and the game defeats all comers
This year's ROR tournament was an eventful one. Six 5-player
games were played in the two heats. In the first heat, all three
games ended with the time-limit and a most-total-faction-influence
victory. The second heat had a little more variety. There was
a win by total influence, but one was won by Consul for Life
election and the other was won by a rebel defeating the Senate
* Chase Bramwell won Game 1 with most total influence. The players
survived five wars (one was a matching war) being drawn on Turn
1 and a Sardinian revolt that killed a governor and became a
* Sean Larson won Game 2, with most total influence. Again the
players survived some bad times. Six wars were drawn in the first
three turns and the Roman Senate was defeated in battles against
the Spanish and Germans
* Craig Moffit was the Game 3 winner also by total influence.
He was the RC on the games' last turn when he moved from third
to first place in influence. In an effort to speed play, the
GM suggested that the concessions disbursement were unimportant
since there would not be another revenue phase (note to self
keep quiet next year). However, one of the concessions
was Shipbuilding. On a whim, the other players proposed the concession
go to the RC; he accepted it. He then, using all his votes, money,
and intrigue cards was able to have Rome buy 22 fleets and 12
legions (he also had armaments). This gave him enough money to
win every proposal from then on. After surviving an assassination,
he proceeded to send his opponents to war at zero odds and to
send himself to war at overwhelming odds. He won, the others
* Brad Anderson was the Game 4 winner. He also won by total influence,
but spent 82T on the last initiative to persuade a senator to
his side. He then survived an assassination and a major prosecution
attempt (by re-spending the 82T on votes).
* Bret Mingo won Game 5 by being elected Consul for Life. His
initial tribune with the proposal was murdered, but the RC proposed
him again. The RC was well behind in funds compared to the other
factions and wanted the other factions to spend money to vote
down the CFL. The other factions felt this unfair and refused
to pay any money, so the CFL vote succeeded.
* Warren Day won Game 6 in spectacular fashion. On Turn 4, Rome
was facing three active wars, so they appointed him Dictator.
He won his battle and then rebelled, convincing seven legions
to join him. Unfortunately for Rome, the unrest was high and
the next population roll resulted in a no-recruitment for Rome.
The Senate still had enough forces to send the RC out at -1 or
to appoint another Dictator. However, the fear was that a Dictator
would also rebel. Other bickering among the senators resulted
in the RC fighting the rebel at -7 odds. Even with these bad
odds, the senate barely lost to the rebel.
The Finals had five of the six heat winners and the first
alternate present (Rob Seulowitz replaced Warren Day) for a six-player
game of the Late Republic. Bad draws from the deck produced several
wars early on (with matching leaders) and bad dice rolls in combat
produced stand-offs and stalemates. By the combat phase of Turn
3, there were six active wars. Rome, with a Dictator, was only
able to defeat one of three wars fought and thus all six players
lost to the game. We had lost two hours and now it was 8 pm
still not too late. So we began the Late Republic scenario anew.
However, by 11:30, the same situation had occurred again. The
players, even with reasonable combat strength advantages, were
not able to roll their way to victory in enough wars and Rome
fell once again; this time to five active wars. It was too late
to begin a third time, so the GM decided to award the victory
to the current high influence faction Sean Larson.
This is the third time in the last four years that the game
has won in the finals. I am not sure how much of this is bad
luck and how much is players being stingy in allocating troops
to war. In any event, we must come up with a house rule to cover
this contingency so the ROR champion is actually the game winner.
Although there are some provisions in the game to counter D/S
dice rolls (multiple commanders vs. same war), I suggest something
along the lines listed below, be used next year:
* Increase the active war total to 5 or 6 before Rome is declared
* Ignore the active war total completely for Rome defeat (the
logic being that Rome is already penalized enough by paying 20T
per turn per war and gaining unrest for the unprosecuted wars)
* Treat any wars drawn, when three wars are already active, with
the matching war rule (they are set aside for one turn to allow
Rome to handle the current active wars)
* When there are already three active wars, allow Rome to delay
a newly drawn war by paying a 'bribe' to the war of 40T (this
can be repeatedly paid each turn if Rome desires and has the
If anyone has other ideas and/or playtests these alternatives
during the year, please e-mail me with the information (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The other house rule, limiting assassinations to use of one assassin
and/or bodyguard card seemed well received. I intend to use the
same format for 2003, but require some volunteer GM assistants
to run one of the heats.