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Latrunculi - old Roman Board Game

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NetWolf
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Joined: 12/31/1969

http://www.personal.psu.edu/users/w/x/wxk116/roma/latruncu.html

It's a game that plays like a combination of chess and checkers (Assuming all your pieces were Rooks). The nice thing is, it's a simply crafted game that anyone can make and play in a single afternoon. I made my board out of an old piece of Poplar panneling and drew the grid using a straight-edge and Sharpee marker. For pieces I used the glass marbles commonly found in flowershops. The only piece that has to be specially made is the "Duke" which really can be anything that isn't one of the marble "Mercenaries".

larienna
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Latrunculi - old Roman Board Game

Cool, It is fun to see that people in the past did not need fancy artwork and complex components to make a game. Look simple but interesting.

evilupine
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Latrunculi - old Roman Board Game

I like how it looks, and the rules sound interesting. I'll have to give it a try.

NetWolf
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Latrunculi - old Roman Board Game

Good lord! I tried this game last night with a friend and I can tell you that this game doesn't end until one person is COMPLETELY defeated. I mean thouroughly stomped down to the last man! I led the whole game, dominating my opponent only to have him defeat me using 3 pieces in the end. Definately a thinking game, this one.

Today I'm going to work on another variant that uses an 8x8 board and no kings....

larienna
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Latrunculi - old Roman Board Game

Can you indicate which rules you have used. Because there is some ambiguity about the real rules on the web site.

If I read correctly, everybody moves like a tower in chess and a piece is removed if it is trapped between 2 pieces (like in a sandwich).

NetWolf
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Latrunculi - old Roman Board Game

I used the following rules:

1) All pieces move like rooks from chess.

2) to capture an opponent you must enclose it on opposite sides. (North/South or East/West) with the exception of taking a piece that is in the corner, which can be taken by blocking the only two spaces upon which it could escape.

3) Multiple captures can be made if all the opposing pieces are lined up. For example: X-0-0-0-0-X the "x"s would capture all the pieces between them.

4) Kings (Dux) cannot be captured, but can be rendered immoble.

5) You win the game if your opponent either loses all his/her pieces or can no longer take your pieces (Down to one piece or is unable to move).

-----------------------------

The variant I made is based on an old Greek game called Polis. It runs essentially the same way but ther board is 8x8 and there are no kings.

Nestalawe
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Latrunculi - old Roman Board Game

Wouldn't the game run a bit quicker if you played that you won if you surrounded the King on all four sides?

Epigone
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Latrunculi - old Roman Board Game

That's how I read it: you win when their king cannot make a move. Possibly when their king cannot make a move AND is adjacent to at least one of your pieces.

NetWolf
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Latrunculi - old Roman Board Game

Hey, the rules are several thousand years old. I'm not going to argue with them. =P Besides, it is very VERY difficult to cature the king. Most games actually end when the king is the only remaining piece.

NetWolf
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Latrunculi - old Roman Board Game

I just re-read the rules that were on the link and yes, you can win if the king is immobilized. It would make sense thematically as well, but like I said, it's often easier to remove all the opponent's units. Besides, a player with only a King cannot capture enemy units anyway...

larienna
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Latrunculi - old Roman Board Game

If the king is cought in a line where the unit are captured, does this mean that all the pieces exept the king are captured, or nobody is captured since the king protect the other unit. Ex : X-K-O-O-O-X.

Can you trap pieces on the side of the board with only 1 unit or do you need 3 units to trap a piece on the side.

So far I can see, the king is somewhat invincible. In fact, the king should be used to protect the other units which is the opposite of chess where the king get protected by other unit.

NetWolf
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Latrunculi - old Roman Board Game

I've been playing that if the king is part of a line of catured units, all the units with the exception of the king are removed.

You cannot use a "wall" (Edge of the board) to capture a line of units. You MUST have two of your own units on opposing sides, with the exception of corner captures.

Yes, the kings are more or less invincible. One of the tactics I've been seeing for this game is to send your king behind enemy lines and use him as a 'hammer' to the rest of your unit's 'anvil'. Since he can't be captured, he's a little more free to act recklessly.

Anonymous
Latrunculi - old Roman Board Game

First I would like to say that I have been browsing these forums for a long time and this is my first post.. with that behind me...

Netwolf you topic really got my attention. I am in love with classic abstract games and Latrunculi is one of them. I am still working on my board (waiting for a site to get marble pieces back in stock) but while I am waiting I am spending alot of time on the internet trying to figure out all the varients on the rules and try to work out a version that seems the most acceptable.

Netwolf, would you be interested in helping me in this. I have taken a class in Roman History at my college and when the school year starts again plan on using the massive library database to help in my research.

bluesea
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Latrunculi - old Roman Board Game

For all you mac people, you can give it a go:

http://mactrunculi.sourceforge.net

larienna
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Latrunculi - old Roman Board Game

I have played with an improvised game at my game club and it did not seem very interesting. Probably I was not using exactly the right rules.

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