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Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain - Campaign Scenario Beta Running AAR rss

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Art Bennett
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This forum thread will be a running AAR of the upcoming GMT COIN game Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain.

Paul and I have done a number these beta running AARs for previous COIN titles to illustrate their gameplay:
Fire in the Lake
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1195470/fitl-beta-65-scenar...
Falling Sky
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1363418/52-bc-scenario-beta...
Liberty or Death
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1470815/1776-medium-duratio...

The usual disclaimers as we begin - the game itself is still in beta and subject to change. Also the VASSAL module is a recently refreshed module from earlier in playtesting - originally created by Ralph Shelton. The map, cards, etc. have been refreshed but the automation is still being worked on based on newer rules. But the module is far enough along that we can start using it for this beta running AAR.

Introduction
In this upcoming addition to the COIN series there are 2 sets of factions - nominally allied.
On the side of the peace and stability (from the game's description):

"The Dux (Red) represent the original Roman Army in Britannia: with the most powerful units in the game and a network of strong fortresses ringing the island and tied by efficient roads, you must strive to preserve the stability and prosperity of the provinces and punish any interloper daring to challenge the peace."

"The Civitates (Blue) represent the Romanized aristocracy ruling the ancient Celtic tribes from lavish villas and prosperous Roman towns, chafing under the distant authority (and taxes) of Rome, mistrusting the uncultured and semi-Barbarian army, and yearning to settle century-old accounts with their neighbors."

On the side of 'change' - The Barbarians:

"The Saxons (Black) represent various Germanic groups including Angles, Jutes, Frisians, and Franks who harried, settled, and eventually took over swaths of Britain. As outsiders, you face a steep challenge just to come ashore against the might of the Roman army and navy."

"The Scotti (Green), named for the marauding groups of Irish raiders, also represent those Celts native to the island of Britain who differed from the romanized Civitates by remaining true (or reverting back) to the old ways. The biggest such group eventually formed the northern nation of the Picts, forebears of modern Scotland."

Game play is standard COIN - Events, Commands, Special Actions - called Feats in this version of the system. The specific rules are a bit more detailed/complex in this version as will be illustrated as we start posting actual play.

We will be playing the Full Campaign scenario with 6 'Epochs' - the game's term for the break points common to the COIN system. Since the faction 'bots' (Artificial Intelligence) have not been developed unlike my previous AARs with Paul versus the 'bots' there will be 4 players. And that's where it gets interesting.

Paul and I will play the Barbarian Factions - Paul is the Scotti and I am the Saxons.
On the other side of the table will be the - Volko as the Dux (Developer of the COIN Series) and Marc (Designer of Pendragon) as the Civitates.
Should the Barbarian's just give up now against such 'giants' of the COIN series?

Game Start
As the full campaign begins, Britannia is at relative peace with the Civitates and their Dux (ex-Roman) allies spread thru the land keeping the peace. Below is an overview image of the game map with the initial setup. But what's that coming over the horizon… Barbarians!



First card is The Irish Shore with the Dux leading off (followed by Devastation).



"Cry 'Havoc!', and let slip the dogs of war"
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Paul Dobbins
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Clarification! Marc/Blue/Civitates is the designer. The redoubtable Volko/Red/Dux is the developer for GMT.
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Paul Dobbins
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First up, the Dux knows a good thing when he sees it, and takes the unshaded Capability on "Irish Shore" which will hamper the Scotti's access to the western shoreline by establishing a naval patrol in the Irish Sea. Dux/Red/Volko can expand on this.

Next up, the Scotti, trade tit for tat and pass on Irish Shore to cop first crack at the upcoming Devastation, perhaps more than fair trade for the Irish shore patrol. The Scotti also grab 1 Renown for the "pass" action.

Thus the Saxons/Black/Art may take a full command plus special ability on the Irish Shore as the third faction after red and green.

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Art Bennett
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I thought I would get a breather while the other players worked thru the first event card but no…

Since the Dux went for the event - and the Scotti passed for brighter pastures (Devastation), the Saxon are up for a full command and feat. I am the least experienced of all the players in this game so my main goal is not to do anything incredibly stupid.

