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Subject: Rules questions rss

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bill healy
Canada
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Just played Roma for the first time. A couple of things came up. Would appreciate comments.

1) Forum - This requires two dice, one to activate, and another to score victory points. Does this mean that they both have to be the same number? If the forum is on 2, then do you need two twos to score the victory points? This limits the strenght of the forum, as doubles are less frequent, and would mean that to score a lot of victory points, you would give up two good dice rolls.

2) Activation dice rolls - Can you add dice together to get an activation? If a Legat is on a five, can you place a 2 and 3 on the 5 to activat him? The rules say that you put dice on the same numbers, but this seems like a reasonable extension, since you would be using up two dice. It ties in with the first question, since if you must put dice only on the same number, then you would need to put two of the same on the forum.

3) At the start, it says to pass two cards face down to the opponent. Does he get to look at these before placing them? It seems to make sense that he would, but the rules are vague.

4) In the description of the cards, it says that the card has effect only if it is face up. I assume this means that they must be laid, as they would only be face down in your hand. There is no way that a card can be face down next to the die circles is there?

Thanks for your help. FYI, I lost.
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Scholle
Australia
St Ives, 2075
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1. No, the second die can be any value

2. No, you can't combine dice.

3. Yes, she gets to look at them.

4. Off the top of my head, I don't know of any way cards can be face down except during initial placement.

The English rules are vague in parts. I seem to remember that a friend's English rules never specifically said the dice have to all be assigned before you start performing actions, whereas the German rules specifically state this to be the case. I also really find the symbols on the English cards to be difficult to interpret. If you know a little German the text on the German cards are much more helpful. (Now if only Kosmos had thought of that for Blitz und Donner.)
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Derek H
South Africa
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Scholle wrote:
I seem to remember that a friend's English rules never specifically said the dice have to all be assigned before you start performing actions, whereas the German rules specifically state this to be the case.

Hmm. We have always played you assign dice as you go along; I think it adds more decision making options and hence more interest to the game. I would not like the "assign in advance" option, nor see any reason why this would improve the game. Any other take on this?
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Brad Weage
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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On the initial points:

1. As already covered in a reply, the first die must match the position at which the forum resides and the second can be any value. The second value determines the VP payoff.

2. You can't add dice values together. Nor can you split one die value to activate a pair. At least based on the rules - it is possible that a future card could allow this. Given that there is already the Consul to provide a similar type of flexibility, I would doubt that such a card would appear in a future expansion.

3. Yes, you get to look at the cards you receive. The wording is not the best, but I think the concept they were trying to get across is that each player puts two cards face down and when both are ready the exchange is made - meaning you don't get any information about what you will receive until after you have picked your two to pass.

4. I found the wording strange here as well, concluding that "in-play" may have been a more appropriate term than "face-up" for what they were trying to communicate. Given the discussions of possible expansions cards, a future card might allow one or more cards to be placed face down and somehow activated later. (There could be some sort of "Ostia" card that enables a Buka-style invasion.)

There are several places where the rules are clear but the iconography is inconsistent. The Forum is one of those. I would have guessed that the general meaning of dice in the upper right on any card was that a matching die must be placed to activate the card. Therefore the forum would need two matching dice. Apparently, the indicator on the forum is just meant to indicate that two total dice will be used up in the process. But if that is the general meaning then Centurio and Templum are incorrectly handled. I think the forum should have only one die shown on the activation cost panel, with the other indicated only in the action description panel.

BTW: An even better solution might use an outline sketch of an additional die for the second die on the Forum. Then Templum could have a solid die crossed out and an outline die below that. Centurio could include the same outline die with a question mark, (as you won't always need to use the second die here). Lastly, Consul would not include the outline - a second die does not get used, just modified. That last touch would clarify that just having a die showing up in the lower panel doesn't mean it is being used.

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On the other point about the timing of play:

If the suggested timing were correct, then the English rules would not be just unclear, but contradictory. The English rules are clear that you take multiple actions in any order you like, and that a die-using action includes both the placement of a die and its payoff or result. The provided examples show a player placing one die to draw cards, and then reacting to the card obtained to decide to play the card, and then to use a remaining die to activate that newly placed card.

Also the card powers don't seem to support a "place all first" view. The Consul power would then have to be interpreted as moving an already placed die to a neighboring card. The Centurio would need to extract an already placed, but as yet unused, die from the location it had been placed on. Although I can see ways to make all the options fit, it would void the current easy tracking of whether a die has been used (by being positioned at the time it is used) and I think that would seriously hurt the game play.
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Scholle
Australia
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Yes, you're right on the timing of play. I read the German incorrectly because the following instruction came before the action explanations.

"Phase 3: Aktionen durchführen
Der Spieler ordnet die in Phase 2 erzielten Würfelergebnisse den Aktionen zu."

My mistake. Sorry to have misled anyone or denigrated the translator.
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