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Board Game Geek Details
Name Trajan (2011)
Complexity 3.6507
BGG Rank 106
Player Count 2 - 4
Mechanism(s) Area Movement, Hand Management, Mancala, Open Drafting, Set Collection

Set in ancient Rome, Trajan is a development game in which players try to increase their influence and power in various areas of Roman life such as political influence, trading, military dominion and other important parts of Roman culture.

The central mechanism of the game uses a system similar to that in Mancala or pit-and-pebbles games. In Trajan, a player has six possible actions: building, trading, taking tiles from the forum, using the military, influencing the Senate, and placing Trajan tiles on his tableau.

At the start of the game, each player has two differently colored pieces in each of the six sections (bowls) of his tableau. On a turn, the player picks up all the pieces in one bowl and distributes them one-by-one in bowls in a clockwise order. Wherever the final piece is placed, the player takes the action associated with that bowl; in addition, if the colored pieces in that bowl match the colors shown on a Trajan tile next to the bowl (with tiles being placed at the start of the game and through later actions), then the player takes the additional action shown on that tile.

What are you trying to do with these actions? Acquire victory points (VPs) in whatever ways are available to you – and since this is a Feld design, you try to avoid being punished, too. At the Forum you try to anticipate the demands of the public so that you can supply them what they want and not suffer a penalty. In the Senate you acquire influence which translates into votes on VP-related laws, ideally snagging a law that fits your long-term plans. With the military, you take control of regions in Europe, earning more points for those regions far from Rome.

All game components are language neutral, and the playing time is 30 minutes per player.

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Lists with this game

Organization Year Ranker Rank List
Heavy Cardboard 2018 Amanda 46 Top 50 of all Time of Right Now
Board Game Squad 2019 94 Top 100 Board Games of All Time: Analyzing Your Favorite Reviewers’ Top Games Lists
The Boardgame Mechanics 2019 Jason 57 2019 Boardgame Mechanics Top 100
Sickledrips 2019 Tom Heath 5 Slickerdrops Top 50