Reviewing the Saxon available commands - Raid, Return, March, Battle - only Raid is a valid choice. With no Saxons on the map yet March and Battle don't work. Return is a new Command to the COIN world - it gives Barbarian's the opportunity to "return plundered booty home" for renown (resources). Barbarians can get Plunder thru Raids so this will follow shortly.

For Saxon Raids from the Player Card:
Purpose: Attract raiders and plunder enemies.
Location: Up to 3 spaces without Saxon Control, and adjacent to Oceanus Britannicus or Germanicus, or within 1 space of a Saxon Settlement with a Saxon Warband, or adjacent to a Sea bordering such a Settlement.
Cost: 1 or 2 Renown per target space.
Procedure: Select spaces then resolve each in turn. Pay 1 Renown to place 1D4 Raiders or 2 Renown to place 3D4—if from Patrolled Sea, less number of Forts bordering it. If Region, those Raiders may take Prosperity up to lower of Population or Raiders as Plunder (each Raider may carry only 1 Plunder). Then, just placed Raiders may Battle an enemy in the space (3.6). If Scotti Control or Settlement Plundered, Scotti lose that much Renown.

Both Oceanus Britannicus and Germanicus are currently Patrolled and each has 3 Dux Forts in Coastal Provinces so the Saxon Raider rolls will get a -3 adjustment. Looking at the available Provinces I pick the 2 western ones w/o Dux Forts/Cavalry present and furthest away from any concentrations of Dux forces. Raiders like helpless town people 'protected' by untrained Militia not professional soldiers. I choose to spend 2 Renown for each space so get 3D4 rolls - better to overcome the Roman navy -3 DRM. Below are the results of the rolls (9-3=6 Raiders/7-3=4 Raiders) and the Plunder taken.



Next I choose the 'Surprise' feat which allows me to do a special 'Coup de Main' assault on the Civitate towns. Normally there is a pre-battle/field battle before I can assault the town, but the Civitate Militia choose the option to withdraw ('Runaway!' per Monty Python) into the towns in each space instead of facing the Raider hordes in the open fields.

Next up the Saxon Raider 'Coup de Main' Assaults on the towns.

In the meantime, any other player feel free to chime in with corrections/color commentary.

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GamerM
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Subscribed! Been eager to hear more about the particulars of this entry of the system. Look forward to reading how the game plays out.
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Marc Gouyon-Rety
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acb3 wrote:
In the meantime, any other player feel free to chime in with corrections/color commentary.



No correction needed :-) Just wanted to give some context to the tactical withdrawal of the militia into the Towns: militia are the weakest "Troop" (i.e. non-Raider unit) in the game, but they can still kill Raiders pretty good. The problem here is that they would be overwhelmed since I've had no time yet to Muster and reinforce my defences, and leaving the Towns without any garrison against a Surprise attack is inviting disaster... I'm afraid this will be bad enough as things are with such depleted garrisons: unlike forts, Towns can hold up to 4 units within their Roman walls, which would make them pretty impervious to Assault... but if not fully garrisoned, they are more liable to a successful coup de main (think of the length of the circuit of walls of a city compared to a fort).
Here, with only 1 militia in for each, the Saxons will have a 4 in 6 chance to surprise the garrison, which is a big deal as it deprives the defenders both of their first strike ability and their defensive multiplier (x2 for Towns)... The wake-up call from the cosy Pax Romana is probably going to be brutal... :-(
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Paul Dobbins
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Based on my experience with Pendragon, I'd just note the Saxons are better fighters in the fens to the east. "Fens" is the Saxon home terrain for tactical advantage. The Scotti (an unholy combination of Scots/Picts and Irish) fare better in the hills of the west and north. So the Saxons have drifted a little into the Scotti highlands in Cornwall. The Dux may teach em up on this one
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Marc Gouyon-Rety
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rddfxx wrote:
Based on my experience with Pendragon, I'd just note the Saxons are better fighters in the fens to the east. "Fens" is the Saxon home terrain for tactical advantage. The Scotti (an unholy combination of Scots/Picts and Irish) fare better in the hills of the west and north. So the Saxons have drifted a little into the Scotti highlands in Cornwall. The Dux may teach em up on this one

If we want to comment on the choice of locations, it is true that the eastern regions, starting with the fens, are more typically targeted by the Saxons, not only because of their terrain advantage, but also because they are richer and open up to even richer regions (Catuvellauni, Londinium, Atrebates...). But Dumnonii and Durotriges are much more lightly defended, at least initially, with no Dux Fort or cavalry present (though Durotriges is on the road network so that may not mean much for Interception if the Town at Aquae Sulis survives...).

