Serve The Empire In New Game, Soldiers Of Rome

January 24, 2020 by avernos

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Warwick Kinrade has returned to ancient history for his latest ruleset, Soldiers of Rome. Using the Soldiers of God, as a basis for the system Soldiers of Rome expands the two lists in the crusades to three in this book.

Soldiers of Rome

While this may not seem like a lot the focus on Soldiers of Rome, like it's predecessor, is to accurately portray the fighting style and tactics of the forces involved, something that often gets lost in generic rule sets with a broader selection of nations and lists.

The rules cover 58BC through to 180AD which as a period runs from the start of the Gallic Wars to almost the end of the Marcomannic Wars. If that's one you don't think you've heard about don't worry you have (remember the start of Gladiator? Good it was that one).

It's a fascinating period and when anyone thinks of Romans, these are generally the ones they picture. While the game itself uses d6 to resolve combat and missiles it's the card mechanic for battle plans and movement that really sets Soldiers of...apart. For this, I shall turn to Soldiers of God as I don't have a good photo of Rome yet.

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As you can see above you divide your table into sections, normally 3 a left, right and centre, called Battles. Depending on your force and plan you'll receive a card for each battle that remains throughout the game. In a turn, you draw cards to your hand and then can play either those or your "battle plan" card on each of the sections.

Any units in that area can be activated, so a generic March card may be used to push all your units forward, while Advance, Loose! and Retire, would only be used by missile units. The choice is yours as commander. This is something I adore, you always have a fall back card, that is your general battle plan, what the commander came up with before the engagement and told to his sub-commanders.

Sometimes the tides of fate will bring you a card that can be so much better for you, but if not then you are not stymied and can return to your default command card. Through these and cards with random one-off effects you get a real feel for command and the armies play as you would expect them to.

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The game is played in paces, with measurements and ranges being defined by them, thus allowing you to play any scale you want, and units are made of multibases so existing collections based for other games should in the main fit nicely.

There are suggested ground scales for some of the more popular sizes of miniatures, but really you could work out what best works for your group and individual set up. The lists are Early Imperial Romans, not a great surprise, Barbarians and Parthians.

While only having three lists there is scope there, with the Barbarian list being robust enough to support Britons, Gauls, Germanians, Dacians and Cantabrians, for example. Allowing you to field a force of hairy naked wild men that best suits to stave off the advance of civilisation.

The book is currently at the printers with a release planned in February from Northstar it will definitely be coming home with me

Here was a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish, it was so fragile.

"If that's one you don't think you've heard about don't worry you have (remember the start of Gladiator? Good it was that one)"

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