Burn, Rome, Burn
To the victor goes the spoils
You could cut the intrigue with
a knife ... and you can bet someone tried just that in this Final
as GM Sean Larsen oversees the action.
It never ceases to amaze, year after year, the new and creative
strategies that players devise in their quest to assume power
in the Roman Republic. This year's contest was highlighted
by the use of certain cards and events in ways that could quite
possibly require their own errata going forward.
The preliminary heats were quite unusual -- the pervading
theme throughout Rome (and every table) was that everyone was
quite mortal and to fully expect your faction to pass away as
a result of a horrible epidemic. In every preliminary,
senatorial mortality played a very large role in changing the
balance of power almost every turn. While every player
expects this - having upwards of five otherwise healthy senators
pass away in a turn is quite unexpected. Everyone was also thoroughly
amused when Rome fell in one game -- especially because it involved
This year's Final could be considered one of the most epic
in recent memory. As most know the late Roman Republic
offers many different avenues to victory. Each player's faction
had an excellent chance to seize power at some point, but they
were all stymied at the last minute by what seemed to be direct
intervention by the hands of the Fates. Rome somehow managed
to survive multiple civil wars (including two initiated by the
same treasonous faction), numerous dictators and general internal
strife, even with barbarian hordes at the gates. On numerous
occasions a number of factions were foretelling the fall of Rome,
only to be proven wrong by a lucky die roll.
The most impressive moment of this Final was when the faction
played by Tom Phillips was sent to the Alexandrian War. Rome
was in the dark that Cleopatra was his Mistress, and with the
help of the newly passed Gabinian Law, Tom was able to raise
a mighty host to attempt to march on Rome. This was the
most impressive attempt to win that I have seen, however it was
all for naught as the rebel army was utterly destroyed by the
newly appointed Roman dictator and his Master of Horse. The
Fates can be very fickle...
The game was finally won with a successful Consul for Life
bid by Len Omolecki's faction, in what was then a mentally, physically
and financially exhausted Roman Senate. The rest of the
senators in Rome were unable to raise the vast sums of wealth
that overflowed from the counting-houses of Len's faction.
Overall it was a very entertaining year in the Roman Senate.
There was some exceptional play, and it is always impressive
to see new and creative ways to try to win, even if these attempts
result in abject humiliation. We look forward to next year!