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Tetrarchia» Forums » Rules

Subject: Step II.2 Barbarian Uprising, "may generate a chain of uprisings" rss

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Russ Williams
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I'm confused about step II.2 (Barbarian Uprising).

1. The barbarian army does not necessarily appear in the region where the initial VI 6 roll targeted a province which already has a revolt token, right? It says you roll the VI again, so e.g. the first roll might be on a revolting province in Germany, causing an Uprising, and that uprising in Germany causes a second VI roll which could make a barbarian army appear in e.g. Africa?


2. If the barbarian army is supposed to appear where there is a figure or token, then it says to "roll the 6" (as opposed to "VI 6") - so this means one of the 6 spaces in that same region (where the second VI roll was to place a barbarian army, e.g. one of the 6 African provinces in my example)... right?


3. It says to check at those coordinates (from rolling the 6 because the barbarian army could not be placed) "the result as in the first stage of this phase". So if the resulting coordinate is already in revolt, then that means Uprising happens again? And we're supposed to iterate and try again to place a barbarian in this region (Africa in my example) which of course cannot be done since we know that space has a figure or token, which means we again "roll the 6" to check another random province in this same region, possibly over and over, until a non-Uprising result occurs?

If the entire province is already black with revolt, then this would never end, because every d6 result would be uprising... right?! Yet I'm not sure how else to interpret this.
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Miguel
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russ wrote:
1. The barbarian army does not necessarily appear in the region where the initial VI 6 roll targeted a province which already has a revolt token, right? It says you roll the VI again, so e.g. the first roll might be on a revolting province in Germany, causing an Uprising, and that uprising in Germany causes a second VI roll which could make a barbarian army appear in e.g. Africa?
Exactly.

As written in the rules, "If there is any Barbarian army left in the reserve, the instability generated by the uprising may have an echo". This echo can be in any border of the Empire, their enemies were waiting for the Romans to be distracted by revolts or by civil wars to seize the opportunity and cross the borders.

russ wrote:
2. If the barbarian army is supposed to appear where there is a figure or token, then it says to "roll the 6" (as opposed to "VI 6") - so this means one of the 6 spaces in that same region (where the second VI roll was to place a barbarian army, e.g. one of the 6 African provinces in my example)... right?
Exactly.

Since the 'standard echo' cannot occur, you have some kind of 'secondary echo', in the form of increasing Unrest within that border region.

russ wrote:
3. It says to check at those coordinates (from rolling the 6 because the barbarian army could not be placed) "the result as in the first stage of this phase". So if the resulting coordinate is already in revolt, then that means Uprising happens again? And we're supposed to iterate and try again to place a barbarian in this region (Africa in my example) which of course cannot be done since we know that space has a figure or token, which means we again "roll the 6" to check another random province in this same region, possibly over and over, until a non-Uprising result occurs?
No!

The sentence "the result as in the first stage of this phase" means what it means. You treat the Uprising as you did the original one. You add Revolt tokens around, and then apply the Aftermath: roll the VI, place a Barbarian army on that border if possible, etc. Therefore, there cannot be a closed loop.
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Russ Williams
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franchi wrote:
You treat the Uprising as you did the original one. You add Revolt tokens around, and then apply the Aftermath: roll the VI, place a Barbarian army on that border if possible, etc. Therefore, there cannot be a closed loop.

Aha! I was brainfarting and forgetting about randomly determining which province gets the barbarian army, and erroneously just assuming we stay in the current province (like the d6 roll in my question 2.) Mea culpa!

Thanks!
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Russ Williams
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So just to sanity-check my understanding:

Let's say I roll II-3 for the barbarians, and it already has a black revolt marker. That means I put black markers on every province linked to II-3, and then (assuming a barbarian army is still in reserve, not on the map) I roll again to see where that new barbarian army will go.

Let's say I roll III for it, but I've already secured the border of region III, so I roll a random province in region III, e.g. rolling 4. If 4 has a black revolt marker, that means I put a marker on every province linked to province III-4 and now I must again roll to see where a new barbarian army will go...?

So then let's say I roll V for it, but I've already secured the border of region V, so I roll a random province in region V, e.g. rolling 6. If 6 has a black revolt marker, that means I put a marker on every province linked to province V-6 and now I must again roll to see where a new barbarian army will go...

