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Demo Game

You have answered the calls of the crowd and have taken you place on the sands of the
arena. It is in this moment that you journey to becoming one of the greatest gladiators in all of
Rome begins.
In this demo game you’ll be taken through the basics of Sons of Mars. You’ll learn how
combat works, playing to the strengths of your gladiator as well as exploiting the weaknesses of
your enemies and the importance maneuvering properly around the arena. All you’re going to
need are a handful of d10 dice and a measuring tape. So without further delay, lets begin.

Clash of the Titans



After a day of exciting gladiatorial games we have finally come to the pinnacle of the
event, the Primus. Our first combatant is Flamma, the most decorated gladiator of ancient
Rome. Fighting as a Secutor, Flamma fought in 34 matches over the length of his career, earn-
ing a record of 21 victories, 9 draws and only 4 defeats. Four times he was granted his freedom
and turned it down only to continue fighting on the sands of the Colosseum until his death.
His opponent became famous in the arena but gained immortality for nearly bringing
Rome to its knees during the great slave revolt. His name was Spartacus. Spartacus fought
against Rome in its wars with Thrace before being captured. Afterwards he was trained as a
Thracian gladiator and fought in the city of Capua where he would become a great champion.
Tonight, as a gift from Mars we will witness the glorious spectacle of these two titans fac-
ing off in mortal combat.
The Gladiators

Here we have the profiles for Flamma and Spartacus. All of the information you’ll need
for each gladiator is held here. If you have any questions about what the stats represent refer to
page 17 in the rulebook.

Flamma (Secutor)
STR / +2 AGL / -1 CHA / 0 MOV / 4 VIT / 9
CHG / 1 SUS / 2 CTR / 1 DEF / 1 ARM / +2

Weapon CHG SUS CTR DEF ARM Abilities Cost

Gladius w/ scutum 1 2 1 0 +2 20

Abilities - Shield Bash, Stagger, Impenetrable, Veteran, STR +1

Spartacus (Thracian)
STR / +1 AGL / +2 CHA / 0 MOV / 5 VIT / 8
CHG / 2 SUS / 1 CTR / 2 DEF / 1 ARM / +2

Weapon CHG SUS CTR DEF ARM Abilities Cost

Sica w/ Parmula 2 1 1 0 +1 Parry, Shield Breaker 20

Abilities - Frenzy, Titan, Momentum, Veteran, AGL +1

Setting Up the Match



Before combat begins we must first place our gladiators in the arena. Find the center
point of the arena and then place your gladiators 6 inches apart from each other. Once this is
done we will then roll initiative to see who goes first in the combat. Each gladiator will roll a
d10 and add their Agility (AGL). This score will determine your initiative and who gets to go
first. Repeat this process at the beginning of each round.
Each player will have 2 actions to use per round. The player who won the initiative will
go first and perform both of their actions before the next player may go. Once both players
have completed their two actions the round ends and a new one begins. In some instances you
may be in a position to string 4 actions together if you go second in one round and then win the
initiative in the next.
Tactics

Determining the right time to attack your opponent and when to withdraw are key ele-
ments to the game play in Sons of Mars. Simply throwing handfuls of dice at your enemy will
not be good enough to achieve victory in most cases. Take this time to look over your gladia-
tors strengths and weaknesses and think about how you can use them to achieve dominance on
the arena sands.
Flamma is a Secutor who’s main focus is to stay locked in combat and inflict as much
damage as possible. His best combat stat is his Sustained Attack (SUS). Use actions and skills
with this stat in mind to achieve the best results for this gladiator type.
Spartacus is a Thracian who’s fight style is best described as aggressive. As a Thracian
you’ll want to put yourself in positions to charge your opponent using the Charge Attack (CHG)
as much as possible. Do this by utilizing your Disengage & Push Actions often before going in
to land a decisive blow.

