Gladius from Deep Water Games – Preview


John Doe
John Doe
Writer, Ring Master Maximus, Story-teller, gamer, & Hawaiian shirt aficionado. he/him.


For the Glory!

I was invited by Deep Water Games to take part in an online seminar for their upcoming bluffing game, Gladius. Over the course of the event they talked about the game, rules, plans for the future, and a couple of other odds and ends. I’ve not played the game yet, so this isn’t a review just me sharing some of the knowledge I received and maybe a couple of my own comments on the game and what I’m hoping for from it.

For the Money!

Gladius was designed by first times Victoria Cana and Alexandre Uboldi. Likewise this is artist Cheryl Young’s first game as well. The game is a joint production from Cat Quartet Games and Deep Water Games. While this is also Cat Quartet’s first game Deep Water Games has brought us Welcome To and Fantastic Factories. If you’re familiar with their games it looks like this one will follow similar quality and support lines.

IWho’s Behind It

What’s it about

For the Fun!

Gladius looks to be a quick and simple family weight game. The rules were explained to us in a few minutes and I’m pretty sure I could play the game right now and not have to look anything up. In the game you’re playing Roman citizens watching, betting, and fixing the gladiatorial games. You start the game with a number of 1st place and last place bet tokens these will be used to gain points over the course of the game. Every round starts with the reveal of an event that will tell you how many gladiators are on each of three teams and what stats are used for that event.

Players will place one bet on a team and then go in turns playing cards on the various teams. Some cards are played face down and affect the outcome at the end of the round and some are played face up and have an immediate effect. When you’re ready to pass for the round you place a second bet and are no longer able to influence the round until everyone else passes.

Once everyone is done, bets on the first place card and last place card are kept in face down stacks for endgame scoring. Bets placed on the second place team are returned to the player who placed them for future rounds. Then you draw a new event for the next round. This continues for three rounds and then final totals are scored.

The game features a deck of influence cards that are dealt out as modifiers to be played. There are also 5 spectator cards that have their own unique power. Plus 20 unique gladiators to enter the arena. 6 different events to draw over the course of the game.

Are you not entertained?

As with all things, this is hard to say. Their hope was to have it in their warehouse in the middle of April and heading to backers and retailers by the end of the month or early may. Of course this is entirely adjustable based on shipping from the factory and so many other factors. Hell, the Suez Canal is currently backlogged by a ship that went sideways. Anything can push this back. Fingers crossed they get it out to store on time.

What’s Next

For the Emperor

While they had no set plans for what will come next for the game they talked about how they’ve supported games in the past. They mentioned they are looking at; small packs of new cards featuring more events, player powers, and influence cars. Themed packs similar to the packs released for Welcome To. The possibility of adding the gods in a future small expansion was mentioned. They also talked about play mats.

May the odds be ever in your favor

As I’ve said, I haven’t gotten to play this just yet. I hope to get a copy in my hands around the same time as everyone else. If I do, I’ll be sure to let you know my thoughts on the game. It certainly hits a nice sweet spot of being family friendly welcoming game.

If you’re interested in the game, head over to their website and check out the page for it. There’s also a few videos on YouTube from different reviewers. I know Dice Tower had some very flattering things to say about it and if you go check out their video let them know Meeple Gamers sent you.

Until next time, stay safe and be well.



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