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Download [ Download]. Inspired by the game Conquest of the Empire.

"Life is warefare, and a visit in a strange land; the only lasting fame is oblivion."
—Marcus Aurelius

The philosopher-emporer ruled a vast, and largely stable, Roman empire from 161 to 180 C.E. Though not nearly as martial, philosophically, as the above out-of-context quote may make him seem, Marcus did spend most of his time as emperor on campaign in northern Europe.

In fact, by his day, the city of Rome was no longer the geo-political center of the empire in any real sense. Power was held at court, no longer in the Senate, and court was wherever the emperor happened to be. It was also not uncommon to have multiple emperors in the Late Empire, each bearing the title Augustus and appointing his heir apparent as Caesar.

After his fellow emperor, Lucius, died in 169, Marcus ruled as sole Augustus and his heir, Commodus, ruled jointly with him from 177, taking his father's place as sole emperor upon his death.

Commodus was assassinated in 192, leading to a very hectic succession with multiple claimants vying for the throne. This is the chaos we play in today.

Gameplay Each player starts with a caesar, a fortified city, six generals, and four infantry in one of six provinces of the empire. Each turn players use their troops to take control of other provinces, which leads to an increase of tribute for buying more troops.

Land troops - infantry, cavalry, and catapults - cannot fight on their own. Troops need a leader with them at all times or they are removed from play before the combat phase of the turn.

The sequence is:

  1. Politics (offer temporary truces to other players).
  2. Movement (only combat movement; there is no second movement phase afterward).
  3. Troop desertion. Any combat troops without a leader (general, caesar, or city) in their province will be removed from play without warning before battle.
  4. Battle.
  5. Collect tribute (provinces marked with a silver coin yield 5 PUs, those with gold yield 10 PUs, each city also adds 5 PUs).
  6. Ransom/trade/execute prisoners and raze unwanted cities.
  7. Purchase/place new units (the number at each city cannot exceed the province's worth, 10 or 5).
The Home Province

You must maintain control of your home province in order to collect tribute and keep captives. It doesn't matter if the city is destroyed, but so long as it's out of your control, you do not collect tribute, purchase units, or hold captive generals (any you had there when you lost the province are discarded). You remain in play, however, until your caesar is eliminated.

Victory The player with the last caesar standing wins. Though temporary truces can be made, in the end there can be only one victor - he may choose a friend to share rule with him, but won't be anyone in this game.

For games with fewer than six players, players may split up the caesars or set unused sides to "Does Nothing AI."
Modified by Roger Cooper to make if AI-playable. Leaders are no longer required for movement or survival. Each player is build-limited to 18 infantry, 6 cavalry, 3 catapults. Ships are not limited. All players start with a 2 turn truce. Leaders{| border="0" cellpadding="5"

Unit Cost Movement Attack Defense Notes


Can't be purchased. 2 0 0 Can blitz when accompanied by cavalry; may be ransomed or executed if captured.


Can't be purchased. 2 0 0 Acts as a general; if captured, player elimated and all territories and land units surrendered to capturing player.


30 0 0 0 Generates 5 extra PUs per turn and can create new units. Can be upgraded to fortified city at cost of 25.

Fortified city

55 0 0 0 Generates 5 extra PUs per turn and can create new units. Subtracts one strength point from each attacking unit.
Each leader can lead up to a full "legion" of troops in combat. A legion is defined as:
  • Up to 6 infantry.
  • Up to 2 cavalry.
  • No more than 1 catapult.
Note: Generals (and caesars) can capture undefended territories, but will be immediately captured by enemy combat troops if unaccompanied by their own. We imagine they're not really "conquering" the province, but merely showing up with a personal bodyguard and the requisit paperwork to show the locals who the new boss is.

A full legion consists of a leader and the maximum of each of the types of combat troops. Excess numbers of any type of troop may enter battle but get no attack or defense strength while the total number exceeds the maximum.

For example: A general attacks a province along with 4 infantry, 3 cavalry and a catapult.

Since a legion can have no more than two cavalry, the third is held in reserve (as a noncombatant shown below the general) until casualties open up a space for it in the front line. Although the general only has 4 infantry out of a maximum of 6, that doesn't create extra space for the reserve cavalry; he can only ever bring two cavalry forward at once.

