Antike Duellum - General game info
Antike Duellum
2 players, 30 minutes, 7 years and older
AuthorMac Gerdts
Published byPD-Verlag
Online since 2012-10-23
Developed byAitor (ArkTheLad)
Note: This online implementation uses slightly changed rules!
Antike Duellum - Rules

The following rule changes apply here on

  • "Fortress" event card is played automatically on the first conquest action of your opponent.


Two mighty, ancient empires sail the seas, found new cities, erect glorious temples, and develop new technologies. However, territories and resources are limited, and soon peaceful coexistence threatens to change to military conflict. Who can best manage their state affairs? Who can benefit their people most when engaging the vagaries of fate? And who has the strategic genius to lead their legions and fleets to victory? The answer lies in your hands.


The game material comes in limited quantity. If a player has no more legions or galleys, or if the bank has no more city tokens or temples, the supply is empty. Only resource chips are unlimited.

  • 24 galleys (12 per player color brown and beige)
  • 24 legions (12 per player color brown and beige)
  • 12 temples (white)
  • 10 gold-cities
  • 12 marble-cities
  • 12 iron-cities
  • 12 Town Walls

  • The city tokens and town walls have the color of the other player on their backside respectively.


1. Player Set Up

Each player receives the wooden parts of their color: 12 galleys, 12 legions, 1 octagonal game stone, and 6 wooden disks. In addition each player receives 1 town wall. Each player places 1 round wooden disk of their color at zero on the VP-track.

CARD X 12 CARD X 12   CARD X 1   CARD X 6   CARD X 1

Both recruitment boxes receive 1 legion and 1 galley each. Each player’s 3 starting cities are marked with a city token. The starting city with a gold symbol receives a gold city token etc.


Each player receives a starting supply of 3 Marble, 3 Iron, and 3 Gold chips.


2. Start Player

The start player is chosen randomly and the other player receives 1 coin as compensation.


3. Set up the bank

Place the marble, iron and gold chips, the coins, the temples, town walls and city tokens next to the game board for use as needed. Sort the 21 personage cards into five stacks.


4. Event Cards

The 25 event cards are shuffled and placed as a draw deck beside the game board. 3 event cards are drawn from top and used to form the open card display.



Both players lead an ancient civilization.

On the front game board, the Carthaginians play against the Romans, and on the reverse side the Greeks play against the Persians. Each nation starts with 3 cities which produce marble, iron, and gold respectively. These resources are used to develop the civilization. A nation can erect temples and build town walls with marble. It can develop technologies and recruit military units with gold while iron is used to arm and equip the legions and galleys.

The nations expand their territories by moving their legions and galleys and founding new cities, which each cost 1 of each resource: marble, iron, and gold. Legions and galleys may also be used to conquer the opponent’s cities. Temples triple a city’s capacity to produce, defend, and build new military units. The town wall provides additional defensive strength to its city.

Knowledge of new technologies may double the moving distances of military units, boost the defensive strength of owned cities by 1, or strengthen the economy.

If a nation achieves certain goals, it wins the favor of ancient personages. The first nation to own 9 personages wins the game.


In order to win, players try to be the first to own 9 personages.

There are five different types of personages, which are received for reaching special goals.



For every 5 cities a nation owns, it receives a king, which are gained at the completion of city 5, 10, 15 etc.


For every 3 temples a nation owns, it receives a citizen, which are gained at the completion of temples 3, 6, 9, and 12.


For every new advance (new technology), a nation receives a scholar.


For every temple a nation destroys, it receives a general. A temple is destroyed with its city being conquered.


Sea regions without a city are indicated by a galley symbol. These regions count double for the purpose of gaining Navigators. You gain a Navigator for every 7 sea areas you control. A clever distribution of only 4 galleys could be enough to gain a Navigator. Sea regions are counted at the end of the turn after all possible fights are over when calculating Navigators.

Any deserved personages are awarded at the end of a turn. Once won, an ancient personage cannot be lost. This applies also when possessions that led to any awards are no longer held.


Players take alternating turns. Each turn consists of 3 steps taken in order:

1. Action Selection

A turn begins by placing the octagonal game stone on the circular rondel depicted here, and performing the indicated action.


On a player’s very first turn, the position on the rondel may be freely chosen. On each following turn, the game stone moves forward on the rondel in clockwise order. When moving forward, any of the next three fields ahead can be chosen free of charge. If the game stone moves further than three fields, each additional field costs 1 resource of the nation’s choice, i.e., a marble, iron, or gold chip or a coin. You may not stay in the same field twice in a row; executing the same action on two consecutive turns would require moving forward 8 fields, and paying 5 chips/coins. Game stones in the same position on the rondel do not affect one another. Every action is described in detail on the following pages.

