Before the First Fight
- Restart until you get around 160 HP (and high aggro) on 2 of your 3 starting men.
- Move all newcomers Meditate sliders to MAX until they reach 100 (always train Meditate first!)
- Upgrade the weapons on the 2 geared gladiators to Gladius and Large Basic Shield.
- Immediately click on the Doctore to the left, check the Auto Train box and train Humility.
- Click on the Jupiter card table and drag the Jupiter Blessing card on a geared gladiator.
- Click on the table to open the market screen, buy all the food, wine and water you can.
- Send wine 4 times to both the Legate and Magistrate and apply for patronage a them both.
- Hire the Architect, Bard and Sacerdos.
- Have your Architect build a Palus.
- Research "Song of Ceres” from the Bard and "Mars Prayer” from the Sacerdos.
- Move your 3 gladiators to the top left 3 training positions. The Architect builds training equipment starting from the top left to right, one row at a time and this is how you should line up your gladiators (you can drag and move both gladiators and Palus’).
- If you were able to click fast enough, you should have been able to get all this done before the first fight begins. Don't worry if you didn't get it all done in time, just do it after the fight.
After a Fight
- You'll want to heal the gladiator you just sent into battle.
- On lower difficulties, use "training speed” and "auto heal” cards specifically (when you get to know the useful Jupiter cards, just discard the bad ones to prevent clutter - only a few cards truly matter).
- If you got any new, strong card drops, remember to equip them.
- If you have been awarded new slaves/gladiators – sell them or let them be cannon fodder for unfair fights from the Legate or Magistrate (better than selling, since you will get a consolation price).
Continually - Stock Up
- Buy food, water and/or wine often, since the market is full after for 2 days.
- Keep food and water around 1000 in case of an unlucky event.
- In the beginning, give wine to the Legate and Magistrate to get easier mandatory fights and better rewards (gold), but only give the full amount (…64,128,256) or they will be angry at you for giving them less than expected.
- However, they will soon lose faith in you faster than you can give wine, so after a while just don’t bother - spend your money on something else.
Continually - Research
- Research new things with Doctore. Prioritize Blade Control, Deep Breathing, Attack Vector, Rolling Attack, Murmillo Training and then Dismemberment. Everything after that you can decide for yourself. You have enough time in the year to pretty much research everything available.
- If you get Mind Control, know that pointing the mouse determines where your gladiator strikes at various angles and at different sides, while the keyboard moves in directions. I just use the AI.
- Keep building Palus with your Architect.
- Keep researching with your Bard and Sacerdos (generally only do the useful stuff, since they don’t work when they are researching).
- When you have 15 Palus’, replace the Architect with the Educator (the Architect’s purchases stays, but researched bonuses from all other employees disappear when they are fired).
- Have the Educator research Focus and Anatomy first, then the rest.
- Buy strong (300+ HP) slaves from the Magistrate and train them appropriately. I use Murmillo, since the Murmillo’s Zweihander do more damage, and Retiarius takes so long to research.
Murmillo = high aggro, low turtle, med evasion
Thraex = med aggro, high turtle, low evasion
Retiarius = low aggro, med turtle, high evasion
- Once they have 100 Meditate, you will want to go full Weapon training (until at least level 20). There doesn’t seem to be a great need for agility to counter equipment weight or defence to absorb enemy damage. It looks like damage is king, so I just go for weapon training. Besides, winning battles increases all stats.
- Maintain morale by giving coin (or wine) to your fighters (won’t be needed with the Bard).
Train Many Gladiators
- Don’t risk everything on one guy - train many. The game balances around your best equipped (armor) gladiator, and when he dies, the game difficulty does not reset.
- Do however use your champion in fights to help buy equipment for the rest of your gladiators.
- When a champion asks for his freedom, grant it very soon. He will (try to) escape after the second time he asks. Get around this by using many gladiators so none exceed about 10 fights.
- On lower difficulties you can switch strong cards between your weaker gladiators to help them improve in pit fights (cards always return, if the gladiator dies, no worries).
- Some cards can stack to increase their effect.
Fight or Flights
- Keep an eye on the opponent: Be wary in the beginning if they have a spear, a Zweihander, higher aggro or higher AI.
- Always pay attention to Jupiter Blessing cards as they can easily decimate you without question. Some of these Blessing to be wary of are: Curse of Magicrate (look for half health) / Weapon Master / Reaction Boost / Dual Wield Master / AI Proficiency / Wild Animal / Attack Stance.
- All you need to do now is gather 15 gladiators, train and equip them and wait.
- Remember to get 3 regionals! Get more regionals if you want training and money for better gear.
- With around 50 days left buy final equipment upgrades and grant around half of your trained guys freedom, including a few of your main guys that were winning fights for you (they will be needed).
- Put the returned, strong cards on your remaining fighters.
- Before the final battle, replace the Sacerdos with Haruspex to curse the enemies’ Fighting Proficiency (do it at least 2 days before, or the effect will not be researched in time).
Specifics About Stats and Gear
- I usually end up with my 2 Thraex starting guys (if they survived) and the rest (13) as Murmillo.
- All gladiators at this point have 300-500 HP and 200-400 base damage (without the use of cards).
- I buy light gear and stop at the big price increments. This route from slave to Murmillo costs 492.
- Specifically, the Murmillo wield dual Gladius (80 gold) and are armoured up with Basic Thaxe Helm, Jupiter’s Mail, Bronze Pauldrons, Fancy Leather Skirt, Onyx Greaves (412 gold).
- Equipping 13 Murmillo will cost 6400 gold - upgrading the 2 Thraex will cost about 600 gold.
- When all 15 are equipped, I buy Zweihander for the 13 Murmillos (3600).
- Afterwards, if possible, I also buy the Plus for the 13 Murmillos (1800).
- In total about 7.000 for standard equipment, 10.600 with Zweihander and 12.400 with the Plus.
- The Faber’s 25 % discount could be of use in this regard, but I haven’t needed him to win.