Rise of Augustus is a game by Paolo Mori, published by Hurrican and distributed by Asmodee. It is for 2-6 players. In this game, players are representatives of the Roman Empire. They will will be working to complete objectives and earn victory points by sending legionnaires to gain influence. The game ends once a player completes their seventh objective. The player that can gain the most points by this time, will be declared the winner.
To begin, the player aid is placed where everyone can see it along with the score pad. The reward tiles are placed in the center of the play area where everyone can reach them. The legion meeples are placed to one side of the play area in easy reach of all players. Each player is then given 7 of them. All the mobilisation tokens are placed inside the bag and mixed up. 5 objective cards are placed in the center of the play area and then 6 are randomly dealt to each player. The player chooses 3 of them to keep and discards the other. The kept objectives are placed face up in front of the player. The remaining cards are placed face down in the middle of the play area. The first player is chosen as the town crier and play now begins.
On a player’s turn, they will take the bag of tokens and draw one from the bag. Players can then place one of their legion meeples on an objective’s space that is of the same category. They can also move a legion meeple that was placed on another category to the space of the category that was just announced. They can instead move a meeple from a different objective to the called out category’s space. Only one legion can be placed or moved per token drawn. Once an objective has all of it’s spaces filled with legion meeples, the player announces, “Ave Cesar”. They then remove all the legion meeples from the completed objective. They activate any special abilities that the objective gave them and then move the card to the area above their current objectives to show that they have completed that particular objective. The player then takes any rewards possible for completing the objective, placing it in from of themself. They then take one of the 5 face up objectives from the table and place it in front of themself. They must then draw a new one from the deck to replace it with. All of this continues until a player completes their seventh objective. When this happens the game ends and scoring commences.
Scoring is done by adding up the total points from any rewards gained, any completed objectives along with any powers provided by cards. The player with the most points afterwards is the winner.
The game comes with some really thematic and great looking pieces. The cards are really beautiful and have some great looking artwork on them. However, it is necessary to keep the player aid available at least for the first couple of games as the iconography is a bit difficult to understand at times. The reward tiles as well as the mobilisation tokens are all made of thick cardboard and are quite sturdy. The artwork on these is really great as well. The tokens are easy to distinguish between. The tiles are like the cards and sometimes need a bit of interpretation to understand the first few games. The legion meeples are bright red and are made of wood. They’re rather neat looking and they feel a little different from your normal meeple. The scorepad is nice for being able to keep up with a player’s score, much like the score pad for games like 7 Wonders. The bag is made of cloth but is wide enough to get your hand down in so that you can pull out the tokens fairly easily. Every piece is truly dripping with theme and I’m really overwhelmed with the beauty of it all. One thing though, I feel that the box for the game is quite huge compared to what all you get with the game. It just seems to me that a smaller box could have been used. In any case, I really love the look and feel of the game and every piece that comes with it.
9 out of 10
The rulebook is quite large. It is pretty much the same size as the box. There are lots of great pictures and examples of setup and how to play the game. I’m not exactly thrilled with how it was all laid out. This huge map style can be quite annoying if you’re trying to figure out specific details about something. I do like that there is a handy player aid on the last page. It’s quite helpful. Everything looks really nice and is quite pretty. The rules do tend to jump around a bit instead of being streamlined like other rulebooks. Even with this minor issue, I have to say that the rules are rather nice. Everything is explained really well and as I said, it looks great plus it’s in full color. I can’t complain too much.
8 out of 10
If you read through the earlier part of this review or if you’ve read the rules of the game, then you realize that it’s eerily similar to a game you’ve probably played a million times before. That’s right…BINGO! Yes, this game takes the BINGO mechanic and paints a beautiful Roman theme on top of it. Yes, it can be quite random but the ability to move legion meeples helps to break up the randomness and to make up for some earlier mistakes that you may have made. It has a mildly strategic side to it but not as much as I would have liked to have seen. The addition of the special abilities makes it quite a bit more entertaining then plain old BINGO. It’s really quite fun even if it is a bit simple. It’s not a very long game and you’ll most likely finish the game in under 20-30 minutes tops. That’s a bonus in my book. It is rather easy and is
8 out of 10
Rise of Augustus is a light game of BINGO with a Roman theme. It’s a fairly short game with most sessions lasting no more than 30 minutes. The artwork and theme are really amazing and everything looks great from the cards to the meeples. The box is really too big for the game as is the rulebook. This could have been packaged in a smaller box with a smaller rulebook. Fans of theme and possibly even worker placement might find this game intriguing. It’s really simple to learn and play. If you can play BINGO, you can play this. You will need the player aid though for the iconography. I really like that they’ve taken a simple game and put a new spin on it with theming and special abilities. To me it makes a classic game playable again. It’s not a very strategic game and strategy gamers probably will dislike that about this game. All in all, it’s a great game despite the simplicity and large packaging. I recommend giving it a try, especially if you like BINGO.
8 out of 10
For more information about this and other great games, please check out Hurrican and Asmodee at their sites.