780 B.c.: Italian peninsula: The land that will host the foundation of Rome is a critical center for meeting and fighting: several populations settle nearby for access to trading, but they also fight to control these lands.
Under the leadership of brave soldiers, and pushed by the interests of merchants and farmers, Etruscans, Sabines, and other peoples mix and challenge each other on the Seven Hills.
Together they will give light to the city whose name will be known as an empire and as a population that ruled half of the world.
Who among these peoples will have the greatest influence over the city that is rising around the Palatinus?
- 7 Territory tiles
- 7 Laurel tokens
- 12 Scoring discs
- 5 Player screens
- Scoring Counters
- 60 Inhabitants
- 1 Linen bag
Object of the Game
Each player leads one of the populations that settled around the seven hills where Rome was founded. You must struggle to expand your influence over the fields, people, and springs.
The owner of the game chooses a starting player, or you can just choose at random. Shuffle the territory tiles face down. Put one of them face up in the center of the playing area, and place the "Palatinus" token (value: 6) on the hill space.
The starting player draws a second tile and places it adjacent to the first along one side, in any direction he chooses. The next player draws another tile and places it adjacent to the "Palatinus" hill and at least one other Hie.
Placement continues until all seven Hies have been placed (with 4 or 5 players, some players will place more tiles than others) like the example figure. The seven Hies together form the game board: the territory' on which Rome was founded!
Mix the six remaining laurel tokens and place one randomly face up on each of the other six hills. Keep the discs handy.
Take a player screen and the matching- color scoring counter (the counter is only used at the end of the game). Also, take the matching "inhabitants" as shown on this chart, and hide them behind your screen:
- with 5 players: 3 merchants (1 with a wolf on one side), 3 farmers (2 with a wolf on one side), and 1 soldier;
- with 4: 4 merchants (2 with a wolf), 3 farmers (2 with a wolf), and 1 soldier;
- with 3: all pieces of your color;
- with 2: all pieces of your color, plus 2 merchants (1 with a wolf) and 2 farmers (1 with a wolf) from an unused color.
Place unused materials back in the box, they are not used this game.
Starting game board.
The game is played in turns in clockwise order. During your turn, you must place one of your inhabitants on one of the empty spaces of the board.
Inhabitants with the wolf must be played with the wolf side face up. You can check your concealed inhabitants at any time, if you wish.
You may not place any soldiers during the last three turns (last four turns when playing with 2 or 3 players). In other words, you cannot have any soldiers still behind your screen when you only have three inhabitants left to play (four with 2 or 3 players).
Example, in a 5-player game, you will have 7 turns, and you must play your soldier on turn 1,2,3, or 4.
End of the Game
The game ends when all inhabitants have been placed. All face down inhabitants are now turned face up.
Place your screen down on the table so you can use the influence track on the back. Score each hill one at a time in alphabetical order (A-G). For each hill, you will determine:
- The effect of the soldiers; and
- Who controls the hill.
A. Effect of the Soldiers
For each soldier in the six fields surrounding the hill, examine all adjacent merchants and farmers (regardless of their color), even if they are on a different hill tile:
if the number of merchants equals the number of farmers, then the soldier retreats (return it to the box);
if the number of adjacent merchants and farmers is different, the soldier captures the larger group, and earns fame.
Captured inhabitants are given to the owner of the soldier. (It is possible for a soldier to capture inhabitants of his own color. If there are only merchants or only farmers next to a soldier, he captures all of them!)
If more than one soldier is on the same tile, then they are resolved at the same time. Adjacent soldiers have no effect on each other.
If more than one soldier captures the same inhabitant, one of the soldier's players takes the inhabitant, and the other takes a 1-point disc.
B. Controlling the Hill
At this point, you determine who controls the hill. Starting with the field marked with the arrow, the total influence for each inhabitant is determined. Each player tallies his influence using the influence track on his player screen.
Each merchant awards influence points for each adjacent inhabitant: 1 for each other merchant, 2 for each farmer and 3 for each soldier. A merchant even awards influence for inhabitants of the same color;
Each farmer awards influence points for each adjacent field and spring: 2 for each unoccupied field, 2 for each spring (it doesn't matter if the spring is occupied or not). The farmer also awards influence for a spring on his own field space.
Soldiers do not award any influence points.
Important: The inhabitants bringing influence are only the ones surrounding the hill, but they consider all other adjoining inhabitants, even if they lie on a different hill tile.
The player with the most influence points controls the hill and takes the laurel token on it.
In case of a tie, the laurel token is discarded (return it to the box), and each tied player gets one 2-point disc instead. If no player has influence over the hill, the laurel token is discarded.
Once the seven hills have been scored, each player counts his victory points as the sum of:
- the number of captured inhabitants;
- the values of his tokens and discs.
The player with the most points is the winner. In case of a tie, the winner among tied players is the one who has the most tokens, discs and captured inhabitants.
Most of the time, you will need more than one inhabitant on a hill in order to gain control of it. Do not scatter your people all over the board! Remember: the Roman Empire depends on you!