Thursday 13 October 2011

Project Rome - Sample test game and comments.


The four map pages may be copied for test use and you will need to make and label the following counters:

1 x “Phase”
2 x Roman armies. – a consular army may divide into two wings or armies.
2 x Supply – impedimenta accompanying each Roman army.
3 or more x “Friend of Rome” – pro-Roman tribe.
3 or more x “Roman Win” – to represent battles won by Rome.
3 or more x “Hostile” – native tribes prepared to do battle.
3 or more x “Spanish Win” – native victory.
3 or more x “Loss of revenue” – map square no longer revenue bearing.
3 or more x "Extra revenue" - map square that delivered extra revenue. 
3 or more x “Conquered” – map square now Roman territory.

Further, you will need a playing card deck with 52 cards (no joker needed).
Lastly, a record sheet to track the month of the year and the four phase sequence of play for both Roman and Lusitanian player.

It is February, the year 193 BC and the new consul and praetor of Hispania Ulterior have divided the army in two and will be ready to move into Lusitania from two separate locations in March. Every map square in Lusitania is occupied by tribal clans and it would prove good policy to establish a “friend of Rome” as these may later prove a source of food supply or auxiliary troops. Your commands will operate outside the province for nine months and return to winter quarters in November. May Fortuna be with you.

The following is a brief example of several months of campaign play which illustrate the phase sequence of card play. Cards are normally held by players and not seen, but are laid open to best illustrate options. 

February (end of winter quarters)

Rome is dealt the following four cards show in the lower left hand corner. Rome moves out of winter quarters to two map squares beyond the frontier.
Spain’s cards are shown in the upper left hand corner. 


Rome with diplomatic flair fails to win the tribe in the adjacent square and these are now “hostile”.

New cards are drawn and played cards are discarded face down.

The Praetor in command of Legion IV during the movement phase will want to quash the rebellious Spanish and does so employing a stratagem. This results in a victory for Rome and hostile square is changed to conquered. 

Spain decides to retain the Knave of hearts for a later turn. 

He chooses to pass “diplomacy” and “revenue” and attempt to cut Legion II’s supply. He bids Queen of clubs and Rome counters with a six and foils the attempt.


Rome bids to continue the “friends of Rome” policy and does so with a nine of hearts, Spain must counter with a card and bids the three giving Rome the point. Spain’s retains his high card in the hopes of changing the “friend” to “hostile” after Rome’s departure. 

Rome is pleased with the turn of events and will pass the remaining phases.

Spain bids to change the friend status to hostile and succeeds as Rome has no card to counter. 

Passing the next two phases the hostile tribe move through the mountainous area toward the Roman frontier. 


Rome has no hearts and passes the diplomacy phase. On his next phase he hopes to reap some benefit from the conquered territory and has no luck.

Both legions are supplied so Legion II moves south to apprehend the hostile tribe in the hills and attempts to use a stratagem, but this is foiled.

Game to be decided on the board and its outcome will finish Rome’s turn for May. 

You will discover with experience you can develop interesting card strategies.
The requirement to have twice as many points to win is simple and not unfamiliar to DBA players.
I had considered the “more than but less than twice as many” as over complicating the game and slowing the pace down.
In this scenario, each consul serves one year so the gains are very small, one or two victories in the field with some additional revenue may be enough for a “triumph” back in Rome. 

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