JUGULA is the the latest publication from Tomahawk Games (the creator of SAGA). I bought JUGULA at Historicon 2014 and only am just now wrapping my head around it. The thing is that isn’t really “a gladiator combat simulation. It isn’t even really a game about gladiators” — Designer Notes, JUGULA. Sure, gladiatorial combat surely factors into this game, but it is told from an entirely different narrative. The player is really inhabiting the sandals of the Lanistae, the gladiator’s manager/owner, much more than he is inhabiting the role of the gladiator. Thus, there isn’t a preponderance of charts and points to track. Instead, the combat itself is a quick series of decision that are made using card play. It plays rather more like a deck drafting game than a combat game about single combat. So CARDS.. and CARD PLAY… are paramount in this design.
Therein lies the problem. Much like the custom dice of SAGA, the cards in JUGULA are the “hook”.. the item you really need to play the game, and as always, the most expensive commodity short of miniatures you’ll be picking up to get started. Two JUGULA card decks set me back 15.00 each at Historicon. At roughly 36 cards per deck (12 Jugula, 12 Prima Jugula and 12 Armaturae (gladiator types)), that’s a very expensive card deck.
So why not make my own? And indeed… why not? For the cost of some inexpensive transparent card sleeves, a little composing time and some printer ink, I have started a new “Generic Gladiator” card deck in MS Publisher. Once it is created, I can print it many times, almost free.
No, it isn’t pretty, but you’ll be amazed how quickly you get over that.
Check out the some of the Gladiator Types that are in the initial release. I’m working on the “Action Part” of the deck now. Which I won’t post, as certain weenies on TMP are accusing me of copyright violation, even though I’m making this for me.
DISCLAIMER: my GENERIC GLADIATOR DECK is produced for my own purposes, and will not be for distribution when completed.