16 December 2015
Fancy becoming a ruthless gladiator manager?
Gale Force 9 | Strategy | £29.99 | 3-4 players | 120 minutes | www.gf9.com
Spartacus is a game that’ll split opinion, rather like the over-the-top and violent television show that it’s based on. If you like the idea of taking on the role of a ruthless, scheming Dominus in ancient who doesn’t mind sending gladiators to their death in the arena then read on…
Firstly, Spartacus is cheap and can be picked up well under the £30 mark, which doesn’t make it so painful on the wallet. During the game you’ll be buying slaves, guards to protect and gladiators to fight in the arena. You begin by playing intrigue cards that can poison other gladiators, spread rumours about the other players and generally just be fairly dodgy. However, intrigue cards cost influence to play. Luckily though if you haven’t got enough influence you can team up with another player and combine influence to play the card – very handy to take down a mutual rival.
Next you’ll be heading to market to bid on certain items like equipment for your gladiators or slaves. All the players take part in an auction for the items in question and powerful gladiators are certainly likely to be popular… and therefore costly.
Once you’ve done all this – blimey, there’s a lot to do – it time to fight the gladiators. You can choose to host the gladiatorial scrap, which also means you can stipulate certain conditions such as a payment to enter or choose someone with weak gladiators.
Those who don’t enter will lose influence. The fights themselves play out using miniatures and you can move around and attack, just like you would in a mini skirmish game. Finally if you’ve chosen to host the gladiatorial combat you can re-create your favourite scenes from Gladiator by giving the thumbs up or thumbs down… no matter who has won.
So, there you have it, despite the fact that Spartacus’ inspiration may lead you to the conclusion that it’s a bad game, it is in fact a good game about being bad.
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