Spotlight on Games > Playbacks
Playback: Republic of Rome

Turn 2: The Phoenicians are Coming
Once again players begin the turn facing the awful specter of Mortality. The chit is drawn and it is number 15. For Brian the wheel of fate has taken something of a turn. While a moment ago he was up, now his position has lowered somewhat as he loses his Senator Sulpicius. He didn't have anything on the Senator, but he is now down to just two. The dead Senator is placed in the Curia for potential later revival.

After the Revenue phase, money holdings are as follows:

Arthur: 8 T on P. Cornelius Scipio; 5 T in faction treasury
Brian: 27 T on Flaminius; 1 T in faction treasury
Charles: 4 T on L. Aemilius Paullus; 5 T in faction treasury
Darwin: 2 T on Fabius; 5 T in faction treasury
Edwin: 7 T on Aurelius; 5 T in faction treasury
State: 70 T (after paying 42 T maintaining 21 legions/fleets)

Edwin is the first player. He draws the First Gallic War which is placed in the active column. He announces that he will spend 3 T from Aurelius to attract the neutral Acilius to his faction. As Edwin is not a leading player and there are multiple senators available, no one decides to intervene and lets him try it at a 7. Unfortunately for Edwin, he rolls an 8 which fails. He then spends 3 trying to attract a Knight which also fails.

The turn passes to Arthur. His card is the Second Macedonian War which is inactive. Charles smiles to see this as his statesman is the best for attacking Macedonian wars. Arthur announces that he will try to persuade the neutral Claudius at a persuasion number of 7, without spending. As before, no one intervenes. This is a success. P. Cornelius Scipio also spends 2 to attract a Knight and is a success. He can only wear a sour expression at this. Finally he changes his faction leader to be P. Cornelius Scipio.

Brian rolls a 7 so he gets an event rather than a card. It turns out to be a much better one than last turn. Allied Enthusiasm means that the state will earn an extra 50 T next turn. Brian announces an attempt to persuade Acilius, spending 7 T to do so at a 10. As Brian has only two Senators, and plenty of money to counter, the other players do not intervene (lest their own Senators be attacked later). The attempt succeeds. The new Senator spends 3 T to attract a Knight and succeeds. He also spends 7 T to sponsor games and gains 1 popularity for his trouble. Some of the others frown a bit as there is currently no unrest to address so the spending is a bit wasted.

Charles' card is the Second Punic War, making the First Punic War active. The Second Punic War, is placed face down for this turn only. L. Aemilius Paullus spends 1 T to attract a Knight, but rolls a 1 and thus fails.

Darwin's card is the leader Philip V who matches all Macedonian Wars. As there is a Macedonian War present, he is active and placed with the Second Macedonian War which now becomes active. He announces a +7 attempt on the final remaining unaligned Senator, Plautius, without spending. No one chooses to intervene, preferring to keep their faction treasuries as self defense against Brian's impressive amount of funds. He is successful. Plautius spends 2 T trying to attract a Knight, which is a success.

Now begins the auction for the final initiative of the turn. Edwin bids 2. Arthur bids 3. Brian bids 4. Charles cannot exceed this and passes. Darwin decides he doesn't want to pay 5 so Brian wins it.

Brian draws a Tribune red card. He considers that since Arthur has five Senators and he has only three, he could try to persuade Arthur's Senator Claudius. He would begin at 13 vs. the defending Senator's 7 loyalty plus intrinsic 7. Thus he would need to spend 11 T on Claudius so as to roll at a +10. But this would leave him with only 4 T remaining and he guesses that probably Arthur has at least that much in his faction treasury, if not more.

So he decides to ask if anyone else at the table would like to help, promising that if they do he will give an equal share of the money that ends up on the Senator. Arthur counters announcing that he will offer the same deal to anyone that helps him defend. The other three consider this. Both of the players involved are leading the game so all three decide not to get involved. With this lack of response Brian decides to omit trying to persuade anyone this turn. He spends 3 T trying to attract a Knight, but rolls a 1 and fails.

With the Forum phase at an end, players count their votes and totals are as follows:

Arthur: 17
Brian: 9
Charles: 7
Darwin: 9
Edwin: 7

A die roll of 5 dispatches Antiochus to the discard pile.

Another roll of 3 means that the dead Senatorial family Sulpicius does not make a return to play.

Now it's time for Aurelius to make a speech. The three dice roll result is 13 which means there is no change in Rome's Unrest level which remains at 0, i.e. the happiest it can be.

