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Middle Provincial Era GROGPUBLIC game thread

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At long last, the GROGPUBLIC begins!

This will be (as far as I'm planning) the only actual game thread, for playing the game. The information thread can be found at that link. And the signup thread can be found at that link. Both are still viable in their own way.

The starting players will be:

ArizonaTank (aka Larry from the Crisis Grogs, longtime Groghead)
Dave from the Crisis Grogs (Ethel the Frog here on Grogheads)
IncompetentIdiot (a very new Groghead member)
Tripoli (of the Grogheads)

A slot was also reserved for Windigo but I never heard back from you. However: there are still four slots remaining, and if Windi or anyone else wants to join, it will be fairly easy for me to incorporate you as one of the remaining factions (semi-randomly chosen) at any time, though possibly with some game delay before I can phase you and your first senators in.

I have not, at the time of writing this post, generated the starting conditions for the game. This is simply to create the game-thread itself; to announce that I'm starting the game data generation; and to clarify that initial start positions are now closed (although ongoing positions remain open).

Later this evening I'll p-mail starting faction cards to all players, and explain what they do, and when you can play them (which I'll also p-mail reminders about when applicable.) I have sent initial pre-game p-mail checkins to all players, although at this time only I.I. has responded by p-mail. I have left instructions for p-mail usage near the bottom of the signup thread.

I strongly recommend all players either click the "notify" button at the bottom of this thread, and/or drop an initial post so that (if your forum account is set up to do so) your designated email address will receive updates for activity here. (...maybe. The forum engine gets a little squirrely about this.)

Off to start my work now! May you all keep the Republic alive against the slings of outrageous fortune!

No players expressed any faction preferences (for or against).

I've now reached the point where I've dealt out the first senators and so formed the Player order around the table, as well as having assigned the four earliest factions. (Other players will be assigned to factions around the table whenifever they join in.)

I'll reveal the first senator families per se later tonight as I finish setup. Until then:

I.I., you drew the oldest average families, and so they formed THE ARISTOCRAT FACTION. You'll be Player 1.

AzTank and Tripoli's initial senators tied on Military score; and the Frog (Dave? Ethel? not sure what to call you here) tied them both on Influence. (Which is good: that means the factions will be pretty well balanced.)

But AzTank’s senators have the highest remaining loyalty, so they formed THE CONSERVATIVE FACTION. You'll be Player 4.

This leaves Tripoli's senators with the highest remaining Military rating, so they formed THE MILITARIST FACTION. You'll be Player 2.

By deduction, this leaves the Frog with (aptly) the green Player 3, as his senators form THE PLUTOCRAT FACTION.

Everyone can check your Faction specialties starting back here in the Introduction thread.

Factions are permanent throughout the game.


Status: the Republic starts with 0 Unrest, and with 30 Talents in the Roman Treasury. Income later in Turn One will be another 30 Talents. The 1st and 2nd Legions have been raised. Rome has enough manpower to raise another 5 Legions, potentially 7 maximum.

The 1st Latin War is active, with the Enemy Leader Tarquinius Superbus. (Historically, this War represents Tarqy’s attempt at taking back the kingship of Rome after the SPQR, the Senate and People of Rome, threw him out; but it also sort of represents the attempt of nearby Latin towns to secede from Roman rule, already established by the Roman kings. The prologue designer has intentionally conflated about three wars together here, since Tarq’s actual attempt was rather lackluster.) It has a strength of 3 (2+1) thanks to Tarqy, who also improves the Disaster and Standoff chances.

If you can defeat this war, Tarqy will also be discarded, and Rome will gain 10 Talents. Defeating this war will also create Tax Farming Concessions 1 and 2 (allowing them to be played).

This War costs 10 Talents per Revenue Phase. Your Active Legions (whether on campaign or not) will cost 4 Talents (2x2). Basic net Roman income during Turn One will be 30 - 10 - 4 = +16 Talents.

Currently, only the Statesman Lucius Junius Brutus (#10a), is waiting in the Forum. He will be assigned to whichever Faction first persuades Family 10, the Junii, to join. (If we had had one more player, or more, he would have been assigned automatically to whoever drew him, and would have been the starting Consul; but he won’t grant that ability now.) He has the ability to nullify Standoffs and Disasters, if assigned to fight the 1st Latin War. I'll remind players about him once he becomes relevant.

Since we’re starting with only 4 players, I have dealt out everyone 2 Faction cards. You should have each received a p-mail from me by now, detailing what you’ve drawn, how to use them, and when that’s possible. You may reveal as many of your Faction cards as you want to anyone, at any time, in any way; but I’ll always ‘give’ them to you privately first. I’ll also let you know when you’re over your hand limit (5 cards) so you can think about discarding, playing, or donating to another Player (perhaps for considerations! :D) You may trade or donate Faction cards at any time after the end of the first Turn; but they will not come into play until the end of the Turn. I’ll let you know when. (If you trade privately, I’ll keep them turned down, but you need to send me a p-mail to let me know so I can keep track of the game status!)

