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Joey, Do You Like Board Games About Gladiators?

It was Workman's turn to pick, and he wanted to play Sporadicus.

I had never played, so I watched a few reviews. I learned that the game involved three phases: Intrigue, where you negotiate via manipulation and deceit; Market, where you wheel and deal and blind bid for assets and people; and Combat, where you fight to the death in a dice-chucking arena battle. So basically, we were signed up for a night of Workman: the Board Game.

Spartacus box

This box contains mature content.

Cruel

This might be some of the mature content they were going on about.

I have not watched the TV show. Steve and Workman have, and were more than excited to make references as appropriate. Steve yelled "Jupiter's Cock!" every five minutes, which somehow remained funny all evening, and this happened, during a Market phase:

Leon: what's that? Steve: a Masked Courtesan. Leon: what's it do? Steve: the masked courtesans are these weird guys that while watching . It's like watching porn sort of..... Leon: the EFFECT. What's the CARD EFFECT do?

I did not have high hopes for this game, as none of the phases as I understood them are really in my wheelhouse. I knew Workman would win by a landslide, and was just hoping for some laughs along the way. "Jupiter's Cock!"

Team Glaber

I was Team Glaber. I had this very nice power involving guards. Unfortunately, I never really amassed enough guards to allow me to take it anywhere, but I tried. I also had some decent Intrigue cards, but never had the influence or intelligence to play them (directional arrows are hard.) I did have money for most of the game though, and I managed to get myself up to 8 influence just through card play and hosting. Certainly not though my prowess in the arena. "Jupiter's Cock!"

I never had strong gladiators. Truth be known, the combat didn't interest me. I think I only bought one additional gladiator the whole game, and I only bought him because he reminded me of Lieutenant Dan.

Lieutenant Dan

Lieutenant Dan

I had to battle twice, both times against Leon. Lieutenant Dan went in for my first battle, and I think he got decapitated? It was bad. Second battle I had to send in a slave (I sold my other gladiator for money) and he fared equally well. I am not cut out for the arena life.

Blood stain

This greasy spot on the floor used to be Lieutenant Dan. #youstilllieutenantdan

Elsewhere in the game, Workman was doing surprisingly poorly. He started strong, but then ran out of money and couldn't make anything happen. Leon was the man to beat. He embraced the arena life and did well for himself there. He got to 11 influence and was poised for the win. I was able to Jupiter's Cock-block him once ("Jupiter's Cock!") to keep him from the win, but it was only a matter of time.

Steve was also doing well. At one point, he even enthusiastically announced a win, but then Leon explained that he'd misread his power and didn't have enough guards to do what he did, so he picked his cards back up and the game continued. #awkward

But....he had also gotten to 11 influence and was now also a threat.

The game continued. We were back to stopping Leon. I had the most gold, so I held it for the entire Market phase to insure I got the host. I did. (And my 8th and final influence point). I couldn't let Leon into the arena, so I made Steve and Workman battle, hoping Workman would win. Workman dominated, and Steve walked away with an injury.

In addition to providing snacks and calling ubers, the host gets to decide the fate of injured gladiators. So I got to decide if Steve lived or died...

Thumbs down

And when I made my verdict, Steve revealed a reaction card that gave him an influence point when he died in battle. Which gave him the win. #wellplayed #jupiterscock

Workman and I both had 8 influence. When I pointed out that we tied for last place, he said "no, I have 9. I got a point for winning that battle. You're the biggest loser." God, I hate him.

After his impressive win over Workman in a game that may actually have been designed by Workman, Steve had to bolt. (#broccoli) Leon was right behind him, so no Love Letter and no Skull and no fun filler. But Workman and I played Mario Kart on the Switch, which gave me yet another last place finish. Workman even had to kill a race because I couldn't stay on the track long enough to get to the finish and he was tired of waiting on me. Jupiter's Cock indeed. But it was fun. And then we sat around and shot the shit for a while. I miss talking to Workman (#idontreallyhatehim #donttellhimisaidthat). It was a good night.

As always, thanks for reading. I hope you'll join us next time when we either see the inside of a Turkish prison or see a grown man naked. Happy gaming!