- 80 Building Cards
- 6 Influence Cards
- 6 Action Strips
- 39 Coins
- 6 Brick Tokens
- 18 Point Tokens
- 33 Influence Tokens
- 1 Score Pad
- 6 Emissaries
- 1 Gold Emperor Pawn
- 1 Silver First Player Marker
- Building Reference
Object of the Game
You are master architects of antiquity, working to rebuild Imperial Rome. Compete for access to blueprints and materials in the court of the Emperor, while strategically managing resources and laying out buildings to maximize your score.
Note: These rules are used for games with three or four players. To play with two players, see "The 2-Player Game" on page 6.
Choose a color and take the two starting buildings and one emissary in your color. Return the unused emissaries and starting buildings to the box.
Note: The second white and brown emissaries are used only in the 2-player game.
Place your two starting buildings next to each other in front of you to begin your city, and place your emissary next to them.
It does not matter how your starting buildings are laid out relative to each other, but all buildings in your city should always be oriented so that the bar at the bottom of the building faces you.
Leave enough space around your starting buildings to create a 4x4 grid of buildings.
Each player takes five coins. Place the remaining coins, influence tokens, brick tokens, and point tokens at the edge of the play area as the general supply.
Sort the remaining buildings into four decks based on the Roman numerals on the card backs. Then shuffle the four decks individually and place them facedown next to each other in the middle of the table.
Note: Only use deck IV when playing with four players. When playing with less than four, return this deck to the box.
Add four influence cards into deck I as follows: insert the 3-value card into the deck between the third and fourth cards in the deck, the 6-value card between the sixth and seventh cards, the 10-value card between the tenth and eleventh cards, and 14-value card at the bottom of the deck.
Return the 4- and 8-value cards to the box; these are used only in the 2-player game. Do not look at the cards in the deck while inserting cards.
The oldest player takes the first player marker and will take the first turn.
The player to the first player's right draws a number of buildings equal to the number of players from deck II. Look at the buildings and choose one to add to your hand.
Then, pass the remaining buildings facedown to the player to your right (i.e., counterclockwise), who also chooses one building, and so on. The first player takes the last building. Keep your hand of buildings secret throughout the game.
Shuffle the six action strips, place them in a stack, and place the stack in the middle of the table next to the decks.
Place the emperor pawn in the recess at one end of the action strip stack.
Setup example (three players):
The game is played over 14 rounds. Each round is divided into three phases:
- Upkeep Phase
- Emissary Phase
- Action Phase
1. Upkeep Phase
First, flip over the top action strip
A and place it at the bottom of the stack B.
Then, draw the top building from each deck and place them faceup in front of their respective decks. These buildings are the offer for this round.
After drawing buildings, if an influence card is on top of deck I, place it in the middle of the table next to deck I.
Note: The buildings from deck I are special buildings, denoted by a gold outline around the symbols in the top corners. Because there are 14 buildings in deck I and the game is played over 14 rounds, each of these special buildings will be available in the offer every game.
2. Emissary Phase
Starting with the first player and proceeding clockwise, players take turns placing their emissaries on any unoccupied space of the topmost action strip.
The closer your emissary is to the emperor, the earlier you will be able to choose a building from the offer in the upcoming action phase, but the fewer bricks and cogs you will have to perform actions with.
The further your emissary is from the emperor, the more bricks and cogs you will have in the upcoming action phase, but the fewer choices you will have from the offer.
Bricks and cogs are used to perform actions during the action phase. Each action strip has five spaces-three bricks and two cogs-arranged in different configurations on each strip.
3. Action Phase
After all players have placed their emissaries, players take turns resolving the action phase in the order of the emissaries on the action strip. The player whose emissary is closest to the emperor pawn goes first.
Note: During the action phase, the first player marker does not matter. The order of play is determined by the emissaries.
Choose a Building From the Offer
First, choose one of the remaining buildings from the offer and add it to your hand.
Then, you can perform up to two actions: one build action and one produce action. You can perform these actions in any order, but you can perform each action only once per turn. You must fully resolve your first action before performing a second action.
There are two symbols from the action strip used to perform actions: bricks, which are used during build actions, and cogs, which are used during produce actions.
You gain bricks and cogs based on the position of your emissary on the action strip. You gain the symbol from the space your emissary is standing on, plus the symbols of every space between your emissary and the emperor pawn.
