chaosbunker.de
27Sep/180

Gangs of Rome Blood on the Aventine Boxed Set

Earlier this year, Warbanner released a boxed starter set for their ancient skirmish game Gangs of Rome called Blood on the Aventine.

Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine

This is a scenario based set, covering all you need to get into the game and covers quite a lot of content. At a price point of 35 GBP it is very reasonable priced for the sum of individual parts that it contains, but let us take a look into the box.

Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine

Unlike other starter sets, Blood on the Aventine does not only cover a reduced set of rules, but the full Gangs of Rome A4 rulebook as a softcover, along with a Blood on the Aventine scenario leaflet. You receive 6 fighters incl. their named fighter cards, bases, tokens and a Gaul watchman, who guards the temple under construction (made by Sarissa Precision from MDF). The game also covers 7 Roman numeral dice, 2 sword-shaped movement rulers made from MDF and 16 skill coins made from MDF as well.

Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine
Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine
Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine

The MDF temple is packed in shrink wrap and comes with an instruction. The skill coins are neatly cut and engraved with the numbers and the Romulus and Remus insignia of the game on its back.

Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine

The miniatures of Gangs of Rome are sculpted by two sculptors; Paul Hicks covering the civilians, like mob and this sets scenario miniature Tavalus, the Gaul warden, and Steve Saleh, who took care of the fighters. Unlike the additional fighters that you can buy individually or as gang deals, these are single pieces and come with pre-determined heads and weaponry. The single blisters usually cover three head options and a weapon frame with mixed weapons.

Casting is good, especially on Tavalus. Though I had the feeling that the Footsore / other Warbanner castings I bought were cleaner and had less mould lines. Still an above average quality.

Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine

Gangs of Rome uses special bases for their game. They have two cut outs for tokens and are made from MDF and heavy cardboard that are glued together using PVA. The miniatures themselves are added to the top of the bases using super glue. You might need to file the underside of the miniatures slab to create an (more) even surface.

Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine

As you can see the cut outs are there for the acryl tokens of indication (orange and green) and wounds (red).

Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine

How do the Gangs of Rome miniatures settle scale wise? They are 28-30mm scale miniatures and work quite well with other manufacturers. In the first picture the comparison between the Saleh and Hicks sculpts, the second picture shows the Gangs of Rome miniatures in between two Warlord Games Romans and the third pictures is an assortment of Gladiators, by Crusader miniatures (#1) and Brigade Games (#2 and #5). Brigade Games is an American miniature company, which covers a Gladiator range sculpted by Paul Hicks.

Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine

Next up the centre piece of this scenario starter set, the temple under construction. This piece is supplied by Sarissa Precision. The temple is spread across 6 roughly A4 sized sheets of 2mm MDF and comes with an instruction leaflet.

Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine

The assembly begins with the inner temple itself. The cuts are clean and there is little to no effort on tidying up any parts. They are reasonably sized and well arranged, without any real danger of damaging parts while removing them from the sheet.

Fit is good, on some parts a bit loose, so you should build them not piece by piece but rather group based, so the pieces have something to align to and are more stable while the PVA settles.

Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine

The temple is raised by a three level base. Clever use of the MDF, placing other parts within the base, which will later be covered. It may help to add the base early, even previous to gluing it together, for the temple to have a firm and final position to rest and bond.

Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine

The stairs are added and easily fit to the 45° sides of the temple.

Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine

Next up are the roman columns. These are a bit more work for unexperienced builders and might irritate you, as the instruction covers two pieces that have a different design in the final product. There is no square shaped base piece and no large piece for alignment as shown in the instruction. But if you're using PVA instead of super glue for the MDF parts, you have a bit of time to assemble the column before the glue settles. For stability purposes I added the "roof" substructure without gluing it while building the columns, so they don't tilt and are a proper fit for the next steps.

Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine

The two half build columns are easily assembled as well and are added to the left and right of the entrance.

Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine

Next up the support beams of the roof. Note, you can flip the substructure if you like (having the slots on the left or right side), so these can go either side of the roof.

Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine

As this temple is under construction, there are different sets of scaffolds along with this kit. The first one is a 3 level scaffold for the interior part of the temple. I would recommend only assembling it and just placing it in the inner part of the temple, to have it removable for painting and maybe playing purposes.

Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine

The half build columns have scaffolds as well. These were a bit "flimsy" to assemble, but if you build them directly on the columns instead of free standing, that helps a bit.

Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine

And the outer scaffold that goes around the temple is last but one part of this kit. This piece "clicks" to the outer rim of the temples base and can be moved all around the temple.

Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine

And the last bit is the ancient crane, using stakes driven into the ground for stability. This one looks best if you later on add a few inches of string.

Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine

There are a couple of optional pieces, that can be either be glued or scattered over the temple, like three additional roof support beams, a door way including door and three windows. The temple is quite a large piece and gives a dominant place to fight over.

Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine

My friend Boycie painted the temple for his private collection and was kind enough to share these pictures with us.

Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine

And of course, a couple of shots of the miniatures from different angles.

Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine

Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine Gangs of Rome - Blood on the Aventine

Conclusion
Blood on the Aventine gives you the chance to start with Gangs of Rome at a very reasonable rate. The price advantage of this kit is massive. The rulebook is 8 GBP on its own, the 6 fighters would be 48 GBP alone and the temple, that isn't offered outside of this kit, would easily be 20-25 GBP. And we didn't count in the token, dice etc. at this point. So with 35 GBP you get a lot of essential items from the Gangs of Rome range, at a great bargain.

It is a well rounded box, that gives you a realistic impression of the whole game. You have a small warband to get familiar with the rules. You have direct access to the whole rule set and a well designed terrain piece to fight over. And as this covers rulers, dice and tokens, it is beginner friendly, something that can be played even by newcomers to the wargaming hobby. And at 35 GBP not a real risk, even if you don't get hooked, you get a nice terrain piece and couple of miniatures you can use for the rich roman setting of ancient wargames.

How do you expand this starter set? What else do you need? Well, most games I've seen were fought with 5 warriors on each side, so you could invest on 4 single blisters or go for the 5 fighters deal to boost up both parties to 5 (+1) each, and add two groups of mobs. Other than that, get yourself a few more terrain pieces. Warbanner has teamed up with Sarissa Precision to offer quite an extensive range of roman city buildings, from the outer walls, over market squares to new parts of the city in building.

Please note, Blood on the Aventine is a "limited" introduction set for Gangs of Rome and currently (date mid-September) just over 100 sets are left, so grab one fast.

The rules of Gangs of Rome are covered in a separate review. You can download the rules pdf for free until the end of September.

Gangs of Rome is a brand by Warbanner Ltd.

The reviewed product item was provided by the manufacturer.

Comments (0) Trackbacks (0)

No comments yet.


Leave a Reply

Trackbacks are disabled.