Britannia rules - Fantasy Flight Games

Britannia rules - Fantasy Flight Games
Welcome to
Britannia
Welcome to a land of sweeping history. Welcome to
a land that the Romans, the Angles, the Saxons, and a
dozen other peoples warred over for a thousand years.
Welcome to the land of King Arthur, Alfred the Great,
Harald the Ruthless, and William the Conqueror.
Welcome to Britannia.
Britannia is a historical board game that broadly
depicts the millennium-long struggle for control of
England, Scotland, and Wales. The game begins with the
Roman invasion of 43 A.D., continues through the many
struggles between Angles, Saxons, Picts, Norsemen,
Scots, Irish, and other nations, and ends with the
Norman invasion of 1066.
Britannia allows players to re-create this epic history,
re-enacting important battles in some cases, altering the
course of history in others. The game rules discourage
players from making historically unrealistic moves, but
also give players the freedom to alter Great Britain’s
history in important ways, creating countless interesting
“what if?” scenarios. What if Boudicca’s Revolt against
the Romans had been more successful? What if the
Romans and the Romano-British had repelled the Saxon
invasions of the 5th and 6th centuries? What if William
the Conqueror had died during the Norman invasion of
1066? In Britannia, the players will determine the
destiny of a kingdom.
Game Overview
Britannia is a board game for three to five players that broadly depicts the wars in, and migrations to,
Britain in the centuries from the Roman invasions to the
Norman Conquest.
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. Not all 17 nations are 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 player’s
Nation Cards. Nations may have to engage in battle
against other nations to secure territory and gain victory.
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.
Game Objective
Britannia is played over 16 game rounds, with each
round representing about 75 years of history. At the
end of Round 16 the game ends, and the player whose
nations have accumulated the most victory points wins
the game.
Number of Players
Britannia plays best with four players, since this
number provides the best combination of player interest,
interaction, and overall game balance. However, the game
can easily be played with three or five players. Rules for
the three- and five-player versions of Britannia can
be found on page 19. Rules for two-player “learning” scenarios can also be found on pages 19-20.
The standard four-player game takes three to five hours,
the five-player game takes slightly longer, and the
shorter variant of the three-player game takes about two
hours.
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Game Components
In this copy of Britannia you will find the following
components:
• This Rulebook
• The Game Board
• 251 Unit Markers in four colors: red, blue, yellow,
and green, representing Infantry, Cavalry, Leaders,
Roman Forts, and Saxon Burhs. See page 20 for a
detailed list of these markers.
• 17 Nation Cards
• 175 Victory Point Tokens in denominations of 1, 5, and 25
• 16 Population Markers
• 1 Round Marker
• 5 Dice
The Game Board
The board represents the island of Britain, divided into
37 land areas. Six sea areas surround the island. Some
land areas, shaded more deeply, represent difficult terrain
– rough, hilly, or swampy areas that impede movement.
Britain itself is divided into three regions by heavy red
lines, as follows:
Wales: Clwyd, Cornwall, Devon, Dyfed, Gwent,
Gwynedd, Powys (7 areas).
Scotland: Alban, Caithness, Dalriada, Dunedin, Hebrides,
Mar, Moray, Orkneys, Skye, Strathclyde (10 areas).
England: the remaining 20 areas.
Other key parts of the game board are explained in “The
Game Board” diagram.
Islands and
Coastal Areas
The Scottish areas of Hebrides and
Orkneys each consist of a cluster of islands. The area of Skye
includes both the island and the
portion of the mainland that formed
the ancient kingdom of Skye; it
borders both the Icelandic and the
Irish Seas. Dalriada borders only
the Irish Sea. Hwicce is a coastal
area, bordering the Atlantic Ocean.
Parts of Ireland and Normandy are
shown in the left and lower-right
areas of the map, although they are
not involved in the game.
The Game Board
1. The Timeline: On the Timeline, players will find
a summary of the events that take place during each
round (such as invaders being placed or nations
scoring). The Timeline is described in more detail
on page 7.
2. Nation List: This list shows all 17 nations in the
order in which they take their nation turns.
3. Population Track: This track is used during the
Population Increase Phase to keep track of each
nation’s population points.
4. Terrain Types & Straits
Normal Terrain
Difficult Terrain
Strait
and combat bonus to the armies accompanying them.
The Danish leader marker “Ivar and Halfdan” represents
two individuals (the “Danish brothers”) but acts as a
single leader for game purposes. Leaders are discussed
in detail on page 13.
Roman Forts
Whenever the Romans are the only nation
occupying an area, they immediately build a
fort in the area. These forts act as “normal”
(not Roman) infantry units in battle
(see page 11), but they cannot move.
Areas with Roman forts are considered to also have
“Roman roads,” which Roman armies can use for extra
mobility.
Roman forts represent not only military fortifications, but also the Romans’ “civilizing” influence in an
area. Roman fort markers have both an “intact” and a
“destroyed” side. If a Roman fort is eliminated in battle,
it is flipped to its destroyed side, as a reminder that the
area has rejected Roman influence and that a new fort
may not be built in the area. See “The Romans and the
Romano-British,” on pages 14-17, for further discussion
of the significance of Roman forts.
Note: The Romans are not limited by the components in
the number of forts they may have.
Saxon Burhs
The unit markers
Infantry
Each nation’s units – infantry and cavalry, as well as
leaders, Roman forts, and Saxon burhs – are represented
by cardboard markers.
Infantry armies are the most
common unit in the game.
Roman infantry units represent more highly trained
troops, and in game terms
they move and fight like cavalry units. All other nations’
infantry units are “normal” infantry units.
Note: In this rulebook, the term units refers to all of a
nation’s markers: infantry, cavalry, leaders, Roman forts,
and Saxon burhs. The term armies refers to both infantry
units and cavalry units, but not forts, burhs, or leaders.
Each nation’s playing pieces in BRITANNIA are differentiated not only by unique art, but also by a unique
combination of a color (red, green, yellow, or blue) and a
symbol (spear, shield, axe, ship, or eagle). For example,
the Belgae have blue playing pieces with a shield symbol, while the Scots have yellow playing pieces with
a spear symbol. The color-symbol combination on the
playing pieces match that on each nation’s Nation Card
and on the game board’s Nation List, to make it easier to
identify each nation’s pieces during play.
Note that while the nations are color-coded for the fourplayer game (each player takes all the nations of one
color), the symbols are used for identification purposes
only and have no other effect on game play. So, for
example, although the Belgae have blue pieces with a
shield symbol and the Welsh have green pieces with a
shield symbol, there is no special relationship between
the Belgae and Welsh nations.
The Saxons have a special unit called a burh,
which represents a type of fortification. Sax­
on burhs fight as normal infantry units in
battle, and cannot move. However, Saxon burhs do not
provide the additional benefits that Roman forts do. For
a full discussion of Saxon burhs, see page 17.
Other components
Cavalry
Nation Cards
Cavalry can move farther than normal
infantry units and are better in combat. Only the Romano-British and the
Normans have cavalry units.
Note: Each nation is limited by the markers included
with the game in regard to how many armies they may
have in play at once. For a complete list of how many
infantry and cavalry markers are included with each
nation, see page 20.
There are 17 Nation
Cards, one for each
nation. Each card has
the same background
color as the cardboard
markers of its nation. Each nation’s card states what it
must do to earn victory points, when its units appear
in the game, and additional important information. See
“Overview of the Nation Card” on page 5 for a complete
overview of the Nation Card and how to use it.
Leaders
Victory Point Markers
Leaders represent individuals of
extraordinary ability. They enter the
game during certain game rounds as
indicated on both the Timeline and
the markers themselves. Leaders
have no combat value in themselves (and must always be
accompanied by army units), but they give a movement
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175 victory point markers are provided with the game, in denominations of 1, 5, and 25. Nations
receive victory points throughout the game for completing the objectives listed on their Nation Card. The player
with the most victory points among the nations he controls at the end of the game is the winner.
Player 1 controls the Dubliners, the Norwegians, the
Romans, the Romano-British, and the Scots (the yellow
pieces).
Game Setup
When setting up the game, the
nations listed below place infantry
units in the following areas:
The Caledonians (3 starting
armies): Caithness, Hebrides,
Orkneys.
The Picts (6 starting armies):
Alban, Dalriada, Dunedin, Mar,
Moray, Skye.
The Brigantes (9 starting armies):
Bernicia, Cheshire, Cumbria,
Galloway, Lothian, March, Pennines,
Strathclyde, York.
The Belgae (10 starting armies):
Downlands, Essex, Kent, Lindsey, N.
Mercia, S. Mercia, Norfolk, Suffolk,
Sussex, Wessex.
The Welsh (9 starting armies):
Avalon, Clwyd, Cornwall, Devon,
Dyfed, Gwent, Gwynedd, Hwicce,
Powys.
The Romans place 16 invading
armies in the English Channel.
Player 2 controls the Caledonians, the Danes, the Jutes,
and the Welsh (the green pieces).
Player 3 controls the Brigantes, the Irish, the Norsemen,
and the Saxons (the red pieces).
Player 4 controls the Belgae, the Picts, the Angles, and
the Normans (the blue pieces).
3. Each player should take the Nation Card that corresponds to each nation he or she controls.
Now the starting units are placed on the map. Sixteen
Roman infantry are placed in the English Channel, and
one infantry is placed in each of the starting areas as
listed in the “Game Setup” diagram.
When all pieces have been placed, the first game round
begins.
Victory Points and
the Nation Card
There are four main ways for nations to score victory
points. These are described in detail below, and summarized for each nation on its Nation Card. An astute
player will refer to his Nation Cards and his opponents’
Nation Cards frequently. If another player asks to see
any Nation Card, the owner must comply.
When a nation receives victory points, the player controlling that nation should immediately take the appropriate number of victory point tokens and place them
on or near that nation’s Nation Card. It is important
that each nation’s victory points be kept separate, so that
all players know how well each nation, rather than just
each player, is doing in the game. If any player asks how
many victory points a nation currently has, the player
controlling that nation must comply.
Holding Areas
Population Markers
Round Marker
Each nation except the Romans has
a Population Increase Marker. This
marker is used to track the nation’s
progress on the Population Track.
The Round Marker is placed
on the Timeline to keep track of the current game round.
Designer’s Note: Markers have been included for the
Norwegians and Normans, even though they are not used in
standard game because the game ends after Round 16. There
are two reasons: Lack of these markers caused misinterpretation of the rules in the past, and if people devise variants that
go beyond Turn 16, the markers will then be needed.
The following setup instructions are for the four-player
game. See page 19 for instructions on playing the game
with three or five players.
Game Setup
1. Place the round marker in the Round 1 space on the
Timeline on the board.
2. Randomly determine which player will control the
red, green, blue, or yellow nations. Each player should
take the pieces for the nations he or she controls:
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The first and most common way for a nation to score
points is by holding areas at the end of a scoring round.
This is indicated on the Nation Card by the Hold symbol
(a fist) followed by the appropriate round and points
granted for each area. Holding an area is defined as
being the sole nation with units in an area at the end of
an entire scoring round (not just the end of the nation
turn; see “A Game Round,” on pages 6-7). The scoring
rounds are Rounds 5, 7, 10, 13, and 16, and are highlighted on the Timeline.
Each nation has different areas that it must hold during specific rounds in order to score victory points. For
example, at the end of Round 5, the Caledonians score
four points each for holding Orkneys, Caithness, and
Hebrides, and two points each for holding Moray, Skye,
and Dalriada. Of course, many nations are after the same
areas, and this is a major source of conflict in the game.
Overview
1. Nation Name.
2. Generic Scoring Scroll. A Scoring Scroll with no
symbol is used for special scoring situations. For
example, the Romans get 6 points if the Belgae submit to them.
3. “Hold” Scoring Scroll. This scroll is marked
with the Hold symbol (a closed fist). It shows that
if the nation holds the listed areas at the end of the
specified round(s), it will score the listed number of
points.
At the end of each scoring round, the players should
consult the Nation List on the game board. One by one,
they should go through the nations in order, checking
each nation’s Nation Card to see how many victory
points each nation should receive for holding areas.
A nation may score points for holding an area even if
it has already scored for holding the area in a previous
round, and even if it has scored for occupying the area
(see below) in the current round or a previous round.
of the
Nation Card
4. “Eliminate” Scoring Scroll. This scroll is marked
with the Eliminate symbol (a skull). It shows that the
nation will score the listed number of points for each
of the named unit(s) that it eliminates during the
specified round(s).
5. “Occupy” Scoring Scroll. This scroll is marked
with the Occupy symbol (a flag). It shows that if the
nation occupies the listed areas at any time during
the specified round(s), it will score the listed number
of points.
Occupying Areas
A nation may score points for occupying certain areas
during certain game rounds (even non-scoring rounds).
This is indicated on the Nation Cards by the occupy
symbol (a flag) followed by the appropriate round and
points granted for each region. For example, the Welsh
score 12 points for occupying York during Round 8 or
Round 9. Occupying an area is defined as being the
sole nation with units in an area at any time during the
game round. A nation may even score occupy points for
retreating into an area or just moving through the area
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6. Nation Reference. This area lists important information about the nation and special rules that apply
on specific rounds.
7. Nation Symbol: Each nation has a color (red,
green, yellow, or blue) and symbol (spear, shield,
axe, ship, or eagle). Together, these color-symbol
combinations serve as a unique identifiers used to
differentiate the various nations. For example, the
Romans’ symbol is the yellow eagle, while the Picts
have a blue spear. Each nation’s color and symbol
are also used on its playing pieces.
during the appropriate game round (assuming no other
nation’s units are present). As soon as a nation is the sole
occupant of the listed area, the controlling player should
take the appropriate number of victory point tokens.
Example: In Round 15, the Norwegians begin their
nation turn with 10 armies in the North Sea. They move
3 armies into Bernicia, which is empty. The player
controlling the Norwegians immediately takes 4 victory points for occupying Bernicia, since the Norwegian
Nation Card shows that that is how many points the
Norwegians receive for occupying Bernicia in Round 15.
