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Subject: Battle for Britannia with 4 players rss

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I had invited three of my friends to play Britannia on a Friday night and to drink few beers with it. Since all had played Britannia before, we had a very quick one minute rules explanation phase had then handed out the nation cards. One of us wanted to try the Romans, so played with the yellow. I had hopes for playing with blue nations, and since the other two were indifferent, blue was my color for the game.

The Rule Of The Romans (the first 5 turns)
The Romans made a very fine rush over England territories during the first major invasion. Belgae submitted on the first roman turn, leaving them only 4 territories in Lindsay, Kent, Norfolk and North Mercia. Welsh struggled a bit longer, not submitting before the Romans had conquered Powys and Gwent. After the first round, Belgae unsubmitted and revolted, but even an attack led by Boudicca herself fell under Roman might. Belage did manage to burn few Roman forts in the south during the first five rounds, being a small thorn in the yellow players side. Roman attacked on their second turn from both sides of the Pennines, leaving Brigantes alone there and forcing the Brigantes to submit when Roman legions attempted to invade Strathclyde. Picts gave up on the third round after being chasen to Skye, Moray, Alban and Mar.

The Romans had conquered the Welsh, Brigantes and Picts in three rounds, getting a massive amount of VPs and they had to deal only with the few Irish raiders, who landed in Cumbria and Cornwall. Saxons also invaded Southern England on their fourth and fifth round, gaining a foothold that they managed to keep until the 16th round. Picts fought once with the expanding Caledonians and lost Skye to them.

The end of the fifth round saw also the end of the Roman domination in Britain, leaving a few Romano-British troops mostly in Mercia and Norfolk-Suffolk, Irish colony in Cornwall and bruised and batterd Picts and Brigantes. Angles conquered most of the eastern coast from Dunedin to York and the last Belgae unit remained in Hwicce. Saxons controlled the southern coast and nor Scots or Jutes had managed to gain terrains.

Dark Ages (turns 6-11)
With Romans gone and the R-N unable to hold together that vast empty space that wan an empire, Saxons and Angles crept in. Saxons quickly conquered all of southern England, except Avalon where Irish kept their stronghold. Jutes tries thrice to set foot on Kent, but Saxons defeated them leaving thus the Jutes with 0 points.

Angles conquered northern England with bits of Scotland as Dunedin was their’s too.Welsh struggled to keep Wales to themselves, attacking the R-B at Powys and Gwent but being unable to drive out the Irish from Cornwall. Irish landed on Cheshire and held three normal areas and one difficult terrain at their best.

In the north Scots invaded Dalriada and fought with the Brigantes in Strathclyde, but did not manage to drive out the Picts nor the Caledonians. Picts were driven to Moray-Alban-Mar triangle, nevermore in the game gaining enough points on the population track to massive enough armies to fight against Caledonians, who held northern Scotlans and Skye.

Angles had a very successful major invasion on round 9, massing points 28 points from 7 terrains. The R-B vanished but had killed the last Belgae before that. Norsemen landed on Orkneys on turn 9, and continued to Mar and Dalriada. The Scots were left with no other choice but to fight to death, and at the end of round 11 Scots were gone too.

The green player pulled it off with the Welsh on round 9, when he launched a crusade to York, invading it for 12 points much to the surprise of other players, mostlyme who had left only one Angle unit there. Danes began their landing on round 11, going all the way to Hwicce and Essex and driving the Saxons backwards.

All together, these 6 rounds were a bit quiet, with the exception of the battle of York and surrounding areas and the Dane invasion. In Scotland, Caledonians turned out to be the survivors, with many other nations (Picts, Scots, Norsemen, Brigantes) getting only a few points. The Saxons, Irish and Brigantes still held enough areas for the Saxons to be chosen as Bretwalda all three times in a row.

Strong Saxon Blood (turns 12-16)
Danes began their major invasion on turn 12, but bad luck on the dice forced the green player to stop the attack before getting enough points for his satisfaction, since the Saxons fought back valiantly in Suffolk, Essex and South Mercia. Danes did not mass al those big points they could on round 12, but the Angles were drive to Lindsey and North, not being anymore a major nation.

Dubliners conquered Strathclyde, Dalriada and Cheshire-Cumbria, doing a massive amount of damage to the red player whose Brigantes had gathered good points from the north all the first 12 rounds. With the welsh finally attacking Cornwall and succeeding in it on round 13 the Irish were drive out for good back to their Green Island. The Saxons did manage to hold Southern England, and the attack from the Normans on round 15 finally drove them to Downlands. The Norwegian army crushed the Danes and killed Svein in Suffolk as the Normans attacked southern England surrounding Downlands. Normans took some heavy casualties from the Saxons and from the Welsh, who came down from their mountains at the end of the game. One Norman cavalry and William himself did manage still to kill Harald in Downlands, but no final king was chosen since the Norwegians did not hold enough terrains.

All the other kings with the exception on the 12th round where none was chosen, were Saxons. In the end, Saxons had manage almost as if by stealth to remain a powerful force in the south and despite the losses of the 16th round they scored points enough for the red player to win.

Final Scoring And A Few Thoughts
Red (winner)
- Brigantes 80
- Irish 44
- Norsemen 15
- Saxons 110
- TOTAL 249

Yellow (2nd)
- Romans 130
- Romano-British 18
- Scots 30
- Dubliners 17
- Norwegians 42
- TOTAL 237

Green (3rd)
- Welsh 97
- Caledonians 66
- Jutes 0
- Danes 40
- TOTAL 203

Blue (4th)
- Belgae 30
- Picts 39
- Angles 49
- Normans 49
- TOTAL 167

The game was very interesting and I had a lots of fun playing it. Every game of Britannia has been a good one for me, leaving me always to ponder what could be done differently next time. The biggest disappointments were, I think, the Scots, the Picts and the Jutes. None of these ever managed to pull through a good invasion or score points enough. Caledonians were the surprise, in the end they held Orkneys, Hebrides, Skye, Dalriada, Moray and Caithness. The Welsh attack for York on round 9 was also an operation that was pulled though nicely. In this game the Romans were played excellently, and the major blue nation (Angles and Normans) were not. The game lasted from 6 pm. to half past 11, being a total of 5 and half hours.

(Edited for typos 31.12.2006)

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