Recommend
7 
 Thumb up
 Hide
30 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

The Republic of Rome» Forums » General

Subject: So I'm going to have a class play this in about two weeks, advice? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
David Webb
United States
North Little Rock
Arkansas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have 15 students in a 4th year Latin class that are in a sort of special situation. To make a long story short, the teacher of the class left and there was a new textbook so the curriculum was not laid out, and this is their last year of the language (mostly high school juniors), so I'm winging things without much time at all to do prep work (this isn't the only class that is in this situation). We do a lot of culture in the sequence and they've learned a lot about Roman society and government along the way.

I've had some very positive experiences using games in the classroom, especially with Munera: Familia Gladiatoria with another level class. And back in the fall this group played a little Conquest of the Empire and really enjoyed it. So I thought a good way to end up the year (with a little "synthesis" of what they have learned) was to have them go full-on at RoR, and they are enthusiastically behind it (though I should make it clear that they would probably be enthusiastically behind anything that isn't translating more Latin poetry). I've seen RoR called "an historical simulation of Roman politics" and I think that's what I'd like it to be for them. Best case scenario, of course.

I have played an incomplete game solo, and then an incomplete game of it with two friends (all of us were definitely non-gamers at the time; this was pretty much my introduction into strategy gaming - and it was rough). I think I will divide them up into 3 person teams, so there would be 5 teams total, and I would manage the process. I'll be going over all the rules again and again over the next week and a half, and I doubt I'll be able to get it to a table with friends to play it out (though I might do another solo run) before then, but I'm wondering what sort of advice might anyone here have for this scenario? I'm also thinking about how to grade them on the experience also - doing something for homework each night would be ideal, but I don't have anything clear in mind yet. Something with the cursus honorum would be appropriate. Maybe each team making posters illustrating some aspect of Roman politics? (cursus honorum, passage of legislation, the nature of proconsular or propraetor authority, etc.?)

Thanks for any ideas that might make this a smoother experience for me and a more enriching experience for them.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Hugues Lamy
Canada
La Prairie
Quebec
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Contact me by PM on BGG. I can give you my gtalk/skype id. I think this is a bit too much to put in a single reply. The game is very complex and you could need some help on the rules.

For your information, i managed the Yahoo group and I help with the rules review for the valey game version. I think my understanding of the RoR big picture is fairly good.

Good luck

Hugues
5 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lawrence Hung
Hong Kong
Wan Chai
Hong Kong
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The game is certainly a great teaching tool of the Roman politics. Homeworks include:
1) Essays on the way to increase influences in the Roman Senate.
2) Research on all the Roman war campaigns and the reasons why they arose.
3) Descriptions of the different Roman offices in terms of their positional advantages and disadvantages.
4) Identification of the relationship between money, politics and power.
5) Analysis of the effectiveness of the Senate voting system on resolving internal conflicts.
5 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ed Browne
United States
Terre Haute
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think I would avoid prosecutions. You don't deal with them in solo play (so you probably don't know much about them) and trying to explain them will add extra complication. I know some will say they are "important" to the rules, but it will distract from the meatier stuff like begging for appointments and votes. You could just mention that if you fail at assassination, you could be put up for prosecution in the Senate.

I'm just afraid you will spend too much time every turn answering the questions:

1. What are prosecutions again?

2. What can I prosecute for again?

3. Can I make up something just because I don't like someone?

Since you may not get many turns in, you might think of taking away assassination too, especially if you think players would be doing it "just to see what happens." I know it'd be a great way to show consequences, but it could also be a prankster's way to try to derail your game.

Also add little reminders on politics during the game like, "Remember, whoever is picked as a governor is away from the Senate..."

Good luck with the project and keep us informed. Solo will teach you the mechanics, but when politics comes into play with real players, it'll be a whole different ballgame.

4 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ed Browne
United States
Terre Haute
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

I concur with using the Wars that come up in the game as homework assignments. Who was that guy on the Leader card? And what was his impact on the war?

Just where and what are those provinces up for governors?