Senate in Session

There is general agreement around the table about what the year's plan should be. The players want to do as much as possible to the First Punic War now because if it survives into next turn its strength is doubled when it is joined by the Second Punic War. This probably means ignoring the other two active wars, but one can't do everything. Because of this, Edwin is prepared to propose Scipio as the Field consul when Arthur tells him it's a bad idea, this despite Scipio being Arthur's own Senator. Edwin points out that no Senator may refuse a nomination. Arthur knows that, that's not the point. The point is that there are three active wars. This permits Rome to appoint a dictator which, to take on this war, will probably be required. So it's determined that this is to be a coalition government year. There will be five positions – dictator, master of horse, two consuls and censor – and each player is to receive one.

Darwin's Junius becomes Rome Consul and Brian's Acilius Field Consul. The appoint Arthur's Scipio dictator. Arthur chooses Charles' L. Aemilius Paullus as master of horse and then proposes Aurelius as censor, which is confirmed.

The new Censor now presides. Casting his eyes about the board, he notices that both Fabius and his former consular colleague Flaminius are eligible for prosecution. In addition there are several Senators who took money from tax concessions.

As Arthur is still holding five Senators, he nominates Charles' Terentius to be the prosecutor of Arthur's Quinctius, a tax farmer. Charles consents to this minor prosecution. Arthur begins to be sorry he ever acquired a fifth Senator. Nevertheless he allows it to proceed, but when it comes time for him to vote, he plays a Tribune card, effectively cancelling the proceeding.

Seeing no more prosecutable Senators in Arthur's faction, Edwin now turns to Fabius, a tax farmer and last year's Censor. Once again Terentius is to prosecute. Darwin doesn't care to go through a prosecution, but doesn't have a veto. He lets Edwin see his Secret Bodyguard card and promises that if he does not prosecute he can have the card the next time he can transfer it to him, i.e. in the Revolution phase. Edwin agrees and the transfer happens at that point.

Edwin decides he probably won't get much support prosecuting anyone else so he lays down his power, which returns to Charles' Scipio.

Having agreed to work on the First Punic War the players discuss whether it would be better to defeat just the naval portion or to try to go all the way and take out the entire war. If only the naval portion were attacked, 7 fleets could be purchased, giving a total of 14. Added to military values of the dictator and master of horse (5 + 5), this would be 24 against 10 or a +14. With this level of power, any result would be a naval victory. Then there would be a legion strength of 15 + 10 remaining against the 10 strength of the war's land portion, again pretty much a sure thing. Given this, Arthur proposes buliding 7 fleets which passes, again nobody receiving anything from the nonexistent fleet concession. Rome's treasury is now at 0.

Then Scipio proposes that he will lead all of Rome's forces against the First Punic War. This also passes and with the Rome's highest ranking office out of Rome, the Senate phase ends.

Scipio coin

Arthur makes the three dice roll for the naval battle and the result is an 8, a victory without losses. He then makes the three dice roll for the land battle and the result is an 11, another victory without losses. The fact that Scipio is present is very significant for this one. Without his ability to nullify Punic War disasters and standoffs, instead of a victory this would have been a standoff as 11 is a special number on the war card.

The fleets are automatically returned to Rome. Scipio receives 10 + 10 halved points of influence and popularity, thus becoming the most popular man in Rome. The armies are moved to his card and he converts legion 2 to a veteran legion by turning it over. Winning the war nets 35 talents for the treasury. The provinces of Sicily and Sardinia/Corsica are created and placed in the Forum on their gray, undeveloped sides. Governors will be sent to them next turn. Finally the war card is discarded.

The other two active wars are moved into the Unprosecuted Wars area. The Second Punic War is flipped right side up and becomes active.

Now begins the Revolution Phase. Players who have statesman possibilities ask around to see if anyone is holding the statesman they need. Since nobody seems to respond in the affirmative, not much happens other than the transfer of the Secret Bodyguard.

In the second part Arthur must decide if Scipio will go into revolt. As he has very little money he decides not to try it.

The turn ends with a feeling of satisfaction among the Senators. Only, wonders, Edwin, since the Phoenicians were defeated so easily, could we have weakened those forces and then used them to instead also take on the Gallic War at the same time? And will there be serious consequences to not having done so? The next turn will probably tell.

<< Turn 1 | Turn 3 >>

Founding Fathers is a game in the same style set in early America
Thanks for the help of Phil Sauer