Faction starting information comes next.

Other than any unplayed (or unrevealed) Faction cards, everything else in the game is public information. I've already given the starting stats for the Republic per se (30 cash, 30 income coming, 1 War and 1 Enemy leader active, Unrest 0, two Legions active, five more Legions potentially. The war will cost 10 talents this turn, your legions 2x2=4 more.)

I.I. will be the Aristocrats. (I linked to everyone's special abilities upthread, but I'll keep track of them and remind y'all where appropriate. I highly recommend Players keep their own notes along the way, tho!)

You're starting with Cornelius and Valerius. 0 Faction cash. Together their Oratory skills mean you control 5 votes in the Senate. Their total Influence is 10. You’ve got enough influence to trigger your knights’ special ability (but almost no one starts with any knights, you included). The snapshot should show your senators stats well enough.

As a recap for you and other players (now or potentially):

Mil = Military. This skill lets you double the effectiveness of an equal number of legions or fleets. So if Cornelius with Mil 4 was leading an Army of 4 Legions, they’d fight at 4x2=8 power. Under Valerius, with 1 Mil, only one of those Legions would fight at double strength, so the total power would be 3 + (1x2) = 5, not 8. On the other hand, if Cornelius was leading 5 Legions, one of them wouldn’t be doubled, so their strength would be 1 + (4x2) = 9, not 10. Mil skill represents logistic and other management factors, so applies (for the game) equally to legions or fleets. (It does not apply to inherent Province strength or provincial militias however. It does apply to Veteran Legions! -- but all those will come later, if we survive that long. ;) )

Ora = Oratory. This mostly tracks how many other generic (invisible) senators will vote with the senator (minimum 1 for the senator himself, of course). It also sometimes affects dice rolls.

Loy = Loyalty. This affects how hard it is to get a senator to move into or out of a Faction. Corny and Val are pretty dang loyal! (They would have made a good Conservative Faction, too.) This early in the game, it’s nearly impossible to root out a senator once he’s attached to a Faction.

The picture of a stack of coins just shows where the personal treasury of each senator will eventually be. They usually start with none (including all these senators), although sometimes there are inherited chips.

Pop = Popularity. Almost every Senator and Statesman starts with 0, which is neutral. This can go up or down, to a limit of 9. It mainly affects certain dice rolls. If we get a Populist Faction player, it also affects how many extra votes his senators can count on!

Inf = Influence. This is the ultimate scoring factor of the game, and also affects dice rolls and some other things. For I. I., as the Aristocrat player, having more Influence than any other Faction triggers his main knight special ability! -- doubling their votes on any topic pro or con! Influence is the main way a senator might win the game for his Faction alone, too, by being appointed or elected Consul for Life; but that won’t be a factor until the Early Provincial Era starts.

Last but not least, the Knights are not-quite-totally-generic invisible senators who act as minions for your Senators or Statesmen. Each knight always brings at least 1 extra vote for his senator; and also at least 1 extra Talent of income. Knights are heavily connected into the special abilities of most factions, which usually (but not always) involve doubling the voting power of a Faction’s knights under various circumstances. I.I.’s knights, as noted, will double their votes on any topic as long as the Aristocrats have the most Influence total.

Moving on more quickly to the other players, after that catchup information.


Here’s Tripoli as the MILITARIST faction. He was formed by Julius and Manlius. Together their Oratory controls 5 votes, and they have 8 Influence total. Not much more to say about them yet.

The Frog as the PLUTOCRAT faction gets to start with 2 cash in his faction treasury! -- as well as 1 free Knight you’ll be able to assign to any senator soon! (He’s the only Faction who gets this starting bonus.) As if that wasn’t enough, Fulvius there won the draw for being the first Roman Consul! -- which ticked up his influence a little. (Usually it provides a bigger boost, but Fulvius won’t be Consul for long, just long enough to start the first Senate Phase and deliver the State of the Republic address. More on that later.) Even though he’s only a temporary Consul long enough to get the Republic started, he’ll always be a “Prior Consul” (like any other consul), so will be eligible for election to a special office later in the game once that unlocks. He can also be elected Consul again, but no one can be a consul two turns in a row (unless literally all other senators are dead perhaps!)

Anyway, they also control 5 votes right now, and 9 total Influence. But once the Frog assigns his free knight, that will add 1 vote to the total. So he’s about to have 6 votes.

Since the Plutocrats control the Consul, they also have the Highest Ranking Available Officer in Rome, and so will get to go first on any cycle of players around the table. This will be relevant very soon.

ArizonaTank gets to be the CONSERVATIVE FACTION, with Fabius and Furius down there. Together they also control 5 votes (this tie across all the Factions is a little unusual even at the start of the game), but only 8 Influence.

That’s enough to chew over for tonight, and perhaps to inspire some questions.

Tomorrow afternoon, I hope to explain the choices each player can make at this time. (There aren’t many, but they’re important.)


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