Such is the fickle fate mortals face. On the blow inflicted by Kemsa that took Asiaticus to 1 strength, the small silver amulet shaped as a caduceus was dislodged from Asiaticus’s belt, falling onto the sands. Did the loss of this cause him distraction? Or did it mean that Asiaticus lost protection? The item was not on Asiaticus when he was dragged through a corridor, his brother cultists noticed this and thought that Asiaticus forgot to wear it, and suffered divine punishment as a result. Quadratus, looking upon the scene said “I picked it from the start! He had a lucky run against incompetents, but once up against a skilled opponent, it all came to nothing!”
It was seen that the dashing final move by Senex was that of a skilled gladiator. Senex wins 14 gold and is able to gain another skill. Interestingly, the coinage given to Senex was newly minted and bore the face of the Legatus, Lucius Clodius Macer in place of the emperor. It is clear that he was now in complete control of Africa.
After some weeks, Androcles is going to have an important guest arriving, the procurator Trebonius Garutianus. It is said that the procurator is very fond of cestus fighting. As is the custom in these private fights, the guest chooses the fighters, and, on the big day, all the gladiators lined up. The procurator, a very intense individual, chooses Subar, a new recruit of Androcles, and Senex. “Watch out” Quadratus warns Senex, “this might ruin your pretty boy looks”.
Use your cestus fighter figures and the tiled “private” fight board you have (or a hex board, doesn’t matter). Cestus Rules: All MSM rules apply except:
- Treat the cestus as a normal weapon except when attacking, roll a d4 instead of a d6. (defender still rolls a d6, all other rolls are still d6).
- A “double 1” event signifies cestus strapping coming loose. The gladiator needs to spend 2AP to correct, or they are limited to just one attack each turn.
- Gladiators cannot use any skills gained in arena fights (each has zero skill level).
Let me know the outcome. There is no appeal to the crowd, the loser will survive.
Despite Quadratus's cynical warning, Senex was confident going into the fight. He had been watching Subar in the few weeks since Androcles had purchased him, and saw nothing particularly impressive. And also his visits to the red light district, watching Hannibal and the other pit fighters, had given him some insight into such matters.
The match was held in the local ruined Carthaginian temple, a site convenient and often used for such private entertainments by the elite of Leptis Magna.
The image below shows the starting lineup, with Senex at the top and Subar at the bottom. Androcles had been careful to lay on plenty of refreshments for Garutianus and his entourage, you can see the amphorae and a slave circulating with a food platter. The guards are also wearing their best armour which has been carefully polished and carrying special matching shields that Androcles has rented for the day.
Senex started with a Strength of 9, Subar with 7. As the fight got under way, Subar was quicker off the mark, but the more experienced Senex got in the first blow, which Subar managed to duck. His counterpunch was a real haymaker, knocking Senex down, but Subar was unable to follow through (not enough AP for a second attack with a disadv weapon). Senex got back to his feet easily enough and quickly hit Subar for 2 damage. Subar chose to back off and work around to a flank, but this tactic almost failed disastrously as Senex (rolling 6AP and having +1AP in his profile) was able to turn and hit with both fists. Somehow Subar was able to parry both blows, showing an unexpected level of skill.
The fight continued with neither man landing a serious blow, and fatigues began to build up against both of them. Both were following defensive tactics, trying to keep a little distance and waiting for a really good AP roll. Subar was the first to catch the wave with this, launching a side attack that caused 3 damage to Senex, and suffering 1 damage himself when Senex responded.
Fatigue was becoming a problem for Subar by this point, he had 4 Strength left and 4 fatigues. I rolled to see what his strategy would be: all-out assault, continue as before, or try to lose the fatigues: he opted to continue as before - a sure sign of inexperience in the minds of many of the audience.
The decision soon paid off though, as another high AP score enable Subar to make another side attack on Senex and caused another 3 damage. At this point Senex had 3 Strength left and 4 fatigues (exhausted), while Subar had 4 Strength and 5 fatigues (also exhausted). Subar was a tougher nut to crack than he had expected, thought Senex.
As it happened, both fighters then rolled a sequence of low AP, making it hard for them to achieve anything, so both caught their breaths and shed some fatigue.
Now no longer exhausted, Subar was the first to start attacking again, although with no success this time. It was Senex who was able to manoeuvre the next side attack, causing 2 damage and tipping Subar back to exhausted. He was able to try one attack, but it failed and increased his exhaustion.
The initiative was now with Senex, if he could make use of it. First another side attack knocked Subar down, and because he was so exhausted he was not able to get up again. Then Senex was able to finish the fight by forcing Subar to submit [took him to 0 Stength].
Senex: lost 6/9, Vincit
Subar: lost 8/7, Missio
Androcles anxiously awaited the post match comments from Garutianus and the other guests: had he put on a good enough show to please these snobbish Romans?