He then moves the armies in Bernicia to York, which
is occupied by three Danish armies. He does not take
any victory points for occupying York yet, since the
Norwegians are currently not the sole nation with
units in the area. In the Battles/Retreats Phase, if the
Norwegian armies in York eliminate all the Danish armies
in York, and at least one Norwegian army in York survives
the battle, then the player controlling the Norwegians would
immediately take 10 victory points, since the Norwegians
would then be the sole nation with units in York.
A single nation may only score points for occupying a
specific area once. (So if the Welsh score for occupying
York in Round 8, they may not do so again on Round 9.)
However, a nation may score for occupying an area even
if the nation has already scored for holding the area (see
above), and vice versa. The rule to remember is that a
nation may score for holding an area multiple times,
but may only score for occupying each area once.
Keeping track of which areas a nation has scored for
occupying is discussed in more detail on page 17.
Exception: The Danes may score for occupying the same
areas in Rounds 11 and 12 (see page 18 for details).
Eliminating Units
A nation may receive points for eliminating enemy units
in battle (even during non-scoring rounds). This is
indicated on the Nation Cards by the eliminate symbol
(a skull) followed by the appropriate round and points
granted for each unit type. For example, the Picts receive
two points for each Roman army they eliminate, and six
points for each Roman fort they eliminate, in any game
round. The Romans, on the other hand, receive six points
for eliminating the Belgae leader Boudicca in Rounds 1 or 2.
Nations that score points in this manner may do so at
any time during the listed rounds. As soon as a nation
eliminates a relevant unit (as listed on its Nation Card),
the controlling player receives the appropriate number of
points. It is possible for a nation to score victory points
for eliminating units and then go on to lose the battle.
Exception: Certain nations may only score points for
eliminating units on their nation turn (listed as such
on their Nation Cards). This signifies that they cannot
receive these points during an opponent’s nation turn,
and must therefore be the attacker to gain these points
(see “Phase III: Battle/Retreats,” page 11). This applies
only to the specific unit listed. For example, the Saxons
may only score for eliminating Romano-British cavalry
on the Saxon nation turn, but they may score for eliminating Roman armies and forts at any time.
The Bretwalda and the King
The fourth way that a nation may score victory points
is by claiming Bretwalda or King. There may be a
Bretwalda in Rounds 8, 9, and 10, and a King in Rounds
11, 12, 13, 14, and 16, as indicated on the Timeline
by a crown symbol. The Bretwalda and the King are
described in more detail on page 18.
Victory Point Limits
Three nations – the Welsh, the Saxons,
and the Angles – have special restrictions,
called point limits, on the areas they may
score points for holding.
Welsh Point Limit
In a scoring round, the total points that
the Welsh score for holding areas outside
Wales may not be more than half the total
points that the Welsh score for holding
areas in Wales. Any excess points from
holding areas outside Wales are lost.
Example: In Round 7, the Welsh hold
eight areas outside Wales: Cheshire,
March, Hwicce, North Mercia, South
Mercia, Lindsey, Suffolk, and Essex, which
are worth one point each to the Welsh.
However, the Welsh only hold Powys
and Gwynedd in Wales, which are each
worth four points to the Welsh. Since the
Welsh only scored eight points for areas in
Wales, they may only score four points for
areas outside Wales. The extra four points
for the areas outside Wales are lost.
Roman Victory Points
The Romans may score victory points in three additional
ways. First, at the end of Round 5, they score points
for limes (submitted nations and intact Roman forts).
Second, the Belgae may submit to the Romans in Round
1, and if they do, the Romans receive six victory points.
Third, the Welsh, the Brigantes, and the Picts may also
submit to the Romans. The Romans receive points for
the areas occupied or held by any submitted nations
(including the Belgae) as if the Romans occupied or held
the areas themselves. These three types of Roman scoring are described in more detail on pages 14-16.
A Game Round
Britannia is played over 16 game rounds. A game
round consists of all the 17 nations taking their
nation turns. Each nation turn consists of five phases,
described below.
At the beginning of each game round, players should
consult the Timeline to see what events will occur in that
round.
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This Welsh point limit is summarized on
its Nation Card as follows: “Point limit
outside Wales (half Wales points).”
Saxon Point Limit
In a scoring round, the total points that the
Saxons score for holding areas in Wales
may not be more than half the total points
that the Saxons score for holding areas in
England. Any excess points from holding
areas in Wales are lost.
The Saxon point limit is summarized on
its Nation Card as follows: “Point limit in
Wales (half England points).”
Angle Point Limit
In a scoring round, the total points that the
Angles score for holding areas in Scotland
may not be more than half the total points
that the Angles score for holding areas in
England. Any excess points from holding
areas in Scotland are lost.
The Angle point limit is summarized on
its Nation Card as follows: “Point limit in
Scotland (half England points).”
The Nation Turn
In Britannia, the order of play depends on nations,
not players. During each game round, each nation takes
its nation turn in the order stated in the Nation List printed on the board. Thus, the Romans play first, completing
all of the phases of their nation turn, then the RomanoBritish take their turn, then the Belgae, then the Welsh,
and so on.
In many rounds some nations will have no units on the
board. 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,
which are explained in greater detail throughout this
rulebook.
Overview
of the
how many points the nation receives, is discussed in
detail on page 18.
Timeline
After these two steps are complete, the game round is
over. The round marker is moved to the next round on
the Timeline and the next game round begins.
Phase I: Population
Increase
A major way that nations gain more armies is by increasing their population, which is done by occupying areas.
Exception: The Romans receive reinforcements instead
of increasing their population. See “Roman Reinforce­
ments” on page 14.
1. The round number shows which round is
taking place.
has a Raiding turn, a Major Invasion, or can use
Boat movement.
2. Under the round number, the Timeline lists
each nation that receives new units or has other
notable events this round. If the nation receives
new units, the Timeline lists the number of
armies and/or the names of the leaders, with
their starting area (if applicable) in parentheses.
4. Rounds with the Scoring Round box signify
that nations may be able to score “hold” points
at the end of the round. Consult each nation’s
Nation Card to determine which areas they may
receive points for holding.
3. Nations may have special abilities during a
given game round. The Timeline lists the appropriate symbols to indicate whether each nation
5. A Bretwalda or King symbol next to the game
round signifies that after all nations have taken
their nation turn, players will vote for Bretwalda
or check for Kingship.
Phase 1: Population Increase
End of the Game Round
In this phase, new armies may be placed on the board,
depending on the number of areas that the nation controls. See pages 7-8 for more information on this phase.
After the Overpopulation Phase, the nation turn is over
and the next nation will then take its nation turn. After
every nation has taken its nation turn, players perform
the following two steps, in order:
Phase 2: Movement
In this phase, the controlling player moves the current
nation’s armies, possibly initiating battles. See pages
8-10 for the rules governing movement.
Phase 3: Battles/Retreats
In this phase, battles and retreats are resolved. See pages
11-13 for the rules governing battles and retreats.
Phase 4: Raider Withdrawal
In this phase, Raiding armies may choose to withdraw
back to the sea. See pages 9-10 for more details on Raiding
and page 13 for information on Raider Withdrawal.
Phase 5: Overpopulation
In this phase, if the number of armies a nation has in
land areas is more than twice the number of land areas it
occupies, it must remove the excess armies. This procedure is explained on page 13.
Step 1: Scoring for Holding Areas
Players check the Timeline to see whether the round was a
scoring round (Rounds 5, 7, 10, 13, and 16, marked on the
Timeline). At the end of scoring rounds, each nation gains
victory points for holding the areas indicated on its Nation
Card (as described under “Holding Areas,” pages 4-5).
These points scored at the end of a game round are in
addition to any points scored during a nation’s nation turn.
Step 2: Scoring for Bretwalda or the King
At the end of some rounds – indicated on the Timeline
by a crown – players determine whether any nation has
claimed Bretwalda or a King. A Bretwalda may be elected in Rounds 8, 9, and 10, and a King may be crowned
in Rounds 11, 12, 13, 14, and 16. The procedure for
determining whether there is a Bretwalda or a King, and
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During a nation’s Population Increase Phase, the controlling player counts the number of areas currently
occupied by that nation’s armies. Normal areas provide
two population points, while difficult terrain areas provide only one. To this total, add any population points
left over from the previous game round, as indicated on
the Population Track. For each count of six, the nation
receives one new infantry unit from among its eliminated
and unused units. Any points left over are saved until
the next turn. To track this, place the nation’s population increase marker on the appropriate space on the
Population Track.
Example: During the Welsh nation’s Population Increase
Phase, the Welsh population marker shows 3 population
points left from last turn, and Welsh armies occupy land
areas worth 11 population points, for a total of 14. The
Welsh receive two new armies (if available) and their
population marker is moved to the “2” space of the
Population Track.
A player may not refuse to increase his population. This
may result in more armies on the board than his nation
can support (see “Phase V: Overpopulation,” page 13); in
that case he’ll have to move and perhaps attack in order
to avoid losing armies in the Overpopulation Phase (or
he might let the extra armies starve).
Each nation is limited to the number of armies it may
have in play by the number of components included with
the game. (See page 20 for a complete list of how many
units of each type each nation has.) If no infantry units
are available, the nation cannot receive any new armies.
It may save up to five population points, but any extra
points are lost.
Note: The Romano-British and the Normans both have
cavalry units. These units only enter the game in Rounds
7, 15, and 16, as specified by the Timeline. They may
not be brought into play via the spending of population
points.
Normal Movement
The three Welsh armies in Avalon have several possible destinations to
choose from during their Movement Phase:
1. One or more Welsh armies may choose to move into the Downlands.
2. The Welsh armies cannot move into the Downlands and then continue on
to Sussex, because the Downlands is a difficult terrain area.
3. One or more Welsh armies may choose to move into Wessex. If one or
two armies move into Wessex, they must stop there because of the opposing
army in that territory.
4. If all three Welsh armies move into Wessex, the Welsh will outnumber
their opponent by more than two to one. Two Welsh armies must still stop,
but the third may overrun through Wessex, continuing on to Sussex.
Strait
and
Boat Movement
In Round 9, the Saxons have Boat movement. The Saxon army in Devon
has several movement possibilities:
5. The Saxon army may use the strait to move into Gwent. Note that
this takes their entire movement. To use a strait, an army must start its
Movement Phase at one end of the strait, and stop its movement at the other
end of the strait.
6. The Saxon army could move from Devon to Dyfed, but may not then
continue on to Powys, because using the strait would take up its entire
movement.
7. The Saxon army may use its Boat capability to first move into a sea area
and then move into a bordering coastal area. In this example, the arrow
shows how the Saxon army may move from Devon into the Atlantic Ocean,
and then land in Hwicce. Though not pictured here, the Saxon army could
also use Boat movement to move into the Atlantic and then to Powys,
Gwynedd, Clwyd, or Cheshire, or it could move into the English Channel
and then into a bordering coastal area.
Placing New Armies
Placing invaders and raiders
New infantry armies gained in the Population Increase
Phase are placed on areas occupied by the nation’s
armies. No more than one army may be placed in a
given area, unless there is no alternative (for example,
because some areas are occupied by the maximum number of armies allowed by the stacking limits, see page
9). If there is nowhere to place an army received in the
Population Increase Phase, owing to stacking limits, the
army is lost, but the nation’s population marker remains
at “5” on the Population Track.
Finally place any invaders or raiders, including leaders (see
“Leaders”, page 13), as listed for the nation in the timeline.
If there are not enough armies available because all armies
are already on board, the player may select which invader
or raider units do not appear. In that case, move population
marker to “5” on Population Track.
Note: The Norwegians, Normans, and Saxons each
receive special reinforcements at the beginning of Round
16. These are described in detail on page 18.
Normal armies (all those except cavalry and Roman
infantry) may move up to two land areas per turn. For
example, one may start in Essex, move to Suffolk, and
then to Norfolk. However, an infantry army must end its
move when it enters a difficult terrain area (those with
darker shading).
Phase II: Movement
Cavalry units and Roman infantry may move three land
areas per turn, but must end their move if they move into
a difficult terrain area. (Only the Romano-British and the
Normans have cavalry units.)
During a nation’s Movement Phase, the controlling
player may move any, all, or none of the nation’s armies.
Armies may not normally move into a sea area, except
during Boat movement (page 9) or during a Raiding turn
(page 10).
There are two major exceptions to these basic movement
rules. First, armies with leaders may move three areas
per turn, and need not stop in difficult terrain. Leaders
are discussed in more detail on pages 13-14. Second,
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Roman armies may also use Roman roads to move several spaces in a single turn. Roman roads are described
in detail on pages 14-15.
The Romans
The Roman occupation of Britain
from 43 A.D. through the 4th
century shaped Britain’s history in
countless ways. As a conquering
empire, the Romans were very
different – particularly in terms
of military might – from the other
peoples that occupied Britain in
this time period. These differences
are reflected in Britannia in a
variety of ways. First, the Romans
begin the game with more armies
than any other nation, as described
in “Game Setup.” Second, Roman
armies can move farther than
normal armies (three areas rather
than two, see page 8). Third,
Roman armies are more effective
in combat than normal armies, as
described on page 11.
There are other differences
between the Romans and other
nations. The Romans can build
forts, which act as normal armies
that cannot move. Intact forts also
score victory points for the Romans
at the end of Round 5. Roman
armies can also use “Roman roads”
to move across many areas in a
single turn. The Romans do not
have a normal Population Increase
Phase – instead they receive a
variable number of reinforcements
from Rome – and the Romans skip
the Overpopulation Phase. Some
nations (the Belgae, the Welsh,
the Brigantes, and the Picts) may
submit to the Romans, for which
the Romans receive victory points.
Finally, the Romans leave the game
after Round 5 and are replaced by
the Romano-British, representing
the Romans’ withdrawal from
Britain in the 4th century.
The Roman nation and the special
rules governing it are explained in
detail on pages 14-17. The player
controlling the Romans should
review these rules prior to the start
of the game.
All units must stop when moving into an area containing
an opposing nation’s units unless they are able to “overrun” through the area (see below).
