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Subject: Rome : Openings rss

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Félix Beaudouin
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Hello everyone, I want to talk about Rome's best openings in a classic game (5 players and all heroes face up)

Obviously, the best opening will depend on the Political order Egypt chooses.

If i am lucky enough to play after Greece and Carthage, i think i would go for a greedy Syracuse play : Trireme, influence, Syracuse.

I don't think Egypt would go out of her ways to take it away from me but maybe i'm beeing a fool ?

Other openings include
All out warfare : buy two triremes and one legion.
I quite like that one if i am forced to play first... it helps me keep my militarry leadership and opens aggressive plays if carthage / egypt don't defend their coastlines...
What i don't like is i only have nine ressources production by turn two if i don't attack and Carthage could choose to trade 0 ressource on turn 2...

The safest move i think :
Pick up Germania, build a caravane and... what ? A legion i Gallia ? A Fortress in Germania ? Greece might be tempte to go millitary and Attack Gallia with two legions... Is it really the safest move ?

I actually don't see any safe move that would ensure i have 10 ressources by turn 2...

What is your take on the matter guys ?
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Steven Townshend
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I think Syracuse is good, but it's potentially stronger to grab the provinces on your eastern border and get wood and diamonds before Greece does. Once Greece gets them, good luck taking them back.

I'm too lazy to go back and look at my own First Fourteen Games thread, but if I recall correctly, Rome has only won once in all the games I've played. That was in game #3 when Rome built the pyramids in 45 minutes.

Usually the player playing Rome, taking a cue from Caesar's power, starts attacking early. This does little for Rome, apart from weakening Rome and its target while other empires rise.

I recently saw players playing Rome under Brutus start building cheap caravans and expanding their trade. As a result, Rome becomes trade leader quickly by surpassing Carthage. With all of these available resources, I've seen Rome build a powerful army quickly and become a major threat to the board.

Anyway, my suggestion for Rome's player would be to build up an economy first, since Rome has access to new resources on its borders. THEN concentrate on other things.
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Aaron Bredon
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Here is a very safe opening giving Rome 11 resources on Turn 2:

Market in Italia or Gallia and Fortress in Galllia, move legion from the capital to Italia - any attacker needs to bring at least 3 legions to accomplish much.

Turn 2 production:

1 Coin
3 metal (4 if market in Italia)
1 Oil (2 if market in Italia)
2 Wine
2 Grain (1 if market in Italia)
2 Sheep (1 if market in Italia)




I would personally do this instead:

control in Dalmatia, Market in Italia.
Move legion from capital to Gallia.

Any greek incursion in Damlatia can be met by building 3 legions in Gallia and attacking with 4. (also those 2 resources are ones Greece already has access to, so not a huge temptation)
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clovis chan
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Drammattex wrote:

Anyway, my suggestion for Rome's player would be to build up an economy first, since Rome has access to new resources on its borders. THEN concentrate on other things.


I second this. I have made the painful mistake of building trireme and legion on Turn 1. This does NOTHING for you UNLESS Carthage moves before you and leave that bottom left land without a fortress. Offensive military is USELESS if you don't use them.

Deathpact wrote:

If i am lucky enough to play after Greece and Carthage, i think i would go for a greedy Syracuse play : Trireme, influence, Syracuse.


I think this is fine, though I would prefer expanding towards Greece at the start because that land has 2 caravan spots and Rome loves building trade. If Carthage takes and builds Syracus, you can opportunistically find a time to build your military and seize control of it.
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Félix Beaudouin
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abredon wrote:
Here is a very safe opening giving Rome 11 resources on Turn 2:

Market in Italia or Gallia and Fortress in Galllia, move legion from the capital to Italia - any attacker needs to bring at least 3 legions to accomplish much.


That would be a good plan if you had enough ressource for it. But you start with only five different ressource and i think a good Carthage player will most probably only chose to trade one ressource...
 
