Caesar and Cleopatra are locked in a struggle to determine the amount of
independence Egypt will have. The decision lies in the hands of the powerful patricians.
The players, as Caesar and Cleopatra, use their influence and special actions to win
patricians to their side. When a vote of confidence is called, the player with the larger
influence wins the voice of a patrician. Each voice brings one victory point. There are
additional victory points for the majority in a patrician group, for the influence of a
whole group and for a secret influence bonus. Whoever earns the most victory points,
chooses the fate of Egypt and wins the game.
135 cards, specifically:
50 Roman cards:
37 influence cards
13 action cards
50 Egyptian cards:
37 influence cards
13 action cards
35 other cards:
6 influence bonus cards
21 patrician cards (5 groups)
8 vote of confidence cards
1) The secret influence bonus
There are 6 cards: 2 Senators, 2 Praetors, and 2 Quaestors. To earn the influence bonus of 2 victory points, a player must win at least 3 cards from the group on her influence bonus card. Shuffle the 6 influence bonus cards, give one face-down to each player, who looks at it and keeps it secret from his opponent. Place the 4 unused cards face-down in the box.
2) Set up the patrician cards
Place the 21 patrician cards on the table between the two players, sorted by group in five rows next to each other as shown. The order of the cards within each row has no bearing on the game.
3) Shuffle the vote of confidence cards
Shuffle the eight vote of confidence cards and place them face-down on the table next to the patrician cards as shown.
The cards should look like this:
4) Set up the player decks
Each player takes a set of 50 cards. The player with the Roman cards is Caesar; the player with the Egyptian cards is Cleopatra. The sets have equivalent cards of two types: influence cards (with the numbers 1-5 or letter P in the top corners) and action cards (with the letter A on the backs).
Each player searches through her 37 influence cards and sets aside two each of the numbers 1 through 5.
Each player shuffles her remaining influence cards and places them face-down on the table. This is her influence deck.
Each player arranges her 13 action cards in the order she wishes to draw them. She then places her action cards in a stack face-down; this is her action deck.
Neither deck may be examined by the players during the game.
For beginners: As most players learn how to use action cards by playing them, you may want to play a few games with randomly-shuffled action card decks.
5) Placing the first influence cards
Each player takes the 10 influence cards she set aside:
Each player places 5 of the cards (valued 1 through 5) face-down on her side of the patrician groups, one card to each group.
Each player takes her remaining 5 cards (valued 1 through 5) as her starting hand for the game.
The table with the first 5 influence cards placed:
The players alternate turns placing influence cards on one or two patrician groups. When a patrician group is selected for a vote of confidence, the player with the most influence on the group wins the voice of one of the patricians (their card) from that group.
Playing a round
The Cleopatra player begins. On her turn, she may choose to be active or passive:
a) The player chooses active and
1) may play one action card, and
2) must play one or two influence cards, then
3) must draw cards to refill her hand, and
4) must draw the next vote of confidence card.
b) The player chooses passive and may discard cards from her hand and draw to replace them.
a) The player chooses active
When a player chooses to be active, her turn consists of the following actions:
1) Play one action card (optional)
The player may play one action card any time during her turn (before, between, or after playing influence cards), but prior to drawing cards to replace those used in the turn. Once played, the action card is placed on the players discard pile.
2) Play 1 or 2 influence cards (required)
The player must play 1 or 2 influence cards on her side of the the patrician groups:
- 1 influence card face-down on the patrician group of her choice or
- 2 influence cards face-up on 1 or 2 groups of her choice.
A player may look at her face-down influence cards at any time.
A player may have a maximum of 5 influence cards on her side of a patrician group.
Added together, the players may have a maximum of 8 influence cards on both sides of a patrician group.
3) Refill hand (required)
When a player has finished playing cards, she refills her hand to 5 cards by drawing cards from either her influence deck or her action deck. The player may decide with each card drawn which deck she draws from. When a player has no more cards to draw, she skips this action.
4) Draw a vote of confidence card (required)
Finally, the player draws a vote of confidence card. Normally the card directs a group of patricians to voice their current preference for either Caesar or Cleopatra, but there may be an orgy (see below) instead. The card is then placed face up beside the deck. The deck is reshuffled when a special orgy card so directs.
b) The player chooses passive
When a player chooses passive (often for lack of suitable cards to play), she discards (face-up) up to 5 cards from her hand. She then refills her hand to 5 cards by drawing cards from either her influence deck or her action deck. The player may decide with each card drawn which deck she draws from. This is the players entire turn; she does not draw a vote of confidence card.
