1. If you are dealt a Statesman
that you are unable to play you have
essentially three options:
a. Contact the player who controls the Family Card and offer the
Statesman in trade, either for cards and/or money. You might also be
able to get a promise for something else (like a Consul nomination) but
make an Open Deal in order for such a promise to be upheld. Be careful
of telling anyone you have the Statesman card if you only have one or
two cards in your hand - a player could play Influence Peddling and
steal the Statesman from you.
b. Keep the card in hand. If the Family Card is not a Faction Leader
then there's a chance that he will end up in the Curia after death.
Once in the Curia, you can play your Statesman.
c. Discard it. You can discard any Red Cards during the Revolution
Phase. If you control Pompey and have Caesar in hand - you might want
to prevent any chance from Caesar coming into the game - so just
2. If you are dealt a Family
Card that has an associated Statesman you
nearly always want to make that Family Card your Faction Leader. You
get to keep the Family Card if the Senator dies (unless he was a caught
Assassin, etc...), preventing someone else from playing the Statesman.
Also, you may not want to play all your Concessions if you don't have
the Statesman - you might be able to trade some of your Concessions in
hand to another player for the Statesman.
3. You might not want to play
all your cards right at the start. If you
look weaker than you are - you might stand a greater chance of getting
an Office during the first Senate Phase. Also, keeping cards in hand
allows you more bargaining power since you can't trade cards that have
4. If you are dealt a Province
with decent Personal Income, you probably
want to set the Governor's Term to 1 (first term) so that you have more
time to cash in on it. If you get a Province with low Personal Income
you're probably better off setting the Governor's Term to 3. Usually,
you want your low Oratory Senators as Governors so that you will have
more votes in the Senate but sending your low Loyalty senators can
protect them from Persuasion Attempts. Beware of foreign wars, you
want to start with a high Military Senator as Governor in a Province at
risk of being attacked.
5. If you have a Family Card
with an associated Statesman, make him your
Faction Leader; otherwise the choice for Faction Leader is up to you. A
high Oratory Senator is usually the best candidate especially if it's
4. Since there are usually no Persuasion attempts of aligned Senators
on the first turn there is no need to protect a low Loyalty Senator by
making him Faction Leader. Give an important Concession to your Faction
Leader or high Loyalty Senator or perhaps better, a Governor.
II. Revenue Phase
1. It's good to build up your
Faction Treasury. If possible put half of
your Income into it. There's nearly no reason to put money in a
Governor's Personal Treasury - the only thing he can do with it is
Sponsor Games. Don't forget that all your money gets
redistributed eash Revenue Phase. Plan ahead as to what you will use
your money for (persuasions, knights, games, bribes) and distribute
money accordingly among Senators in Rome (or Governors who are
returning to Rome this turn). Take Personal Treasury from a Province if
it pays well - once you've taken it there's little point in not taking
it on succeeding turns. Once corrupt - always corrupt. Also, see what
the other Governors' Terms are at. If 6 Governors are scheduled to
return to Rome on the same turn, the odds are less that you will be the
one prosecuted. In many cases, Personal Income increases dramatically
when the Province is developed - in this case don't take Personal
Income until after you develop it since an Honest Governor has a 33%
chance to develop - a Corrupt one only a 16% chance. Don't forget that
if there's a Drought you can take extra income from a Grain Concession
- Popularity is not that important for someee Senators.
III. Forum Phase
1. Don't spend too much money
on Persuasion Attempts (spend as little as
possible) - especially against aligned Senators. Any roll above a 9 and
you automatically lose - and to make matters worse all that money
will end up in your enemy's Faction. Spending 5 Talents on a Knight on
the first turn (or even later turns) is not a bad idea. It will pay
back in 5 turns or less, if you pressure the Knight for dr Talents. The
extra vote can be very handy plus there's nothing worse than spending 4
Talents and rolling a 1. Make sure you protect an important Senator by
making him your Faction Leader.
