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Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain» Forums » General

Subject: The Good Guys Almost Win! rss

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Jon Snow
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Now that I've just started playing COIN, I usually try and take the Good Guys (from my perspective) first. So in my first game of COIN Cuba Libre the other day, I tried the Directorio, because I hadn't known enough about the Cuban Revolution to even realize there were moderate rebels involved! And hey, I came within two points of the win!

With Pendragon, which I only found out about recently, my first question was whether The Dux can 'save' the early Romano British civilization. So I was gratified to see them only lose by 1 point in the old play test detailed on the GMT site. Hooray--its possible! Not that I won't eventually 'role play' all the other factions too.

Were the "knights of the round table" really Roman auxiliary cavalry from Eastern Europe? They made a movie about that not too long ago. Who knows? Thanks to GMT for what looks to be a great treatment of a great subject.

I'm also looking forward to the summer reprints, as the other COIN I want to get myself is Fire In The Lake. But who were the 'Good Guys' there? Hmmm...considering I narrowly missed being drafted into that war...

(Just kidding; I used to run a workshop on Cultural Diversity).

'Jon Snow'
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Marc Gouyon-Rety
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I guess who the "good guys" are is always a matter of perspective, and Pendragon's time period is very complex indeed.

The Dux represents, at least early on, the legitimate order of Roman civilization, and their first mandate is to protect the island from the depredations of all enemies, so they must be the Good Guys, right? But they also tend to place their personal ambitions and Rome's interests above those of the local British population, and tend to turn into ruthless military bullies over time, so...

The Civitates represent the local Romanized tribes, so they are both civilized and legitimate. Sure, they want to wrest control from Rome, but, hey, we are all for freedom and self-government, aren't we? Of course, they do all they can to squirrel away the provinces' revenues to maintain their lavish lifestyle, pay their own private armies, and can't refrain from making war on each other in their centuries-old feuds, so...

The Saxons surely can't be the Good Guys: they are the very incarnation of barbarian brutality, raiding and invading and betraying their word, and they brought down everything that was beautiful and noble in this world... As a Celt myself, I can only despise them. But then, they were driven to a large extent by necessity, and maybe they tried for a - relatively - peaceful takeover as happened elsewhere on the continent, if only these stubborn Britons had not made a fight of it... Plus maybe you identify yourself with Germans/Anglo-Saxons?

The Scotti now... Only bent on sneaky raiding, kidnapping for ransom or slavery, loath to stand up in fair battle, always laying ambushes and the like... Sure they are Celts too, but of the sort untouched by Rome's civilizing hand... Surely they are THE Bad Guys of the game, as contemporary British sources definitely agree... But then again, you have to understand their activities in Romanized Britain in light of centuries of Roman heavy-handed "peace making" and internal politics between clans, tribes and kingdoms. And the period of the game saw, paradoxically, both northern Britain (the Picts) and Ireland (the Scotti and co)adopt much of the ways of their Romanized brethren in Britannia, including more advanced social organizations and Christianity, so...

So I personally would advise against any manichean view of the game - or of the world in general, btw - and just roll with whoever you identify best, or simply drew for this one game.

And whoever you end up playing, rest assured that all 4 factions can (and have, in our various play tests) win :-)
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Ryan Keane
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I'm not sure if who I would call the good guys are really represented as distinct in the game from the more Romanized Civitates - the civilized but relatively un-Romanized Celtic tribes in Wales, Cumbria, and Cornwall.

But really the Saxons and other Germanics are the good guys. They won.
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Jon Snow
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"Celt, Saxon, and Dane are we."
--Victorian Children's History Book
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Jay M
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chas59 wrote:
"Celt, Saxon, and Dane are we."
--Victorian Children's History Book


This is one reason I'm so stoked about getting this game. It defies "good guy" classification because it's so primordial that it's hard to strictly identify with one of the factions.*





*Disclaimer: This is spoken from an American WASP point of view.

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Jon Snow
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goo My English grandfather was from Birmingham, but the village with our family name is even further up, on the English side of the Scottish border. And since I don't live in Old York--in other words, Jorvik, capital of the Danelaw--I live in New York!

Marc,

I see GMT is now doing expansions to some COIN games. If you did an expansion to Pendragon, which era would it cover?

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Marc Gouyon-Rety
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chas59 wrote:
Marc,

I see GMT is now doing expansions to some COIN games. If you did an expansion to Pendragon, which era would it cover?

Well, I am thinking of covering the period following Pendragon, i.e. the struggles between Celtic and Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, but that would not be using the COIN engine. I'm not sure a Pendragon expansion per se makes sense, but it would be tempting to use a relatively similar system to cover the Viking age in Britain...
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Jon Snow
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"Hail Ragnar! Hail Ragnar's beard!"
--Kirk Douglas, The Vikings


arrrh I was hoping you'd say that.
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Jay M
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GouyonRety wrote:

Well, I am thinking of covering the period following Pendragon, i.e. the struggles between Celtic and Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, but that would not be using the COIN engine. I'm not sure a Pendragon expansion per se makes sense, but it would be tempting to use a relatively similar system to cover the Viking age in Britain...[/q]

Why not COIN engine? The era of Alfred the Great certainly lends itself to multiple asymmetric factions. I would love that (as I am looking forward to Pendragon).
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Marc Gouyon-Rety
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Race Bannon wrote:
GouyonRety wrote:
Well, I am thinking of covering the period following Pendragon, i.e. the struggles between Celtic and Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, but that would not be using the COIN engine. I'm not sure a Pendragon expansion per se makes sense, but it would be tempting to use a relatively similar system to cover the Viking age in Britain...


Why not COIN engine? The era of Alfred the Great certainly lends itself to multiple asymmetric factions. I would love that (as I am looking forward to Pendragon).
I completely agree that Alfred's time (and a bit earlier) would work very well as a companion COIN volume to Pendragon, that's what I had in mind by "the Viking age".
On the other hand, the period from the end of Pendragon (i.e. the beginning of the coalescing of the first Celtic and Anglo-Saxon kingdoms) to the first Viking incursions, i.e. roughly the 6th and 7th centuries, the time of the rise of Wessex, Mercia, Northumbria, Gwynedd, Pictland, Dal Raid, the fall of Gododdin, Elmet, Dumnonia, the times of Cadwallon, Oswald, Penda, ... does not lend itself well to that I think. Multiple factions for sure, but not much asymmetry...
 
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Oerjan Ariander
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The map would have to change quite a bit - no roads, different game-effect tracks (no use for the "Imperium" track, for instance), different holding boxes, different population values for a bunch of spaces, new names for quite a few spaces... all of which could be handled using counters and map overlays, but that gets very awkward very quickly.

Looking at the difficulties we've had recycling the Cuba Libre map and pieces for Invierno Cubano (where the board differences are way smaller than they'd be between Pendragon and "Alfred"), I'd very strongly suggest that "Alfred" would be produced as a complete standalone game rather than as an expansion requiring components from Pendragon.

Regards,
Oerjan
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