Campaign Rules for Britannia 600 AD

These are the rules for the Britannia 600 AD Campaign. Use the DBA/HOTT Campaign Rules except as noted below.

1. Set Up

1.1. Campaign Map

Use the Britannia map.

You’ve got a choice of the Pre-determined Set Up or the Variable Set Up to determine which provinces each player starts with. Use this set up – the pre-determined one – if you’ve got six players and want to get straight into the campaign. It gives each player five provinces. I have taken some liberties with the history to balance up the game. The provinces in Bold are the capital (if that matters). There are also some neutral provinces.

Player Nation Starting areas Army List
Alba Skye, Moray, Mar, Alban, Dunedin Picts
Strathclyde Lothian, Strathclyde, Galloway, Cumbria, Cheshire Welsh
Northumbria (North Angles) Bernicia, York, Pennines, Lindsey, Norfolk Saxon
Mercia (Lords of the March) Hwicce, March, North Mercia, South Mercia, Essex, Saxon
Powys Clwyd, Powys, Gwent, Gwynedd, Dyfed Welsh
Wessex (West Saxons) Wessex, Avalon, Downlands, Sussex, Kent Saxon
Neutral Nation Starting areas
Dal Riada Caithness, Orkneys, Dalriada, Hebrides Scots (has field-army)
Dumnonia Devon, Cornwall Welsh
East Angles Suffolk Saxon
Ireland 5 provinces off board Irish (has field-army)

Alternative set ups are given in the Optional Rules below.

1.2. Resources

Players start with up to 5 provinces, one of which is the capital, and a field army. Field armies are 12 elements (plus camp follower) in DBA or 24 AP in HOTT. Large neutral nations (4+ provinces) also get a field army (e.g. Dal Riada and Ireland). Irish field armies start in Ireland; all other field armies start in the capital. Revised army lists are given below.

Unlike the normal DBA/HOTT campaign rules, losses from an army can be replaced by troops that were not in the original army.

If a player nation does not participate in a battle or siege during a span of 3 campaign turns, the maximum size of their field army is reduced to 10 elements in DBA or 20 AP in HOTT.

2. Campaign Turn

A campaign turn is nominally 10 years. Each player has a player turn in each campaign turn.

Unlike the normal DBA/HOTT campaign rules, players do not secretly record the location of their field army at the start of the campaign turn. Field armies start the game in their capital and then move around the map using the movement rules.

2.1. Declare War

Before any players take their turn, the players secretly record their declarations of war (or peace treaties). This affects who they can invade and send allied contingents against. You can’t declare war on your overlord. When all declarations of war have been written down they are announced simultaneously.

2.2. Non-player recruitment

If the field army of a non-player nation is less than its permissible maximum troops can be raised up to that maximum (i.e. 12 elements for DBA and 24 AP for HOTT). As non-player nations do not receive tax or have a herd they instead roll d die to replace elements up to the army maximum. The non-player will replace those troops with the highest chance or replacement first. In HOTT two dead Hordes replaced at the same time (being 1 AP each), but otherwise recruitment is one element per turn. Players take it in turn to roll for the neutrals.

Value of element(s) to replace Roll required
Up to 2 AP or 1 DBA element Automatic
3 AP 3+
4 AP 4+
6 AP 5+

3. Player Turn

The order in which players (and non-players with field armies) take their turn during a campaign turn is determined randomly. Put a province control marker for each player (and non-player with a field army) in a cup and draw one of them randomly; this player takes their turn. Then draw another, and this player takes their turn. Repeat until all player’s markers have been drawn from the cup and they have taken their turn.

Player turn:

  1. Taxation
  2. Raise Troops
  3. Diplomacy with Neutrals
  4. Attacker Solicit Allies
  5. Attacker Moves
  6. Defender Solicits Allies
  7. Give Battle
  8. Supply


3.1. Taxation: Sheep and Cows

According to The Kingdom of the Picts: Christianity, Paganism and the Making of Gaelic Scotland “there was some coinage, of late Roman influence, but the basic unit of exchange was the cow”. That may just apply to Pictland; as we know, for example, that the Saxons had the sceatta, pronounced “shee-atta”, in use circa 600-750 AD (Elks: Anglo Saxon Coinage), but the cow standard seems universal. If the Saxons insist on coins then I suggest an exchange rate of 1 sceatta = 1 cow.

One cow = 1 AP in HOTT. One sheep = 1/2 cow = 1/2 AP.

At the start of their turn a player gains a sheep (1/2 cow) for each province under their undisputed control, with a 1 sheep (1/2 cow) for their capital. This tax goes into their herd.

Non-player nations do not have a herd nor receive taxation.

3.2. Raise Troops

If a field army is less than its permissible maximum troops can be raised up to that maximum (i.e. 12 elements for DBA and 24 AP for HOTT). Players must use cows from their herd to recruit:

  • HOTT: Each AP of troops raised costs one cow, so for example, a Horde element costs 1 cow, a Spear element costs 2 cows, and a Cleric 3 cows.
  • DBA: Each element of troops raised costs two cows.

The troops raised do not have to be the same as those originally included in the field army. Amongst other things, this allows players to adapt to new technologies introduced by their opponents and allows a recently pagan but now Christian army to include Clerics amongst its ranks.

Troops can be voluntarily disbanded at this time, but their replacements must be recruited in the normal way, i.e. by spending your hard earned tax. In other words, you can’t just swap one type for another, you have to pay the recruitment price.

