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Subject: Balancing the game for the Romans. rss

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Wim Goezinnen
Netherlands
Putten
Gelderland
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We played today a 4 player game, and the Romans where whipped badly.
At the end of the game, the Romans, had only 1 point, the Greek won with 9, the Gaul had 8, the Etrusk had 6.One month ago, the same happend to the Romans, they where defeated again. Everybody is going after the Romans, and we need some advice to balance the game. Maybe a bid for the Romans would help? We like the game very much, but when the Romans keep losing the game for the future, then some people will stay away from this game, because nobody wants to play the Romans.shake
So hints and solutions are welcome
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Leo Zappa
United States
Aliquippa
Pennsylvania
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Funny you mention this - we just finished a 3-player, 6-turn game today ourselves. The Romans ended up with ZERO points - nada, zilch, nothing! The Etruscan/Samnite player won with 12 points, and I, as the Greeks, finished with 8 points. Our Roman player had horrible luck, losing a number of battles where he had the Etruscan/Samnite army outnumbered 2 to 1. To make matters worse, the Roman player did not garrison his walled cities, which were almost always adjacent to Etruscan or Samnite spaces. As a result, when the political impacts of his losses were calculated, the Etruscan/Samnite player usually got 1 to 2 (a couple of times, 3) PC support, which he used to flip these ungarrisoned walled cities to his own control! On the one hand, the Roman player was taking a risk not leaving any garrisons in his cities, but his uniformly bad luck in die rolling doomed his chances in any case! I know our Roman player has no desire to play the game again because of this.
 
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Dan Owsen
United States
Redmond
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The Romans are tough to play if everyone goes after them. The key is to play a defensive game--build up,your cities and don't get to aggressive from the start. Leaving your cities ungarrisoned is just asking for it (for any power!). The Roman's most powerful weapon is diplomacy. Make alliances and play the other powers against each other. Frankly, if everyone doesn't gang up on the Romans they should win easily.
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Scott Randolph
United States
Denver
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In our group, in 5 player, the Romans won the most recent game. The only power to almost win a Turn One Auto Victory (9 VP's I think?) were the Romans. In our games they tend to finish in the middle, the tie breaker system tends to be their biggest handicap for us (they lose all tie breakers among all other powers).

Not sure what to say, if you are the Romans and you are not colonizing (building new walled cities), strengthening your loyalty in existing walled cities, and building up huge armies, then there is a lot indeed that could go wrong.

In our group the Gauls (Celts) and the Etruscan-Samnites have always had the hardest time winning. Carthage and the Italo-Greeks win the most often with us.

It's such a tight, finely tuned game. In my opinion it takes kind of a special group to play this game well, and really make it interesting. Some people will not change alliances once made during a game, and that attitude can ruin this game, everyone should constantly shift alliances to bring down the leader.

Not sure what else to add, I think the Romans are one of the stronger powers in the game.
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Andrew J
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I haven't seen this in any of our games either. I think of the Romans as needing to be careful early on but becoming more powerful later in the game. If everyone is going after the Romans even when they are down that kind of suggests to me that one or two of the other players are accepting a 2nd/3rd position rather than trying to go for 1st.
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Wim Goezinnen
Netherlands
Putten
Gelderland
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Leo, Dan, Scott and Andrew, thanks for the tips & hints cool
 
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David Male
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We played yesterday, ending with a Greek win with 10 and the Romans on 9. The Romans could have won with a little more use of their navy to pick up points in Sardinia and Etruria, althoug they were facing an entire game alliance of Samnites and Greeks. The key to the Romans is their ability to colonise (founding cities) making long-term plans (8 cards and holding-over), recruitment and legionary discipline. IMO they are no stronger or weaker than the other powers, because it is up to the players to balance the game. The problem in your games appears to be that everyone seems to have decided that because there is a Roman on the front of the box, that Rome is the target. But this is the early Republic not the Empire, and players should realise that just bashing Rome is not optimum play.
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