When the Cleopatra player has completed the active or passive actions, her turn ends. It is now the Caesar players turn. He has the same options as she had. The players alternate turns, each choosing to be active or passive on each turn until the game ends.
The vote of confidence
A vote of confidence can be called in two ways:
a) Draw a vote of confidence card
When a player draws a card with one of the patrician groups named, a vote of confidence is called for the named group.
b) Special vote of confidence: 8 influence cards in a group
A special vote of confidence is called for a patrician group if the group has a total of 8 cards from both players when a player has finished playing cards. The vote is called prior to the player refilling her hand. In the unlikely event that two groups have 8 cards, both votes are called at the same time.
Resolving a vote of confidence
When a vote of confidence is called for a patrician group, it is resolved as described below.
Each player turns over all face-down influence cards for the affected group. All influence cards for both players will now be face-up.
Each player sums the influence cards on her side of the group.
The player with the highest influence sum wins the voice of one patrician from that group. She takes one of the patrician cards from that group and places it before her on the table.
The winning player discards her highest numbered influence card from that group.
The losing player discards her lowest numbered influence card from that group.
Each player places her discarded cards face up in her discard pile.
All remaining influence cards for this group are left face-up and the game continues.
If the players have equal influence sums, neither player wins the vote of confidence. All influence cards on the patrician group remain face-up and the game continues.
If the vote of confidence was called due to a card being drawn, the card is placed face up on the discard pile for vote of confidence cards.
Note: When the players tie on a special vote of confidence (the number of influence cards on both sides is 8), the tie can only be resolved by one player or the other using action cards to move or remove influence cards from one side or the other, since neither player may add cards.
Example of Vote of confidence (by drawn card)
The card drawn calls for a vote of confidence from the Aedilis. Both players turn over all face-down influence cards that have been played on the group. The players sum their influence cards: Caesar has 7 points of influence (3 + 4); Cleopatra has 8 points of influence (3 + 3 + 2). Thus, Cleopatra wins and takes the topmost Aedilis card. Then Cleopatra must discard one of her 3s (it is her highest influence card); Caesar must, likewise, discard his 3 (his lowest influence card).
When all patrician cards from a group have been taken
When a player takes the last card from a patrician group, all influence cards on both sides of this group are removed and placed on their respective discard piles. If the last card was taken as a result of a drawn vote of confidence card, the player removes the vote of confidence card from the game by placing it in the box.
If a player subsequently draws the vote of confidence card for this group, the player removes the it from the game by placing it into the box and draws the next vote of confidence card from the deck.
The Orgy card
The vote of confidence deck contains three Orgy cards. When an Orgy card is drawn, no vote of confidence is called. This does not effect special votes of confidence on the players turn. The card is placed face up on the discard pile for vote of confidence cards. When a player draws the Orgy card requesting a reshuffle, the player mixes all vote of confidence cards (except those removed from the game into the box), shuffles them, and places the deck face down on the table.
Philosopher influence card (P)
The philosopher card is like other influence cards, except it has a value of 0. It may be placed face-up or -down next to a group. Most often it is placed face-down for secrecy and protection.
When a vote of confidence is called for a group that has a philosopher card on one side or the other, the philosopher reinterprets the result. Thus, the player with the smallest sum will win the voice of the patrician and the card representing it.
The player with the larger influence must, although she lost, discard her highest influence card; the player with the lower influence discards her lowest influence card. The philosopher card is also discarded.
Example: The Censors are selected for a vote of confidence. Cleopatra's influence is 9 (4+5), Caesar has only 3 (1+2), but he also has a philosopher card. Caesar wins and takes the topmost Censor card. Caesar discards his 1 influence card (his lowest) and the philosopher card. Cleopatra discards her 5 influence card (her highest).
Special rules when philosopher cards are present
If the players have equal influence when resolving a vote of confidence, there is no decision and no card taken. All cards remain face-up, including the philosopher card(s).
If the only card(s) on both sides of a group during a vote of confidence are philosopher cards, there is no decision and no card taken. The philosopher card(s) remain face-up.
When one player has only a philosopher card and the other has numbered influence cards, the player with the philosopher card wins the vote of confidence and the patrician card. The losing player discards her highest influence card; the winning player discards the philosopher card.
When both players have an equal number of philosopher cards (1 or 2), the cards cancel each other and the player with the higher influence wins. Both philosopher cards are discarded along with the appropriate influence cards.
