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Playback: Republic of Rome

Turn 4: Prosecuting Wars and Criminals
Once again it is time to face Mortality. The chit is drawn and it is number 3. This is Edwin's Valerius. As he is not the faction leader he leaves the faction for the Curia. His tax farmer card goes to the Forum. Edwin now has only three Senators.

In Sardinia-Corsica, Aelius opts not to steal from the province, thus giving +1 to his chance to develop it. He nevertheless fails to do so. With a roll of 2, his province costs the state treasury 3 talents.

In Sicily, Manlius also opts not to steal from the province. He succeeds! His province earns the state treasury 4 talents.

State: 29 T (after paying 52 T maintaining 26 legions and fleets and 40 T for two active wars). Flaminius contributes 25 T to the treasury and thus gains 3 influence, reaching 19. Quinctius (Darwin) contributes 10 T to reach 2 influence. The remaining players each contribute 2 T each to take the state total to exactly 70.

After the Revenue phase, money holdings are as follows:

Arthur: 3 T on P. Cornelius Scipio; 9 T in faction treasury
Brian: 5 T on Flaminius; 5 T in faction treasury
Charles: 8 T on Papirius; 4 T in faction treasury
Darwin: 21 T on Quinctius; 15 T in faction treasury
Edwin: 12 T on Julius; 13 T in faction treasury

As the Dictator is still away at war, the Rome Consul player (Arthur) takes the first turn and draws the Ship Building Concession.

Although he doesn't want to look more like the leading player than he already does, he decides to attempt to persuade Sulpicius, the non-aligned Senator currently languishing in the Forum. With Scipio at 23 influence it's just too easy. Without even spending, he has a +20. The other players decide that such odds are not worth contesting and silently hope that the roll fails. Amazingly, the roll is a 10, an automatic failure! The others feel that the Hand of Fate has been at work here.

Arthur spends 1 T to attract a Knight for Scipio, which also fails.

Brian's card is the Egyptian Grain Concession. He will now have a go at Sulpicius, at +13 without spending. Once again there is no attempt to counter. With a roll of 9 Sulpicius joins the faction.

Flaminius spends 2 T trying to attract a Knight, which succeeds.

Charles' card is a Tax Farmer. He adds it to his hand as it cannot be played at present. He spends 2 T trying to attract a Knight which fails.

Darwin's card is the Land Commissioner. This joins the Assassin already in his hand. He spends 3 T to attract a Knight for Quinctius, which fails.

if no image, probably out of availability
All the stylish HRAOs have them now
Edwin draws the Quinctius Statesman card and remarks to Darwin, "Save me something for the card trading phase" as only Darwin can play this card at the moment and Edwin cannot persuade away the corresponding Senator as he is a faction leader.

Julius spends 3 T to attract a Knight which succeeds.

To finish his turn, Edwin makes the more influential and thus more valuable Julius his new faction leader.

Now it's time to bid on the extra initiative.
Feeling poor, Arthur bids 1.
Brian bids 2.
Charles, noticing that no one drew a war card this turn, supposes that the next card will probably be one, and passes.
Darwin, with plenty of cash, bids 3.
Edwin decides that 4 T is too much to spend and passes.

Darwin draws a Tribune and adds it to his hand. His Senator with Persuasion ability being away at the war (as Master of Horse), he spends 3 trying to attract a Knight, which succeeds. Now every one of his four Senators has at least one Knight, Fabius having two.

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

Arthur: 12
Brian: 12
Charles: 7
Darwin: 9
Edwin: 10

All enemy leaders are associated with active wars and so have no chance of going away.

Valerius returns to play. Junius fails his roll and is still trapped in the Curia. Edwin loses a tax farmer to the 2nd Punic War.

Now it's time for Calpurnius to make a speech and suddenly the players realize they should have done more to ensure that the speechmaker have some popularity for Calpurnius has none. Alas, it is too late to do anything now.

One Unrest level is added to account for last year's unprosecuted war and the war is moved back up to the Active section. The three dice roll result is a very fortuitous 16, reduced to 14 for the Unrest levels, which means there is no change in Rome's Unrest level which remains at 2.

Senate in Session

As the Senate convenes, Arthur decides this is the turn that Scipio should defeat the 2nd Punic War and opens discussion suggesting just that. Edwin, holding a statesman who avoids disasters and standoffs against the Macedonian War, thinks so too. This may permit him to work a better trade.

Voicing the contrary opinion is Charles whose Senator is still out in the field as proconsul. He sees the best plan is to finish the war that has already been started.

Brian and Darwin don't necessarily care to help him, but support his point of view because this way they don't need to re-elect his Senator and give him an extra five influence.

Thus the plan is to have neither consul go to war. Arthur looks around for a candidate with some popularity that can be added to next year's speech, and yet does not have too much influence already. The only possibility is Brian's Acilius who has a popularity of 1.