Straits
There are four strait symbols marked on the board, represented by yellow arrows. These straits link the Hebrides
and Skye, the Orkneys and Caithness, Dyfed and Devon,
and Gwent and Devon. Armies may move across a strait
as though the destination area were adjacent, traveling
from one of the connected areas to the other despite the
intervening water. However, this move takes all of an
army’s movement. So the army must begin the movement in one of the two areas and end the movement in
the other. (Exception: Roman roads, see pages 14-15.)
Stacking Limits
The number of armies of one nation allowed in a single
land area is strictly limited in most cases. Each nation
(except the Romans) may normally have no more than
three armies in a non-difficult terrain area, or two in
a difficult terrain area. As an exception to this restriction, each nation may have a single overstack. This
overstack consists of one group of an unlimited number
in a non-difficult terrain area or one group of up to four
armies in a difficult terrain area (but not both).
Exception: The Romans can have any number of armies
in each non-difficult terrain area and up to four in each
difficult terrain area. Forts do not count toward stacking
limits. Since the Romans do not have to adhere to normal stacking limits, they do not have a single overstack
capability.
These stacking limits are effective at the end of every
nation’s Movement Phase, but not during movement.
The stacking limits apply separately to each nation with
armies in an area after a Movement Phase.
Stacking limits may not be exceeded during the
Population Increase Phase, nor may they be exceeded as a
result of retreats.
Exceptions: Stacking limits may be exceeded when
placing Round 1 Belgae reinforcements, Round 6
Romano-British armies, and Round 7 Romano-British
reinforcements (see page 15).
Overruns
When a player moves one or more armies into an area
occupied by another nation, a battle is initiated. Usually,
all the armies moving into the area must stop and fight in
the battle. However, in some cases some of the moving
armies may be able to continue moving: This is called an
overrun.
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If the number of armies moving into an area is less than
or equal to twice the number of opposing forces (count
armies and forts/burhs, but not leaders), then all the
attacking armies must stop and fight the battle. However,
if the moving armies outnumber the opposing forces
by more than two to one, the excess armies may move
through the area (overrun) without stopping (provided
they would be able to legally move that far if the areas in
question were empty – difficult terrain still stops movement, etc.).
Note that since some armies can move three areas, they
can sometimes overrun through two areas.
Regardless of whether any overruns occur or not, all
movement must be completed before any battles are
resolved.
Boat Movement
During some rounds, certain nations will have the ability
to move units via Boat movement. The turns in which a
nation has Boat movement are listed on its Nation Card.
On the Timeline, if a nation has Boat movement in a
given round it is indicated by the Boat symbol, pictured
above.
With Boat movement, units may move through (but may
not end their turn in) one sea area. This movement is a
part of, rather than in addition to, their normal movement. Note that the sea area may be different for each
unit, but no one unit may move through more than one
sea area.
Example: During a Boat movement turn, an army in
Kent might move to York or Cornwall (or to a coastal
area between those two); one in Mar may move to York
or Skye (or to a coastal area between those two).
Designer’s Note: At times the “Dubliners” probably portaged
their boats across Scotland and then sailed down the eastern
coast to York. This is certainly legal in the game, when other
movement rules are satisfied.
When there is a Major Invasion, Boat movement may
be used during either or both halves of the Major
Invasion as long as other rules are followed (see “Major
Invasions,” page 10).
Invasions and Raiding
Throughout the game, new armies are brought into play
in the sea areas indicated on the Timeline. These armies
represent, in broad terms, the peoples who landed on the
shores of Britain at a particular time in history. Invasions
are indicated on the Timeline under the names of the
relevant nations. The number of armies each nation
receives that round is listed, along with the sea area in
which those armies are placed in parentheses. Players
should place invading armies in the appropriate sea
areas, as instructed by the Timeline, at the beginning of
the game round.
Example: On the Round 8 space of the Timeline, underneath the word “Irish” the Timeline reads “1 Invader
(Atlantic Ocean),” under “Scots” it reads “1 Invader
(Irish Sea),” and under the “Angles” it reads “2
Invaders (North Sea).” This indicates that players must
place one Irish army in the Atlantic Ocean area, one
Scots army in the Irish Sea area, and two Angle armies
in the North Sea area at the start of the game round.
Armies in a sea area must do one of the following:
1. Move directly from sea to a bordering land area. Then,
following normal movement rules, they may choose to
move one additional land area.
2. Move to an adjacent sea area and then land in an adjacent land area. Some nations have additional restrictions
regarding this option (see below).
3. During a Raiding turn or during the first half of a Major
Invasion, armies may remain in the sea area they started
in. (See “Major Invasions” and “Raiding Turns,” below).
Things to Note About Invaders
Invading cavalry, armies with a leader, and Roman infantry may move three areas (following normal movement
rules).
Normally, all armies must end their Movement Phase in
a land area. (Important Exceptions: Major Invasions
and Raiding turns, see below.)
Armies beginning their Movement Phase in a sea area
may never move two sea areas before landing in a land
area.
When units at sea land, they are not required to all land
in the same area.
Any number of armies from any number of nations may
be in the same sea area. Stacking limits are ignored, and
no battles occur at sea.
Invasion Restrictions on the Nation
Card
Several nations have additional restrictions regarding
where their invaders may land. Such restrictions are
listed in the Nation Reference area of the Nation Cards.
For example, in the Nation Reference section of the
Irish Nation Card it says “Invaders must land south of
Galloway.” When the Nation Card says that invaders
must land “north of” or “south of” a certain area, landing in the listed area is not allowed. Therefore, Irish
invaders may not land in Galloway. However, Irish
invaders may land in Cumbria and move into Galloway
via normal movement.
In addition, invader restrictions apply only to units that
begin their nation turn at sea, not to units that begin
their turn on land and use Boat movement. Jute invaders
may not move into the Atlantic, but Jute units that begin
their nation turn on land in Round 6 may move into the
Atlantic via Boat movement.
Pict Raiding
Major Invasions
On certain rounds some nations initiate Major Invasions.
Major Invasions are indicated on the Timeline by a
crossed axes symbol, pictured above.
During a Major Invasion turn, all of a nation’s units, on
land and at sea, may move and attack twice. In a round
in which a nation has a Major Invasion, the controlling
player takes two Movement and Battles/Retreats Phases
in this order: First Movement Phase, First Battles/
Retreats Phase, Second Movement Phase, Second
Battles/Retreats Phase. No other phases of the nation’s
turn are duplicated.
In addition, during a Major Invasion, an army may stay
at sea (not move) during the first Movement Phase.
However, all the nation’s armies must end their Second
Movement Phase in land areas (unless they are on a
Raiding turn; see below).
Designer’s Note: A Major Invasion reflects the additional
shock and impetus of a great effort that sometimes takes place
over a long period of time.
Raiding Turns
During some rounds, certain nations are considered to be
Raiding. This is listed on the Nation Cards as well as the
Timeline with the Raiding symbol, pictured above.
Example: In Round 6 the Irish and the Scots are both
listed as Raiding on the Timeline and on their Nation
Cards, meaning that both of their nation turns are considered Raiding turns.
If a nation is listed as having a Raiding turn in a certain
round, then all the armies of that nation that are in a sea
area at the beginning of the nation turn (not just those
that were placed at the beginning of the current round)
are considered to be Raiding armies for that turn. In
historical terms Raiding armies represent invaders that
returned to their homeland after invading Britain. In
game terms, Raiding armies are permitted to end their
nation turn in a sea area (again, in reality these armies
returned to their homelands). Raiding armies may end
their nation turn in a sea area in three ways.
1. Remain at Sea
Raiding armies may choose not to move out of the sea
area they start in (whereas all non-Raiding armies are
required to end their nation turn in a land area).
2. Retreat Back to Sea
Raiding armies may, after landing and engaging in battle,
retreat from battle back to the sea area they started in.
For detailed rules on how Raiding armies may retreat
back to sea, see “Where the Attacker Retreats,” page 12.
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Unlike other nations, when the
Picts have a Raiding turn (in
Rounds 4 and 5), all their armies
are considered to be Raiding
armies. When the Picts are raiding,
one or more Pictish armies in a
land area may (using Boat movement) move to an adjacent sea
area, then to an adjacent land area,
battle, and then retreat or withdraw
(during the Raider Withdrawal
Phase) to the land area they originated from, provided that area is
still unoccupied by another nation.
Multiple groups of Pictish armies
may raid in this manner, if desired.
Picts may not raid overland: They
must go by sea.
Pict raiders follow the same Raider
Withdrawal procedure (see page
13) as other nations – they simply
withdraw back to the land area
they started the turn in.
3. Withdraw Back to Sea
Raiding armies may withdraw back to sea during the
Raider Withdrawal Phase, as described under “Phase
4: Raider Withdrawal,” on page 13. During the Raider
Withdrawal Phase, the controlling player may simply
pick up any Raiding armies and place them back in the
sea area they started in. It does not matter if there are
areas with opposing units between the Raiding army and
the sea area. The Raider Withdrawal Phase occurs after
the Battles/Retreats Phase. Thus, Raiding armies may
land, fight battles, and then withdraw to the sea so that
they may not be attacked later that game round.
Things to Note About Raiding
Armies that begin the nation turn on land are not considered to be Raiding armies, even though the nation may
be on a Raiding turn. Therefore, units that start on land
may not withdraw during the Raider Withdrawal Phase.
(Exception: Pict Raiding, see sidebar.)
The Scots Major Invasion in Round 7 and the Norse
Major Invasion in Round 11 are also Raiding turns.
This entails the movement of the Raider Withdrawal
Phase to just after the second Battles/Retreats Phase.
So these nations’ turns have the following phases: First
Movement Phase, First Battles/Retreats Phase, Second
Movement Phase, Second Battles/Retreats Phase, Raider
Withdrawal Phase. As with other Raiding turns, armies
Examples
of
Battle
1. One Welsh army moves into Avalon to battle one Belgae army. The Belgae player
rolls a 6 while the Welsh player rolls a 4.
3. One Belgae army moves into Sussex to attack the Roman army and fort. The Roman
player rolls a 5 for the army and a 4 for the fort, while the Belgae player rolls a 5.
Result: The Welsh army is eliminated.
Result: The Belgae player loses one army from the Roman army’s 5 result, since
a Roman army eliminates an opponent on a 4 or higher. (If the Belgae player had
brought two armies, the second one would not be eliminated by the other “4” result,
because the fort fights like a normal army.)
2. Two Welsh armies move into the Downlands to battle one Belgae army. The Belgae
player rolls a 5, and the Welsh player rolls a 2 and a 5.
Result: The Belgae army survives, since it is defending in difficult terrain and
therefore only eliminated on a roll of 6. The Welsh however, lose one army from the
Belgae’s “5” result. The Belgae player then gets to decide if he wants to retreat. If
he does not, the Welsh player may then decide to retreat back to Wessex or continue
fighting.
must have begun the nation turn at sea in order to be
considered Raiding armies.
As indicated on the Timeline and their Nation Card, in
Round 11, the Danes’ Raiding armies must return to sea
by the end of the Danes’ nation turn. They may return to
sea via any of three ways listed above.
The invader restrictions on some nation’s Nation Cards
also apply to Raiding armies.
Phase III:
Battles/Retreats
When units belonging to two nations occupy the same
land area at the end of a Movement Phase, a battle
must take place (even if the same player controls both
nations). Combat at sea is not possible. The nation that
moved into the area is considered the attacker, and the
nation that was already there is considered the defender.
If multiple battles need to be fought, the attacker chooses
the order in which they are resolved.
Start of a Battle
No Roman units are eliminated because of the Belgae player’s roll of 5. Roman forts
are eliminated by a 5 or higher, but only if Roman armies have been eliminated first –
and it takes a roll of 6 to eliminate a Roman army.
controlling different types of units in a battle rolls separately for the different types of units. For example, a
player controlling the Romans would have to roll dice for
his armies separately from the dice he rolls for his forts,
rather than rolling them all at once and assigning the dice
afterwards.
Things to Note About Battles:
The dice rolls determine how many opposing armies
are eliminated. Eliminated armies are removed from the
board.
A player may find that nations he controls are competing for the same objectives. It is legal for two nations
controlled by the same player to attack each other. The
controlling player makes all decisions regarding retreats,
but may have another player roll for one of the nations.
Armies are eliminated according to the following rules:
1. A normal army eliminates a normal enemy army on a
roll of 5 or higher.
2. A Roman or cavalry army eliminates a normal enemy
army on a roll of 4 or higher.
3. Roman and cavalry armies are eliminated on a roll of
6 or higher, no matter what type of unit is attacking.
4. Any defending army in a difficult terrain area is eliminated on a roll of 6 or higher. This rule takes precedence
over rules 1 and 2.
The controlling player for each nation rolls one die for
each army and fort/burh they have in the area. A player
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In battle, Roman forts and Saxon burhs act as normal
armies.
Die rolls are considered to be simultaneous, regardless of
which player rolls the dice first.
Eliminating Roman Forts
Any Roman armies in an area with a Roman fort must
be eliminated by an attacker before the fort may be
eliminated. Thus a die roll of 5 will not eliminate the fort
unless any Roman armies present in that round are eliminated by rolls of 6.
Example: Four armies are attacking a Roman fort and
one Roman infantry. Four dice are rolled at once. If the
attacker rolls at least one 6, then the Roman infantry is
eliminated, and another 5 or 6 eliminates the fort. But if
the attacker rolls four 5s, then no Roman units are eliminated, because there is no 6 to kill the infantry.
Examples
The Saxons have attacked a Welsh army in North Mercia from
Suffolk. There are also Saxons in Powys and South Mercia.
There is a Welsh army in Hwicce. The Welsh army decides to
retreat from North Mercia. It can retreat to Lindsey or York
because they are vacant and not adjacent to areas with Saxon
units (aside from North Mercia, where the battle is being
fought). The Welsh army may not retreat to Suffolk, because
that is where the attackers came from. It also may not retreat
to March, because of the Saxon army in Powys. The Welsh
army may retreat to Hwicce, even though it is adjacent to
Powys, because of the Welsh army there.
Note: The above rule does not apply to Saxon burhs:
They are eliminated just like normal armies, and are
removed before normal Saxon armies are removed (see
“Saxon Burhs,” page 17).
