What are episodic strategy games?
“Turn-based” strategy is the term that used to describe traditional (real) strategy games, such as Chess, Risk, Axis and Allies, Diplomacy, Poker, and PC games like Civilization. Because the last few years have produced so many reflex/action games (“clickfests”) that are dubbed “real-time strategy”, it is now necessary to allow people to know that thinking, negotiating (with people, not AI), planning, risk-taking and ultimately making tough final choices after considering carefully the alternatives describes the game play in Fall of Rome, as they do for other great strategy games. Episodic strategy games are an advance over traditional turn based strategy games because players in the same game do not have to be online at the same time, and you never waste any of your time waiting for other players to make their moves. Click on episodic strategy games for a more thorough explanation.
Is there anything to download or buy?
No. The game is hosted on our secure servers. You can visit and play your FoR games on any PC with the simple system requirements: at home, the office or on the road with your laptop or other machine. There is no software to buy, and no download process to manage.
How much is it and how do I pay?
Fall of Rome is offered with various service levels. So you may discover risk-free just how fantastic a game Fall of Rome is you’ll initially play at the Warrior Level service which entitles you to play one game at a time and is a terrific bargain at only $8.95 a month. A full game lasts about two months. When a game ends, you join a new game and begin a new campaign of conquest. Payment is monthly by major credit card with a secure, certified and encrypted transaction for your complete protection. At some point you will likely choose to upgrade to an enhanced service plan that allows you to play more than one game at a time at a significant per-game price discount. Click here to review the service levels and what they entitle you to.
Once I join, what happens next?
After providing your email address (it must be an email you check daily, you can’t play successfully without
using your regular email address - we keep it in confidence and never give it to anyone else) you’ll be sent
an email by us that asks you to click on a link. Doing this verifies your email address which is critical
because it is by email that we notify you of important events like when your Fall of Rome game starts. This
is required before you can go any further. Then you “Sign In” (click that button on the web site) and then
choose the option on the screen that appears that lets you Sign Up for a new game. If you haven’t yet provided
it, you’ll be asked for your payment information. When signing up for Fall of Rome, you will express a
kingdom preference and choose the persona - the name you will be known by to the other eleven players in
the game - and to the planet at large in Valhalla, our listing of top scorers. Shortly, from hours to a
few days later, you will be notified by email that your new game now has 12 human players and so will be
created. You’ll then Sign In and see the game “Launch” button on the screen that appears. That takes you to
your new game and you are ready to plan and issue commands. Unlike the “persistent world” shooters and role
playing games, Fall of Rome is a competitive contest where the twelve players in a game are setup with their
starting positions in the campaign at the same time, and all begin play sometime within that first 72 hour
period, getting their commands submitted before the deadline. You’ll want to have read at least the
Start Guide before your first turn of Fall of Rome, if not the full Rules,
and you can experiment in
Centurion for free.
How often are turns run and how does the turn cycle work?
Every three days. That means you pick the time most convenient to you within the 72 hour cycle to play. Players typically spend an hour or so planning their turn. Each turn consists of 13 - 25 distinct commands for each player, including selecting battle tactics, performing espionage and reconnaissance, political and economic orders all designed to further your cause. You’ll also wish to send messages through each game’s in-game messaging system to learn what you can about enemy intentions and to cultivate allies. You can revisit and make changes to these preliminary commands as often as you like right up until the turn deadline, when they become final. No one gets extra turns or buys magic armor or power-ups, the whole environment is completely fair and there is no way to buy an advantage, other than through your skillful play! Similarly, you don’t need to spend countless hours like in those role playing games to keep a viable position.
How do I play, i.e., How do I give my Commands for each turn?
After you Sign In, you’ll pick the game you wish to play of those you are in (many players are in more than one game at the same time). Clicking on the “Launch” button for the game number you wish to play at that time teleports you to that world of Fall of Rome. From there, you’ll use your mouse to review the reports of the last turn, view the game map and your legions, characters, and population centers, and give commands to them simply by right clicking on them and choosing from the menu of commands. You can issue all commands in a single session, or revisit it several times – everything will be just as you left it last time (you don’t need to “save” your commands, they are stored on our servers automatically when entered, and you can change them anytime your want), until the next turn is run at the predetermined time. You will always see the time remaining for any turn at the lower right corner of the game screen.
What can I win?
You mean beyond the lasting glow of glory eternal and seeing your persona immortalized in the hallowed halls of Valhalla for the entire planet to view with awe and envy? Well, you are also awarded game credits that can be exchanged for free games of Fall of Rome. The credit system is explained elsewhere on the site and in the Meta Game section of the General Rules.
Fall of Rome has been
extensively researched. Primary sources
are Decline and Fall of the Roman
Empire by Edward Gibbon and
History of the Later Roman Empire by
JB Bury. Secondary sources are numerous
but include The Art of War in the
Western World by Archer Jones,
The Barbarian Invasions by Hans
Delbruck, The Goths by Peter
Heather, as well as various historical
atlases and internet sources. In the end though, it is primarily a fun online strategy game,
and the history comes second.
What are the system requirements?
- Obviously, an internet connection. Broadband connection also provides much better performance than dial-up. Slower speeds don’t affect your chances of winning since the game is processed at the same time for everyone (at the stated turn deadline) – slow connections or machines just mean you’ll wait a bit for your screen to refresh, etc. While the game will load in seconds with a new machine and broadband connection, older machines and modem connections may take as long as 20 minutes to load the first time the game is loaded (much faster thereafter).
- A Pentium II or newer machine with a minimum of 512k RAM.
- Your monitor’s screen resolution must be set to a minimum resolution of 1024x768. If you need help with this, we offer some hints on our Support page, which is available to all registered players upon signing in.
- Most machines running Explorer or Netscape browsers support Java, so likely your machine is Java enabled. If it is not, we have a utility on the Support page that helps you install Java from the Sun web page easily and it’s free.