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Félix Beaudouin
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dracodragon wrote:

I think this is fine, though I would prefer expanding towards Greece at the start because that land has 2 caravan spots and Rome loves building trade. If Carthage takes and builds Syracus, you can opportunistically find a time to build your military and seize control of it.


Dalmatia is interesting but if you build it on turn one and Greece plays after you, they can troop up, take the territory from you as well as the millitary title...
 
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clovis chan
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Deathpact wrote:
dracodragon wrote:

I think this is fine, though I would prefer expanding towards Greece at the start because that land has 2 caravan spots and Rome loves building trade. If Carthage takes and builds Syracus, you can opportunistically find a time to build your military and seize control of it.


Dalmatia is interesting but if you build it on turn one and Greece plays after you, they can troop up, take the territory from you as well as the millitary title...


Assuming both Greece and Rome can build 3 units, Rome can control marker, fortress and caravan there. If Greece builds a trireme, Rome can choose to move a legion to Gallia to disincentivise Greece from attacking.

Depends on how aggressive you judge the Greece player to be, really.
 
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Félix Beaudouin
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That's actually the move i made in my last game and Greece built 2 troops in Macedonia and a trireme in Aegeum.
He ended up attacking troia. But he could have crushed me in Dalmatia, 3 troops vs Fortress. We would both lose one then he would take millitary leadership and i could do nothing to get dalmatia back except maybe build the statue of zeus...
 
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Thaddeus MacTaggart
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I'm a bit in the middle about Rome. Thus far it hasn't always been that succesful. Last time an old friend of me played Rome and he didn't go for Syracuse (leaving it for Carthage) but built a huge backland economy since there's plenty of room to expand. Was an interesting twist.

Fyi: Egypt won.
 
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Félix Beaudouin
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I see Syracuse as really important for Rome : If you don't take it, you have no way of winning the millitary victory. I think you have millitary leadership in the beggining, it is a huge asset you should try to use and keep.

That said you can try to go for pyramids or Heroes and Wonders win for sure.

Just to keep the topic on its base. I still don't have a good first move if you play before Greece and Carthage... they all seem to be either weak or risky...
 
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clovis chan
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@Felix

you mean before Greece and Carthage? Being late in build order lets you be greedy with your build. In my group the T1 build order tends to be Carthage then Rome
 
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Félix Beaudouin
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that is right i wrote the opposit (now corrected) thx
 
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Deathpact wrote:
Just to keep the topic on its base. I still don't have a good first move if you play before Greece and Carthage... they all seem to be either weak or risky...


i would suggest building 2 triremes and a legion to keep everyone on their toes

3 roman legions are good enough for overcome a single fortress

carthage/egypt would be greatly incentivised into building 3 military units

greece may not be complacent either, since trading greece units 1 for 1 would still allow rome to maintain military leadership

this prevents most players from developing economically, if rome may not build in peace, no one shall build in peace
this basically maintains the status quo, it favours rome a little in that the more legions there are, the greater the effectiveness of caesar bonus and military leadership

my group has basically stopped letting rome go first nowadays, thinking that its better to let rome turn its energies inwards into developing trade

afterall the job of controlling a economically strong rome mostly lies with greece and carthage, egypt has little qualms in that regard
 
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clovis chan
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istaris wrote:
Deathpact wrote:
Just to keep the topic on its base. I still don't have a good first move if you play before Greece and Carthage... they all seem to be either weak or risky...


i would suggest building 2 triremes and a legion to keep everyone on their toes

3 roman legions are good enough for overcome a single fortress

carthage/egypt would be greatly incentivised into building 3 military units

greece may not be complacent either, since trading greece units 1 for 1 would still allow rome to maintain military leadership

this prevents most players from developing economically, if rome may not build in peace, no one shall build in peace
this basically maintains the status quo, it favours rome a little in that the more legions there are, the greater the effectiveness of caesar bonus and military leadership


No lol. What you are doing is to the pure benefit of Babylon. Babylon will have his Judea + fortress + city. Egypt will allow him because he has to fortify his Cyrenaica. Everyone will build military while Babylon builds its economy. And because you induce your neighbours to build military, when you do attack, you leave yourself vulnerable to the other neighbour.

