Republic of Rome

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umotu
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Republic of Rome

#1 Post by umotu » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:41 am

Hi - I was wondering if anyone had Avalon Hill / Victory Game's "The Republic of Rome" - and would be up for playing it sometime. Or - conversely if someone had played and would care to let me know what their experience was like.
Thanks,
tom

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Re: Republic of Rome

#2 Post by Superhawk » Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:32 pm

I had the old version but never got it played. I had the newer Valley version and have a few plays under my belt. Its very long game and its like a more subtle version of Diplomacy. The board is there just to show the status of things. It is a really cool experience but its a game that you play only once every 3, 6, or 12 months and usually with the same people as it is an 8 hour committment.
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Re: Republic of Rome

#3 Post by D Erasmus » Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:40 pm

Had the Valley Games version for a couple months and then realized that it would never get played. BoardGamesWithScott did a review of the game for a charity and after watching it, I wasn't interested anymore. Too much luck for a very long game.
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Re: Republic of Rome

#4 Post by Superhawk » Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:00 pm

It is a very long game, but you can choose how long basically. And the luck has almost zero to do if you can win or not. Its more like a "live action" game than a board game. Everyone is pretending they are a senator and each turn you do more interplayer actions than any board game mechanics. Its unlike like Diplomacy where as you are all Roman senators and you need to stop the game from beating you (the downfall of Rome) but in the end only one person will win, but most of the game is diplomatic actions planned around resources and what not. So yeah, if you want a game that you and manipulate the mechanic better than anyone else to win the game then its not a game for you, but that doesn't mean the random game elements can king-make any player or hinder anyone one from winning either.
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Re: Republic of Rome

#5 Post by D Erasmus » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:57 pm

Interesting. The impression I got from BGWS review is that your senators can randomly die based on a bad die role and can leave you powerless. The way you describe it, it sounds more like a co-op. However, I'd play it to get a better understanding if someone else wanted to drive. Sounds like a game someone should nominate for Epic Game Night.
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Re: Republic of Rome

#6 Post by Captain Yid » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:17 pm

This isn't the game where all the players gang up on one player and stabs him to death, is it?
The wheel is turning, but the hamster is dead.

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Re: Republic of Rome

#7 Post by Skittlebrau » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:34 pm

Et tu Yid? Et Tu?


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Re: Republic of Rome

#8 Post by Captain Yid » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:14 pm

Touche!
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Re: Republic of Rome

#9 Post by petronivs » Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:51 pm

D Erasmus wrote:Interesting. The impression I got from BGWS review is that your senators can randomly die based on a bad die role and can leave you powerless. The way you describe it, it sounds more like a co-op. However, I'd play it to get a better understanding if someone else wanted to drive. Sounds like a game someone should nominate for Epic Game Night.
I own the game, but have not had the chance to get it out for years. I would love to play it again.
Senators do die, and a big part of the game is managing your faction, moving your senators up the cursus honorum (political path), and trying to get as much use out of them as possible before they croak. While you always want one of your senators to get that glorious war to fight, if you send an incompetent armchair general, he could die, and everyone has to think about Rome surviving. So, yeah, it's a co-op in the sense that everyone can lose, but someone's going to eventually win.
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Re: Republic of Rome

#10 Post by Superhawk » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:11 pm

Yeah, thats a better description. Don't view your senators as "you" or people; view it more like resource management. In sone cases i've planned at actually kill of some of my senators because it made sense to "spend" them that way. Its can be like virtual worker placement at times but more like resource management during other times. It really is setup where clever play and taking an odd angle can get a victory as opposed to just more / stronger actions.
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Re: Republic of Rome

#11 Post by umotu » Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:49 pm

Petronivs, I'm in to play. Just name the day and time. I bet there is not going to be a huge crowd, but sounds like we'll get 3 to 5 people.
Who else is in?

I like Superhawk's description of humans as resources to manage.

Hum. Talk about categorical terms! Well, while Rep of Rome seems to be co-op but not quite fully co-op ... is what technically makes it a coop, while the games we call co-op aren't identified as such in the literature, they are called collaborative... Ok, if you're more curious than angry keep reading:

Games like Republic of Rome are described in research literature as containing social dilemmas, situations in which personal and collective goods are at odds with one another. The most famous social dilemma game is the Prisoner's Dilemma. The literature on games (yes, people really publish stuff on this), distinguishes between competitive games and collaborative games (what most of us call co-op, they would call collaborative), collaborative games being games like Pandemic where all players collaborate. Q: Then what is a coop!? A: Coop games are games in which cooperation happens among players out of convenience and makeshift alliance as they to work toward a temporary goal. That happens in lots of competitive games that do not have a scripted social dilemma, eg. Diplomacy, and it happens in competitive games with a social dilemma element: Republic of Rome, God's Playground (another game we need to play, I'm talking to you CD), CO2 (players?, anyone?, anyone?, uh...), Catan: Oil Springs expansion (if you dare Yid you're on), Sidibaba and a host of others in so far as while only one person can win, all could lose, but they are not collaborative because everyone cannot win together. They are merely cooperative. One could say that social dilemmas, and cooperation, emerge in Diplomacy, Risk, Cosmic Encounter and the like in so far as weak players need to gang up on a stronger player. And rounding off the categories of games out there, there are traitor games like Shadows over Camelot and Battlestar, but let's not get into it other than to say "You're a Cylon."

My question about Rep of Rome comes from my interest in making games that are smack in-between collaboration and competition. This includes competitive tournament games in which you need to beat your counterpart, meaning that you will work in your best interest but also attend to bettering the group at your own table. It also includes single group games that allow for multiple players to win and to lose, while not going to the extreme full collaborative "We're all a team and we all win or all lose" or to the other extreme "Only one person wins," or the somewhat in-between "Only one person can win, but we can all lose if ___ happens," or "We all pretend to work as a team but Yid is out to get us, because, well, you know Yid's got to be hiding something" (sorry Yid, I'm taking easy shots here).

I've been asking all these questions because I wanted to know if anyone here knew of a game where any number of players could win or lose depending on how economic conditions played out - "We all win or lose based on meeting our independently held personal target goals, but yet conflict arises out of scarce resources and/or social dilemma elements". I've been making my own games because, well, they don't exist from what I've been able to find and I wanted to know if it was possible to make them. Why torture myself with this insanity? In my research, I was hoping this could lead to interesting conversations in game as the collaborative vs. cooperative vs. competitive space was negotiated; a game that feels more like daily life. Many casual gamers gravitate toward this space and it's relevant to some environmental, political, and economic debates. If you're curious you can read more on that research here: http://iub.academia.edu/ThomasFennewald

Alas, it sounds like Rep. of Rome isn't in the category of games I've been exploring, but no worries! I'd still love to play Rep of Rome, or if anyone wanted to play a 3 hour game that's similar to Rep of Rome, I have CO2.

Thanks for the discussion - when can we play?

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Re: Republic of Rome

#12 Post by D Erasmus » Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:54 pm

I'd play if it was selected as the Epic game. If you are willing to run it, put it on the list.

I think there are a handful of other games that have this same dynamic.

Castle Panic
God's Playground
Cutthroat Caverns
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Re: Republic of Rome

#13 Post by Captain Yid » Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:10 pm

He used the "c" word. Die!
The wheel is turning, but the hamster is dead.

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