IV. Population Phase
1. If the Late Republic deck
is in play and the 2nd Catiline Conspiracy
has yet to be drawn, it is extremely important that the HRAO have a
high Popularity; otherwise you could easily be looking at a People
Revolt or No Recruitment, etc... On average the HRAO will lose 7
Popularity when this card is drawn and since he plays first he will not
be able to sponsor Games after the card is drawn. Have the HRAO sponsor
Games during the Forum Phase or make sure that a high Popularity
Senator is made Rome Consul/Dictator during the Senate Phase.
V. Senate Phase
1. The HRAO's faction should
usually try to create a coalition that
includes the fewest number of Factions with the most combined votes. If
the coalition controls the majority of votes in the Senate it can
exclude all other factions from Offices and Concessions. That usually
means that the Factions with the most votes will be part of the
coalition (Knights are important to give a Faction an edge in getting
into the coalition). Bribes are not very helpful since they can only be
used for one proposal - and they are lost, so a faction with lots of
money in Personal Treasuries can usually be excluded from a coalition.
However, the HRAO may not want a Faction with lots of votes that is
getting too powerful to be part of the coalition - that's when
diplomacy becomes trickier.
Here's a good plan for the Temporary Rome Consul on turn 1 of a 4 or
5-player Middle/Late Republic Scenario:
a. Hopefully, your faction has a decent number of votes to begin with.
During Initial Intrigue, determine which other faction will have the
most votes. This is not always easy since you need to take into account
possible statesman plays but you might get an idea by checking which
family cards are out. If you have an unplayable statesman consider
trading it to the other faction in the coalition if it would increase
his vote tally.
b. Communicate with the other faction before Initial Red Cards are
played and tell him your plan. Both your factions should set your
Governors to their last term so that they return to Rome this turn and
maximise the number of votes you both have.
c. Both of your factions should place all or most of your money in
Personal Treasuries for bribes in the upcoming Senate Phase. Be careful
spending this money for Knights on turn 1 - you might need a few
talents to control passage of proposals.
d. Hopefully after all this, when the Senate Phase begins you and the
other faction in the coalition will have more votes than the other 2 or
3 factions combined - you might need to bribe a talent or two to pass
proposals. During the Senate Phase, propose one of your senators and
one of his senators for Consuls. Your senator will become Censor.
e. Prosecute 2 opposing senators with concessions. This might be harder
since they get to add their influence to their vote tally. This is
where bribes become handy. With two Minor Prosecutions you can get 2
concessions into the Forum. You will assign these later - one to each
faction in the coalition.
f. There will be some provinces in the Forum. Assign the low income
provinces to opposing faction senators with the most votes. By sending
these senators away from Rome you cement your control of the Senate.
The high income provinces are trickier - assign them to a coalition
faction if the coalition can maintain control of the Senate.
g. The two factions in the coalition should now be able to split up all
offices and awards between them - until a key death occurs or one of
the two factions starts getting too powerful. The coalition will then
likely break but in the meantime both factions have benefited greatly.
On the flip side, if you don't control the Temporary Rome Consul and
believe that you will have a large number of votes (i.e. you have Cato
for instance) then contact the Consul with the above plan.
2. The Presiding Magistrate
should always vote last, especially if he has
bribe money available or a Tribune. A Faction being Prosecuted should
always be made to vote first. Also, wealthy Factions that are likely to
be opposed to your proposal should
be made to vote before other Factions.
3. Combine Concessions into
one proposal among factions with lots of votes
to ensure passage. A Faction will usually not vote against a Concession
proposal if he is slated to get one of them.
4. Governors can be recalled
during the Senate Phase by electing a new
Governor in his place. This rule is usually overlooked. This can be
used to get around the Prosecution of a Corrupt Governor since
Prosecutions occur earlier in the Senate Phase - however, the Governor
in question will only get to take Personal Income at most twice instead
of the maximum three times (since he won't be serving his full three
terms). If a Province is in danger of being attacked and has a Governor
with a low Military Rating, send a high Military Rating Senator in his
place - on the flip side, sending a very powerful Senator with a weak
Military Rating off to govern a Province that is about to be attacked
by a strong war is a good way to have him killed if that is desired.
