Thought I would take a moment to provide a brief overview of the new combat system in Age of Gladiators II.
The number of combatants that are possible for each match are as follows:
1 vs 1
2 vs 2
3 vs 3
For the 2 vs 2 and 3 vs 3 battles, group tactics should be considered and there are many approaches an owner can take toward this.
Perhaps having one of your gladiators engaging in crowd control through the use of special equipment (weapons jammers, sensory scramblers) is one way of approaching a battle. Or perhaps utilizing a gladiator that constantly heals using special equipment (trauma injectors, nano-leeches), stims (vitality and stamina), and species abilities (Karthaarn with fast coagulating blood).
Or maybe you simply want to roll in three damage-dealing heavies with no special capabilities, that is an option as well!
Each gladiator has a specific number of Action Points based on their physical attributes and armor. A gladiator can either boost their Action Points through species abilities (the Skeel with their Hyper ability), combat stims (speed and aggression modifiers), or special equipment (adrenal boosters). Action Points allow a gladiator to move, take actions, and attack. Once a gladiator’s Action Points are done, they cannot do anything more for that turn.
Each gladiator also has a set number of Hit Points. Once they lose all their Hit Points, they are defeated. The chance of them being killed is determined by their opponents killer instinct. The higher the killer instinct, the higher the chance the losing gladiator will die.
As with Action Points, Hit Points are determined by a gladiators physical attributes as well as the armor they are wearing. Hit Points can also be boosted with combat stims (vitality and stamina) during battle.
Hit Chance & Damage
A gladiator can issue either melee or ranged damage during battle depending on the weapon they have been issued before combat. The amount of damage is determined primarily by the gladiators physical attributes – ranged damage is determined by Vision and Aim while melee damage is determined by Strength and Coordination. The weapon equipped by the gladiator also contributes to their overall damage as well.
Hit Chance is determined also by a gladiator’s physical attributes (Aim and Perception for ranged, Coordination and Reflexes for melee.) A gladiator’s equipped weapon will also carry bonuses boosting the overall hit chance of a gladiator as well.
As with the previous combat stats, both ranged/melee damage and ranged/melee hit chances can also be boosted through the use of combat stims.
One thing I did away with is misses. I don't think anyone likes to see their fighter keep swinging and missing, especially when they are at point-blank range. So what I did instead was add glancing blows in place of missing - each attack will do some damage, just not the full or critical amount if attacker doesn't squarely hit their target.
Initiative determines which gladiators move first. Initiative is determined by gladiators physical attributes, as well as their overall morale. Initiative can also be boosted at the beginning of battle through the percentage of the fight purse you choose to share with your gladiator.
It’s critical to gain the first turn in battle, so make sure you keep a close eye on your squad’s initiative before committing them to the arena.
The combat system has two views isometric and birds-eye. You can select which one you like while in the arena.
There are currently four arenas in the game, but I intend to release more in the coming months!
The Age of Gladiators community has been amazing. As a thank you gesture toward fans of the first Age of Gladiators game, I am planning to release a bundle of both Age of Gladiators and the upcoming Age of Gladiators II at a 10% Discount.
What If I Already Own The First Game?
How Steam bundles work is you only pay for the games in the bundle that you don't already own. So that means previous owners of the first Age of Gladiators will not be required to re-purchase the game again - which translates effectively into a 10% Direct Discount toward Age of Gladiators II!
As a gladiator owner, it seems a waste to have such highly trained and equipped fighters sitting around for long periods of time. So the option now exists to send them on missions.
Missions can be a rewarding in a variety of ways, from credit infusions, extra cloning tissue for your labs, accelerated research, new gladiators, and more. Before you are able to send gladiators on missions, you must first build a mission center for your headquarters. This is where your gladiators prepare, strategize, and equip themselves for the operation.
Once the mission module is constructed, you will have access to the various missions posted on the mission board.
Missions are categorized as either lawful and unlawful.
Gladiators with a lawful alignment cannot be assigned to unlawful missions and vice versa. So if you want to engage in a variety of missions, it is a good idea to recruit both lawful and unlawful gladiators. You will find that most gladiators fall under the lawful alignment, however unlawful ones can also be found if you send your scouts to recruit from the prisons.