He tells Brian and Charles that the deal is as follows: if Brian will buy more popularity for Acilius, he will nominate Acilius and Charles' Papirius as consuls. Macedonicus is to be reinforced to re-fight the war. Arthur asks only that Calpurnius be Censor.

Feeling that the game has become more balanced than before, Brian and Charles are willing to agree to this ABC triumverate, but with one proviso. Neither of them can be prosecuted.

Seeing that he's being left out, Edwin asks why it should be done this way. As the Punic War has a strength greater than 19, Rome is in crisis so it's possible to use a Dictator and save some talents. The triumverate, not wanting to include the other two, reply that Rome's resources should be sufficient for this war and generate some profit as well.

Darwin considers vetoing a proposal, but decides not to. It's too easy to make alternate suggestions and he has only one Tribune.

With the new Consuls in place, they yield the floor to the Censor. Arthur takes a look at Darwin's and Edwin's factions. Edwin's Julius was consul last year and could be prosecuted. However, with a popularity as high as five, he could probably successfully appeal to the people with negative consequences.

He continues on over to Darwin. Two of his Senators have collected money from tax farmers and neither has any popularity. So Arthur asks if Charles' Terentius would like to serve in a minor prosecution of Fabius. Charles is willing.

Darwin considers his options. He has a Tribune so he could prevent one of the prosecutions, but not the other. He also has a Land Commisioner card, but he would rather that Arthur not have it. Finally he decides he will protect Fabius and take his chances on Quinctius. He uses his Tribune to interpose his veto.

So the second case begins, Terentius once again prosecuting. Darwin is asked to vote first, casting 9 votes against. The Senator has 2 influence which are added to his vote total, making it 11.

Darwin also notes that he has 12 T that he could spend to buy 12 more votes. Then if Edwin were to vote with him, that would be 23 votes against. But if the ABC triumverate all vote for, that would be 31 votes in favor.

He then considers whether to Appeal to the People, which if very successful can result in death of the Censor or prosecutor, but if it fails, cause the death of the prosecuted. He decides not to risk losing his Senator and submits to the prosecution, which succeeds. As a result, his tax farmer is placed in the Forum, his Influence reduced by 5 to the minimum of 0 and his popularity goes to -5 (shown using a black number marker) as he becomes the least popular man in Rome.

The floor is returned to Brian/Acilius, who needs to assign the province of Cisalpine Gaul, plus two tax farmers. He offers a package deal. Since he has four senators, he will send one of them to govern Gaul while Arthur and Charles each take a tax farmer. They agree to this and the motion passes, one tax farmer going to the Field Consul.

Now there is the matter of the war. As the number of fleets are already sufficient, Brian proposes spending all of the treasury funds to purchase six legions and to send them plus all forces left over from the Gallic War and sufficient fleets to supplement the war against Philip of Macedon. This passes, leaving 10 T in the treasury. Rome has now raised all 25 of its possible legions. Brian silently collects 14 T for his Armaments concession.

Having done this he adjourns the Senate.


The 2nd Punic War is moved into the Unprosecuted Wars area.

Proconsul Macedonicus has a legion strength of 28 to add to his 5 military value. Subtracted from this is the 16 strength of the Macedonian War plus its leader, Philip, yielding a differential of 17. The dice are rolled and ... and the result is once again a 6. This time though, it succeeds easily in total victory.

The fleets return to Rome. Macedonicus gains 5 Influence/Popularity, reaching an influence of 18. Veteran Legion V is created and assigned. The Unrest Level is decreased by 1. The war card is discarded.

In the Revolution Phase Edwin offers Darwin the Quinctius statesman card. In return Darwin offers the Land Commissioner card. Edwin accepts, but does not play the card. Darwin does play his. The rules state that the statesman takes over any current possessions and Influence/Popularity ratings greater than his own. Any other printed ratings of the Statesman which are less than that of the Family card remain equal to the Statesman's printed rating. In this case, after the recent prosecution, influence is at 0 and popularity at -5. So these numbers are discarded in favor of the statesman's printed ratings (4 and 0) as Darwin effectively nullifies part of the prosecution.

Arthur plays the Ship Building concession on Scipio. Brian, finding that he once again is holding five red cards, plays the Egyptian Grain Concession on the Rome Consul.

In the second phase, Macedonicus, thinks about a revolt. Although he has no money, he does have every single one of Rome's legions. Why not test their loyalty? He begins rolling as jaws drop around the table. He needs a 5 or 6 on one die for each legion except for the single veteran legion which is loyal to him. If he had talents, he could spend them to improve the results on a roll-by-roll basis.

After it's all done, he finds he has attracted no veterans, but is successful with 12 green legions, giving a strength of 14 compared to the state's 15. But Charles doesn't even have the talents to pay the maintenance cost for this force. He and the armies return to Rome peacefully as another turn ends.

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Founding Fathers is a game in the same style set in early America