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User Rating Comment Status
Lindsay Scholle
Australia
St Ives, 2075
NSW
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10
Jun 2011
Plays differently to HoS and Richard III. Where HoS see saws between offensive play and defensive play, and Richard III is a three turn buildup, JC is not as scripted in comparison. You can spend much of the game fighting over Rome in a multi-year battle of attrition, or take the fight to the East or West. Games vary more and as such with the simple rules and shorter playing time it'd be my first choice as a block game off the shelf between the three.

With no home territories the units are a lot more free to roam and there's a lot more fog of war with the block types and strengths. I like the point to point movement, the levies built into the cards, and the geographical quirks of straits and multiple sea major ports. Control of the seas varies from turn to turn and you find yourself planning to make the most of it as the next year it could be a different story.

With actions and levies built into the cards they are varied and balanced and make each hand interesting with timing, setting up moves and patience when using god cards. All in all an excellent block game and I'd recommend this as the first to try if you want to get into them.
2011-06-23
Justin Thompson
United States
Virginia
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10
Mar 2010
As the Designer I will always believe in my games! I have played over 300 games of Julius Caesar and I can tell you.....you are in for a great time playing it.

I hope you enjoy my first game design. I also hope it won't be my last! It's kind of like having a baby.

Also thanks for all the kind words about my game design. It really means a lot to me to hear it!

Justin Thompson
2010-07-26
Owned
Matthew Looby
United States
Wadhams
New York
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10
Mar 2011


Just returned from Prezcon 2011...I played this game a lot!

I have to say... this is an extremely well balanced game..
with extremely high replay value. I highly recommend this
game!

2011-03-02
Owned
Nevin Ball
United States
Dallas
Texas
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10
Jul 2011
I LOVE THIS GAME! Easy to learn but has a lot of depth and decisions to make each turn. Each player feels the pressure and the map is a lot more open than Hammer of the Scots.
2011-07-10
Owned
Yoki Erdtman
Sweden
Södertälje
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10
Nov 2014
Julius Caesar is an awesome 2-player wargame. It's full of tension, and while mostly tactical, you can certainly have a strategy from the outset.

The mixture of simple rules, beautiful and very functional blocks, make this an instant classic. Sure the map would have been better as a mounted board, and I could've lived with it being a bit larger. The game should also have come with some player aids, and reference for set-up and levying. All these are available from 3rd parties.

My 9 rating is preliminary, as I have yet to complete a game, but I have little doubt that this will earn a solid 10 rating.

2012-02-16
Owned
David Bohnenberger
United States
Swarthmore
Pennsylvania
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10
Aug 2011
Upped rating. A very well-polished, quick-playing game that rewards clever play. Get it.
2010-11-07
Owned
Damian Mastrangelo
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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10
Jul 2010
Another fantastic Columbia block game! Very well balanced, great for new players and experienced players alike. As someone who is colorblind, I found the green/tan blocks that came with the game to be indistinguishable from one another, but Grant at Columbia Games furnished me with a new set of black and white blocks. Columbia's customer service is second to none!
2010-07-22
Owned
Want To Play
Mark Adams
United States
Washington
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10
Sep 2010
Subject: I playtested Julius Caesar as Pompey
I enjoyed playtesting the game even though I got a bloody nose playing as Pompey. This strategic level game is set in the waning days of the Roman Republic and the players will determine the fate of that Republic. It's hard to find good strategic games and there are not that many from this period of history.

The game is well balanced. The difference between victory and defeat will often be a knife edge. Players will want to try different tactics and no two games will be alike. This game will be replayed. I enjoyed the texture of the componets which added to the enjoyment of playing.
2010-09-07
Owned
Sebastian Sohn
United States
culver city
CA
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10
Oct 2010
The PERFECT wargame!

Short, intense, blocks AND card-driven--what more can I ask for?
2010-10-26
Want In Trade
Charlie Wilson
United Kingdom
Holmfirth
West Yorkshire
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10
Sep 2010
Finally an ancients block game that delivers. Everything that Athens and Sparta should have been. Julius Caesar is a great game with the usual Columbia games components, the artwork is spot on and the game looks great. The rules are simple to grasp but offer a great deal of variety in gameplay. Use of the Navis units to give sea control for amphibious movement really opens up the gameplay. Highly recommended game.
2010-09-27
Owned
Harmonica
Netherlands
Tilburg
Noord-Brabant
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10
Dec 2010
A truly great gamesystem that can be played in 2.5 hours. I especially like the way fleets co-operate with the land-based units. Very clever!