Be cautious though, if the league catches wind that you are engaging in unlawful activity, you may be fined a substantial amount of credits
There are close to a hundred different missions in Age of Gladiators II.
Here are some examples of both lawful and unlawful missions available:
Assassinate a competing gladiator
Hijack a convoy of clones
Attack a remote village and send them to the cloning vats
Send gladiators to erase files of a local credit lender
Recover stolen research from a band of pirates
Blackmail an old gladiator trainer
Recover an ancient weapon from a dangerous temple
Hijack a freighter transporting combat stims
Steal a rare art piece from a rich collector
Once you have selected a mission, you will next need to assign a maximum of three gladiators to the operation. The stronger a gladiator's stats are overall, the more that gladiator will contribute to the chance of a mission succeeding.
As your gladiators level up and gain power, they will also be more effective in successfully completing the operations they are tasked with.
It is important to note that gladiators will not be available to fight when assigned to a mission and may also suffer from fatigue and injuries - so manage your roster and consider the missions very carefully before assigning gladiators to them.
With Age of Gladiators II, I wanted to create a unique inventory system that caters to a variety of different gladiator templates and builds.
Each gladiator has 6 inventory slots in total. These slots can be filled with any combination of weapons, armor, combat stims, and specialized equipment. More on that below – but first the various equipment available to a gladiator.
Age of Gladiators allows a manager to equip gladiators with either ranged or melee weapons. A shrewd manager will know from a gladiator’s physical attributes which type of weapon to equip. Ranged weapons have the advantage of allowing a gladiator to attack from afar - but melee weapons enjoy significant damage bonus versus ranged-wielding fighters. So choose carefully.
It is also important to equip weapons based on your opponents armor mitigation type - more on that in the next section.
Here are the weapons available through either the bazaar or missions:
Axe – high damage
Sword – medium damage
Vibroblade – low damage
Rifle – high damage
Carbine – medium damage
Pistol – low damage
The highly technological nature of the weapons during this time period provide varying combat stat bonuses as well.
All weapons provide bonuses to a gladiator’s melee hit chance % and critical chance %, so as well as a damage, it is also important to take these stats into consideration as well.
Gladiators are able to use three types of armor:
Heavy Armor – high damage mitigation
Medium Armor – medium damage mitigation
Light Armor – low damage mitigation
Armor mitigation is split between energy damage mitigation (ranged) and kinetic damage mitigation (melee). Some armors are evenly split between the two while others skew in either melee or ranged. Further, due to sophisticated servo-motors and advanced technology, armor also provide combat stat bonuses for action and hit points.
So a lot of consideration should also go into shopping for and equipping armor.
Here is a list of special equipment:
Force Field – upon activation deflects a % of damage for one turn
Sensory Scramblers – % chance of stunning a target for one turn
Trauma Injectors – heals an amount of damage for one turn
Adrenal Booster – provides extra action points for one turn
Nano-Leeches – leeches a % of health from a target for one turn
Armor Shredder – reduces the mitigation % of target armor for entire match
Weapon Jammer – causes ranged weapon malfunction for one turn
These provide an extra dimension in combat and can definitely make the difference between victory and defeat.
Combat stims are one-time usable boosts to physical attributes. For example, a speed combat stim, when used, will provide a +50 boost to a gladiator’s action points and dodge chance. A strength combat stim will provide a boost to a gladiator’s melee damage and block chance.
These boosts last the entire match.
As mentioned, gladiators possess 6 inventory slots in total. The heavier a weapon or armor set, the more inventory slots it will take up:
Axe (high damage) – 3 Slots
Sword (medium damage) – 2 Slots
Vibroblade (low damage) – 1 Slot
Rifle (high damage) – 3 Slots
Carbine (medium damage) – 2 Slots
Pistol (low damage) – 1 Slot
Heavy Armor (high damage mitigation) – 3 Slots
Medium Armor (medium damage mitigation) – 2 Slots
Light Armor (low damage mitigation) – 1 Slot
Combat Stims – 1 Slot
Special Equipment – 1 Slot
So as you can see, you can certainly equip a gladiator in heavy armor and a rifle for 6 slots in total – good for a lot of damage dealing and mitigation, but that won’t leave any room for vital special equipment or combat stims that can provide crucial benefits on the battlefield.