Maybe something about the attitude one should have when one has the most votes. Do you push your advantage, or co-operate with someone with less influence to try to keep from getting ganged up on? How do multiple factions in this political setting work compared to a "two faction" system that the US currently has?
1 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ed Browne
United States
Terre Haute
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If there is a VASSAL version of the game (I don't know), you might even be able to have a way to post/print the map, factions, etc. in the schoolroom. Little more work for you, but it'd look really cool to have it up between classes, I think. They could name their factions, etc.

p.s. Make them translate lots of the game stuff into Latin as they play/discuss. I'm sure you already thought of that...
1 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dick Leban
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
I think you'll want to read this thread and hunt Scriv and the others down if they don't show up here on their own.
2 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seth
Netherlands
Eindhoven
Noord Brabant
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Before playing perhaps you could make them read: Robert Harris; Imperium and Lustrum. A semi-historical (based on facts) read on Cicero. It's a perfect introduction to the game "sphere" and gives more facts about late roman politcs. It could be a pre-game homework assignment?
3 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
NATHAN KIRK
United States
AUBURN
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmb
I am close to having ready a MS Access tool that:
1) leads players by the hand thru each phase and step in the phases
2) does all the bookkeeping
3) validates player attempts at actions against the bookkeeping.

How can we ensure my proprietary interest in this tool if i send it to you? I've probably put 100 hrs work into it.
If you've got any kids with Visual Basic experience, they could correct bugs as you encounter them.
Where are you located?
I'll be driving Seattle to New Orleans Monday Apr 23.
I took a year of Latin in HS!! sure helped on vocab tests later.
I highly recommend the novels of Robert Harris, the story of Cicero as told by his slave Tiro. Those really made the RoR game come alive.
3 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Calavera Despierta
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
Just saw this thread...

I teach high school level English and one year, after doing Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, I offered the game as an optional extra credit experience on a Saturday afternoon.

It was a smashing success, all-in-all. The problems I encountered were:

1) Not everyone groks the game at an equal rate. In other words, I had kids who, due to other boardgaming experiences or natural intelligence, simply understood the nuances inherent in the game quickly, and were able to exploit that understanding to control the game to their advantage. For example: the kid who got himself named Pontifex Max managed to lord it over the other players and kill referendums on sending troops until the other players conceded to his demands. Now this is wonderfully in the spirit of the game, but frankly, since he was the only one who really seemed to get what was going on in the early rounds, it gave him a huge advantage and made the game un-fun for the other kids. Fortunately, his Pontifex died of natural causes at the beginning of the fourth round of play. Otherwise, as a teacher, I don't know how I would suggest you handle this. Maybe have the kids play a few rounds of a test game before starting the real game in earnest? (That works for me when I use Diplomacy in my classroom.)

2) Rules hiccups. I was there to manage the game, but since there is SO much chrome, and since I had only managed to play the game three times previously myself, there were several rules we got wrong. If this comes up in your games, I would just say that you need to adjudicate and adjust the game state as fairly as possible. I only mention it because kids seem to be REALLY big about perceived fairness and unfairness. You probably already know this as a Latin teacher, but I think it bears repeating.

3) Chit explosion. I don't know what age your kids are but mine were sophomores. Which means old enough to be responsible and careful with an expensive game, but not so in touch with their own gawky teenage bodies that they aren't ludicrously clumsy or unaware of their physical movements. I had the mortality chit bowl knocked to the floor and in spite of carefully cleaning it up, still found chits on the floor the Monday morning. Also I had a kid spill his drink (thankfully not on any game components.) My point is, kids are not careful the way adults are with game components. Just be aware.

Hope that helps!

-Matt
4 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Webb
United States
North Little Rock
Arkansas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks to everyone who has responded so far! The week and a half leading up to this project has been crazy (we're hiring another Latin teacher to help and candidates were here; yay!), but we got started today and based upon comments here and some (minimal) experience on my own, here is what we're doing.

First I gave them project summaries. They were divided into "factions" of three students each and I generated a random sequence to give each group (random.org is awesome for teachers who want to be fair in distributing things). The end goal is to make a high quality big trifold presentation poster for each topic, the kind of thing that could be helpful in teaching younger Latin students learning about Roman history, and a set of 10 most important identification terms to use on a group quiz. Each group got to choose which faction they wanted to be in the game and it matched the type of topic their presentation poster would be on. Here, essentially, were the factions they could choose (there were 7 options; 2 would be left out) - I will list them in the order that they chose them:

Be the Patricians and create a trifold presentation poster detailing the Cursus Honorum. What offices were part of the cursus? What did they do? What were their powers? How were they chosen? Were there age limits or other qualifications? Were they circumvented? Your ten terms should include the offices themselves, in addition to other pertinent concepts dealing with the cursus. If this faction is in play, one member of the family will start as the outgoing Rome Consul (+5 Influence) and each member of the family will start with four talents (each new member who joins the family gets two talents instead of four).

