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Julius Caesar brings the drama of the most famous and significant Roman Civil War (49-45 BC) to life. Players take control of the legions of Caesar or Pompey and fight to determine the future of Rome - republic or empire.

The game is intended for two players. One player represents Julius Caesar, the other Pompey the Great.


  • Game Map
  • 63 blocks (31 tan, 31 green, 1 blue).
  • Label sheet (for blocks)
  • 27 Cards
  • 4 Dice
  • These Rules

Object of the Game

The game is divided into five Years, each with five game turns. After each Year ends, a Winter Turn is played when players check to see if either has won.

To determine victory, after each Year, players score the total value of Friendly cities, plus one Victory Point (1 VP ) for each enemy leader killed. To win, a player must have 10 (or more) VPs.

If neither player wins by the end of Year 5, the winner is the player with the higher VPs. If still tied, the game is won by the player holding Rome. Otherwise the game is a draw.

Game Play

There are five Years in the game, each divided into five Game Turns. Each game turn has three Phases, played in the sequence below.

I. Card Phase

There are twenty-seven cards: twenty command cards and seven event cards. At the beginning of each Year, the cards are shuffled and six cards are dealt to each player. Examine your cards and discard one. The discard is not revealed.

Each player starts a game turn by playing one card face-down. The cards are then revealed. Card values are Moves (banner) and Levies (circles on banner staff). The player with the higher move card is Player 1 that game turn.

Important: If the cards played are equal (Move number) Caesar is Player 1.

Event cards have a special action defined on the card. The player of an Event card is always Player 1. However, if both plays are Event cards, both events are cancelled and the game turn ends.

Note: Players must play a card, but can elect to take less moves/levies if desired. Commands cannot be saved for future use.

II. Command Phase

Player 1 moves and levies (or executes an Event), then Player 2 moves and levies.

  • Move: Each move allows one Group (any/all blocks in one location) to move one or two cities; Navis can move one or two seas. Blocks cannot attack or reinforce if they move two cities/seas. Blocks entering a city or sea containing enemy blocks must stop.

  • Levy: for each Levy, one step can be added to one existing block, or one new block can be chosen from a player's Levy Pool and deployed on the map at strength I. Choose levies after all movement is complete - they cannot move in the same turn.

III. Battle Phase

Battles are fought between opposing blocks in the same city or sea. They are fought one at a time in any sequence determined by Player 1.

The Roman Calendar

Few Romans knew or cared what year it was, but those who did counted the years from the semi-fabled founding of Rome by Romulus in 754BC. Hence the civil war began in 705 (49BC), and the assassination of Julius Caesar occurred in 710 (44BC) of the Roman Calendar.

Julius Caesar established the Julian Calendar in 709 (45BC). This Calendar corrected a two month error in the solar cycle and established the leap year concept to keep it accurate.

The month of July was renamed after Caesar. With minor revisions to leap years, this is the Calendar we still use (in the West) today.


City VPs total 13. Pompey starts the game holding 7v p while Caesar has only 1VP (Massilia). Rome, Athens, Byzantium, and Ephesus are Vacant. The burden of attack lies with Caesar to avoid an early defeat.

Event Cards

The deck contains seven event cards, each of them named after a major Roman deity. These cards allow special actions to occur that break the normal rules. See each card for details.

Game Turn Example:

  • Card Play: Caesar 2/1, Pompey 2/2. Cards are tied (compare only Moves) but Caesar is Player 1 on ties.
  • Caesar (Player 1): 2 Moves then 1 Levy Po m P e y (Player 2): 2 Moves then 2 Levies
  • Battle Phase: Resolve any battles in the order chosen by Player 1.


One label must be attached to the face of each block. Lightly position each label, ensure it is straight, and then press firmly to the block.

Block Data

  • Strength

    The current strength of a block is the Roman numeral on the top edge when the block stands upright. Blocks can have a maximum strength of IV, III, or II.

    Strength determines how many six- sided dice (d6) are rolled for a block in combat. A block at strength IV rolls 4d6 (four six-sided dice); a block at strength I rolls 1d6.

    For each hit taken in combat, the block's strength is reduced by rotating the block 90 degrees counter-clockwise. The sidebar shows the same block at strength III, II, and I.

  • Combat Rating

    The Combat Rating is indicated by a letter and number, such as a2 or B3. The letter (initiative) determines when a block has a battle turn. All a blocks go first, then all B blocks, then all C blocks.

    If tied, the Defender has the first battle turn. The number (firepower) indicates the maximum roll that will score a hit.

