A game for 2 – 5 players
Play time 90 – 180 minutes
Designer: Dom Atlas
Artist: Ivan Reber
This game box contains the following components:
1 Massive game board
5 player cohort boards
One quick reference player turn guide
10 Player markers (5 different colors, 2 for each player)
40 Legio pawns (8 for each player)
10 Officer pawns
100 Road milestones (20 for each player)
60 City forts (12 for each player)
5 Influence cubes (1 for each player)
41 Hostility tokens
1 Round marker
4 Conquest dice
50 Stone resource cubes
50 Denar coins
18 Mandatum cards
60 Deceptio cards
18 Castra cards
27 Fortuna cards
Goal of the game
The goal of the game is to get the most influence at the end of the game. During the game you gain influence by conquering cities. For the final score you add the points to your total for the cities you control and completed Mandatum to your influence. The player with the most influence (the highest score) wins.
Let’s get it to the table
First we’re going to setup the game board.
Place this massive game board in the middle of the table and give al the players a Cohorte player board. All players also choose a color of their choice to play with. They all receive all the pieces and place these besides their player board (Cohorte).
Place the round marker on the green space marked “1” on the round tracker.
Randomly set the first turn order (by rolling dice, age etc.), then place one of each player markers on the turn track.
Shuffle the different card decks and place them onto the board. Then place three Castra cards face up, from left to right.
Deal 2 Deceptio cards face down to each player, the last player receives 1 additional Deceptio cards.
Shuffle the Mandatum cards and draw cards equal to the number of players plus 2. Place these face up next to the board. Any player can complete these cards. Also give every player 2 Mandatum cards face down to each of the players, only the players can complete their own cards.
Place the Denar coins, stone cubes, hostility tokens and basilicas so every player can reach. Give every player 12 Denar and 8 stone.
Setup your own player board, place five Legio pawns in the red spaces on the Cohorte board, place the influence cube on the influence tracker in slot 1, this is your current influence.
In turn order, every player place one fort and one of their player markers on a city in SPQR (the Red Region) and a road milestone adjacent to it. Roma can’t be controlled by any player.
Now we’re ready to play!
VIAE will be played over multiple rounds divided into 5 phases
Fortuna; start of the round
Ordo; Setting the turn order
Stipendium; Receive resources
Agere; Action phase
Epilogus; End of the round
At the beginning of a round, place the round maker onto the current round number. After 2 or 3 rounds a city can become hostile but also the enemies of Rome will begin to fight back. When you place the round marker on a red spot, reveal a Fortuna card and resolve it’s effects. The events are active until the end of a round.
Remove your player markers from the turn tracker and starting with the first player. Each player will choose a new spot on the turn tracker.
But beware, some positions will cast you Denar, other places are free. You have to take turns based on where you are on the turn tracker.
Every player will receive their resources. You can receive resources for
– Each road you control;
– For each city you control
– Grant bonus resources when there are no hostile cities in the same region
– Draw deceptio cards based on your influence
Players will take actions in turn order. In a 2 player game you get 5 actions, 4 actions in a 3/ 4 player game and in a 5 player game you get 3 actions.
You can choose the following actions;
– Build a road; place a milestone on any unbuilt road adjacent to your player marker.
– Move; you can only move on built roads, so when there’s an road connected to a city , you can move on it.
– Sail; You can sail from any harbor to any other harbor on the map
– Scout; You can assign your Legio as scouts to any adjacent hostile city.
– Conquer; You can conquer any city that’s not controlled by the another player. An uncontrolled city is either peaceful or hostile.
– Build a basilic; You can spend 5 stone and 5 denar to build any type of Basilica in a region outside of SPQR.
– Prepare; You end your turn and gain 2 Denar for each action you didn’t take
– Recruit; you can rectuir more Legio or on Officer from the Castra
There are also 2 free actions, play a deceptio card or buy influence in Roma.
At the end of your turn, you pay your Cohorte
Pay 1 Denar fro each Legio you control
Pay 2 If you have an officer in your first slot
Pay 3 If you have an officer in your second slot
If you can’t pay any units, you must discard them.
Shuffle the Deceptio, discard it back into the deck. When it’s the end of the round, Fortune effects end and a new round will start.
End of the game
The game ends as soon as a player completes 3 Mandatum, we continue the game until everyone has played his turn in this round.
Once the round is finished, count your total points. Take the number on the influence track in your Cohorte board and add 1 point for each city you control and bonus points from any completed Mandatum cards.
The player with the most points is the winner of VIAE; Roads of Rome
Final Conclusion & rating:
Weight: 2.50/ 5
My rating: 🎲 🎲 🎲 🎲 🎲 🎲 🎲 🎲
Overall impression of the game
Artwork is very nicely done and really brings the theme to life. The game has a unique gameplay with a good playing time, it does not take too long but you are certainly not finished very quickly and have enough time to perform actions.
VIAE Roads of Rome is an epic game with a lot of flexible actions, so there is little or no downtime. This makes playing the game very enjoyable, you can do an action every time without spending too much time on it.
What we did run into is that some of the mission cards are quite overpowered, they should be removed from the game.
VIAE Roads of Rome was a great success with us and we will be playing it on a regular basis because of the great game components and the artwork.
I want to thank Dom Atlas for providing me this review copy, my thoughts and review are not affected by this.