In Sardinia-Corsica, Aelius again opts not to steal from the province, and again fails to develop it. His province costs the state treasury 2 talents.
In Sicily, Manlius, flipping his Term marker upside down, will steal from the province and earns 5 talents. His province earns the state treasury 4 talents.
In Cisalpine Gaul, Sulpicius opts not to steal from the province, and fails to develop it. His province costs the state treasury 3 talents.
State: 25 T (after paying 64 T maintaining 25 legions and 7 fleets and 20 T for one active war). Feeling that with all the legions already purchased it is unnecessary, no one contributes to the state treasury.
After the Revenue phase, money holdings are as follows:
The Rome Consul player (Brian) takes the first turn and draws a Tribune.
He decides to attempt to persuade Valerius, the non-aligned Senator currently languishing in the Forum. With Flaminius at 19 influence, without even spending, he has a +11. The other players decide that spending against this is probably not worthwhile, even if they all do so, the end result is an unaligned Senator carrying a ton of cash, making him unreachable, except perhaps to the Scipio player with his massive influence, but that player has enough Senators already. So they will just hope that the roll fails. But it does not and the Senator becomes the fifth in Brian's faction. (Both Arthur and Darwin have four.)
Brian spends 3 T to attract a Knight for Acilius, which succeeds. He then spends 13 T for Acilius to sponsor a Bloodfest which earns the Rome Consul two points of popularity, which should help with his upcoming speech. It also sends Rome's unrest level to zero.
Charles' card is the very valuable statesman Cato the Elder. He adds it to his hand as it cannot be played at present.
Now Charles plays his Seduction card which enables an unopposed persuasion attempt against another player's Senator. He decides on Brian's Rome Consul Acilius, who has 3 popularity, 13 influence, 2 Knights and the Egyptian Grain Concession as the best target both in terms of value and in terms of stopping a leader. The base number using Charles' faction leader Macedonicus is already 8. To this he spends 1 T and rolls the dice to get a ... 9! The attempt has just barely succeeded. Brian is none too pleased, though he recognized the risk in having more Senators than anyone else.
Charles spends 3 T trying to attract a Knight for Macedonicus, which fails. Some things never change. It seems the only way Charles can get a Knight is by persuading away others' Senators. With that his turn ends.
Darwin's card is a Tribune. This should come in handy if they try to prosecute me again, he thinks. He spends 3 T to attract a Knight for Plautius, which succeeds. He spends 7 T for Titus Quinctius Flamininus to sponsor a Slice and Dice which earns him 1 point of popularity.
Edwin draws the Sicilian Grain Concession, which is not bad, but he was more hoping for a Tribune so he could propose a land bill. Now he'll have to figure out a another way to get that done.
Aurelius spends 2 T to attract a Knight which succeeds. He also spends 7 T on a Slice and Dice.
Gaius Fabius Maximus
Arthur spends 2 T on a Knight for Calpurnius, but fails. He should have spent just one more.
Now it's time to bid on the extra initiative.
With talents burning holes in his metaphorical pockets, Brian bids 3.
Charles, noticing that no one drew a war card this turn, nor last turn, supposes that the next card will probably be one, and passes.
Darwin doesn't want to spend any of Fabius' cash lest he be persuaded away and passes.
Edwin decides that 4 T is too much to spend and passes.
Feeling poor, Arthur also passes.
Darwin draws the very valuable Blackmail. This is just the card he had been hoping for! As it provides an unopposed persuasion attempt, this may just be the ticket for him to get his Senator back from Charles. he spends 3 trying to attract a Knight, which succeeds. Using Flaminius he has a +7. He spends 3 T to get it +9 and rolls the dice ... it's a 10, an automatic failure. The Rome Consul will stay with Charles. "Thanks for the extra three talents," he quips.
Brian ends his turn in disappointment, his no money attempt at a Knight failing.
With the Forum phase at an end, players count their votes things have become rather balanced (partly due to governors not being in Rome). Totals are as follows:
Philip V remains in play.
