Republic of Rome forum game II


Be welcome, one and all, to our second retelling of the rise (and quite possibly fall) of Rome through the medium of the excellent board game Republic of Rome, originally published by Avalon Hill in 1990.

Here’s the previous game: Republic of Rome forum game

By popular acclaim, we will again be starting in the early republic. This is a time of great danger for the nascent Roman civilization, yet also a time of great opportunity. If Rome would grow to fulfill its potential, it must expand, and so it must fight! To the east and south lie the fragmented remains of the great Greek empire, which fell apart so quickly upon the death of Alexander. Certainly an opportunity for expansion.

But the seas are controlled by the great naval power of Carthage. Rome would prefer not to contest with them for the moment, of course, but it is likely Carthage will view the rise of Rome with concern and move to nip its threat in the bud.

Will the factions of the Roman senate be able to find common ground to see off the menace of Carthage and grow the Roman sphere of influence to rival Alexander’s empire? Or will factionalism and petty infighting doom Rome to a minor role in history? Only the players themselves can determine this, and even their best efforts may be found wanting when faced with the caprice of the gods.

And so to introduce our four players, who take on the role of factions in the Roman senate:
@Knightsaber of the Southwestern Mountain Shepherds
@CF_Kane of the Populares
@antlers of the Assidui
@scottagibson of the Optimates



There are two main phases in which players make decisions.

During the Forum Phase, players attempt to grow their faction by persuading senators and equites to join them and may sponsor games to grow their popularity while placating the people.

But the meat of the game is the Senate Phase where players vote for the senators to lead the session, then vote on the motions they put forward. These motions will disburse Rome’s resources - money, fighting forces, generals - to deal with problems or, as ever, to boost the standing of individual senators.

Our primary rules reference is the living rules v1.06 at .

This quick rules overview might be more appropriate for the peanut gallery:

Note that these rules are comprehensive but not very comprehensible. Players should feel free to ask me about anything that seems unclear. One of these days I’ll get around to writing some rules that approach things in an order that seems logical to me.

We will play with the same set of advanced rules as last game:

  • 2.01 Pontifex Maximus
  • 2.04 Legionary Disbandment & Recall
  • 2.05 Advocates
  • 2.06 Passing Laws

Secret game information is limited to cards in hand, players will have a PM containing their hands that I will edit as the game progresses. Feel free to use that message thread for any private communication.

Players may talk to each other by any means desired. No deals made in private are binding. You are welcome to copy me in to these communications or keep them private.

Playing the game on a forum necessitates a few changes to the standard rules, particularly regarding timing of certain actions.

  • The HRAO may call for votes from multiple players at once if they wish. Once a player has been called to vote they should do so as soon as possible, in particular they should not wait for further private communication from other players before voting (though of course they’re welcome to read what they have already received).
    • When voting, players should say how many votes they are casting to make it easy to keep a tally. Note that if you are spending money to buy extra votes it must be done at this point.
  • Faction treasuries are public information. You could all be tracking it anyway.
  • We’ll try to keep things fairly flexible with respect to timing of tribunes and assassination attempts. Try to indicate your plan to launch an assassination to me in advance if the timing is important.
  • Deals made in the public thread are not binding unless it’s made explicitly clear they are. That lets us keep regular chat in the thread without fear of people trying to enforce it later.
    • Binding deals may be cancelled at a later time with the consent of all signatories to the deal.
    • When there’s a dispute about a binding deal, I will try to rule by the spirit of the deal if it was made clear at the time. If not, I’ll have to go by the letter. I’m hoping there won’t be any need for arbitration in the first place.


We are playing the early republic extended scenario, which is essentially just playing through the early republic deck followed by the middle and late republic decks until we crown a winner or everyone is defeated. In practice we are unlikely to get far into the middle republic deck if we even reach it.




