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Caesar & Cleopatra

an after action report of Rio Grande's card game


by Lawrence Hung


Caesar and Cleopatra . . . two great names and powers who ruled the ancient world - the Roman Empire and the Egyptian Kingdom.   A fun card game on a great subject with political intrigues and manoeuvres, vying for control of the societies of the ancient world. 


After Action Report:


The game objective is to get as much as possible of the influences among the 5 groups of government officials in the ancient world: Questor, Censor, Adelis, Senator and Perator.   Gameplay is easy to learn and fun to play.   One side represents Caesar (Romans) and another side represents Cleopatra (Egyptians).   Influence is gained by placing 'your men' under cover into each group, winning one member of the group at a time when there is a call to vote by random selection of the group.  By that time, the 'under-covers' are revealed and the higher influence points being exercised get the vote and thus the member.  A trick is to get in the "Philosopher" card, which will 'reinterpret' the result: the side with a lower influence points total would win the vote.  Players may play spices in the action cards, one per turn, to reverse the 'fortunes' in a particular group.  The actions could be eliminating a specific card by assassination, or all revealed influence points cards in a group (yes, that means both yours and your opponent's) by Wrath of God.  You could send in a Spy on your opponent's hand and select one card to be removed, or perform a Scout action to reveal all your opponent's undercover in a particular group.  To confuse your enemy, you could also reshuffle your members by castling between 2 groups and then redeploying them in secret again.  Last and when you are frustrated by what your opponent has been doing, you can always have a chance (one only in the entire game) to Veto your opponent's action.             


I played 2 games with Simon and 1 game with Edwin (who learnt the tricks of card combos and the placement strategy in each group pretty quickly).  Results were 2 wins vs. 1 loss.  Not bad.    


At the meeting held 6 August 2005:


Simon and I took the remaining time after the game of Empire of the Sun to play this game in 50 minutes.  Very easy to set up and another tight game in that I won with Caesar (though no real point to taking either side) 14-13 victory points.  As we are getting more familiar with the game, we both have learned how to best use the Casting action card.  Very interesting end game resulted, as we both mixed the forces from 2 factions and redeployed in secret again.  This game is fun every time.  A lady asked us what happened with this game and how to play.  We briefly stated that it was about political struggle of some sort.   We enjoyed the bluff as well as the special action card planning.

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