Thursday 18 May 2017

Migration to Kingdom - Roman Britain 410 AD

Returning to the Migration to Kingdom project I had planned to continue the barbarian invasion as it unfolded in Hispania (409 AD). Unfortunately, I had struck an impasse as the campaign rules, as written, would not adapt well to the arrival of the barbarians and two decades later, the departure of the Vandals for Africa. As fate would have it the solution came elsewhere, the barbarian incursions of Roman Britain.

The situation in Roman Britain was very much different. The Roman general Constantine usurps the throne and departs Britain to deal with the barbarian invasion of the Gallic provinces. Leaving only the garrisons behind he takes with him the field army to arrive in Northern Gaul in the spring of 407 AD.  It is not clear if Constantine had appointed a replacement or if local officials selected their own candidate, what does follow after his departure are an increased number of incursions by the Picts, Scots and Saxons.

As written, the campaign rules now needed to track the long period of invasions (decades) by a greater number of barbarians confronting the Romano-Briton, the Picts from the north, the Scots-Irish from the west and the Saxons from the south-east. The time frame per turn therefore must change from its current monthly interval to possibly years. After further consideration, the time frame between invasions should occur at random intervals, but this begs the question by how many years?

Next, we have the problem of which of the barbarian invade first? A simple casting of the die could resolve this. Also to consider, the Romano-Briton as defender would have ‘arable’  as home terrain, yet we find other geographical areas that would certainly qualify giving the defender the additional choice of hilly, forest, or littoral; some certainly preferable if fighting at under strength. 

I enjoy the simplicity of the  DBA system as with the cast of one die you can resolve a number of issues. Keeping this in mind I searched for one step that could  resolve the issue of year, opponent, at what strength and terrain type.  

Next post, testing the campaign game. 

End of Roman Rule Britain 383 – 410 AD {1}


By my work - Based on Jones & Mattingly's Atlas of Roman Britain (ISBN 978-1-84217-06700, 1990, reprinted 2007); Mattingly's Imperial Possession ( ISBN 978-0-140-14822-0, 2006); Higham's Rome, Britain, and the Anglo-Saxons (ISBN 1-85264-022-7, 1992); Frere's Britannia (ISBN 0-7102-1215-1, 1987); and Snyder's An Age of Tyrants (ISBN 978-0-631-22260-6) — the sources are cited in the image legend — Locations of towns (fortified and unfortified) are given on p. 156, with tribal civitates and coloniae specified on p. 154, of Atlas of Roman Britain. Specification of the Romanized regions of Britain are also from the Atlas, p. 151. The "Departure Dates" are found in the cited sources, and are generally known. The Pictish, Saxon, and Scoti raids are found in the cited sources, as is the date of the Irish settlements in Wales. Frere suggests (p. 355) that it was the Irish who sacked Wroxeter c. 383. The locations of the Irish settlements is from the locations of inscription stones given in File:Britain.Deisi.Laigin.jpg as of 2010-10-11, which cites its sources of information.The topographical map is from a sub-region of File:Uk topo en.jpg, with the copyright notice {{Bild-GFDL-GMT|migration=relicense}} and original date of 7 July 2006, copy made in 2008, with the annotations removed by myself., CC BY-SA 3.0,

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