Spartacus Review at Play Unplugged

Posted: September 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

Taejas Kudva at Play Unplugged talks about finding Spartacus: A Game of Blood and Treachery at GenCon, and then reviews it.

An excerpt from the review

The funny thing is that when I first saw the booth, I walked right by. The board looked small and didn’t seem much more than a small arena and a few figures. I’m not really a skirmish minis guy, so I certainly wasn’t interested in a rules light board game version of skirmish minis combat. However, I found myself back at the booth after running into some friends who raved about the demo. Twenty minutes later, I had $40 less but a nicely packaged box of goodies to show for it. The game turns out to be a good bit more than four plastic gladiators and an arena.

Just like the show, Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery focuses on the fortunes of the ludus (gladiator slave school) owners in the Roman city of Capua. The goal is to become the most influential owner, of course. You rise to the top of the heap through a combination of managing one’s ludus and navigating the murky back alleys of entertainment politics.

The mechanics of the game are quick and easy to grasp – we had it down by the end of the first turn – but there are some very interesting rules that are new to me and the interaction and planning is surprisingly deep. As a personal bonus for my tastes, although we started off playing the game focused on winning mechanically, the great theme and the interdependence of the ludi soon had us actually role playing a bit as we wheeled and dealt and backstabbed. It’s a nice little metaphor: the board you see focuses on gladiator combat, but a huge chunk of the game happens off the board with the dagger wielding diplomacy of back room deals.

Find the rest of the review here!



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