Sunday 21 May 2017

Migration to Kingdom – Sub Roman Britain

An  assessment.

I began developing a set of ancient campaign rules one year ago today and looking back at the different versions each have merit and would certainly be used again. As our players gained experience with DBA 3.0 the campaign rules also evolved as newly collected armies would offer new possibilities.

The Quick Play Campaign system (September 2016) was designed to bring our usual three games an evening into a campaign context and using variable terrain. The game replicated a campaign season of one year whereby each player built up activity points to allow certain actions to take place. The process was simple and did not add extra time to the game as the attacker-defender roles were defined and terrain selection was resolved.

This model differs in that it was designed to deal with conflicts necessitating long periods of inactivity between engagements, the barbarian invasions along the Rhine and Danube Limes come to mind. I am confident that this set would work well.

The first test of Roman Britain ended covering a twenty year period highlighted by four noteworthy engagements. This does not rule out the possibility of other encounters in that same period, they were simply not worth the effort to record.

The card system served its purpose by defining the month and year plus the adversary; the month is particularly useful if one wishes to add weather. Plus knowing the year can help tie historical events (internal and external) to the campaign.  

In addition to the card draw, players must cast one die. This served not only to add troops to an army, but the same score would help define the terrain to be fought over. This worked well as three of the four engagements were fought in arable terrain and the fourth in hilly country.

To assemble an army players are no longer guaranteed the standard 12 element size force. In this test most battles were fought with 8 or 9 elements which meant battles became intense as they were quickly over. The sole Roman Britain victory was fought with six elements against ten Saxon, someone’s star is rising.

However, losing a battle would certainly tarnish a general’s reputation as a subsequent call to arms would be met with less enthusiasm. This occurred twice for the Roman Britain as the die casts were excellent (sixes), but having lost the previous battles took to the field with a lower strength.

There are still a few details that need work.

After a series of victories by the barbarians at what point would they begin settlements in Roman Britain? I am debating if this should be related to the number of victories or the number of years that have lapsed.     

It should also be possible for the Roman Briton to become the attacker. How this is to done should be linked with the initial card draw and/or die cast which will save a step. It is possible that this will be resolved when the role of the face cards (knave, queen, king) is defined. 

Map: Roman Britannia 410 AD

By User:Lotroo / R. Botek; Изработено от Потребител:Lotroo - Own work, Public Domain,


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