Deciding Which Unit Is
Eliminated
In battles where cavalry and infantry are on the same
side, 5s kill normal armies, while 6s kill cavalry or normal armies as the opposing player desires. Players do
not have to specify which die attacks which type of unit
before rolling.
However, aside from the cavalry/infantry situation
above, the controlling player chooses which armies
are to be eliminated. If all armies are of the same type,
choosing which ones have been eliminated can be done
when the battle is finished. (This is sometimes an issue
during Raiding turns, where some armies may have
begun the turn at sea and can therefore retreat to the sea,
while others began on land and cannot go back to sea.
It may also be an issue if units attacked from different
areas, and are therefore limited to retreating to those
areas.)
of
Retreats
One Angle army is in Sussex and one is in Kent. Three Saxon armies move from Wessex
to Sussex. Two of the Saxon armies must stop in Sussex, but the one remaining Saxon
army continues on via the overrun ability to Kent. In the Battles/Retreats Phase, the
player controlling the Saxons chooses to fight the battle in Kent first.
Attacking armies may only retreat to the area from which they entered the battle. In
this case, the army in Kent will not be able to retreat because the region from which it
entered the battle – Sussex – contains armies of another nation.
Ending a Battle
Battle continues until all the armies and forts/burhs of
one or both nations are eliminated, or until one player
retreats all of their units.
After both players have rolled dice and eliminated units
according to the results, if both sides have at least one
surviving unit in the area, the defender may choose to
retreat. If the defender still has at least one unit in the
area, the attacker may then choose to retreat. Note that
when retreating, a player may choose to retreat some or
all of his units involved in the battle.
If both sides have armies in the area after the opportunity
to retreat, another round of battle is fought.
This procedure is repeated until only one nation occupies
the area (or they are both eliminated at the same time).
Where the Defender
Retreats
When the defending nation retreats, its units may have a
choice of areas to retreat to, and some may retreat to one
area while others retreat to another. Legal areas include:
1. Adjacent areas which are solely occupied by the
retreating nation’s units.
Page 12
2. Adjacent areas which are vacant and are not adjacent
to a land area occupied solely by the attacking nation’s
units (other than the battle area itself).
Adjacent areas also include areas connected to the battle
area by a strait. However, a unit at one end of a strait
does not prevent retreat to an area at the other end of the
strait (for example, an army in Devon does not prevent
an army from retreating from Dyfed to Gwent).
The defender may never retreat to:
1. A sea area.
2. Any area containing enemy units.
3. Any area from which the opposing armies entered the
battle area. This case includes armies that went through
the battle area as part of an overrun, but did not actually
participate in the battle in question.
The defender must observe stacking limits when retreating.
If no legal retreat area is available, the defender must
remain in the battle area and continue the battle.
Where the Attacker
Retreats
When the attacking nation retreats, its units must retreat
to the area(s) from which they entered the battle area. The
attacker must observe stacking limits when retreating.
Example: Three Saxon armies attack Essex, two coming from Kent and one from Sussex; one is eliminated
following battle, and the player decides to retreat. Both
surviving armies may go to Kent, or one to Kent and one
to Sussex, depending on which army the owning player
chooses to remove.
If the area the attacker came from contains an army of
another nation, the attacker cannot retreat to that area.
It must remain in the battle area and fight again. This
can occur when a group of attacking armies has moved
through an area containing opposing units via an overrun.
If an army attacks from a sea area, it must retreat to
the (land or sea) area in which it started its Movement
Phase.
Example: Five Norsemen armies are placed in the
Icelandic Sea during the start of round 11 (a Norsemen
Raiding turn). During the Norsemen Movement Phase,
the armies move to the North Sea, then land in York,
which is occupied by opposing units. During the ensuing
battle, if the Norsemen armies retreat, they must retreat
back to the Icelandic Sea.
Armies may only retreat back to sea on a Raiding turn
or during the first half of a Major Invasion. At any other
time, a retreat that would make the army end its nation
turn at sea is not allowed.
Things to Note About Retreating
Armies attacking an area via a Boat move may retreat
via a Boat move to the area they started the Boat move
in, provided that area is still unoccupied by another
nation.
The Raider Withdrawal Phase (which takes place after
all battles have been completed), is entirely different and
separate from retreats (which occur during the Battles/
Retreats Phase).
Phase IV: Raider
Withdrawal
During this phase Raiding armies may withdraw back to
the sea area they started the turn in – even if they have
already used up all their normal movement and engaged
in a battle, and even if there is not a clear path for them
to return to the appropriate sea area. The controlling
player simply picks up any Raiding armies that he wants
to withdraw off the board and places them in the sea area
they started in. Raiding armies are thus able to invade
from the sea, fight battles, and withdraw back to the sea
in the same turn.
Phase V:
Overpopulation
Leader Movement
The last phase of each nation turn is the Overpopulation
Phase. (Exception: The Romans are not subject to overpopulation.) During this phase, the controlling player
counts 1) the number of land areas it occupies and 2) the
number of armies occupying these land areas. Armies at
sea do not count towards overpopulation (these armies
are considered to have temporarily returned to their
homelands). If the number of armies occupying land
areas is greater than two times the number of land areas
occupied, the excess armies must be removed.
For example, if a nation occupies four land areas, it can
have no more than eight armies in those areas at the end
of its Overpopulation Phase. The controlling player must
remove excess armies until the state of overpopulation
no longer exists. However, no area can be emptied during removal, nor can a player remove more armies than
are required to end overpopulation.
Leaders
At various points in the game, as indicated on the
Timeline and the Nation Cards, some nations will
receive leaders. A leader represents a single individual of
extraordinary ability and authority.
Some leaders start in a sea zone with invading armies,
and these leaders may be placed in the sea areas listed on
the Timeline at the start of the game round.
Other leaders do not have a starting area listed on the
Timeline. A leader whose location is not specified is
placed on the board at the end of the relevant nation’s
Population Increase Phase. Such a leader may be placed
in any area occupied by the nation’s units. If the starting location of a leader is not specified, and the leader’s
nation has no armies in any land areas, then that leader
may not enter play. (Exception: Arthur, see page 15.)
In some cases, special conditions (noted on the Timeline)
must be met before a leader can be brought into play.
Note: In two cases the Angles receive leaders only if
they occupy a particular area (Bernicia, North Mercia).
The Angles also receive the leader when a submitted
Brigante nation occupies the area (see page 17). The corresponding leader is not required to appear in that particular area, in any case.
A leader is removed from the board at the beginning of
its nation’s next turn before any Population Increase is
calculated. Thus a leader is on the board from the start
of its nation turn in one round until the start of its nation
turn in the following round – unless it is eliminated in
battle.
Exceptions: Harold the Saxon, Harald Hardrada of the
Norwegians, and William the Conqueror of the Normans
Page 13
1. An army that starts its movement with
a leader may move 3 spaces and does not
have to stop its movement when entering
difficult terrain.
2. The army in Bernicia may get the
movement benefits provided from the
leader as long as the army spends all of
its movement with the leader.
all enter play in Round 15 and remain in play (unless
killed) until the end of Round 16.
Leaders and Movement
A leader is not an army and does not count for purposes
of overruns, Overpopulation, or stacking limits.
A leader may never be in an area without armies of his
nation accompanying him. A leader may move three
areas, but may never enter an area that is not occupied by armies of his nation unless one or more armies
accompany him. If an area is emptied of friendly armies
(by retreat or movement), the leader must move out with
these armies.
Any armies accompanying leaders may move three
areas and need not stop when entering a difficult terrain area. This is an exception to the normal movement
rule. Moving across a strait still stops the leader and
those with him. The armies must accompany the leader
for their entire move in order for them to gain these
movement advantages.
Example: A leader starting in Bernicia with two armies
may move to York and pick up two more armies and then
continue with a total of four armies through (empty)
Lindsey to Norfolk. The armies in York may not have
moved prior to being picked up by the leader, nor may
they continue moving after entering Norfolk.
An army using Boat movement and accompanied by
a leader may still only move through one sea area, but
may move an additional land area before or after landing. For example, an army and leader in Lothian using
Boat movement could move to the North Sea, then to
York, then to North Mercia.
Leaders and Battle
When a leader is present during a battle, add one to the
die roll of each army and burh of the leader’s nation in
the battle. Leaders are not armies, so no die is rolled
for them. A leader is immediately eliminated in battle if
combat losses leave the leader without other units of his
nation in the area, even if there are no opposing armies
remaining. No dice roll is required.
A leader can retreat alone before the last army of his
nation is eliminated in battle, but only to an adjacent
area that is occupied solely by units of his nation.
The Romans
and the
Romano-British
The Romans are different from other nations in many
ways. As noted previously, Roman armies can move
three areas per turn, and are more powerful in battle. As
discussed under “Stacking Limits” on page 9, Romans
can have any number of armies in each non-difficult terrain area and up to four in each difficult terrain area. In
addition, the Romans are not subject to overpopulation,
and skip the Overpopulation Phase on their nation turn.
The Romans are different from other nations in a few
other ways, discussed below.
Increase Phase of the Roman nation turn. They receive
one reinforcement. In Round 5 they have 9 armies (one
was eliminated), so they receive no reinforcements.
Designer’s Note: This table not only reflects the decreasing size
of the Roman army, but the decrease in the fighting capability
of that army following the Empire’s crisis of the third century.
Roman reinforcements are placed in the English Channel
during the Population Increase Phase of the Roman
nation turn, and during the Movement Phase they must
move to a land area adjacent to the English Channel (and
may continue to move from there).
Roman Legion Withdrawal in
Round II
In Round 2, at the end of the Roman nation turn, if there
are more than 12 Roman armies in play, the controlling
player must remove armies to reduce the number to 12.
Designer’s Note: This represents the withdrawal of one legion
in AD 84/85, leaving three.
Roman Forts
The Romans build forts, which provide three advantages:
1) They act as normal (not Roman) armies in battle, 2)
they represent networks of Roman roads, and 3) they
score points for the player controlling the Romans at the
end of Round 5. Several nations also receive points for
destroying Roman forts.
When a Roman army becomes the sole occupant of any
area for the first time, even if only moving through, and
even if the Romans cannot score points for the area, a
Roman fort is immediately built there. This fort acts as
a normal army (not Roman army) that cannot move.
Any Roman armies in an area must be eliminated by an
attacker before the fort may be eliminated. Thus a die
roll of 5 will not eliminate the fort unless any Roman
armies present are eliminated by rolls of 6. (See “Phase
III: Battles/Retreats” on pages 11-13.)
A fort is built only the first time the area is occupied by
the Romans. If a Roman fort is eliminated in battle, do
not remove it from the board, but instead flip it over to
its “destroyed” side as a reminder that a Roman fort has
already been built in that area.
Roman Reinforcements
Roman forts do no count toward stacking limits.
As a professional army based on the continent, the
Romans do not Increase Population as other nations do,
but they do receive reinforcements during the Population
Increase Phase.
Designer’s Note: The Roman forts partially represent the ability of the Romans to protect “civilization” in Britain. If an area
is ravaged by enemies, then the Romans have failed, and the
destroyed fort represents that failure. This is why forts cannot
be rebuilt, and why destroyed forts do not score Limes points.
The number of Roman reinforcements depends on how
many Roman armies remain in play, as follows:
Roman Roads
Example: In Round 2, there are 12 Roman armies in
play. They receive no reinforcements. Later, in Round 4,
there are 9 Roman armies in play during the Population
Roman forts also signify the appearance and maintenance of Roman roads. If a Roman army moves from a
fort area to an adjacent fort area, it doesn’t count against
Page 14
that army’s capability to move three areas. If it moves
from a non-fort area to an adjacent fort, or from a fort
area to an adjacent non-fort area, it does count as one of
the army’s three moves.
Example: There are Roman forts in Essex, Suffolk,
Lindsey, York, and Pennines. A Roman army in Cheshire
moves to York, using up one of its three movements. It
then uses the roads to move down to Essex, and then
moves to Kent, using its second movement. It chooses not
to move a third area.
A Roman fort does not provide the Roman roads capability in the phase during which it is built. However,
forts built during the first half of the Roman Major
Invasion in Round 1 do provide road movement during
the second half of the invasion.
If a Roman fort is destroyed, the Roads capability in that
area is lost forever.
Difficult terrain areas with Roman forts are considered
to have Roman roads. However, if a Roman army moves
into a difficult terrain area containing a fort, from an area
that does not contain a fort, it may move farther via the
forts/roads but may not move on to a non-fort area (thus
reflecting its move into the difficult terrain earlier).
Example: A Roman army in Cumbria moves to Pennines
(difficult terrain). It can then move via the chain of forts
to one of the areas occupied by a fort, but cannot move
Roman Movement
1. A Roman army may move up to 3 spaces
instead of the normal 2.
2. The Roman army first moves one space,
from Wessex to Sussex. Using Roman
roads, the Roman army does not have to
spend any movement to go from Sussex to
Essex. It uses its two remaining moves to
move to Suffolk and then to North Mercia.
3. The Roman army does not get road
movement benefits from the destroyed fort.
Arthur
In Round 7, the Romano-British
receive a leader, Arthur, and
two cavalry units, which may be
placed at the end of the Population
Increase Phase.
Arthur and his cavalry must be
placed together. They may be
placed in any area containing
Roman-British armies, or any
vacant land area south of Cumbria,
Pennines, and Bernicia. Arthur and
his cavalry are the only units in
the game that can enter the game
in a vacant land area. If there are
no Romano-British armies on the
board and no eligible vacant areas,
Arthur and his cavalry may not be
placed. Arthur and his cavalry may
be placed without regard to stacking limits, and may be placed even
if there are no Romano-British
armies on the board.
At the beginning of Round 8,
Arthur is removed from the board
and his cavalry are replaced with
infantry armies. If there are already
eight Romano-British infantry
armies on the board, the cavalry
pieces may be used to represent
infantry, thus circumventing the
usual Romano-British maximum
number of infantry armies.
farther because its move into the difficult terrain was not
via the Roman roads.
If a player wishes to move a Roman army across both
Roman roads and a strait, the following rule applies: A
Roman army that crosses a strait may use road movement on either one end of the strait, but not both. No
other movement can be combined with strait crossing.