Also, both have coasts both on Oceanus Hibernicus and Oceanus Britannicus, and thus are interesting to a Barbarian who wants to create a raiding base in a sea he does not originally has access to (Hibernicus for the Saxons, Britannicus for the Scotti), which can be important when the usual hunting grounds are too depleted, or to be able to interfere with the other Barbarian faction in the long run...

Note #1: At the time, the Scots (Scoti or Scotti in Latin) ARE the Irish, or at least the Irish coming a-raiding. It is thought the terms at the time had a similar meaning to the Scandinavian "Vikings" of later centuries...

Note #2: Dumnonii is no "Scotti highlands", but Briton land, you filthy painted barbarian! ;-)
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Paul Dobbins
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As my Scotti chieftains would have it, home is where the hills are, Dux's pet Celts notwithstanding
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Volko Ruhnke
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Thanks Art for all the work setting this up, both the updated playtest Vassal module and this thread!

As the Dux, the investment in Irish Sea defenses seems a great deal, this early on. With this act of Roman naval foresight, we will diminish the numbers of Scotti Raiders and thereby hope to slow down the growth in Renown of their more aggressive chieftains and, especially, their possibilities for establishing their own kingdoms on Roman soil.

Mind you, I have no problem with a few Raiders showing up here and there: I will always be happy to lead the bashing of a few barbarian heads to prop up the Army's Prestige. But a flood of too many Raiders can be bothersome.

And clearly I already have enough Germans to worry about, Saxons on the southern shore.

You'd think that an island would be easier to defend. But in this case it simply means that we will have to fend off sea raids from north, south, east, and west!

- Dux
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Drew Lawson
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Very much looking forward to reading this. Is the rulebook up somewhere so I can get an idea of what all the terms and cards mean? I'm not familiar with other COIN systems yet.
 
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Drew
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Following a long! I am really looking forward to this new addition to the COIN series.
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Art Bennett
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Wow - sounds like the 'bad blood' between the Civitates and the Scotti is already coming to a boil.

As for my choice of where to raid it was basically as far away as possible from the bad red cavalry. While the Fens are my preferred terrain the coastal Fen provinces are too centralized wrt to the Dux Cavalry right now in my opinion. I just want to land, raid, destroy, terrorize, burn and plunder and then slip away before the Cavalry can arrive in force.

Along those lines reviewing the comparative strengths of Raiders to Town/Militia in the 2 provinces I have decided to assault in only the Province where I have the greatest number of raiders - Dumononii. Normally when assaulting a town/stronghold the defender has a number of advantages:

1. There is an intrinsic 2 militia points as part of the town

2. The defenders get a x2 strength multiplier

3. The defenders strike first and then the remaining attackers can strike back

So in Dumononii with the town and Militia present they have a strength of 1+2 intrinsic=3 x 2 = 6. So normally the raiders would take 6 losses right off the bat before they could strike back. Based on that math it makes no sense to assault either place - unless we can gain surprise and perform a Coup de Main. And that's exactly what I will try in Dumononii where I have 6 raiders.

As Marc mentioned if the town is poorly garrisoned there is a chance the Raiders can breech an uncovered part of the town's wall. The calculation for the roll is the capacity of the town - 4 Militia would cover all the walls - minus the number of actual Militia present +1. So the number to roll for success is 4 Capacity - 1 Militia + 1 = 4 or less. If I don't make the roll my entire Raider force will be wiped out immediately as calculated previously. Luckily I roll a 2 and the Coup de Main is successful which means 2 things:

1. Losses are taken simultaneously

2. The Defenders only get a x1 Defense Modifier

So the Defenders cause 3 Raider casualties (1 Militia + 2 Intrinsic for town x 1). But since the strikes are simultaneous due to the successful Coup de Main, the Raiders inflict the full 6 casualties - effectively killing the Militia and 2 Intrinsic strength of the town destroying it. The results of the successful Barbarian attack/town destruction are:

1. Before Fragmentation -2 Dux Prestige - already at 0 so no effect

2. 3 extra plunder from the town destruction - but I only have 3 Raiders left, 1 already carrying plunder from the raid, so I only get 2 Plunder from the town.