Be the College of the Augures and create a trifold presentation poster detailing the official aspects of Roman religion and religious officials. Not on who were the Olympian gods - we know that already. But questions like what did the Pontifex Maximus do? How long did they serve? Who were famous ones? What other positions existed? What were the colleges of priests? Were priests restricted from holding offices, marrying, etc.? Could one priest serve any god? What was a Flamen? A Haruspex? An Augur? If this faction is in play, one member of the family will also start the game as Pontifex Maximus.

Be the Populares and create a trifold presentation poster detailing the office of Tribune. What did the office entail? When did it first begin? Why was it created? Who could stand for it? How long did the term last? What powers did it have? Were there age limits? Who were the most famous people who served as tribunes? What were the most famous acts of any particular tribunes (*as* tribunes)? If this faction is in play, they will start the game with an additional Tribune card and each member starts with +1 influence (this also applies to new members of the family as the game progresses, but not to members who have lost influence for whatever reason).

Be the Satores Legum (Founders of the Laws) and create a trifold presentation poster detailing the most famous Roman laws. When they were passed? Who sponsored them? What did they do? What was the result? Your ten terms should include some of the laws themselves, as well as other legal terms or the problems that existed that the laws were enacted to deal with. If this faction is in play at the start of the game, each family member will start with one Knight (this also applies to new members of the family as the game progresses, but not to members who have lost knights for whatever reasons) and will add +1 to all Knight (attract attempt) rolls.

Be the Imperatores and create a trifold presentation poster detailing the Roman wars of conquest or the process of Roman Expansion. How did Rome acquire her empire? Who did she defeat to gain what large areas? When did those wars take place? Who was defeated? Who was the victor (which Roman general(s))? If this faction is in play, one member of the family will start the game as the outgoing Field Consul (+5 Influence). Any family members from this team, if leading an army in the battle, who roll a Disaster # in battle may reroll one of the die (only once). If it the roll is a 1, 2, or 3 the Disaster remains, but if the roll is a 4, 5, or 6 then the Disaster is averted.

(At first chosen, but then dropped for the Imperatores at the end of the selection process. Left out in the end.) Be the Iudices and create a trifold presentation poster detailing what we know about the Roman judicial system? Were there different types of courts? Who could be sued? Who decided the outcome? Were they common? What types (of cases or suits) were most common? If this faction is in play, in all trials involving one of their family members they gain 5 votes (either in support of the prosecution or in support of the defense).

(Clearly left out - they admitted it was because they didn't want to be the "Goobers"; a naming issue...) Be the Gubernatores and create a trifold presentation poster detailing Propraetorial and Proconsular governorships. During the Republic, how did Rome govern its provinces? Give examples of governors who governed nobly, and examples of those who took spoils and extracted bribes from its people. Why were some regions not treated as provinces (and which ones were they)? If this faction is in play, any member of it who is serving as a governor will add +2 to their Provincial Spoils roll (should they choose to take them) and will add +3 to rolls to "improve" any provinces that they currently govern (increasing the chance that they win influence from improved provinces).

They seemed very excited about it and I showed them some of the basics of the board and what different cards were like. We have a number of rules (e.g., only rotten, rotten, soulless people cheat at board games, bumping the table is very bad, etc.), and I think I am going to balance things a little too. They got their three family members totally randomly, but the sets of three faction cards they receive have been balanced out somewhat by me (moderately balanced sets - random who gets them). And I think I will make sure no crazy overload of wars occurs on the first turn or two of the game at least by balancing the draw pile a little. We will play with the Pontifex since we have studied Roman religion and they know a little about it.

I thought about showing them Scott Nicholson's teaching video on the game tomorrow, but it would take up a lot of class time, and it's designed more for gamers than for non-gamers I think. Unfortunately we don't have time to do much other outside reading in preparation. We've been reading Horace the last couple of weeks and they are still finishing up a quiz on it even now. Their homework each night will be to advance their project work and we'll play the game in class each day. I'd love to have some togas made, but eheu!