Just build somewhere and count on your neighbours being friendly...
 
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Félix Beaudouin
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That is so very interesting !

I have a question though : Let's say you made two triremes (Tyrrhenum / Ionum) and one legion in Italia.

would you attack Numidia, Libya, Cyrenaica if they are left undefended or with just one legion ?

Would you consider attacking a lonely carthage or Egyptian legion ?

then would you occupy / Plunder or Conquer (change influence) ?

I played rome last game and I Occupied Numidia on turn 2, Carthage made armies so i moved to Cyrenaica turn 3. By then the whole table considered me a nuisance (i'm the most experieced player) and the (new player) of carthage built 4 legions and attacked Rome, sacrificing his game to destroy mine.

In summary my question is : all things considered, how valuable do you consider a classic first or second turn attack like Numidia for two ressources ?
 
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dracodragon wrote:
No lol. What you are doing is to the pure benefit of Babylon. Babylon will have his Judea + fortress + city. Egypt will allow him because he has to fortify his Cyrenaica. Everyone will build military while Babylon builds its economy. And because you induce your neighbours to build military, when you do attack, you leave yourself vulnerable to the other neighbour.

Just build somewhere and count on your neighbours being friendly...


ya, but the same criticism can be made for any other actions rome could take

like discussed in the other thread, greece or carthage could simply take sicily if rome does not build trireme, regardless of what rome do, someone can always opportunistically grab a legendary city

however in this case, 2 trireme 1 legion allows maximum flexibility for rome, without counting on neighbours being friendly

being forced to build first in round 1 is bad, this is about making the best out of this bad situation

furthermore, if in round 2 egypt still make rome build first, its time to blame egypt

afterall, its egypt who suffers the most from an unchecked babylon
 
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Deathpact wrote:
That is so very interesting !

I have a question though : Let's say you made two triremes (Tyrrhenum / Ionum) and one legion in Italia.

would you attack Numidia, Libya, Cyrenaica if they are left undefended or with just one legion ?

Would you consider attacking a lonely carthage or Egyptian legion ?

then would you occupy / Plunder or Conquer (change influence) ?

I played rome last game and I Occupied Numidia on turn 2, Carthage made armies so i moved to Cyrenaica turn 3. By then the whole table considered me a nuisance (i'm the most experieced player) and the (new player) of carthage built 4 legions and attacked Rome, sacrificing his game to destroy mine.

In summary my question is : all things considered, how valuable do you consider a classic first or second turn attack like Numidia for two ressources ?


carthage, definitely carthage, assuming rome is safe from a greek backstab, theres little reason why rome shouldnt attack carthage lands that is defended by anything less than 1F1L

send 3L against 1F, and occupy 2 trade buildings

rome just gained trade leadership, lost 3 resources worth of a legion but gain 2 resources, its a fabulous deal of 1 resource for trade leadership

the deal got more amazing if greece did not build 3 military, and rome still have military leadership

simply pillage carthage in round 2 before retreating and rome can comfortably maintain trade leader for a long time

 
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Félix Beaudouin
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going for two trireme and a legion is interesting but might lead to a situation where Carthage says 0 trade and Rome is stuck with a crappy turn 2... if you make those units you are kinda forced to use them...

when you occupy say Numidia, sure you get two ressources (maybe at the cost of three) but you also make an ennemy right away...

Also i don't think you can pillage and retreat in round 2 except if you mean pillage in turn two and retreat turn 3...

Also i tend to consider Millitary leadership much more valuable than trade... don't you ?
 
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clovis chan
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istaris wrote:


ya, but the same criticism can be made for any other actions rome could take


If Rome doesn't build 2 trireme, there is a higher likelihood that Egypt chooses to go before Babylon and take Jerusulem (either marker + fortress + fortress backside/ city Jerusalem)

istaris wrote:


like discussed in the other thread, greece or carthage could simply take sicily if rome does not build trireme, regardless of what rome do, someone can always opportunistically grab a legendary city


And what's the problem with building your economy while others build theirs?
 