3. The Briton's lose control of the Province

Here is the end result



All in all a textbook Barbarian raid - its mead/grog time…

Back to Paul/Scotti for the next card and draw.
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Paul Dobbins
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So far, the Scotti have stumbled a little coming out of the gate. When Irish Shore turned up as the first card, that was a signal for the Scotti to play their pivotal event, to fire a RAID storm before the shore patrol went up in the Irish Sea. Well, we'll see if they come out OK anyway.

The next card up is Ard Ri, which does a lot to offset the Irish sea patrol if the Scotti get to it before the Dux. If it is combined with the shore patrol, forget about the Scotti this Epoch. Better luck next Epoch....

So Scotti pass on Devastation and a nice little long term Capability in favor of coming up first on Ard Ri. Passing earns another Renown, the coin of the barbarian realms. The +2 Raiders will help!

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Marc Gouyon-Rety
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Some broader consideration to help put the Scotti's angst about the Irish Shore (unshaded) Capability: what it does is basically impose the same barrier to raids to the Scotti raiding from Oceanus Hibernicus (the Irish Sea) that applies to the Saxons raiding from Oceanus Britannicus (the Channel) and Oceanus Germanicus (the North Sea). What a band of wimpy cry-babies then? The big difference is that the Scotti raid differently from the Saxons: instead of a small number of massed (up to 3d4) raids, they tend to favour more numerous but smaller raids: they cannot get more than 2d4, and they often go for free 1d4 raids... Obviously, subtracting -3 Raiders because of the Dux Forts and the Sea Patrols hurts more when you roll a single or two d4, than when you roll three...

Raiding in Pendragon is all about investing reputation (Renown) to collect and, more importantly, return home Plunder that is then converted into Renown. While plundering regions and sacking strongholds hurts the Britons, it does not help the raider directly until the Plunder is successfully brought back home... Hence the importance of matching the level of investment in Renown to the expected return, which depends on many things: prosperity of the target, strength of the local defences, sea patrols and, last but not least, likelihood of interception by the Dux's cavalry. Hence the interest of targeting regions not on the road network and/or in home terrain (makes evasion of counter-attacks much more likely). Then again, many of these "easy" regions, especially for the Scotti, are the least prosperous...

This investment vs. return consideration is particularly fundamental for the Scotti whose victory conditions are to reach a certain Renown Threshold (and have at least 4 strongholds on the map). This faction simply cannot throw away hard-earned Renown on foolish suicide raids... unless another overriding reason exists, like keeping the Total Prosperity down to avoid a Dux Auto win...

The Saxons enjoy more flexibility as they can win either by reaching their own Renown threshold, like the Scotti, but also alternately by conquering enough territory (Total Population under Saxon Control), so they tend to be less fixated on optimizing their Renown and more on building map positions.
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Marc Gouyon-Rety
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A note also on Pivotal Events in Pendragon: similarly to Fire in the Lake, each faction gets (at least in scenarios starting at the beginning of the period) 1 Pivotal Event that they can play when they are Eligible before the first eligible faction has started playing, as long as they meet the PE's pre-condition.

However, the Scotti PE (Conspiratio Barbarica) has no pre-condition and so may be played literally at any time. The trick is timing, as it can be used either to try to power through a strong Briton defensive system, or as a killing blow once the said defensive system has already been decisively weakened...

A key difference with FitL however is that play of a PE does not cancel the trumped Event, but sends it back on top of the upcoming deck, in other words the PE inserts itself between the previously played card and the new card, which is only postponed.
No getting rid of an annoying opponent event with a PE in Pendragon then...
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Marc Gouyon-Rety
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And so I finally get to play my first turn :-)

The Scotti having elected to Pass, and the Dux and Saxons being ineligible on this card, I no longer need to worry about the Devastation shaded Event, so I will take a full turn: Command + Feat (Pendragon's name for Special Activities), in this instance, Muster + Rule.