Etc etc, potentially filling up the entire map with black revolt markers...

If I'm doing this correctly, then it seems that once you have e.g. 10 or or 15 revolts, you're probably doomed because they'll sudden spread almost everywhere in a single turn.

I had the 5 "secured" provinces so I kept rolling one of them for the barbarian army, which couldn't enter there since it was secured, and the d6 roll would hit one of the mostly black provinces, making more black, and triggering another such roll, over and over, until finally (1/6 probability) I rolled the unsecured province and placed the new army there.

I just resigned a game where I had successfully secured 5 of the borders, but because of this sort of chain reaction, almost the whole map turned black, and a barbarian army was coming from the one unsecured border, and it was clearly a hopeless situation.

Does this sound like I grok the rules correctly? The randomness feels extremely swingy: I seem to either win fairly easily or to get rapidly overrun with black markers unstoppably spreading everywhere, depending on whether I get lucky or unlucky barbarian rolls.

---

PS: Just to sanity-check: an uprising never removes a token securing a border, right? It only removes tokens in one of the Roman provinces (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, and Italy). (And more generally, a token securing a border is never removed for any reason, right?)
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Miguel
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It seems you are playing following the rules, but the situation you describe is not common. These are some thoughts/comments:

1) Rules wise, just to be sure you do it. In the Barbarian phase the broken links must be checked (50% probability) when you: propagate the Revolt, spread an Uprising, and move an army. This, together with the geography of the map (some provinces have few links) limits the speed of exhaustion of black markers. And you only place Revolt markers in linked provinces that did not have one already, many times the Uprising adds no markers at all. And now some strategy comments.

2) 10-15 revolts means 2-3 per region (some more, some less). One possibility is that you are not making optimal use of the Emperor tokens, or subduing the capitals as soon as they revolt. Remember that when you roll a secured province nothing happens. These 'chain of Uprising' I note on the rulebook is never long, just a couple maybe. And most of the Revolt tokens come from armies, that can no longer enter secured regions. So one thing you have to consider is, even if a region has been secured, don't neglect it and keep the revolts to a minimum.

3) Another possibility is that you are not giving priority to the most dangerous areas. Africa, Asia Minor and Hispania are less a priority, because they are more isolated and armies leave an elongated trail that is relatively easy to cut when they mach to Rome. However, revolts in the three northern regions must be taken seriously as soon as possible, sometimes leaving a southern border that was going to be easily secured for a later turn. Not only the armies' support trails are not elongated nor easy to cut, but they easily merge creating overwhelming threats.

4) Some regions are more threatening, but also some provinces. Even when revolts are isolated, a province with 5-6 links should be subdued as soon as possible (even better, secured before revolt), while provinces with 1-2 links are not a potential threat. In this way, even with 10-15 revolts, you can decrease the Uprising effects.

So in brief, you must analyze the geography of the map permanently, and find the best compromise between the use of your Emperor tokens for securing key provinces/areas, supporting your Emperors, and securing the borders, which is your final goal! And keep in mind that the Roman Empire was doomed from the outside and the inside, so just securing borders and defeating armies will not be enough, if you neglect the pacification of regions in which the border is already secured.

My experience is that once you integrate all these aspects in your strategy, the games feel much less random. Of course you can always have a chain of rolls that kills you, but it happens less and less often. You should not give up at 10-15, we have won many games bordering the Revolt token limit for several turns, with Barbarian armies at the gates of Rome!

russ wrote:
PS: Just to sanity-check: an uprising never removes a token securing a border, right? It only removes tokens in one of the Roman provinces (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, and Italy). (And more generally, a token securing a border is never removed for any reason, right?)
Exactly... in the base game!

If you add Tetrarchia: Dux, however, the Gothic Army can remove the protection of the northeastern borders...


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Russ Williams
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Thanks for those rule checks and strategy pointers!

In particular, you were right that I was sometimes treating "linked*" as "linked" and automatically spreading revolts and uprisings which should have had only a 1/2 probability of spreading... doh! (I was remembering it for barbarian army movement, at least...)
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