110 AD - the Roman Empire is at its height of glory, ruled by the Emperor "optimus princeps" Trajan. All borders are secured and people can focus their attention again on the empire's internal matters - ROME.
Take your chances and boost your power! With proper tactics, you may outmanoeuvre your opponents and eventually claim victory.
- 1 game board - showing parts of the Roman Empire, starting from Rome's senate via the Arch of Trajan, the forum and the seaport up to the far-away provinces of Britannia and Germania. The board consists of 6 areas; a specific action is assigned to each area.
- 60 small player tokens - 15 each in the player colors red, green, dark blue, and brown. They represent the players' legionnaires or workers.
- 4 military leader tokens and 8 discs - in 4 player colors. The military leaders occupy provinces with their legionnaires.
- 4 player mats in the player colors - showing the action circle with 6 trays and providing space for the players' various collected tiles.
- 4 Arches of Trajan - one for each player. It marks the slot on the player mats for a new Trajan tile.
- 4 sets of octagonal action markers - each set consists of 12 markers in the following colors: 2 each of yellow, orange, light green, white, pink and blue. Players place these markers on the troughs of their action circle.
- 1 time marker - used for recording the elapsed playing time.
- 60 commodity cards - 12 commodities, 5 cards of each.
- 9 different types of tiles
- 1 Linen bag - used for drawing bonus tiles
- 2 Rulebooks - German and English
Unfold the game board in the center of the playing area. Give each player in their chosen player color 1 player mat, 1 military leader token, 15 small player tokens, and 2 discs to record their victory points and their position in the senate. Additionally, each player receives 1 Arch of Trajan and 12 action markers (2 pieces of each color - blue, yellow, light green, orange, pink, and white).
Sort the extra action and forum tiles by their back sides, shuffle them separately and place them as face down piles next to the game board.
Shuffle the demand tiles face down and randomly remove 3 of them from the game. Place the remaining demand tiles face down next to the game board.
Next, randomly draw the following tiles and place them face up on the game board: 10 forum tiles in the provinces (1 in each province) and, depending on the number of players, another 6 (2 players), 9 (3 players) or 12 (4 players) on the designated forum spaces. Place 3 extra action tiles on the yellow spaces of the forum.
Fill all 20 spaces of the construction district with 1 construction tile each.
Place the time marker on the start space of that time cycle apt to the number of players.
Then, all players deploy their military leader token and 1 small player token to the military camp and 1 small player token to the worker camp; each player keeps their remaining 13 small player tokens on the specified area of their player mat. Each player places their Arch of Trajan on the slot marked "I " of their player mat.
Prior to drawing Trajan tiles players allocate their action markers to the trays of their player mat, filling each tray with 2 markers of any color.
Now, sort the Trajan tiles by category (icons), shuffle each pile and allocate the stacks to their 6 spaces on the game board.
Preparing to play the game
Players determine a start player by any method they like. The start player places one of their discs on the start space of the senate track. In clockwise direction, the other players pile up their discs atop the other discs, thus creating a small stack.
Note: The stacking order is important, because ties are broken in favor of the disc higher up in the stack.
The players stack their other discs on the start space of the victory points track (the order of discs in this stack does not matter!).
Each player draws one bonus tile from the bag and places it in front of themselves, yellow side face up. Then, draw 2 more bonus tiles and place them on the game board, on the right of the senate track, yellow side face up. Keep the bag with the remaining bonus tiles within easy reach.
Shuffle the commodity cards and place the pile face down next to the game board. Reveal the top card and place it face up on one side of the pile, creating a discard pile. Then, reveal the next card from the pile and place it face up at the other side of the pile, creating a second discard pile.
Beginning with the start player and continuing in player order, each player draws 3 commodity cards, keeping them on their hand. Each player may take cards from any pile in any combination; whenever a discard pile is empty, it is filled up with the top card from the face down pile.
During the final step of preparing the game all players select 3 Trajan tiles, in player order. Each player puts their tiles on the slots marked II, IV and VI of their player mat, in any order they like. At this point, players may not take more than 1 Trajan tile of each category.
There are 6 categories of Trajan tiles.
Object of the Game
The players try to gain victory points, smartly taking their chances offered by the tactical facilities of six different actions.
The key to success is the canny allocation of action markers to the trays of the action circle. Players try to catch the best time for certain actions. On the one hand, it is important to make use of sudden chances, e. g. to get hold of attractive tiles, on the other hand players must not neglect to give other players a hard time in crucial situations. Additionally, players may scheme relevant actions a few turns in advance.
Regardless of the outcome of your first game, you will become more experienced with each subsequent game and always learn new refinements.
The game is played over four quarters of a year. Each quarter consists of 4 game rounds; each round lasts as long as one cycle of the time marker on the time track. The number of player turns may differ from round to round.
