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Subject: End of the Republic – and in short order too… rss

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Jeffrey Vaca
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San Diego
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It all began so well…

Four friends (Jason, Kevin, Kurt and my humble self) sat down to play an excellent game on a Wednesday evening. It was decided that our usual brew of preference was inappropriate to the theme, and so the wine flowed instead. A silly golden laurel was at hand to crown the Rome Consul of-the-moment. And to top things off, Cato was mine!

Turn one’s mortality draw took no victims. (In fact, there would be no deaths due to begin-of-turn mortality chit draws all game. Isn’t that nice?) Kevin, having Cornelius before him, assumed the role of Rome Consul. During the first Forum phase, we suffered a drought but also gained an alliance (that allowed us to return any was to the deck), and the only other war that appeared was the chumpy little 2nd Illyrian war. Kevin nominated senators from Kurt and Jason and they became Rome and Field Consuls respectively. A few legions are raised and it was determined that we would stomp the Illyrian war out of existence while sending the 1st Punic war back to the deck by way of our alliance. Everything was well in hand, right?
Well, Jason’s tactical genius showed when he rolled a mere 8 and suffered a stalemate in the Illyrian war. Fortunately for Rome we lost no legions, but Jason apparently just couldn’t bring himself to roll at least average and take the war down (this was to become a theme throughout the game).

Turn two saw us with four wars by the end of the Forum phase, and Kevin’s faction growing out of control. He managed to use Cornelius’ automatic 15 influence to grab a new senator every Forum phase and all eyes turned toward him with malice. He would suffer two prosecutions that phase, losing two concessions and squelching the popularity of two of his senators.
So there we sat, still faced with the Illyrian war but also now having to deal with the 1st Gallic war, Syrian war and the 2nd Macedonian war - which was, of course, accompanied by Phillip. Nice.
Rome Consul passed to me and Field Consul passed to Kevin. Taking the reins of power fully in hand, I outline our plan of action to the Senate, who receive it enthusiastically. Legions were raised (making sure to leave at least 50 talents in the treasury for event foolishness) and Kevin’s Field Consul was sent off to prosecute the Syrian war. Jason was left to complete his prosecution of the Illyrian war as Proconsul.
Kevin succeeded at smashing the Syrian war into paste with a total roll of 18+ (no losses). Jason, however, managed to roll only one higher than he did on the previous turn, suffering the loss of 4 legions and 4 fleets. He got what he deserved when he drew his own mortality chit and perished at the end of the battle.
We now faced only two wars, had a reasonable number of surviving legions and were not going broke. I patted myself on the back and prepared to hand power over to the less accomplished.

Turn three delivered to us the dubious gift of the 1st Macedonian war (apparently someone thought that our collection just wasn’t complete without a matching set), but nothing else heinous. No problem.
Jason had the ability to nullify Macedonian war numbers so, bowing to popular opinion, I nominated him and some schmo from Kurt’s faction. Jason and Kurt reviewed the general situation and concluded that we need a Dictator…
…but only AFTER they had already concluded the election of the Censor (and the Censor had conluded prosecutions). Oops! Well, no problem. Their flailing became irrelevant when it was pointed out that we really didn’t have the cash to go raising a major force anyway, and that’s what it would have taken to deal with a doubled Macedonian war. We considered sending Jason’s Statesman out to war anyway with less than adequate forces just to get him out there, but this so terrified him that he coughed up the other Macedonian war Statesman (without cost) to Kurt. Funny.
Instead we decided to send Furious (Jason), along with all of our forces, to crush the 1st Gallic war and give ourselves some breathing room. Should have been a slam dunk – but do you remember what I said earlier about Jason’s rolling? We sent him off to war, but before the Senate closed Cato spoke up and put a motion on the floor that, should Furious fail to defeat the 1st Gallic war this turn, he was thereafter to be referred to as “Port-A-Potty of the People”.
The motion passed with all votes but Jason’s (him abstaining in disgust).
Jason, with his only above average combat roll of the game, managed to hit the 13 that was the disaster number for the 1st Gallic war. Thus was the Port-A-Potty born!
Our forces were slashed and we suddenly found ourselves in dire circumstances.

After taking a break for din-din, and rubbing Jason’s new title in as much as possible, we again found ourselves faced with four wars by the end of the Forum Phase. I’m not certain why, but power was handed over to Jason (with military 1) and Kevin as Rome and Field Consuls respectively. Apparently is was Jason’s keen military acumen that won him the vote…
Well, our paltry funds poured into the treasury in an attempt to repair the damage done to our military forces by Jason’s genius with dice. Legions were raised and Kevin was sent out to prosecute our newest war (I don’t remember which it was).
Bottom line? Both Jason (still in the field) and Kevin blew chunks in every direction. Neither battle was won and Rome fell.

Could we have used a Dictator in this turn? Yes. Could we have used two Consuls with military skill? Certainly. Should we have recalled Jason’s sorry Proconsul from the field after his miserable rolls in every other battle he had fought in? Absolutely.
Instead, with but 4 rolls of the dice in combat, Jason almost-single-handedly managed to precipitate the fall of the Roman Republic.

Ah well. Maybe next time...
 
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Mijjy B
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Entertaining read, thanks
 
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Jason Eberwein
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I'm glad that I could contribute in such a way! ...dice... cry
 
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Michael Gilbert
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Summit
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This sounds like every game of RoR I've ever played! laugh
 
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Orjan Pettersson
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Good reading...when there are four wars against you it is usually too late. Getting that First Punic war out of the way is extremely important. The few time I have played the game, the players usually agree to send a huge force to defeat the Phoencians.

Somewhere in the rules it is written: "This game is a killer". That is certainly true. I have found that people with a long gaming experience, especially with games such as Diplomacy and Junta, readily goes for the "personal win", but with actually losing the game.

Interesting session though...
 
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