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Set during the Second Punic War and beyond, A Legionary's Life lets you play as a Roman conscript soldier. Try to be a hero, rise up through the ranks, get rich through ruthless pillaging or just focus on making it home in one piece; it's up to you.

This is a single-player game with RPG elements, extensive usage of attribute and skill checks, a turn-based combat system involving many variables (including morale, reach, confined space and high ground) and a touch of roguelike features. Among them: permadeath. If you are unfamiliar with the term, it means you'll have to start over if your character dies; but don't worry, the game is designed to be replayable and you'll see only a fraction of it in each run. Also, in future versions you'll be able to spend points on new characters based on how well your best character performed.

The demo includes the first three parts of the game and is available here.
The full game is currently under development.

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Demo version 0.8 released!


After completing the Battle of Zama, which concludes Part VIII, a lot of time and effort went into playtesting and rebalancing the whole game. The subsequent changes were especially aimed at the second campaign, but some extended to the content included in the demo. Let's take a look at them.

Combat actions

The confusing mechanism that reduced the success rate of Recover actions after suffering an attack has been removed. Now, every fighter has a chance of skipping his action during a combat round. This is based on Quickness, but is also affected by Stance, Morale and Fatigue. So, whenever you lower the Stance of your enemies, they are more likely to fail at acting when their turn comes. This could work wonders against slow enemies and is very helpful even against fast ones. Of course, the same applies to your character, so be prepared.

Whenever a fighter fails to act during a round, the following simple effect is shown. There are no messages and pauses because I feel they detract from the "immediateness" of combat. You can find details of what happened in the combat log anyway.

No action

Like before, a character can perform a Second Action during a combat round, if a Quickness check is passed. To avoid confusion, this effect is shown like this:

Second action

The No Action and Second Action chances are displayed on the Equipment screen (some pieces of equipment may reduce your Quickness and influence these values). Also, I've added a more extensive help.

Equipment screen help

Combat factors

The impact of Morale and Attitude has been somewhat reduced. Both are still very important.

Let me explain with an example: suppose you want to attack an enemy, aiming at his head. A score that incorporates a lot of factors, including your Weapon Skill, Stance, the Handiness of your current weapon, the difficulty coefficient of the head, etc, is compared to a defensive score obtained in a similar way for the enemy. Suppose that your score, after considering all those factors, is 120. If your Morale is Superb (the highest possible level), your score is increased by 15% (it was 20% before this version) and the actual value becomes 138. Consider that Morale is applied to every check in the game short of Training/Workout activities and you should get an idea of how useful it can be. Any level below Content will penalize you.

Besides, the impact of Fatigue has been increased. An Exhausted fighter will be severely impaired.


Messages alerting the player that a Training activity is becoming less efficient now appear much sooner than before. You will see the first alert when the overall chance of improvement with your selected training is below 50%:

Slow training alert 1

The second alert is shown when the chance gets below 30%.

Slow training alert 2

A third and a fourth alert are displayed when the chances are below 15% and 5% respectively.

The chance of losing Morale when exercising too much has been increased slightly. The tooltips for Training and Workout activities have been extended to make players aware of this mechanism.

Finally, the improvement curve of most Training types have been changed a little, although you probably won't even notice in the demo. This will mostly affect later stages of the game.


Several enemies are more skilled now, especially the Caetrati. Their previous Skill levels were a legacy of early versions, when player characters had less room for improvement before they could meet these opponents.

Other changes

A lot of Opinion improvements and penalties have been changed and rebalanced.

When you meet the Opinion requirement for a promotion, it's now easier to find a vacant position. If there are none, but your Virtue is low enough, you can still attempt a "shortcut" at your own risk.

The Offer Sacrifice activity can now be used only once between major battles.

Several defensive checks against ranged attacks are a little harder.

A more extensive list of changes is available here.

Demo v 0.8

The Second Punic War is coming to an end

The Second Punic War is coming to an end


The Battle of the Great Plains is now part of the full game. There's also a small update to the demo.

Demo version 0.6 released!

Demo version 0.6 released!


Version 0.6 brings lots of news, mostly concerning combat.

Demo version 0.5.3 released!

Demo version 0.5.3 released!

News 2 comments

A progress report on the full version and an overview of the latest demo.

Version 0.5: new depiction of Combat Stats!

Version 0.5: new depiction of Combat Stats!


In version 0.5, Combat Stats are no longer cold numbers...

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Demo v 0.8

Demo v 0.8

Demo 2 comments

This demo contains the first three parts of the game. Unzip the file and run the installer. Feedback is greatly appreciated.

Comments  (0 - 10 of 12)

This game is quite hard. I wish there was a save feature, where you could go to the last encounter (i.e. if you die while fighting the mercenaries in the citadel, you restart when you guys are fighting at the gates). Going through the training in the beginning time and time again can be a chore . All my characters have died at a score of 0, lol. I keep building up the green bar too fast, and I always try to attack, which I know I shouldn't do, but still. Bad strategy on my part, but when I see the 20% chance that I might succeed going for the neck shot, I'll always take it lol. Rest in peace Temdavius Poopooius 1 through 4, enjoying the game very much so far. Hopefully I'll improve at it very soon!

