Should I Play Pandemic: Fall of Rome?

Is Pandemic: Fall of Rome fun to play?
Pandemic: Fall of Rome

Players: 1 – 5 players | Game Duration 45 – 60 mins |
Min. Age 8+ | Game complexity: EASY Genre: Cooperative, Historical
Solo game mode: Yes | Co-op: Yes |
Online Version: No

What is Pandemic: Fall of Rome about?

“Pandemic: Fall of Rome”  merges classic original Pandemic gameplay with historical elements from the decline of the Roman Empire. This game offers a unique twist on the familiar formula, inviting players to defend Rome from invading barbarian tribes.

Gameplay Overview

In “Pandemic: Fall of Rome,” you take on the roles of Roman citizens holding various offices and skills, tasked with the challenge of defending the empire’s borders and managing internal unrest. Instead of curing diseases, you and your teammates mobilize Roman legions to fend off invasions and forge alliances with attacking tribes.

The game board depicts the Roman Empire with a network of cities connected by trade routes. Players move between these cities, recruit legions, and repel barbarian tribes. The game uses a deck of cards that either aids in player movement and army reinforcements or propels the game forward by spawning new tribes on the march towards Rome.

Unique Game Mechanics

  1. Legions and Barbarians: Players use legions to battle the invading barbarians. Each confrontation may reduce the number of legions available, necessitating periodic reinforcement and strategic deployment.

  2. Negotiation and Alliances: Unique to this version of Pandemic is the ability to negotiate alliances with certain barbarian tribes, turning potential threats into allies. This introduces diplomacy into the game, adding depth and variety to the strategies players can employ.

  3. Multiple Paths to Victory (and Defeat): Victory can be achieved by either repelling all barbarians or forming alliances with all the tribes. However, Rome falls if it is overrun by barbarians or if too many legions are lost, adding a constant tension to every decision.

What Makes It Fun

“Pandemic: Fall of Rome” excels in its blend of historical context with engaging cooperative gameplay. The theme is richly integrated into the mechanics, making players feel truly immersed in the historical period. The addition of military and diplomatic strategies to the familiar Pandemic formula refreshes the gameplay and provides new challenges and tactics for veterans and newcomers alike.

What do Pandemic Fall of Rome players say about the game?

Gameplay and Mechanics

Players appreciate the addition of dice rolling as it introduces an element of randomness to battles, adding depth and unpredictability to combat outcomes.

Appreciation for the historical theme

There is strong appreciation for the historical theme. Players feel truly immersed in the roles of Roman generals coordinating defenses across various fronts of the empire. The ability to form alliances with some barbarian tribes adds a layer of strategy and decision-making that enhances the game’s appeal and complexity.

Accessibility and Enjoyment:

Players enjoy the cooperative gameplay but some note that the use of Latin names for cities and roles, while thematically appropriate, can complicate communication and learning the game. 

Criticism and Suggestions:

There are some criticisms about the complexity of role cards but seen as minor and not a hinderance to the game’s enjoyment.


Official Pandemic: Fall of Rome Rulebook

Pandemic: Fall of Rome Videos

Awards Won by Pandemic: Fall of Rome

2020 Origins Awards Best Historical Game Winner 2020 Origins Awards Best Historical Game Nominee 2018 Golden Geek Best Cooperative Game Nominee

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