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The Glorious Fall

Description

The Glorious Fall is a dynamic, competitive/cooperative game with minimized luck. It recreates the entire epic lifespan of the Byzantine Empire, from the founding by Constantine the Great to its last gasp (or not, if you manage to keep it intact).

During play your Dynasty will be given a choice of secret destinies, such as keeping the empire alive, destroying it, or controlling the Basileus through two consecutive Eras, etc., and a number of Byzantine Plot cards to use when you choose. The map consists of the Themes of the Empire, with three "resources" contained in each: people, religious ferver, and commerce.

The game is won by the family accumulating the most Glory Points by the end of the final era in any combination of three ways: fulfilling your Dynasty's unique, secret destinies, developing the Themes (regions) within the empire, and shaping the empire to suit your purposes while denying other's their revealed plans.

Your family will dominate various roles throughout the game: Basileus (Emperor), Logothete (Administrator), Patriarch, Strategos (General), or Katepano (control the mobs of Constantinople). Each title grants limited political power, forcing cooperation, but each can seize unlimited political power at various times when Byzantine Plots are revealed and anyone can suddenly seize control of the Basileus' actions, or even the throne itself.

Roles switch when players reveal plots of various strengths by using Byzantine Plot cards. In essence assassinating the Emperor in favor of their own candidate; misleading an Army sent to defend Jerusalem, convincing it to go to Cilicia instead; or denying the Basileus the power to hand out political favors, instead forcing him to divide the power as your dynasty sees fit.

Each family (player) has only so much political power to expend at any time, and must choose when to intervene and when to let the Basileus (or another family) have their way.

Throughout the game, the Empire faces Barbarian invasions from its borders, and possible rebellions from within. Players will create alliances that may last or end before ever begun as nefarious plots are revealed. The Basileus may see Crusades or merchant enclaves rise up to restore parts of the Empire or betray the Empire and sack the Queen of Cities.

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