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note: all the suggestions i had made so far is assuming other players are heartless merciless people ready to prey on any weakness
of course if you know the other players well and know that some are passive peaceful players, its okay for rome to do risky stuff
i also assume that other players play to win rationally

Deathpact wrote:
going for two trireme and a legion is interesting but might lead to a situation where Carthage says 0 trade and Rome is stuck with a crappy turn 2... if you make those units you are kinda forced to use them...


it wont happen, since carthage is in the same situation as rome, trading zero means carthage have as crappy a turn

for carthage to safely trade 0 in round 2, carthage need to either build a market or a control+caravan in round 1, spending 6 resources either way, and only have 3 resources left, carthage can only build 1 fortress to defend, not enough against roman

Casus belli: carthage is being greedy
Deathpact wrote:

when you occupy say Numidia, sure you get two ressources (maybe at the cost of three) but you also make an ennemy right away...


ya, but as rome you want to fight, and fighting whoever makes an enemy, the question is what is rome fighting for?

i dont recommend attacking egypt and antagonise the cultural leader, but in this case, attacking the trade leader means you are the trade leader...

dont make an enemy of someone strong, but analysing the 2 player variant mentioned in the other thread, i realised that rome absolutely crushes carthage without outside intervention...

Deathpact wrote:

Also i don't think you can pillage and retreat in round 2 except if you mean pillage in turn two and retreat turn 3...

Also i tend to consider Millitary leadership much more valuable than trade... don't you ?


i meant occupy with 2 in round 1, retreat 1 pillage 1 in round 2, its worth sacrificing a legion for the pillage to secure trade leader

yes, it is quite dependent on what greece do, if greece goes for control in troia, then this strat is very safe as rome can afford to lose a legion and yet maintain leadership

dracodragon wrote:
If Rome doesn't build 2 trireme, there is a higher likelihood that Egypt chooses to go before Babylon and take Jerusulem (either marker + fortress + fortress backside/ city Jerusalem)


ultimately rome doesnt want to attack egypt even if its undefended as explain a few paragraph up, its not ideal to antagonise the cultural leader, the 2 trireme allows you the flexibility of doing so, i never said it was a good idea...

dracodragon wrote:

And what's the problem with building your economy while others build theirs?

theres no problem here, the problem is would others build their economy? heck, just the other thread people were discussing strategy about greece marching in to occupy 2 caravan of rome

the most conservative safe route for rome is to start militarising first, blame egypt for forcing roman hands then

i think egypt and rome are natural allies and should not sabotage each other
eqypt from perspective of rome
- only provides parchment for trade (its coastal and easily raidable, only break the informal alliance at the last moment if need to, else maintain it)
- provides gold for trade (gold here being inland and is impossible to obtain via raiding in 1 round)
- is cultural leader (the whole disagreement we had here stems from a hostile egypt making rome go first only goes to show how impactful this is)
- keeps carthage and babylon in check

i would not as egypt make rome build first

an anecdote
once i had a game as rome, the greedy egypt made me build first and instead of defences, bought a hero
punishing a hostile greedy egypt, i pillage an undefended city

it was a mistake...

egypt now is able to only build 2 units for defences in round 2, sensing blood, both babylon and greece moved into egypt, both rome and carthage had stop the re-enactment of punic wars to be UN peacekeepers, but it was too late, egypt resource production was brought down to less than 6, can only build 1/2 units a round, its a downwards spiral that egypt did not recover from, babylon won the game

to be fair though, its a misplay by greece to ignore babylon even though he knows that rome and carthage was too far away to control babylon effectively and should had helped
 
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clovis chan
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istaris wrote:
dracodragon wrote:
If Rome doesn't build 2 trireme, there is a higher likelihood that Egypt chooses to go before Babylon and take Jerusulem (either marker + fortress + fortress backside/ city Jerusalem)


ultimately rome doesnt want to attack egypt even if its undefended as explain a few paragraph up, its not ideal to antagonise the cultural leader, the 2 trireme allows you the flexibility of doing so, i never said it was a good idea...