Muster allows the Civitates to train Militia and, if some are available (which is not the case at start), to recruit Comitates, which is our own brand of warbands. It also allows to build Strongholds, i.e. Hillforts and Towns (the latter with the help of the Dux only) but I'm in no position to do that yet. I've got only 7 Militia in my Available box (the Civitates never have enough troops to protect everything, or else it means they have so little to protect they are in big trouble...), so I'm going to focus on 3 key spaces:

- the great City of Londinium because it is populous and prosperous, and tough to capture as long as it is properly garrisoned, and also because it is a key node of the roads network in the SouthEast, and so very important for Briton defence;

- the Region of Durotriges because it's rich but without a Dux garrison (which is why the Saxons targeted it in the first place) and currently "hosting" some interlopers;

- the Region of Ordovices, as a base from which to defend the hilly coastlands of what will one day become Wales (not if I can help it :-) ); these regions are not rich but can become annoying pirate bases for the Scotti, and the Civitates also have a long-term vested interest in Hills Regions as a refuge if things go really South...



Then, Rule is a key Civitates feature: it allows them to either:
- transfer up to 5 Briton Resources to Wealth, or
- reduce Dux Prestige by 1 at the cost of 2 Wealth, or
- increase the Population of 1 Region by +1 (only up to the printed Population + 1)

In other words, this is a direct way to increase your score or reduce the Dux's...

At this point, I'm going to collect some Wealth, because I have none right now and, as the Civitates, Wealth is critical to my flexibility and ultimate hopes of success. You may think of Wealth as hoarded money siphoned off the coffers of the provincial administration by the ruling elites, and you would be largely correct (Civitates may at any time use their Wealth as Resources, but the Dux or the Imperial Taxes cannot), but Wealth in Pendragon is so much more: it also represents the relationships, reputation, splendour, and generally the power of leading men. So for instance, you may also see some of the Wealth being transferred from Briton Resources as spent to build a particularly splendid great hall in the renovated hillfort of that tribe chief, or as making gifts to influential individuals.

As the Civitates, under Roman Rule or Autonomy (i.e. as long as some semblance of Roman Empire is in existence) not only is Wealth part of your victory conditions, it is also used to measure your respective political position versus the Dux, as Political Dominance is measured by comparing Civitates Wealth to Dux Prestige. And you want Political Dominance because it yields various advantages to you, starting with easier victory conditions...

Wealth is also key should you want to recruit your own warbands some day: to attract famous warriors to your chief, you need to pay them Wealth, and some more to retain them... But that is for later as no Comitates unit is yet available to me, as we are yet to write off the comforts of the Pax Romana, or so we hope...

Anyway, to transfer Briton Resources to Wealth, I need up to 5 spaces with Briton Control and no more Dux troops than Civitates troops: at this stage of the game this is no worry at all.

At the end of my turn, all 30 Militia are on the map (and I wish I had double that number...), my Wealth is at 5 (I need at least 10 to challenge the current Military Political Dominance, and 20 to meet my victory condition, alongside with Control), and Briton Resources, shared between myself and the Dux, are already down to 11... If only Rome's taxes were lighter...
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Paul Dobbins
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Hated to pass on Devastation, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

The Scotti, first up, take the Ard Ri event, which grants the Scotti a free Raid, and the crucial Momentum benefit of adding 2 free Scotti raiders per target location till the end of the current Epoch. That does much to mitigate the raiders lost to patrol (currently 3 per location) on the Oceanus Hibernicus (Irish Sea). The free Raid allows them to select up to four target locations and roll the maximum number of d4's, i.e. 2, at no cost, to generate raider in each location. Thus, the net modifier is -1 (+2 free - 3 patrol).

Anyway, lets start with a Raid from Caledonia into Novantae. Note here, a Raid from Caledonia is not subject to the Oceanus Hibernicus/Irish Sea patrol, rather it is affected by the number of Dux forts in Carvetii and Textoverdi (currently 2) Roll 2d4, Deduct 2 Raiders for the Forts in Carvetii and Textoverdi, add 2 raiders for Ard Ri Momentum
*** 1d4 = 1 ***
*** 1d4 = 1 ***
2 Raiders net (what a bad roll!)
Grab 1 Plunder
Militia retreat into Stringhold, no battle.



2nd raid. Demetae. 2d4-3(patrol)+2 raiders
*** 1d4 = 3 ***
*** 1d4 = 3 ***
6-1=5 raiders
grab 1 plunder
Militia retreat into Stringhold, no battle.