  • Name

    Legions have a city name where this block must be recruited when deployed from the Levy Pool.

Block Types

  • Leaders

    Both sides have three named leaders: Caesar, Antonius, Octavian, Pompey, Scipio, Brutus. Leader blocks include their significant guards, generally elite cavalry. Players start the game with two leaders. The third may be brought into play if a leader is killed.

  • Legions

    Legions are identified by an Eagle icon. They have a number ID on the top left, and a levy city on the bottom. Legions have combat ratings of C2, C3, or C4, with veteran legions having the higher ratings.

  • Auxilia

    Both players have four Auxilia, two light infantry (B1) and two archers (A1). These troops can be raised in any Friendly city.

  • Equitatus

    Equitatus (cavalry) are rated B2 or B3. Like legions, they are raised in specific Friendly cities. These cities have a nearby equitatus symbol on the map. Caesar has four equitatus. Pompey has three equitatus, but also one Elephant.

  • Ballista

    Each player has one Ballista. They have different combat values for defense and offense, see 7.42. They can be built in any Friendly city.

  • Navis

    Players have five Navis to represent the warships used by both sides. They have D2 or D3 combat. In a sea battle this "D" rating has no impact since all

    Navis have the same rating, but they are vulnerable in land battles. Navis must be built in Friendly major ports, identified on the map with a Navis symbol.

  • Cleopatra

    Cleopatra represents the forces of Egypt and is rated C1. She is not a leader per these rules.

    Cleopatra starts play on the Pompey side, but can fight for either side.


The mapboard depicts the Mediterranean Sea and surrounding territory. The Caesar player sits at the north edge of the map, Pompey player at the south edge.

Blocks on the map must be located on cities or seas. Navis must be located on seas or in port cities.

Cities govern the movement and location of blocks. Eleven cities have a value of 1 or 2. These numbers (total 13) are Victory Points (VPs). The numbers are also significant for Wintering.

City Control

The control status of a city can be:

  • Friendly: Occupied by one or more of your blocks.
  • Enemy: Friendly to your opponent.
  • Vacant: Friendly to neither player.
  • Contested: Contains blocks of both players, awaiting Battle Resolution.

Important: Changes to city control are effective immediately. Friendly cities become immediately neutral when left Vacant. Similarly, attacking an Enemy city, even with one block, immediately converts it to Contested status until the battle is resolved.


Cities are connected by important roads of the period, some of them named for historical interest. Blocks move from one city to another via these roads.

  • Road Classes

    Two classes of road are depicted, Major (solid line) and Minor (dotted line). In one game turn, four blocks can move along a Major Road, but only two along a Minor road.

  • Straits

    Four straits appear on the map, each identified by a blue arrow: Herculeum, Messana, Hellespontus, and Bosphorus. Each game turn, two land blocks may cross each strait, but only one land block when the city on the other side is defended.

    Navis ignore straits when moving from one sea to an adjacent sea. Control of cities on either side of a strait has no effect on Navis or Amphibious movement.


There are nine seas: Atlanticus, Hispanum, Tyrrhenum, Internum, Hadriaticum, Egypticum, Aegaeum, Propontis, and Pontus Euxinus. These seas can only be occupied and controlled by Navis.

  • Friendly: Seas occupied by one or more of your Navis.
  • Enemy: Seas occupied by one or more enemy Navis.
  • Vacant: Friendly to neither player. Contested: Seas containing Navis of both players, awaiting Battle Resolution.
  • Sea control: As with cities, changes to sea control are effective immediately. A sea immediately becomes neutral when it is left Vacant.

The islands of Corsica, Sardinia, Sicilia, Creta, and Cyprus are playable. All other islands are unplayable. Moves to-from playable islands requires a Navis or Amphibious Move


All cities located on a coastline are ports. Some ports have a Navis symbol that designates a major port, which are essential for building Navis.

Ports located on sea borders allow access to two seas. Utica and Creta have access to three seas. See sidebar for clarification.

Event Cards

Apollo: the trickster Sun God grants you the power to copy the card played by your opponent last turn. If that card was an event card, it copies that card exactly.

Jupiter: the King of the Gods grants you a defection of one enemy block adjacent to a friendly city. Navis at sea could be chosen, but note that Leaders and Navis do not defect. They are reduced by one step. Cleopatra is not a leader and can defect using this card.

Mars: the God of War grants a surprise attack. All attacking blocks in one battle get to fire before any defending blocks in Round 1. Caution: the Defender may get two fires in a row (last in Round 1 and first in Round 2).

