Solitaire Caesar (folio)
Price: 34.00 €
In Solitaire Caesar, the Player commands Roman forces attempting to build an empire that will last as long as possible. Threats come from a variety of Civilized and Uncivilized Barbarian(non-Roman)opponents, while the internal stability of the empire is reduced. A typical game should take about 60 minutes to play.
DESIGNER NOTES BY DAVID KERSHAW
As with my solitaire game, Barbarossa Solitaire, Solitaire Caesar was developed because I needed a game that could be played quickly, did not require finding someone to play against, and gave me the option to simulate (and alter) history.
The game is vast in scope, covering nearly 2000 years of the history of the Roman Empire, from the early battles with Carthage to the stamping out of the Byzantine embers by the Ottomans. The original aim was to see how to simulate the growth of the Empire and then the subsequent collapse of the West. The gradual erosion of the East came about later. A decision made early on was to make no attempt to simulate Rome’s interminable internal squabbles – from provincial rebellions to full-scale civil wars. After all of these, the Empire was restored – there was no split into separate states, even the great split into East and West is not worth simulating in the game, since it would only last a couple of turns.
Equally, I have not attempted to recreate the rise of other political states. In game terms, the vast bulk of these consisted of only one or two of the game’s Provinces. The major exception would be Parthia/Persia, and I have abstracted them through Parthia being an entry point for a “barbarian” Army.
It should also be noted at this point that the term “barbarian” is used in the purest Roman sense to refer simply to anyone that wasn’t Roman, whether they were a civilized state, like Persia, or a rabble of horse-riding nomads with no armor and wooden implements. The only distinction between these barbarians in the game is what they do to Cities when they take them – the civilized barbarians keep them, while the uncivilized barbarians destroy them. The map is based on Roman Provinces partly, but also on actual invasion routes taken. The sea is no obstacle for barbarian movement, and the Vandals certainly proved that point with their rapid rise to a seafaring nation comparable with Carthage once they moved from Germany, through Spain to North Africa. You just could not make up this sort of movement by barbarians, and this is the prime reason why barbarian movement is designed to be so unpredictable.
In terms of game play, the early rise of Rome and fall of the West is quite exciting, but then Barbarian Armies fill the board and the game becomes a grind for survival of the Byzantine rump. An option for a shorter game is included to leave this stage out, if desired. However, for some players, there is a grim satisfaction in the hanging on to preserve the ideal of the Empire.
Finally, heartfelt thanks to all of the play testers – several of the optional rules and variants have come from play testing: Nate Porat, Jason Sample, Chris Talbot, Tim Deagan, Lee Kennedy, Christopher Brandon, Paul Johnson, “Rohag”, Rami Sader, and Richard Hecker.