A player's turn consists of the following steps, which the active player performs in this order:
Rearrange action markers and move time marker (mandatory)
Accomplish Trajan tile (if possible)
Perform one action (optional)
After a player has completed their turn, the next player in clockwise direction performs their turn.
Hint: A player influences the playing time of a game round by the number of action markers of the tray they choose as their starting tray.
Rearrange Action Markers (mandatory)
The player chooses one tray of their player mat and takes all action markers from that tray, announcing their number aloud. The chosen tray must contain 1 marker at least.
Next, the player allocates the action markers one by one to the next trays in clockwise direction. The player puts one marker in each tray and continues to do so until they have allocated all markers from the chosen tray.
It is the player's choice which marker (color) they put in what tray. The tray where the player puts the last action marker is the target tray.
Note: If there are more than 6 action markers in the chosen source tray, the player puts even two markers in some of the trays.
Move Time Marker (mandatory)
After the active player has announced the number of their selected action markers, their right neighbor advances the time marker that many spaces on the time track in clockwise direction.
End Of A Game Round
As soon as the time marker arrives at or crosses its start space, the current game round ends after the active player has completed their turn. A quarter of a year ends after 4 game rounds; the game ends after 4 quarters.
In case it is the end of a round, end of a quarter or end of the game, certain activities must be performed before the next player's turn begins.
Accomplish Trajan Tile (if Possible)
If a Trajan tile lies next to the target tray and if there are action markers in the tray matching the colors shown on the tile, the player removes the tile from their player mat, gains the corresponding victory points and may perform the appropriate special action.
The number of action markers in the target tray does not matter and it is of no concern for how long they may be there already.
After the player has performed their special action, that Trajan tile is removed from the game.
Exception: The player collects any Trajan tiles with the icons bread, helmet or flame on their player mat and the- se tiles are effective until the end of the game.
Note: It does not matter if the target tray contains more markers than just those of the matching color combination.
Example: The last action marker added to the tray is a blue one. The tray also contains the 2 action markers required to accomplish the Trajan tile. The player gains 5 victory points and may deploy one of their small player tokens to the worker camp. The Trajan marker is removed from the game subsequently.
Perform One Action (optional)
Regardless if the player had accomplished a Trajan tile or not they may now perform the action assigned to the target tray. A unique action is assigned to each tray of the action circle. The following actions are at the players' disposal:
Example: The military action is assigned to this tray.
The player must choose one of four options:
The player may draw 2 commodity cards from the face down pile and add them to their hand. Then, they must discard 1 card of their choice from their hand and place it face up on top of one of the two discard piles.
The player may pick up the top commodity card from one of the two discard piles and add it to their hand.
The player may play 1 or 2 cards from their hand face up in front of themselves. This is the player's personal display, which could be worth some extra victory points at the end of the game due to certain bonus cards. The player refills their hand by drawing the same number of cards from the face down draw pile as they had played.
The player may ship commodities aboard one of the three ships by playing a combination of cards from their hand in front of themselves. This combination must match the requirement of one of the ship tiles and the player gains that many victory points (see illustration on the right).
If the ship's colored front side is visible, the player flips it to its gray back side - otherwise they leave it as it is! The played cards are added to the player's personal display.
The player takes any one tile of their choice from the forum and places it face up on its designated space of their player mat.
There are spaces in the forum for 3 extra action tiles (yellow) and 6, 9 or 12 forum tiles, depending on the number of players.
Hint: If necessary (due to lack of space), players may pile up the tiles of their display.
The player must choose one of three options:
The player relocates one of their small player tokens from their personal supply on their player mat to the military camp on the game board. Thus, this token turns into a legionnaire until the end of the game.
The player moves their leader to an adjacent provin- ce. If they encounter a tile in that province, they simply seize it and place it on their player mat. The military camp is adjacent to three provinces, same as the province of Britannia (dotted green lines).
The player relocates one of their legionnaires from the military camp to the current province of their leader, if there is none of their own legionnaires yet. The player immediately gains as many victory points from that province as shown if there are no legionnaires of other players in that province. How- ever, if there are other players' legionnaires in that province, the number of victory points is reduced by three points for each other legionnaire.
Important: Only one of each player's legionnaires is allowed in each province.
Please note: Legionnaires do not move from province to province, they go straight to the province of their leader. Players never gain less than 0 victory points for a province.
The player takes the top face up tile from one of the six stacks of Trajan tiles and puts it on that slot of their player mat currently occupied by their Arch of Trajan. Then, they slide the arch of Trajan to the next free slot in clockwise direction.
If all slots are occupied by Trajan tiles, i. e. there is no more free slot for the Arch of Trajan, the Arch is placed in the center of the action circle. As soon as they accomplish one of their Trajan tiles, the player moves the Arch to that free slot next to the tray.
While all possible slots for the Arch of Trajan on a player's mat are occupied by Trajan tiles, the player cannot perform the Trajan action.
