The year is 92 CE. Yours is a small kingdom at the borders of the Roman Empire. Its fields are plentiful with strong grains, its hills overflowing with sweet wine. Your numbers are growing and there is enough room to build new villages. For now. As Roman troops and colonists start encroaching on your lands, the people look to you for guidance.  You still have some diplomatic influence over the Roman commanders near you, but the Emperor's absurd decrees and increasing demand for tribute can only lead to more conflict. At the end of the day, you are sure of only one thing: the Romans are coming.

Controls: left mouse button.

Keyboard only controls: arrow keys to move cursor, X to place banners, hold Z and press left/right to show hints.

Place your troops, represented by banners, in regions to score points and gather grain, wood, stone and wine. However, if you fail to meet the (increasingly stringent) imperial decrees, Roman troops appear that you will also have to place somewhere on the map. When enemy troops are placed next to each other, combat occurs. With careful placement you can fight off the Romans for a while, but history is written by the victors.

Survive as long as you can!

Game rules (if you don't want to figure everything out yourself):

  • Each turn you place 4 of your own units and 0 or more Roman units.
  • When you place a unit next to an enemy, they destroy each other.
  • If you place a unit next to two or more enemies, the enemies survive.
  • However, nearby allies can help defend: if there are more allies than enemies, the newly placed unit survives and the enemies are killed instead.
  • At the start of every turn you spend 4 grain to create new units. If you run out of grain, you spend wine instead.
  • When all regions are filled, your surviving units harvest additional resources, but surviving Romans permanently claim their region.
  • Roman units in claimed regions are invincible.
  • You can create a village at a cost of 10 wood and 5 stone by placing a unit in a field next to two other friendly units, as long as no combat occurs.
  • Each time you create a village or place a friendly unit in a village, you immediately get bonus resources for each friendly unit next to it.
  • Each village with a unit in it also grants you 1 extra unit each turn (which also costs 1 grain per turn).
  • However, units in villages cannot help defend other units.
  • You get 1 point per friendly unit placed and 10 bonus points for each village you create.

Additional hints:

  • You always have to place Romans adjacent to other Romans.
  • To stop the Roman advance, you can kill Roman troops after placing them.
  • However, killing too many Romans means there won't be any legal regions to place new Romans.
  • If you cannot place Romans without breaking the decree, place them somewhere away from everything else, so you can at least place the next Roman next to them.

My entry for the WASM4 Game Jam 2022. Made with the WASM-4 fantasy console. Written in Rust. 

Wreath pixel art on menu screen by scribbles pixels.

Color palette based on Painted Parchment 9 by skeddles.

Release date Aug 20, 2022
GenreStrategy, Puzzle
Made withRust
Tags2D, Historical, Indie, Minimalist, Procedural Generation, Short, wasm-4, wasm4
Code licenseMIT License
Average sessionA few minutes
LinksSource code


the-romans-are-coming-v1.1.0.exe 275 kB
the-romans-are-coming-v1.1.0.x86_64 247 kB
the-romans-are-coming-v1.1.0.wasm 40 kB
the-romans-are-coming-v1.0.0.exe (jam) 275 kB
the-romans-are-coming-v1.0.0.x86_64 (jam) 246 kB
the-romans-are-coming-v1.0.0.wasm (jam) 40 kB

Development log


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i've been eradicated :(

cool game! i like how the pallet changes, and how it highlights stuff, the gameplay is a little confusing, but neat concept and its executed well