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Prove Yourself to Caesar & Become Praetor

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game Designer
Board Game: Praetor
I first saw Andrei Novac's Praetor at Spielwarenmesse — the annual toy and game fair in Nürnberg, Germany — in 2013, where I recorded an overview of the game in prototype form before it even had a listing on BGG.

Flash forward to Spielwarenmesse 2014, and I recorded another preview with Novac. Whereas Novac had expected to release the game from his own NSKN Games in 2013 with rules in English, French and German, Praetor will now appear with editions in seven different languages — those previously mentioned, along with Japanese, Korean, Polish and Romanian — and eight co-publishers. The hex tiles have been replaced with square ones, the filler artwork banished in place of spiffy Roman-themed paintings, but Novac remained his same dapper self. (For 2015, I need to wear a suit, too, for game demos.) Here's that preview video:

For those who prefer a text description, I offer the following:

It's the year 122 CE and the Roman Empire is at the peak of its glory. Caesar Hadrian is no longer waging war against the barbarians, but building cities and fortifications to ensure a lengthy domination of the Roman culture and wealth.

The southern part of Britain is under Roman domination, and Caesar has already begun the construction of Hadrian's Wall to protect the empire from invasions from the North. Together with the wall Caesar has ordered the founding of a new city which will remind the locals of the glory of Rome. He has appointed five of his most trusted men to take resources and workers from Rome and to build the city together – but in the end only one of them will be appointed Praetor and rule the Province in the name of Caesar.

In Praetor, you take the role of a Roman engineer and you work together with the other players to build a magnificent city. You manage your limited resources wisely and look for new ones, you recruit new Workers while your old experienced ones will retire, you build settlements to keep the population happy, and you praise the Gods to earn their favor. Caesar will reward you if you give away precious resources to build Hadrian's Wall thus increasing your chances of becoming Praetor.

Every turn you place your Workers on previously built City Tiles to gain resources, Morale, new Workers or Favor points. You may also assign Workers to build new City Tiles or spend resources to meet Caesar's demands to gain Favor Points. At the end of each turn, you have to pay your Workers. Otherwise, the mood in the city will deteriorate.

Most of the actions your Workers perform will help them gain experience. They will become increasingly skilled in collecting resources. Your most experienced Workers eventually retire and bring you additional Favor Points but you still have to show solidarity and pay them until the end of the game.
The complete rules (in all seven languages!) are available on the NSKN Games website for those who want a full breakdown of everything going on in the game. Novac plans to launch the game in Europe on June 1, 2014 at the UK Games Expo; a release date has yet to be set in North America, but Novac expects the game to be available at Gen Con 2014 in August. To get buzz going on the game, NSKN Games is taking up to two hundred preorders for copies of the English-language edition, with the games scheduled to be shipped by May 5, 2014, barring renewed war against the barbarians or other unexpected forces.

Board Game: Praetor
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