Example: The player places their new Trajan tile on the slot currently occupied by their Arch of Trajan ("I"). Then, they move the Arch to the next free slot in clockwise direction ("III").
The player advances their disc on the senate track of the game board by 1 space and gains as many victory points as shown for that new space.
The active player places their disc on top of any existing markers on that space.
Once having reached the 8 victory points space, the player cannot perform this action during the current quarter year anymore.
Example: The player advances their disc on the senate track by 1 space from 4 to 5 and gains 5 victory points.
The player must choose one of two options:
The player relocates one of their small player tokens from their personal supply of their player mat to the worker camp on the game board. Thus, this token turns into a worker until the end of the game.
The player relocates one of their workers from the worker camp to a construction site. If this is their first construction site, they may choose any space in the district. They must place any additional own workers horizontally or vertically adjacent to at least one of their own workers.
In case there is a construction tile on that space, the player places it on the corresponding slot of their player mat and gains the victory points shown on that tile.
If this is the player's first construction tile of that type, they immediately perform the assigned action, in addition to their ordinary turn. The player is granted this additional action only for each of their first construction tile of its type.
A player may deploy their worker to a construction site where workers of other players are working already. This way they do not collect a construction tile, but it helps them to close gaps if they want to approach more lucrative construction sites.
Example: The player deploys their worker to the construction site where a blue worker is busy already. The player does not gain any victory points or a tile. However, now they are next to the attractive window tile with 4 victory points and could fetch in their next turn.
End of ... (Game Round, Year, Game)
End of game round
The current game round ends after the active player's turn, if the time marker arrives at its start space of the time track or crosses it. Reveal a demand tile and place it in good view of all players next to the game board.
The next player in clockwise direction proceeds with the next game round. The time marker does not change its position at the end of a game round, it simply moves on from its current position.
If there are 3 demand tiles next to the game board at this point (i. e. after four cycles on the time track) this quarter ends. Instead of revealing another demand tile, scoring for this quarter takes place now.
End of a quarter year
1. Meeting The People's Demands
First, each player must meet the people's demands. The people have voiced three demands and these must be met.
In order to meet these demands each player has to spend one matching forum tile for each revealed demand tile. Also, players may meet a demand by a Trajan tile showing the required demand icon.
Each player may use each of their Trajan tiles only once during a quarterly scoring.
All forum tiles used to meet the people's demands will be removed from the game later, while players keep the Trajan tiles they had used for this purpose on their mats.
If a player cannot meet one or more demands, they lose victory points as follows:
- 1 unmet demand .............................. - 4 VP's.
- 2 unmet demands.............................. - 9 VP's.
- 3 unmet demands.............................. - 15 VP's.
2. Balance Of Power In The Senate
Now all players resolve their influence on the senate, based on the number of their votes.
Each player totals:
the number of votes according to their current position on the senate track
the number of votes of all senate tiles they have on their mat.
The player controlling the most votes is appointed consul and chooses one of the two bonus tiles on the right of the senate track. They place the chosen tile in front of themselves, yellow side face up.
The player controlling the second most votes is appointed vice consul and takes the other bonus tile, which they place with the gray side face up in front of themselves.
Ties are broken in favor of the player with the higher position on the senate track, in case of the same position in favor of that player whose disc is higher up in the stack.
Next, remove the vote markers (discs) of all players from the senate track and stack them on the senate start space. Put the disc of the player with the fewest votes at the bottom of the stack and finally the consul's disc on top.
3. Remove Tiles And Refill Game Board Spaces
First, remove the following tiles from the game:
All forum tiles that were used to meet the people's demands.
All senate tiles, no matter if they were used or not.
All tiles from the forum (including any extra action tiles).
Then, the following tiles enter the game or are revealed:
Draw 2 new bonus tiles and place them on their designated spaces in the senate, yellow side face up.
Place a new forum tile in each province without a forum tile currently containing neither a military leader nor a legionnaire.
Refill all forum spaces with new forum tiles; refill the 3 yellow spaces with 3 new extra action tiles.
Draw all these tiles randomly and place them face up. Turn the ship tiles back to their colored front side. Finally remove the quarter year indicator from the top of the quarter year tiles. The game progresses with the next quarter year and the next player in clockwise direction performs their turn.
If the last quarter year tile was removed, the game ends and a final scoring takes place.
End of the game and final scoring
After scoring the final quarter year, a final scoring takes place and the players can gain even more victory points as follows:
- Each commodity card on a player's hand ...... 1VP.
- Each worker in the worker camp .................. 1VP.
- Each legionnaire in the military camp ............ 1VP.
- Each Trajan tile on the action circle ............... 1VP.
- Each set of 3 construction tiles with an identical icon ............ 10 VP's
- Each set of 4 construction tiles with an identical icon ............ 20 VP's
After all players have marked their victory points total the player with the most victory points is the winner of the game. A tie for the most victory points is broken in favor of the player occupying the higher position in the senate.