Many strategic options are availlable and daring moves may pay out. However in battles there may be a certain amount of luck.
2015-06-21
Owned
Want To Play
Alessandro Bordin
Italy
Padova
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10
Aug 2011
A great game. Rules are essential, gameplay is fast but it's still a true challenging wargame.
2011-07-19
Owned
Want To Play
Brad Ostrowski

Virginia
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10
May 2011
Just the best game I have ever played! Learned it from Justin himself!

Wow what a game!

2011-05-09
James Peterson
United States
Virginia
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10
May 2011
Great Game!
2011-05-09
James Mckane
Australia
SYDNEY
N.S.W
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10
Jul 2011
Owned
Canada
Winnipeg
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10
Feb 2012
Initial thoughts:

Great, smoothly playing game. Seems to be lots of depth with little rules overhead to get in the way.

After a few more plays:

What an amazing game! I read through the eight pages of rules and thought "is this all there is to it"? The first game was interesting. I wondered if the game play would get stale with just a couple of strategies.

But after a half dozen plays every game has played out completely differently. There is some "magic" to this game that I can't quite figure out. Maybe having the Mediterranean Sea in the middle of the board is the secret. Movement tends to be fast using ships across the sea but slow over land around the periphery. Positions can appear static but then change dramatically in a few surprising moves.

There is a sub game all to itself about controlling the sea zones. Then I discovered you can use navies with their attached marines to aid your land battles and my mind was blown. Suddenly the sea zone sub-game became intertwined with the land battles. Add to this the card play which add just the right amount of chaos to make a turn never certain, hidden but varied units to allow bluff, and you have a classic game that will always have a cherished place in my collection.

Oh, and you get this great experience in 2-3 hours. What more could you want in a war game?
2012-02-15
Owned
Gregory Barnard
United States
Illinois
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10
Jul 2011
Great game!
2011-07-15
Owned
Paul Nomikos
Canada
Kingston
Ontario
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10
Sep 2011
This is a great strategy game with simple rules and great mechanics. Plus the game plays in 2-3 hours and there is rush to do things and choose other things that you will not try to pursue. A lot of strategy! I am not a war gamer, and still I find this design very attractive. I have tried Quebec and Athens/Sparta from Columbia. Both these games were not good for me, but Julius is a great game that most likely will make me get Hammer of the Scotts. If you like games like Stone Age, Ticket to Ride, and you have fun with games like Memoir 44, then get your copy of Julius Caesar now!
2011-09-17
United States
Collierville
Tennessee
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10
Mar 2012
Great example of the block game, and now the standard that I judge others against. It has everything you want in a concise package.
2012-03-17
Want In Trade
Jonathan N. "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
United States
Summerville
South Carolina
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"By the power of truth, I, while living, have conquered the universe."
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10
Jun 2014
First play rating of 9 of this for both my wife and I. I played Caesar, she Pompey. The game came down to the very last turn to determine the victor (She won by 2 points). In my books thats excellent game design.

10: Outstanding game. One of my all-time personal favorites.
2014-06-01
Owned
Jody O
Canada
Scarborough
Ontario
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10
Feb 2015
you wander for a very long time through the frozen landscape. Then you are chased down and eaten by a Dragon Master Gazebo.

Your score, 7/10.
2015-06-16
Owned
Eric Knight
United States
Illinois
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10
Jul 2012
"Bravo Zulu" for Julius Caesar. I've played a couple of games since getting it this week (thanks for the quick ship -- in my eagerness, unfortunately, I put Caesar's stickers on the green squares and Pompey's on the tan just because I thought the colors more attractive that way) and I have to say, instant jump to top five wargames I've ever played.

I've been enjoying tabletop and miniature wargames since the late 70s (Tactics II by AH was the first I learned) and I'm not easily impressed, but wow! The rules are simple, yet deep, and the block system offers just the right amount of fog-of-war. There are plenty of decision points and just the right amount of luck thanks to the cards and dice. Fortune favors the prepared in this game, which is about right for ancient battles. The Combat Resolution System managed to accommodate speed, striking power, and attrition into a fairly simple combat system.

Now that I'm a father of three, I also appreciate a game that can be played in a couple hours, with plenty of room for food and drink on the table. The game might have been a 9, because I think the movement system is just a little confining (you might spend a lot of turns only able to move one set of blocks), but it deserves an extra point for being a great title to introduce new tabletop gamers to the hobby.