Similarly, the defender has a city as leader, and an extra catapult, which is kept in reserve:

If either side had another leader (a general or a caesar), the reserve units could be brought up to the line, since each leader can lead one full legion.

In any case, no more than two full legions can be placed or moved into a friendly province at once - the stack limits (maximum number per territory) on individual combat units prevent this.

Combat units{| border="0" cellpadding="5" | align="center"|Unit | align="center"|Cost | align="center"|Movement | align="center"|Attack | align="center"|Defense | align="center"|Transport cost | align="center"|Stack limit | align="center"|Notes |- | colspan="8"|

|- | align="center"| Infantry | align="center"|10 | align="center"|1 | align="center"|2 | align="center"|2 | align="center"|1 | align="center"|12 | align="center"| |- | colspan="8"|

|- | align="center"| Cavalry | align="center"|25 | align="center"|2 | align="center"|3 | align="center"|3 | align="center"|2 | align="center"|4 |Can blitz. |- | colspan="8"|

|- | align="center"| Catapult | align="center"|40 | align="center"|1 | align="center"|4 | align="center"|4 | align="center"|3 | align="center"|2 |Rolls two dice in combat, can make multiple kills per round. |}

Naval units Naval units can carry differing amounts of combat units, based on transport capacity and the units' combined transport cost. (Generals and caesars have a transport cost of 0, so any number of them can be transported alone or with combat troops.)

During combat and noncombat movement, they can pick up units from multiple territories, but must drop them all in the same territory.

Land units do not fight at sea; naval units may fight one another, and if sunk, any land units they were transporting are also lost.

Unit Cost Movement Attack Defense Transport capacity Stack limit Notes


15 2 1 1 13 4


25 2 3 3 4 4 Can bombard.

Captured generals Whenever a general loses a battle, he's taken captive by the victor's side. Following each player's combat phase, he has the opportunity to execute any captive generals or ransom his own captives back from other players.

A capured general is placed on his side:

and moved to the capturing player's home province.

Ransom costs 50 PUs and returns a captured general to the paying player, while giving the 50 PUs to the former captor.

When two players each have a captive of the other, a prisoner exchange may also be proposed. Both sides must agree.

There's no limit to the number of genrals a player may capture. When a player captures a rival caesar and holds captive generals of his from prior battles, up to six of the captives are converted to the victorious player's side - any in excess of six are discarded.

Any captives of the fallen caesar become his conqueror's captives and are transported to his home province.

Any generals of a conquered caesar held captive by other players are discarded.

Destroying cities If you've built or captured a city you can no longer defend, you have the option after combat each turn to destroy it. It is immediately removed from play. Any troops in the province remain until eliminated by the enemy or desertion on the player's next round (unless they have a leader with them at that time).

Players may never destroy their own home cities. It would be unthinkable.

Inflation Inflation was rampant in the Late Empire. In the game, each player's total income (not the money he has on hand at the moment, but his total tribute due based on current holdings) is kept track of in the tribute column to the left-hand side of the screen, along with current inflation level (I, II, or III):

  • When one player's income reaches 105, prices double for everyone on everything. If the expansion happened on his turn, the player who causes it gets one last purchase at normal prices.
  • When one player's income reaches 205, prices triple.
  • Inflation never goes back down.

Truces At the start of each turn, players have the option to offer truces to other players. The politics window pops up, showing current statuses and options to offer truces: Truces may be for one, two, or three rounds (represented as TruceI, TruceII, and TruceIII). Both players must agree to a truce.

Multi-round truces automatically downgrade to the next lower level each round, ultimately reverting to war.

You can check truce status at any time by selecting "Show Politics Panel" from the Game menu.

For two-player or other games where you don't want game-enforced truces, you can turn "Use Politics" off in the game options prior to starting the game.

Sea crossings There are three spots on the map where land troops can cross over narrow seas from one province to another without using naval transport. Each is marked with a double-headed arrow: |}

Units: inflation01 inflation02 inflation03 coin city fortified_city fortification_upgrade infantry cavalry catapult general macedonia_general italia_general hispania_general egyptus_general numidia_general galatia_general macedonia_caesar italia_caesar hispania_caesar egyptus_caesar numidia_caesar galatia_caesar transport warship

Nations: Macedonia Galatia Egyptus Numidia Hispania Italia