20 March 2023
Casual Caesarial conspiracy

Betrayal is one of the juicier options when it comes to board game themes, and there are few world events so linked with the idea as the assassination of Julius Caesar. For those of you who haven’t watched a Shakespearian tragedy recently, this is the story of an emperor being murdered by a cloud of conspirators, on a day known as The Ides of March. In Latin that translates to “IDVS MARTII”; the name of this compact card game from 2Tomatoes Games.

IDVS MARTII is a hidden role game for 5-8 players, where each person has to decide whether to be Loyal, Traitors or Merchants – the latter being solely concerned with the most financially beneficial option. Over a number of turns, spread over two rounds, they secretly select cards, which nudge factions towards victory… or ruin.

So far this will be very familiar to fans of other hidden role stalwarts like The Resistance or Secret Hitler. However, somewhat unusually for the genre, players get a choice about which faction they side with – and they don’t have to make that decision straight away. Players are dealt two faction cards, and discard one during the first round. This allows them to see the flow of the game before picking a team, adding extra uncertainty to the web of conspiracy.

Another way IDVS MARTII manages to be inventive is the scoring track – on the unhelpfully named SVFFRAGIVM card – where the Traitor and Loyal factions slowly advance in points based on the actions of players. The highest score wins; unless the score crosses a certain point, causing an instant loss for that faction. This creates a challenge; do you push for a Loyal victory, but in doing so leaving your faction vulnerable to a Traitor voting to push you over the edge?

Finally, having a third faction, the Merchants, is a compelling twist; they win if there is a close points finish, or if a faction scores too highly but has no players actually siding with it.

Overall IDVS MARTII is an interesting package, although the use of Latin throughout is thematic but not very helpful. For example, each turn, different players are assigned actions where they become CONSVL, PRAETOR or EDIL EVRVL; at no point is any context or explanation given for these names. The SVFFRAGIVM refers to the process of buying power in provincial Roman government; but Google told me that, not the rules.

The linguistic decisions add to the problem of a lacklustre rules sheet – it took us two full games to really understand exactly the purpose of the game, and what our tactics should be with each faction. The rules desperately needs an extra couple of paragraphs to be read aloud to players so they know what their aim in the game is.

Problems aside, this is a fun and tactical social game which most game groups will enjoy. With the benefit of clearer rules, I could see it becoming a favourite around many tables.



Conspiracy with your companions is hard to argue with. For the right group, this could be a repeated favourite. Especially if they all speak Latin.


Coup manages many of the same feelings of hidden uncertainty, but adds the ability for player-on-player attacks and the ability to play with as few as three players.

Content continues after advertisements

Read the full review here

Buy a copy here

Designer: Miguel Bruque

Publisher: 2Tomatoes Games

Time: 15 minutes

Players: 5-8

Ages: 12+

Price: £10

What’s in the box?

  • 27 Cards
  • 2 Traitors and Caesars tokens

Looking for more?

The front cover of Tabletop Gaming Magazine

This review came from Tabletop Gaming Magazine, which is home to all of the latest and greatest tabletop goodness. Whether you're a board gamer, card gamer, wargamer, RPG player or all of the above, find your copy here.

Get your magazine here

Read More... 

The box art for ARCS by Cole Wehrle

If you want to read more about one of the most hotly anticipated games of the year, check out our interview with Cole Wehrle on ARCS! A new game from the designer of Root and Oath, and we've got all you need to know.

To infinity and beyond


Sometimes we may include links to online retailers, from which we might receive a commission if you make a purchase. Affiliate links do not influence editorial coverage and will only be used when covering relevant products


No comments