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Tetrarchia- holding a wolf by the ears!

A recent survey by German historians list over two hundred reasons for the “Fall of Rome”. To the older explanations of population migrations, corruption and Christianity, have been added sea level change, class warfare and pacifism. After playing Nestorgames’  Tetrarchia I offer a simpler more one dimensional cause, chronic mismanagement.

For a complete review of the game I recommend you go to Boardgame Chronicle’s excellent site. Incidentally this is the very site that got me to buy this classic game. Suffice the say, Nestorgames have fitted a classic strategy game that rewards endless replays in a container the size of a pencil case. It’s made in Spain but the delivery service was first class.

The aim is of course to hold the Empire together and I’ve just about managed it in about fifty percent of plays. The contents are well made and tough. It is set at the end of the Third century and Emperor Diocletian has divided the Empire up in order to defend against “internal” and “external” threats. In similar style to Pandemic: Fall of Rome, players are obstensively on the same side in facing unrest, revolts and invasions. The game does benefit from YouTube tutorials but the brief rules are adequate if not comprehensive.

Dice are used to randomise events and the system would be great for setting up a campaign? My regular reader will know where I’m going with this! We have four willing Emperors and their Caesars lined up and play starts, appropriately enough, in August! I whole heartedly recommend this system and it is eminently adaptable to other periods. I’m currently reading as much as possible about Rome in Late Antiquity but the system could conceivably cover the Arab Caliphates, the Crusader states and late medieval Europe. The possibilities are endless.

Best wishes and all credit to Boardgame Chronicles for unearthing this modern classic.

Rodrigo Fernando de Vega


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