2. Founding Cities

A nation may found one or more new cities. The nation must have at least one military unit (legion or galley) in the region where the city is to be built. Foreign military units in the region do not prevent the city’s founding. For each newly founded city, the nation must pay the bank one marble, one iron, and one gold chip. Coins can substitute for marble, iron, or gold chips.


The player takes a city token out of the bank’s supply (marble, iron, or gold), and puts it at the place of the newly founded city on the board. The nation’s color must be visible. Moreover, the player must pay one additional coin for each adjacent city which produces the same resource. Each adjacency counts, no matter whether it is a (blue) sea border or a (red) land border, and no matter whether it is an owned or an opposing city. Cities are founded one after another, so that the amount of coins needed may increase as new adjacencies are created.

3. Winning Personages

At the end of a turn, a nation collects one or more ancient personages if it meets the requirements for each and if the bank still has them available. Whenever a player receives a personage, their opponent takes 1 event card per personage from the open card supply as compensation.


On the VP-track, where the numbers of personages are recorded, are symbols for a town wall (at 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7): Whenever a marker on the track reaches or passes a town wall’s symbol, its owner receives an additional town wall into their personal supply. If, for instance, the marker increases from “1” to “3”, they receive 2 town walls. The town wall’s symbol at “0” indicates that each player already starts with 1 town wall in their personal supply.



There are three kinds of actions on the rondel:

  • Actions to produce resources: MARMOR, FERRUM, and AURUM (marble, iron, and gold)
  • Actions to utilize produced resources: TEMPLUM, MILITIA, and SCIENTIA (Temple, Arming, and Know-How). These utilization actions are located exactly opposite of the corresponding resource production actions on the rondel.
  • DUELLUM (Maneuver) for military action - which appears twice on the rondel.




Each of these 3 actions produces the respective resource. On MARMOR (Marble) the nation produces:

  • 1 marble (per city without a temple).
  • 3 marble (per city with a temple).

The player receives the produced amount of resource chips out of the bank’s supply. In addition, they receive 1 coin, no matter which resource or how many are produced.


Coins may be used as marble, iron, or gold whenever necessary. If the bank has no more coins, the player may choose whatever other type of resource they wish instead. FERRUM (Iron) and AURUM (Gold) are done in similar fashion.


TEMPLUM (Temple)

This action enables the nation to build temples and/or town walls.

A nation may build one or more new temples. For each new temple, it pays the bank 6 marble chips and places the temple on the board beside the city. In addition, 1 coin must be paid for each temple that already exists in an adjacent region (both your own and opponent’s temples). If several temples are built within one turn, they are paid one after another, so that the amount of coins needed may increase as new adjacencies are created.


The temple triples the city’s ability to produce, arm, and defend itself. Only one temple can be built per city. If all 12 temples are already on the board, no further temples can be built until temples are destroyed and returned to the supply.


Town walls may also be built at the player’s cities with this action, or as an alternative to building temples. They raise the defense strength of a city by 1. Town walls cost 1 marble chip each and are placed under the city token. Each city can have no more than 1 town wall. Players can only build town walls they have in their personal supply (where they return if they are destroyed).


MILITIA (Arming)

When arming, military units are taken from the recruitment box and placed at player owned cities on the map. This costs 2 iron chips per new military unit (legion or galley) paid to the bank. Only units that are inside the recruitment box at the beginning of the turn may be armed.

CARD CARD     CARD              CARD CARD     CARD

The number of new military units added to a city is limited to:

  • 1 at each own city without a temple
  • 3 at each own city with a temple.

Legions and galleys can be added to cities even when they already contain military units (friendly and enemy). The limit of 1 (or 3) applies only to units added to a city. There is no numerical limit for units in a region. However, hostile units of the same type cannot peacefully exist in the same region. If a new military unit is added to a city where there is already a hostile unit of the same type, both units immediately fight, cancel out each other 1 for 1, and return to their recruitment boxes. Such a unit cannot be rearmed that same turn.

Cities with only red (land) borders can only accommodate legions and cities with only blue (sea) borders can only accommodate galleys.



This action allows a nation to use its gold to develop a new Know-How and/or to recruit additional military units from its supply.


The prices of each Know-How are depicted above the science chart on the board. The higher price has to be paid by the first nation to develop it. Each Know-How that a nation owns is marked with a round wooden disk in the nation’s color. Being the first nation to develop a certain Know-How is a significant cultural achievement and therefore is rewarded with the acquisition of an ancient scholar.