Only a Senator who has just finished a Governorship can decline to
govern a Province forced upon him. Once the Vatinian Law is in effect -
this strategy can no longer be used. You also might want to send a CFL
candidate off to a Province so that he can't be voted CFL.
5. If you have a candidate
that is a candidate for CFL and you control the
HRAO you might want to propose him for CFL even if there's no chance of
the vote going through. Since only one CFL proposal can be made per
turn - you are effectively preventing someone else's Senator from
making such a proposal. Think ahead if it looks like you will have
enough to elect a CFL, pressure your Knights for the necessary bribe
money during the Forum Phase. You can turn 1 vote into 1-6 votes for
the one imporant proposal.
6. Be wary of one Faction
controlling both a Commander in the field (ex.
Dictator) and the next Office in line (ex. Rome Consul) especially if
the Unrest is high. If the Commander rebels, the Faction can use the
Rome Consul to aid the Rebel. For instance, before the Dictator goes
off to fight, the Rome Consul may sponsor a Land Bill Repeal - he
can lose up to 4 Popularity by being Sponsor. When the Population Phase
comes around, if the Rome Consul (HRAO) has very low Popularity a
People Revolt might be rolled giving the game to Rebel.
7. Save your Tribunes, it's
not very easy to get a proposal through the
Senate especially if you don't control the Voting Order. The player
playing the Tribune does not control the Voting Order - the Presiding
Magistrate does. Tribunes are usually best for Vetoes against
Prosecutions against your Senators and for CFL nominations when you
have enough votes for passage.
8. Prosecutions: There can only
be one or two Prosecutions each Senate Phase. The best senators to
prosecute are those who have at least 21 influence since they can be
nominated for CFL and potentially win the game! However, if they have
decent popularity (>3) then that becomes risky due to Popular
Appeal. Note that it's very important that a Senator with at least 21
influence be assigned a concession so as to make him liable to
prosecution. The next best senators to prosecute are those with
concessions, especially the grain concessions, because if successfully
prosecuted the concession is returned to the Forum where it can be
reassigned to a new faction. The HRAO and Censor can usually arrange a
deal where one faction gets to be prosecutor and the other gets the
concession. Returning governors are typically pretty low on the list of
senators to prosecute unless they have high influence or a concession
to strip them of - there are usually much better candidates in the
Senate to prosecute. This means, that a governor should really be
taking Personal Income at all times unless the province is undeveloped
and generates very little revenue.
9. Land Bills: When unrest is
an issue it is best for the Land Bill sponsor to be the Rome Consul
since he will be the one making the Population Phase speech next turn;
otherwise, sponsor and cosponsor should be senators who hold
concessions or have high influence.
10. Calpurnian Law: I have not
tried this but it seems like the Censor should make open deals with all
factions that have at least one corrupt governor. The open deal would
be that instead of fining the senator, the senator's faction would give
the Censor's faction say 2 talents next revenue phase. Since the
average fine is 7 talents, the fined faction might be better off just
giving the Censor's faction 2 talents instead of losing 7 talents to
VI. Combat Phase
1. If the Senate has enough
forces, send two separate armies to attack a
War. Disaster/Standoffs are voided in the second battle if the first
one achieved a Stalemate/Standoff. Strengthen a Province by sending it
one or more Garrison Legions. Provincial Armies are only counted at
half strength unless they are accompanied by a Legion. A Provincial
Victory against a War could make it Inactive or return it to the deck
in case the army the Senate sent to attack the War rolled a Disaster or
Defeat. Be careful of sending too many Legions to a Province - or else
you might have a Rebel on your hands.
