At the pre-Games pep talk Androcles emphasised to his men how much it would mean to the ludus if they were successful on this big day. He appealed to their sense of pride in their school. After he left, Quadratus said a few words that were more to the point. "You can die and be quickly forgotten, or you can win and gain wealth and glory. Let's see if you have got it in you! I have my doubts, prove me wrong."
After this warm up, here is how our protagonists went ...
SENEX v DIOMEDES
Senex (Attack, Stamina) started with a Strength of 11. Diomedes (Dodge, Stamina) started with 10.
Both fighters scored high AP to start the bout and quickly came to blows. Neither could make a breakthrough. Senex suffered a single wound while Diomedes built up several fatigue points.
Then Diomedes lost his sword while attacking, and Senex was able to immediately occupy the hex it fell in and launch a shield-side attack. Diomedes parried with his large shield, but could not counterattack. Then, trying another attack, Senex also lost his sword! The crowd started to jeer the fighters, thinking this was a display of match-fixing behaviour. Diomedes tried to recover by shield bashing Senex, but he avoided the blow and adroitly stepped back to recover his weapon. This allowed Diomedes to also recover his own sword, but exposed him to a rear attack, causing 4 wounds.
The fight then continued as before, both fighters attacking relentlessly to show the crowd they were for real, but only minimal damage and the occasional fatigue resulting. After quite a bit of this, Senex was reduced to 6 Strength & 1 fatigue, while Diomedes was down to 5 Strength (wounded) & 4 fatigues.
Diomedes big disadvantage was his fully enclosed helmet making it harder for him to carry out fancy moves like stepping sideways or backwards, as compared to Senex who also had +1AP for being light-armed. On the other hand his dodge-enhanced armour save roll was 5 for his front hex making it very hard for Senex to get through.
Diomedes shed some of his fatigues by taking a breather, while Senex cautiously moved around his flank, but this was all for nothing as the attack was rebuffed while Diomedes, resuming his work, started building fatigues again. Senex, tiring of this seemingly endless cat and mouse game, exerted extra energy (7AP) and attacked from the rear, scoring 7 hits, seriously wounding Diomedes and ending the game.
Diomedes rolled 12 for his appeal to the crowd, so was granted Missio. Evidently they had forgiven or forgotten about the lost swords fiasco.
Senex: lost 5/11, Vincit
Diomedes: lost 12/10, Missio
ASIATICUS v KEMSA
Asiaticus (Attack, Dodge, Popularity, Stamina) may have suffered a slight injury during the Mithras trial as he achieved a Strength score of only 10, whereas Kemsa (Attack, Dodge, Relexes, Stamina) was pumped up with 12 Strength.
As the two fighters entered the arena, Kemsa's spear slipped from his grasp and fell onto the sand. He quickly retrieved it and carried on, but there was an audible gasp from the crowd, who knew an omen when they saw one. The betting odds, before this evenly spread, began to favour Asiaticus [as you can guess I had to repair a broken weapon with a quick superglue dab!].
Asiaticus struck first, immediately causing Kemsa to lose his spear again. The odds on Asiaticus shortened again, while Kemsa became almost unbackable. But he recovered well, using his reflexes skill to sidestep cleverly and recover the spear. The fight continued, both fighters using their various skills to try and gain an advantage but neither able to make the breakthrough.
Asiaticus as usual tried to stay close to his opponent, especially to hinder Kemsa's use of his long spear. This paid off, Kemsa was knocked down and Asiaticus shield bashed him while he was down causing 5 wounds. Kemsa was able to stand again, and dodged Asiaticus's follow up sword attack, but Asiaticus also shield bashed again and once more Kemsa's spear hit the sand.
Kemsa sidestepped and recovered the spear, but Asiaticus was right on top of him forcing Kemsa to use all his skill to avoid a flurry of hits. Then, right against the run of the fight, Kemsa got through Asiaticus's guard with a big hit, causing 2D6 = 7 wounds. The bookmakers were now officially tearing their hair out. Some stopped taking bets on this fight. One or two quietly left the arena and went into hiding.
At this point Asiaticus is wounded, with only 3 Strength left. Kemsa has 7 Strength left. Neither fighter has any fatigues. Asiaticus prayed to Mithra to grant him success and promised to spend big on incense if he could win this fight.
Mithra must have heard him, as Asiaticus was able to get in a spear side attack that caused 5 wounds to Kemsa. However it was not over yet. Both fighters gained a fatigue in the ensuing moves, then Kemsa hit Asiaticus for another 2 wounds, taking him to only 1, and then again, a clean thrust killing Asiaticus outright.
Asiaticus: lost 14/10, Peruit
Kemsa: lost 10/12, Vincit
So that's that for one of them! As usual no happy endings.