In Solitaire Caesar, the Player commands Roman forces attempting to build an empire that will last as long as possible. Threats come from a variety of Civilized and Uncivilized Barbarian(non-Roman)opponents, while the internal stability of the empire is reduced. A typical game should take about 60 minutes to play.
"The biggest problem with White Dog Games Solitaire Caesar is the failure to include a nail file with the game, for it's a nail chewing, nail biting, nerve wracking experience." - Smitty, Panzer Digest
The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire 350BC – 1453AD
A Vassal module for Solitaire Caesar by Vassal master Art Bennett is available and is complimentary upon request with purchase of any game format.
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"Super - elegant and concise rules wedded to an engaging subject!...the game really does impose interesting strategic choices on the player." RG
"The theme of the game is truly amazing. During the game you feel like hordes of barbarians are attacking you from everywhere....The game is brilliant. I enjoy a lot playing and right now a big 9 is given to it. As I said you get the feeling you are leading Rome and it has a lot of theme into
Read the review of Solitaire Caesar by Smitty.
Game Design: Dave Kershaw
Production: Michael W. Kennedy
Game Art: Jose R Faura
Cover Design: Michael W. Kennedy
Vassal Module: Art Bennett
Play Testing: See Designer Notes Below
176 Single-Sided, 5-8" Counters and Markers
17" x 11" Game Board
Player Reference Card
Generate Roman Income
Build Cities and Raise Legions
AI Rules for Barbarian Movement
Hail, Caesar! Optional Rule
Pestilence, Famine, and Revolt Optional Rule
Skilled General Optional Rule
Two Shorter Scenarios
"Overall I find it an incredibly enjoyable game I'd gladly pay money for!" CB
"So, I really like this game. I think it has a solid future." TD
"I could definitely see myself playing this on slow work days or in the evenings when I don't have an opponent and my girlfriend is busy or out." CT
"At first glance - simple, perhaps too simple for some. That belies a fun game that actually by mid-game becomes a nail biter, assuming you are not already toast. The game generates just enough heat in terms of barbarian invasions to never make it a foregone conclusion that any turn will be easy." Smitty, PANZER DIGEST
The Player's Aid has produced a detailed play through of Solitaire Caesar.
Bottom Box Cover
"The game is about the management of the Empire over a 2,000 year period and staving off invasion after invasion to remain a relative civilization and to score Victory Points meeting a threshold compared against history. The joy of the game is in planning, defending your Empire, falling back and consolidating Legions at a choke point that you know any Barbarian invasion must come down to get at the heart of the Empire Rome...I enjoy the challenge that some of the Optional Rules provide and the very thematic elements that attempt to replicate the history of the Empire. This is a solid and interesting game that will appeal to new war gamers, or seasoned Grognards, but also those who have an interest in Roman history." - The Player's Aid
Above image from The Player's Aid.
DESIGNER NOTES BY DAVID KERSHAW
As with my solitaire game, Barbarossa Solitaire, Solitaire Caesar was developed because I needed a game that could be played quickly, did not require finding someone to play against, and gave me the option to simulate (and alter) history.
The game is vast in scope, covering nearly 2000 years of the history of the Roman Empire, from the early battles with Carthage to the stamping out of the Byzantine embers by the Ottomans. The original aim was to see how to simulate the growth of the Empire and then the subsequent collapse of the West. The gradual erosion of the East came about later. A decision made early on was to make no attempt to simulate Rome’s interminable internal squabbles – from provincial rebellions to full-scale civil wars. After all of these, the Empire was restored – there was no split into separate states, even the great split into East and West is not worth simulating in the game, since it would only last a couple of turns.
Equally, I have not attempted to recreate the rise of other political states. In game terms, the vast bulk of these consisted of only one or two of the game’s Provinces. The major exception would be Parthia/Persia, and I have abstracted them through Parthia being an entry point for a “barbarian” Army.
It should also be noted at this point that the term “barbarian” is used in the purest Roman sense to refer simply to anyone that wasn’t Roman, whether they were a civilized state, like Persia, or a rabble of horse-riding nomads with no armor and wooden implements. The only distinction between these barbarians in the game is what they do to Cities when they take them – the civilized barbarians keep them, while the uncivilized barbarians destroy them. The map is based on Roman Provinces partly, but also on actual invasion routes taken. The sea is no obstacle for barbarian movement, and the Vandals certainly proved that point with their rapid rise to a seafaring nation comparable with Carthage once they moved from Germany, through Spain to North Africa. You just could not make up this sort of movement by barbarians, and this is the prime reason why barbarian movement is designed to be so unpredictable.
In terms of game play, the early rise of Rome and fall of the West is quite exciting, but then Barbarian Armies fill the board and the game becomes a grind for survival of the Byzantine rump. An option for a shorter game is included to leave this stage out, if desired. However, for some players, there is a grim satisfaction in the hanging on to preserve the ideal of the Empire.
Finally, heartfelt thanks to all of the play testers – several of the optional rules and variants have come from play testing: Nate Porat, Jason Sample, Chris Talbot, Tim Deagan, Lee Kennedy, Christopher Brandon, Paul Johnson, “Rohag”, Rami Sader, and Richard Hecker.