Thanks again for all the help. I'll keep updating every few days or posting here with questions we might have. - Dave
5 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Webb
United States
North Little Rock
Arkansas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ruh-roh. We only had about 30 minutes on the game today, but it's our first real attempt, and wouldn't you know it: first day of actual play and the very first faction rolls a 7 on their first initiative. The event roll is for Evil Omens. The "College of the Augures" was not amused. They lost all the PM's treasury and got a major corruption chit. Lost what little they had put into the faction treasury too. State treasury had to make up for the leftover 14 talents. Resolving that situation took 15 minutes. And now we have a -1 on all (almost) die rolls for the rest of the round.

Then Hannibal and the First Illyrian War were drawn also. We just got almost to the end of the auction for the last (6th) initiative when the bell rang. Population and Senate phase on Monday.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Calavera Despierta
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
Teleklos wrote:
Ruh-roh. We only had about 30 minutes on the game today, but it's our first real attempt, and wouldn't you know it: first day of actual play and the very first faction rolls a 7 on their first initiative. The event roll is for Evil Omens. The "College of the Augures" was not amused. They lost all the PM's treasury and got a major corruption chit. Lost what little they had put into the faction treasury too. State treasury had to make up for the leftover 14 talents. Resolving that situation took 15 minutes. And now we have a -1 on all (almost) die rolls for the rest of the round.

Then Hannibal and the First Illyrian War were drawn also. We just got almost to the end of the auction for the last (6th) initiative when the bell rang. Population and Senate phase on Monday.


Were the kids disappointed by this turn of events or amused? As frustrating as it is, I think it's a good simulation of the sort of thing that would happen in Rome that influenced the politics.

Either way, I am really curious to read how the Senate phase goes!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Webb
United States
North Little Rock
Arkansas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The Augures were not happy. They thought it unfair, but I explained to a couple of them afterward that they will need to make sure the censor (unlikely to come from their faction) will be someone amenable to their situation at the least. I didn't suggest other ideas (like swearing an oath to repay the treasury over the next three years; promising to a faction or two to make one of them a priest over the next year or two; etc.), but I might if they ask for help. I like it, though it does put them in a poor situation to start the game in comparison to the other factions. I do like how they seem to be willing to see themselves as these particular groups of Romans though, but I wonder if it all falls apart if the PM is stripped of his office. Maybe I should have started the game with the other two members of the as priests. I figured the PM would just make them priests within the first couple of turns, but things worked out differently.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Webb
United States
North Little Rock
Arkansas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
So we have about 25 minutes only on this today. A whole 45 tomorrow though.

The outgoing Rome Consul gave a poor speech and the unrest rose by 3 (no one has any popularity yet and the roll was low).

Today we have two new consuls (the Patricians and Imperatores had them the first turn by default). A Patrician and Populares were each nominated for consuls, and although the Satores Legum and the Augures opposed, it passed (they promised the Imperatores that the former field consul could become the Censor if they'd vote together). Then that Censor election took place, and the Augures were very happy to support that Censor (being very nice to them).

The Censor was feeling sympathy with the Pontifex Maximus and did not call a Major Prosecution against him for the Evil Omen payment default, but did call a Minor Prosecution against one of the Satores Legum, and it seemed more along the lines of "let's just see how a trial works". Afraid they might pick on them now - their strongest team member was sick today and absent. They didn't have the votes and tried a popular appeal, and lost it. Not much was lost though (the concession card and two influence). A Populares Prosecutor got one influence from the trial victory.

Corruption markers were removed just as the bell rang. At lunch plans were being made to team up by some various factions - the Patricians are running the show clearly right now. A strong and popular student is leading them also. I keep suggesting that the weaker teams should make deals to get a consulship, but they haven't put it together yet. They're letting outside friendships influence things I think. We'll see how it goes tomorrow in building up the army and possibly sending them off to war. At least they did choose a field consul with 4 military ranking (Populares). Patricians retained the Rome Consul role. A couple of times today a Tribune card was almost played, but they saved it. Not too much was lost on the trial (besides some time - but they said they enjoyed seeing how it works - I'm not using the advanced rule with the Advocate here).

5 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Webb
United States
North Little Rock
Arkansas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Our first full class playing the game today and they got very very lucky and then very unlucky.