First Blood
Now that we’ve cover the gladiators and their fighting styles lets go over how combat
works. Each gladiator depending on what combat action is used will have a certain dice pool
to roll for the combat. An example of this is adding your Combat Attribute such as Sustained
(SUS) to your weapons Sustained Attribute. So in this case Flamma would have 4 dice to roll in
Sustained combat where Spartacus would only have 2.
To determine who wins the combat simply have each player roll their dice pool. The
gladiator with the highest dice roll wins the combat and every die that comes in higher than
their opponents highest roll will be considered a hit. Example - Flamma rolls a 9,7,5,3 and
Spartacus rolls a 6 & 4. Flamma has the highest die roll with a 9 and wins the combat. His roll
of a 7 is also higher than Spartacus’ roll of a 6 so another hit is landed. Flammas rolls of 5 & 3
are cast aside since they are not higher than the 6 Spartacus rolled.
In the cases where there is a tie between each players highest rolls then the combat is a
draw and the action ends.

Armor Saves
Once the amount of hits has been determined its time to see if your gladiator can prevent
himself from being damaged. To do this simply add your gladiators Armor Attribute (ARM)
plus your weapon profiles armor attribute. Take that number and add it to a roll of a d10. If the
score is a 10 or more then you successfully saved against any damage. If failed then the gladia-
tor takes one hit to their Vitality (VIT) score. In our previous example Spartacus has two saves
he needs to make and his armor value is a +3. Spartacus rolls an 8 and a 4. The roll of an 8
plus his armor value is enough to save vs the first hit. The roll of a 4 plus his armor value only
equals a 7 so the second hit goes through and he loses one Vitality point.
Critical Successes
Sometimes in combat a gladiator will land a clean blow that does an excessive amount of
damage. These are referred to as Critical Successes. If a 10 is rolled during combat the gladia-
tor has landed a critical success. The player then has the choice to either do double damage on
an unsaved hit or activate one of their skills / abilities while only doing the normal amount of
damage on an unsaved hit. This must be decided before the armor save has been rolled.

Favor Dice
When a gladiator puts on an epic performance in the arena it will most certainly bring the
crowd to their feet. Anytime a gladiator scores a critical success vs an unsaved wound they will
gain a Favor Die that can be used to re-roll a single die. See page 10 of the rulebook for further
uses of Favor Dice and how to acquire them.

Attribute Tests
When fighting in the arena there will be times when your prowess with a sword will not
be enough to win the day. Sometimes you will need to rely on your strength and agility to lead
you to victory. In instances when an attribute test is called for simply roll a d10 and add in your
Strength (STR), Agility (AGL) or Charisma (CHA) modifier and compare it with the result that
is needed for success. When an opposed test is called for between you and an opponent simply
repeat the process and the winner will be determined by the player with the highest score.

In Victory or Defeat
Victory will be decided by the first gladiator who takes their opponent down to zero vi-
tality before the end of round 8. If neither gladiator falls by the sword before this time then the
fight will be considered a draw.

Closing Thoughts
You have just survived your first combat on the sands of the arena. This version of the
game barely scratches the surface of what you can do with the Sons of Mars rule set. Inside
the rulebook you will be able to scale the depth and complexity of the rules to fit your gaming
needs as well as play in campaigns and tournaments that you can build from the ground up. The
crowds in the arena are looking forward to seeing you shed blood on the sands once again. Best
of luck on your quest for fame and glory, Son of Mars.
Actions
Move - The gladiator uses this action to move up to his maximum movement range (MOV) in
inches.

Run - A gladiator can add 1 inch to his movement this action on an Agility roll of a 6+.

Attack - This action is used if a gladiator starts in base contact with an opponent and wishes to
attack. Both gladiator’s resolve the combat with their Sustained (SUS) rating.

Move into Combat - The gladiator uses this action to move in a straight line into base contact
with an opponent and attack them. This combat will be resolved using the Sustained (SUS) rat-
ing for the attacking gladiator and the defending gladiator will be able to choose between their
Sustained (SUS) or Counterattack (CTR) rating. If the defender chooses to use their Sustained
rating they are allowed to move forward and meet their attacker half way.