Conversely, if you have a fast and agile gladiator with lots of action points, it might be a be an idea to try equipping them with a pistol and light armor – this will then leave you with 4 extra slots to equip special equipment and combat stims!
A gladiator’s expertise when leveling can further add to the efficacy of a particular weapon or set of armor.
It was my intention to provide as much freedom as possible for managers to try different play styles and fighting techniques. So don’t be afraid to have fun and experiment with your gladiators!
The year is 3008 AD and a new season is upon us. My character, an ex-gladiator Karthaarn named Fenuun, has so far managed to eke out a good existence in the league.
But there exists another owner in the league named Cornelia who has dominated every season since the league has come into existence.
Her regular season record is incredible. Over the last eight seasons, she has managed a 358-114 (.758) record. As well, her squad through the years has performed very well in the playoffs (10-6) and championships (1-1).
Because of her exemplary record, she has managed to attract a legion of rabid fans (5,597,444 and counting).
Hers is an example of a well-run franchise.
Compare that to another fellow in her division, an unfortunate Vorccine owner named Stitchstab. Under his fine stewardship, his team has managed a putrid 196-276 (.416) all-time record with no playoff or championship appearances.
His fans are far from legion, numbering 523,285 in total.
Overall, Cornelia is the bane of both her division and the league.
The standings are important. Teams are judged by win percentage at the end of the 59 match regular season. The top sixteen owners (out of sixty) at the end of the season will enter the playoffs and engage in one battle each for four deadly rounds.
In the event of a ties at the end of the season, said owners are ranked by kills. If two owners are tied in kills, the team with the least amount of deaths next takes precedence. And in the unlikely chance that both owners are still tied in three categories (wins, kills, deaths) then it is determined by alphabetical order.
The 3007 AD season was a good one for my squad:
Our record: 41-18 (.695).
But looking in the other divisions, Cornelia of course was just a bit better, winning the regular season with a 42-17 (.712) showing.
Cornelia drafts extremely well, is shrewd when it comes to waiver wire and free agent acquisitions, and is patient in developing her young fighters. She is a fine owner.
I can take consolation though in the fact that I managed to beat her in the 3007 AD championship round, despite losing my two of my top three fighters in the process. It hurt to lose those gladiators, but the playoffs are unforgiving and to the death. Unlike the regular season where a defeated gladiator may have a chance at survival, any gladiator defeated in the playoffs is automatically killed.
Cornelia is a tough adversary, one that will likely plague me for years to come.
It's been a harsh season. The star team I put together is having a rough go of things in the arena, resulting in many defeats and deaths. The one beacon of hope has been a Skeel gladiator named Seezteep, who has so far managed a respectable 6-2 record.
But now he's dead.
I pushed my luck once too often by putting him the arena while he was sick. It was a bloodbath.
What to do?
The Cloning Tanks
Every gladiator can be cloned once in their career if a player has built a cloning lab. Luckily this was one of the first additions I added to my base, so the downtime should be limited.
But to clone a dead gladiator, one needs enough DNA stored for their particular species. DNA is primarily gathered through processing dead gladiators in your morgue, with the catch being that once you process a body for DNA, that gladiator is lost to you forever. So it's a judgement call: only process the bodies of gladiators you don't have plans of cloning down the line.
As I mentioned, the season so far has been tough. Many gladiators under my employ have died. And thus many have been processed. Checking the available DNA I have to work with, it turns out I do indeed possess enough material to clone a Skeel gladiator:
So it is time to resurrect our friend Seezteep.
Processing dead gladiators also yields a chance of extracting a special strand of DNA, which contributes toward a particular physical attribute bonus. In the case of Seezteep, I add a coordination strand of special DNA I have been saving, which will provide him 20 additional points of coordination when cloned.
Into the tank he goes.
I am told it will take the standard 15 days to clone him. With cloning tank upgrades and bonuses, this wait can be lowered - but for now, I have no choice but to tough it out with him off the roster.
A Brand New Gladiator!
Emerging from the cloning tanks, Seezteep is groggy and confused - but he is added back to the barracks, alive and once more available for combat.
As mentioned previously though, a gladiator can only be cloned once; so do not spend the lives of your fighters cheaply.