Treasury 122 talents
Unrest 6
Land Bills:

  • 1 x Type III


Type In Rome Deployed Total
Regular Legions 19 0 19
Veteran Legions 6 0 6
Fleets 16 0 16


  • Epidemic
  • Manpower Shortage (recruitment costs 20)


Office Senator Player
Dictator empty
Rome Consul L. Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus Knightsaber
Field Consul empty
Censor Terentius scottagibson
Master of Horse empty
Pontifex Maximus Valerius antlers


Unaligned senators

Nomen ID Influence Military Oratory Loyalty Money
Julius [4] 4 4 3 9 0
Sulpicius 15 2 3 2 8 0

Available concessions



Name Status Personal Income State Income Frontier Land Strength Naval Strength Governor Term
Gallia Cisalpina Undeveloped 1d6-1 (1d6+3) 1d6-1 (2d6-1) Y 1 (2) 0 Aelius 3
Illyricum Undeveloped 1d6-3 (1d6) -1d6-1 (1d6) Y 2 (4) 0 Acilius 3


Inactive senators

Nomen ID Influence Military Oratory Loyalty
Flaminius 13 3 4 2 6
Plautius 17 2 2 1 6
Calpurnicus 16 2 1 2 9
Aurelius 9 3 2 3 7

Destroyed concessions

  • Tax Farmer
  • Tax Farmer

Inactive enemy leaders

Name Deck Wars Strength Disaster Standoff Special
Philip V E Macedonian +6 15 14


Active leaders

Name Deck Wars Strength Disaster Standoff Special
Hamilcar E Punic +3 8 12
Hannibal E Punic +7 9 16 With 2nd Punic, destroys a tax farmer each turn

Active Wars

Name Deck Series Fleet Battle Fleet Support Army Battle Disaster Standoff Spoils Drought Province Special
1st Punic War E 3 (2) 30 (10) 5 30 (10) 13 11/14 35 Sicilia, Corsica & Sardinia
2nd Punic War E 3 (2) 0 5 40 (15) 10 11/15 25 Hispania Ulterior, Hispania Citerior Destroys a tax farmer each turn

Imminent Wars

Name Deck Series Fleet Battle Fleet Support Army Battle Disaster Standoff Spoils Drought Province Special


Inactive Wars

Name Deck Series Fleet Battle Fleet Support Army Battle Disaster Standoff Spoils Drought Province Special



Senators & Statesmen

Name Cause of death Phase
Titus Aemilius Madens, Proconsul Drowned in the straits of Messana fighting a fleet led by Hamilcar Combat
Marcus Porcius Cato the Elder Old age Mortality
Gnaeus Julius Victor, Dictator of Rome Killed by a Gaulish assassin’s arrow during his triumphal procession Mortality
Secundus Aurelius Torquatus, Governor of Gallia Cisalpina Killed by Gauls in a riot Mortality
Sextus Sulpicius Superbus Epidemic Forum
Gnaeus Flaminius Corniger Epidemic Forum
Faustus Plautius Latro Epidemic Forum
Titus Calpurnicus Piso Struck down by guards when attempting to assassinate Fabius Maximus Senate

Foreign Leaders

Name War Cause of Death
Antiochus III Syrian Deposed by his nobles


War Defeated by
1st Gallic War Julius & Fabius
2nd Macedonian War Fabius Maximus & Aemilius
2nd Illyrian War Flaminius
1st Macedonian War Aemilius Macedonicus & Fabius Maximus
1st Illyrian War Cornelius
Syrian War Aelius & Fabius Maximus

Faction cards

  • Influence Peddling
  • Secret Bodyguard
  • Tribune x 2
  • Assassin


Southwestern Mountain Shepherds (Knightsaber)

Votes 17
Treasury 9 talents
Hand 5 cards

Nomen ID Pop Infl Mil Ora Loy Knights Money Vets PC Offices Concessions Crpt
*L. Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus [19A] 9 28 (4) 5 4 8 1 0 1 Y Rome Consul Tax Farmer
Aemilius [19] 0 1 4 2 8
Fulvius [7] 0 17 (4) 2 2 8 2 0 Shipbuilding m
Junius 10 0 13 (3) 1 2 8 2 0 Aegyptian Grain m
Papirius 11 0 13 (3) 1 2 6 2 0 Y Tax Farmer
Acilius [12] 0 3 2 2 7 0 0 Governor

