Each faction has a faction benefit and a take-over benefit, which are distinct from each other and are used at different points in the round.

Faction benefits are summarized on the family sheets, depicted on the game board with symbols, and described in detail below.

They are received in Phase 5: Faction Benefits. Some faction benefits can only be received if certain conditions are met, while other present options that the player receiving the benefit may choose between.

A faction's faction benefit is granted in Phase 5 of every round, as long as that faction has a controller. Remember that the controller is the player who has most recently taken over the faction and has a legal set of that faction faceup in front of them. A faction marker does not denote control.

Take-over benefits are summarized on the faction cards and described in detail below. They are received in Phase 4: Faction Take-overs. A faction's take-over benefit is only granted in turns where a new player seizes control of that faction. When the same player maintains control of a given faction, or when no player controls that faction, its take-over benefit is not granted that round.

Leaders

One card in each faction represents its leader. That card always has a card value of zero, but brings a special benefit if played as part of a set that succeeds in taking over that faction in Phase 4. These special leader benefits are also described below.


Gladiators

Gladiators were professional combatants who fought spectacular battles against each other - frequently to the death. - as public entertainment.

The first such combats primarily involved slaves and condemned criminals, but as the battles developed into a popular sport, they increasingly attracted free citizens. Gladiator battles were a part of Roman daily life until the fifth. century AD.


Take-over Benefit

The new controlling player receives one legion.


Faction Benefit

  • The player receives the denarii on the Colosseum. Note: On a turn where the Gladiator controller does not exercise this option, any denarii on the Colosseum simply remain there, and can be claimed in future rounds.

    or

  • The controller receives one card from the draw pile, and can also dispatch an assassin. Dispatching an assassin allows the controlling player to remove the highest- value card from among any set of faction cards currently displayed on the table. Exception: An assassin may not target a set that contains only two cards.


Leader: Spartacus

Spartacus was a Roman slave and gladiator who led a slave revolt against Rome at the time of the late Roman Republic. He fled along with 78 other gladiators after the rebellion, and had a large following of other slaves, principally from large farms.

He was also joined by a considerable number of impoverished free men. Spartacus led this army - which supposedly consisted of 200,000 men - in the third slave war and emerged victorious from many encounters with Roman legions. His army eventually suffered a crushing defeat when he advanced on Rome.

If Spartacus is played during a faction take-over, the new controlling player immediately receives one additional legion.


Legates

"Legate" was the name predominantly given to an envoy dispatched to a foreign ruler or state.

Legates could, however, also be instated as temporary governors in outlying provinces where they oversaw administration, and the local Roman troops, by order of the senate. High-ranking military officers tasked with supporting a commander were occasionally called legates.


Take-over Benefit

The new controlling player receives two laurel wreaths.


Faction Benefit

  • The controlling player receives a scroll tile (provided he does not already have one). or

  • The controlling player receives one card from the draw pile, and can also buy one legion by paying to the stock denarii equal to the sum of card values of his currently displayed Legate card set.


Leader: Varus

Publius Quinctilius Varus was a Roman politician at the time of Augustus. He was a legate in Syria, and later in Germania.

His name is most notably associated with the defeat of three Roman legions attacked by Germanic troops under Arminius. Varus committed suicide on the battleground. When Augustus heard of Varus's defeat, he is reputed to have called out "Quintili Vare, legiones redde!"

Varus was renowned for his diplomatic skill and was reputed to be an experienced military commander, although laziness was also said to have been one of his outstanding character traits.

If Varus is played during a faction take-over, the new controlling player immediately receives one additional laurel wreath.



Praetorians

The praetorian guards were a troop of bodyguards who protected the Roman emperors. The term stems from "praetorium", which was the main square in a legion camp, where the commander's tent was pitched.

Although the number of praetorian troops in Rome was limited, their presence remained a powerful political factor, as there were no other troops stationed in the city.


Take-over Benefit

The new controlling player receives one card from the draw pile.


Faction Benefit

The controlling player receives one legion.


Leader: Gaius Tigellinus

Gaius Ofonius Tigellinus was a praetorian prefect and a favorite of Emperor Nero. Although of humble origin, Gaius was infamous for his debauched and cruel lifestyle, and was suspected of having started the great fire of Rome.

When Nero's fortunes ebbed, Tigellinus withdrew his allegiance and influenced the praetorian guard to do the same. He was relieved ofhis command, and, in the end, sentenced to death.

If Gaius Tigellinus is played during a faction take-over, the new controlling player may discard a card from his hand in exchange for one legion.


Plebeians

The plebeians were the common people of the Roman Republic. Most were farmers and craftsmen, but they stood in sharp contrast to slaves, who did not count as Roman citizens. Thanks to their protests, the plebeians secured more rights over time, including the appointment of the people's tribune.