So a Roman can use road movement (only) before crossing, but must then stop, or it can cross the strait as the
first step of its movement and then use road movement
(only) after crossing.
See “Welsh, Brigante, and Pict Submission to Roman
Rule,” for details regarding Roman roads in submitted
areas.
Roman Scoring in Rounds I-III
The Romans score points for occupying areas during
their nation turn in Rounds 1-3. Like other nations, the
Romans are considered to occupy an area if at any time
during their nation turn they are the sole nation with
units in an area. Like other nations, the Romans may
only score for occupying each area once. It is easy to
keep track of which areas the Romans have occupied,
since there will be either an intact fort or a destroyed fort
in each such area.
The Romans may also score points for occupying areas
in Rounds 1-3 if another nation submits to the Romans
(see below) during these rounds. When the submission
is declared, the Romans immediately score points for the
areas occupied by the now-subject nation. If the nation
later occupies a new area while still in submission to the
Romans, the Romans score points as if they occupied the
area at that time.
Limes at the End of Round V
Limes is the name given by the Romans to their defensive lines/walls such as Hadrian’s Wall and the “Saxon
Shore” forts, which were built as defenses against barbarian raids. Instead of scoring normal holding points
at the end of Round 5, the Romans score points at the
end of Round 5 for each area listed on their Nation Card
that is either (a) occupied by an intact Roman fort, or (b)
occupied by a subject nation (see below).
Welsh, brigante, and Pict
Submission to Roman Rule
When the Welsh, Brigantes, or Picts occupy five, three,
or three areas or fewer, respectively, they may submit to
Roman rule, but only during a Roman turn. This submission can only occur while Roman armies are still on the
board.
During the Roman nation turn, these nations may declare
submission after any battle finishes, or after any round
of battle (the effects of the dice rolls are still applied), or
after any Roman Movement Phase. Any Roman armies
stationed in an area held by a subject nation when submission is declared must move immediately to any adjacent
Roman-occupied or vacant area(s). If they are then in an
area with a fort, they can take advantage of Roman road
movement to move farther.
If there is no Roman-occupied or vacant area adjacent,
the armies can be moved to any Roman-occupied area(s)
adjacent to any area occupied by the submitting nation.
If there is still none, they can be moved to any vacant
area(s) adjacent to any area occupied by the submitting
nation. If none of these apply, then the armies are eliminated owing to the incompetent leadership!
Submitting has the following effects:
1. In Rounds 1-3, the Romans may immediately gain victory points for the areas occupied by the subject nation, as
if the Romans occupied the area themselves. The Romans
may not then later receive points for occupying those
areas (since a nation can only score for occupying an area
Page 15
once). However, they may receive victory points for the
areas held by the subject nation at the end of Round 5 (see
“Limes at the End of Round 5,” above).
2. The Romans can no longer attack the subject nation,
and the subjects cannot attack the Romans or other Roman
subjects. Subject armies can attack other nations not subjected to the Romans, and can occupy vacant areas (even
ones that contain a destroyed Roman fort).
3. Subject nations receive only half the usual population
points (round halves up). However, each turn the Roman
player may allow subjects to Increase Population fully (so
that the subjects can fight off mutual enemies).
4. Subject nations receive only half the victory points for
holding areas that they would normally earn at the end of
Round 5 (round halves up).
5. Subject nations cannot abandon (leave vacant at the end
of their movement) any area they occupy at the beginning
of movement unless permitted to do so by the Romans.
(This prevents a subject nation from depriving the
Romans of Limes points merely by abandoning an area.)
6. Roman armies can move freely through, but not end a
turn in, subject areas, and subject areas where there is no
destroyed Roman fort count as having Roman roads.
Subjection ends when the Romans leave, at the start of
Round 6 (see below).
Belgae Submission And
Boudicca's Revolt
The Belgae may submit to the Romans only on the
Roman nation turn of Round 1, if the Belgae are reduced
to four or fewer areas. The Belgae must “unsubmit”
on their own turn in Round 1 before their Population
Increase Phase (this represents Boudicca’s revolt).
Whether they submit or not, they place the leader
Boudicca and one army at the end of the Population
Increase Phase, without regard to stacking limits.
Roman Withdrawal in
Round vi and Placement of
Romano-British Armies
At the beginning of Round 6, the Romans do not take
a nation turn. Instead, the Romans leave Britain (in
order to help defend Italy and the Rhine frontier) and
the Romano-British nation enters play. Romano-British
armies are normal armies, and the Romano-British
nation has different victory point objectives from the
Romans.
The Romano-British do not perform the Population
Increase Phase in Round 6. Instead, the player controlling the Romano-British must replace eight surviving Roman forts in or south of York and Cheshire
with Romano-British armies. Any other Roman forts
(destroyed or intact) are removed from the board. If there
Tips
The first time you play Britannia, the
concept of controlling multiple nations, and
keeping track of their different victory point
objectives, can seem a little overwhelming.
However, there are only six nations on the
board during the first several game rounds,
so each player is only controlling one or two
nations at first. We suggest that new players
focus on just these nations’ objectives during
the first few rounds.
Please keep in mind that the strategies in
Britannia are deep and varied, and that the
“tips” on this page are only very general suggestions for players new to the game.
The Romans
The player controlling the Romans has the
most decisions to make during the early
rounds. The Romans begin the game with
16 armies in the English Channel, and the
Romans take their nation turn first. Further­
more, the Romans have a Major Invasion (see
page 10) on Round 1, meaning that all their
armies will move and attack twice. Before
moving any armies, the Roman player should
consult the Roman Nation Card to see what
the Romans’ victory point objectives are.
The Nation Card shows that the Romans
receive 6 victory points if the Belgae submit
to them on Round 1 (see page 15). The Belgae
may only submit if they are reduced to 4 or
fewer areas during the Round 1 Roman nation
turn, so the player controlling the Romans
could choose to attack the Belgae. However,
the player controlling the Belgae decides
whether they submit or not; the Romans cannot force submission.
Looking a little further ahead, the Nation Card
indicates that the Romans receive victory
points for occupying certain areas in Rounds
1-3 (see page 15). Looking at the map, the
player controlling the Romans should note
that they receive more points for occupying
northern areas than for southern areas. For
example, the Romans score four victory points
for occupying Mar, compared to only one for
Gwynedd and other more southern areas. So
the player controlling the Romans may want
to push north, hoping to occupy high-scoring
for
Your First Game
territories by the end of the Roman nation turn
on Round 3.
On the other hand, the player controlling
the Romans may also try to get the Welsh,
the Brigantes, or the Picts to submit to the
Romans (see page 15), so that he can receive
points for the areas these nations occupy.
Finally, the Romans score points for limes
(see page 15) at the end of Round 5. The player controlling the Romans may want to try to
build forts in as many areas and possible, and
keep them from being destroyed, to maximize
the Romans’ scoring opportunity in Round 5.
The player controlling the Romans should also
remember the advantages the Romans have in
battle (see page 11) and the extra mobility they
have from being able to move three areas and
from Roman roads (see pages 14-15).
The Brigantes
The player controlling the Brigantes begins
with relatively few units on the board, at least
compared to the Romans. Still, he should try
to get the maximum number of victory points
from them.
The Brigante Nation Card shows that the
Brigantes receive points for eliminating
Roman armies and forts, so the player controlling the Brigantes may want to focus on
attacking the Romans.
However, the player controlling the Brigantes
should also be aware of which territories the
Brigantes score the most for holding at the
end of Round 5: Strathclyde and Galloway.
The controlling player may want to focus on
getting armies into these areas, and holding
them, rather than throwing all the Brigantes’
strength at the Romans.
The Welsh score points in Round 5 for holding areas in Wales, so they may want to focus
on defending them.
The Caledonians do not score points for eliminating Roman units. In fact, they only score
for holding certain areas during the scoring
rounds highlighted on the Timeline. The
Caledonians face a unique challenge in that
all their units are in areas with difficult terrain. The player controlling the Caledonians
should think about the best way to keep hold
of the more northern areas, such as Orkneys
and Hebrides, that score the most points for
the Caledonians.
The Belgae and the Picts
As mentioned above, the Belgae may submit
to the Romans if it appears that the Romans
may eliminate too many Belgae units. Even
if the Belgae do submit during the Roman
nation turn in Round 1, they unsubmit during
their own nation turn (see page 15).
Furthermore, the Belgae leader Boudicca and
one Belgae army enter the game during the
Population Increase Phase of their Round 1
nation turn, which will help them in battle
against the Romans. This Belgae army may be
placed in any area with Belgae units, without
regard to stacking limits (page 15). Keep in
mind that the Belgae score 6 points for eliminating Roman armies and forts in Round 1,
but fewer points thereafter.
The Picts receive points for eliminating
Roman armies and forts, and for holding certain areas at the end of the scoring rounds.
The player controlling the Picts should also
note that the Picts have Raiding turns in
Rounds 4 and 5. The Picts follow special rules
for Raiding, as described on page 10.
The Welsh and the Caledonians
Looking Ahead
Like the Brigantes, the Welsh score points for
eliminating Roman armies and forts. They
also receive 2 victory points for eliminating the Saxon leader Aelle, but the Timeline
shows that Aelle does not enter the game until
Round 6.
As players become familiar with the game,
they should look ahead on the Timeline and
Nation Cards to see when their other nations
appear, and what those nations’ objectives are.
Page 16
Please visit
www.fantasyflightgames.com
for more strategy tips.
Brigante Submission
The Angles are the only other nation
besides the Romans that may have another
nation – the Brigantes – submit to them.
Brigante submission to the Angles is also
unique in that the effects of submission
are different in some areas compared to
others.
The Brigantes may only submit to the
Angles once the Romans have left.
They may only submit to the Angles if
in Scotland, but also including the area
of Galloway, the Brigantes only occupy
one or two areas. It does not matter if
the Brigantes occupy other areas outside
Scotland (except for Galloway).
Designer’s Note: There were actually several
British nations in the area for a time (Rheged
and Gododdin were some others). This rule
allows the Angles to, in effect, eliminate the
non-Strathclyde nations, leaving the British
nation of Strathclyde.
are fewer than eight forts left, then Roman armies in or
south of York and Cheshire are replaced by RomanoBritish armies, without regard to stacking limits, until
there are eight Romano-British armies on the board. Any
remaining Roman armies are then removed from the
board. No Romano-British army can be placed north of
York and Cheshire, regardless of the location of forts and
Roman armies. If there are not enough Roman forts and
armies in the permitted areas, then the Romano-British
will have fewer than eight armies.
The Romano-British perform the Population Increase
Phase as normal after Round 6. The Romano-British also
receive a leader, Arthur, in Round 7. See the sidebar on
page 15.
The Romano-British and
Submitted Nations
Until the beginning of Round 8, the Romano-British
cannot attack any nation that submitted to the Romans
unless that nation has already attacked the RomanoBritish. If such an attack happens in Rounds 6 or 7,
the Romano-British may attack the formerly submitted
nation who attacked, and score points for eliminating
armies of that nation (as they do for Angles, Saxons,
and Jutes) until the beginning of Round 8.
to the
Angles
The effects of submission are as described
for the Romans with one exception. The
Angles can score victory points at the end
of Round 7 and Round 10 for all Briganteoccupied areas, and the Brigantes will
score half victory points for their areas.
They will gain half or full population
points (depending on the Angle choice)
for all their areas. However, unlike the
Romans and their subject nations, the
Angles are not allowed to move through
Brigante-occupied spaces.
Once the Brigantes submit, none of their
armies may attack the Angles; but Angles
can attack Brigante-occupied areas in
Wales and England (except Galloway),
and Brigantes there will fight back. Also,
the Brigantes may freely vacate those
areas without permission.
Submission ends at the end of Round
12, or when all Angle armies have been
eliminated.
Because the Belgae rebel against the Romans even if
they originally submitted, the Romano-British may
freely attack the Belgae.
Other Rules
This section covers finer rules points as well as rules that
apply to certain nations at particular points in the game.
Negotiations
Players are likely to wish to discuss cooperation with
other players. Unfortunately, discussions of this kind
tend to lengthen the game, and many Britannia players prefer to have no negotiations at all. Consequently,
players may discuss strategy and negotiate agreements
only while another player is taking his turn, and only
over the board (no secret negotiations). No deal can be
binding, that is, “backstabbing” is perfectly legal (and
encouraged – to discourage deal-making!).
Tracking
Occupied Areas
Each nation except the Danes may only score points
for occupying a given area once, as described on page
6. Keeping track of which areas a nation has already
occupied isn’t a problem for the Norwegians and the
Normans, since they may only score occupy points in
Round 15.
Page 17
However, the Welsh are able to score points for occupying York in both Rounds 8 and 9, and the Norsemen are
able to score points for occupying several areas from
the time they enter the game in Round 11 through to the
end of the game. To keep track of whether these nations
have occupied a given area, players may want to place
the victory point tokens that the Welsh or Norsemen
receive for occupying these areas in the area itself, and
then later remove them to the Nation Card at the end of
Round 9 for the Welsh and the end of Round 16 for the
Norsemen.
Remember, however, that the Norsemen may score
points for holding areas in Rounds 13 and 16 even if
they have already scored for occupying the areas.
Saxon Burhs
In Rounds 12 and 13, the Saxons may choose to build
burhs, fortified dwellings, during their Population
Increase Phase. Each burh costs just two population
points – one third the cost of a normal army. Only one
burh may be in an area (if one is destroyed, another may
be built there), and no burh may be in difficult terrain.
The number of burhs that can be built on a turn is limited, and a Saxon that is doing well may be unable to
build any at all. The maximum number of burhs that the
Saxon may build is equal to eight minus the number of
areas held by Saxons. So if, at the Population Increase
Phase, the Saxon occupies six areas, he can build no
more than two burhs (eight minus six).
Burhs cannot move. A burh fights as a normal army
and counts as a normal army for purposes of Population
Increase, Overpopulation, stacking limits, overruns
and the maximum total number of armies (20) that the
Saxons may have in play at any time.
Burhs can remain on the board until the end of the game.