Columbia really knocked this one out of the park. The only negative is I have to sit down with my blu-ray of HBO's ROME again. This game sure put me in the mood to rally to the 13th Legion's Eagle.
2012-07-26
Owned
Randy Wilburn
United States
New Alexandria
Pennsylvania
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10
Apr 2013
This is my favorite of all the block games. It is easy to play and does not take long to play. There is a lot of back and forth action and a lot of strategy. The fleets really add a lot of options. The game is also fairly even with maybe a slight tilt toward Pompey. If you like the Columbia block games do not miss this one.
2013-04-19
Owned
michele romanelli
United States
Winnabow
North Carolina
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10
Jun 2015
Rules are complete, short and accessible. Game is challenging, fast and absorbing. Components are attractive. My only complaint is the excessive thickness of the blocks which causes crowding of the map.
2013-12-31
Owned
Jeffrey K
United States
Abilene
Texas
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10
Jan 2015
Printed map on 3x6 vinyl and would gladly play anytime.
2015-01-09
Owned
Wey Scoggin
United States
Texas
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10
Jan 2015
Wow!
2015-01-12
Owned
kevin hobbs
United States
Decatur
Georgia
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9.91
Feb 2014
my favorite 2 player game.
2011-07-28
Owned
Want To Play
William (Andy) Anderson
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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9.8
Sep 2014
Columbia does it again. Great game.
2011-03-24
Owned
Andrew Franke
United States
Elkton
Virginia
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9.5
Jul 2010
Fantastic Game by Justin Thompson and Columbia games. Fun with simple rules but complex strategy.
2010-07-05
Owned
Mike Cain
Canada
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9.5
Oct 2010
Columbia's latest is a real winner. JC is a nice blend of the classic War of 1812 (point to point movement) and the new HOTS game mechanics.

Games usually come down to the wire and both sides seem to be well balanced.

My only complaint is that the board could be larger (although it is apparently Columbia's largest to date). Too often you'll have blocks overflowing into multiple cities.

If you like block games you'll enjoy this one.
2010-10-02
Owned
JS
Germany
North Germany
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9.5
Apr 2014
A brain burning block wargame that plays in one of my favorite eras. Caesar must act quickly and try hard to win this epic struggle of Roman powers. Some event cards are overpowered and should be removed from the game to get a more balanced gameplay.
2014-01-01
Owned
Preordered
Michael Walton

Chicago
Illinois
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9.5
Apr 2014
Wonderfully immersive while not being a total brainbuster. Great and fun strategy game. love the amphibious movement as it really opens up the board for so many options of play.
2013-03-16
Owned
Jeff
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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9
Feb 2014
My new favorite Columbia block game. Achieves asymmetry through starting positions rather than unit balance or special powers. I especially love the need to move to specific cities to raise legions and cavalry units; it makes the decision to give up one unit and preserve another more agonizing, and drives play into areas that might otherwise be ignored.
2011-06-11
Owned
Ricardo Spinola
Portugal
Lisboa
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9
Jul 2015
Simple rules, strategic level and great theme.
Compared to HotS, it is simplier but less dense. You can't have it all. They are both great games. Among the best of Columbia for me. Plays fast for what it is.
2015 update: Played with a non-gamer (and non-wargamer) who said in the end "this is too complicated. You have a rule for every move. I prefer power grid or settlers, or another game we played, what was its name? I remember, it was Quo Vadis"!!! Well, it was my mistake. Next time i will chose a eurogame with conflict. The session lasted 12 hours. Everything was slow: lunch, walk, first game try, dinner, second game try, all with 15 minutes for every army move...
Had a great experience though, as always with this game.
2015-04-13
Owned
Evolution isn't over
United Kingdom
West Sussex
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9
Jan 2011
A real Columbia classic. A little more linear that HotC or CR, but I'm finding lots of interesting ways to lose.
2012-03-08
Owned
Bruce
United States
South Carolina
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9
May 2012
Best effort from Columbia I've played since Hammer of the Scots.
2012-05-23
Owned
Chris Farrell
United States
Cupertino
California
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9
Jun 2010
Impressions are solidifying that this is winner, and a welcome return to quality for Columbia. Blends flavors from Hammer and Columbia's earlier classic games, 1812 and Quebec. Meatier and more interesting than the classics, and more open and strategic than Hammer. Definitely seems like a keeper.
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First impressions, and I've come to distrust first impressions of block games and CDGs ... the blocks and cards seem to have in inherent fun factor that can get me past the first play or two even if the underlying game isn't that great. After several disappointments from Columbia, most notably Athens vs. Sparta, their stock of goodwill with me had been drawn down.

But I was favorably impressed with Julius Caesar. I think splitting the levies and moves on the cards was a good move, and I like that the events are for the most part fairly powerful, adding genuine uncertainty and tension. The need to balance garrisoning cities and mobilizing to attack, and the local nature of raising most forces, makes for interesting strategic choices. And sea control is an important and interesting dimension, allowing rapid re-deployment but at significant expense.