We started with an auction for the final initiative, and it turned out to be a concession for the Populares. I discussed how wars happened and with only 70 talents they decided to build some boats (5 fleets) and build more next year. They have Hannibal and the First Punic War in the Active War box (it takes 10 fleet and 17 army to beat them - and they just have 5 fleets and 4 legions). They vote to not send out any force this year though, but to wait till next year, leaving it as unprosecuted.

The Augures made a senator on another faction (Imperatores) a priest to try and curry some favor with other groups as the last part of the Senate phase.

During Revolution phase the Populares played Fabius, and the Satores Legum played Cato the Elder. A couple more concessions were then played.

At the start of the second turn, the "None" chit was pulled out of the black velvet bag of death during death bingo, to applause all around. When they took their initiatives the Patricians and the Rome Consul pulled an Illyrican War card, and another faction pulled Antiochus (not matching), and a faction pulled an unaligned family. Then one rolled a 7. They then rolled the 3d6 and by a miracle pulled the New Ally card, turning the war with Hannibal into an alliance (when they get to the forum phase, and it will yield 17 talents also). That's the very lucky part. They were very happy. All but one nabbed a knight also. And the Patricians persuaded a family in the forum to join their faction with a bribe and their oratory/influence rating. The other factions have definitely started to see how they need to break the control of the Patrician faction, to keep them from getting perks like this.

Then they rolled for the HRAO speech and hit a I, I, and III. It was very bad. We still had the -1 on Evil Omens too. So it means Mob, No Recruitment, and a big Unrest increase (I think they are at 8). If they hadn't had the ally event it would have been very disastrous.

During the Senate Phase, the Patrician HRAO discussed nominating a Patrician and a Populares again, but the other three factions balked. I explained a little about how they have to plan on a larger scale sometimes, making deals for favors, money, concessions, Censor nominations, priesthoods, etc., down the road, in order to convince others, and that it's a good enough nomination. Two of five factions can't control the others. So they argued for a while and decided to nominate a Populares still (they have Fabius now with a 5 military) and a Satores Legum member (Cato I think). The others supported anyone besides the Patricians retaining a consular position.

The new Rome Consul (Cato) then was about to nominate a Censor when the bell rang. We're off tomorrow since we have a teaching candidate coming in to teach a passage from a Roman comedy, but then we'll be back at it Thursday and Friday. A few students are starting to pick up on the rules, but the majority are still just following my lead as I walk them through the actions on a "cheat sheet" guide. Maybe I'll try to get someone to take some pictures later this week that I can post here. I have to check up on unrest/mob rules and also censor influence before Thursday also!
5 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Webb
United States
North Little Rock
Arkansas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I feel like I should keep updating this as it goes along, maybe for my own future reference.

Today's events yielded a few deaths for some senators and a detention for one student.

During our last session, towards the end of it, a horrible speech was given by the Rome Consul and combined with Evil Omens -1 roll and an Unrest of 2 (unprosecuted war for two turns), and no popularity yet for any senators, it yielded no recruitment, the unrest moving to 8 (I believe) and a mob. I had not read the mob rules, so it was only at the start of today's session that I had to carry out the attack on the Senate. Six chits were drawn. The first resulted in a mid-level Populares faction senator dying. The second resulted in the game's first Field Consul, and former Censor dying (he was a shoe-in to be Censor again), and finally our prior Rome Consul, Cornelius from the Patrician faction.

When I pulled the chit for him and read the number out loud, the student sitting directly to my left shut his eyes, tilted his head up, and yelled "G-- D---!" surprise Immediately the other students burst out laughing, wish shocked expressions. I told him (not able to stifle a grin the whole time) that we would have to talk after class was over, but that that was definitely more than was necessary. I'll just say that the student is admittedly lacking much of an internal filter. On the positive side, he was very much into the game. I talked with him later and he was totally good with the standard penalty for that sort of thing (it's pretty easily a clear curse (not directed at a teacher, of course, or other student) = a one hour detention before school one day). The fun part was relating to his advisor that "because of evil omens and a horrible speech given by the Consul, a mob stormed the Senate and killed his faction leader, at which point he yelled GD."

