Governance of Derventio: a Report on War Banner’s First Gangs of Rome Campaign Day

Hi, I’m Paul, and welcome to Sculpting, Painting and Gaming, War Banner’s roadmap to hobby heaven.

Saturday 27th October saw War banner’s first official campaign day for Gangs of Rome. Entitled Governance of Derventio (the latter being the Roman name for Derby back in the day), this auspicious event was the first in War Banner’s new and ongoing series of tournaments and open-play events. These events are aimed at supporting War Banner’s games, the players of those games, and the bricks and mortar stores who stock them. By holding these events at War Banner stockists such as Boards and Swords, we aim to bring new customers to these stores, and to raise the profile of our games with those stores’ existing customers.

Our debut event was well attended by a group of enthusiastic players of varying degrees of experience, with some players—such as Pete Barfield and George Asling—bringing varying amounts of scenery to help populate the gaming tables. When added to the vast quantity of scenery and buildings provided by War Banner (as produced by our friends at Sarissa Precision), each table was well furnished with excellently painted insulae, temples, triumphal arches and the like. I added a modest yet charismatic selection as painted by Mrs Chantal Spaull, another prolific painter of Sarissa’s Streets of Rome range.

One of the many tables from the event.

Another table from Governance of Derventio.

The Sons of Orcus were one of many new miniatures on show. Pre-orders yours now.

With the required number of tables duly laid out and the players eager to begin, each of those players—myself included—was unleashed on the first scenario, Tribute to Mars. A perennial favourite of mine—and the scenario I use when I demo Gangs of Rome at shows—Tribute to Mars is quick, simple and a great ice-breaker. Within one round the atmosphere in the tournament was lively, and it was clear everyone was having a great time. I for one was very pleased to be there, and thoroughly enjoyed my first game. I did, of course, lose, and lose badly. Two out of three of my fighters were retired whilst my opponent suffered no casualties. Ouch

With War Banner’s new Gangs of Rome campaign pack on the horizon, we took this opportunity to test the pack’s new Injury Cards. All those fighters retired from play during the first game drew a card and applied one of the many and varied wounds  – and their effects – to the retired fighters as they returned in this second scenario. My two retired fighters suffered -3 Agility and -2 Flesh? respectively, making my life even harder in the second game.

The Children of Epona were also on show. Pre-order them at our webstore.

That second game saw us play the Careless is as Careless Dies scenario. One of the may scenarios available to download for free on the Gangs of Rome website, this scenario features a somewhat injudicious dominus taking a walk in Rome and, thus, becoming the target of a kidnap attempt by a rival gang. Playing this scenario gave us a valuable opportunity to garner feedback on the recently updated rules for playing a dominus in Gangs of Rome. Playtesting and feedback such as this is a valuable part of writing any kind of tabletop game, and playing both this scenario and the dominus rules was both a worthwhile exercise and lot of fun.

Our magnificent fountain tippers, as given free to all attendees

Needless to say, I lost. Badly.

A delicious buffet lunch followed. Included in the price of the ticket, this lunch underlined the event’s value for money. Entry included our free, event-only miniature Junia, a copy of the Gangs of Rome rulebook, and a trio of beautiful resin pieces including a fountain topper, a statue of Neptune and a collection of amphorae. We look forward to seeing these in situ on many a Gangs of Rome table in the future.

And so, refreshed and invigorated after such a good lunch, we entered the final game. At this point the tournament really came alive. Three mats had been joined together and the scenery pooled together to form an astonishing 9×3′ playing area. All the tournament’s players were duly let loose on this killing ground in a free-for-all, where the only objective was survival. Many a gang fighter was retired, and many a PIM was earned. It may surprise you to know that even I won a modest amount of these mysterious PIMs. I say ‘mysterious’ as I’ve never won one before, and I found myself surprised it wasn’t served with lemonade.

And thus the tournament drew to a close with all participants being awarded £5.00 credit on the Gangs of Rome webstore per PIM earned. The overall winner was quids in with eight PIMs!

Everyone involved had enjoyed a great day’s gaming, and we the organisers were pleased as punch with the way the day had unfolded. With a convivial atmosphere, sporting behaviour and great gaming, we couldn’t want more than to do it again soon…

…So watch this space. With Fortuna’s blessing you should see a further Gangs of Rome campaign day in the very near future. We hope you can join us.

The incredible layout on which we played our final game



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About the Author

Paul L. Mathews
A born-again wargamer since 2015, Paul L. Mathews is now the editor at War Banner. He is also the head honcho at his own freelance enterprise, Tabletop Creative. A dull boy, Paul's interests include editing and staying up past his bedtime

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