There is no specific order in which Know-Hows have to be taken, the choice is always free. If it can be afforded, it is possible to develop several Know-Hows in the same turn.

Effects of Know-Hows:


STRATA (Streets): Legions may move up to 2 land regions (cross 2 red borders in a turn).

NAVIGATIO (Navigation): Galleys may move up to 2 sea regions (cross 2 blue borders in a turn).

MONETA (Currency): One extra unit when producing (+ 1 unit of the produced type per turn)

RES PUBLICA (Republic): The defense strength of all owned cities is boosted by 1.

COMMERCIUM (Trade): The nation is allowed to trade resources with the bank at a rate of 3 to 2. If a player pays 3 resource chips (whatever type and composition), they receive 2 resource chips of their choice in return (but not coins). Example: A player pays 4 Gold and 2 Marble in order to take 4 Iron. Trading is possible at any time during a player’s turn, but not during the turn in which the player develops Trade since Know-Hows are not owned until the end of the turn.


In addition or as an alternative to developing Know-How, a nation may also recruit new legions and/or galleys. Newly recruited units are taken from the personal supply and placed in the nation’s recruitment box on the board. A nation must pay the bank 1 gold chip for each legion recruited and 2 gold chips for each galley recruited.

CARD     CARD              CARD CARD     CARD

DUELLUM (Maneuver)

This action is conducted in two steps in order:

1. Movement

All of a nation’s military units (legions or galleys) may move to another region on the board. The order in which units move may be freely chosen. Red borders can be crossed only by legions, and blue borders only by galleys. Combined borders with both red and blue lines may be crossed by both types of units. If a nation owns the Know-How STRATA (Streets), its legions may cross up to two red borders per turn. If it owns the Know-How NAVIGATIO (Navigation), its galleys may cross up to two blue borders per turn.

If military units enter or want to cross a region where there are already hostile units of the same type, a battle automatically occurs. In this case both opponents lose the same number of units of the same type. They cancel each other out 1 to 1 and are placed back inside their respective recruitment boxes. All battles are resolved in whatever order the player wants.

A city is not affected in any way by hostile units inside its region. It may produce resources and add military units to its region as usual.

2. Conquest

After all movements and battles are done a nation may decide to conquer hostile cities. A conquest is only possible if the number of military units inside the region at least meets the defense strength of that city. The defense strength is calculated as follows:

  • 1 for a city without a temple
  • 3 for a city with a temple.

This basic strength is increased by

  • 1 for each defender legion and galley in the region
  • 1 if the city has a town wall
  • 1 if the defender owns the Know-How Res Publica (Republic).
          CARD     CARD        CARD     CARD CARD
          CARD     CARD CARD        CARD     CARD CARD CARD

The conqueror removes as many military units from the city’s region as the defense strength of the city, and puts them back into their recruitment box. They may choose freely which type of units to remove (legion or galley) if they have more units than necessary in the region. All defender legions and galleys are also returned to their recruitment box as well. If the city had a temple, the temple is destroyed and goes back to the bank’s supply (the conqueror receives the personage of a general at the end of the turn). A town wall is destroyed as well and returned to its player’s personal supply. The city token is turned over and now shows the color of its new owner.

If the loss of at least of one city occurred, the losing player chooses 1 event card from the open card display (not 1 per city!).


Open Card Display

As soon as a player takes a card from the display, it is replenished immediately. In every situation there is the choice of 3 different cards.


When to choose Cards

A player takes one event card if at least one of their cities was lost to conquest (1 per turn). A player also takes an event card each time their opponent gains a personage (1 per personage).

Using Event Cards

The players may use and combine their event cards whenever they wish during their own turns if the card description does not indicate otherwise.

All used event cards are discarded and if the original supply runs out, the discards are shuffled and made into a new draw deck.


The game is won by the first nation to acquire 9 personages.



When my first game ANTIKE was published in 2005 it was an immediate success. It won the Bronze Deutsche Spielepreis and was nominated for the International Gamers Award.

Developing an independent version for 2 players was a special challenge. New ideas were integrated into the game to give it more variety – such as the introduction of the event cards, the modular distribution of resources on the game board and the additional protection of cities with town walls. The conquest of cities does not require additional movements anymore (which always was a minor hurdle when explaining Antike).

A main focus for the development process was to ensure that a 2 player civilization development game would not degenerate into a pure arms race. As a result, Antike Duellum, while still based on the basic concepts of Antike, has become quite a different game. Without the encouragement of many players and the discussions in many forums, this game would not have existed. Although I cannot personally name everyone who helped, I give my heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated in creating this challenging new strategy game.

Hamburg, October 2012

Mac Gerdts

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