Anyway, the censor ended up being from the Populares faction (as is the Field Consul now). No one thought to propose sending out the small army to try the first Illyrian War, so it remained inactive. Possibly a big mistake down the road, but they still only have 5 fleets and 4 legions. They had previously collected 17 talents from the New Ally event, but the No Recruitment from the HRAO speech kept them from spending any of their new money.

The Forum initiative cards drawn were Hannibal and the 1st Gallic War. And one 7 was rolled, which yielded a second Evil Omens event. This time the Pontifex Maximus and their treasury were prepared, and covered the 20 talents, though they were again greatly bummed. Rolls for death of unassociated enemy leaders and one family member were all less than 5, so they all live still. We ended at that point.

They are definitely working together more today. They're starting to get the hang of it better, making deals and thinking a little further ahead than just the current turn (though not much). We have tomorrow and then one more week to play. Hoping it keeps getting more exciting, but without more detentions. devil
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alan Richbourg
United States
Arlington
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
This is Kyoshi, our adopted Shiba Inu.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You are running the first scenario, yes? Maybe middle scenario would have been more kind. As it is, they'll all gonna die, lol. At least its a good lesson that life doesn't necessarily turn out like Pangloss' vision of "all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds." Your note about the explanation for the detention made me bust up in laughter. I salute courageous teachers such as yourself, carry on sir.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sheldon Morris
Canada
Fergus
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Teleklos wrote:
The fun part was relating to his advisor that "because of evil omens and a horrible speech given by the Consul, a mob stormed the Senate and killed his faction leader, at which point he yelled GD."

Pure awesomeness! I love following this game so please continue the posts!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Calavera Despierta
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
Teleklos wrote:

When I pulled the chit for him and read the number out loud, the student sitting directly to my left shut his eyes, tilted his head up, and yelled "G-- D---!" surprise Immediately the other students burst out laughing, wish shocked expressions. I told him (not able to stifle a grin the whole time) that we would have to talk after class was over, but that that was definitely more than was necessary.


I know you gotta run your classroom, and depending on the age of the kids, this sort of behavior can spread and mutate. Some food for thought: I am running Diplomacy right now with my students, and have done so every year for the past four years. As you can imagine, things can get fairly nasty and heated--I have even had to intervene to stop yelling matches and near fist fights over the outcome of backstabs. I am VERY VERY careful to prepare students for the emotional crucible of the game by setting strict guidelines for their behavior just as part of my classroom setting, and as part of the game itself, and I constantly check in with them to make sure things aren't getting out of hand. They get mad anyway, because they are teenagers, and are still learning how to handle themselves in what are, I would argue, some very complicated adult situations.

As such, I have learned to overlook a little minor cursing--I think it gives them a little bit of an outlet for their anger and frustration so it doesn't bottle up and cause explosions. In other words, it feels hypocritical, to me specifically as a teacher, to introduce kids to a game where they are openly allowed to lie to, spy on, and betray each other, and then not let them get upset a little when these things occur. After all, one of the objectives I have in using the game (after teaching Machiavelli's The Prince) is to talk about the moral nature of power. It's no big deal, in the end, and I am sure, from your description it was totally fine. Just something to consider?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Webb
United States
North Little Rock
Arkansas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Oh, the kid is good. Today he was right back at it. If he gets a d-hall for one hour for yelling a defcon-3 curse word in class, and he realizes he has to make sure he doesn't do that again, in class at university, on the job, etc., then it was worth it. He was right back at it today and enjoying it.

So today things went fairly well, but only because I missed a big thing. Maybe I just subconsciously let it slide, but I actually didn't notice it when it happened.

Right after the Censor was elected (the previous year's consul, from the Satores Legum), and no trials were declared, a student asked if he could speak to me privately, but I said we couldn't do that during the game; so he wrote me a note "Can I attempt an assassination now?" Best note I've gotten from a student in a long time! He didn't even have a card either. I check the rule books and give him the "all clear" and so a low level Populares senator suddenly gives the code word ("Swine die!") and tries to assassinate a mid level Patrician senator. They roll a 6 and the Patrician scum dies, and a tax farmer concession becomes available. The Patricians then play an assassin card and make an attempt on the Populares' Field Consul from the Julius family, who has just garnered 21 influence, by far the highest so far. They roll a 5 and assassinate him. The Populares should have been really irritated that they just "swapped" the game's high player for a mid level Patrician, but nobody really cared that much - they just enjoyed seeing some people die.