However, in Rounds 14 through 16, if there is a battle
involving a burh in which Saxons take a loss, the burh
must be lost first.
Designer’s Note: At this period the Vikings did not have the
siege equipment or experience to take fortified places. The
Saxons regularly manned the burhs, helping provide quickreaction forces. While the burhs did not cause the defeat of the
Danes, they did assure that the Saxons would survive, as finally
the “Great Army” gave up and settled down to farming. As the
Saxons retook parts of England, they built additional burhs to
hold areas.
The scale of the game makes it impossible to show the intricacies of this warfare. By the time of renewed serious Danish
invasions, the Danes were able to take such fortified places
(only London could hold out), so no new burhs can be built
then and they will gradually disappear from the game.
The limit on the number of burhs can be interpreted two ways:
1) If the Saxons are doing very well, why would they develop a
new type of fortification? 2) The rule is intended to help prop
up weak Saxons for the end game, not help strong ones!
The Bretwalda
At the end of Rounds 8, 9, and 10, nations vote for a
“Bretwalda” (overlord) of England.
Designer’s Note: The Bretwalda is not the king of the entire
country, but is a king of a region within the country who is
acknowledged lord of the kings of the other regions. The “subordinate” kings might pay tribute (or, more likely, give presents), but the Bretwaldaship is more prestige than substance. A
single battle could result in a change of Bretwalda. Battles and
wars commonly took place despite recognition of a Bretwalda.
When the Bretwalda died, a struggle among several kings for
the succession often followed. Nevertheless, the Bretwalda
often came from the same nation for several generations. At
other times there was no Bretwalda at all. The Bretwalda was
largely an Anglo-Saxon institution, and hence ceased to exist
once the Danes started overrunning large parts of England.
Each nation has one “vote” for each English area it
occupies. At the end of the round nations cast their votes
for which nation they choose as Bretwalda. Players may
only vote for a nation that controls an area in England.
A nation’s vote cannot be divided, nor can it abstain. If
one nation gains a majority (that is, more than half) of
the votes cast, then that nation claims the Bretwalda.
The nation gains four victory points, even if this is not
stated on their Nation Card.
Note: If the Brigantes have submitted to the Angles (see
the sidebar on page 17), Brigante-occupied Galloway
must vote with the Angles. Any other Brigante-occupied
English areas can vote as the player controlling the
Brigantes sees fit.
In most cases it will not be necessary to have a secret
ballot, but any player may call for a secret ballot, and
then each player writes down (secretly, of course) his
votes, to be revealed simultaneously.
The King
The Danish Turn in Round 11
The Danes enter the game in Round 11, with Raiding
armies in both the North Sea and the Frisian Sea. These
armies represent the series of raids that the Danes made
on Britain in the thirty years prior to the more organized
invasion of the “Great Army” of Danes in 865. The
Great Army’s invasion is represented in the game by the
Danes’ Major Invasion in Round 12.
In Round 11, two special rules apply to the Danes. First,
their armies must return to sea, as stated on the Timeline
and the Danes’ Nation Card. The armies may return to
the sea area they started their nation turn in via any of the
three ways discussed under “Raiding Turns” (page 10).
Second, the Danes may score points in Round 11 for the
areas they occupy. Normally, when a nation is eligible
to score points for occupying areas, as indicated on its
Nation Card, the nation may score points whenever it
is the sole nation with units in the area, as discussed
on pages 5-6. However, in Round 11, the Danes only
score for areas they occupy at the start of their Raider
Withdrawal Phase: They cannot score points for merely
moving through empty areas. (In Round 12, however, the
Danes score points for occupying certain areas according to the normal rules, and they can score again for the
areas they earned occupy points for in Round 11.)
The Danish Turn in
Round 14 and King Cnut
During the Raider Withdrawal Phase of the Danish
nation turn in Round 14, any four Danish armies plus
the leader Cnut must be removed from the board
(they return to Denmark). No route is needed – they
simply disappear. If, when placing the six invading
Danish armies at the beginning of Round 14, there are
not enough armies to place all six, the difference is subtracted from the four armies that the Danes must remove
at the end of the Danish nation turn. For example, if only
three armies can invade (shortfall of three), only one
army needs to be withdrawn at the end of the Danish
nation turn instead of four.
About the time the Viking raids began, political integration and social development progressed to the point
that one man could call himself King of England. In the
game, at the end of Rounds 11, 12, 13, and 14, if any
nation occupies twice as many areas in England as any
other nation (minimum of 4), that nation claims Kingship
of England. If no nation meets these criteria, there is no
King. There is no determination of King at the end of
Round 15, owing to the succession crisis depicted in the
last two rounds.
Immediately prior to the Raider Withdrawal Phase of the
Danish turn in Round 14 (just before the withdrawal of
Cnut and his armies), if the Danes hold twice as many
areas in England as any other nation, and Cnut is alive,
Cnut becomes King and the Danes gain eight victory
points. The Danes do not receive an army for Cnut being
King. Normal kingship is still decided normally at the end
of the round. Thus, there can be two Kings in Round 14.
The King’s nation gains eight victory points and
an extra infantry unit, which is immediately placed
on the board according to the placement rules for the
Population Increase Phase.
There is no kingship in Round 15. In Round 16 the kingship is determined at the end of the turn by the usual
rules, but only Harold, William, Harald Hardrada, and
Svein Estrithson are eligible (if alive). If all but one of
these leaders are dead, however, the surviving one auto-
The King in Round 16
Page 18
matically becomes King. Ten victory points are given
for this endgame kingship.
Important: If some nation other than the ones mentioned above holds twice as many areas as the prospective King’s nation, there is no king in Round 16.
Round XVI Special
Reinforcements
In Round 16, the Norwegians, the Normans, and the
Saxons each receive special reinforcements. These armies
are placed on the board at the beginning of Round 16,
not during the nation turns, and these armies are in addition to any armies these three nations receive during the
Population Increase Phases of their nation turns.
Norwegians
The Norwegians receive one additional reinforcing
army, in the North Sea, for each area that they occupy.
The Norwegians receive no special reinforcements if
Harald Hardrada is not in play.
Normans
The Normans receive reinforcing armies in the English
Channel according to the areas occupied by them at the
end of Round 15: one for Essex, one for Wessex, one for
Hwicce, and one for South Mercia. They gain three if
Harold the Saxon is not in play at the end of the Norman
nation turn in Round 15. All of these are infantry armies,
but the Normans can choose to take cavalry armies at the
rate of one cavalry army in place of two infantry armies.
For example, if the Normans were due to receive three
infantry armies, the controlling player could elect
to take one cavalry army and one infantry army
(assuming that these armies were available from
the supply). The Normans receive no special
reinforcements if William is not in play.
Saxons
The Saxons receive reinforcing
armies according to the areas
occupied by them at the end
of Round 15: one for every
two areas in England (round
down) provided that Harold
the Saxon is in an English
area. These armies must
be placed in English
areas. The Saxons
receive no special reinforcements if Harold is not
in an English area.
Reinforcements are placed in
order of normal play. If there
are not enough unused armies
for all of these reinforcements,
the excess are lost, even if more armies become available later in the turn.
Player 1: the Romans, the Romano-British, the Scots, the
Dubliners, the Danes, and the Jutes.
The Jutes (2 armies): Kent, Essex.
Regardless of whether these nations receive special
reinforcements or not (because their leader is alive
or dead), they still perform their Population Increase
Phase normally.
Player 2: the Belgae, the Welsh, the Picts, the Angles,
and the Normans.
The Angles (3 armies): Lindsey, Norfolk, Suffolk.
Winning the Game
At the end of the game each player adds together the
number of victory points that each of his nations has
scored. The player with the most victory points wins the
game.
Strategy Notes
Britannia is different from many other games insofar
as it is never immediately obvious which player is
winning. At any time, any player may ask for, and must
be given, the current point total for any nation or player.
Each player accumulates points at a different rate, some
scoring many points early (such as the player controlling
the Romans), some scoring many later in the game (such
as the player controlling the Danes). Experienced players
will learn to recognize who is doing better or worse than
the average. If one player is clearly doing better than
anyone else, the others may try to gang up on the leader.
In a game of this scope it is impossible to force players to do exactly as their nations did historically, but the
game is arranged so that a player who indulges in bizarre
moves, from a historical viewpoint, will fail to score
many points. Moreover, because there are several players, each player is, in effect, outnumbered. If a player
makes an ill-considered move in order to hurt another
player, he will hurt himself as well, and the remaining
player(s) will benefit. In the process of following his historical objectives each player will have ample chances to
hinder his opponents.
BRITANNIA with
Three or Five
Players
When playing Britannia with three or five players,
all the rules of play remain the same. However, the way
the nations are divided among the players is different
than in the four-player game. Since the game components are color-coded for the four-player game, in the
three- and five-player games players will control pieces
of more than one color, and players must use the Nation
Cards to remember which player controls which nation.
Three-Player Game
In a three-player game, the nations are divided as
follows:
Player 3: the Brigantes, the Caledonians, the Irish, the
Norsemen, the Norwegians, and the Saxons.
Five-Player Game
In a five-player game, the nations are divided as follows:
Player 1: the Romans, the Romano-British, the Scots,
and the Norwegians.
Player 2: the Welsh, the Danes, and the Jutes.
Player 3: the Brigantes, the Irish, the Norsemen, and the
Normans.
Player 4: the Belgae, the Picts, and the Angles.
Player 5: the Caledonians, the Dubliners, and the Saxons.
Game Variants and
Optional Rules
Shorter game variants and optional rules are discussed
below.
Shorter Three-Player
Variant
This version for three players begins after the Romans
have left Britain, and ends with the attacks of the
Vikings. It takes about half as long to play as the standard four-player game.
The nations are divided as follows:
Player 1: the Romano-British, the Welsh, the Brigantes,
the Caledonians, and the Danes.
Player 2: the Picts, the Irish, the Norsemen, the Saxons.
The Saxons (2 armies): Sussex, Wessex.
The game begins in Round 6, using the normal invaders
on that round per the Timeline, and continues until the
end of Round 13. The setup is not exactly representative
of 430, as far as we know it, but does depict some of the
settlements already made by the new invaders around the
coasts of Britain.
Remember, there is no Romano-British Population
Increase Phase in Round 6. The Brigantes and the Welsh
are treated as having been submitted to the Romans.
Since the Romano-British player also controls these two
nations, no points may be scored by the Romano-British
for eliminating their armies. Furthermore, to show their
tolerance of Anglo-Saxon federates, on Round 6 the
Romano-British may not attack the Jutes, Saxons, or
Angles (but the Romano-British defend normally against
attacks from these nations).
Two-Player Scenarios
The two-player scenarios are provided as a way to
become familiar with the game, or to allow players to
practice, when only two people are available. Inevitably,
chance can play a large part in the outcome of a twoplayer version. Owing to stylistic differences in how
people play Britannia, it is virtually impossible to
find an exact balance between two sides. Consequently,
these should be viewed as practice scenarios rather than
complete games.
Early Invaders vs. Inhabitants of Britain
Player 1: the Romans, the Caledonians, and the Scots.
Player 2: all other nations.
This scenario lasts only to the end of Round 5.
Player 3: the Scots, the Jutes, Angles, and the Dubliners.
Setup: As at the start of the four-player game.
The Romans, the Belgae, the Norwegians, and the
Normans are not used in this variant.
Special rules: The Belgae, the Welsh, the Brigantes,
and the Picts must submit to the Romans if they meet
the submission criteria. (This is because, in a short twoplayer game, these nations would prefer to fight to the
death if they could.)
Each nation places one infantry in each the following
areas:
The Romano-British (6 armies): Avalon, Downlands,
Hwicce, North Mercia, South Mercia, York.
The Welsh (7 armies): Cheshire, Clwyd, Devon, Gwent,
Gwynedd, March, Powys.
The Brigantes (6 armies): Bernicia, Cumbria,
Galloway, Lothian, Pennines, Strathclyde
The Caledonians (2 armies): Caithness, Orkneys.
The Picts (5 armies): Alban, Dunedin, Mar, Moray,
Skye.
The Irish (2 armies): Cornwall, Dyfed.
The Scots (2 armies): Dalriada, Hebrides.
Page 19
Germanic Invaders vs. Inhabitants of
Britain
Player 1: the Angles, the Irish, the Jutes, the Saxons, and
the Scots
Player 2: all other nations.
This scenario lasts from the start of Round 6 to the end
of Round 10.
Belgae pieces are used to represent additional RomanoBritish inhabitants, played separately from the RomanoBritish but under the same rules (no Population Increase
Phase in Turn 6, for example) and with the same victory
point objectives. Setup is as follows:
one at a time. Players may bid victory points in order to
get the group of nations they prefer.
The Romano-British (7 infantry): Avalon, Bernicia,
Cheshire, Hwicce, March, Wessex, York
Randomly determine which player bids first, with bidding passing around the table to the left. Use the Nation
Card from one nation from each group of nations being
bid on (for example, for the four-player game, use one
Nation Card of each color).
The “Belgae” (7 armies): Essex, Kent, North Mercia,
Norfolk, South Mercia, Suffolk, Sussex
The Welsh (6 armies): All areas of Wales except the
one occupied by the Irish.
The Brigantes (4 armies): Cumbria, Galloway, Lothian,
Strathclyde
The Caledonians (3 armies): Caithness, Hebrides,
Orkneys
The Picts (5 armies): Alban, Dunedin, Mar, Moray,
Skye
The Irish (1 army): Cornwall
The Scots (1 army): Dalriada
Empty areas: Downlands, Lindsey, Pennines
Vikings vs. the Inhabitants of Britain
Player 1: the Danes, the Dubliners, and the Norsemen
Player 2: all other nations.
This scenario lasts from start of Round 11 to the end of
Round 14.