3.3. Diplomacy with Neutrals

The player can attempt to bribe a neutral nation for use of

  • It’s field army, typically to attack another player’s province. The neutral field army can not have already moved this campaign turn.
  • An allied contingent. Each army can only provide at most two allied contingents at the same time.

The player must spend from 1 to 5 sheep (1/2 to 2.5 cows) on the bribe. This money is expended regardless of success. The bribe succeeds if the player rolls the amount of the bribe in sheep (1/2 cows) or less on 1d6, e.g. a bribe of 3 sheep (1.5 cows) succeeds on 3 or less.

Gaining control of a neutral field army means the player can move the neutral field army as if it was his own, including attacking with it. Doing so means the player loses the opportunity to move and/or attack with their own army that campaign turn. Any provinces and prestige points gained by the neutral field army are retained by the neutral. The neutral must be bribed each campaign turn for their field army to continue a siege; if the bribe is not maintained or not successful, the neutral field army will take the first opportunity to move back to its capital. Irish field armies return to Ireland the first chance they get unless they capture a province, in which case they remain on board.

Neutral field armies can also be bribed to stop attacking. Getting them to stop attacking and to attack a new player takes two bribes and is not possible by a single player in a single game turn.

Gaining a neutral allied contingent is the same as soliciting a player allied contingent, although you have to bribe the neutral nation to provide it. The neutral allied contingent does not have to be bribed to stay; these contingents return to their own field army when any of their provinces are invaded, when their field army fights or moves, or when the army they are allied to loses a battle.

If they are currently with a field army, neutral allied contingents can also be bribed to return home, or even change sides.

3.4. Solicit Allies & Response

As per the rules. A player with temporary control of a neutral field army can also solicit allies to join the neutral. Defending neutral armies always solicit allies.

Normal movement rules, including boats, apply when allied contingent try to reach the field army they want to join; if they can’t reach they can’t join.

3.5. Moves & Response

As per the rules. 2 provinces max on land.

Saxons, Irish and Scots have boats, so a field army (or allied contingent) of those nations that starts in a coastal province can move 2 sea areas then land in another coastal province. Other nations cannot move by sea. A field army or allied contingent moving by sea must dice for each sea area entered. A score of 1 indicates it has encountered a storm and must dice again for the number of troops lost at sea, as per the rules.

If one player invades the province of a major neutral nation, then another player can volunteer to run the field army for the neutral. This doesn’t require a bribe, and just means the second player can run the neutral field army in any defensive battle. If nobody volunteers then it is a siege.

3.6. Give Battle

Fight the battle using either DBA or HOTT.

The defender gets to place the terrain. Provinces are either Arable, Mountains or Marsh as per the campaign map.

  • Arable: 1-2 BUA or Road plus 2-3 Rivers, Steep Hills, Gentle Hills, Woods, Road, and/or Waterway.
  • Marsh: 1-2 Marsh plus 2-3 River, Woods and/or Gentle Hills
  • Mountains: 1-2 Steep Hills plus 2-3 River, Woods, BUA, and/or Road

After the battle each player gains 1 prestige point for each enemy AP his troops have destroyed or forced to recoil or flee across a battlefield edge in excess of those of his own troop elements that have been destroyed or forced to so recoil or flee (count a DBA element as 2 AP). You get +4 Prestige for being the first to capture the enemy camp/stronghold or destroy the main enemy protagonist’s general.

3.7. Supply

A field army which is out of supply at the end of its turn loses one element in DBA or at least 2 AP in HOTT. Supply can not be traced by sea, even if the nation has boats.

4. Victory

When the time limit has been reached, each player counts as his score:

  • the prestige points he has gained in battles.
  • 4 prestige points for each province under his personal control.
  • 3 prestige points for each province of his direct tributaries.


I’ve created PDFs of various tokens and sheets you might find useful:

Optional Rules

Variable Set Up for Six Players

Use this set up if you want more control about your initial kingdom.

Each player starts with the province given in the table below. The players then pick a second province in the order in the table below. The Wessex player also chooses a second province for the Dal Riata neutral kingdom. If possible a new province must be adjacent to a province the nation already controls. Repeat this for a third, fourth and fifth province. Unlike Player Nations Dal Riata only gets four provinces. All unselected provinces are neutral (there should be three).

Player Nation Starting areas Army List
Alba Alban Pict
Strathclyde Strathclyde Welsh
Northumbria (North Angles) Bernicia Saxon
Mercia (Lords of the March) North Mercia Saxon
Powys Powys Welsh
Wessex (West Saxon) Wessex Saxon
Neutral Nation Starting areas
Dal Riada (Scots) Dalriada Scots (has field-army)
Ireland Off board Irish (has field-army)

Variable Set Up for less than Six Players

Use this set up if you’ve less than six players.

The trick is the pick nations that were close to each other. The nations are roughly listed in order of the capitals from North to South. So nations that were neighbours on the map are neighbours on the list. For a game with less players than six players pick neighbouring nations on the list, with no gaps. That means five players you should leave out Alba or Wessex. Four players could be Alba to Mercia, Strathclyde to Powys, Northumbria to Wessex.

Having chosen the player nationalities follow the same procedure as above. Province’s which are unselect are either neutral if they are adjacent to provinces of two players, otherwise they are out of limits.

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