Ancient Board Games Wargames

Aurelian, Restorer of the World

Aurelian, Restorer of the World details

Aurelian, Restorer of the World overview

The Roman Empire is broken. The crisis of the third century - a decades-long fever dream of civil war, plague, and economic ruin - stretched it thinner and thinner, until finally, inevitably, it splintered. The Palmyrene Empire to the east, the Gallic Empire to the west, and sandwiched between them, the remnants of the Roman Empire. Deprived of its richest provinces and stuck in a series of endless wars along the frontier, it seemed destined, at last, to fall. But in 270, when the emperor died, troops along the Danube did what troops along the Danube always did, and demanded that their commander take the purple. His name was Lucius Domitius Aurelianus, and over the course of his short reign, he would do the impossible: he would put this broken world back together again.

Aurelian, Restorer of the World is a solitaire game from Tom Russell, the designer of Agricola, Master of Britain and Charlemagne, Master of Europe. Like those titles, three cups are used to represent shifting attitudes toward Aurelian's rule; actions you take will move chits from one cup to another. This game is shorter and faster than the two previous games, lasting a maximum of six turns. It's also more difficult. Beyond marching around the map, quelling revolts, and smacking down usurpers, you must manage monies, maintain a strong defensive line along the Danube, make war against Germanic tribes, build up city defenses, and spread the cult of Sol Invictus. You do not have nearly enough time or resources to do all of these things equally well, and will need to make hard choices. If you succeed, you will earn the title afforded to Aurelian by the senate: Restitutor Orbis, "Restorer of the World".

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