I welcome Seezteep back to the barracks by giving him a new rifle and a pat on the back. Here's hoping his newly added combat abilities can turn the season around!
The best fighters originate from The Academy. This is where prospective gladiators are brought in at an early age (twelve standard Earth years) for training. Their development during this time is extremely variable, but the very top academy-trained fighters will likely be superior in skill to gladiators you have signed “off the street”.
When academy gladiators reach the age of sixteen years old, they are eligible for the draft. The draft occurs once a season with the order being determined by the owners standings in the league. The poorest performing owner will receive the top draft pick, the second poorest performing owner will receive the second draft pick, and so on. This is to help with parity in the league.
An academy trained gladiator is only allowed to remain in the league until they are nineteen years old. Afterward, all undrafted academy-trained gladiators are released for regular civilian life.
All drafted gladiators are sent to the Rookie League, where they compete non-lethally. A gladiator in the Rookie League can be promoted anytime to the owner’s Blood League squad – but we recommend allowing them to develop a few years in the Rookie League first. Unless an academy-trained gladiator is absolutely elite, they may face a tough and deadly time in the Blood League if rushed too soon.
Note that rookie may only stay in the Blood League until they are twenty-one; after which they must be promoted. If an owner does not have room on their roster, the rookie will instead be sent to waivers, where any other boss has the opportunity to sign them. So keep space on your roster for graduating rookies!
And, yes, you may notice we are using the same age for different species. Through some fancy arithmetic, scientists have managed to employ a standard earth year age for each species that conforms to their development cycle. Don’t ask me how.
Larnrron Blood League Chief Of Operations
In my current game, I finished high in the standings during the 3008AD season. So my draft standing was very low: 51st out of 60 league owners.
So that meant 50 owners would be selecting newly-minted Academy-trained fighters before my turn came up. But that's the price I had to pay for enjoying success the previous season (I came close to winning the Blood League championship, having fallen in the semi-finals.)
Sifting through the leftovers, there were a ton of gladiators being graded by the Central Scouting Bureau in the B- overall range; pretty mediocre overall. But seeing as these fighters were young and developing still, who knows what can happen? I begin scanning the list of remaining fighters until I find a Kathaarn gladiator named Loonporl. He is well-graded in strength, stamina and vitality, which means I could perhaps develop a good melee fighter with a decent number of hit and action points.
So I go ahead and click the Draft button. A good draft selection can make or break an organization.
When I select him, he is removed from the Academy and is moves in transit to join my Rookie League roster. I see several days later that he is currently ranked #198 in that league out of thousands of hopeful fighters, so perhaps this bodes well - but it will be several years before I know for sure if my gamble has paid off.
Looking back at the draft class of 3000, it is dire.
Only one fighter from the top 15 draft pick is still active, with the others having either been killed or retired. A Human star named Gemellus was selected 8th overall and is currently ranked #7 in the entire Blood League.
Everyone except the 1st overall selection (who had a sterling 149-0 Rookie League record and an equally unblemished 8-0 Blood League record before tragically dying) turned out to be busts. Even the 2nd overall selection was incredible in the Rookie League (140-1) but couldn't quite hack it at the next level - though it is possible he had poor teammates which resulted in some losses during larger matches.
The entire 3001 draft class is dead or retired.
3002 has a few gladiators remaining, with the 1st overall gladiator named Barknij ranked #4 in the Blood League. And then the 4th overall selection, Bleeseez, having hung on to a roster spot for 7 seasons despite having a pretty poor 6-12 Blood League record. He is currently ranked #177th in the Blood League, though I would give his agent higher kudos for keeping his client employed for so long.
Academy-trained fighters typically have a better chance of success than an "off the street" recruit that you sign - but not always. You can be sure I have seen my fair share of busts and burn-outs in 9 seasons. It's just a matter of handicapping the physical attributes of the gladiators on your draft board as well as a bit of luck.
Base building in Age Of Gladiators is an important aspect of the game. An operation will have a hard time being successful without a base from which to house, train, feed, and mend your gladiators.
You start off inheriting an asteroid base with only an office and living area for yourself.
Looks cozy, right? But as you gain success, you will want to build your base up. You decide which areas of the asteroid to excavate and place modules.
Each section of the asteroid takes a certain number of days to excavate and each module takes a number of days to build. So choose carefully the order of what you build!
