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Author Topic: Review: Gangs of Rome- Warbanner/Footsore  (Read 662 times)

Offline Easy E

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  • Just some guy who does stuff
    • Blood and Spectacles
Review: Gangs of Rome- Warbanner/Footsore
« on: May 03, 2021, 06:07:03 PM »


I picked up the Gangs of Rome PDF during a Black Friday sale at Footsore Miniatures.  I didn't download the PDF until January of 2021, and then I did not get a chance to read and absorb them before now.  Therefore, they have been sitting in my "inbox" for a while now. 

I have to admit, the concept for this game intrigued me greatly.  A "historical" gang fight game set in the Eternal City in the days of the Senate?  Intriguing. I have always had a soft spot for gladiators and the like.  I knew that gladiators  were often hired out as street thugs and toughs for the favor of their patron.  I had been doing a lot of research on Ancient Rome for [a href="https://www.bloomsbury.com/us/wars-of-the-republic-9781472844927/"]Wars of the Republic[/a] and The Games: Blood and Spectacles.   The period of the Gracchi brothers and the cold war between the Optimates and the Populares, and even earlier the Plebians vs the Patricians and the political infighting was a source of much interest.  A low-level game to help play out such political turmoil using the ideas of the Roman patronage system and shadow power seemed very intriguing to me!

In addition, the game promised spectacle!  Rome was the city of Brick and Marble.  It was the growing power of the world, and was constantly growing, building, and changing.  In a way, it was like an Ancient Underhive as it grew larger, more populous, and more divided.  The boards for a game set in Rome promised to be interesting, unique, and dense.  I doubt my wallet or talents could do it justice. 

Finally, I had actually had a similar game in my Concept Folder to build.  I sat on it, as I grew intimidated by the research I would need to do for it.  However, it looks like my hesitation will be rewarded as someone beat me to the punch!

Let us explore the streets of Rome together! You can read the full review on my blog....

https://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/2021/05/review-gangs-of-rome-warbannerfootsore.html
Blood and Spectacles Publishing Blog:
https://bloodandspectacles.blogspot.com/

Free games, reviews, and discussion of Wargame design

Online cadbren

  • Bookworm
  • Posts: 67
Re: Review: Gangs of Rome- Warbanner/Footsore
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2021, 08:07:07 AM »
So you're saying the major drawback of the game is high entry value, as in you need to spend lots to do more than play a basic game?

Offline Drunkendwarf

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 527
Re: Review: Gangs of Rome- Warbanner/Footsore
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2021, 09:52:08 AM »
Nice review of one of my favorite games!

From your review:  "I have no idea how many different common, uncommon, and rare Denarii coins there are"
In the download section on the Footsoresite (GoR) ther's a free PDF with al the coins mentioned (40 in total).   

As this game is already a few years old the info you mentioned is a bit out of date, there is the possibility to buy the coins in 4's (2 common, 1 uncommon, 1 rare) without the miniature etc.
Also fightercards can be bought seperately, you can choose region and male/female after that you receive a random card.

They started with a starter box called "Blood on the Aventine", followed by the starterbox "Bread and Circuses". Both included all the material you needed to play (including 1 building) and six fighters (the last box even included 3 mobs!) so you can start playing with two  players each with 3 fighters.
Both are not available anymore but Footsore is planning an update and I expect a new box to go with it.

Most of my games are played in rural areas so I don't need much extra terrain (miniatures are Foundry in this case angy farmers :D)


DJ

Offline SJWi

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 539
Re: Review: Gangs of Rome- Warbanner/Footsore
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2021, 12:07:34 PM »
Easy E, thanks for the candid review. Like you I was intrigued by the context and was tempted to buy, but 2 of my mates bought it and invested quite heavily in terrain. We played a few games and it hasn’t been seen on the table since. I have been tempted to buy but being out-of-print may have been a blessing in disguise.

Offline Szary

  • Assistant
  • Posts: 22
Re: Review: Gangs of Rome- Warbanner/Footsore
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2021, 12:29:40 PM »
Good review.