2. Utilize Provincial Forces.
Consider attacking a war with a Province instead of with a Consular
army so that you can take advantage of the Province's strength. For
instance, instead of sending a very large Consular army to attack the
Germanic Migrations, reinforce Cisalpine Gaul (if it's being attacked)
with many legions and assign it a high military governor. Note that
Provincial armies/garrisons can attack more than once per turn in
certain cases. For instance, if there are two Spanish wars attacking
Nearer Spain, the armies/garrisons in Nearer Spain will get a shot at
attacking both wars in the same turn - if you were to send legions with
a Consul those legions could only attack one war.
VII. Revolution Phase
1. Have a weak Governor in a
weak Province revolt. Since there can only be
one revolt at any one time, by having a weak non-threatening (except
for the 20 talent drain on the treasury) Province revolt you prevent a
much stronger Commander from revolting on a later turn (only one
faction can be in revolt at any one time). Of course this
Commander's Faction will want to defeat the Province Revolt but this
will require passage of a vote and if the Commander's Faction does not
control the Senate may not be possible. Be wary of attacking a Rebel
Senator in a Province if he has at least one Legion. You risk desertion
of some of your Legions to him if you don't roll a Victory. Note also
that your weak revolt can win
the game for you if the State goes bankrupt or there's a People Revolt.
2. When preparing a Rebellion.
try to get a few Provinces with many
Provincial Armies (especially with a Printed Fleet Strength of 0) to
become Secondary Rebels. Not only can you use the Province Income
(Personal, State, Local) to help finance the revolt (i.e. force
maintenance) but you can easily reinforce the Rebel in Italy on later
turns if the State keeps getting a Stalemate result against you.
VIII. Early Republic Strategies (for the good of Rome)
These strategies are primarily useful when playing an Extended Game
where a triple-strength War can be a big problem. When playing just the
Early Republic, it might be possible to ignore the Punic Wars
1. Play Scipio
If Scipio can be played right at the start, he should be played. If
another player controls Scipio but not Cornelius, then he should trade
or give Scipio to the player controlling Cornelius so that he can be
played during the first Revolution Phase. Though Scipio can't be
elected Consul on the first turn (if Cornelius is in play as well) he
can be appointed Dictator if the situation arises. It would be a shame
to not make use of his abilities on the first turn. In my opinion an
Active 1st Punic War is enough to activate a Dictator as I would add
the Land and Fleet strengths together (a 10/5/10 war is more dangerous
than a 20/0 war in my opinion and the Dictator is there for
emergencies). Fabius Maximus and the other Military Statesman would
also be very helpful if played ASAP like Scipio.
2. Prosecution of Cornelius/Scipio
A Cornelius/Scipio who becomes Censor during the first Senate Phase
should be prosecuted on turn 2 with a minor prosecution. If not
his influence could easily rise over 21 causing a very bad political
climate at the time when Rome cannot afford one. He can propose to
target himself for prosecution. He can select as prosecutor one of his
own low-military Senators so that he gets to keep the Prior Consul
marker and loses only 2 net Influence. A Cornelius/Scipio who is
Dictator should probably not be prosecuted unless the players want a
possible -5 to the next Population Roll!
All players should contribute generously to the State during the first
Revenue Phase. A total of 28 to 38 talents is recommended in order to
get the State Revenue to 220 or 230. If the players like they can make
an enforceable Open Deal at the beginning of each turn stating that no
Censor will prosecute a Senator that controls a Concession if all the
money generated by that Concession is contributed to the State. I would
suggest that such a deal last only for the current turn.
4. 1st Punic War
If no Wars were drawn on the first turn (or maybe only minor ones), and
Scipio can be sent to fight it; I would suggest attacking the 1st Punic
War with as many forces as can be mustered, spending the entire
treasury if need be! Which War to attack is really dependent on lots of
factors so you can't really plan ahead.
5. Provincial Wars (Advanced Game Only)
Defeat of these Wars create Cisalpine Gaul and Illyricum. The 2nd Punic
War can attack Gaul and the Macedonian Wars can attack Illyricum. This
could be bad or good depending on how strong the province is. It might
be possible to attack these Wars using the Province (a Victory would
make the War either inactive or reshuffled). The Provincial Forces and
Printed Strength will add to the Roman Force sent to garrison the
province. One problem is that the Governor could revolt since all the
garrisons are automatically loyal to him (no legion loyalty roll
needed) though they do require maintenance.
