The title reveals what the strategic building board game Spartacus is about: blood and betrayal. The former flows abundantly, the latter is the key to success in a board game that has received mixed reviews from Brettsiel websites. Completely wrong, in my opinion, because Spartacus - A Game About Blood and Treason entertains at a high level - and even with complete ignorance of the good TV series. I took a closer look at the game concept of the Spartacus board game and would like to share my findings with you. Have fun with the board game test by Spartacus - A game about blood and betrayal!

Alea iacta est: the die is cast

Strategic building games are pretty trendy right now. So there is no better time to do the board game Spartacus - A game about blood and betrayal to take a closer look at it. The fact that this board game is approved for ages 16 and up initially seems like a clever marketing gag, after all, it is an analogue game. Nevertheless, the age limit is set quite appropriately, because the illustrations of the game material are partly revealing, sometimes quite hard, because they are taken from the series. This fact is very successful for fans of TV production, because they quickly establish a connection to content that has already been viewed.

Instead of quick arena fights, sets Spartacus - A game about blood and betrayal on an exciting mixture of social interaction between the players and a good dose of luck, because fights are decided in the classic way by throwing the dice. When rolling the dice, players use 3 dice each, which represent the agility, attack and defense of the gladiators. If a fighter is inflicted with a bleeding wound, he loses one die of his choice. The system works excellently when the game is active and creates a lot of tension, because even strong gladiators can be weakened and defeated. With this ingenious dice principle, the betting options also gain significantly in playful value, because it is simply great fun to bet on fights that are not predetermined by combat values ​​alone.

Arena fights: exciting, but bloody affair.

Basically, the game can be played with 3 or more players, but you have full game fun in a game round with 4 players, because this is where the intrigues unfold their entertaining potential. You can never be sure what will happen next and whether a supposed ally is playing the wrong game after all. Followers of the TV series will immediately feel at home. So grab three friends and head to the arena!

And the people will love you

As a strategic board game, a move is divided into four phases. Everything begins with a usual administrative phase in which cards are drawn and a status quo is established. In Spartacus - A game about blood and betrayal This also means that the injuries suffered by the fighters unfold their effects - sometimes with dramatic consequences for your Ludus, because this is also where people die. Then the intrigue phase begins, which is the heart of this board game. You can be really mean in the intrigue phase. Fans of the series have already got a foretaste of the machinations in Rome, around Rome and around Rome and now you can get into the gladiator business yourself.

The intrigue phase is exciting, but unfortunately also the weakest core phase of the development game for the Spartacus series. Nevertheless, the game mechanism captures the mood of the Roman times well and is fun. This is followed by a trading phase and finally the arena phase. In the trade section, players can freely exchange the possessions of their Ludus; this applies to all belongings, including gladiators and guards. A good way to have a positive effect on your own influence. In the last phase, things finally get down to business and the Romans' favorite leisure activity is organized: blood and games. Thanks to the invention of the grindstone, short swords not only shine beautifully in the sunlight, but also cut easily through bread and butter as well as skin and bones. The exciting cube system unfolds its full potential and invites you to shiver happily. By the way, you can play the player round with the help of the expansion The snake and the wolf expand to six players.


Number of players: 3 to 4 players (with extension 6)
Age: from 16 years
Playing time: 60 to 120 minutes
Difficulty: medium
Long-term motivation: high

Publisher: Heidelberger Spieleverlag  
Year of publication: 2013 
Author: Sean Sweigart
Language: German
Cost: 30 Euro


Ok, one or the other phase has minor weaknesses. The intrigue phase should be mentioned here in particular, from which one could have drawn significantly more depth of the game. at  Spartacus - A game about blood and betrayal The strategic possibilities mostly only scratch the surface, but the moves are still a lot of fun. And that's what a board game is all about: fun. The Spartacus board game unfolds this mainly in a four-player game, almost without limits. With the best will in the world, I cannot understand the scathing reviews of so many gaming portals. Sure, Spartacus is not a tactically demanding building board game, but it is entertaining on a decent level. The board game unfolds a similar trashy charm like the series.

Fans of the TV series can access it without hesitation. Lovers of strategic building board games should take a look. Basically, the more important the interaction with your fellow players / opponents is for you, the more valuable this board game becomes.