Charge into Combat - A gladiator can use this action if he is 3 or less inches away from his
opponent and wishes to move in a straight line to attack. This is considered a charge and the
attacking gladiator will use his Charge (CHG) rating vs his opponent’s Counterattack (CTR)
rating. The charging gladiator will also be allowed to re-roll one of his attack dice as a bonus
for charging.

Defensive Stance - This action can be used by a gladiator who wishes to not move or attack and
makes protecting himself his top priority. When in a Defensive Stance (DEF) any opponent
who attacks this gladiator must re-roll one attack die if the defender chooses (excluding critical
successes). The gladiator in the defensive stance must use their defensive rating and may only
hit his opponent with a critical success (all other dice scores only count to resolve how many
attacks get through the defensive stance). If any attacks manage to score a hit vs the defender
then the gladiator may re-roll all of their failed armor saves. This action lasts until the gladiator
in the defensive stance takes another action.
Entering a defensive stance happens automatically if the player is not in base contact with
another model. If anyone is in base to base contact with them then the gladiator must make a
successful 6+ Agility test to enter a defensive stance.

Push - This action allows the attacking gladiator to push back his opponent 2 inches if he
defeats him in an opposed Strength (STR) test. If the defender wins then they are able to push
their opponent back 1 inch or stay locked in combat. This action may be used at the end of a
Move Into Combat Action instead of making attacks or while in base contact with an opponent.
Disengage - If a player is locked in combat and wishes to break away this is the action they
use. The gladiators will make an opposed Agility (AGL) test. If the gladiator taking the action
wins they are able to disengage up to their full movement in their rear arc (180 degrees from
the point of base contact). If their opponent wins they may reposition their model anywhere as
long as they are still in base contact.
(Critical Success Bonus - If the gladiator rolls a critical success while disengaging then they see
an opportunity to strike their opponent as they break away to safety. The opponent must make a
successful armor save or lose one point of vitality.)

Intimidate - This action allows the gladiator to attempt to shake the psyche of his opponent.
The gladiators will make an opposed Charisma (CHA) test. If the attacking gladiator scores
highest he may take a Favor die from his opponent and force him to re-roll one die in all phases
for the remainder of this turn. If his opponent wins he shows he is unfazed by these antics and
gets a Favor die.
(Critical Success Bonus - If either gladiator scores a critical success then their opponent loses
one of their actions this round. If the round is ending then the gladiator with the critical success
automatically wins the next initiative roll off.)

Play to the Crowd - This action allows the gladiator to gain a favor die on a successful Charisma
Test. On a Charisma test score of an + 6 the gladiator will receive an extra Favor die to add to
their pool. On a score of a 1 their opponent will receive the favor die as the crowd jeers you for
your feeble attempt at stirring up the masses. This action can only be used if you are not in base
contact with another model.
(Critical Success Bonus - If the gladiator rolls a critical success then they are awarded 2 Favor
Dice.)
Gladiator Abilities
Frenzy - Once per game a gladiator may add an extra die to their charge dice pool when
Charging into Combat (CHG).

Impenetrable - The player may re-roll one armor save over the course of a match.

Momentum - For every critical success rolled while Charging into Combat the player may roll
an additional die to add to that dice pool. This process may repeat infinitely.

Parry - On a critical success while counter attacking or in a defensive stance the defender may
elect to do no damage and automatically reposition himself anywhere in base to base contact
after the combat is resolved.

Shield Bash - If the gladiator is armed with a shield and has this skill they may re-roll their
Strength (STR) Test result when using the Push action.

Shield Breaker - On a critical success while charging, the attacker can break the defender’s
shield on a Strength test score of 10+. The shield and its stats will no longer be usable by the
defending player for this match.

Stagger - On a critical success while charging into combat, the attacker can knock back his
opponent 2 inches with a flurry of blows if the defender fails their armor save. If his opponent
fails an Agility Test of a 6+ after the failed armor test they are knocked back an additional inch.

Titan - This gladiator may re-roll any Strength Test result for abilities activated on a critical
success.

Veteran - This Gladiator has seen it all in the arena and may re-roll an entire dice roll once per
game.