Mercury: the Messenger of the Gods allows blocks in one group to move one extra city. Blocks can move in multiple directions, and use the bonus (or not) as desired.

Neptune: the God of the Sea favors your sea battle or shore attack. This is essentially a "Mars" card for ships.

Pluto: The God of Death likes big battles. He allows road limits to be increased for one Group Move, but not for Regroups or Retreats.

Vulcan: Reduces all blocks in a designated city by one step. No exceptions. All blocks at strength I, including leaders, are eliminated.


Both players deploy blocks in cities as noted. Blocks are always deployed upright at full strength.

Levy Pool

Each player maintains a Levy Pool off-map. Blocks in the Levy Pool stand upright to conceal their identity. Players expend Levy Points to deploy blocks from their pool to the map.

Except for Leaders blocks that are eliminated during play are returned to the Levy Pool, but are always placed face-up until the current Year ends. These blocks cannot be levied until the next Year.

Free Deployment

An optional deployment method. Players deploy blocks as per historical OB, but may swap any blocks on the map as long as the original number of deployed blocks in each city is maintained. Blocks from the Friendly Levy Pool cannot be substituted.

Example: In the historical OB, Pompey has three blocks in Neapolis. For free deployment, any three blocks from the historical deployment can be there.

Caesar, 705 (49 Bc)

  • Caesar: Ravenna
  • Legio 13: Ravenna
  • Navis 2: Ravenna
  • Antonius: Genua
  • Legio 8: Genua
  • Legio 12: Genua
  • Legio 11: Massilia
  • Legio 14: Massilia
  • Navis 1: Massilia
  • Legio 7: Narbo
  • Legio 9: Narbo
  • Legio 10: Narbo
  • Legio 16: Lugdunum
  • Equitatus 1: Lugdunum

Levy Pool

  • Octavian
  • Legio 17, 18, 19, 20, 21
  • Auxilia 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Equitatus 2, 3, 4
  • Ballista
  • Navis 3, 4, 5

Pompey, 705 (49 Bc)

  • Pompey: Neapolis
  • Legio 1: Neapolis
  • Navis 1: Neapolis
  • Legio 3: Brundisium
  • Legio 37: Syracuse
  • Scipio: Antioch
  • Legio 34: Antioch
  • Cleopatra: Alexandria
  • Navis 2: Alexandria
  • Legio 39: Utica
  • Navis 3: Utica
  • Legio 2: Carthago Nova
  • Legio 4: Carthago Nova
  • Legio 5: Tarraco
  • Legio 6: Tarraco
  • Equitatus 1: Tarraco

Levy Pool

  • Brutus
  • Legio 32, 33, 35, 36, 38
  • Auxilia 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Equitatus 2, 3, elephant
  • Ballista
  • Navis 4, 5

Command Phase

Player 1 Moves and then Levies with the values from his active card, then Player 2 does the same.

Group Moves

Command cards have Move Points (MP) of 1 to 4. Each MP allows any/ all block(s) in one location (city or sea) to move to adjacent cities/seas. If not attacking, blocks may continue to the next adjacent location(s).

Blocks that move cannot move again this game turn, except to Retreat or Regroup. When a block has finished moving, turn it face-down to show that it cannot move again this turn.

  • Road Limits

    The maximum number of blocks that can move along any road varies by type: major: 4 blocks minor: 2 blocks straits: 2 blocks (1 if attacking)

    Example: A maximum of 4 blocks may move from Genua to Rome , and one or two blocks may move from Ravenna to Rome.

    Road Limits apply to each player. Hence, both players can move two blocks along the same minor road in the same game turn.

    Example: Player 1 moves 4 blocks from Massilia to Genua to Ravenna. Player 2 now moves 4 blocks from Rome to Genua to Massilia . Both players used the road section between Massilia and Genua , but at different times.

    Of course, if Player 1 had left at least 1 block in Genua , Player 2 could not have moved through this block to Massilia without fighting a battle.

  • Attacking

    Blocks entering an Enemy city/sea are Attacking; the enemy blocks are Defending.

    Blocks may attack from adjacent cities/seas only. A player may attack via two or more roads, but each road will require a separate MP.

  • Pinning

    Attacking blocks (excluding Reserves) prevent an equal number of defending blocks from moving. The Defender chooses which blocks are pinned. The "unpinned" blocks may move normally and even attack, but cannot use any road or sea border used by the enemy that battle.

  • Response Movement

    Player 2 can expend MPs to move unpinned blocks to reinforce Defending blocks in Contested cities/seas. Blocks can Respond only from adjacent cities/seas.

    Important: Responding blocks are always placed in Reserve.

