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Subject: Caesar falls on his sword, Roman empire never founded! rss

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Steffan O'Sullivan
United States
Plymouth
NH
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"To be honorable and just is our only defense against men without honor or justice." -Diogenes of Sinope
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If ye see the laird, tell him this makes the twelve hunner and nineteen time that Jennet Clouston has called down the curse on him and his house, byre and stable, man, guest, and master, wife, miss, or bairn—black be their fall! -RLStevenson
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We played our first game of this today. For those who don't know, it's a light, fast two-player war/political game of Caesar vs. Pompey, the civil war that tolled the death of the Roman republic and led to the founding of the Roman Empire under Augustus, Julius' heir and successor. It's under $20 and the "40" in the rules title refers to the maximum number of pieces on the board at any time. There are also cards, but it's not "card driven" - you can move and fight without playing a card, though you must draw one every turn and a quarter of the cards are events that might impact you...

At any rate, it was our first game and we didn't quite know what to do. There are two paths to victory: military or political. Caesar starts at a disadvantage, with a much smaller tax base than Pompey, but is a better military leader with better troops at the beginning of the game. So Mike, who played Caesar, decided to go the military route. I opted for spreading out my pieces all over the map, as much as I could, to be able to collect as much income as possible to buy more legions with down the road ...

Mike started by casting the die and crossing the Rubicon, attacking Rome and Novo Cartago on the first turn. This is probably a standard Caesar opening, though, as I said, it was our first game. It just *looks* optimal, as Pompey is weak in Italia and Hispania and strong in the East.

I countered with buying cheap units and spreading them out in the East, covering a lot of territory.

He continued his offensive, attacking me further in Hispania and moving towards Africa. I managed a lucky victory in Hispania, which allowed me to flip a legion to its veteran side. I reinforced it, and attacked him, winning an easy victory.

We jockeyed back and forth a few turns, but he never followed my lead of spreading out. Instead, he concentrated his forces so he could attack me more effectively. Yes, but ... when tax time came, I was collecting more than double his income, meaning I was now raising twice as many troops as he was. And he was fragile: any losses really hurt him, as he didn't have much territory to fall back on.

He finally had an incredibly bad luck turn, losing two armies in attacks in Hispania and Sicilia. I was able to march back up to Roma and Massilia, reducing him to two cities while I was holding perhaps ten. This was by turn six of the game, at which point he conceded after Caesar died trying to retake Roma.

He wants to try it again, which is a good sign. Sometimes when he loses a game badly, he never wants to see it again! I offered to switch sides next time, but he wants to try it again with the same sides. I think Caesar is the harder position to play, so I hope he doesn't end up hating the game ...

Fun little game!
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Robert Wesley
Nepal
Aberdeen
Washington
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Nice & quick overview for that here. So, would this mean that perhaps it should become a "fish" based kind later on, and end UP as the: "Holy Mackerel Empire"?
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Jens Hoppe
Denmark
Frederiksberg
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What are you, like 80?
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It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage.
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sos1 wrote:
I offered to switch sides next time, but he wants to try it again with the same sides.


Naturally. Switching sides opens up the possibility that one then loses with the perceived stronger side - quite a blow to one's morale. Better stick with the underdog, where one at least has a good excuse for further defeats.

Nice report, by the way. Being a fan of all things Republican Roman, I am quite interested in this game.
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