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Subject: Our first game - Rome survives the Early Republic Era!!! rss

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Nathan
Australia
Armidale
NSW
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Menin Gate at Midnight, Will Longstaff, 1927.
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"At the landing, and here ever since" - Anzac Book, p. 35.
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Our group of five tried our first game of Republic of Rome (Valley Games Ed.) on Sunday. One of the group had played the old Avalon Hill edition years ago, and I read the rulebook over several times, but I asked the other three not to worry about reading the rules as all would be explained on the day.

As it turned out, as long as one or two people know the rules and the sequence of play, others can fairly easily pick the game up. By turn two most people knew what they were doing, and what options they had open to them. Because it was our first game together, everyone was encouraged to work together for the good of Rome. We weren't too confident on the rules in general, and the 'revolt' rules seemed a little tricky to coordinate. As a result, our game was generally very cooperative. We appointed the consuls according to who would be best for field battles (ie: high military) and State of the Republic addresses (ie: high popularity), whilst trying to avoid getting any individual too influential. There were very few split votes, we discussed the appointments at length and generally reached agreement on who should be appointed. As a result of this, the vote tally/total really wasn't much of an issue during the game.

We had a very fortunate first turn. No wars came out, so First Punic Wars stayed sitting in the inactive area. We only had one event rolled, and it was 'Allied Enthusiasm', which filled Rome's coffers with an extra 50 Talents on the second turn. Nonetheless, we didn't want to rest upon our good fortune, so we raised a fleet (saving just 50 Talents in the bank), and sent a senator out to defeat the Carthaginian Navy. Unfortunately, they rolled a Standoff, and we lost a quarter of our fleet.

On the second turn two more wars came out (both inactive), but they were both fairly small. Hannibal also emerged to lead the Carthaginians in the Punic Wars.With the extra talents from our allies we raised a sizable military force, which we split into two and attacked both inactive wars, whilst our navy again tried to attack the Punic Wars. We succeeded in the two minor wars, but again failed in the Punic Wars. Nonetheless, our military successes gave us some more Talents as spoils for Rome's bank. I indicated that we needed Scipio Africanus's help in fighting the Carthaginians (I also had the family/Senator) that Scipio Africanus goes with), but the controller of Scipio Africanus demanded two cards plus five talents in a trade, and I rejected the offer (we were generally unsure what the value of trades was). I turned down this offer, but then accepted a similar officer of a Statesman for two cards (Tribune and something else).

On the third turn the Punic Wars escalated. Hasdrubal came out, and then the Second Punic War was drawn. This gave the Punic Wars quite a high military strength. One of my Senators was elected Dictator, as he had a high military strength, but when I considered going out to fight the war I realised there were about 6 or 7 different Standoff or Disaster numbers that I could roll to lose the war, and thus declined to go off and fight with such poor odds. Our fortune also began to turn in the Forum Phase, where we drew Evil Omens. By this stage everyone was more familiar with the rules, and the play of a Blackmail card revealed that all was not as cooperative as we'd thought. As a result of the Blackmail an 18-influence Senator switched to a different faction. At the end of this turn, realising the threat the Punic Wars posed, I came to an agreement with the owner of Scipio Africanus and added him to my faction.

On the fourth turn the Punic Wars got even worse, having a total military strength of 42 !!! Scipio Africanus was selected as Dictator, and went off to fight the Punic Wars. Unfortunately he rolled a Standoff in his attempt to destroy the Carthaginian navy, and thus didn't get an attempt to destroy their army.

On turn five disaster struck my faction. Scipio Africanus (with an influence of about 19) died as a result of a mortality chit, and my other leading Statesman Flamininus (with an influence of about 16) was seduced over to a rival faction. This left my faction with a blank slate, just a single 'Faction Leader' marker. I had put all my effort into those two senators (I figured that was 'not putting all my eggs in one basket' - it was putting them in two!). It was around about this time that we decided to ignore the virtually impossible Punic Wars, and focus on any other wars that came out. From memory, around this time this included the Macedonian Wars and the Illyrian, both of which we defeated quite easily. Around this time we also maxed-out on legions. We had a full compliment of 25 legions, including about 6 veterans. This was costing us a lot of upkeep each turn, but we were winning all those minor wars quite easily.

The game ended around turn 7, with the Seduced-Flamininus faction leading on 52, followed by others on 43, 22 (me), 19, 15. I was glad to see that we had cooperated well enough to keep Rome alive through to the end of the era. The group worked really well together, and there were really only two persuasion attempts (the Blackmail and the Seduction). This was mostly due to the fact that it was our first game, but we also worked reasonably well to maintain a balance amongst the factions. We had opportunities to prosecute senators (including major prosecutions), but it ultimately felt like this would be taking the lead from one faction, and giving it to another, and thus fairly pointless. For example, I picked up an assassin in the final turn, and could have had an attempt to kill Flamininus (and thus take the lead off that faction), but I figured it would only rob that person of the victory, and give it to someone else, so decided against it.

All up, it was a great game, played in good cooperative spirits, and everyone at the table enjoyed it. The people in this group are veterans of several games of Here I Stand, and they generally preferred Republic of Rome over Here I Stand because they found RoR easier, and they felt more personally engaged/involved over more of the course of the game.


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Lucius Cornelius
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Vindolanda
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No matter where you go, there you are!
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Thank you for the fun session report!
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Mike Romeo
Canada
Chicoutimi
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I would have definitly assassinated Flaminius and give the victory to the other faction as a revenge!!!
 
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Steve
United Kingdom
Farnham
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Great session report

Amnese wrote:
This left my faction with a blank slate, just a single 'Faction Leader' marker.

I've not played the game in several years (AH version), so I'm probably wrong, but I didn't think you could lose your faction leader. You always have at least one senator and he can't be persuaded to leave your faction. Or perhaps I'm mis-reading your post and that's what you meant by a blank slate.
 
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Eric Schaefer
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Bangor
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You are correct sir. While I have not played the reprinted version, you cannot lose your faction leader, nor can he be lured away via a persuasion/seduction attempt. He can be assassinated, but that just blanks his senatorial card of whatever markers he has on it, and you retain the senator.
 
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Nathan
Australia
Armidale
NSW
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Menin Gate at Midnight, Will Longstaff, 1927.
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"At the landing, and here ever since" - Anzac Book, p. 35.
mbmbmbmbmb
Schaefe wrote:
You are correct sir. While I have not played the reprinted version, you cannot lose your faction leader, nor can he be lured away via a persuasion/seduction attempt. He can be assassinated, but that just blanks his senatorial card of whatever markers he has on it, and you retain the senator.


Scipio Africanus was a Statesman on the Senator/Family of my Faction leader (Ie: red card on white card). When Scipio died, I think (correct if wrong), you remove the red card, wipe the slate clean, then keep the original family card (white).

When I say I had a 'clean slate', I mean I had nothing on my senators (ie: no extra influence, talents, or popularity(, just their basic stats.
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Roger Brandon
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North Bend
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Great game replay!
 
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