  • Stacking

    There is no stacking limit for blocks during a Year. Stacking applies during the Winter Turn.

Navis Movement

Navis move from a port to an adjacent sea (or vice-versa), or from one sea to an adjacent sea. They can never move from one port directly to another port, except via the adjacent sea.

When located with land blocks, Navis can move to sea as part of a group move for that city. See: Navis Move Examples.

Navis can make one move and attack, or two moves and not attack. See sidebar for examples.

Navis can attack/respond only from an adjacent sea/port. See Battle Reserves for more details about attacking and responding.

Amphibious Movement

Land blocks may move from one port to any other Friendly or Vacant port across one or more adjacent Friendly seas. Cost is 1 MP per block.

Amphibious movement must be made before any other moves are made that turn. Hence, a sea used in amphibious movement must already be Friendly before any other moves are made that turn.

Blocks cannot move by land and sea in the same turn (or vice-versa). 1 Navis block must remain in the sea that was crossed for the entire Command Phase; other Navis may move as desired.

Amphibious moves can never be made to Enemy or Contested ports. Unpinned land blocks in a Contested city may conduct an amphibious move provided the adjacent sea is Friendly.


Command cards have 1, 2, or 3 Levy Points (LP). Each LP allows:

  • One step to be added to one existing block. Multiple steps can be added to the same block, each for LP1.

  • One new block can be chosen from a player's Levy Pool and deployed in a city at minimum strength. Steps can be added to a new block immediately, each step costing LP1 (including the elephant). Multiple new blocks can be deployed in the same city if desired.

    • Leaders deploy in any Friendly city.
    • Legions deploy in their named city, which must be Friendly.
    • Equitatae/elephant deploy in their named city, which must be Friendly.
    • Auxilia/Ballista deploy in any Friendly city.
    • Navis deploy in any Friendly major port. Steps can be added to existing Navis in any port, but never at sea.

    Important: In all cases, new blocks and steps must be raised in Friendly cities, meaning a city currently occupied by at least one Friendly block. New blocks and steps can never be added to Vacant or Contested cities.


Battles are fought one by one after all moves are completed.

Player 1 determines which battle to fight first. Blocks are not revealed until a battle is fought. Reveal blocks (not Reserves) by tipping them forward at current strength.

After the battle is completed, stand all blocks upright, then Player 1 selects the next battle.

Each block has one battle turn per Battle Round. In its turn, a block may either Fire, retreat, or pass, except Retreat is not allowed in Round 1. The sequence of turns depends on combat ratings. "A" blocks go before "B" blocks, then "C" blocks, then "D" blocks. Defending "A" blocks go before Attacking "A" blocks, and so on.

After all blocks have taken one Battle Turn, one Round has been fought. Battles are fought for a maximum of four Rounds. Attacking blocks must retreat during Round 4 in their normal battle turn.

Battle Reserves

When attacking via two or more roads or sea borders, one road/border (Attacker choice) must be declared the Main Attack. Blocks using other roads/borders are Reserves.

Blocks moved by Player 2 to reinforce a battle started by Player 1 are also Reserves.

Reserve blocks may not fire, retreat, or take hits in Round 1. They are revealed and arrive at the start of Round 2 to take normal turns.

Example: Caesar attacks Tarraco from Narbo with 4 blocks (main attack) and from Bilbilis with 2 blocks. Po m Pe y has 3 blocks defending Tarraco, but moves 4 blocks from Nova Carthago to Tarraco.

Round 1 has the 3 Tarraco blocks defending against 4 Caesar blocks from Narbo. Caesar blocks from Bilbilis and Po m Pey blocks from Nova Carthago are Reserves that arrive for Round 2.


Reserve blocks are Disrupted if their main force is eliminated in Round 1. Disrupted blocks immediately lose one step and then fight normally.

Important: If the disrupted player is the Defender, the Attacker now becomes the Defender for the rest of the battle.

Battle Hits

Each firing block in its Battle Turn rolls as many dice as its current strength. A hit is scored for each die roll equal to or lower than the block's firepower.

Example: Caesar 3 rolls 3 dice. He has A3 combat: rolls of 1, 2, 3 are hits.

Each hit reduces the strongest enemy block at that instant. When two or more blocks share the highest strength, the owner chooses which to reduce. Except for Leaders, when blocks are reduced below strength I, they are immediately eliminated and returned to the Levy Pool.

Note: Combat is not simultaneous. All hits are applied immediately.

  • Elephant

    The elephant block has two steps, IV and II. It drops one step per hit which means the block is powerful but fragile.

