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Subject: The Great S&T Play-off! Session #1 rss

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It's been far too long, but I finally have a positive Session Report for my S&T Decade o' gaming. I present to you the much maligned, but really quite fun Fall of Rome!

Fall of Rome is a solitaire game, but Dan and I took it on as a team, which was a lot of fun. The cool thing about games like this is the narratives you can create. Since we were just learning the game, we made a couple of mistakes. Well, not really mistakes--we just interpreted the internal rebellion chart to be a little more dangerous than it actually is. Since we were playing the earliest scenario, which is the easiest, it made the game far more exciting.



The year is 67 A.D. The venal Nero is on the throne, but not for long. Four legions are attempting to subjugate the British revolt. The Persians are poised to invade Syria. Rome is about to be in for a rough ride.



During that first year, rebellions sprang up in Hispania, Africa, Illyria and Graecia. The latter two were suppressed, but not the first. The four legions in Britain were smashed to a man ("Good job, Boudicca--you've won Britannia," Dan observed.) The Persians ineffectually bashed themselves against the Palestinian militia.



By the end of 68 A.D., the Spanish rebellion had been put down, but an invasion of Dacians began to brew.



69 A.D., the year of four emperors: The Empire is largely in peace, but the number of legions has been cut in half. The fighting on the Persian front is bitter indeed.



70 A.D. This is the year mauris vitae orci. Rome suffered a slew of internal rebellions including a massive Jewish revolt in Palestine that proved so popular that most of the legions stationed there converted and formed a new State of Israel.



By 71 A.D., after yet another spate of rebellions, Israel's position was secure as they slaughtered the invading Persians. The few remaining legions departed Syria to attempt to salvage what was left of the Empire. It was a dark, dark year.



72 A.D. was the beginning of a slow Roman recovery as the rebellion in Gaul was crushed and troops dispatched to stem the growth of the Egyptian unrest. Jewish forces took Cyprus, however.



The threat to Cyprus was averted by the Persian invasion of the Holy Land, which caused the rampaging Jews to return home. Roman troops landed in Cyprus and began the dirty job of cleaning out the traitorous militia.



The highlight of 74 A.D. was the bloody battle which eliminated four Roman legions, but put paid to the revolting Egyptians once and for all. A small German migration was halted with the judicious application of bribery. Meanwhile, the Jews cleansed their home of invading Persians and prepared to go on the war path again.



Romans and Jews clashed over Cyprus in 75 A.D. whilst Persians bided their time at the Mesopotamian border.



76 A.D. The fighting in Cyprus continues



77 A.D. The Jews return home, forced back from Cyprus. The overflowing Roman coffers enable the restoration of military might.



78 A.D. In a display of martial prowess, Roman legions take Taurica and add it as an Imperial Province. Forces also gather in Gaul for another attempt on Brittania.



79 A.D. Roman forces engage the Britons whilst the Jews fight a pitched battle against the Persians.



80 A.D. The fight for Palestine becomes three-cornered as the Romans enter the fray.



81 A.D. Britian is annexed to the Empire. The Jews crush the Persians. The Romans are unable to deal a crushing blow to the Jews.

The verdict?

Well, I'm well aware now that we played things slightly wrong. Internal rebellions were more frightening than they should have been, and that never would have been an issue if Dan hadn't rolled for rebellions three times in six turns! I must say, however, that it was very exciting to have the Jewish revolt succeed. I made sure to always roll for the Israelis (after all, my mother was born there), and I was tickled to see them survive to the end of the game, even if it was unlikely that they would have made it past 82 A.D.

We also gave the Persians a bit of intelligence and kept them from invading the Holy Land until they had enough forces to actually have a chance at success. We probably won't be so forgiving with the A.I. in the more challenging scenarios.

We'll definitely give this one another spin. Fun!
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Tim
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Nice report. I've played this a few times and enjoyed it. After reading your play, it is now on my fore thought to play it again.

Cheers,
Tim
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Phytoman wrote:
Nice report. I've played this a few times and enjoyed it. After reading your play, it is now on my fore thought to play it again.

Cheers,
Tim


Let us know how it goes!
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Mike D
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Terrific report! I've also enjoyed this one and very much due to all the work you did in pulling the rules together. 2007 you started that remember?

Re-reading my session, I also recall much trouble with internal rebellions, but little to fear from the barbarians and no trouble at all in developing an impressive imperial bank account. I thought it was a fine simulation of the period covered and I'd hope that each scenario has been carefully set up to develop the appropriate historical problems. I really must try it again with a later period.

