We sent out legions to secure support from provinces and senators in Rise of Augustus, the next game in our A-Z game shelf play-through.
Rise of Augustus
Time: 30 Minutes
Designers: Paolo Mori
Artists: Vincent Dutrait
Rise of Augustus is a bingo-style game where players are simultaneously placing out legions to cover different symbols on their active objectives. As players complete those objectives, they claim rewards. Once someone has completed their seventh objective, the game ends and whoever has secured the most points, wins.
The game is set up with the award tokens placed out where all players to see — this includes awards for finishing a specific number of objectives, completing sets of objectives, and having the most objectives with wheat or gold. The mobilization tokens are placed in the black bag and given to the oldest player who will be the first “town crier.” The objectives are shuffled and a market of five are laid out. Each player gets six objectives from the deck and chooses three as their starting objectives. Players also each get seven legion tokens, then play is ready to begin.
Each turn, the town crier takes a token out of the bag and announces what it is. Each player can then take one of their legions and cover up a corresponding symbol on one of their objectives. If a player has already deployed all of their legions, they can optionally move one from another symbol to the just-called symbol.
If a player completes one of their objectives, they call out “Ave Cesar.” After everyone has finished placing their legions for that turn, all players who completed objectives compare the number at the bottom of those objectives, and they are evaluated from the lowest number to highest. The each player in order completes their objective: they remove the legions from the card. If there is a bonus action they take it — this can be things like moving legions to a specific symbol on their other objectives, taking an extra legion, or an ongoing power that gives them more freedom in how legions are played. Then the player checks to see if they qualify for any bonus tiles. The wheat and gold are taken by the first player with one of those resources on their card, and then taken by the next player with as many or more of that symbol in cards they’ve completed. Finally the player sets aside their completed objective and choses a replacement card from the market. The market is refilled between players.
The game ends as soon as any player has completed their seventh objective. The round is finished, with all players getting a chance to get bonuses from their completed cards. Then players tally up their scores. Players will get points from completed objectives and award tiles. Player with the most points wins.
Andrew was interested in this one, though I don’t remember exactly when or how we got it. We’ve had it for several years, though, because remember pulling this out at game nights for a while now. It is perfect for game nights when we want another game or two for a large group, either before we separate into a couple of tables or right before everyone goes home.
Rise of Augustus isn’t my favorite game because it is almost all based on luck. Sure, I can pick objective cards that span all of the available symbols, but the bag pulls are all random. Often I find myself with nothing to do on turn after turn after turn. On the other hand, it is super quick and not terribly thinky, so its has a place as a filler game.
How is it as a 2-player game? The Rise of Augustus works fine at two players. There aren’t any rules changes, and since its essentially a bingo-style game, you are still just trying to complete cards as fast as you can. One challenge with the 2-player game is that the cards in the market don’t cycle as much, which can be good if there are several that you want, but annoying if there are a number of hard-to-achieve objectives when you complete one.
How about the art and component quality? The components are fine. The tokens and awards are a good weight of cardboard and the cards good quality. The art? That’s a little … less than stellar. Some of the senators have weird looking arms and hands, and we often have a good laugh at them as they come out of the deck.
My big complaint about this game is the box size. It comes in a Ticket to Ride-sized box for just a deck of square cards, meeples and a small bag of tokens. This takes up way too much room on our game shelf, and I’ve been tempted to get rid of it just for that reason.
Will this stay in my collection? Yes, for now. My spouse and other players in our group enjoy this one, so even though it’s not my favorite, it still has a place on our game shelf. However, we’re going to look at putting it in a smaller box since the space on our game shelf is at a premium right now.