Setup: Each nation places one infantry unit each in the
following areas:
The Welsh (4 armies): Cheshire, Clwyd, Gwent, Powys
The Brigantes (2 armies): Galloway, Strathclyde
The Caledonians (2 armies): Hebrides, Orkneys
The Picts (4 armies): Alban, Caithness, Mar, Moray
The Irish (1 army): Cornwall
The Scots (3 armies): Dalriada, Dunedin, Skye
The Saxons (5 armies): Avalon, Devon, Hwicce,
Sussex, Wessex
The Jutes (1 army): Kent
The Angles (8 armies): Bernicia, Essex, Lothian,
Norfolk, North Mercia, South Mercia, Suffolk, York
Empty areas: Cumbria, Downlands, Dyfed, Gwynedd,
Lindsey, March, Pennines
Bidding for Sides
Some gaming groups or individual players believe that
one combination of nations has a better chance of winning than others. To accommodate that point of view,
players may wish to allocate nations by the bidding
method described below. Note that players are still
restricted to using the combination of nations described
for the three-, four-, and five-player games as listed in
these rules. The players are bidding for which group of
nations they will control, not auctioning off each nation
The first bidder selects the Nation Card representing the
group of nations he wants to play. He places it in front
him and announces the bid he wishes to make on that
group of nations. A bid may be zero, one, or more points.
Place victory point tokens on the card to indicate the bid.
The second player may either select an unselected
Nation Card (placing a bid of zero or more on it) or raise
the bidding on the already-selected Nation Card. If he
chooses the latter, he must raise the bid by at least one.
The third player may choose an unselected card or raise
the bidding on an already-selected card, and so on.
When the bidding comes around to a player who has
a card in front of him, that player must pass. Once all
players have passed, the bidding ends.
Each bid represents the number of victory points the
player is willing to lose at the end of the game if he is
able to play the group in question. So when bidding is
over, if a player’s bid for his selected group of nations is
two, he will subtract two victory points from his total at
the end of the game. Write these numbers down, and put
the victory point tokens used for bidding in the main pile
with the rest of the victory point tokens.
Example (standard four-player game): Steve, Torben,
Jim, and Roseanna sit around a table in that order.
Steve is going to bid first. He takes the Nation Card for
group 4 and places it in front of him (this is a bid of zero
points). Torben takes the card for group 2, but thinking
others might want it, he places one victory point token
on it in hopes of discouraging further bidding for that
group. Jim takes the card for group 4 from Steve and
puts one token on it. Roseanna takes the card for group
3 and places no tokens on it. Steve could then take the
card for group 1, ending the bidding, but he takes the
card for group 3 from Roseanne and places a bid of one
on it. Torben and Jim pass, since they have a card in
front of them. Roseanna, however, takes the group 3 card
from Torben and puts another token on it, making it a
bid of two. Steve passes. Torben then decides to take the
card for group 1.
The result: Steve plays group 3 at the cost of one victory
point, Torben plays group 1 at no cost, Jim plays group
4 at the cost of one victory point, and Roseanna plays
group 2 at the cost of two victory points.
If all the players agree, they can speed up the bidding
procedure by requiring a minimum amount by which
players must outbid one another, for example, 5 points.
Initial bids may still be any value, including zero.
Page 20
Complete Unit List
Each nation is limited in how many infantry and cavalry
units it may have on board by the number of components
supplied in the game. The Romans are not limited by
the number of forts provided (although it is unlikely they
will need more than 24). The rules governing Saxon
burhs (see page 17) limit the number of burhs that may
be built to 6. Below is a full list of each nation’s playing
pieces.
Romans: 16 infantry, 24 forts
Romano-British: 8 infantry, 2 cavalry, Arthur
Belgae: 10 infantry, Boudicca
Welsh: 13 infantry
Brigantes: 11 infantry, Urien
Caledonians: 7 infantry
Picts: 10 infantry
Irish: 8 infantry
Scots: 11 infantry, Fergus Mor Mac Erc
Norsemen: 10 infantry, Ketil Flatnose
Dubliners: 9 infantry, Olaf Guthfrithsson
Danes: 18 infantry, Ivar and Halfdan, Cnut, Svein
Estrithson
Norwegians: 12 infantry, Harald Hardrada
Saxons: 20 infantry, 8 burhs, Aelle, Egbert, Alfred,
Edgar, Harold
Jutes: 6 infantry
Angles: 17 infantry, Ida, Oswiu, Offa
Normans: 8 infantry, 4 cavalry, William
Designer’s Notes
Britannia is essentially a four-player game.
Everything in the design was created with four players in
mind. Nonetheless, it can be played with numbers other
than four, and in scenarios shorter than the entire game.
Additional scenarios and versions of the game will be
posted on the World Wide Web at
www.fantasyflightgames.com
and
http://PulsipherGames.com/britannia.htm.
This game is different from the first editions of the
game, but matches the original intent of the designer
and adds more “historicity” without changing playability. One of the biggest differences is that individual
armies are not “raiders” or “settlers”; the entire nation,
for decades or centuries, tends to raid. During the raiding period armies can always decide to stay in Britain
(settle) if circumstances warrant it. But when circumstances change and its time to settle, raiding is no longer
possible – “the party’s on” and the invaders must come
to stay.
There are significant differences between this version
and the earlier H. P. Gibsons and Avalon Hill versions
(which differed substantially from one another). The
text of the Avalon Hill version is available on the Web
at http://PulsipherGames.com/britannia.htm along with
the Gibsons rules. The only board change is in northern England; in the earlier versions, Cumbria, Lothian,
Pennines, and Galloway met at a point, and no army
could travel across that point.
We have tweaked the numbers of armies available to
nations, tweaked the appearance settings, and so forth.
There are substantial differences in the Roman invasion
(Roman roads, Boudicca’s revolt, and Roman reinforcements). The original version of rolling dice against
Romans and cavalry is used rather than the Avalon Hill
version. The endgame has been modified to make it
“Four Kings”* rather than three or two (Harold hardly
had a chance). We have discouraged grossly ahistorical
actions such as the “MacArthur” strategy and various
“hideout” strategies. But much of the effort went into
consolidating the several different sets of rules.
*There’s some literary license in the ending of this edition of Britannia. Svein Estrithson did not become
involved until William had conquered England. In other
words, the 1066 ending of the first edition is more strictly accurate historically, but for game purposes we wanted to have “Four Kings” at the end rather than three.
Historical notes
During World War II the British proudly proclaimed
that their island had not been (successfully) invaded
since 1066. Every British schoolboy knows the story
of 1066 and all that, even if he knows no other date in
British history. Yet before the famous “last invasion” of
William the Conqueror, the island of Great Britain was
the battleground for dozens of invading tribes, of great
movements which caught up entire peoples, sweeping them into the highlands or into oblivion. The game
Britannia depicts the violent age which began with
the establishment of the Roman province of Britanniae
after the second Roman invasion of 43 AD, and ended
with the firm imprint of Norman authority.
The first violent contact of the civilized world with what
was then a “barbarian” Celtic land was Julius Caesar’s
punitive expeditions of 55 and 54 BC. Although Caesar
defeated his enemies, he only intended to punish British
tribes that supported the Gauls of France. After accomplishing this he withdrew to complete the conquest of
Gaul. The Romans finally came to stay in 43 AD, partly
because the emperor Claudius desired some conquest to
add to his list of otherwise peaceful accomplishments,
and partly in response to calls for aid from British tribes
allied to Rome. Four well-organized Roman legions,
with auxiliary troops, rapidly conquered the south and
Midlands. Wales took longer to subdue. The tribes of
northern England became Roman allies. In 60-61, while
the Roman armies were fighting in Wales, many British
tribes rebelled under the leadership of the famous warrior queen Boudicca, who burned London and other
Romanized cities. Thousands were slaughtered, but
the legions experienced little difficulty in defeating the
revolt. A generation of peace followed.
When the Romans arrived, Britain was inhabited by
many independent Celtic and pre-Celtic tribes, including
some recent migrants from the Continent. In the game
they are somewhat arbitrarily divided into several large
groups. The Brigantes, who include the largest British
tribe, could just as well be called Strathclyders, for after
the Romans left the northerners maintained an independent state in Strathclyde for six centuries. Other Celtic
tribes became the people we know today as Welsh.
“Belgae” was the name given to migrants from the
Continent (especially Belgium), but southern England
was actually a welter of tribes and federations. Many
Celts were content if not eager to gain the advantages of
life within the Empire, and those who resisted failed to
cooperate effectively. In any case, the unmatched Roman
military system of professional legions and stone forts
was more than the ill-prepared barbarians could withstand.
Farther north, the more primitive Picts knew little of the
benefits of Roman civilization. They raided the south,
first by land and later by sea, and were never completely
subdued. In the far north of Britain dwelled peoples
Page 21
known collectively as the Broch Builders, after the round
stone towers which served as dwelling and fortress. In
the game these people are called Caledonians, though
this term was generally applied by the Romans to all
the unconquered people of northern Britain. Before the
Roman invasion they probably fought with the Picts, but
later the Picts turned south and the north experienced
economic decline into political oblivion.
The Romans extended their control with a campaign
beginning in 78 AD which completed the conquest of
northern England and led to the construction of fortifications in southern Scotland. The Roman general Agricola
claimed to have defeated the last organized Pictish resistance in 84, but for various reasons – lack of manpower,
lack of interest, a change in commanders – the Romans
gradually withdrew to northern England. During emperor
Hadrian’s reign (117-138) a wall was built across the
narrowest part of northern England to interfere with
Pictish raids. At first an earthen wall, it was later partially replaced with stone. The wall was not manned all
along its length, nor did it hold back Pictish sea-borne
raids, but it was an important part of the Roman system
of fortification which covered (and controlled) the country. Later a turf wall was constructed farther north, along
the line joining where Glasgow and Edinburgh now
stand, but during internal strife in the Empire late in the
century this Antonine Wall was abandoned.
Thenceforth most of Britain was blessed with peace,
with rare interludes when struggles among generals who
declared themselves emperor stripped the frontiers of
troops. Raids by Picts, Scotti from the west (who we
call Irish, to differentiate them from the more northern
Scotti that we call Scots), and Anglo-Saxons (including
Jutes, Franks, Frisians, and others) from Denmark and
Germany forced construction of additional defenses,
such as the “Saxon Shore” forts. These raids penetrated
beyond the border areas only once. However, the Empire
as a whole experienced a slow decline in influence
beyond its borders and power within.
and could not be called castles. The Normans brought
the art of castle building to England (though most castles
were wood and earth at this time, not stone), but that
occurred after the Conquest. The Normans also brought
armored cavalry to Britain, ending the dominance of
infantry in battle.
When Germanic barbarians threatened Gaul and Italy –
Rome was sacked in 410 – the Roman legions withdrew
from Britain, and emperor Honorius told the RomanoBritish people to look after their own defense until the
Romans could return – but they never returned. As the
Roman Empire crumbles history becomes uncertain.
Scholars disagree about dates, sequences of events, even
about the existence of important kings and the location of decisive battles. This is the true “Dark Age” in
Britain. Though disunited, the British managed to hold
off the Anglo-Saxon, Pict, and Irish invaders for a time.
Probably Saxons were invited to settle in Britain to help
the inhabitants fight invaders. At any rate, ultimately the
Anglo-Saxons turned on the British, and in the ensuing
war the basis of civilization was destroyed in Britain,
about 440-450. The British continued to fight, ultimately
under the leadership of the possibly historical king (or
perhaps “war leader”) Arthur. This culminated in a great
British victory which contained the Anglo-Saxons for
two generations. Arthur was probably a cavalry leader
but certainly not the romantic knight of later Welsh legend. After his death and the disintegration of political
unity among the British, additional invaders helped the
settled Anglo-Saxons complete the defeat of the inhabitants, who were subjugated or forced into the highlands
of Wales, Cornwall, and Scotland. Even Christianity
disappeared. Many Britons had migrated to Brittany in
France, while plague killed many others. By 600 the
Anglo-Saxons controlled most of England, and in the
next 200 years they gained the rest.
Of the survivors of the Anglo-Saxon invasions, the
Welsh maintained a fragmented independence until
they were more or less conquered by the English in the
late thirteenth century. The Cornish were conquered by
Wessex about 870, and the Strathclyders were finally
incorporated into Scotland about 1034.
In the far north, the Picts fought the Scottish invaders of
Dalriada (who originated in Ireland) to a standstill. But
the Picts were handicapped by their custom of inheritance descending through the female line; and finally a
Scottish king of Dalriada combined the two nations into
the kingdom of Alba or Scotland. The Scots predominated culturally, though the majority of the population was
Pictish. This kingdom absorbed part of Northumbria,
Lothian, in the late tenth century.
For two centuries after 600 the Anglo-Saxons fought
among themselves, with the Welsh and with the northerners, dividing into seven kingdoms known as the
Heptarchy: Kent, Sussex, Essex, East Anglia, and the
larger kingdoms of Northumbria, Mercia, and Wessex,
At first the kingdom of Kent, of Jutish and Frisian origins, held the upper hand, but soon the kingdoms of the
Angles gained the leadership of the Anglo-Saxons just as
the Viking raids began.
In each case, an individual king of one of the small kingdoms might dominate much of England, but the other
areas often retained their own kings and might throw off
foreign domination when the old Bretwalda died.
Something should be said about the nature of the invasions. While the Romans were highly organized and
could depend on reinforcements and supplies from the
Continent, later invaders tended to be unorganized bands
of barbarians looking for plunder or, rarely, for a place to
settle. The Anglo-Saxons and their contemporaries, and
later the Vikings, followed this pattern. Toward the end
of the period covered by the game invading groups were
better organized; they conducted real invasions under
acknowledged leaders instead of fragmented migrations
and piracy. The first of these was the “Great Army” of
the Danes which swept all before it until it broke up, and
later the invasions of Svein Forkbeard (not Estrithson)
and Cnut of Denmark, Harald the Ruthless (or “Stern
Council”) of Norway, and Duke William of Normandy.
By the time of Svein Forkbeard the Viking homelands
had become distinct centralized kingdoms which sent
deliberately equipped invading armies instead of just
groups of plundering freebooters.
