‘Twas the 2nd year of the new edition of Britannia. We’ve all played with the new game for a year, and we’re still learning. Play balance started to drift this year. While last year in the preliminaries the wins per color were very even, this year Green and Red reigned supreme. Green has an amazing 6 victories, Red 5, while Blue and Yellow came in at a miserly 2 apiece.
High score honors showed again Ewan’s ability to score prodigious sums that might not be thought possible. Ewan had the high Green and Red scores with 293 and 292 points respectively. Blue and Yellow high scores were won more modestly by Rick Kirchner with a 245 point blue game and Kevin Sudy with a 241 point yellow game. It may be that next year I’ll replace the high score plaques with closest score plaques for each color. Just to lend some suspense to who will win the awards. ;-)
Closest win honors in the three rounds were won by Ted Drozd in the first round with a 223-218 win. Mike Fox took the honors in round two with a 235-221 win and Nick Benedict really shaved a close one in the third round with a 237-236 win as green.
With 11 winners from the preliminaries and a couple of winners not showing up we ended up with just 3 semi-finals. While many of the usual suspects showed up for the semi-finals, we also had first timers Sarah Sparks, Mike Fox, AJ Sudy and Christopher Trimmer. Welcome!
And also this year we welcomed one of our new semi-finalists
as a new player to the finals, Mike Fox.
Mike won his heat in fine fashion and then went on to come from behind
in the semi-final game with a huge Norman invasion into a virtually empty
In the final, Mike went from having the last invasion to
having the first with the Romans. Ewan
came out in fine fashion with the Welsh declaring that he would hunker down to
five spaces and submit if not attacked, thus guaranteeing the maximum growth
for the Welsh by preserving his lowland areas clear of Roman forts. Barry’s foray with Boudicca managed to burn
Boudicca’s reign was short, with the Roman’s sending in four legions to remove her from the game. Meanwhile, with the way opened to the north, the Romans marched handily into Dalriada on the 2nd turn and stomped on a Pict. Naturally enough then, the third turn started with the pogrom against the rest of the Picts. Although the brave Picts destroyed one legion, they also lost a unit and realized the inevitability of submitting.
Then turns 4 and 5 and the Romans ran back to huddle in
their forts before the invasions began.
The Angles helped their Pict brethren by
taking a fort out in far Mar. Meanwhile
the Irish kicked the Welsh out of their lowlands and the Saxons washed up
trying to take
So the Germanic people were quite weakened for their major
invasions. And naturally, the lone Jute
With the lack of armies, Nick’s Saxon invasion was quiet,
the R-Bs were killed handily in the Downlands and
Kent and then huddled up in the South with Aelle in
King Arthur came onto the board and decided that Avalon was
indeed arising from the mists and calling him home. So he went there, killed the Saxons, and
looked to be able to stay there with a two cavalry and an army. King Arthur of course signaled turn 7 and
thus the Irish need to look for a home.
Nick settled them in
The Scots came to the shores seeing Dalriada
Although Arthur died in turn 8, his magic lived on with the
Romano-British in Avalon expanding their kingdom to Hwicce. Ewan’s Welsh then discovered that Barry’s
Angles were not going to be friendly about the little Welsh sightseeing tour of
By turn 9, Avalon was populated by Irish and losing its
appeal to the Romano-British, so they marched into
The border flared on turn 10 though, with Nick’s Saxons being over-populated and looking for a place to go. They decided that attacking Barry’s huge Angles was pointless and sent a small expeditionary force into Gwent. The attack was quickly turned back, much to the relief of the Ewan’s beleaguered Welsh.
With turn 11 opening, Ewan’s infuriated Welsh decided to
lash out in return, although it was Barry’s Angles that felt their anger as
they were kicked out of
Nick’s Norse did manage a small comeback in turn 12,
managing to visit the Orkneys. But with the
Norse expeditionary forces so weakened, they decided that a visit was
sufficient and went back to hold their
The Danes took
Turn 13, and now Mike was able to get back into the game
with the Dubliner invasion. With the
other powers butchering each other, the Dubliners dropped Olaf and four armies
Mike’s Dubliners then looked for a place to hide on turn 14
while everyone else looked for a place to defend against the coming storm of
Mike’s Norwegians and Barry’s Normans.
The Dubliners decided that hiding was out of the question and settled in
With kingship looking hopeless for Cnut, Ewan Dane’s faced
single combat battles in six areas. The
dice fell heavily for each battle…but the attempt ended in
The game ended in exhaustion. With the intensity of the combat on the board, there were few armies left. A few sallies were made though, the Norwegians attempted to knock the Brigantes out of the Strathclyde homeland, but failed, running to save the life of their king after being savaged by the Brigantes.
The Saxons, seeing in William a tasty and ill defended target, removed him from the game, that last daring move put Red in 2nd place, but as the game wound to it’s end, the stunning conclusion put Mike Fox’s Yellow in the winning spot with 233 points, Nick’s Red in second with 229, Ewan’s green in 3rd with 217 and Barry’s Blue in last with 204. The conclusion was all the more stunning for the final being Mike’s 4th game of Britannia.
As I had gone to England this year for vacation, in addition to the usual plaques and the inscription of the winner on the Britannia plate, the top four also took home a guidebook from the Hastings battlefield and Mike, as winner, took home a book about the THREE battles of 1066, Stamford Bridge, York, and Hastings. I'll have to see what I can do top those honors next year.