Ancient Rome, home to bloodthirsty gladiators, ingenious engineers, and scheming politicians. 1600 years after its fall, its majesty and brutality still captivate the imagination.

What better way to celebrate the most famous ancient empire than through board games?

10. Spartacus: A Game of Blood and Treachery

Inspired by the TV show of high violence and low scheming, the Spartacus board game sees you managing a stable of gladiators and their blood-soaked games. Each player recruits and equips gladiators for the arena, putting their lives on the line for your glory and profit. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, you’re scheming to subvert the fortunes of your competitors.

You don’t need to have seen the show to enjoy this game of deals and negotiation, interspersed by the brief and exciting mini-game of arena battles that can bring glory and profit or loss and ignominy, depending on how your gladiators fight.

9. Concordia

Not every game of ancient Rome is about war and conflict. Concordia is an economic game in which players build up their trading machines to beat each other not through battle but through greater wealth. A combination of deck building and expansion across a map lets you build up a trade network that gives you points at the end. It’s more accessible than many Eurogames, but still has great depth, and highlights the economic power of Rome – your chance to get rich as Crassus, not stabbed like Caesar.

8. The Republic of Rome

An epically long game that covers an epically long period of history, The Republic of Rome covers hundreds of years of Roman growth, during which the nation saw both great opportunities and terrible threats. Players take on the role of the noble families ruling the city, who compete with each other for power but must also cooperate to avoid the destruction of their whole society. This creates a fascinating tension, as you can only win by scheming against the others, but if you don’t work together at critical moments then Rome falls and you all lose.

7. Trajan

While some games focus on one part of Roman society, like the military or the economy, Trajan has it all. As part of Rome’s ruling elite, you build, trade, maneuver armies, and seek political influence in the senate. Every action has potential to bring you victory points at the end, and together they highlight the rich complexity of the empire at its peak.

Trajan is also noteworthy for using the mechanic of mancala, a classic African game whose unique mechanism has seldom been adapted to modern games.

6. Aqua Romana

Ancient Rome wasn’t all about the deadly glamour of politics and war. Some of the empire’s most talented people were the engineers who built its bridges, palaces, and roads.

In Aqua Romana, you become those engineers, building networks of aqueducts to provide clean water for the over-crowded city. It’s a tile placement game in which you build up your network, moving workers and architects ahead of you to lay down vital water courses and get points for the longest possible connections.

5. Colosseum

Like Spartacus, this focuses on Rome’s violent sports, as players run games in the Colosseum. Over the course of five rounds, you build up the size of your stadium and the program of events taking place there, in hopes of being the most entertaining show in Rome. Whoever draws the biggest crowd at the end of the game wins the favor of the Roman mob, and with it the game.


A political and wargame covering 300 years of Roman history, Pax Romana throws players into the rise of Rome in the final centuries BC. March tiny plastic soldiers (and even plastic elephants!) around the Mediterranean in your choice out of a selection of different scenarios covering events that turned Rome from an Italian bully boy into a superpower that dominated Europe and beyond. Watch Rome rise and Carthage crumble as you fight the wars of the ancient world.

3. Glory to Rome

It’s 64 AD and Rome has just burned to the ground. Now is the time for rebuilding, with victory going to whoever does the best job of restoring the devastated city.

Glory to Rome is an ingenious resource management game in which each card can be used in one of four different ways – as raw materials, valuable resources, a building, or a client. Card-driven role selection creates choices about what tasks to perform and how to use the cards in your hand. Will you get to raise that building you’ve been eyeing up, or do you need the card for something else? How big can you build your part of Rome?

2. Pandemic: Fall of Rome

Pandemic Fall of Rome adapts the mechanics of classic cooperative game Pandemic to a very different theme. It’s the late day of Rome and the Empire is on the verge of collapse, its infrastructure over-stretched, its borders menaced by barbarian tribes. The players must work together to prevent foreign incursions, pacify the tribes, and turn them into loyal Romans. A great way to relive the conflicts of ancient Rome without having to fight each other.

1. Caesar and Cleopatra

A two-player game of bluffing and influence, this has you play the roles of Caesar and Cleopatra, each trying to bend the Roman government to your will. Each turn you play influence cards, trying to gain control of important officials when votes come up. Playing cards face-up lets you put out power faster but playing them face-down creates a chance to bluff and out-maneuver your opponent, in a head-to-head battle for dominance.

An amazing game to complete your 2 player game collection along with Lost Cities and Jaipur !

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