It started with an email to a bunch of my friends:
Subject: Britannia 600 Who’s interested?
From such small beginnings a project team was formed. Six guys spread across England started assembling and painting armies for the Britannia 600 AD Campaign.
The participants were:
And me, but I forgot to point the camera my way.
We opted for a semi-serious campaign, i.e. a blend of realistic with fantastical elements under HOTT. The only reservation was that it must feel right, so the fantastical elements should be consistent with the mythology that was current at the time.
The Campaign – A Day of War
The players arrived between 8.30 and 9.30. We started playing at 10.30 after the pre-game briefing. Galit (Steven’s wife) provided muffins during the morning, and lunch (BBQ Chicken, bread and salad) was around 14.00. The players drifted off between 17.00 and 19.00 so we got approximately 8.30 hours of game time.
Most players fielded basically historical armies, although the odd hero did pop up. Steven’s Strathclyde Army was a standard historical DBA army – none of this fancy stuff for the northern Cymry. Their near neighbours and frequent enemy, Chris’s Picts of Alba, fielded a shifting array of troop types from HOTT, including flyers (Ravens), a god (the Moragan), lurkers (Pict crossbowmen in ambush), beasts (War dogs), and hordes (naked at that). This line up was justified on the grounds that the Picts are mysterious.
For the Scots-Irish we used Gallic figures as nobody had had time to paint up the real army.
We played through six campaign turns, nominally 60 years. Following historical precedent we didn’t keep very accurate records, however, we think there were seven battles during the campaign.
1. Northumbria (Win) attacks Dal Riada
2. Dal Riada attacks Strathclyde (Win) at the request of Alba
3. Strathclyde (Win) attacks Alba
Location: Dal Riada – on the side of Dunadd itself.
The Pict army, from left to right, from the Pict perspective:
Horde, Lurkers, Wardogs, Flyers, Bowmen, Crossbowmen, Spear, Hero,
Gestae/Warband, King on horseback, 2 x cavalry
4. Alba attacks Strathclyde (Win)
The Pict army, from left to right, from the Pict perspective:
Lurker, Horde, Spear, Hero, Gestae/warband, God, bow, crossbow, King on
horseback, 2 x cav
5. Ireland attacks Wessex (Win) at the request of Northumbria
6. Powys and Wessex Ally (Win) attack Mercia
7. Northumbria (Win) attacks Mercia
The last campaign turn we played was 650 AD. Rich had the greatest number of provinces under his direct control (7). Chris, Mike and Jim followed closely behind with 6. Steven gained the greatest prestige from battle (24) with Mike in second place (17). Steven also had the only tributaries (Alba and Dal Riada) so gained the most prestige from land (38). Right at the end John’s Mercian’s got a mauling – the natural result of living in the middle of a divided land.
|Player||Player Nation||Areas||Tributary||Herd (Cows)||AP||Prestige|
|Steven Thomas||Strathclyde||Lothian, Strathclyde, Galloway, Cumbria, Cheshire||Alba, Dal Riada||0||23.5||24||38||62|
|Bernicia, York, Pennines, Lindsey, Norfolk||Orkneys||1||23||17||24||41|
|Rich Wilcox||Powys||Clwyd, Powys, Gwent, Gwynedd, Dyfed||Hwicce, Devon||12.5||24||12||28||40|
|Jim Falkus||Wessex (West Saxons)||Wessex, Avalon, Downlands, Sussex, Kent||Suffolk||4||24||8||24||32|
|Chris Harrod||Alba||Skye, Moray, Mar, Alban, Dunedin||Caithness||0||13||0||24||24|
(Lords of the March)
|March, North Mercia, South Mercia, Essex,||Hwicce||1.5||8||0||16||16|
|Type of Neutral||Neutral Nation||Starting areas|
|Non-player with field army||Dal Riada||Dalriada, Hebrides||Caithness, Orkneys||12|
|Non-player with field army||Ireland||Ireland||18|
Post Game Comments
A great day all round!
Firstly many thanks to Steve for organising the campaign and putting in the hard work.
Thanks to Chris for putting us up for the day and generously feeding us (similar thanks to Galit).
Lastly thanks also to Jim for coming all the way down to participate. Jim you really got stuck in and were a large part in making the day a great success.
Again thanks to all for a great day.
My thanks to everyone and especially to Steven for organising this.
A great day and very enjoyable campaign – many thanks to Steve for all his hard work. The presentation was great. How did the last battle of the day go btw?
More praise from me. Thought it was a great day. Well organised, and I enjoyed getting the toys ready for the big day. My only regret that I had to leave early; sorry to one and all for that.
Super fun all round and as we “saved” the game and know who has got what where and money we can re-convene and continue.
The last battle saw the Mercians loose half there army to the loss of 1 Northumbrian horde. Mercia now sits trembling not knowing where the final blow will come from.
To the north however a grater threat looms the Strathclyde “grand alliance” that can bring 36 points to any battle in not to be ignored, perhaps the Saxons may want to call a truce…
I too really enjoyed it. And I’m glad it was a success.
There do seem to be several possible follow on projects …
- Continuation of the same Britannia 600 game (as Mike says we captured enough data to pick it up again)
- Same campaign (Britannia 600), but start again now that we know how it works.
- Similar campaign but different setting (Chris suggested Israel, I’ve also run Punic Wars, Spanish Reconquista and Crusades variants)
- Or just bashing it out with the Dark Age figures in individual battles (how about a 72 AP a
But anything that will take too much time in the near future will be frowned upon by the General (aka her inside).
If we do pick up the same Britannia 600 game, I’d like to deliver a message my Northumbrian neighbour ….
Hail King of the Northumbrians
It is spoken that you talk of war. Of a grand reckoning where the Saxons unite, march north, and lay waste to our green lands. I would say to you that we Cymry are a peaceful folk with no desire for blood. We are happy to care for our herds, raise families and sing to the praise of god. Rather than making war I encourage you and your Saxon kin to look to your soul’s salvation. Renounce pagan practices, banish the Catholic heretics, and adopt the true Celtic Christian Faith of our Lord. In peace our Kingdoms can prosper in the bountiful gaze of God.
We have been peaceful neighbours and I am no enemy of faithful friends. Instead I warn you that your enemy are your Saxon kin. Watch to the south, that is where your danger lies. Have you forgotten how the Mercians recently burnt your farms, took your women, and slaughtered your children? Have you not heard how the Wessex men did the same to the East Angles? Watch to the south – it is there you will see the flames of war.
Should you choose to ignore my words, kindly sent as to a brother, should you choose the sword’s dance in the north, I warn you to be wary of stirring our anger. The Cymry spear grip is firm and our faith is our stronghold.
And remember too:
1. The fierce Scots attacked us without provocation. They now kneel in the dust.
2. The Pagan Picts attacked us hoping to reap a rich red harvest. But their gods were no match for the one true Lord, and the red was their own life blood ebbing on the field of battle. They too now grovel in the dirt and their vile temples are broken.
A final word. Trust not the painted men, the treacherous Picts. There are rumours in the land that the Pictish horde marches again. They are tributary to me, but I can not control all their fierce ways. Should they seek you out in parley, remember their word is never their bond; they only know war and strife. They choose not to care for their herds, only to steal those of others. And I do hear you have rich herds; I would advise you to look to their safe keeping.
Praise be the true God
On the 6th day of September, 659 A.D.
We aren’t treacherous. We’re mysterious.