An Intro To Britannia
|Britannia | Published 19 November 2008|
Published almost 2 decades ago, the classic war game finally returns! Take on the role of 17 ancient civilizations vying for control of historic Great Britain. Will the nations submit to the mighty Roman Empire or will they be driven back to the sea? Cunning strategy & history itself will play roles in this battle for political and territorial dominance.
Featuring revised and updated rules from the game’s original creator, Lewis E. Pulsipher Ph.D. Witness BRITANNIA like you’ve never seen it before with completely new graphics and streamlined game play.
3-5. Each player takes on the role of several nations, each with their own period of dominance, special rules, and ways of scoring.
Each player controls several nations. Seventeen nations are included in the game, each representing a people that lived in or invaded Britain between 43 A.D. and 1085 A.D. All 17 nations are not in play at the same time. Instead, only six nations are in play at the beginning of the game; others enter, and in some cases leave, the game at specific times, reflecting known historic events. For example, the Romans begin the game prepared to invade from Gaul across the English Channel, simulating the Roman invasion of 43 A.D., and later leave the game after the fifth round of play, reflecting the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 4th century. Similarly, many nations have leaders – such as Arthur or Cnut – who enter the game at historically appropriate times. At different points in the game, players will control different nations, which will each have different leaders and different objectives.
The players’ goal is to win the game by claiming the most victory points. Players gain victory points mainly by using their nations to occupy specified areas on the map at specified times, as instructed by each nation’s Nation Card. To occupy territory, nations may have to have to engage in battle against other nations. Some nations can also gain victory points in other ways: For example, the Romans and the Angles gain points if other nations submit to their rule, while other nations can gain points if their ruler becomes Bretwalda (overlord) or King.
The Game Round
At the beginning of each game round, players should consult the Timeline to see the events that will occur in that round. In many rounds, the players will place invading armies in the sea areas surrounding Britain at this time.
Once the Timeline has been consulted and any invading armies placed on the board, each nation will takes its nation turn.
The Nation Turn
In BRITANNIA, the order of play depends on nations, not players. In each game round, each nation takes its nation turn in the order stated in the Order of Play Chart printed on the board. Thus, the Romans play first, completing all of the phases of their nation turn, then the Romano-British take their turn, then the Belgae, then the Welsh, and so on.
In many rounds some nations will have no pieces to move. For example, the Romano-British and all nations listed after the Picts are not yet on the board in Round 1. If a nation has not yet entered the game – or has already left the game – simply skip its nation turn.
Each nation’s turn consists of the following five phases:
Phase 1: Population Phase
In this phase, new armies may be placed on the board, depending on the economic value of the areas that the nation controls.
Phase 2: Movement
In this phase, the controlling player moves the current nation’s pieces, possibly initiating battles.
Phase 3: Battles and Retreats
In this phase, battles and retreats are resolved.
Phase 4: Raider Withdrawal
In this phase, raiding armies may choose to withdraw back to the sea.
Phase 5: Overpopulation
In this phase, if a nation controls more than twice as many armies as areas it occupies, it must remove the excess armies.
After each nation has taken its nation turn, players may score points for holding territory and for being named King or Bretwalda.
The history of Britain is far from bloodless, and so too is the game of Britannia! When armies clash, the commanders roll dice for each of their units participating in the battle. A roll of five or better is sufficient to eliminate the average soldier, but a six is required for cavalry, Roman legions, or troops in strong defensive positions. Roman legions and cavalry also score kills on a four or better (five for strong targets), rather than a five (or six for strong targets). Combat continues, round by round, until one side retreats or is eliminated!
After the year 1085 (also known as Round 16), a final king is crowned and the player who acquired the most points is the victor. Only through cunning strategy and unrelenting tactics will a player usurp his enemies and grab the crown!