Note: You can perform both actions during your turn, regardless of whether your emissary is standing on a brick or a cog.
Buying Additional Bricks and Cogs
Before performing an action, you can spend coins to gain additional bricks and cogs:
Each brick () costs two coins.
Each cog () costs one coin.
Return the coins you spend to the general supply.
Note: Each coin will be worth one point at the end of the game. Consider the purchase of additional bricks and cogs carefully.
When you perform the build action, you can build one building from your hand. In the top-left corner of each building, you can see the minimum number of bricks required to build it. Any excess bricks are lost; they do not carry over to the next round.
Note: Because the build action can be performed only once per round, there is no benefit to having more than three bricks.
To build a building, place it so that at least one edge of the building is vertically or horizontally adjacent to one of your existing buildings. It must be built in an empty space, and buildings that are already in the city cannot be moved or replaced (aqueducts are the exception).
Your city can have a maximum of four buildings in any row or column. Thus, the largest your city can become is a 4x4 square. You can choose not to perform the build action during your turn, and thus your city can have fewer buildings at the end of the game.
When you build a public building, immediately use the effect of that building once. See the building reference for the effects of the different public buildings.
Some buildings from deck I have between one and three star icons above the bottom bar. When you build one of these buildings, take that many influence tokens from the supply and place them next to your city.
When you perform the produce action, you can use the abilities of each production building in your city once. To produce, you must have two cogs. See the building reference for the abilities of the different production buildings.
Note: Because you can produce only once per round, there is no benefit to having more than two cogs during your turn.
End of your Turn
After performing actions, take your emissary off the action strip and place it next to your city.
Note: Any unused bricks and cogs are lost and do not carry over to the next round.
The player whose emissary is now closest to the emperor pawn then takes a turn, continuing until there are no emissaries remaining on the action strip.
End of the Round
After all players have taken their turns during the action phase, the round ends. The player with the first player marker passes the marker clockwise, and the next round begins.
If there is at least one influence card in the middle of the table, influence scoring happens before the next round begins.
If you have the most influence tokens, you win the influence scoring; take the influence card and place it next to your city, then return all of your influence tokens to the general supply. At the end of the game, players score points equal to the values shown on their influence cards.
If there is a tie, the influence card is not taken that round. It remains in play until a single player has the most influence tokens at the end of one of the following rounds. Thus, it is possible for more than one influence card to be in play. The player who wins the next influence scoring takes all these influence cards.
If at the end of the final round, there is a tie for the influence scoring, the influence card (or cards) are not taken.
End of the Game
After resolving influence scoring in the 14th round, the game ends.
At the end of the game, you score points for your buildings, coins, and influence. See the building reference for a detailed explanation of how you score points for each building type.
Use the score pad to record your points in each category. The player with the most points wins the game. In the event of a tie, the tied player with the most influence tokens wins.
If there is still a tie, the tied player with the most coins wins. If there is still a tie, the tied players share the victory.
Residential buildings with the same value (two, three or four) that are horizontally or vertically adjacent form a residential area. A residential area can also consist of a single residential building if it is not horizontally or vertically adjacent to another residential building with the same value.
There can be multiple different residential areas with residential buildings of the same value in your city.
Calculate the points scored for a residential area by multiplying the total of the values of the residential buildings of that residential area by the number of public buildings of different colors adjacent to that residential area horizontally or vertically.
If there is more than one public building of the same color adjacent to the same residential area, only one of these public buildings counts when calculating points for that residential area. However, one public building can count for multiple different residential areas adjacent to it.
Note: During final scoring, only the color of the public buildings matters. The special public buildings have improved effects when you build them, but are identical to standard buildings of the same color for the purposes of final scoring.
For example, if an Arena and the Colosseum are adjacent to the same residential area, only one of them counts for scoring that area.
Note: A residential area that has no public buildings horizontally or vertically adjacent to it at the end of the game does not score any points.
You score points based on the number of aqueducts in your city. See the building reference for the number of points you score for aqueducts.
You score points based on the conditions shown on the buildings. See the building reference for descriptions of how you score points for each temple.
You score one point for each coin you have at the end of the game.
You score one point for every two influence tokens you have at the end of the game.
You score points equal to the value printed on the cards.