After restarting multiple times do to the current saved files not loading bug, I’ve found a starting strategy that has lead me to the most success.
I can see how all of the professions can be useful depending on your playstyle. You can choose any of them and be successful, however this guide is to help you get the greatest success right from the start.
Here is how I would rank the Dominus professions:
5. Merchant: +100,000 starting coin.
Of all the professions this is my least favorite. You would think that this would be ideal for getting early success, but with Lenders available in the market, I see this as the least useful.
4. Scout: +5 networking slots, +50% fighter evaluation bonus.
I like this one, getting five extra gladiators per scout is useful, especially if you find one with great evaluation and bargaining but poor networking. This also increases the chance you find Spartacus’s son, which is so far the best recruit I’ve found, definitely worth it if you find him in your first round of recruiting. However, with my strategy you should hopefully not need to be constantly recruiting, so that limits its usefulness
3. Gladiator: +2 skill points, +50% combat/training bonus, +1 weapon point.
This is my personal favorite, and I feel like if the RNG is in your favor from the start then this is the best long game profession. Your gladiators level up much faster, especially with a good trainer, and when they do you get +2 extra skill points. However, the value of a gladiator is largely dependent on their starting attributes, so this isn’t as nice as you would think. Meaning, if you can recruit a gladiator with an A overall then he will probably always be better than a B recruit, until maybe extremely late in their career.
2. Recruiter: -50% fighter cost, -50% fighter salary, +20 morale per turn
This is my profession in my current career, finding an A recruit that’s cheap to buy/maintain is useful throughout your whole career, and the extra morale allows you to give gladiators less of the fight purse.
1. Showman: +1 fame per turn, +100% fight purse bonus
Following my strategy this is the best profession. Making money is the hardest thing to do in the beginning if the RNG goes against you, and doubling how much you make per fight is invaluable. You get the fight purse regardless of if you win or lose, and as the purses increase with your success and perks, the bonus keeps getting better and better.
How well this turn goes is all about the RNG, so don’t feel bad about restarting if you get some crap.
Step 1: Go to the Market tab, then to the Lenders, take some loans.
How good these loans are is based on RNG, obviously you want a good loan with a low interest rate. If you can find a 400,000+ loan for 3% or less interest you’ve really lucked out. You want to take at least 300,000, I’ve taken as high as 1,000,000 though.
Step 2: Go to Property tab, still under Market tab, then to Businesses.
Another chance for RNG to help or hurt. All businesses cost 300,000, so take whichever ones earn the most per turn are the ones you want. For the best start you’ll hope that the second row businesses also earn the most as they give bonuses to fight purses. Make sure you have at least 100,000 left over though.
Step 3: Go to Staff tab, then the Hire tab.
Depending on how much money you have left over, recruit a full 5 scouts. Opt for high Networking and Grading. Bargaining is also nice, but Speed is completely unimportant at this moment. However, if a scout has less than 300 grading don’t take them, even if that means you don’t hire all 5. The better Networking the more recruits the scout will bring to the table, and the better Grading means the letter grade of each gladiator is more accurate. You will hate shelling out 30,000 on an A overall gladiator only to find out they are really a C.
Step 4: Pray to Jupiter that the RNG is in your favor. Go to the Recruit tab.
Here is the most important RNG moment of your start, if despite all your efforts you’re offered only C and D gladiators (by this I mean their Overall rating, which is the attribute on the far right). This is the only time I personally consider restarting the career. C overall gladiators will never be worth anything, even if you have the Gladiator profession and somehow manage to keep them alive and healthy long enough to take them to a very high level. Hopefully you find at least one A recruit, or a few B’s, the best I’ve found was a recruit named Spartacus, which gives the achievement for recruiting the famous Spartacus’s son. He has 120 of every attribute at the start, and has all the best personality traits as well. I’ve only found him once in about 20 starts though.
Step 5: Go to Market Tab.
Now you want to buy weapons and armor and charms for your gladiators. Purchase only one weapon and armor for each type of gladiator you have. Your first handful of fights will all be 1 on 1, so you can just swap the gear to whichever gladiator is dueling. I always purchase the best weapon and armor available, that you can afford of course.
Step 6: Go to Staff tab, then to Hire tab.
If you have funds left over, hire one of each staff type.
For weapons and armor staff all you need care about right now is a high Maintenance skill.
For a Doctor you ideally want high attributes in everything except Treatment. Only because you can’t utilize that that attribute until you build a Hospital in your Ludus.
Step 7: Go to Barracks tab, then to Upgrade tab.
If you have the funds, Excavate a tile.
Step 8: End Turn.
I prefer to take control of every fight I do, as this is the largest of the new mechanics, also you can game the system better this way.
I almost always place a max bet on my gladiator to win. The only time I’ve ever lost a fight was been when the opponent gets a lucky crit. I also rarely share any of the purse with my gladiators, as their morale increases the more they win, and because we only have 2-3 gladiators they should be winning a lot.
When fighting, I prefer to wait on the opponent to use their AP on movement getting into melee range, allowing you to have more AP for hitting them. Usually they will only have enough AP to get next to you, or occasionally 1-2 tiles away from you.
There is an Attack From Behing mechanic that gives +50% damage, that is given for attacks that succeed (not glancing) from behind the opponent. Each tile is a hexagon, meaning 6 tiles surround each gladiator, these are divided into three considered in front and three behind. If you and the opponent are in melee range and you attempt to leave melee range, the opponent will get a free attack of opportunity, however you can move into any tile that is still adjacent to the opponent freely. When facing head on you can move two tiles and be concidered behind the opponent. Your gladiator at this point probably has a low chance to hit, around 30% usually, so do a light attack for +18% hit chance. The -18% damage is mitigated by the +50% damage you get from succeeding in hitting from behind.
Rinse and repeat.
*In my experience the hardest fights in the beginning are against animals, especially anything bigger than a wolf, they have a ton of AP and only use 2 AP per attack, meaning that even if they only land glancing blows they get upwards of 6 attacks a turn, which can easily go 1000 damage a turn to you, and if one lands.
Once you’ve excavated a Ludus tile, I recommend building a hospital. If you’ve been following this guide then you should have 2-3 A-B grade gladiators, so fatigue and injuries will be your biggest headache, mitigating this early will mean less forfeits down the road when all your gladiators are tired or hurt.
After that I’m not certain which is best. I’ve tried the Scholar building, which is better to get as soon as possible, because it takes a long time to research things. I’ve also tried the Training Pits, which I prefer over the Scholar Building, I also feel like the Weapons Training Pit is better early because more experience is required to level them up.
Ever so often you will earn Perk points for your Dominus, either from winning or from random events. Max out Shrewd Promoter first thing, it will give you +20,000 coin every fight. After that its up to you, though I would recommend between: Clever Gambler, Business Mogol, or if money is no longer an issue, Scholar.