I watched GoR with heavy interest since way before launch, but the more was spoken about the business model, the less I was interested. What ended up with a version of a rulebook I ended up reading was simple, if a bit bland. I don't know if the add-ons remedied this in any way. I have to credit them with great miniatures and terrain through.

I have to say that there is a better game in town for everyone who bought into it. "Songs of Shadow and Dust" by Ganesha Games are less demanding and miniature agnostic. While they use a similar amount of terrain and miniatures, the CCG aspect is not present, replaced by more involved warband creation, deeper historical flavour and the best campaign system of all SoBaH products.

Offline SJWi

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 539
Re: Review: Gangs of Rome- Warbanner/Footsore
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2021, 12:36:41 PM »
Start, thanks for the tip about Ganesha’s “Songs of Shadow and Dust”. Do you know if they are a skirmish, or more of a “role-playing” game?

 Thanks

Offline Easy E

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  • Posts: 909
  • Just some guy who does stuff
    • Blood and Spectacles
Re: Review: Gangs of Rome- Warbanner/Footsore
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2021, 02:13:17 PM »
So you're saying the major drawback of the game is high entry value, as in you need to spend lots to do more than play a basic game?

It felt like there was a high entry cost to me.  I also felt like after buying the rulebook, I could not go out and play a game.  Therefore, I feel like it is a product more than a game. 

There is nothing wrong with that, but it is not what I had been hoping for.  Maybe someday, I will revisit this concept for myself.

Offline Carpathian

  • Bookworm
  • Posts: 92
Re: Review: Gangs of Rome- Warbanner/Footsore
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2021, 06:37:40 PM »
"Gangs" jumped on the bandwagon rather late, co-opting earlier (and better) fan created idea.   That's business; they did produce some nice minis and kits.

SSD is an ancients skirmish system.  Very simple in term of stats, a large menu of skills make it as RPG ish as you want it to be.    Same activation system as SBH.  Well worth $8 pdf.

Offline Cat

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    • Goblinhall
Re: Review: Gangs of Rome- Warbanner/Footsore
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2021, 08:07:20 PM »
You might also want to take a look at Mean Streets.  It's a fast clean game, with a campaign.rpg-ish section as well.  While decorated with modern image Hollywood style street gangs, the fighting tech level of stabbing and thumping carries down the ages!
http://www.firstcommandwargames.com/mean-streets.html

Offline Irregular Wars Nic

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Re: Review: Gangs of Rome- Warbanner/Footsore
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2021, 06:01:55 PM »
I have to say that there is a better game in town for everyone who bought into it. "Songs of Shadow and Dust" by Ganesha Games are less demanding and miniature agnostic. While they use a similar amount of terrain and miniatures, the CCG aspect is not present, replaced by more involved warband creation, deeper historical flavour and the best campaign system of all SoBaH products.

Thanks Szary, that's very kind of you to say so. A couple of sample pages for anyone who hasn't come across it.






Offline Easy E

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  • Posts: 909
  • Just some guy who does stuff
    • Blood and Spectacles
Re: Review: Gangs of Rome- Warbanner/Footsore
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2021, 08:36:38 PM »
I love the Irritable Mule rule.... lol :o :-*

Offline nervisfr

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 2450
    • Ch'ti Ré-Animator
Re: Review: Gangs of Rome- Warbanner/Footsore
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2021, 10:38:29 AM »
If you want some ideas/inspiration to keep it simple et cheap read my topic about (in 2014):

https://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=63629.0

then play with SDD.... ;)



all building made from scratch (cardboard, mdf wood, etc....). At the moment ther was not building available on the market.

Try that one too, from Rumacara (start in 2O13)

Cheers
Eric
Frenchy Eric, aka Ch'ti Eric or Re-Animator
"J'ai bon caractere mais j'ai le glaive vengeur et le bras seculier"

http://chti-reanimator59.blogspot.fr[

Offline Irregular Wars Nic

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Re: Review: Gangs of Rome- Warbanner/Footsore
« Reply #12 on: Today at 09:07:17 AM »
That looks superb Eric!

 

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