6. Force Size
Always try to attack with a +11 combat bonus since that would
*guarantee* a victory without taking into account D/S numbers. Some of
the money spent for the extra legions will be reclaimed by the Victory.
For instance, Victory against the Syrian War or 2nd Macedonian War will
result in a positive 65 talent swing in the state's treasury. Buying
lots early will also help lessen the effects of a Manpower Shortage.
7. Armaments and Ship Building
Don't look at these cards as being bad for Rome. They should be played
ASAP! The revenue generated from these cards can be contributed to the
State giving an effective 20% discount for Legion Purchase and a 30%
discount for Fleet Purchase. Make an Open Deal if you are worried about
being prosecuted for playing one of these cards.
8. Matching Wars
It's pretty important to defeat at least 1 Punic War and 1 Macedonian
War before you enter the Middle Period. Otherwise, you risk facing
triple-strength (or quadruple-strength) Wars fairly easily!
9. HRAO Popularity
In the Early and Late Republic scenarios on turn 1 - it's a good idea
to make an open deal during the revenue phase in which each player
gives 1 talent to the Temporary Rome Consul on condition that it's
spent on sponsoring Games. You want the HRAO to get at least a -1
on the Population Roll to lessen the chance of Manpower Shortage and reduce the
effect of 2nd Catiline Conspiracy.
IX. Pontifex Maximus
It seems to me that the Pontifex Maximus is a break-even office. The
Influence gain is kind of pointless especially when assigned on the
first turn of the game since there's really no difference between a
Senator with say 3 or 8 Influence. Other senators have the potential to
gain at least 5 influence every turn and they don't lose it when they
lose the office, unlike the PM. Battle Votes might come in handy every
once in a while and Priests are not more than game chrome. The extra dr
revenue is on par with that from a Province and though there's no
corruption involved the PM can still be prosecuted each and every turn
because of his office. The Veto is the PM's main power - it really
overshadows all the other benefits which are rather minor - but again,
the Veto can be negated every turn because the PM can always be
The negative side is pretty huge, the PM needs to keep 20 talents in
his Personal Treasury or risk losing 10-30 Talents from his Faction
Treasury (plus a possible additional Major Prosecution against his
Faction Leader) from an Evil Omens. One problem is that those 20
Talents are tied up when they could be put to better use. The second
problem is that it's always risky putting large sums of money in a
Senator's Personal Treasury. It's usually done only in preparation for
bribing an important proposal during the Senate Phase. Such a large sum
is better kept in the Faction Treasury where it cannot be lost due to
So basically we have the Veto vs the financial restrictions. Which is
better? Which is more important? It's hard to say. I think the best
candidate for the office is a faction that has or will get lots of
money - like say from the Armaments concession. I'd rather see that
money sitting in the PM's Personal Treasury than in his Faction
Treasury. In fact it seems like the PM was designed specifically to
restrain the benefits of the Armaments concession. Another good
candidate for PM (on turn 1) would be the Senator that was Temporary
Rome Consul (note that this would make all Senators eligible for Censor
on turn 1). The new Rome Consul would make the proposal and that would
leave only 2 Senators with a Prior Consul marker on turn 2 - a greater
chance for the Rome Consul to become Censor.
X. Evil Omens
The Evil Omens event has some unexpected effects to the game:
1. Assassinations are more difficult. This might be a good time to
propose a Land Bill with both of your senators as Sponsor and Cosponsor
since the free Assassination attempt against you is harder to pull off.
2. The Popular Appeal table is less effective. It's easier to prosecute
senators with high popularity.
3. Revolts are more difficult because Legions are less likely to ally
with a Commander.
4. The Julian Law has less of a negative effect on the playing faction.
5. The Graft card is easier to play successfully and less Popularity is
lost due to Murder of a Tribune.
6. The 2nd Catiline Conspiracy is less effective.