Friday, March 25, 2011

#82: Clash of the Gladiators

Clash of the Gladiators
  • designer: Reiner Knizia
  • publisher: Rio Grande/Hans im Gluck
  • date: 2002
  • BoardGameGeek rank/rating: 2430/5.88
  • position on my top 100 in 2005: did not appear
  • age: 10+
  • # of players: 2-5
  • print status: out of print
  • cost: numerous used copies are for sale/trade on BGG
Others may prefer the more refined Knizia offerings - Euphrat & Tigris or perhaps Amun-Re - but my tastes run towards his, well, lighter work. In this case, a game so delightfully light that it contains almost as many die rolls as your average game of Risk... packed into 45-minute game!

Clash of the Gladiators is just that - a battle royale between groups of gladiators and the occasional rabid animal (btw, bears are more dangerous than lions - important safety tip). To radically paraphrase noted philosopher Bob the Tomato (from Veggietales): "You roll the dice, you move your mice... everybody gets hurt."

The game begins with drafting your various 4-man gladiator teams:
  • Swordsmen (who give you extra dice)
  • Spearmen (who let you attack first)
  • Net throwers (who neutralize enemy gladiators)
  • Shield bearers (who soak up wounds)
  • Trident carriers (who give you the chance to reroll the dice)
Once the teams are ready, you fill in the empty spaces with wild animals & the attacks begin. A turn is simply the option to move followed by an attack & the response of the other player. Unless you're playing with someone with a bad case of analysis paralysis, the game rips along at a delightful pace.

It's easy enough to teach 8 year olds... yet the right crowd of gamers can enjoy this game as well, complete with Steve Reeves' imitations & lots of trash-talking.

BTW, this is another game that begs the question: "How do you tell the difference between a Euro game & an Ameritrash game?"
  • European designer? Check.
  • German publisher? Check.
It's a Euro, right? Well...
  • Copious amounts of dice-rolling? Check.
  • Violent theme? Check.
  • "Target the leader" tendencies? Check.
Oh, it's Ameritrash.

Wait a minute... (he types, grinning!)

1 comment:

=+=SuperflyTNT=+= said...

Dude, good stuff here. Got this link from Sieze Your Turn, and I have to admit that this may be the only Knizia besides TTD that I might enjoy.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention!