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Looking for Playtesters for Coliseum

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emxibus
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Joined: 10/24/2008

I'm at a point where I need to decide if the game is good enough to continue (put some more money into graphics). I don't want to spend the money if the game is not worthy of it. I'm looking for playtesters, especially if you can test it with 3 or 4 players.

I will provide Files with the printable components and rules. You don't need to print them out. You can just use them as a guide when making your own components.

You will need

1) Three blank 19mm dice. You will glue faces on them.
2) Two regular D6 dice.
3) 10 cubes or counters.

The current rules are attached (Coliseum 4 - Beta.doc):

Take a look at the rules and let me know if you would be interested in playtesting and giving feedback. I'm very open to suggestions, and would welcome any discussion to make the game better.

Thanks,
JR

Black Canyon
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Looks interesting

I read through your rulebook and the game looks interesting. I like how you've taken the theme of one-on-one combat yet designed a game that isn't a heavy combat simulation. Your combat mechanic is very simple, but I imagine the use of cards makes the game much more involving.

Redcap
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Joined: 07/26/2008
Looks like a solid game, I

Looks like a solid game, I would love to playtest it for you.

Pastor_Mora
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Minor comment

That's Denarii, not "40 Denarri Tokens" in the components part.

You should make a pdf with that doc, my open office cuts pages in a weird way. I have the card in the page is not suppose to be.

Plus, add you email contact info in the document. It could spread over the internet and reach the right hands. Who knows?

"He vows to endure to be burned, to be bound, to be beaten, and to be killed by the sword." The gladiator's oath as cited by Petronius (Satyricon, 117). A nice subtitle I think.

I noticed the gladiator in the left is a tipical myrmillo and the one on the right is a thracian. Have you taken in account the different gladiator types? or is this just a coincidence?

KT!

emxibus
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Joined: 10/24/2008
Thanks Pastor_Mora

Thanks for the typo catch, it is now fixed. I also added my email to the rules.

I went ahead and created a PDF, but It looks like I can't update my original post. I have uploaded it to:

http://www.xibus.com/coliseum/Coliseum_4_Beta.pdf

I created 7 gladiators types. The one on the left is my Secutor. He is very similar to my Myrmillo, which has a slightly different shield and a fish on his helmet.

emxibus
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Thanks Redcap

Redcap wrote:
Looks like a solid game, I would love to playtest it for you.

I'll zip up the files and send you a BGDF message with directions on how to download it.

emxibus
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Joined: 10/24/2008
Thanks Black Canyon

Black Canyon wrote:
I read through your rulebook and the game looks interesting. I like how you've taken the theme of one-on-one combat yet designed a game that isn't a heavy combat simulation. Your combat mechanic is very simple, but I imagine the use of cards makes the game much more involving.

That was my intent, I hope I was successful in the execution. The combat dice (the custom dice in the game) have been part of the game for awhile and I've found them to add just enough to make things interesting. The Training Cards are a new element to the game. I currently do not have images for them, but if they prove to be an improvement then I'll look into getting someone to do the art for them.

Willi B
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Joined: 07/28/2008
I would rename at some point.

Days of Wonder already has a well known game Coliseum and I think that differentiation is good.

emxibus
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Joined: 10/24/2008
Thanks Willi B

Willi B wrote:
Days of Wonder already has a well known game Coliseum and I think that differentiation is good.

True. They spell their game differently, but I may still have to come up with another name. My game was orginally called Ludus but then another game came out with the same name. If you have any suggestions on a name, I'm all ears.

R1773R
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Dunno

I think there was some phrase that gladiators said before they were let into combat. Don't know it in latin anymore, but the meaning was something like: "The one going to death hails you Caesar". Might work for a name.

Gotcha!

"Ave, Caesar, morituri te salutant. Hail, Caesar, those who are about to die salute you. Salutation of Roman gladiators on entering the arena."

For dramatization, you might just use the "Morituri te salutant".

Pastor_Mora
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emxibus wrote: I created 7

emxibus wrote:

I created 7 gladiators types. The one on the left is my Secutor. He is very similar to my Myrmillo, which has a slightly different shield and a fish on his helmet.

Well, you convinced me. Sign me in.

Did you try a dropbox? check www.dropbox.com, you can share files online. Its easier for updates (a good tip from sedjtroll).

"Saturn's Blades" or something of the like.

Keep thinking!

emxibus
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Joined: 10/24/2008
Thanks Pastor Mora

Pastor_Mora wrote:

Well, you convinced me. Sign me in.
Keep thinking!

I just sent you an BGDF message with link info.

I'm looking for a name with "Emperor", "Rome" or "Gladiator" in it. I want people searching for those key words on BGG to find it. But those words can be in the subtitle (i.e. Coliseum: Gladiators).

If the game did well I planned on creating more gladiators, specifically a hero for each type. This would allow for more options for players when recruiting for their school. If you notice each gladiator has a cost, but it's not used in the game yet. The expansion, currently named "Coliseum: Heroes of Rome", would introduce Heroes and school creation.

I've thought about calling the game: Heroes of Rome: Gladiators? And then come up with another subtitle for the expansion. Another name I saw yesterday while looking up R1773R suggestion (Unfortunately already a game on BGG) was 12 Emperors (the book where the phase was recorded). Maybe use that as the name or a spin on it.

salish99
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Joined: 02/22/2010
We can playtest it for you,

We can playtest it for you, but merely in a 2p version.
Is that of interest to you?

Relexx
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Has the right "feel"

Hi. From reading the rules it has a really nice feel to the game. I will approach my play testers and see if they are interested. Since some of them are doing gladiatorial re-enactment at the moment they may well be interested.

As a play test helper it might be worth considering providing a guide on how to use normal dice for your custom dice, ie 1=, 2=, 3=, etc.

Though final production custom dice will add a really nice feel. I really like the emperor dice.

As for a name ... "Baracus" or name it after a legendary gladiator or gladiator school

emxibus
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Thanks salish99

salish99 wrote:
We can playtest it for you, but merely in a 2p version.
Is that of interest to you?

Cool. I need to update some files tonight, and I'll BGDF mail you the info for download. You never know, a 3rd player may find their way to your game table.

emxibus
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thanks Relexx

Relexx wrote:
Hi. From reading the rules it has a really nice feel to the game. I will approach my play testers and see if they are interested. Since some of them are doing gladiatorial re-enactment at the moment they may well be interested.

As a play test helper it might be worth considering providing a guide on how to use normal dice for your custom dice, ie 1=, 2=, 3=, etc.

Though final production custom dice will add a really nice feel. I really like the emperor dice.

As for a name ... "Baracus" or name it after a legendary gladiator or gladiator school

Thanks, I look forward to your groups decision.

I'll add a conversion chart for the custom dice. Thanks for the suggestion.

Emporer's Die -

1 - 4 = thumb out
5 - 6 = closed fist

Combat Die -

1 - One Foot
2 - Two Feet
3 - One Shield
4 - Two Shields
5 - One Skull
6 - Two Skulls

I like the school idea for a name. Originally, the game was called "Ludus" but then a game with the same name came out.

Each player has their own school, so I don't want to name it after one school unless that school was the "official School" of the Emperor. This might work since that is the objective of the game. I also thought about calling it "Lanista" (school owner) since that is the role of the players.

drunknmunky
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If you're still looking for

If you're still looking for more then send me the info for it and I'll be happy to run it through my group. It seems like the type of thing they would all enjoy.

emxibus
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Joined: 10/24/2008
Thanks drunknmuky

I'm updating the rules from the suggestions I've gotten so far. I'll send a link (via BGDF message) your way probably tomorrow.

emxibus
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Joined: 10/24/2008
Game Update

For those that haven't started your playtesting go ahead and hold off. From the feedback I've gotten so far I need to make some changes. I'll post the updated rules and components once I'm done making the changes.

Pastor_Mora made a really sweet setup image, check it out!

http://www.xibus.com/coliseum/images/Lanista_4-player_setup.jpg

P.S. The name Lanista is growing on me.

JerryH
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emxibus wrote:For those that

emxibus wrote:
For those that haven't started your playtesting go ahead and hold off. From the feedback I've gotten so far I need to make some changes. I'll post the updated rules and components once I'm done making the changes.

Pastor_Mora made a really sweet setup image, check it out!

http://www.xibus.com/coliseum/images/Lanista_4-player_setup.jpg

P.S. The name Lanista is growing on me.

Lanista is a good name. Pastor_Mora did a great job with that image too - really brings things to life.

I look forward to trying the game.

-Jerry

phobia13
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Joined: 07/01/2010
Looks fun

I took a gander at the rules, and your game seems really intriguing.

Once you have the second version done, I'd love to playtest it as well, though I may only be able to do it with two players, if thats all right.

emxibus
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Joined: 10/24/2008
thanks phobia13

I finished up the rules yesterday and tried them out tonight.

Here are the updated rules.

http://www.xibus.com/coliseum/Lanista.pdf

Thanks to all those who have helped out so far! Special thanks to Pastor_Mora for his excellent suggestions on how to format the rules better. I hope they are easier to read and follow.

I need to update the components, so I'll finish that up this weekend and send BGDF mails to everyone who's playtesting.

phobia13, I've added you to the list.

emxibus
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round two of playtesting

The new components are done, and a BGDF email went out to those who expressed an intrest in playtesting. If you didn't get the message and would like to playtest let me know.

I tried a new way to print out the cards. I sent them to kinkos via the web (gloss card stock) and picked them up. I then laminated the printed side with some clear self adhesive shelf liner. Worked out nicely. Saved some printer ink :)

innuendo
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I'm not sure if I'm too late

I'm not sure if I'm too late to the party or not but I wanted to give some feedback.

I don't have a local play group to test (alas) but just reading through the rules it seems strange that each ludus has all 7 gladiator types at the start of the game. Players will eventually realize that Gladiator type X is better than Gladiator type Y and if Type X is the champion at the time there really isn't much thought process into which gladiator I chose to fight him with, obviously I take the best match up.

That said it seems like it would be very very cool if at the start of the game there was a face down gladiator deck that had 4 of each gladiator in it. At the start of the game you deal out say 3 of this deck to each player randomly. This means each school will not have the same gladiators as the next. One school may be a great match up against another but be a poor match against a third. This sort of imbalance is minor and could really keep the replay value of this game up, when currently it seems in my head to be lacking and very deterministic.

You could also add a mechanic where a player could pay 3 gold or something to purchase a new gladiator of a type of their choosing from the deck. This allows players to go and purchase new gladiators and if there is a gladiator who is leveling up quickly you could go and purchase a gladiator who would be a good match against him, at the cost of some coin of course!

I think adding this simple tweak to the rules would add a great deal of spice to what is a great core of a game, and I'm sorry I can't playtest this idea before submitting it, and I hope it's not too late to help, in any capacity.

emxibus
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Thanks innuendo

Thanks for jumping in. You bring up an excellent topic, one that I've been wrestling with. The game started out with an auction, but that took to long. Then I tried everyone getting all 7 and then selecting 4 (read about "Reserved" gladiators in the rules from the first post in this thread). I didn't explain this mechanic very well so I took it out while I decided how I want it to work. I haven't tried your suggestion of 3 random cards with the option to buy more, but I think it's an excellent idea. I'll try it out and let you know how it goes.

If we did go with the random gladiator draw then the game could easily support more players. The only draw back there is that there would be more down time for the players not fighting. At one time there was betting in the game. Those not fighting could bet on the outcome. Maybe I'll look into that again.

innuendo
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I hope it works well, in my

I hope it works well, in my head it seems like it would! I think it will be important to note this could lead to one school being imbalanced over another, and it does open the door for player frustration. But I think since each gladiator is relatively well balanced against another it should be minor. Further, I think this minor imbalance will really add to the game since currently there is none, even if a few players may have a rough match up.

Betting on the match would be a great way to involve all the players, it could slow down game too much though, you are correct. Any betting system would have to be quick. Possibly a side placard split into two sides for each gladiator, I'll draw up what I mean and attach it in a moment since it's hard to explain

Something else i wanted to mention that I'm sure you've thought of is how most Romans would not go see 1 v 1 fights. The gladiator types where most often used in pairings or teams. The interaction of a two types working in tandem vs the teamwork of another two was a much more popular draw at the games than mere duals. My hunch is that in any initial testing or brain storming you've run into huge issues with complexity attempting to have battles that are more than two gladiators, but this seems like a great time to discuss it since you are looking for ways for other players to join into the game.

Do you think it would be possible for the game to support 2v2 battles? I think it would have to be even teams (despite historically 1v2 or 1v3 were common match ups) for balance. Unless you can think of a clever way to balance imbalanced teams (possibly giving the lone player the ability to strike twice?). This sort of combat would be especially nice if the game did expand to more players. Possibly as an expansion such as how Catan has the 5-6 player expansions and the like. Players love expandability, and this game seems like one that could thrive on that model.

innuendo
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And here's what I mean for

And here's what I mean for the betting: http://i26.tinypic.com/24b3qzt.jpg

Each player may before the fight bid denari in any number of the three sections. Now i'm not sure I did the odds right but I intended for it to mean for each 1 bid you win the payout listed after the colon. Someone who gambles will have to help me out with that part! Basically if you bid for first strike 1 denari and win you get 2 denari, if you bid 3 you get 6. Winner bids the same but if you bid 2 and win you get 8. I think the payouts might be too big but you would just need to test to get it right. Perfect winner was my idea of winning without being struck, something very hard to do but with a large payout. A player who is losing in the game might bid his last denari on a long shot chance like that to get back into the game. This sort of high risk / high reward will allow players who get behind to catch up. A good element of any game.

emxibus
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I like the different betting

innuendo, I like the different betting options. When betting was in the game you could only bet on who would win. This wasn't really a gamble at the time due to the RPS aspect of combat (it has since been scaled back a bit). I've thought about only letting people bet on the Emperor's Champion to win, but felt that was to limiting. With other options to bet on it might work. I'll try it out.

I didn't know about the popularity of the team fights. The game was designed for 1 vs. 1 fights from the beginning. Team fighting is a cool concept. I'll look into it.

emxibus
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Joined: 10/24/2008
Random gladiator startup

Tested with 2 players.

For the setup we collected 7 gladiators for each player and shuffled them together to make a gladiator draw pile. We then dealt 3 cards to each player.

During the game we could train a gladiator for 1 Denarii. When training we had two options.

1) Draw the top card from the gladiator discard pile.

2) Declare the type (light, medium, or heavy) of gladiator we wanted to train. Then draw and discard the top gladiator draw pile card until the declared gladiator type was drawn. The discarded cards from option 2 create the gladiator discard pile for option 1.

We then placed the newly trained gladiator at "Ready" on our gladiator line. Once the gladiator draw pile was depleted we were left with only one option (we didn't get to this point).

Results:

To start off, I liked that player one had a more meaningful choice as to which gladiator he would use as the initial Emperor's Champion. He picked the one type I didn't have an advantage over. I then had to decide if I would train a new gladiator for the combat advantage or take my chances. I decided to train a new gladiator.

We both trained new gladiators when we didn't have a counter for the Emperor's Champion. I liked this to a point. I would like the ability to train a counter to the Emperor's champion maybe once or twice, but not every time. I would prefer the Emperor’s champion having the advantage every once in a while.

The other observation was that after I had one of each type (light, medium, and heavy) I didn't have any reason to purchase any more as long as I kept defeated gladiators alive. I liked this as well. I had to decide whether to potentially pay 2 denarius (tribute and triage) to save a gladiator or let him go and just train a new one for 1 denarii. The one advantage to save a gladiator was to preserve his earned experience.

This training mechanic also played a role in the overall strategy decision of whether to actively work for the Bloody Merchant winning condition. With only 3 gladiators to start off with how often do I save and train gladiators?

I’m concerned with winning condition one, last school standing. On your turn you get 1 denarii and with gladiator training only costing 1 denarii you can make sure you are never without a "Ready" gladiator.

Overall, I thought it was positive. I'm thinking that some kind limit on training is needed. Something to help with counter training and make last school standing more viable. Maybe introduce a new state called "Training". This would be a trained Gladiator's inital state. In this state he would be placed upside down on the line an upable to fight. On your next turn, training would be complete and you could turn him right side up to the "Ready" state.

innuendo
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I think most of your problems

I think most of your problems could be solved by raising the cost of a new gladiator. By making the price of entry higher it puts a premium on the gladiators you already have and makes them more valuable by comparison. Players would want to invest in their current fighters since going out and replacing them comes at a high cost.

With a high cost new gladiator (like i proposed 3 denarii) going out and getting a good match for the emperor is a tough call since you'll have to heavily invest in a new fighter. The player has a choice of trying to be frugal and fight a poor match up or going out and getting a fighter who will surely compete.

A few other points. I see no reason to not let players just search the gladiator deck for the one they want, but the extra element of randomness is probably good for the game as a whole, so you made a good choice I suspect, it's just not what I had thought of.

As for trained/untrained and the issue of new gladiators being immediately useful. To expand on my "they need to cost more idea" why not have a "purchase" cost and a "train cost" Something like

1.) Purchase a Gladiator (2 Denarii) :: [Same selection rules as you proposed]. Place this gladiator face down on your line, it is in training. At the start of your next turn you may flip it for free as it completes its training and becomes ready.

2.) Hurry Training (1 Denarii) :: Flip a face down training Gladiator on your line to ready.

Basically you can pay a little (2D) and wait or pay more (3D) to accelerate the fighters training. This sort of option gives players more options, and also allows players to try and stop a emperor's champion from claiming that last victory at the cost of many Denarii, and still allows them to expand their school without breaking the bank (which is the reason I suspected you tested with 1 Denarii to begin with).

By increasing the cost of new fighters it makes it much harder to "train a counter for the EC" as you put it. It's a lot hard choice for players to make and one that will create more dynamic decisions for your players. With a cost of only 1 as you found it is almost a non-choice, you go and get the right match up, but with a higher cost you might try to take an okay match up and invest in him to get him ready for an underdog fight (buying more training cards, etc).

If you think 2 is too much for this, I still propose 1 Denarii to buy an untrained gladiator and than 1 to train him right away. Same mechanical flavor as above with less cost if you think it's too taxing on players. In my head the high price of entry helps pace the game well and allow for players to really fight for the "last school standing" victory. It's a testing issue and I implore you test many costs.

emxibus
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Joined: 10/24/2008
Thanks innuendo

You make a great point. 3 denarius was too taxing, but I think the hurried training idea will work. I'll try diffent costs and let you know how it goes.

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