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Rating: 7.8 Very Good
Players: 2-4 players
Playing time: 90 minutes

Official Site: Game page (German) - Ammonit Spiele

Created by: Stefan Feld, Jo Hartwig

Published by: Ammonit Spiele, Asterion Press, FoxMind


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.

Retail Price:$56
Nederlandse Spellenprijs Best Expert Game Nominee 2013
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110 AD - the Roman Empire is at its height of glory, ruled by the Emperor "optimus princeps" Trajan. All borders are secured and people can focus their attention again on the empire's internal matters - ROME.

Take your chances and boost your power! With proper tactics, you may outmanoeuvre your opponents and eventually claim victory.


  • 1 game board - showing parts of the Roman Empire, starting from Rome's senate via the Arch of Trajan, the forum and the seaport up to the far-away provinces of Britannia and Germania. The board consists of 6 areas; a specific action is assigned to each area.
  • 60 small player tokens - 15 each in the player colors red, green, dark blue, and brown. They represent the players' legionnaires or workers.
  • 4 military leader tokens and 8 discs - in 4 player colors. The military leaders occupy provinces with their legionnaires.
  • 4 player mats in the player colors - showing the action circle with 6 trays and providing space for the players' various collected tiles.
  • 4 Arches of Trajan - one for each player. It marks the slot on the player mats for a new Trajan tile.
  • 4 sets of octagonal action markers - each set consists of 12 markers in the following colors: 2 each of yellow, orange, light green, white, pink and blue. Players place these markers on the troughs of their action circle.
  • 1 time marker - used for recording the elapsed playing time.
  • 60 commodity cards - 12 commodities, 5 cards of each.
  • 9 different types of tiles
  • 1 Linen bag - used for drawing bonus tiles
  • 2 Rulebooks - German and English


Unfold the game board in the center of the playing area. Give each player in their chosen player color 1 player mat, 1 military leader token, 15 small player tokens, and 2 discs to record their victory points and their position in the senate. Additionally, each player receives 1 Arch of Trajan and 12 action markers (2 pieces of each color - blue, yellow, light green, orange, pink, and white). …

The Bonus Tiles

Front (yellow):

A player gains 9 VP's if they own at least 1 forum tile with this icon (bread, helmet, flame). Forum tiles must not be confused with Trajan tiles.

Back (gray):

Similar to front, but the player gains 6 VP's only.

Front (yellow):

A player gains 1 VP for each of their own workers in the construction district.

Back (gray):

Similar to front, but the player gains 1/2 VP only (rounded up).

Front (yellow):

A player gains 3 VP's for each of these commodity cards of their personal display. …

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