gladiator wars.

Part of me really wants to go for the Lego as my approach to the Games day is to organise stuff that people can play that wont break the bank, but to be honest a gladiator game that you can play straight out to the box for £ 12.50 with painted figures is an amazing price.  My lego gladiators shown above cost way more than the painted pewter ones.

I will post pictures of the day next weekend. 

Ludus Gladiatorius

I was going to run a gladiator participation game at this years games day. The problem was simple enough rules, that didn’t involve loads of complications.

The Rules I own so far are:


Blue sky, red sand,


Are you not entertained?

Warhammer historical – Gladiator 

Gladiator wars

I was considering running the Warhammer ones, then by chance I came across a model arena in a terrain forum. This arena had a set of cards next to it…after a few people asked what the rules were. EM4 Ludus Gladiatorius.

I ordered a set on 19th and to my surprise the package arrived on 21st. Bearing in mind it normally takes an extra day to get things here. So a big thank you to EM4 for their excellent service.

The game comes with everything you need, including 5 painted Gladiators 

The mechanics are simple- roll the combat dice and if the swords are greater than the shields then it is a hit. The tokens are for special actions – Savage attack, Feint, Dodge, Doughty defence. Each gladiator gets 7 such special actions and are crossed off when used. When played these are hidden from an opponent until the attack/defence is undertaken, this stops sneaky people changing their action to counter the special action played.

I will try it out with the kids today and see how it plays out. I know that EM4 are working on an upgraded set of rules, but these are nice an simple and ideal for what I want.

The one thing that I think is missing is a retiarius, but I think I have some knocking around somewhere. I should be able to knock up some stats based on the light gladiator in this set. He will probably be able to attack at a distance.

Update: I found my Gladiators and some lions….. just have to paint them now 😱