The Games We Play

The Games We Play

A repository of reports on the Wednesday night sessions of the club and anything else related to the club or boardgaming in general, which may be of interest to anyone who may be passing by.

Wednesday 29 September 2010

Britannia – 19 September 2010

Mike & I gathered at Steve H's house for a game of Britannia, we had been having difficulty finding a fourth player, but at the last moment Steve's son James stepped in a put in a good performance, I guess Steve had been coaching him.

This was the first time I'd played since August 2008 and that is too long a period not to play this game. We distributed factions by consensus, giving James the Greens as they are probably most straight forward for a new player. I played Blue as I have played all the others in my most recent games and I felt I was due for it. Mike played Yellow with Steve as Red. The individual faction scores are as shown below in movement order.

Romano- British
Things started reasonably well for the Romans of their first turn and they made good progress, only losing 1 legion, but everything went wrong after that with the Belgae destroying the fort in York and then on following turns Mike was to suffer probably the unluckiest series of die rolls I've ever witnessed. I was saying early on that I didn't think it was a very good Roman score, due mainly to losses of forts and that although the Brigantes were forced to submit, neither the Welsh nor the Picts were. All that said however I have looked over the scores for all the games I have played using the FFG version (5 games total) and see that this was (by a very small margin) the best Roman score in all of those games, though it has to be said that Yellow has not come better than third in any of those games, I don't think any of us is really proficient with that faction, except perhaps Steve who won with them at Rosliston this year in a game I didn't play. In this game Yellow really suffered due to the performance of the Romano-British, Scots & Dubliners (all of which were the worst of any of the games I have recorded), particularly the Scots who managed to accumulate just 8 points (6 of them from destroying a Roman fort). The Norwegians at the end of the game performed well with the best score in my 5 recorded games with Harald Hardrada controlling the North at the end.

Red probably suffered most due to underperformance by the Brigantes, who were forced to submit to the Angles (the first time I've seen this). The Irish and Norsemen performed OK if not spectacularly, while the Saxons performed well (claiming the crown at the end of turn 13)although they did not quite make it to the end, being finally wiped out in a battle with the Normans in South Mercia on the last turn, where William killed Harold.

Green performed well, particularly as it was James' first game. The Caledonian performance was the best in the 5 recorded games as they were able to expand into the Scottish mainland after about 5 turns. Although they were eventually forced out by first the Picts and later the Norsemen, they survived until the end of the game. The Jutes did well enough considering that they were the Jutes and the Welsh again performed strongly throughout the game, although they did not succeed in their turn 8/9 run at York due to the strength of the Angles at that time in the game. The Danes did well initially and succeeding in crowning Cnut before the army withdrawal after their turn 14. They did not do so well at the very end holding a few territories in the East, despite Svein having been killed by William in the Battle of Essex.

This was the first game I have won of the 5 recorded having a reasonable performance by the Belgae at the start before their inevitable demise, claiming a toll on Roma forts and legions. The Picts performed strongly throughout, always controlling their 3 major scoring areas in East Scotland, while at various points taking other areas at the expense of Caledonians and Brigantes. The strongest performers were the Angles, in the mid game, maintained essential control of the North and Midlands before the arrival of the Danes on turns 11 & 12, winning all the Bretwalda elections, with help of the submitted Brigantes in Galloway. The biggest problem I had at this point is that there were so many units on the board that I never had enough in stock for full population expansion. At the end the Normans performed well enough with William killing 2 of the other 3 claimants to the throne, although the Norwegian strength in the North meant that the crown was not claimed.

All in all a great game and I hope it isn't another 2 years before the next one.

The Game Graph.

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