Rise of Rome II (ac20)

by Stephen Agar

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This variant is loosely based on the rise of Republican Rome throughout the period 219-146 BC; years during which Rome conclusively defeated the Carthaginians, Macedonians and the Selucid Persians – of the players represented in this variant only Ptolemaic Egypt survived into the next century. Rise of Rome I was first published in June 1992 in Spring Offensive No.1. This version extends the original five player game into a seven player variant by introducing two new players, the Barbarians and the Greek States (basically the Achean League and Aetolia) and also introduces Leader Units and various additional rules connected with the occupation and Sacking of supply centres and Land Bridges. The original rules concerning Armed Neutrals have been omitted in order to simplify the game. Rise of Rome II was first published in Spring Offensive No.9 (February 1993).


0. Usual Diplomacy rules apply, save where modified below.

1. Players

1.1 There are seven players in this game with the following initial placements:


Fleet Carthage – Army New Carthage – Army Thapsus


Army Umbria – Fleet Campania – Army Rome


Army Lysimacheia – Fleet Cassandreia – Army Pella

Ptolemaic Egypt:

Army Alexandria – Fleet Cyprus – Army Memphis

Seleucid Persia:

Army Antioch – Army Mesopotamia – Fleet Phrygia

The Greek States:

Fleet Achea – Fleet Aetolia – Army Boeotia

The Barbarians:

Army Aquitania – Army Celtiberia – Army Galatia – Army Illyria – Army Moesia

2. Neutrals

Neutral Supply Centres:

Coele Syria (*) Crete (*) Cyrene (*) Epirus (*) Hippo Regius (*) Liguria (*) Massilia (*) Pergammon (*) Pontus (*) Rhodes (*) Saguntum (*) Sparta (*) Syracuse (*) Thessaly (*)

3. Leader Units

3.1 The civilised players (ie. non-Barbarian) have appropriate Leader Units. These units have a combat value of 1/2 and have no movement restriction (ie. they can move on land or water). Leader Units do not need a supply centre to sustain them.

3.2 The players have the following Leader Units:

Carthage – Hannibal
Egyptians – Ptolemy IV
Greeks – Philopoemen
Macedonia – Philip V
Persians – Antiochus III
Rome – Publius Scipio

3.3 The civilised players can choose which home s.c. their Leader Unit shall start the game in. The starting locations for Leader Units shall be submitted with the first Spring orders and shall not be revealed until the adjudication of the first Spring orders.

3.4 Leader Units may share a space with a unit of their own nationality in which case the unit being led moves with a the combined strength of the unit concerned and the Leader Unit. There is nothing to stop a Leader Unit supporting an adjacent foreign unit in the usual way, though any attack on a space containing a Leader Unit giving support will cut that support as well as the support of any other regular unit in the space.

3.5 A Leader Unit cannot take control of a supply centre on its own.

4. The Barbarians

4.1 The Barbarians may never build fleets, although Barbarian armies can be convoyed by civilised players.

4.2 Although the five Barbarian armies start the game in the five Barbarian home centres, the Barbarian player can only build further armies in vacant the Barbarian build areas in the north of the board (Gaul, Germania, Dacia and Caucasus). These Barbarian build areas have no economic value in themselves and may never be entered by non-Barbarian units.

5. Supply Centres and Building Units

5.1 The Barbarian home centres are just like any other home centre except that if a civilised player captures a Barbarian home centre, then he must ensure that that centre is occupied by one of his units at the end of at least every other

Autumn season from the time of its original capture if he is to retain control. If a captured Barbarian home centre is left empty at the end of an Autumn season, then that centre rebels, returns to Barbarian control and a Barbarian army will be built in that home centre (not in the build area) immediately. Thus it is possible for the Barbarian player to re-enter the game even after he has been eliminated.

5.2 Unlike regular Diplomacy, a civilised player may build units in any supply centres controlled by that player provided they are vacant. Thus, once Macedonia takes Epirus it can build fleets facing towards Italy. Barbarians can only build in the Barbarian build areas.