Then they voted to buy 5 new fleets and 5 new legions. Then they nominated the Field Consul to lead the First Gallic War. But wait! The Field Consul was dead! So they nominate the Rome Consul (a Patrician, Cornelius) to lead it - Military 4. He takes the combined 10 army, and the three Patrician players each roll one die, to give a total of 13 I think. Even with a -1 Evil Omens, they are ok. They break into some serious applause all around the table. They collect talents for spoils, lose 1 legion, 1 legion goes veteran, -1 unrest, and we establish a province of Gallia Cisalpina.

Only after a few more actions did I realize 13 was the disaster roll for that war. I explain it to them, and they weren't sure if I was going to march back through what I had given out (the results), but I didn't (I do want the game to go on through next week if possible). So they got very lucky I messed up.

On the Revolutions phase the Augures, who needed the help, played a statesman (I forgot who he was), and we moved on to the next turn.

The mortality draw did hit a senator: the only halfway decent Imperatores family member. They are really down now, but I afterwards advised them to make it clear they would have gotten a 50/50 chance to avert a disaster roll if the Field Consul had been an Imperatores, to try and win the position back in the future and get a little more influence.

Visible progress on their poster projects is due Monday, but then we'll get right back into it. It's the highlight of my workday lately - I'll be sad not to be teaching this class again next year! But maybe some good word of mouth will help convince some kids in Ancient Games to give it a try next year (they're addicted to 7 Wonders lately).
3 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Webb
United States
North Little Rock
Arkansas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Back after a weekend break. Things went well today, but really badly for two of the factions. At least one is probably totally out of the game now unless they can really persuade some other teams to help them with some promises.

We started in the Forum phase, with the Evil Omens going away (that was our second one). Initiatives were next.

The Patricians drew the 1st Punic War (which starts out at the start of the game, but was put back into the top six cards and shuffled around after the New Ally event). It becomes Imminent since Hannibal was on the board. The Satores Legum drew a red card. The Populares hit a 7 and had to roll for an event. Evil Omens, for the third time in the game. The Augures had 3 and 5 in their personal and faction treasury, so a major corruption marker is placed on Valerius, the Pontifex Maximus, and the state has to pay 12 talents. It seems likely that a prosecution will follow. Next the Imperatores roll a 7 also, and the event roll? Epidemic.

Six mortality chits were drawn. The Augures lost the first person - their Statesman Scipio Africanus, who had a concession, money, and looked to be their savior in the upcoming wars against Hannibal. Without the family card he is removed from the game. Then the Augures lost Valerius, the Pontifex Maximus and their faction leader. At least there will be no Major Corruption trial now. The PM marker itself was placed into the Curia, and his money and faction leader marker were removed.

The other weak faction then was hit - the Imperatores lost Manlius, a former Consul and Censor, and their only member with much power. The Patricians lost a nobody, Quincticus, who didn't lose any concessions or much money. All in all this has pretty effectively destroyed the Augures. They were really bummed out. But it only got worse.

Fabius was pulled as the sixth initiative on a bid. He is a statesman for the Populares, so the family card goes to them. During the initiatives, three paid for games, and got +1 popularity, but it also led to -3 Unrest. The HRAO speech was rolled as an 8, but by a stroke of luck, the Rome Consul now has +5 popularity after his victory over the Gauls (in our last turn the Field Consul Julius was assassinated before leaving for Gaul so Cornelius took to the field instead and won a victory). Without that string of events they might have done much worse since he would have had 0 popularity. It ended up with no change. It brought applause all around the table (I had warned them the game might end here).

The HRAO Cornelius of the Patricians nominated Cato of the Satores Legum and Fabius Cunctator of the Populares as Consuls, after a great deal of discussion, and pleas from the Imperatores and Augures to include them somehow. The Patricians have 14, Satores Legum 14, Populares 12, Imperatores 8, and Augures 7 votes now.

Cato now takes over as Rome Consul (Fabius will be Field Consul) and nominates the Pontifex Maximus. At first it seems like they might nominate a senator from the Augures, but after some whispers they pick Aurelius of the Imperatores. No promises really had to be made either. It passes. Augures are dead in the water and very unhappy too.

