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Rise of Augustus - Board Game Box Shot

Rise of Augustus

, | Published: 2013
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Serving the 1st Roman Emperor, Augustus, you will need to mobilize your legions to control provinces of the Empire and its senators to ultimately obtain the title of Consul. The aim of the game is to earn as many points as possible before any players has taken control of seven objectives.

Throughout the game play, players must strategize so as to manage the risk of claiming the rewards that are available to them in order to maximize the points gained. Players also have the opportunity to wreak havoc with their opponents by causing them to lose some of their legions or objectives, thus foiling their plans on becoming the next Consul!

User Reviews (3)

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I play purple
Football Fan
Movie Lover
22 of 23 gamers found this helpful
“AVE CAESAR! is the new BINGO!”

Briefly: Rise of Augustus is a gorgeous card game that is a new strategic take on Bingo. It’s got a bit more luck than most strategy players would prefer and the box is much bigger than needed, but it has replay value especially by varying the number of players. This will likely be a new regular for family and casual game play.

Non-briefly: Rise of Augustus initially got my attention for being nominated for the Spiel des Jahres 2013 award of which Hanabi won, so my expectations may be on the high side. The actual premise had me intrigued; each player is a representative of Augustus Caesar, the first Roman Emperor. We are competing for the title of Consul, as chosen by the Senate, by influencing senators and gaining control of provinces in the empire for additional wealth (apparently the senators like their Consul to be wealthy). Each player achieves this by only focusing on 3 (initially) objectives at a time. Each objective (senator or province) has a cost for completion on the left side and a reward for completion on the right. There is a bag that contains 23 tokens of various legion categories – a player (“town crier”) chooses one at random from the bag and announces it to all. Each player begins with access to 7 legions (wooden red meeples) that are individually placed on the left side of an objective on the icon for what the town crier called. Once a player has filled all of the object cost icons with legions they immediately announce “AVE CEASAR”, claim their reward, and then replace the objective with one of their choice from the open pool of 5 objectives. When a player has completed 7 objectives, the game ends and whoever has the most victory points from objectives and rewards wins title of Consul.

Now what makes the game not Bingo is that each objective (senator or province) has a different number and categories of legions needed for completion and the victory points achieved for each objective varies as well. Some give great powers for helping get future objectives, some negatively affect other players, and some have no powers and just provide victory points. In addition, there are several reward tiles available for players to claim when they meet the requisite criteria. These include: the first to 3 senators, 3 provinces of the same colors (3 different colors), 1 of each (3 province colors & a senator), the player with the most wheat and/or gold (produced in provinces), and then the reward tiles for having a particular number of completed objectives (2 through 6). The latter rewards add some tension since each player is only allowed to take one of these per game and its a gamble on who can get the most points in their one reward tile.

The number of legion icon tiles drawn from the bag differ by category and create a hierarchy on economic value: double swordx6, shieldx5, chariotx4, catapultx3, standardx2, daggerx1, & jokerx2. The joker can be used as a wild for any other category. When it is drawn, all of the previously drawn tiles including the joker are returned to the bag and it passes to the next person who becomes the town crier. The more daggers or standards on an objective, usually the greater the power or victory points for its completion. In addition, the number of different colored provinces also vary. The green are most plentiful, followed by purple, and then orange (only 8 in a deck of 88 cards). Fortunately you start the game with 6 objectives and choose 3 to keep, so you can quickly get an idea if you’ll have a chance of completing 3 orange provinces. Early on the objectives that reward you additional legions (more than 7 limit) and the provinces that have wheat and gold are the most popular.

The quality of art throughout the game (objectives, tiles, and rule book) are wonderful. The theme is well-done and consistent throughout. The square objective cards don’t make it easy to find protective sleeves (they’re bigger than Power Grid), and the large square game box is much more than enough space for this card/tile/meeple game. The red legion meeples are unique enough that they won’t be easily confused with any other games and thin enough to fit nicely on the cards. The scoring note pad seems unnecessary to me. If you have kids who need the space for doing basic arithmetic, then it’s a plus. We found it as a way to encourage having multiple plays and just record our scores on the same sheet. The rule book is beautiful, but surprisingly for its quality in looks, it left a lot of questions that arised unanswered. Fortunately there is an online English FAQ for such occassions here. The choice to only have rewards for provinces with wheat and gold seems strange since all provinces have art for various commodities. Some speculate that this is for future expansions – so be it.

Summary thoughts
(RO)Augustus is a good family game that will find a nice fit for game nights when we need a filler game or something for those who prefer shorter and casual fare. I found the randomness of tile drawing (bingo) and cards allotted to be a source of frustration – though most players felt this at some point. The game allows for a variety of strategies, but once you commit, the game is too short to change course successfully. The FAQ was needed for us and I’ve seen others play the game incorrectly based on their rule interpretation. The theme in the art is excellent, but is lacking when it comes to the game mechanic (ie. all of the representatives of Caesar are allotted access to one legion of one type equally like Bingo?) and the addition of “Rise of” reminded me how different this is from Ryse, Son of Rome’s action. Still, I think this will go great at my next extended family gathering for those looking for a something new in the “gateway” game realm.

Lastly, Ave Maria and Bingo! were vocalized more than AVE CAESAR when we played. They were usually quickly followed by groans and even louder “Ah ****!” Results may vary! ^___^

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Comic Book Fan
Plaid Hat Games fan
17 of 20 gamers found this helpful
“No fat ladies or little ducks”

In order to guarantee full disclosure I admit now that I love Romans. I could probably enjoy Roman monopoly, probably.

So I have much joy in informing you that this is both Roman themed and fantastic.

Everytime I play Augustus I love it, I play it with friends, family , pretty much anyone. Its one of those ‘oh so simple’ games that lets anyone play and provides strategy for those wanting it.

The game has you trying to conquer either Roman people or places (objectives). Each person or place has its own combination of symbols onto which you can thrust one of your little red wooden legionnaires. Careful though you have a fixed number and three possible conquering opportunities at any one time.

You take it in turns to pass the bag of discs around the table reaching into its velvety depths and pulling forth a token on which is a symbol – some more rare than others. Its like bingo with Roman chariots, daggers and swords. Then everyone places a wooden legionnaire on that symbol should they have it on one of their three objectives before them.

Once you have a legionnaire on each symbol of an objective you can below ‘Ave Caesar’ at the top of your voice (never gets old) and then you gain whatever special effect may be on that objective as well as some victory points for the end of the game.

The fact that there are various special effects and lots of combo objectives give this game a hidden layer of strategy.

Add to this a number of bonuses available to all players depending on who is first to complete different sets of objectives and this will also keep you keeping one cautious eye on the other players and cursing every time bellows ‘Ave Caesar’ in your ear.

All in all I can’t really recommend this game enough, its not going to have you playing for hours but is a brilliant opener to any games evening and one that just about anyone will understand and enjoy.

“Ave Caesar”!!

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Game Salute fan
13 of 19 gamers found this helpful
“Amazing family game”

I was able to break this game out for Christmas with my family. It played wonderfully with my family who aren’t big gamers, but they enjoy to play games from time to time. It didn’t take too long to teach and it was always a great time. We played with 2,4 and 5 players. Never played with 6. This game played differently each time and has a surprisingly deep level of replay-ability. I do think the game is due to have an expansion due to the nature of some of the cards. Its a very fun light weight game that can be enjoyed game heavy gamers and your family. It’s a must have for any family.


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