Rome has survived another WBC. The players kept Rome afloat in all games despite the inclusion of early republic heats and a late republic final.
The end of game card taunted players multiple times. It found its way into the final 3 cards in most games and an inordinate number of events popping up on last turns led to unexpected extra turns.
The finals were no exception. Extended play led to a raucous forum phase thought to be the last, followed by a violent Senate phase and a final wild forum phase. This led to multiple lead changes in the final 2 turns with at least 4 players achieving first man in Rome status.
The 6-person final included 4 past champions, Llew Bardecki, Tom Phillips, Nick Benedict and Frank McNally. We also welcomed a new player, Bill Herbst, who had attended our demonstration and managed a win and a second place in his heat appearances. The field was rounded out by experienced player, Matthew O’Connor.
The factions for the final would have Frank-Wreath, Nick-Hand, Matt-Eagle, Bill-Star, Tom-Coin, and Llew-Crescent.
As Late Era games often are, the final was eventful. It started amiably enough with offices and concessions spread fairly well among the entire Senate. No clear leader or dominant coalition emerged despite jostling, meanwhile, the factions grew wealthy enough to create a chaotic end game.
Towards the end of the evening the influence race was very tight with only an 18 influence range among the factions. As the table started to suspect the end of game card could come soon the need to make a move became more urgent. The action started with the Hand faction attempting to use seduction to attract an influential senator but a boxcars roll wasted this opportunity.
As always seems to happen, the Catiline conspiracy made a dramatic appearance. Eagle, in third place at the time, had control of a reasonably popular Rome Consul, but Rome had significant unrest. They chose to target the Hand faction which had recently become the most influential after making 150T in donations. The resulting 6 mortality draws resulted in the execution of a key senator, 24I, from Hand and left Eagle’s Consul having -4 popularity. This was dangerous territory for the republic when this consul had to address the public in the population phase but the mob did not rise up.
The forum phase surprisingly ended without drawing the End Game Card and an influence range of 29. Getting past this phase led to an unanticipated Senate meeting with multiple Senators eligible for Consul for Life election. Again sensing the end, the knives came out and shuffled the rankings. First, the Rome Consul was assassinated, leaving one of Crescent’s senators as presiding magistrate, who then orchestrated the election of consuls from Hand and Coin in exchange for the Censorship.
The violence spree continued with Crescent losing a senator, 15I, to an assassin from the Star faction. Wreath paused the action and had a tame tribune nominate their senator, Aemilius, to be Consul for Life, this vote failed and removed that possibility for this senate phase. Wreath’s faction then assassinated Star’s Julius, 20I. In the final burst of violence, Eagles’ faction leader tried to assassinate Aemilius of Wreath, failed, and had their faction leader torn apart by the mob during his mandatory popular appeal.
With the lead shuffled by bloodshed, the game entered what would be, barring a series of event rolls, 7 on 2d6, the final forum phase. This was preceded by careful allocation by all factions of their revenue for attack and defense against persuasions, complicated by their being an unknown number of blackmail/seduction cards left. Coin kicked off the action with an ambitious, high spending, attempt to persuade one of Crescent’s senators. The defense was surprisingly strong but ultimately left the target number at 4 which Coin successfully managed to pass. This moved Coin into the lead. Crescent’s position to the right of Coin left them defenseless after this and the faction was picked clean throughout the round. These gains, however, were not enough to overtake Coin. Wreath had a final shot to take the lead but continued their tournament trend of failed persuasions.
This left Coin as the winner of a very tight influence race and Tom Phillips, after several years out of tournament, picked up his third championship. Aside from his plaque he was awarded a copy of Harris’ Imperium which provides a fictional account of the final era event, Trial of Verres.
This year we collected an email distribution from players and those who could not attend. We hope to use it to collect input for best play times and to find helpers to allow the addition of another heat. If you would like to be added to the list, please contact Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org. The event will require membership support to qualify for trial status next year so expect to see us campaigning in the Forum this January.
|Let the negotiations begin
|Can Rome survive this crew?
|Republic of Rome Finalists including GM Frank McNally