What is this?

This is a not-for-profit set of games run by one gamer, for other gamers. Development is influenced by player demand. It is about the fun of historical gaming. Nothing else.

There are two games. Arena:Gladiatoria, and the much simpler Arena:Civis. They run on the same site and with the same user accounts. The site is advert-free, and we don't pass on your data to third parties.

Arena : Gladiatoria

This was the first of the new Arena games to launch. It is a browser-based game in which players rise to fame by establishing a House in one of the great cities of the Roman Empire. They build up a barracks of gladiators, and win glory in the arena,by acquiring the best gladiators. Players name and train their gladiators, trade them, and enter them in fights at the local ampitheatre. Each year of the game, one will emerge Champion in each town.

Arena : Gladiatoria is set in the First Century AD, and though it's not limited to a specific year, it might be considered to start in the reign of Claudius around 48 AD. This would have been the year 801 in Roman dating, but we have borrowed the Roman dating format and called our first year AUC 1. It keeps things simple.

This is not a fantasy game. It is modelled on current knowledge of Roman gladiators and their world. Our knowledge of the era is limited, and often depends on inference. Different authors will make different assertions, but where there is consensus, the game will use it.

Arena : Civis

The second of the modern games to launch is a browser-based Social Ladder game, in which players compete to rise up Roman society by choosing from cards which represent actions. The game is loosely linked to the gladiatorial game because players use the same character name, but success or failure in one game has no impact on the other.

Older Games

Back in 1993, I launched a game called Arena, which was a play-by-mail game. It ran for about 4 years, and remains a heavy influence on the modern game.

A second version followed, and then from 2001 I ran a version of the game online, this time called Arena : Sword of Freedom. I stopped the game to focus on a relaunch of Gridiron, with my dear friend Richard John. The demands of work also required sacrifices at the time. Now the sacrifices are made in Arena:Civis.

This fourth edition of the game is heavily based on Arena : Sword of Freedom but with some substantial differences. This game is called Arena : Gladiatoria and was launched in 2015 with a select group of players.

Unlike the last version of Arena, this one is entirely browser-based. I had great fun building the downloadable fight-viewer for the third version, but don't intend to emulate it this time.

About the author

My name is Richard Egan. The design or modification of simulations and games has been a passion since I was a kid.

From memory, at age 7, my first attempt was a rather disappointing set of alternative circuits for the Formula One board game. To our surprise, my friends and I quickly tired of the novelty of cars capable of 200mph and cornering at above 100mph, and found that more realistic limitations added to the fun. Finding the right balance became a fascination for us that summer, and may explain my lack of interest in the louder end of the modern games spectrum. I enjoy thought-provoking, challenging games, and those are what I try to design.

With a lot of help, I ran a games zine called Vienna in the post-punk "do it yourself" era. From its substantial readership, I forged many of my friends for life. In more recent years Richard John and I have been running an online American football simulation called Gridiron 3 (it's the third version of the game). I still love games, and the people they attract. In my experience, those people are clever and interesting, with enquiring minds. They are the very best of people.

Interested in joining Arena?

Arena requires a small subscription, paid once each game year of 13 weeks (one sub covers both games). I like subscription-based because it demands a proof of commitment to the game. But there will be no in-game add-ons, and there are no adverts.

If so, here's a button to press if you want to register interest without commitment.

Register Interest For Free


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