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Fight Like Channing Tatum (Online): A Short, Bloody History of Roman War Games
Posted January 21, 2011 to photo album "Fight Like Channing Tatum (Online): A Short, Bloody History of Roman War Games"
As The Eagle’s battle scenes demonstrate, the Roman Army was one of history’s most effective war machines. Legions of gamers, both in board games and online, have tried to emulate them.
Slide 9: Ostia and the Politics of War
Set in First Century, A.D., Ostia, by Pro Ludo games, is a boardgamer for ages 12 and up that focuses not on warfare but on commerce. Players work the Roman equivalent of the construction and public works businesses, importing goods from abroad, trading them with other players, and trying to land deals with the Roman Senate. But, as the game’s advertising copy warns, “The needs of the Senate change from year to year… Will you be clever enough to become a favorite of the Senate?” In a review at RPG.net, Shannon Appelcline praises the game, writing, “Ostia is also somewhat notable because it's one of the few logistical games that I know of that's got relatively deep gameplay, but still plays in just over an hour. In both its mechanics and its components, Ostia is quite compact.” But, he says, the game is best played by friends and not rabid competitors. “It really shines as a social game, to be played by people who enjoy talking with each other and engaging in group gameplay.”