Cato nominates a Patrician Fulvius as Censor, as payback for the Consul nomination. It passes, narrowly, and immediately Fulvius decides to hold a trial, no two trials. Both will be Minor Trials against the two other Augures senators. There is no sympathy here - they are vultures circling and getting bolder. Calpurnicus has a land commissioner, and Acilius has both a tax farmer and armaments contracts. A prosecutor is announced (one of the Populares who greatly dislikes the Augures), and the Augures have a tribune veto the prosecution. Acilius is safe. The same prosecutor is nominated for the second trial and it looks like it will take out Calpurnicus, though one Populares team member (with a tiny bit of conscience) starts hesitating at whether they should all vote with the prosecutor, when the Imperatores have a tribune veto the second prosecution. They explain that they did it for a promised bribe of 7 talents - they needed the money. A lot of nervous laughter followed, and the trials were closed.

Cato was about to nominate someone to be the first governor, for Cisalpine Gaul, when the bell rang.

A good day of playing today, though three factions have strong members who are trying to totally destroy the Augures, I think probably for some personal reasons outside of the game. They would argue that it has nothing to do with that, but the Patricians and Populares are working together very closely at this point, which of course is illogical, to take down the priests(?), and are going to try to jointly persuade one of each faction to come over to the other side without opposition, I believe so that the Populares can play a statesman card they've been holding onto. I guess I'll be fine if the game ends at any point now. I might start sowing ideas of more assassinations and distrust between the big three factions, who will start having CfL possibilities soon. devil
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Webb
United States
North Little Rock
Arkansas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Two more days have gone by and I didn't keep very good records. The students seem to be enjoying it more and more, and now have several senators who are getting close to 21 influence. We only will have two more days of playing. One of the highest (Fabius Cunctator of the Populares) was almost sent to govern Gallia Cisalpina, before they figured out what was going on and convinced the remaining few who hadn't voted yet to vote no. Currently the Imperatores have the Rome Consul, and Julius of the Populares is the Field Consul. They had a very good victory versus the Carthaginians result in a standoff, even with Enemy Ally Deserts in effect. They are in the 6th or 7th turn and still not able to resolve the First Punic War.

4 of the 5 factions rolled 7 on their initiative rolls, so we had Enemy Ally Deserts, along with 2 storms at sea and something else also that I can't remember. The current Rome Consul has 1 popularity, so the speech could really hurt (unrest is 4). They have two other wars, First Illyrian and First Syrian, waiting to be fought, but they went after Hannibal and the First Punic War first. I was not sure if they could fight the others (proposed that way) if they had a standoff with Hannibal first, so I made them stop. If anyone knows for sure, please reply quickly - I could rectify it first thing Thursday but beyond that it will be too far gone.

There is definitely more whispering about assassinations. We'll see what happens.

One question for anyone out there reading: if I have to end things Friday, and no one has been named Consul for Life yet, what sort of formula should I use to determine a winner? Some combination of influence and popularity? Faction with the most consul or prior consul markers? Any ideas? Thanks!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ivan Prat
Belgium
Barcelona
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You have one of the finest jobs in the world.

Congrats!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ed Browne
United States
Terre Haute
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

Quote:
They have two other wars, First Illyrian and First Syrian, waiting to be fought, but they went after Hannibal and the First Punic War first. I was not sure if they could fight the others (proposed that way) if they had a standoff with Hannibal first, so I made them stop. If anyone knows for sure, please reply quickly - I could rectify it first thing Thursday but beyond that it will be too far gone.



This reply is probably too late, but here it is anyway. You can prosecute more than one war, but not with the same general and troops/fleets. Multiple wars would have to all be voted on before any were executed and legions/fleets couldn't be given to more than one. But you can do more than one war. Does that make sense?

As for ending the game early without a Consul for Life, here is what we do:

1. Do one last Mortality Phase (this lets the lesser factions have a last chance to better their standing).

2. Allow one last chance for Assassinations, but anyone caught is invalid for the last vote.

3. The Last Senate Phase is used for a special vote for a Consul for Life. Wheel and deal ("Make me permanent Pontifex for my votes," etc.), and elect a Consul for Life from the votes available.

4. Since you are doing factions like the solo game, you might also discuss how each faction met their individual goals and possibly let them vote on most effective faction (can't vote for themselves).

Thanks for sharing. This has been fun to follow along.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.