Wow, so this is what you get for 100 pieces of gold.
I was going first. We were all seeded with goods as bonus tiles. In the forum was a wild extra action token, and an extra forum action token. The construction had good places for 3 players, and the army area had a wild people demand token on Raetia (the second best army area), whereas the best army area, Alpes had a gladiator token. I had seeded myself with these Trajan tiles: gladiator, 2 in construction, 2 in army. Don going second, seeded himself with bread, 1 in army, 1 in construction. Going third, Jean seeded himself with gladiator, +2 counter and 2 in construction. Now, my gladiator Trajan tile was on the IV, and could be instantly taken on the first move of the game. So I got seduced by that, and made that move, but the IV spot is the action in the senate. The best spot on this particular setup is to go to the forum to take the wild card action, which gives you options: you could later get a +2 token and have many good choices. I chose the safe, unimaginative play of taking the gladiator Trajan tile. Don would get the wild extra action token. I went into Raetia to take the wild people demand token, after Don and Jean went into the construction area before I did. But then Don moved into army, using his wild extra action token as an double action army, and he got Alpes and Belgica to limit my expansion in the army area. So not taking the best token on the board, it gets snapped up by Don, and gets used against me.
It was a pretty eventful first quarter. Don only went once into construction, to pick up a tile to give him an action in army. Don then managed to snag a double army move and in the first quarter score a 6 VP and 10 VP area. I managed to collect 3 of the same set in construction. Don and I both had taken 5 vote tokens, but he was on top of me in the senate (we both advanced 1 square) and he got first pick, while I got a goods tile flipped over.
Scores: Don 41, Jean 29, Norbert ~19
2nd quarter: As mentioned before, Don only has one worker in construction. Jean and I pour all our workers into construction to take advantage. Don is concentrating in the army area. Don and I appear to be worn out fighting over the senate, so Jean takes first place. But since Don was ahead of me last time, he gets second place, so he gets the tile that gives 2 VP per bonus tile (the backside of the 3 VP per bonus tile).
Scores Don 60 (-4 for people's demand), Norbert 33, Jean 30
3rd quarter: In the forum, two wild construction tokens show up. I get one of them, and Jean gets the other. This would give Jean and I our 4th tile in a set. I win the senate this time and choose a goods bonus tile.
Scores: Don 65 (-4 for people's demands), Jean 44, Norbert 41
4th quarter: Don completes his fourth 9 VP tile here, while I only had one completed. Jean and I get another set of three goods. I finish second in the senate and get the bread for 6 VP, but since the people demanded 2 bread this quarter, I can't meet the bread demand and it is worthless to me. Don won the senate and got a goods tile, which I think got him 9 or 12 VPs.
Don 141 (108 on board, 3 misc, 30 bonus),
Norbert 124 (80, -4 for people's demand, 2 misc, 30 set, 12 bonus),
Jean 111 (67 on board, 1 misc, 30 sets, 11 bonus).
Don brought his 'A' game. I had always accused him of being unimaginative , but he dominated the army area and he did well in the senate without too much effort. I just wish I brought my 'A' game along to make it more competitive.