Take-over Benefit

The new controlling player receives one card from the draw pile, and can also dispatch an assassin. Dispatching an assassin allows the player to remove the highest-value card from among any set of faction cards currently displayed on the table.

Exception: An assassin may not target a set that contains only two cards.


Faction Benefit

  • The controlling player receives one card from the draw pile and two denarii from the stock. or

  • The controlling player receives a tribune tile, provided he already has a scroll tile and also currently controls the Patricians.


Leader: Agrippa

Agrippa Menenius Lanatus was a consul in the early Roman Republic. He is said, to have played a decisive role in resolving the class conflict between the plebeians and the patricians.

When the plebeians climbed the holy mountain and went on strike (which paralyzed Rome) the senate sent Agrippa, who himself came from a modest background, to talk them into returning.

He supposedly succeeded by telling an allegory of the stomach and limbs, but the fundamental political demands of the plebians were also met.

If Agrippa is played during a faction take-over, the new controlling player receives either a scroll tile (provided he does not already possess one) or one card from the draw pile.


Patricians

Patricians were members of the upper class of ancient Rome, belonging to the families of famous or influential ancestors. Marriage between patricians and plebeians was forbidden in the early Roman Republic, but these restrictions were relaxed over time.


Take-over Benefit

The new controlling player receives one laurel wreath.


Faction Benefit

The controlling player receives the proconsul piece, which can be used as an additional follower of the controlling player's own color in the next round, as long as the controlling player continues to control the Patricians.


Leader: Scipio Africanus

Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus was a military commander and statesman of the Roman Empire. He became famous for his military successes against Hannibal and his contribution to restructuring the Roman legions, and was well-known for his eloquence.

On returning to Rome after a successful campaign, he fell afoul of a cabal of senators who accused him of corruption, but he made a brilliant speech referencing the anniversary of one of his triumphant battles, and engendered a storm of public enthusiasm.

If Scipio Africanus is played during a faction take-over, the new controlling player immediately receives 10 denarii from the stock.


Vestal Virgins

The vestal virgins were Roman priestesses of the goddess Vesta. Recruited as six- to ten-year-old girls, they each served for 30 years.

Their main task was to tend the eternal fire at the temple shrine, and they enjoyed many special privileges in public life. However, they lived under strict vows of chastity, as the loss of their virginity was considered a great harm to the community.


Take-over Benefit

The new controlling player immediately receives 5 denarii from the stock.


Faction Benefit

  • The controlling player receives one laurel wreath. In addition, he may take the temporary favor of the gods tile (provided he does not already have an eternal favor of the gods tile).

    However, the controlling player must return the temporary favor of the gods tile to the stock when he loses control of the Vestal Virgins.

    or

  • The controlling player receives a tribune tile, provided he already possesses a scroll tile and also currently controls the Senators.


Leader: Aquilia Severa

Iulia Aquilia Severa was the daughter of the consul Quintus Aquilius, and was considered a great beauty. Although a vestal virgin, she was wedded by an emperor, much to the horror of the people and priesthood.

A vestal virgin involved with a man would normally be buried alive, and many were put to death in this way under former emperors. This breach of Roman law and tradition was not punished, however, as the emperor justified his actions by arguing that godlike children could be expected from such a union.

If Aquilia Severa is played during a faction take-over, the new controlling player receives the eternal favor of the gods tile, provided he does not yet possess it. The eternal favor of the gods need not be returned when the controlling player loses control over the Vestal Virgins (as opposed to the temporary favor of the gods tile, which must be).


Senators

The Roman senate, a 300-seat body comprising high-ranking state officials whose terms had expired, was the most important decision-making body of the Roman state until the end of the Republic. Officially, the senate's function was advisory only, but in practice, it was instrumental in steering the Roman state until the time of Augustus.


Take-over Benefit

The new controlling player receives one laurel wreath.


Faction Benefit

  • The controlling player receives a scroll tile (provided he does not already have one).r

  • The controlling player receives two cards from the draw pile.


Leader: Cato The Elder

Marcus Porcius Cato Censorius was a Roman commander, historian, author, and one of the most influential politicians in Roman history. He stands to this day as an exemplar ofa Roman conservative.

Having held practically all of the important offices in the course of his military and political career, he was one of the most powerful senators, and a resolute advocate of the third Punic War.

All his speeches in the senate supposedly ended with, "Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam", which means, "Furthermore, I am of the opinion that Carthage must be destroyed".

If Cato the Elder is played during a faction take-over, the new controlling player receives a faction marker of his choice that he does not already possess (in addition to the Senate faction marker he might receive).


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