Like a lot of block games, at the end of the day it does come down to inflicting favorable attrition, but the balance here feels right; replacement rates fill tight but enough to be interesting, geographical control is important but not the be-all and end-all, etc.

I do think it's just a touch on the long side, and it can end before it's over, but not by a lot. It's not the fast-paced do-or-die slugfest Richard III was, but on balance I thought Richard III was maybe a little too far in that direction.

On balance, first impressions were very positive, I enjoyed this is much as anything from Columbia since Crusader Rex, and I look forward to giving it some more play.
2010-06-30
Owned
Clayton
Canada
BC
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9
Jun 2010
Excellent! Very close finishing game and fast playing too. So far has taken 2.5 hours max should only get faster with familiarity.

Caesar has a multi-front war on his hands so there is lots to do.
2010-06-24
Owned
Rob Doupe
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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9
Jul 2011
Mechanics are straightforward, especially if you've played any of Columbia's Hammer of the Scots system games. Low unit density, desperate maneouver, and tense battles. Real hammer and tongs stuff.

But there's a surprising amount of historical flavour. Levy locations, subtle differences in force pools, and the initial deployment make for a nicely assymetrical situation. And games tend to come down to the wire.

Bumped my rating to a 9 for replayability.
2011-07-04
Owned
Dan Jenkins
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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9
Jun 2010
First rate components. Easy to learn. Very well balanced. Plays quickly, so that you can get in two or three games in an evening. I think it is Columbia's best yet.
2010-10-12
Owned
Bill Powers
United States
Triangle
Virginia
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9
Jun 2010
I was a playtester and contributor to this game, and I think it turned our extremely well. This is NOT just another block game.

Congratulations Justin on your first publication!
2010-06-25
Owned
Patrick Hussey
United States
Parkville
Maryland
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9
Jun 2010
JC is a terrific block game. The command and levy card system works very well, and the beginning set up creates lots of options for variable play. Thoroughly enjoyed my first two plays, and can't wait to play again. Lost the first game, won the second by a hair. "You are the First Legion!" And with that, Pompeii took Carthago Nova for the win!
2010-06-26
Owned
Niko Ruf
Germany
Kaiserslautern
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9
Apr 2011
Rules are similar to Hammer of the Scots, Crusader Rex, or Richard III, with fewer exceptions or "wrinkles". That makes it a bit easier to learn or teach the game. On the other hand, the game appears as deep as the aforementioned titles. There are a lot of difficult decisions facing both players, as neither side has enough units, movement points, or build points to accomplish all they want. And naval/amphibious movement ensures that the game remains wide open, with many avenues of attack. Overall, Julius Caesar looks like a winner. (Note: when teaching the game, let the inexperienced player have Pompeius - Caesar has a tough time consolidating his power base during the first year.)

Update: rating improved from 8 to 9. This is my favorite of the A-B-C series of Columbia games.
2011-04-05
Owned
Troy Davidson
United States
Bountiful
Utah
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9
Jul 2010
I would play this game anytime anyone asked.
2010-07-26
Owned
Michael Dollin
United Kingdom
London
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9
Nov 2010
Another of my favourite periods- and looks a quick way to get into a Pompey versus Caesar fight without the many hours and multiple playrs needed for Republic of Rome. Will try out with opponent soon.

Updated- 6 or 7 games in and it is excellent. Mainly Pompey victories so far, but Caesar players learning fast what needs to be done (me included).That said he seems to have the tougher ask- always attacking and one bad defeat can quickly derail a whole campaign. But with sea superiority to ensure where to strike, and prevent the Pomepeians from reinforcing threatened sectors should be able to squeeze them out.
2010-11-06
Owned
Alban Ullrich
Germany
Nürnberg
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9
Apr 2012
Gerald-Markus
2013-07-21
Owned
Andreas Ludwig
Germany
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9
Sep 2010
Block game with elegant Fog of War and step loss mechanics; Fast gameplay and setup; maps and blocks are very appealing; highly balanced; Pompey and Caesar play very differently and have several strategical options - a real winner! For an in depth review go here:
http://wargamecenter.wordpress.com/2010/08/19/review-julius-...
2010-09-16
Owned
Ashley Cook
Australia
Bonville
NSW
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9
Oct 2010
Excellent game. Easy to understand rules. Has many strategy options. I love block games.
2010-10-05
Owned
Andrew C
United States
San Marcos
California
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9
Sep 2011
Outstanding, the best of the Hammer of the Scots family of games. Very streamlined, but tons of decisions, with asymetrical forces.
2011-09-27
Owned
Ric Manns
United States
Scottsburg
Indiana
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9
Aug 2010
This is a great game! I have enjoyed all three plays and each game came down to the last card play.
2010-08-31
Owned

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