Battles (Proelia)

Proelia may take place during an aestas in any region but Rome and they 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.

Participants

Only a war deity (Mars, Phobos and Deimos) or a player who is an imperator/rex (i.e. a player in possession of legiones) or a bacchant under the direction of Dionysus/Ariadne/Silenus or a mortal player in possession of the Ring of Gyges may engage in a proelium. A proelium may involve only two parties, each of which 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 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. The parties must be in the same provincia/regnum at the same time during an aestas.

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. Matronae may not issue or be issued flagitationes.

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. The number must be equal and the total owned by the party with fewer legiones is the number each party field. For example, if one party has 6 legiones and the other 4, each will field 4 in the proelium.

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 3 or greater, the winner appropriates the loser's legio (die)
  • if the difference is 1 or 2, 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 the numen overseeing the proelium a conversion fee of 200,000 D. This fee must be paid immediately upon capture of the legio curialis. If that numen does not possess a legio clientarum, the legio curialis is automatically forfeited to the numen.

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 continues;
  • if one of the participants in the proelium beseeches Mercury to rescue him and Mercury does so;
  • if Cybele appears and stops the battle.

After all the concursationes in a proelium have been completed, the proelium is over, with one of the following consequences:

  • 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, turn him into a cliens, or abandon him to his fate;
  • both players have no legiones, in which case they both are "unprotected" and left to their fates.

Special Rules

Mars/Phobos/Deimos. War gods may engage in and encourage proelia with any player (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. No war god may take a cliens; thus, 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. Fighting follows normal rules, e.g. no proelia in Rome, no fighting with a matron, the player keeps any legiones he wins, etc. 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 (VI).

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!

J.R.R. Tolkien (Aragorn's address to the Army of the West in The Return of the King)