Norbert Chan
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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Wow, so this is what you get for 100 pieces of gold.
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Normally these session reports are how you did something brilliant or rolled against the odds to get a fist pumping victory. This is going to be the opposite, but first some background. Don had bought this recently, and we still have not played Pandemic: Iberia, but Don recommended we start with this one.

Instead of fighting viruses, the game is themed on Rome, fighting against five barbarian tribes: Visigoths, Huns, Vandals, Ostrogoths and Anglo Saxons. The infection step is now the invasion step where the different barbarians place their troops on the board. Rome fights back with legions.

In the first game, in player order, Don was Regina Foederota (enlist allied barbarians without playing a card), I was the Mercator (once per turn can give or take a card from a player with the matching color in the city), Greg was the Magestar Militum (reduce legion loss by 1 in battles) and Trevor was Prefectus Classis (move to port without playing a card). We were playing the normal game.


Don is brown, I am green, Greg is pink and Trevor is teal.

Our first thoughts were to look at the “choke points” of the map, and build forts there. With that in mind, Don build a fort in Carasynthrou and recruited 3 legions. I started collecting green cards and using my Mercator ability was able to grab one of Don’s green cards and we were soon allied with the Huns.

I think it was Don who got 4 orange cards and we were soon allied with the Anglo Saxons. We wuld make one more alliance, with the Vandals and were running out of time. There were going to be 6 cards, so three turns left. I had an event card which after a battle, I could remove the same number of barbarians from one city (or take a decline to take the same number from more than 1 city). Greg had a event card which let him remove 4 barbarians. Since we were allied with black/green/orange, we had to eliminate white and blue from the map. The white and blue were all near Tyros and Cherenosus, so we converged to those spots and after a combat unleashed both event cards for the win. No we noticed we were playing slightly wrong. During the invasion, you are supposed to add cubes towards the direction of the city listed, we were going backwards away from Rome.


We eliminated the last non allied barbarians using event cards.



Game 2. We were now playing the Heroic level, which throws in 1 more revolt, totaling 7 revolts in the game. In player order, Don was Prafectus Fabrum (can add forts on the board for 2 legions or move to a fort), I was Vestalis (discard a color card in the current city to draw an event card from the unused event card pile), Greg was Mercator and Trevor was the Prefectus Classis.


Don is white, I am purple, Greg is green and Trevor is teal.

Don and I built a fort on our first turns. I drew a blue card (my Vestalis ability allows me to draw 3 cards and put one back on the top), and Greg as the Mercator decided he wanted to get my blue card. So the OStrogoths were the first to form an alliance. Soon enough, Trevor got a large number of white cards and Rome was allied with the Visigoths.

As soon as the colored cards were used for allies, I could use my Vestalis ability to drill through the unused event card pile and get them into play. I was able to draw all the cards, and we played most of them. We were able to ally with all the barbarians except the Huns, and time was running out. We used the event cards to prevent cities from overrunning. We used an event card to decline and prevent a person from going through an invasion phase.

Finally with 5 cards left, it was Don’s turn. We could not afford any more decline. We had the situation shown, where there was one Hun left in Carnuntum, and one left in Iuvavum. Don’s token was in Carnuntum with one legion. His eagle roll was eliminate 2 barbarians if in city with a fort. So he could probably eliminate one Hun on the first roll. He rolled the only result that did not work, losing a legion. He recruited a legion again to try, rolled and lost the legion again! Don ended his turn by recruiting one legion to leave it to me. But during his invasion phase, there were 3 balck cubes in Corduba, and the city drawn was Corduba, causing an overrun of the city, and we went to our last decline spot and lost the game. It was tight, since I could have enlisted the 2 blue cubes using a blue card, then have 3 dice on the Hun in Carnuntum.


Rome falls to decline as the Huns are on the loose.

It was a tense game, which was winnable, and it was fun. I’m looking forward to trying the legendary version, if and when we can beat the heroic version.
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Don Smith
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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I should have let Trevor roll for me...
 
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Paul Kreutzer
United States
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I'd like to see a comparative session review of this alongside Catan Histories: Struggle for Rome... the other side of the Limes perspective!
 
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