Errata: Is Glory to Rome a “strategy” game?
Glory to Rome is a game that consistently earns my praise and gets significant table time. This week’s question asks whether it is a balanced strategy game or whether it is mere fluff with broken cards and random actions.
A Non-Roman asked, “How can you like Glory to Rome so much? It’s so random and the cards are overpowered. In my games, the win seems to be determined purely by a luck of the draw.”
It is definitely true that GtR has some randomness to it. Though not quite as random, it is designed by the same individual who created Innovation. Some combinations of cards are brutally effective together and can give a player a distinct advantage. But one of the beauties of GtR is that there are numerous such combinations. So in a given game, it’s likely that each player has secured their own brutal combo.
The one skill that you must develop to be competitive, though, is pool control. If you take actions without any thought as to what you are putting in the pool, you will only help the player on your left. It’s imperative that you look for the actions the other players are likely to take and the materials or clients they may want from the pool. Do not take those actions and make them available. If you do, you only help them win and the game will be made artificially more random.
Pool control is probably the key strategic element. Once you approach the game from that perspective – and planning your own turns around the pool – you will find that strategy always wins the day. Of course, you have to get your own plans accomplished as well. So managing the pool while implementing your own strategy is the key to victory. Just as in other games (i.e. Puerto Rico), you want to take the action that betters your standing in relation to the other players, not necessarily the one that gives you the greatest absolute benefit since it may benefit another player even more.
Got questions about strategy, specific games, or the hobby in general? Post them in the comments here, email them to geekinsight at gfbrobot dot com, or send them to @GeekInsight on Twitter and check back next week for answers!