Gangs of Rome was a game I highlighted on my list of new releases I was most excited about for 2018 and having pre-ordered it just after Christmas (and despite some shipping issues) it finally arrived this week – apart from the game mat which is still AWOL.
In this post I’ll go through all the physical components of the game and discuss how they are packaged and their production qualities. In later posts I’ll review the rules in depth, show my progress with building and painting the miniatures and scenery and provide after action game reports, but in the meantime let’s see what’s arrived in the pre-order.
In Gangs of Rome, each gang is made up of a small number of fighters (typically about five) and these are sold individually in blister packs. There are currently ten different fighters available (five male and five female) priced at GBP 8.00 each. I got two each of the male fighters and one each of the female ones.
Now GBP 8.00 is rather a lot for a single 28mm metal miniature but you do get quite a lot of extra bits in each blister pack:
Each blister contains a single fighter body as shown on the blister’s packaging (currently there are ten to choose from) and a random sprue of three different heads. I had eight different male head sprues in ten blisters and five different female head sprues in five blisters so there is a lot of variation possible. Each pack also contains one or two sprues of weapons which provide a lot of variety. A couple of weapons were missing from the sprues but with about 85 weapons for 15 fighters, there are still far more options than I will ever need. As far as I can tell, none of the weapons are specific to any of the bodies. Each figure also includes a two part 30mm round base with slots for an ID token and a health marker (a set of seven of these are included) and a single six sided die with Roman numerals.
Every fighter has it’s own unique stats card. By unique I don’t mean unique per product code, but universally unique – at launch there were 10,000 cards generated so every fighter will have it’s own card. Each fighter card has a gender to match the body, a name, an origin within the city (one of four), a patron god (one of six), a Flesh / health rating (5, 6 or 7), an Attack rating (5, 6, 7), a Defence rating (3 or 4), an Agility rating (5, 6 or 7) and a points cost (19 – 25, the total of other ratings). Each fighter card also has a skill (from 25 available) and a ‘story’ which is a single fact to add some colour to the fighter.
Although there’s some variation in the stats due to their random generation, there’s not really such a thing as a ‘bad’ fighter as lower stats are offset by a lower points cost. Gender has no bearing on other stats and my highest points cost fighter is female. In some cases, the backstory gives you a little idea on how you might want to paint a model or decorate it’s base or the style of equipment and gameplay that might suit them best and overall I enjoyed the random nature of them.
Finally, each fighter blister includes a random plate of four MDF coins (Denarii) from ten plates available and matching cards for the four coins. I’ll post about the Denarii in much more detail later, but essentially they extend your fighters by providing them with equipment, talents or traits that modify their basic stats and abilities at a points cost. In my 15 blisters, I got some each of eight different coin plates so I’m only missing two (if anyone wants to trade, I have spares of 6 and 8 to trade for 3 and 10).
I’ve never been into collectable games of any kind, but still it was quite interesting to open up each blister and discover a fledgling character rather than just another generic piece of metal. I’m already beginning to see natural synergies between various fighters, their skill, Denarii and their background stories.
All of the blister contents are of good quality and securely packaged.
Next are the four different Dominus blisters, each supplied with a 25mm round MDF base and priced at GBP 3.00 each. I’m not totally clear on the in-game purpose of these figures yet but they do like nice!
Three different mob blisters are available for GBP 8.00 each, containing five different miniatures with 25mm round MDF bases and a MDF sabot base. Mobs are a critical part of Gangs of Rome as the games are set in a living city and the mobs are fickle and dangerous but can also potentially conceal a cunning gang member.
Various accessories are shown below. A set of 40 ID markers to identify your individual gang members (GBP 4.00), sets of various coloured pebbles which are used to activate fighters (GBP 3.00 for 10) and a couple of MDF measuring sticks (free for pre-orders)
A couple of special characters (Barca and Tisiphone) were included with pre-orders and are also available separately for GBP 5.00 each. These are single piece castings which come with a base, Flesh markers and card but no Denarii as they already have their own specific special abilities included in their cards.
Several of the Denarii allow you to add a temporary ally to your gang and this can either be represented in play using the coin itself or with a miniature. Top row, left to right are the Agente, Fierce Mastiff and Gladiator Ally – all priced at GBP 4.00 each with 30mm bases and flesh markers. Also available are a set of three figures – the slave master and two slaves with 25mm bases (GBP 5.00)
The 36 page softback rulebook (GBP 8.00) is extremely well produced, both in terms of it’s physical quality and the layout, illustrations and full colour photographs throughout.
Last, but certainly not least, are a large quantity of MDF kits covering a wide variety of Roman subjects including buildings, workshops, temples, markets, walls and fountains. Rome wasn’t built in a day and it’s certainly going to take a long time to work through all of these but I’ll be posting as I complete them and Rome starts to take shape.
Everything I’ve described is now available directly from Footsore Miniature’s own website, their dedicated Gangs of Rome website and many retailers around the world, including Tabletop Empires here in Australia.
See you on the streets!