6. Sacking Supply Centres

6.1 Any player may order a unit to sack any supply centre which it occupies. The effect of sacking a supply centre is that the player concerned can derive enough resources from it to convert the unit doing the sacking into a double unit (2A or 2F) for the following two movement seasons including retreats (ie. one game year), but in so doing the supply centre is eliminated and the space reverts to being a non-supply centre space. After two movement seasons the double unit reverts to a single unit. However, the order to Sack a supply centre is prevented by an attack on the unit doing the sacking (whether successful or not). Barbarian home centres cannot be sacked.

6.2 Multiple units which come into existence through Sacking a supply centre cannot sub-divide into two units not split their strength into two separate actions. However they move, support (and retreat) with the strength of two units and any conflict involving them is resolved accordingly. An attack on a multiple unit which is giving support will only cut that support to the extent of the value of the attack.

7. Land Bridges

7.1 Land Bridges exist between the following spaces (as marked on the map):

New Carthage – Mauretania
Massilia – Sardinia
Liguria – Sardinia
Hippo Regius – Sardinia
Zama – Syracuse
Sparta – Crete
Rhodes – Crete
Crete – Cyrene
Crete – Libya
Lysimacheia – Pergammon
Thrace – Bithynia
Thrace – Pergammon
Memphis – Arabia

7.2 A land bridge is a direct connection which allows Armies (but not Fleets) to move directly from one space to the next.

7.3 An army may not use a land bridge if at the beginning of the move the intervening sea space is occupied by a fleet belonging to a different player which is ordered either to attack the space from which the unit is hoping to move or supports an attack on that space. Thus a Carthaginian F(AFRICAN SEA)-Syracuse would prevent the Romans from moving A(Syracuse)-Zama. On the other hand if the Carthaginians ordered F(AFRICAN SEA) S F(IBERIAN SEA)-Sicily, then a Roman order of A(Syracuse)-Zama would succeed.

8. Map Oddities

8.1 Fleets may move through Achea and therefore it only has one coast. A Fleet in Achea may not convoy.

8.2 Rhodes, Sardinia (which includes Corsica) and the Balearic Islands can be moved through by Fleets and a Fleet in these spaces can convoy an Army through them. For example: F(Rhodes) C A(Phyrgia)-Pergammon; A(Pergammon)-Phrygia would all succeed.

8.3 The Ionian Sea goes from the Adriatic right round the toe of Italy through the straits of Messana. However, Armies and Fleets may move directly between Sicily and Campania (and vice versa) irrespective of the Ionian Sea.

8.4 Boeotia has two coasts (ec and wc).

9. Calendar

The first move takes place in Spring 220 BC.

10. Victory

Initially there are 37 supply centres on the board. Ownership of a clear majority of supply centres on the board at the end of Autumn Adjustments in any given year are needed for victory.

Designer’s Notes

The Land Bridges have been included to facilitate the movement of armies (including Barbarians) north/south. If a realistic justification is needed let us say that they represent routes where sufficient local transports can be collected together to transport an army across a sea – whereas in ancient times most sea routes were along coasts. Land Bridges exist into two home centres, New Carthage and Campania, in order to facilitate early Carthaginian and Roman attacks eastward (though this could make the Romans vulnerable to encirclement by Barbarians). Some quite large spaces have been created at the bottom of the board to facilitate east/west conflict.

It will be imperative for both the Macedonians and the Romans to reach an understanding with the Barbarians early on, or concentrate on eliminating them. Although the Barbarian player starts the game with a clear superiority in numbers, it may well prove difficult for him to be able to concentrate his units together unless he is able to play the civilised players off against each other. I have deliberately left a route via Thrace and Bithynia for the Barbarians to be able to cross the Hellespont without going through a Macedonian home centre. The civilised players would be well advised not to let the Barbarians get too strong.

In many respects the Greek States are in the most difficult position because they are very vulnerable to attack by fleets. However, the land bridges between Sparta/Crete/Cyrene/Rhodes do open up possibilities for them, while a Greek/Barbarian alliance could reap big dividends.

The board is weighted to the east, where most of the supply centres are. Rome and Carthage may be well advised not to waste too much time in the western mediterranean, while all players should beware a Syrian/Egyptian juggernaut.