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Optimus Princeps: Les Guerres Daciques


Vae Victis #67. Optimus Princeps covers the Dacian Campaigns of Trajanus.

From a translation of the rules:
At the start of Trajan’s reign, in Europe there remained only three major barbarian peoples against the might of Rome. While the Germans lurked in their woodland labyrinths, and the Sarmatian horsemen fled along the infinite plains of the East, the Dacians, hunkered down in the Carpathian mountains, represented the only sedentary barbarian people in Europe who still resisted the Roman invader.
This enemy offered an ideal target because they could not flee unlike the other semi-nomadic peoples.

Player's description:
The game has a unit scale of 1 Strength Point = 1000 to 2000 men, or 500 to 1000 horsemen. Game Turns are seasonal, the game covering the campaigns between 101-118 AD. The map represents the area in point-to-point style, while the counters must be mounted & cut from card (mostly double sided). The original game is entirely in French, but a full English translation, with player aids, is available. The original French rules cover 10 magazine pages.

Units are activated by an Action Point system, alternating between players to move & attack with stacks of counters representing armies. Interception, siege, pillage, recruitment, etc. are all possible during these actions.

Roman campaigns on the Danubian limit against barbarians: Dacians, Germans, Sarmatians...
88 to 118
Romans are invaders! barbarians defend or revolt or make raids in the Roman Empire

- All the reign of Domitian (SOLO RULES) a big big campaign
- Trajan wars against Dacians, Sarmatians, Germans, he's the invader (Trajan's column)
- Hadrian wars against Dacians, Sarmatians, Germans, he try to save the new roman province of Dacia

Romans Goal
- honor
- conquest dacians kingdom or destroy barbarians camps

Barbarian goal
- bounty
- fight for freedom

- Scales : Operational. A scenario is a campaign
- Action Point (different seasons)

- Frozen river
- barbarians troops hidden
- Eagles of the legion to save
- vexillation, legion auxiliary to manage by province
- stratagems events chosen by the players

• Battle
- 4 tactical choices (units in first line can make critical hit but are the first to die)
- fire phase
- 2 melee phases
- pursuit phase

• Siege Battle
- attack the walls
- wait for the surrender
- attack the garrison

• Bounty
- it can boost recruitment and reinforcement
- against attrition
- you gain it with battle victory, ravage and taxes


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