After the Romans left, the art of fortification was largely
lost. Although the Danes and English of Wessex built
earthen fortified town/forts (“burhs”), these were rare
At first the Vikings came to plunder, going home each
autumn; but as organized resistance decreased they
began to establish bases in England, and finally they
settled permanently. The Vikings of Norway occupied
the Hebrides and Orkneys in the far north, and continued
down the west coast of Britain to settle in such diverse
areas as Cumbria and parts of Wales. Many of the settlers came by way of Ireland, where some Norwegians
established the kingdom of Dublin. The more numerous
Danes roamed along the east coast, occupying much of
northern England as well as parts of continental Europe,
especially Normandy. The Danish “Great Army,” probably commanded at one time by the sons of Ragnar
Lodbrok (Ivar and Halfdan, the “Danish Brothers”),
harried France and England for many years; they were
stopped by the Saxons only after the army split up, some
settling to the north.
At one point, nonetheless, Mercia was controlled by
the Danes, and King Alfred the Great of Wessex was in
hiding in the swamps of Somerset. But he managed to
gather an army and drive back the Danes, obtaining after
some years a treaty which divided England into Saxon
and Danish areas. Alfred’s successors gradually reconquered the Danish parts of the country (the “Danelaw”),
so that by 960 the king ruled most of England. But
Danes continued to come, though in decreasing numbers.
King Ethelred “the Unready” (actually “unraed,” meaning “no counsel”) gradually lost control of the kingdom
and could not withstand a great invasion by the Danish
king Svein Forkbeard, whose son Cnut became undisputed king of England, Denmark, and Norway when
Ethelred’s capable son Edmund Ironside died prematurely. However, Cnut’s son was succeeded by Ethelred’s
second son, Edward the Confessor.
Edward had no heir; both earl Harold Godwinson, who
though Edward’s subject probably wielded more power,
and Duke William of Normandy, descendant of Vikings,
claimed the throne. Harold II was crowned, but immediately faced invasions from Harald Hardrada, king of
Norway – a distant heir of Cnut – and from William.
Harold II surprised and defeated Harald’s army and
killed his rival, near York, but after a forced march the
Saxons were beaten by the Normans near Hastings,
where Harold was killed. Harold’s relatives continued a
desultory resistance for some years, but essentially the
Saxons accepted William’s claim to the throne after the
deaths of his rivals. After a few abortive attempts by
Svein Estrithson of Denmark, the Vikings came no more;
William had more difficulty with Welsh, Scots, and
French than with Scandinavians.
It was a near-run thing. The Saxons nearly won; if
the wind had blown in the other direction, William’s
delayed invasion would have landed before Harald’s and
Harold’s undiminished army might have beaten William.
But would he have beaten Harald as well?
Page 22
CHRONOLOGY
Credits
Index
55, 54 BC
Julius Caesar raids southern Britain.
43–47 AD Romans conquer southern England and Midlands.
49–61
Romans subdue Wales.
Dedicated to Torben Mogensen, Jim Jordan, Stephen
Braund, and all the players and GMs who have made
Britannia live over the years.
60–61
Boudicca’s revolt.
84
Romans take north, establish themselves in Scotland.
c. 85
Roman garrison reduced to three legions.
2-player scenarios: 19-20
3-player game: 19
5-player game: 19
Angles, Brigante submission to: 17
armies: definition of, 3; placing, 8
Arthur: 15
Battles/Retreats Phase: 11-13
Boat movement: 8, 9
Bretwalda: 6, 18
Brigante submission to the Angles: 17
burhs: see Saxon burhs
cavalry: 3
chronology: 23
Cnut, as king: 18
Danish armies: removal in Round 14: 18
eliminating: 6
England: 2-3
forts: see Roman forts
game round: 6-7
historical notes: 21-22
holding: 4-5
King: 6, 18; Cnut as, 18; in Round 16, 18
infantry: 3
invaders: 9-10
invasion restrictions: 10
leaders: 13-14
limes: 15
Major Invasion: 10
Movement Phase: 8-10
Nation Cards: 3, 4-5
Nation List: 3
nation turn: 6
negotiations: 17
occupying: 5-6, keeping track of occupied areas, 17
Overpopulation Phase: 13
overrun: 9
Pict raiding: 10
point limits: 6
population points: 7-8
Population Track: 3, 7-8
Raider Withdrawal Phase: 13
Raiding: 10
reinforcements: Roman, 14; in Round 16, 18
retreats: 12-13
Roman legion withdrawal: 14
Roman roads: 14
Roman forts: 3, 14; in battle, 11; limes, 14; movement, 14-15
Romano-British: 15
Saxon burhs: 3, 17
scoring round: 4, 7
Scotland: 2
stacking limits: 9
straits: 8, 9
submission: 14-15, 17
Timeline: 7
units: definition of, 3; complete list of, 20
Wales: 2
122–130
Hadrian’s Wall built on Solway-Tyne isthmus
142
Antonine Wall built on Glasgow-Edinburgh isthmus.
3rd century
Anglo-Saxon raids begin.
367–369
Picts and Irish break through defenses to ravage fron
tiers.
407
Remainder of Roman garrison goes to Gaul to fight German invaders.
c. 425
Vortigern is ruler of a large part of southern Britain.
c. 430
Vortigern invites Saxons to settle.
c. 442
Saxons attack British. Breakdown of Roman civiliza
tion in Britain. Migrations to Brittany.
500
British (Arthur’s cavalry) defeat Anglo-Saxons at Battle of Mons Badonicus (site unknown).
542
Plague devastates Britain.
c. 550–600
Anglo-Saxons attack again, drive British into Wales, Cornwall, and the north.
597
Kingdom of Kent converted to Christianity. Remainder of English kingdoms converted by 650.
c. 610–678
Northumbrian king is usually Bretwalda (Oswiu 645–670).
731–799
Mercian king is usually Bretwalda (Offa 757–796).
793
Monastery of Lindisfarne sacked by first Viking raid.
838, 851
Wessex victories over Vikings.
843
Kenneth McAlpin of Dalriada unites Scots and Picts.
865
Danish “Great Army” invades East Anglia, destroys northern English kingdoms.
871
Great Army divides: Danes attack Wessex; Alfred the Great becomes king of Wessex (d. 899).
871–876
Mercia ruled by Danish protégé.
876–878
Renewed war, Wessex nearly conquered.
878
Battle of Edington saves English.
886
Peace treaty divides England into English and Danish halves (Danelaw).
892–896
Further Viking attacks.
899–924
Edward reconquers most of Danelaw.
919
Dubliners control kingdom of York.
924–939
Athelstan of Wessex controls most of England.
937
Athelstan defeats Scots-Dubliners-Strathclyde coalition at Brunanburh (site unknown).
945
Edmund of Wessex conquers Strathclyde, gives/leases it to his Scottish ally/subordinate; Lothian similarly treated late in tenth century.
1013
Ethelred deposed; King Svein Forkbeard of Denmark conquers England, dies next year.
1016
Ethelred dies, and his son Edmund Ironside soon after; Svein’s son Cnut elected king of England.
1042
Cnut’s son Hardecnut dies without heir; Edward the Confessor becomes king.
1066
Edward dies without heir; Harold Godwinson succeeds him. Harald the Hardrada of Norway and William of Normandy invade England. Harold defeats and kills Harald but is defeated and killed by William. William becomes king.
1086
A great Viking invasion fleet is dispersed or destroyed by storm – the last Viking effort.
Game Design and Development: Lewis E. Pulsipher,
Ph.D.
Additional Development: Corey Konieczka and John
Goodenough
Rules: Lewis E. Pulsipher, Ph.D.
Editing: James D. Torr
Graphic Design: Brian Schomburg
Game Board Art: Kurt Miller
Nation Art: Patrick McEvoy, Guy Gentry, Tomas
Jedruszek, Ted Pendergraft
Art Direction: John Goodenough
Production Manager: Darrell Hardy
Executive Developer: Greg Benage
Publisher: Christian T. Petersen
Playtesting
This edition owes whatever improvements have been
made to the many Britannia players around the
world, especially the members of the Eurobrit Yahoo
Group and authors of the World E-mail Britannia
Championships, and the 2004 World Board Gaming
Championships Britannia tournament. Without their
enthusiasm, the designer would never have attempted
this edition.
Contributors: Stephen Braund, Torben Mogensen.
Playtesters for this edition: Llew Bardecki, Nicholas
Benedict, Simon Bullock, Tim Coburn, Thayne Conrad,
Bill Crew, Caleb Diffell, Paul Doherty, Padraig Francis,
John David Galt, Jaakko Kankaanpaa, Takuya Kato,
Richard Jones, Jim Jordan, Duane Kristensen, Pekka
Marjola, Ewan McNay, Christopher Morgan, Karsten
Ockenfels, Scott Pfeiffer, Raffaele Porrini, Jim Pulsipher,
David Rayner, Peter Riedlberger, Luke Taper, Andrew
Tjader. Bob Tjader, Stephen Tjader, William Tjader,
Scott Weber, D. Charles Williams, David Yoon, and
many others at the World Boardgaming Championships
and Eurobrit listserv. I apologize to anyone I have accidentally left out.
Playtesting of Gibsons and Avalon Hill editions: Jim
Adams, Eric Bracey, Martin Crim, Chris Hughes, Keith
Ivey, Bob Lansdell, Fred Parham, Mundy Peale, Steve
Raymond, Sue Pulsipher, Roger Heyworth (uncredited
Developer, Gibsons), Adrienne Heyworth, David Abbott,
Tony Gordon, Claire Grant, Richard Bairstow, Alan R.
Moon, Mike Schloth, Rex Martin, and Craig Taylor,
Bruce Shelley (AH editor), Mick Uhl (AH editor).
Pronunciation: Brigantes (Bri-gan'-tase, “gan” sounds close to “gone”);
Belgae (Bel'-ji).
Page 23
QUICK REFERENCE
For tips on playing Britannia for the first time, see
page 16.
Stacking limits
Each nation (except the Romans) may normally have no
more than 3 armies in a non-difficult terrain area, or 2 in
a difficult terrain area. As an exception to this restriction,
each nation may have a single overstack. This overstack
consists of one group of an unlimited number in a nondifficult terrain area or one group of up to 4 armies in a
difficult terrain area (but not both).
The Romans can have any number of armies in each
non-difficult terrain area and up to 4 in each difficult terrain area. Forts do not count toward stacking limits. The
Romans do not have a single overstack.
Battle Summary
In combat, units are eliminated according to the
following rules:
1. A normal army eliminates a normal enemy army on a
roll of 5 or higher.
2. A Roman or cavalry army eliminates a normal enemy
army on a roll of 4 or higher.
3. Roman and cavalry armies are eliminated on a roll of
6 or higher.
4. Any defending army in a difficult terrain area is
eliminated on a roll of 6 or higher. This rule takes
precedence over rules 1 and 2.
Any Roman armies in an area with a Roman fort must
be eliminated by an attacker before the fort may be
eliminated. Thus a die roll of 5 will not eliminate the
fort unless any Roman armies present in that round are
eliminated by rolls of 6.
Symbols on the Timeline
The nation has a Raiding turn this round.
The nation has a Major Invasion this round.
The nation has Boat movement this round.
An election for Bretwalda will be held at the
end of this round (4 victory points).
A Kingship is possible at the end of this
round (8 victory points in Rounds 11-14,
10 victory points in Round 16).
Symbols on the Nation CARDS
The Hold symbol indicates that if the nation is
the sole occupant of the listed areas at the end
of the specified round(s), the nation will score
the listed number of points.
The Occupy symbol indicates that if the nation
is the sole occupant of the listed areas at any
time during the specified round(s), it will score
the listed number of points.
The Eliminate symbol indicates that if the
nation eliminates the named units during the
specified round(s), it will score the listed number
of points.
Bretwalda
Each nation has one “vote” for each English area it
occupies. At the end of the Rounds 8, 9, and 10 nations
cast their votes for which nation crowns the Bretwalda.
A nation’s vote cannot be divided, nor can it abstain. If
one nation gains a majority (that is, more than half) of
the votes cast, then that nation claims the Bretwalda.
That nation gains 4 victory points.
The King
At the end of Rounds 11, 12, 13, and 14, if any nation
occupies twice as many areas in England as any other
nation (minimum of 4), that nation claims Kingship of
England. The King’s nation gains 8 victory points and
an extra infantry unit, which is immediately placed
on the board according to the placement rules for the
Population Increase Phase. If no nation meets these
criteria, there is no King. There is no determination of
King at the end of Round 15.
Page 24
Immediately prior to the Raider Withdrawal Phase of the
Danish turn in Round 14, before the withdrawal of Cnut
and his armies, if the Danes hold twice as many areas in
England as any other nation, and the Cnut is alive, Cnut
becomes King and the Danes gain 8 victory points.
This is an exception to the normal kingship rules, and
no additional army is awarded. Thus, there can be two
Kings during Round 14.
In Round 16 the kingship is determined at the end of
the turn by the usual rules, but only Harold, William,
Harald Hardrada, and Svein Estrithson are eligible (if
alive). If all but one of these leaders are dead, however,
the surviving one automatically becomes King, unless
some nation other than the ones mentioned above holds
twice as many areas as the prospective King’s nation. In
this case no one is King. 10 victory points are given for
this end-game kingship.
Round XVI Reinforcements
Norwegians
The Norwegians receive one additional reinforcing
army, in the North Sea, for each area that they occupy.
The Norwegians receive no special reinforcements if
Harald Hardrada is not in play.
Normans
The Normans receive reinforcing armies in the English
Channel according to the areas occupied by them at
the end of Round 15: 1 for Essex, 1 for Wessex, 1 for
Hwicce, and 1 for South Mercia. They gain 3 if Harold
the Saxon is not in play at the end of the Norman nation
turn in Round 15. All of these are infantry armies, but
the Normans can choose to take cavalry armies at the
rate of 1 cavalry army in place of 2 infantry armies. The
Normans receive no special reinforcements if William
is not in play.
Saxons
The Saxons receive reinforcing armies according to the
areas occupied by them at the end of Round 15: 1 for
every 2 areas in England (round down) provided that
Harold the Saxon is in an English area. These armies
must be placed in English areas. The Saxons receive no
special reinforcements if Harold is not in an English
area.
These armies are placed on the board at the beginning of
Round 16, not during the nation turns, and these armies
are in addition to any armies these three nations receive
during the Population Increase Phases of their nation
turns.
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