  • Ballista

    The Ballista block fights at B4 when Defending, but at D4 when Attacking.

Eliminated Blocks

Eliminated blocks are returned to their owner's Levy Pool, but are placed face-up (in front of the upright blocks) and cannot be levied again this Year.

  • Leaders

    Leaders are permanently eliminated. Give the block as a "trophy" to the enemy player, who counts it as 1VP.

    When a player loses a leader, the third leader is added to the Levy Pool and becomes available to be built and deployed (normal cost) in any Friendly city.

  • Cleopatra

    Cleopatra can fight for either side. If eliminated in battle she immediately joins the other side at strength I and fights for that side on her next battle turn.

    During each Winter turn, she must return to Alexandria .


Each block may retreat on its Battle Turn (instead of firing), except blocks can never retreat on Battle Round 1. Blocks that cannot retreat when required are eliminated.

  • Retreat Limits

    Road Limits apply to all retreating blocks each Battle Round. Blocks can never retreat to Enemy or Contested cities/seas.

    Retreating across a strait has a limit of one block per round.

  • Attacker Retreats

    Attacking blocks can retreat on their battle turn starting in Round 2 and must retreat during Round 4. Blocks may Retreat to an adjacent Vacant city via road(s) used to start or reinforce the battle, or to any Friendly adjacent cities.

  • Defender Retreats

    Defending blocks can retreat on their battle turn starting on Round 2. Retreat is made to any adjacent cities, Friendly or Vacant, but not along roads used by the Attacker to enter the battle.

  • Sea Retreats

    Players can retreat land blocks by sea provided an adjacent sea is Friendly. A maximum of one block per Battle Round can Sea Retreat. The destination port must be Friendly. Each block can Sea Retreat across one adjacent sea, to a Friendly port(s) on that same sea only.

    If both players have an adjacent and Friendly sea and a Friendly destination, both can sea retreat.

    Example: with a battle in Utica, if one player has a Navis on Mare Internum, and the other has a Navis on Mare Hispanum, both players can Sea Retreat via their own Friendly sea.

Example Sea Retreats:


When a battle ends the victor may Regroup. All victorious blocks (including any in Reserve) can move to any adjacent city that is currently Friendly or Vacant. Road Limits (6.11) apply.

Amphibious Movement cannot be used to Regroup.

Navis Battles

When enemy Navis occupy the same sea a Navis battle occurs. Navis have D2 or D3 combat, Defender first. As with land battles, the attacker must retreat during Round 4 if any defending ships remain.

  • Shore Combat

    Navis can also be involved in battles ashore in ports, either as the Attacker or Defender. Navis can attack from an adjacent sea only.

  • Navis Retreats

    Navis may retreat in their normal "D" battle turn, starting in Round 2.

    Attacking Navis Retreat to:

    • Seas or Ports they came from, provided these locations are still Friendly or Vacant, or
    • Friendly adjacent seas, or
    • Friendly ports on the same sea.

    Defending Navis Retreat to:

    • Friendly adjacent seas, or
    • Vacant adjacent seas except where the Attacker came from, or
    • Friendly port on the same sea.

    If no Retreat is possible, Navis must win the fight or perish.

  • Navis Regroups

    Navis that win a sea battle can Regroup to any adjacent sea that is Friendly or Vacant, or to any Friendly or Vacant port on the same sea.

Winter Turn

A Year ends when all five cards have been played. A Winter Turn now occurs during which players determine if either has won. Play the winter events in the exact order given.

Cleopatra Goes Home

Move Cleopatra to Alexandria. If enemy-occupied, she joins that side immediately at her current strength.


Determine if one player has won.

Navis to Port

Move all Navis to a Friendly port on the same sea (Caesar first). Navis unable to move to a Friendly port are disbanded, but can be rebuilt in the upcoming Year.

Winter Supply

All cities can supply in winter a maximum of three blocks without penalty. This limit is increased by the city value if any. Hence, Genua can support 3 blocks, Massila can support 3+1=4, and Rome can support 3+2=5.

Each surplus block (owner choice) is disbanded to the Friendly Levy Pool, but can be rebuilt in the upcoming Year.


Players cannot merge blocks on the map. They may disband any block (except Cleopatra) to their Levy Pool. Steps on disbanded blocks are forfeit, but they can be rebuilt in the upcoming Year.

Year Reset

All face-up blocks in Levy Pools stand- up and are available to be recruited in the upcoming Year.

Shuffle all 27 cards and deal six cards to each player. Examine your cards and discard one. The discard is not revealed.

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