Last night I sent the call for gamers but nobody could face the trip. Sick of games, or life, or me - who knows? All I knew was that I had several unplayed games in the cupboard and the least I could do in the available time was learn the rules to one of them, so the next time I open the cupboard door my expression could be 10% less glazed. And where better to turn than the arena of Doctor Knizia, betting on mythical gladiators, whilst presumably breathing in the pungent air of mathematics?
So. In Reiner Knizia's
thanks to Aarnenaatos
Finally, if you have placed the most bets on a certain gladiator, then you are that creature's backer and when you play a combat card to that gladiator you get to utilize that gladiator's special power - there are too many to list here but basically they fly in the face of the standard rules.
Finally finally, nestled amidst the combat cards (which mostly match certain gladiators and have to be placed beside them) are spectators and referees. Spectators are blood-thirsty fans who have jumped into the arena to help their favorite and they have their own little mini-rules. There are two types of referees, one of whom forces players to (potentially) reveal their secret bet, and another that does something else that I've forgotten. What I found intriguing was the idea that as well as trying to undo each other, players also end up collaborating at times, if they have backed the same gladiator. The whole thing takes less than an hour, unless your wife arrives halfway through and you watch Breaking Bad instead. Like Citadels or Meuterer, it's a lot of game in a small box.
There you have Reiner Knizia's