Sunday, 30 October 2011


The retiarius with his net is one of the key gladiator types. Shaun and I had some problems working out how the net worked, so I after the game I reread the rules. Throwing the net is fine but the problems come after the opponent is entangled. Part of our confusion had been caused because there are two entanglement charts in different parts of the rules that are almost, but not quite, the same. This is a general comment incidentally, the rules are badly disorganised.

OK, so we ignore the first table differences as they appear to be a typo and focus on the second. You entangle your opponent and then roll a die and consult the table. A 1 or 2 seems clear enough but how about a 3-5? The victim can only 'defend himself'. What does that mean? Not use an offensive weapon? Not charge? And is the entanglement permanent? How does the victim free himself? Can he free himself? The explanation of a die roll of 6 hardly helps. The victim can't use his weapon? How does this differ from 3-5?  The victim can only be disentangled by a mate? Does this mean that a 3-5 should be treated as a 1-2 for this purpose?

Problems, problems.

Gladiator is typically Forge World. Nice production values but is there no one in Forge World that speaks English well enough to edit?

Incidentally, the idea of a 'fisherman' dragging a victim 3 or more metres towards him with a rope are not realistic. The gladiator had a trident in his other hand and the net has to be 'spun' to spread out and entangle a victim.

Gladiator has gone to 50% discount within weeks of publication. At ten pounds it is a good deal as a source book.


I reckon this would work and be within the spirit of the rules.

A. Throw net as per usual rules except that it is a one-shot weapon.

B. If you get a hit, i.e. entanglement, roll a result die:
1 or 2 - net cast results in harmless entanglement
3, 4 & 5 - net cast inhibits victim's movement: -1 to all model stats (including weapon)
6 - as above but -2

C. At the start of the entangled model's movement the player MAY roll a die to try to remove the net.
1 - model stumbles, roll on stumble table, model still entangled
2-5 - model still entangled
6 - model slips out of net


  1. John,
    If you don't already own a copy, I strongly recommend seeking out an old copy of Avalon Hill's "Gladiator". The game mechanics are very detailed and work wonderfully. The game has much more tactical depth and real strategy. I also own WH's "Gladiator" and have found it too simplistic, essentially, "the highest dice roll wins." I have played WH's "Gladiator" with modified rules based on AH's "Gladiator." I do like WH "Gladiator's" campaign system and massed combat, but editing a fight card with AH Gladiator's rules is much more rewarding.
    Here's some links:

    You may even be able to track down a .pdf of the rules for free on the internet because the game is no longer printed.

    Good Luck.

  2. Dear DM
    Thanks for your efforts - much appreciated,