Blood, Sweat and Cheers

Blood, Sweat and Cheers (published 2016, 2nd edition 2020) is a tactical, two-player, card and dice game from Ganesha Games, that recreates single combat between gladiators in the arenas of the Roman world from the mid-third century BC to the start of the fifth century AD.

Cards are used to abstractly represent the different options available to a player’s gladiator during the ebb and flow of a gladiatorial bout, while dice are used to resolve interactions. The watching crowd interacts with the gladiators in the arena by rewarding showy attacks and spilt blood with favourable cheering which may in turn be utilised to buoy up a gladiator’s performance.

Almost everything you need to play the game, including a basic area, is inluded in the deck. All players need to do is download the free two-page rule sheet and provide their own gladiators, dice, and a few wound tokens or markers.

Ten gladiator styles are represented. Each gladiator has three attributes (speed, attack, defense) and is able to conduct the same basic set of actions depending on the players hand. There are also two special moves that are restricted to each style/class of gladiator.

The card deck is available direct from DriveThru Cards here.

The revised rule booklet (8x A5 pages) is available here. A Spanish translation is also available.

A pdf (print and play) version of the rules is available direct from Ganesha Games here, or from the Ganesha Gumroad store here.

I owe my thanks to the following for their playtesting, comments and suggestions: Laura Wright, James Bryant, Brett Hodgson, Jim Latimer, Andrew Common, Andrew Murrell, Andrew Brown, Massimo Moscarelli, Diego Chisena, Diego Riccitelli, Joel Lawson, Victor Jarmusz, Steven Jarmusz, Craig Whiting, Jordi Espí, and a special show of thanks to Alan Saunders for his help and contributions to the 2nd edition, and to Slorm Chaplain for the Spanish translation.

Several sample images are shown below. You can find all previous blog posts relating to BSC here.