I notice there's been a nice group effort on the rules too recently. There are some fiddly areas but I think this game is quite playable now with the rules here on BGG.

Looking forward to your second session, review, and Lorelei's wonderful cover art.

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Steve Herron
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There was a update in S&T 181 of the game. Was it a better version (better set of rules) than the old one?
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porkbelly wrote:
Terrific report! I've also enjoyed this one and very much due to all the work you did in pulling the rules together. 2007 you started that remember?



I do remember! At the time, it was just a time-filler project. I hadn't expected that I'd actually be the direct beneficiary of the effort. And it tickles me that so many have rediscovered this game thanks to my work. Very gratifying.

Someday, SOMEDAY, I would love to be Geek of the Week.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Neopeius wrote:
During that first year, rebellions sprang up in Hispania, Africa, Illyria and Graecia. The latter two were suppressed, but not the first. The four legions in Britain were smashed to a man ("Good job, Boudicca--you've won Britannia," Dan observed.) The Persians ineffectually bashed themselves against the Palestinian militia.

By coincidence, I was playing that same scenario last night. It's been ages since I played, so I've been re-familiarizing myself with the rules and undoubtedly have many of them wrong.

Our games started out very differently. You were unlucky to get those revolts in the first year - only a one in six chance for Period A - while I got past that unscathed. But the Persians were a much larger problem for me, as I had no Palestinian militia! I'm looking at 19.1 - Roman Controlled Provinces, where it says "No active militia".

Having no militia, I scraped together 8 legions from the surrounding provinces to face the Persians, hoping to leave them with a one to one attack on the following turn. Then of course I rolled a one in the Legion Rebellion Phase, so the entire force rebelled per the scenario special rule. Trouble in River City!
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Neopeius wrote:
Someday, SOMEDAY, I would love to be Geek of the Week.

You'd be a great choice for that honor, Neo.
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Sphere wrote:
Neopeius wrote:
Someday, SOMEDAY, I would love to be Geek of the Week.

You'd be a great choice for that honor, Neo.


Thank you. If I whine enough, maybe it'll happen
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Sphere wrote:
[q="Neopeius"]
Our games started out very differently. You were unlucky to get those revolts in the first year - only a one in six chance for Period A - while I got past that unscathed. But the Persians were a much larger problem for me, as I had no Palestinian militia! I'm looking at 19.1 - Roman Controlled Provinces, where it says "No active militia".


Oh crap! I didn't even notice that. So I was playing the game wrong.

It didn't affect much, honestly, but I'll need to keep a closer eye on things.

Not that there's really a *wrong* way to play--it was just, essentially, a different scenario.
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Shaun Travers
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I remember playing this a lot back in its day. Always fun. I have played the more recent one as well once when it came out but cannot remember whether it was better or not than the original!

I may just have to did this out again (the old version).
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sztrave wrote:
I remember playing this a lot back in its day. Always fun. I have played the more recent one as well once when it came out but cannot remember whether it was better or not than the original!

I may just have to did this out again (the old version).


Note that the other scenarios are much different from the first one, and indeed different from each other. I kind of remember (disclaimer -40 years ago!) that for scenario 1 you had lots of money.

In the later scenarios, the key to destroying the barbarians is to keep one legion in a province and get barbarian attrition.

Unfortunately, I played before all of the errata came out which was extensive for this game.

Anyway, I think you will find the later scenarios more challenging.

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Breunor wrote:
Unfortunately, I played before all of the errata came out which was extensive for this game.

My recollection is that the errata came with the game.
 
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Bruce Jurin
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tms2 wrote:
Breunor wrote:
Unfortunately, I played before all of the errata came out which was extensive for this game.

My recollection is that the errata came with the game.


I thought there was subsequent errata also - if not, there should have been!
 
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Michael Sommers
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Breunor wrote:
tms2 wrote:
Breunor wrote:
Unfortunately, I played before all of the errata came out which was extensive for this game.

My recollection is that the errata came with the game.

I thought there was subsequent errata also - if not, there should have been!

I've never seen any other errata. There is nothing on this site or on Web Grognards.
 
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Bruce Jurin
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tms2 wrote:
Breunor wrote:
tms2 wrote:
Breunor wrote:
Unfortunately, I played before all of the errata came out which was extensive for this game.

My recollection is that the errata came with the game.

I thought there was subsequent errata also - if not, there should have been!

I've never seen any other errata. There is nothing on this site or on Web Grognards.


Ok, then my recollections were with the errata.
 
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