How time flies. It’s already more than a year since we at War Banner released our first game, Gangs of Rome. Unleashed on 1st December, 2017, this first edition of the game was written by Adam Dobbyns, produced by Andy Hobday, and based on a concept by Darren Evans. Since its debut, it has developed, matured, and enjoyed an expanding fan base. A year on, we look back on our baby’s development, and look ahead to its future. But, more importantly, we offer those who have purchased, played and praised Gangs of Rome our sincerest thanks.
And now, let’s look back on Gangs of Rome, starting with those ruffians at the core of the game…
Gangs of Rome made its debut with twelve fighters (six male, six female) at centre stage. Sculpted by both Steve Saler and Paul Hicks, these dynamic miniatures included ten generic thugs and our first two characters, Barca and Tisiphone.
Designed with individuality in mind, our generic fighters included a dice, a base, blood tokens, a randomly generated gang card, four equipment cards and their matching coins, and a selection of random heads and weapons.
This approach to varied weapons and heads continued with our second wave of gang fighters. Released in August, these eight new combatants were sculpted by returnee Steve Saler and were also packed with an assortment of heads and weapons. The continued inclusion of random heads and weapons continues to underline our approach to customisation and individuality; this is, after all, your gang, and we want you to be able to make it your way.
Rome is the mob, and the mob is central to the appeal of Gangs of Rome. Integral to GoR’s gameplay, three sets of mobs were included in the game’s initial wave. With each of these three mobs containing five expertly sculpted and delightfully individual miniatures, they proved to be a big hit with not only those playing Gangs of Rome, but also gamers using them in other historical games, collectors of historical miniatures, and fans of fantasy RPGs.
This initial batch of three mobs has recently been joined by a slave mob, an animated mob, and a rioting mob. These new mobs are just as characterful, just as energetic, and—judging by sales—just as popular as their predecessors.
Possessed of ingenious mechanics, the use of the mob is vital to any player’s success, or otherwise, in Gangs of Rome. They continue to set GoR apart from other skirmish games, and to make a lasting impression on those experiencing the game for the first time at shows, stores and clubs. Long may they reign!
Two of Rome’s most dubious citizens, Cruentus and Thessalus were released in March 2018, and heralded a new type of Gangs of Rome miniature: the Incola. Independent of any gang, these varied denizens of Rome act randomly and visit help or hindrance on any fighter who crosses their path. Since the release of this perilous pair, our rogues gallery has grown to include a retired gladiator, an orator, a pirate and even Rufinus, a nutcase with a basket full of scorpions! See the full range here.
The Living City
Central to the hobby appeal of Gangs of Rome, Sarissa Precision’s superb Streets of Rome range of MDF buildings and accessories were released in conjunction with Gangs of Rome, and have been central to the aesthetic of the game. Sarissa continue to expand this excellent range, with more recent releases including a ludus arena, a travelling carriage and even a trio of chariots. You can see the complete range on both the Gangs of Rome and Sarissa Precision webstores.
From the beginning, we’ve given our customers—or even just the curious onlooker—free material. With the goodies on offer including the PDF of the full rulebook, a four page taster, free scenarios and short fiction, we have been—and remain—committed to enriching and supporting your Gangs of Rome experience. Take advantage of our generosity on our Downloads page.
Gangs of Rome attended its first show at 2018’s Vapnartak show in York. Not only did our stand boast the complete Gangs of Rome range, but it also offered customers the opportunity to play the game thanks to an attractive demo table. This set the tone for 2018, with War Banner appearing at major shows like Salute and Crisis—as well as many others on the UK calendar—allowing customers to try the game first hand.
The Gangs of Rome Roadshow
The Gangs of Rome Roadshow began visiting hobby stores and clubs in September, allowing new customers the chance to play the game. With new Envoys joining us all the time, we’re showcasing Gangs of Rome in more and more clubs and shops across the U.K., with plans to expand into Europe in 2019.
Blood on the Aventine and Bread and Circuses
Launched in March of 2018, our Blood on the Aventine scenario set combined exceptional value for money with varied content. Containing as it did two complete gangs, a brand new Incola, an under-construction temple by Sarissa Precision, a rulebook and a swathe of tokens, coins, markers and cards, it was an ideal way to begin or augment a Gangs of Rome collection. Snapped up by new and existing players alike, it is little wonder this limited edition set has now sold out.
So how should new players begin their Gangs of Rome collection? The answer lies in our next scenario set, Bread and Circuses. Due for release in January, this exciting new box set will include oodles of content at a bargain price. At its core will lie two complete gangs—each led by two brand new characters—a new Incola, a new bakery as created by Sarissa Precision, three mobs, a rulebook and the prerequisite tokens, cards et cetera.
Preparation on this amazing set is drawing to a close as you read this article, and we will release more information—not to mention photographs—in the very near future; watch this space!
Rome’s Most Wanted
Another exciting new development, our range of Rome’s Most Wanted sets bring the discerning Gangs of Rome player a trio of storied gang fighters in one box. As with our scenario sets, the fighters contained in these boxes are pre-generated characters, and they also come with not only their own special objective marker, but also fighter cards, dice, bases, a set of unique denarii and an insert with a scenario and special rules. They are a bargain at only £18.00. With four further gangs waiting in the wings, out first two sets—the Sons of Orcus and the Children of Epona—are about to be released. Pre-order yours here.
And so now we look to the future. With more miniatures, a campaign set, more free content and even more terrain on the horizon, it’s an exciting time to be working at War Banner. Not only that, but with new Incola, a new scenario set, and the Rome’s Most Wanted sets to look forward, we’re positively giddy. We hope you are too.
We’re currently open to submissions, so if you have an article about sculpting, painting or gaming, then please do send it our way. From historical to sci-fi, battle reports to painting tips, modelling to terrain and all points in between, we’d love to hear from you. See our submissions guidelines for more details.