3rd space, Ordovices 2d4-3+2
*** 1d4 = 2 ***
*** 1d4 = 3 ***
5-1=4 raiders
1 plunder
Since there are 3 Militia, and only 2 can retreat into the Stronghold, there will be a Battle against the lone Militia remaining outside. The Scotti, in hill country -- where they have a "home field" advantage -- successfully roll for a tactical advantage, allowing them to strike first and thus kill the Militia without loss. Normally Militia get the first strike against lowly Raiders. Score +1 Renown for the Scotti for their victory.




Finally, join our Saxon brothers in Dumnonii -- there is 1 gold up for grabs without a fight.
Same roll. 2d4+2-3
*** 1d4 = 4 ***
*** 1d4 = 3 ***
OK! 7-1=6 Scotti raiders generated.




Now a decision -- I must confess there was considerable discussion about this behind the scenes -- the Scotti can acquire some of the Saxon swag, err plunder, by defeating them in combat. And the Scotti have a home field advantage against the Saxons in hill country, too (the Saxons are better in the fens in the east). If I get tactical advantage, the Saxons will be gone without a Scotti loss. First, do the Saxons, outnumbered 6 to 3, successfully evade? No! Failed the roll (got a 2, needed 5 or more). Can the Scotti get a tactical advantage? No! failed the roll (rolled 1, needed 5 or more).

So everybody strikes in a simultaneous action, leaving 3 dead Saxons, 3 dead Scotti, and plunder on the ground. The Scotti did not win the Battle, they just survived because of greater numbers, thus no Renown was earned. Barbarians win +1 Renown in Battle by inflicting more losses and retaining piece(s) in the area after the Battle is over. Of the 3 abandoned treasure cubes, the Scotti are allowed to gobble up half (rounded down). They add 1 plunder (3 halved and rounded down) cube to the 1 they already earned in the Raid. Sorry brother.



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Marc Gouyon-Rety
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rddfxx wrote:
So everybody strikes in a simultaneous action, leaving 3 dead Saxons, 3 dead Scotti, and plunder on the ground. Of the 3 abandoned treasure cubes, the Scotti are allowed to gobble up half (rounded down). Sorry brother.

Just to add some context here, Plunder is really potential Renown, and as such is determined not only by its material value (valuables, slaves, livestock, whatever...) but by the manner it was gained. As Balon Greyjoy would ask: "Did you pay the iron price?". In other words, stealing plunder from someone else is not quite as glorious as storming that town (Isca Dumnororum) in the first place was, hence the loss of Plunder.

Now, in the game, it is not only about what you gain (here, for the Scotti, potentially 1 extra Renown if they manage to Return that stolen Plunder cube), but what you take away from your opponents: here, the Saxons will have no chance of Returning these 3 Plunder and turn them into Renown (which slows their victory progression and deprives them of means to launch further raids or other actions), and also won't have the opportunity to try to Settle these raiders in Dumnonii, which is a fairly secure but strategic location at the meeting point of Oceanus Hibernicus and Oceanus Britannicus...

Needless to say, we Britons absolutely love to see barbarian taking on barbarian... ;-)
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Kevin Walsh
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As an onlooker, I am enjoying this thread.

As a matter of interest, re: Devastation, is Stronghold a generic term, or does it specifically refer to Roman/British places only?
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Marc Gouyon-Rety
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Amaranth wrote:
As an onlooker, I am enjoying this thread.

As a matter of interest, re: Devastation, is Stronghold a generic term, or does it specifically refer to Roman/British places only?
Thank you for your interest Kevin :-)

Stronghold is the generic terms for all Factions. There are 4 types of Strongholds in the game:

- Towns (Civitates only): Roman-era cities which have been put back in defensible condition; can only be built on "Town" sites by a joint effort of Civitates and Dux; provide Revenue to the Civitates during Epoch Rounds (until they play their Pivotal Event) and through the Trade Command; can hold up to 4 Troops, have intrinsic garrison of 2 Militia and offer a x2 Defensive multiplier during Assaults (Roman walls...)