Populares (CF_Kane)

Votes 8
Treasury 0 talents
Hand 1 card

Nomen ID Pop Infl Mil Ora Loy Knights Money Vets PC Offices Concessions Crpt
*Quinctius [18] 1 20 (1) 3 2 6 3 0 Y Harbour Fees m
Furius 8 0 8 (3) 3 3 8 0 0
Aelius 14 3 15 (2) 3 4 7 0 0 1 Y Governor Armaments M

Assidui (antlers)

Votes 7 (+3 for battle proposals)
Treasury 0 talents
Hand 5 cards

Nomen ID Pop Infl Mil Ora Loy Knights Money Vets PC Offices Concessions Crpt
Cornelius [1] 3 18 (5) 4 3 9 1 0 1 Y M
Valerius 3 0 15 (5) 1 2 10 1 10 Y Pontifex Maximus M

Optimates (scottagibson)

Votes 11
Treasury 20 talents
Hand 0 cards

Nomen ID Pop Infl Mil Ora Loy Knights Money Vets PC Offices Concessions Crpt
*Terentius 20 0 15 (2) 2 1 6 1 0 Y Censor Mining, Sicilian Grain M
Q. Fabius Maximus Verrucosus Cunctator [2A] 2 26 (3) 5 2 7 1 0 1 Tax Farmer M
Fabius [2] 0 5 4 2 9
Claudius 5 0 17 (4) 2 3 7 1 0 Y Tax Farmer M
Manlius 6 0 4 3 2 7 0 0


The Populares stand ready to preserve a Roman Republic that welcomes citizens of ability into the highest positions of power.

Thanks @Rho21 for running the game! Looking forward to some Roman politicking.


I’m going to try keeping the game state up at the top of this thread to make the game a bit easier for non-players to follow. Let me know if this causes anyone problems.

Questions, requests for rule clarifications, anything like that, please ask.

Otherwise I’ll get going once everyone has checked in and indicated they’ve refreshed themselves on the rules and are happy to start.


Maybe as a faction name I could pick the Assidui, representing the many small landholders that have always represented the backbone of Roman power, in peace as well as at war.


We shall be the Optimates.


Don’t mess with mountain sheep herders.


The Populares urge the factions to set aside their differences for the time being and work towards the resolution of our present war with Carthage. There will be plenty of time for politicking and backstabbing when the Republic is secure.

Fleets are needed now. Our time as a landlocked power is at an end. With a mighty fleet we can seek new territories and new opportunities to gain glory in service to the republic!


I have a lot of reading to do before this gets going. And absorbing said reading.


OK, I’ll hold off on dealing starting senators and hand cards until you’re ready to go.


Oh feel free to deal things, I’ll muddle through as we go.


Every time everyone plays this game, I feel like we all just muddle through, so you’ll be in good company.


I’m new at this, but it seems to me that with only 4 players the importance of money will be exaggerated. We’ll be bidding on two extra initiatives every round, right?


Yes, two initiatives up for auction. Initiatives aren’t all that valuable unless you have money to spend during them (to persuade a senator, attract a knight etc).


Unbid initiatives go to the HRAO, right, so it would make high office more valuable.

@rho21, It seemed in the rules that were restrictions on spending from the faction treasury, but I got bogged down in figuring out what the restrictions actually were. There are some things you can only spend personal treasury money on, right?


I think it is

Personal treasury:

Buying votes
Contributing to the State
Bidding for initiative
Added to loyalty to resist persuasion
Bribes to attemp persuasion
Attracting knights
Sponsoring games
Paying ransom
For rebels to attract legions
For Pontifex Maximus paying Evil Omen

Faction treasury:

Counterbribes to resist persuasion
Paying ransom
Rebel legion and fleet maintenance
Paying evil omens shortfall and fine



  • Personal treasury = useful but at risk (lost in the event of death, travels with senator if persuaded elsewhere)
  • Faction treasury = largely useless but safely banked

You can only move money around during the Revenue Phase.


So once money is moved to the faction treasury, it can’t be moved out again, even during the Revenue Phase?