Proelia take place during an aestas in any region but Rome; they may also take place during a hiems if a player has the Ring of Gyges.
Proelia must be conducted in the presence of a numen. If two or more numina are present and a dispute arises about which of them will oversee the proelium, the Fates will decide who serves as the presiding numen.
Only a war deity (Mars, Phobos, Deimos, Tyr, Wotan), a player who is an imperator/rex/amazon (i.e. a player in possession of legiones), a bacchant under the direction of Dionysus/Ariadne/Silenus, or a mortal player in possession of the Ring of Gyges may engage as a warring party (participant) in a proelium. Virgines, matronae, senatores, and most numina may not participate in proelia as warring parties. A proelium may involve only two parties who are residing in the same region. A party consists of a player or a group of amici operating in collaboration. A multi-player party must have declared their amicitia to Juno and received her approval before the flagitatio (challenge to battle) in order to operate as a group; otherwise, they cannot operate collectively. If amici operate as a party, they fight as a single individual and cannot issue or accept flagitationes separately and they may not field more than ten (10) legiones in a proelium, no matter how many they collectively possess.
Issuing Flagitationes (Challenges to Battle)
To begin a proelium, one party issues a flagitatio to another. The flagitatio must be made in the presence of a numen. A party may issue only one flagitatio per aestas. Seniority in the provincia/regnum determines the order in which flagitationes are issued, as follows:
- the party with the player who entered the provincia/regnum
first has the right to issue the first flagitatio of that aestas;
- the party with the player who entered the provincia/regnum
second has the right to issue the next flagitatio, and so forth;
- if two or more parties have entered a provincia/regnum simultaneously, they will roll one die each and the one with the higher number will have priority in issuing a flagitatio. If the roll is a tie, they will roll again until one rolls higher than the other.
A party is obliged to accept the first flagitatio issued in an aestas in that region but may refuse subsequent flagitationes issued there that season. Players who move to a different region during an aestas are obliged to accept the first flagitatio they receive after arriving in the new region.
Engaging in a Proelium
In a proelium, the action of each legio is represented by the roll of a single die. The number of legiones each party fields is determined in the following way: each party's number must be equal and the total owned by the party with fewer legiones is the number each party fields. For example, if one party has 6 legiones and the other 4, each will field 4 in the proelium. Players may choose which legiones (curiales or clientarum) to field.
To engage in combat, the parties roll their dice one at a time against each other in concursationes (skirmishes), with the result of each roll determined as follows:
- if the difference between the roll in the concursatio is 2 or greater, the winner appropriates the loser's legio (die)
- if the difference is 1, the loser surrenders his legio to the numen overseeing the proelium and the winner keeps his own legio
- if the concursatio is a tie, each party surrenders his legio
to the numen.
Reges may not retain a legio curialis which they have captured in battle, unless they convert it to a legio clientarum by paying a foreign numen who has legiones clientarum a conversion fee of 200,000 D. The conversion fee must be paid at the end of the proelium. If not, the legio curialis becomes the property of the numen overseeing the proelium. If no such foreign numen is available, the numen overseeing the proelium keeps the legio curialis.
The proelium continues until all legiones have been fielded once (i.e. all dice have been rolled once). Players may not flee a battle. Proelia in progress can be terminated only in the following ways, without further consequence to either side:
- if Apollo/Diana announces the end of an aestas;
- if the numen overseeing the proelium leaves (numina
may be beseeched or bribed in this respect); however, another numen
may supersede the one who departed, in which case the proelium
- if one of the participants in the proelium beseeches Mercury
to rescue him and Mercury does so;
- if Cybele appears and stops the battle.
- both players have some legiones (dice) remaining and may
proceed with the Game;
- one of the players (the loser) has no legiones and is "unprotected,"
in which case the winner may kill him or abandon him to his fate;
- both players have no legiones, in which case they both are
"unprotected" and left to their fate.
Mars/Phobos/Deimos. War gods may engage in and encourage proelia with any player who may engage in proelia (including bacchants) whom they encounter during an aestas. They may offer the player the following choice: to issue a flagitatio to another player of the war god's choosing in the same provincia/regnum and engage in a proelium, or to engage in a proelium with the god himself. Each war god possesses a legio ultrix immortalis (a special die), a legion which cannot die in battle and which he may re-use in any number of concursationes. The number of legiones possessed by the war god's opponent determines the number of concursationes. If the opponent rolls a number equal to or higher than the number the god rolls, the opponent keeps his own legio; however, if the opponent rolls a number lower than the god, he loses that legio to the war god. If the war god encourages or engages in a proelium, he must remain until its conclusion. If he defeats his opponent in every concursatio of a proelium, that player is summarily pronounced dead. Phobos may attack only legiones clientarum; Deimos may attack only legiones curiales.
Juno. Once each aestas, Juno may also force any two players to engage in a proelium.
Cybele. No fighting, including proelia in progress, may occur in Cybele's presence.
The Ring of Gyges. The Ring of Gyges bestows invisibility on the mortal (living or dead) wearing it, allowing that player to move at will during a hiems and attack three of any opponent's legiones without warning. The mortal wearing the Ring of Gyges must supply his/her own die. The rolling of dice follows the same rules as war-gods (see above, Mars/Phobos/Deimos). Once Pluto or Persephone takes back the Ring of Gyges, the player who was wearing it must find the closest available seating and is susceptible to all rules concerning movement.
Tyr/Wotan. These foreign numina may engage in proelia with mortal players but at the risk of their own legiones. They follow the same rules of combat as imperatores.
Vulcan. Vulcan may bestow on a favored mortal his legio fabrilis (“forged legion”; a ten-sided die) to employ in combat during an aestas. The mortal may continue using the legio fabrilis in place of his/her own legiones until it is defeated in a concursatio, at which point it returns to Vulcan and cannot be reused during that proelium.
A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down, but it is not this day. This day we fight!