- Hillforts (Civitates only): Iron Age fortresses refortified and/or modernized; can be built on any site except in Cities; provide Revenue to Civitates during Epoch Rounds after they play their Pivotal Event; can hold up to 2 Troops, have intrinsic garrison of 1 Militia (1 Comitates after Camelot) and offer a x1.5 Defensive multiplier during Assaults (can be improved to x2 with the Event "Camelot")

- Forts (Dux only): Roman-type fortresses; can be built on any site; provide Revenue to Dux after Fragmentation; can hold up to 2 Troops, have intrinsic garrison of 1 Cavalry and offer a x2 Defensive multiplier during Assaults; hamper raiding from neighbouring seas if Patrolled

- Settlements (Saxons and Scotti): lightly fortified settlements; can be built on any site; provide Renown during Epochs to Scotti; can hold up to 2 units, have intrinsic garrison of 1 Warband and offer Defensive multiplier of x1 during Assaults; provide base for raiding when paired with Warband
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Kevin Walsh
Ireland
Lucan
Co Dublin
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Thank you. So how important is the fact that Devastation will make it harder to defend your own Settlements?
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Kevin Walsh
Ireland
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Btw, I'm curious what the next card is.
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Volko Ruhnke
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Amaranth wrote:
Thank you. So how important is the fact that Devastation will make it harder to defend your own Settlements?

The anti-Barbarian (unshaded) Momentum version of the Event would only have lasted until 1st Epoch, so during a time with few or no Barbarian Warbands (only Raiders) yet on the map, so no big effect, but could help the Britions in attempts to snuff out early Barbarian attempts to settle.

The shaded game-long Capability I think mainly would contribute to higher Militia losses against Raids, since fewer would be able to hide inside strongholds.

But the Scotti Passed on that, so we won't get to find that out here!

Volko
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Marc Gouyon-Rety
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Laval
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Volko wrote:
Amaranth wrote:
Thank you. So how important is the fact that Devastation will make it harder to defend your own Settlements?

The anti-Barbarian (unshaded) Momentum version of the Event would only have lasted until 1st Epoch, so during a time with few or no Barbarian Warbands (only Raiders) yet on the map, so no big effect, but could help the Britions in attempts to snuff out early Barbarian attempts to settle.

The shaded game-long Capability I think mainly would contribute to higher Militia losses against Raids, since fewer would be able to hide inside strongholds.

But the Scotti Passed on that, so we won't get to find that out here!

Volko
The shaded Devastation Event would significantly weaken the ability of the Britons to defend their Strongholds. Let me give you a few examples to illustrate my point:

- a regular Hillfort (intrinsic garrison: 1 Militia, Defensive Multiplier: x1.5) with a full Militia complement (Holding Capacity: 2 units) which is not Surprised by a Coup de Main (only 1 chance out of 6 with full garrison) strikes first during an assault and inflict 3 Militia x Combat Value 1 x DM 1.5 = 4.5, rounded up to 5 Losses. This means that, off the bat, 5 Raiders will be killed before they even can harm the defenders. Then they strike back, and need to kill all defenders (the 2 defending Militia and the intrinsic garrison) to take the Hillfort, i.e. inflict 3 losses (Raiders have a CV of 1). In other words you need 8 raiders to destroy a fully garrisoned Hillfort, which is the MAXIMUM roll on 2d4 (the max raid size for the Scotti)...
Now, is the holding capacity is halved down to 1, that means only 1 Militia inside, so the losses inflicted are 2 Militia x Cv 1 x DM 1.5 = 3 losses, and then you only need to inflict 2 losses to take the Hillfort; in other words, you now only need 5 raiders total, which is the AVERAGE roll on 2d4...

- Now take a fully garrisoned city: it has an intrinsic garrison of 2 Militia, a DM of x2 and a holding capacity of 4 units. If fully garrisoned with Militia, it strikes with 6 x 1 x 2 = 12 losses, which wipes out even a maxed out Saxon Raid (3d4)! Let us say that one just does not Assault a fully garrisoned city (a fully garrisoned Dux Fort is just as bad, by the way). However, if you divide its holding capacity by 2, it "only" inflicts 8 losses, which is still bad but at least manageable...

Things get only worse if the strongholds are garrisoned by stronger (CV 2) units such as Cavalry, Foederati or Comitates...

Of course, there are never enough Civitates units to fully garrison all their Strongholds (for instance, at start, the Civitates have 13 Towns and 8 Hillforts on the map, which would require 68 Militia to fully garrison, where there are only 30 Militia cubes in the game...), but still, shaded Devastation makes key Briton strongholds much more fragile to Assault...
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