As Tribunes, you are set to conquer the world for the glory of Rome. Build roads, smite your enemies, gain influence in the Senate. But watch your back, everyone has their own objectives and agendas. Your fellow Tribunes will aim to disrupt your goals. Treat them as a tool on your path to victory.
Swords may win battles… But influence wins an empire.
During the era of expansion and conquest in the roman empire, you (the players) are leaders of the military forces. Tasked by the senate to conquer the Mediterranean world, from Britannia to Arabia, from Hispania to the far east of Parthia. You thrust stone swords into the hearts of enemy regions by building the largest network of roads, creating the bloodline of the new roman empire.
To achieve orders given by the senate, you will recruit powerful officers into your ranks and conquer increasingly hostile cities.
Glory and honor aside, the one thing of value in the senate is your influence. Through your exploits you’re goal is to become the most influential leader and perhaps one day powerful enough to become emperor yourself.
The goal of the game is to be the player with the most influence at the end of the game.
As soon as a player completes two Mandatum, the game ends.
Mandatum give you bonus influence at the end of the game.
You can gain influence in different ways, but the best way is by conquering cities.
Influence is a resource you can use to play Deceptio cards that manipulate the game state.
Players begin the game with a small Cohorte of legionnaires and some resources (stone and denar). Leaving the empire from starting cities each player chose themselves, they strive to be the first to accomplish two objectives (Mandatum).
The roman empire was a place of opportunism, intrigue and deception. Your fellow Tribunes will envy you for what you have and will find ways to disrupt your path to power. Thanks to your connections and influence, you have the tools (Deceptio cards) to fight back. You can’t just turn your army against them and begin a civil war, you’ll have to be strategic about it… A missed shipment here, an unforeseen revolt there… it’s hard to have influence over the people of Rome if you’re seen as incompetent.
VIAE keeps randomness nearly nonexistent and rewards strategic players. Aside from the cards you draw, every other aspect of VIAE is controllable. You can focus on your hidden objectives or try to sway others to assist you for now to hinder others in completing communal objectives, available to anyone to achieve.
VIAE is a game with a turn order selection phase. Depending on your strategy, you could take your actions early or late in a round, granting yourself an advantage or others a disadvantage.
The Game evolves as you are playing. At first, you’re building roads, conquering peaceful cities, gathering resources and gain reputation and influence. Later in the game, the enemies of Rome will fight back, so you might want to ally yourself with others. Eventually, you’ll be close to completing objectives and winning the game, but you need to keep your “allies” from doing the same. These shifts make VIAE way more than an area control game.
Check out the abridged explanation on how to play VIAE:
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The game is quite low in complexity but very demanding in strategy. Play it once and you'll know exacly how it works. No fluff or appendix. Every action and interaction in the game is designed to make as much sense as possible.
The game has a round quick guide on the Main Board and a little actions quick reference guide. This is so that you don't have to keep the manual at the ready to check the basics of the game.
Click on the image above to read and download the full game manual or click here.
Here you'll see everything that will come in the Box!
This massive Game Board is folded to a sixth of it's size, giving you a big gaming experience while still having a small footprint in the box.
The Cohorte is your Legion. On this RECEDED player mat you track the power and availability of your units as well as your current Influence.
All pieces in VIAE are custom designed and made out of wood.
Wood feels just so much better than plastic. (And they didn't use plastic in the roman empire...) ;)
The game really streamlines what you need to clutter your table with.
- Basilicas give you bonus to your resources.
- Hostility tokens are matched to the values of the cities in VIAE and represent that some people really don't like you conquering their neighbors.
- The custom dice are 6 sided with values from 1-4, with 2 & 3 showing up twice.
- Aside from influence, stone and Denar are your only resources in the game. You need stones to build roads and Denar to pay your units.
As requested, you can now add the velvet drawstring bags and/or the custom metal coins to your game!
Add ons are only available to Praetor, Tribune and Praefectus Tiers, since they are included in the Game.
The game has 4 different types of decks: Castra, Mandatum, Deceptio and Fortuna.
Let's go through them one by one starting with the awesome units you can recruit during the game from the CASTRA!
Aside from your Legio, you can recruit these powerful officers into your ranks.
Officers are stronger and have incredibly powerful abilities.
And amazing art by the talented swiss artist IVAN REBER!
Additionally, here's my thank you for your support so far! - A Kickstarter Exclusive Card:
Now let's look at the objectives/missions called Mandatum given by the senate that will eventually end the game.
Mandatum are objectives that each player wants to accomplish to end the game. These objectives could be conquering an entire region or building a certain number of basilicas or roads. Not only does the first player to achieve two Mandatum end the game, they grant you bonus influence when scoring your final points.
Trying to stop your "allies" from completing two Mandatum before you have enough points to win requires finesse and deception.
Luckily there are just the right cards to help you out with that:
Since you can't battle your "allies" head on in VIAE, you'll use your influence to play Deceptio cards. These will either give you an advantage or really screw up the strategy of your fellow generals.
Every Deceptio is unique, giving you a new experience in each game!
One more thing that will make every game of VIAE unique are the Fortuna cards.
Fortuna cards are semi-symmetric events that change the game from round to round.
Sometimes they're good, and sometimes... well... you'll just have to play more games to actually see all of the Fortuna cards, since there are way more that you'll reveal in a game.
If we get there, here are some goodies for the campaign:
You might wonder why the additional units aren't in the main game.
These units are not essential to the game and have been designed specifically for the purpose of being a reward. In addition, the Exclusive Kickstarter Backer card is my way to say thank you to every backer. You write your own name on it, making yourself a part of VIAE.
The velvet bags and metal coins are just plain awesome. Why have a deluxe edition when you could make every copy of VIAE a deluxe version? When those goals are met, the reduced production cost let's me add them FOR FREE to EACH GAME!
Now wouldn't that be sweet?
Risks and challenges
Since there is a new import tariff proposal in the US, there might be an increase of import tax to 25% by June 27th. This increase will massively impact the cost of shipping to the US.
If this comes to effect, Backers from the US, Canada and Australia will unfortunately need to add up to CHF 10.-- to the shipping cost.
I really hope this won't be the case, and I, as well as many independent board game publishers, are looking to keep the final shipping costs as low as possible.
- (35 days)