We may never know who burned Rome in 64 CE. Christians hoping to usher in the end of the world? Nero looking to make room for his infamous Golden House? Traders who forgot to douse their torches on a windy night, or time travelers rescuing the continuum from a tyrant worse than Hitler?
Then again, Dávid Turczi and Nick Shaw’s Rome & Roll is more concerned about the aftermath. More precisely, the rebuilding of Rome at Nero’s behest. And who’s responsible for that? Like a kid avoiding prayer duty at Thanksgiving dinner, I’m hollering “Not it!”
“Is that actually a Command & Conquer board game?” my buddy asked, breathless with curiosity.
“Even better,” I replied, breathless because I’d just run up the stairs. “It’s Commands & Colors!”
Martin Wallace has never been afraid to tinker with the way we do things. Consider, for instance, the impact of A Few Acres of Snow. By marrying deck-building to a map, Wallace redefined an entire genre. Its legacy includes some of his own games (Mythotopia, A Handful of Stars, A Study in Emerald) and those designed by others (Cry Havoc, Hands in the Sea, even Clank!).
Now Wallace’s tinkering has led him to attempt the opposite of deck-building, focusing instead on something he’s calling “deck destruction.” The game in question is Lincoln, on Kickstarter for the next few days. And in an echo of the “Halifax hammer” that ruined A Few Acres of Snow for some, it’s already being accused of game-breaking imbalance.