Valerius returns to play. Junius returns to play and is placed in the Forum. Players silently note that it will be good to be Rome Consul next turn to get the first chance at him. Charles and Darwin each lose a tax farmer to the 2nd Punic War this turn. Hmm, we should do something about this war, they think. The previously destroyed tax farmer does not return.
Now it's time for Acilius to make a speech.
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 an average 11, to which Acilius' popularity is added to reach 14 , which means there is no change in Rome's Unrest level which remains at 1.
Senate in Session
Convening the Senate, Charles is at something of a loss. Nominally the right thing to do would be to send Scipio against Hannibal and the Punic War. However, if successful, Scipio will have 31 influence. Then all Arthur would need to do is spend 35 T to win the game.
Arthur points out that without Scipio, attacking the war fails automatically on rolls of 10, 11 and 15 (in addition to the 9 and 16 of Hannibal). So this war may be very difficult to take out otherwise.
Charles asks if he is willing to have Scipio undergo a minor prosecution this turn and attack the war next turn.
Arthur says no. A lot of wars may turn up next turn so it's important to do something now. He offers instead that if Scipio is made Rome Consul, he will make a number of unpopular proposals, each of which will reduce his influence by 1.
The others are not willing to consider this. Once he has he power, there is nothing to prevent him from not following through and instead going for the win.
Edwin points out that there is another way. Since Rome is still in crisis, they are entitled to use a Dictator. This will help by adding lower-numbered rolls to the ones which make victory possible. In addition, they can attack the war with two different commanders. The second command to arrive ignores the disaster and standoff numbers. It will be random which one arrives first, but it is a 50% chance.
Charles feels that this a reasonable approach, except for one thing. It requires five supporting fleets for each attack. At the moment the state has only 7 fleets. Buying the required 3 more needs 30 talents, but the state has only 26. Oh, if only someone had contributed a mere 4 talents.
Charles decides that they must attack the Punic War just once and with all available might. He proposes the following: Titus Quinctius Flamininus who has almost no influence but a 5 military can be the dictator. His Master of Horse can be Julius at a military value of 4. Rome and Field Consul can be anyone, but it would nice if he had popularity to give a good speech in case the Dictator fails. Already planning to reward the factions of Darwin and Edwin, he suggests that Edwin can have Rome Consul (for Aurelius who has positive popularity) if he can have Field Consul and Censor. The CDE triumverate agrees and in short order vote to make it so, with Darwin and Edwin specifying that neither of them can be prosecuted.
The new Censor, Charles' Papirius, looks around for targets and finds no one in the Arthur faction and only one possibility in Brian's. However, this Senator has 3 popularity so prosecuting him is quite dangerous. He returns the floor to the new Dictator.
Before long, the Dictator, Master of Horse, 25 legions and 5 fleets set out to fight Hannibal and the 2nd Punic War with a +17. Darwin rolls the dice and ... it's a 15. Standoff on the war card. A result that would have been avoided if Scipio had been used. It was a very good roll, otherwise, much better than needed.
As a consequence 25% (rounded up) of the total forces are lost, i.e. 7 legions and 2 fleets, including veteran legions II and III. Nine Mortality chits are drawn and the Master of the Horse, Julius, goes down. As he is a Faction Leader he remains with Edwin's faction, but loses the prior consul marker, five popularity, seventeen influence and two knights. Veteran Legion VI is created and assigned. The Dictator becomes a proconsul. The legions remain on the war.
In the Revolution Phase Arthur offers Darwin the Fabius statesman card. In return Darwin offers a Tribune card. Not good enough for Arthur. Darwin counters with two tribunes. Accepted.
Darwin plays the card. Brian once again has five cards and so plays a tax farmer on his Faction Leader, giving the Senator three concessions.
Charles plays Marcus Porcius Cato the Elder.
Edwin plays the Sicilian Grain Concession on his only remaining Senator having any popularity. He plays the Land Commissioner on his Faction Leader Julius.
As the year ends the last words are Arthur's: tried to warn you...
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