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a_roberti Creator

Just for the benefit of future readers: there *is* a save feature. You just can't reload if the player character dies.
I wouldn't want people to believe they have to play the game in one go. :-)
That said, I'm glad you're enjoying the game. Remember to always keep an eye on your Stance: when your attacks miss, your opponent is more likely to find an opening and hurt you, so going on the full offensive when the odds are sharply against you is a quick way to an early game over. Remember the optional fights are usually the toughest.

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Woo! Just beat the demo. Quite a lot of things almost got me (bandit ambush, fighting the two people at the same time, etc.), but I took your advice, and didn't fight any battles I didn't have to. Some words;

First off, to everyone else reading this, I think the most important piece of advice I can give is, your goal isn't try to beat the opponent, your goal is to try to stay alive. It can seem frustrating when you keep missing your attacks, but chances are, your opponent is going to miss just as many of their attacks. Once you get to around round 20, either you rotate or they rout, and you'll live to see another battle.

The most important bar (circle, rather, in this case) during battle is your fatigue (green). Try to keep it low, it's more important than the health (red) or your stance (blue). If your stance is only down a little, don't waste your turn on recovering. Only recover when the enemy is also doing so, to have the best chance at succeeding. Respiting is very important, I try to respite every round, unless the enemy misses and loses significant stance (blue), which then can be used to your advantage and try to feint them and then attack/soft spot them.

I really didn't use the javelin or shield attacks much, so try to focus more on sword training, because I feel that sword attacks are much more consistent.

Not sure yet if there's a better way to play other than waiting for an opening and then attacking, but I've only tried to spec into javelins and shields once, and that character didn't really go too well for me.

Pay attention to the attitude bar when you're in battle, always try to be more defensive when you're respiting or recovering, and set it to be more offensive when the enemy is down on his stance (blue) and is trying to recover, so your attacks have more chance to hit. Don't worry when your losing your morale when you're defensive, morale isn't really that important, and can be gained back relatively easily, at least in this version.

Finally, a word to the developer; I felt that virtue wasn't really as big of a factor as I thought it would be, I read it would open up more encounters and stuff, but I didn't really see any opportunity to lose/gain virtue by choice, but that's probably more just on the length of the demo. On the subject of the shop, it was probably due to my low intelligence stat, but I never found anything good in the shop. I never found any leg armor/greaves, and I never found any weapons that had a reach of more than 2. Maybe make them more common to find, but it felt weird going into battle with an empty armor slot, or fighting an enemy with a spear when I only had a gladius.

Overall, great work and art direction. A bit hard for my taste, but I'm sure it'll be alleviated when the I figure out more into it. I can't wait to play more.

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a_roberti Creator

Well done, and thanks for your kind words!
Focusing on staying alive is one way to play the game. We could call it "easy" mode. Once you have figured out some of the basics, you can try a more daring and rewarding approach.

You are learning fast and giving some good pointers. You might be giving too much importance to fatigue, though, especially when fighting in a maniple and rotations occur regularly. Under different circumstances, for instance during a fight to the death, fatigue becomes a bigger factor.
Also, I think you shouldn't neglect your shield training–-your defense depends on it, but different play styles are indeed possible.

As for virtue, that's probably because you've played past the first battle only once. Every game is a diverse experience where different things happen. Besides, if you manage to obtain a promotion, you'll see even more. For example, you'll be occasionally put in charge of a foraging party.

As to merchants, I've just made a few tests and greaves popped out 20 times out of 51 attempts during Phase I and 12 times out of 29 attempts during Phase II. Maybe you just had bad luck.
You won't find spears on sale. The legionary's weapon is the short sword. You often fight in formation: using another weapon would be a disadvantage. There are 9 types of short swords anyway. Also, don't look just at the reach, a gladius has several advantages over a spear; for example, if you perform a successful strike on an spear-wielding enemy, he'll be in serious trouble, with his reach advantage denied and harsh penalties applied.

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Screw the garrison mercenary! Is there even a way to kill him? Lol

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a_roberti Creator

It's achievable, but very difficult. You'll get a nice reward (possibly two) for even just surviving that battle without killing anyone. Of course, if you do manage to defeat a mercenary, you may obtain more (either a +1 to all combat skills or a bronze armilla, if you already qualified for the skills bonus thanks to your performance against the militia).

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This is a neat little game. I've played the demo 3 times and haven't even reached the end of it. Died each time but always got a little further. I also never thought that it was the game that screwed me over. That it was always due to my own decisions that got me killed.

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a_roberti Creator

Thank you! This kind of feedback on difficulty and replay value is very important to me.

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I got there in the end. I.imgur.com

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a_roberti Creator

*And* you got an Armilla too. Not bad at all.

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