What you said is your personal view and while I agree, it is not unanimous so Egypt will still be scared of your legions and not leave a naked legion defending alone.

istaris wrote:
dracodragon wrote:

And what's the problem with building your economy while others build theirs?

theres no problem here, the problem is would others build their economy? heck, just the other thread people were discussing strategy about greece marching in to occupy 2 caravan of rome


After thinking long and hard, I concede there's nothing Rome can do to adequately defend against Greece while building economically. Based on responses on that thread however, you can tell the vast majority of Greece players do not propose going full offense on Rome turn 1. So it is safe to presume Greece will not attack you turn 1 unless you know your Greece friend is a nasty one. Going for legendary city plays more into Greece's lean towards Coin.

Going all the way back to Felix's qn, maybe another way is to control + caravan the diamond city and fortress the corner city? In move and battle you can move your legion from Rome to Italy. If Greece really wants he can still attack you (trireme & 2 legions, attack with 3/4 legions vs your 2, but is that even worthwhile?
 
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dracodragon wrote:
What you said is your personal view and while I agree, it is not unanimous so Egypt will still be scared of your legions and not leave a naked legion defending alone.

After thinking long and hard, I concede there's nothing Rome can do to adequately defend against Greece while building economically. Based on responses on that thread however, you can tell the vast majority of Greece players do not propose going full offense on Rome turn 1. So it is safe to presume Greece will not attack you turn 1 unless you know your Greece friend is a nasty one. Going for legendary city plays more into Greece's lean towards Coin.


o the irony... if egypt is unwilling to accept rome's persuasion that rome have little incentive to attack egypt, why should rome accept greece's persuasion?

suppose Rome build before carthage and DID NOT build 2 triremes, egypt is in a much deeper hole...

carthage is now unchecked, carthage would simply build a market (+2 resource) and a unit, march into egypt's undefended province and get a free parchment (+ 1 resource)

carthage can now build 4 units in round 2

between rome and carthage, carthage have stronger incentive to march into egyptian lands
 
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istaris wrote:
[q="dracodragon"]What you said is your personal view and while I agree, it is not unanimous so Egypt will still be scared of your legions and not leave a naked legion defending alone.

After thinking long and hard, I concede there's nothing Rome can do to adequately defend against Greece while building economically. Based on responses on that thread however, you can tell the vast majority of Greece players do not propose going full offense on Rome turn 1. So it is safe to presume Greece will not attack you turn 1 unless you know your Greece friend is a nasty one. Going for legendary city plays more into Greece's lean towards Coin.


o the irony... if egypt is unwilling to accept rome's persuasion that rome have little incentive to attack egypt, why should rome accept greece's persuasion?

There is no Greece persuasion. I'm merely saying going offensive Turn 1 is not in the minds of many Greece players (at least the few BGG ppl who replied and YOUR group only has that one dude who will think of doing it).

istaris wrote:
suppose Rome build before carthage and DID NOT build 2 triremes, egypt is in a much deeper hole...

carthage is now unchecked, carthage would simply build a market (+2 resource) and a unit, march into egypt's undefended province and get a free parchment (+ 1 resource)

carthage can now build 4 units in round 2

between rome and carthage, carthage have stronger incentive to march into egyptian lands


Minor nitpick that you make the picture too rosy: Egypt can build fortress to defend itself. +2 resources is still strong of course. And going back one more step, I believe the chances of Rome going before Carthage is not high. Rome can easily convince Egypt to let Carthage build first cos it is Egypt's neighbour and let its neighbour build in fear. 'Neighbour first' is not hard to sell.

While this is sidestepping everything, all this talk about being unable to build economy in peace is actually all because of Greece, who can reach all your lands with 1 trireme. Carthage is unlikely to be able to disturb Rome (who will build 2 triremes when his cities are undefended?) anyway...
 
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