In Sylla, during phase V, the events phase, you will need 2 kinds of characters: legionaries and vestal virgins.
Of course, if events are going to affect you during this turn, do not use all your legionaries and vestal virgins cards during phase III so that you can participate in phase V.
During phase V, you will use them to collectively fight threats: Epidemics, Eruptions, the Imperial Cult, the Senate Purge, Famines, Christian Persecutions, Floods, Slave Revolts, Pillages, and Decadence. Every event that affects the Res Publica ladder can be fought with the vestal virgins, while the events that affect characters and buildings can predominantly be fought with legionaries.
Why choose the legionaries?
– First when you buy stalls (building that earns you 2 deniers) and do not want them to be destroyed by the Pillage event.
– Then if you recruit some slaves and senators (so that you can dominate phases I and IV), especially if they are Christians (that adds some points at the end of the game), be liberal with the legionaries. The Slave Revolt, the Senate Purge and the Christian Persecution, which can be catastrophic to your characters, are fought with legionaries.
If you are really into legionaries, favour Civic Spirit tokens: the Imperial Cult (which lowers Civic Spirit on the Res Publica ladder) can be countered with legionaries and vestal virgins, and it will be easier for you to defend yourself if the event takes place.
Why choose the vestal virgins?
– Because you want some latitude to choose Res Publica tokens. Indeed, while helping you to counter the various events more easily than your opponents, vestal virgins allow you to earn the 3 types of Res Publica tokens: Civic Spirit tokens (with the Imperial Cult), Leisure (with the Eruption) and, above all, Health (with Famine, Epidemic and Flood). Conversely, legionaries can never bring you in Health tokens!
– To control the markers on the Res Publica ladder and freeze the various markers in which you have been investing to prevent them from moving along the ladder.
Thus, legionaries allow you to protect your characters, while vestal virgins allow you to protect the value of your Res Publica tokens. These are two different dynamics, but they are not necessarily opposed. Remember that you cannot possibly fight on every front. This is why you have to keep an eye on your opponents’ cards to anticipate their priorities. Countering events with the help of other players will be less expensive for you…