14 January 2016

Jugula: First Impressions

The Dux's lovely figs - look at that hand painted shield!
This even I had the opportunity to attend the local gaming group "Odin's Night Games Club" where Dux and a few of the boys introduced me to Jugula.  A fun, card driven game that was highlighted by using Dux's beautifully painted gladiator figures, and by our efforts to try and outdo each other in Latin cursing (and that's some next level geekiness!)

My familia gladiatoria prepare for the evening's entertainment
The game is definitely about entertaining the crowd and putting on a show, as opposed to just carnage and slaughter.  The card driven mechanic is quite good, making deck management a key resource aspect off the game.  In my experience you either like card games or hate them - there isn't much middle ground.  This is a well executed card system.

We played a 3 player game for extra crowd pleasing action
The game also allows, in fact requires, you to fight 4 gladiators from your Ludus.  Not many gladiator games can do that so its quite a fun spectacle, though at the cost of a bit of granularity.  It also can play up to 4 players (each with 4 fighters) simultaneously on an 8x8 grid so chaos and mayhem abound.
The mad lanista cheers on his stable of fighters!

My Dimachaerius wounded Dux's Retarius in this combat
and a few turns later my Thraex manoeuvred to strike him down dead from behind - take that Dux!
The card mechanism means that you never know who can do what at any one time, including you!
The Dux strikes back - my Scissor falls to his Murmillo but is vulneratus non victus
The state of play when the crowd got restless and went home - 1 fallen fighter apiece and a few carrying wounds
All in all a most enjoyable game - cant wait to get my WestWind gladiator figures out of storage and start a campaign with the lads (after painting them of course!).


  1. I've got Jugula but haven't tried it yet. I was going to give it a go with some plastic 1:72 figures, dirt cheap! I'm not a fan of deck-building games as such, so we'll see how this pans out for me. Lovely gladiators, though!

    1. Actually it's not a deck building game per se. Everyone's deck is identical at game start and it's the management of the deck as resources that allow you to move, attack, appeal to the crowd and do special actions. So it's how you manage you deck AND your fighters at the same time. It's an interesting combination.

  2. Hi Paul,

    All I can say is:

    "Were you not entertained!"

    I am a great fan of Gladiator games and if I could find a Proximo figure (or possibly Batius from Spartacus - played by the great Peter Ustinov) would be properly pleased!

    All the best,


    1. I did love the Batius character- so fawning and sycophantic!

  3. Nice to see those particular miniatures getting a run out. I have most of the same ones, all painted, yet mine seem to just sit in the cabinet. We've recently purchased Jugula but I've not played yet. Must get around to it as it looks like great fun.

    PS. Now get painting mate!

    1. We should plan to have a game together with the Dux one night then!

  4. It was a most entertaining evening! Glad that you could finally make a club meeting (that "being overseas" excuse was starting to wear a bit thin)and I look forward to many more.

    1. Great to catch up John and thanks for bringing the goodies :-)