When one player has one philosopher card and the other has 2 philosopher cards, the player with the smaller influence wins. All philosopher cards are discarded along with the appropriate influence cards.
When one player has two philosopher cards and the other has none, the vote of confidence is decided as though the player had only 1 philosopher card. Both philosopher cards are discarded along with the appropriate influence cards.
The action cards
Each player has 13 action cards. She can play at most one each round. Once played, the action card is discarded to the players discard pile. There are 6 different action cards:
1. Assassination (4 each)
Remove one of your opponents face-up influence cards from the game. Your opponent puts the influence card on her discard pile. This may not be played if your opponent has no face-up influence cards.
2. Spy (2 each)
Search your opponents hand, select one card and remove it from the game (she places it on her discard pile). Your opponent now draws a card from either her influence deck or her action deck to replace the lost card.
3. Egyptian/Roman Castling (2 each)
Redistribute all influence cards from two of your groups up-side-down. Pick up all the influence cards from both groups. Distribute the cards face-down to the two groups. You may distribute the cards as you like, including putting no cards on one of the groups. You may not, however, place more than 5 cards on a group or place cards that would exceed the 8 card maximum for both players. You need not have cards in both groups when you pick up the cards, but there must be at least two groups to play the card.
4. Scout (2 each)
Turn all influence cards from one of your opponents groups face-up. The cards remain face-up until a subsequent action card changes that (e.g. Castling). Your opponent must have at least one face-down card in the group you select for you to be able to play this card.
5. Wrath of God (1 each)
Remove all influence cards from one group: both yours and those of your opponent. The cards are placed in the players respective discard piles. There need not be cards on both sides of the group, but there must be at least one card on the group to play the card.
6. Cleopatras/Caesars Veto (2 each)
Prevent the execution of your opponents action card. When your opponent plays an action card, you may play this card to prevent the action. Discard both cards to the players respective discard piles. You may then draw a card from either your influence deck or your action deck. You may not use a veto card against a veto card.
The end of the game
The game ends in one of the following ways:
1) All patrician cards have been won by the players.
2) Both players have no more influence cards.
3) When neither player can play on any of the groups due to the player and total maximums and the players do not have and cannot draw action cards to change the situation.
If a player cannot add influence cards to any of the groups because the player has no influence cards or because the player and total maximums have been reached in each group (and she does not have an action card to change this), the player must choose to be passive. When she is passive, she may draw action or influence cards to allow her to be active on her next turn. If a player has no more influence cards in her hand or influence deck, she may no longer play; her opponent, however, continues to take turns as normal until the game ends.
The player with the most victory points wins. In the case of a tie, the player who won the most patrician cards wins. Victory points are earned for the following:
Each patrician card won 1 victory point
Majority in a patrician group 1 victory point
Win all patricians in a group 1 victory point
Achieve the influence bonus 2 victory points
The requirements for majority or all victory points are based on the total for each group not just those won in the game. Patrician cards, which were not won by either player are not counted.
Examples: Jill has all 5 Quaestors and the influence bonus card for this group. She earns 9 points (5 for the cards, 1 for the majority, 1 for having all cards in the group, and 2 for the influence bonus).
Anna has 2 Censors, but these are the only ones taken (3 are left on the table). She earns just the 2 victory points for the cards.
Variants: Once you are familiar with the game, you may want to try the following variants:
1) When all cards from 2 patrician groups have been won, remove one Orgy card from the vote of confidence deck. When all cards from a third group have been won, remove another Orgy card. Do not remove the reshuffle card in either case.
2) Before the game, remove one Orgy card (not the reshuffle) from the vote of confidence deck.
3) Allow a player to play two influence cards face-down, but forfeit the option for playing an action card on that turn.
Wolfgang Lüdtke, born in 1963, lives in Duisburg, Germany. A banker by training and profession, Wolfgang started by collecting and reviewing games and has moved on to creating and developing them. He prefers fast-paced games and emphasizes this preference in this exciting card drama between Caesar & Cleopatra.
Graphics: Franz Vohwinkel
Development: TM-Spiele GmbH
English translation/editing: Jay Tummelson
special thanks to Nick Sauer
© 1999 KOSMOS Verlag
Rio Grande Games
PO Box 45715
Rio Rancho, NM 87174
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
MADE IN GERMANY
This site is created and maintained by: Carl-Gustaf Samuelsson