Here is a list of the different modules available for your base:
Barracks – increases the capacity of your gladiators
Armory – increases the capacity and maintenance of equipment
Staff Quarters – increase the capacity of hired staff members
Basic Training – allows the assignment of gladiators to individual trainers
Weapons Range – allows the assignment of gladiators for accelerated ranged training
Sparring Center – allows the assignment of gladiators for accelerated melee training
Medical Center – allows the assignment of gladiators to doctors for specialized treatment
Cloning Lab – allows the collection of DNA and cloning of dead gladiators
Cybernetics Lab – allows the application of cybernetics to permanently wounded gladiators
Workshop – allows the upgrading of weapons and armor
Mission Center – allows the assigning of gladiators to covert missions
Kitchen – increases the morale of all gladiators in your base
Entertainment – increases the morale of all gladiators in your base
Combat Research – opens up the research for combat discipline techs
Weapon Research – opens up the research for weapon discipline techs
Armor Research – opens up the research for armor discipline techs
Medical Research – opens up the research for medical discipline techs
Scouting Research – opens up the research for scouting discipline techs
Security Hub – increases security of base to prevent runaways
Surveillance Center – increases security of base to prevent runaways
Most modules can also be upgraded a maximum of 5 times in order to increase their bonuses or capacity allowances.
While some modules provide only a passive bonus to your operation, most offer different levels of interaction such as:
Research Labs (Combat, Weapons, Armor, Medical, Scouting)
From cloning your favorite, dead gladiator to sending a covert team on a mission to steal training data from an off-world facility, these modules allow you flexibility in running your operation.
A functional base is critical to your success both inside and outside the arena. But ask your gladiators, and they will tell you that none of the modules are more important than a fully-stocked kitchen!
I am the Chief Medical Officer for the Blood League. An oxymoron, I know. Alien biology is fascinating. Less than 0.009% of the Milky Way has been explored, yet we have already discovered hundreds of thousands of intelligent species. Some with tentacles, some entirely gelatinous, some consisting of gas, some I cannot even explain.
But for sake of league parity, we are only allowing species of a bi-pedal nature(two arms, two legs, one head) to be allowed for competition in the Blood League. Competing species must possess a brain and central nervous system, use two legs for locomotion, and rely on muscle-matter for manipulating their environment.
Think if we allowed one species that felt no pain or took no damage to face another that did. It would be an unfair disaster.
There are three classes of armor in Age Of Gladiators II:
The accelerating tiers of armor provide increasing mitigation values, but at the cost of taking up additional inventory slots on your gladiator.
Light Armor takes 1 slot, Medium Armor takes up 2 slots, and Heavy Armor takes up 3 slots.
Mitigation & Bonuses
All armor classes have two types of mitigation values:
Energy resistances mitigate against ranged laser attacks while kinetic resistances defend against melee hits. Some armors will be balanced evenly between the two mitigation values, while others will balance heavier in one direction or another.
Due to the sophisticated and powerful exoskeleton technology of the armor, they also provide the user with a bonuses to movement and speed (action points). The armor technologies also feature vitality and organ-boosting technology, providing a boost to the armor-wearers overall health during combat (hit points).
Armor mitigations can also be upgraded by armor technicians. How much they boost their armor depends on their upgrading stats for each particular class of armor.
Armor technicians also require a workshop in your base from which to upgrade armor sets – so be sure to build one (I will be talking more about base building in the next few days) if you want to maximize the efficacy of the armor sets you have purchased from the bazaar.
And of course, the occasional legendary armor set can be earned from missions that you send your gladiators on.
Armor shredders are special items that gladiators can arm themselves with to reduce the mitigation values of opponent armor, so consider that as well.
So it’s no longer just a questions of which armor is the provide the best mitigation: it will be important to choose your armor based on the bonuses they provide as well.
Where mitigations also become important is in matching your gladiators equipment based on the individual or team they will be facing – if a gladiator is going to be fighting a ranged specialized opponent, by all means deploy him in that 40% energy resistance, 11% kinetic resistance armor sitting in your inventory. It's pretty much worthless against melee attacks, but it will be practically impervious to ranged ones.
So strategy becomes much more important in selecting armor now more than ever before!