Arena Colossei is live (Gladiator games)

Update: Arena Colossei: Ludi Gladiatorii has launched on Kickstarter and the campaign will run for 20 days. You may pledge for a copy of the game.


Our preview post below was published on April 6.

Arena Colossei: Ludi Gladiatorii is a 1-6 players skirmish miniatures game set in the bloody sands of the Roman Colosseum. In this game, you must fight as a gladiator to win the crowd’s favor, or simply for your survival. It will launch on Kickstarter on April 7, and if you back in the first 72 hours, you will also get the digital files to print your own replica of the earliest known dice tower, a Roman artifact from the fourth century AD (which we coincidentally had featured in a Lounge post back in January).

Image source: BGG

Each gladiator comes with a unique miniature, a plastic base showing the directions in which it is most vulnerable, and a sheet that gives the historical background and specifies the stats for the gladiator class: health, stamina, shield protection, and protection values for the head, chest, and legs. It also has a dedicated set of movement cards and combat tiles.


The game is played over a maximum of 15 rounds. Each round consists of two phases: movement and combat. Players first select their hand of movement cards, ensuring that they can afford all of them. Each movement card costs a given amount of action points, the number of action points you have on your round being specified by your current stamina value. Then, the players pick a card from their hand and play it simultaneously. When an opponent is within the attack range of your gladiator (as specified by your gladiator sheet), you can declare an engagement and the combat phase begins.

Image source: BGG

In the combat phase, the player declaring the engagement is the attacker. Both players select a combat tile and reveal it simultaneously. The color of the tile corresponds to one of the three body parts (head, chest, legs) that can be attacked. If the tile of the defender matches that of the attacker, the attack may be deflected. In case of a match, the attack is blocked, but the shield of the defender is damaged by one point until it is shattered (remember that all gladiators come with a shield protection stat). If the attack is not blocked, a die is rolled, its value is added to that of the weapon, and compared to the protection value of the targeted body part. For all points over this value, it inflicts damage and the defender loses as much protection for this body part. If you can no longer block an attack (because you have lost your shield) but have successfully matched the attacker’s tile color, you can still deflect it with your weapon, by rolling a die to beat the attacker’s value.