During the Crisis of the Third Century, the Roman Empire nearly collapsed in the face of calamitous internal and external strife, including continuous civil war and barbarian invasions from all directions. Beginning with the assassination of Emperor Alexander Severus, a period of 50 years saw nearly as many different men seize imperial power over all or part of the Empire, until the reforms of Diocletian in 284 AD ushered in an era of peace.
In Time of Crisis, 2-4 players take the reins of Roman dynasties, gathering and wielding influence among the senate, military, and people of Rome to ensure that their legacies are remembered by history instead of being lost to the mists of time. Starting from control of one province and a few low-value cards, you are challenged to establish your base of power during this fragile period of Roman history. In order to win, players must build armies, take control of valuable provinces, develop support, and defend themselves against barbarian incursions, inopportune events, and the machinations of political opponents.
In this Action Point, I want to explain how control of provinces can be won and how players will place their Governors to gain support.
Players may replace the Governor of a province by gaining enough votes in the Senate through the play of enough influence from Blue Cards (Senate Actions). The required number of votes to do so is determined by first doubling the province’s support level and then either adding or subtracting votes needed based on whether there are soldiers defending the capital city, in this case add one to the support level for each unit, or invading the capital, in this case reducing the support level by one for each unit.
The player attempting to change the Governor must then play blue influence cards and for each point spent they will get to roll one six sided die. Success is then determined based on the number of successes rolled being defined as 2+ on the dice, or 1+ in the case of a neutral Governor. So, in the picture above you can see that I spent 5 influence points to roll 5 six sided dice needing at least 2 successes of 3+. Wait, I said it was 2+ didn’t I? Well you will notice the little Quaestor marker in the province which increases the success number needed to 3+. Luckily, I rolled 2 successes and was able to supplant my opponent’s Governor with one of my own.
This struggle for the political control of provinces is important as it will provide the controlling player with Legacy points (Victory points) at the end of each round for the number of provinces he controls as well as provide political points based on your level of support in those provinces to purchase new cards and to trash weaker 1 value cards. I really enjoyed this side of the battle as it was very challenging to go about trying to steal away your opponent’s provinces. I also loved trying to improve my provinces stability by increasing the level of support and by strategically adding Quaestor markers to discourage attempts.
In the next Action Point, we will take a closer look at the deck building aspect of the game.