"To endure burning with fire, shackling with chains, to be whipped with rods and killed with steel". Not a fun time! Still, this was the Roman gladiator's oath of submission and it illustrated the life they led pretty well. Last year, I decided I wanted me some action in the arena, so I got a box each of the Italeri and Pegasus gladiators and a copy of the "Red Sands, Blue Sky: Heroes of the Arena" rules from Two Hour Wargames. This is a neat sense of rules that allows you to play at three levels: solo game (always a good idea), head-head campaign where you are the head of a troupe of gladiators or familia gladiatoria, or a campaign where your gladiator(s) try to make it to Rome and win the coveted rudis (wooden sword) and freedom.
The game is pretty complete, coming with pretty much all the rules you will need, paper miniatures and a paper arena. Paper is for pussies I tell you. We are here to get our hands dirty with styrene and polyethelene and paints. So I went ahead and painted one each of the six gladiator types outlined in the rules:
Hoplomachus (sans shield): Italeri
Murmillo (front): Italeri
Retarius (net added from gauze): Italeri
Secutor (without helmet): Pegasus
It was a fun little project. I still have more gladiators to paint if I so desire (including women and midgets who are also included in the ruleset) and some animals. Now, to motivate myself to build a small arena and invite fellow blogger Thanos from Miniatures and Terrain for an evening of casual slaughter sine missione (without mercy) on the sands.