Spotlight on Games > War Games > Ludographies
Britannia-style Games
Reconquista has still not appeared. Mon Dec 5 09:42:24 UTC 2011

The "Britannia-style" games are listed in order of publication.
Following that is a list of unpublished designs.

Just for fun, here you can see ten centuries of border changes in Europe in a five minute video.

Table of Contents
Introduction
Ancient Conquest
Ancient Conquest II
Britannia
Peninsula Italica
Maharaja
Hispania
Kampf um Rom
Chariot Lords
Vinci
Rus'
Kings & Castles
Dark Continent
Hegemonia
The Dragon and the Pearl
Britannia, second edition
Italia
China: The Middle Kingdom
Small World
Reconquista!
Mediterranea
Fertile Crescent
"Israel Britannia"
Conquest Europa
Eurannia
Mandate of Heaven
Germania
Dark Ages
Mesopotamia
Invasions
"History of the British Isles" (Mega-Brit)
Caledonia
Iberia
Albion
Byzantium
Hy Breasil
Italy
Italy
Romania
Empires in Ancient America
See Also

Introduction
"Britannia-style" games consist of these general features:

This may be a rough definition and not all of the games will include all features. Admittedly, Britannia was not the first in the field, but does seem to be the best known, the most popular and the most direct inspiration for most of what has followed. For this, all due credit and praise should be heaped on Britannia's inventor, Lew Pulsipher (see his book on games).

Ancient Conquest
Biblical
R.J. Hlavnicka; Excalibre; 1975
Every phenomenon of any size must have its precursors; perhaps that's what this game and the next are for the Britannia-style game.
Not area-, but hex-based with counters that contain combat and movement points. All of a player's nations are played together and can even combine in defense, thought not in attack. There is no economic mechanism, so no new pieces are received as a result of occupation, only scheduled reinforcements. times. Many of the point goals are for taking cities. There is no stacking except in cities. The only other way to score points is to destroy enemy combat factors.
BGG entry

Ancient Conquest II
Biblical with extensions to include Persians and Greeks through Alexander
R.J. Hlavnicka and Dennis P. O'Leary; Excalibre; 1978
BGG entry

Britannia
British isles from the Romans to the Normans
Lew Pulsipher; Gibson Games-1986?/Avalon Hill-1986/Welt der Spiele-1991; 3-5 (4 optimal)
Stephen Oppenheimer's book The Origins of the British gives evidence suggesting that although there were invasions by Angles and Jutes, the Saxon invasion described by St. Gildas (a writer who may have had an axe to grind) may never have occurred. Instead it looks, at least to Oppenheimer, like Germanic-speakers were in England long before the Romans were, and upon Roman departure they simply resume power. If this is correct, this game needs a significant variant to remove the Saxon invasion and replace it with a Saxon resurgence.
Notes Playback Mailing List (Eurobrit) Rules Re-write BGG entry

Peninsula Italica
Pre-Roman Italian peninsula
Camelot-1993
Available from
Strategia e Tattica
BGG entry

Maharaja
India from the Aryans to the British
Craig Sandercock; Avalon Hill-1994; 3-4
Pre-Gunpowder Variant BGG entry

Hispania
Spanish Peninsula from the Carthaginians to the Christian Reconquista
Andreas Steding;
Azure Wish- 1994; 4
Errata Comparison with Britannia BGG entry

Kampf um Rom
Rome and invading barbarians
Gerhard Kuhlmann and Hartmut Witt;
Kuhlmann Geschichtsspiele-1995
This is actually two games in one. Germanica is by Harmut Witt and Huns, Romans, and Germans by Gerhard H. Kuhlmann. Both deal with the barbarian incursions into Rome.
BGG entry

Chariot Lords
Near East from the earliest history up until about 500 BC.
Charles Vasey;
Clash of Arms-1999
Some differences from the Britannia rules include the following: initial setup is free and counter by counter; order of nations within a turn is random; redeployment phase; mountains count as a double area for movement; leaders do not add to the movement rate; the basic movement rate is three; leaders affect two areas in a round; defender retreats first; maximum number of rounds of combat is fixed (two or three); growth is not based on number of areas owned; units may return from the dead if for each a unit is removed permanently; invaders need not double-stack to overrun; submission rules are generalized; submitted units are not allowed to move.
BGG entry

Vinci
Prehistoric to Medieval Europe Philippe Keyaerts;
Eurogames/Descartes Deutschland-1999; 2-6
Europe is divided into vague and unnamed territories of different types: Agriculture I, Agriculture II, Forest, Mountain and miscellaneous. Some territories also have a port or mining abilities. Civilizations are represented by randomly drawn pairs of counters of various kinds: military, resource, miscellaneous which are drafted by each player. The player then takes a number of tokens based on the number of players and red numbers on the counters which basically fixes the civilization size for its life. Civilizations begin from an edge of the map and move into adjacent territories. There are no dice. Conquest requires a number of tokens depending on the number of defenders and variations caused by terrain and special abilities. When after a few turns the civilization size has dwindled one usually decides to let it "go into decline". This turn, it does not move by the player chooses a new civilization. "Decline" counters are placed on the existing territories leaving only one token each to still earn points. And so on. Normally one plays two, three or four civilizations during the course of a game.
BGG entry

Rus'
Russian early and medieval history
Randy Moorehead;
Simulations Workshop-2000; 4
1700 years of Russian history, from the demise of the Scythians to the death of Ivan the Terrible. Players lead Huns, Goths, Mongols and other groups that ravaged ancient and medieval Russia, as well as the great city-states of Kiev, Novgorod, and Moscow. Alexander Nevsky battles the Teutonic Knights, the Mongols seek to destroy all in their path...
BGG entry

Kings & Castles
Medieval Britain
Gary Dicken, Phillip Kendall and Steve Kendall;
Ragnar Brothers-2000; 3-4
Game on England and her conquests for up to four by the inventors of History of the World. Sides are represented by individual kings and entirely decided by draft before play even begins. Kings vary by the amount of extra force they add and in their primary spheres of activity. Play itself is diceless (and thus reminiscent of Vinci), the core of the combat system being a rather strange and unique form of arithmetic. The active player's forces must defeat the inactive defenders by the minimum possible amount – pieces are rated at value 1, 2 or 3 – but then only the strongest of these invaders remains. The other unusual mechanism is that over the entire course only twenty-five percent of one's forces are guaranteed to be one's own. The rest are drawn from a bag and may be one's own, but are also often the forces of other players, rebellious indigenous groups or mercenaries usable with any of the above. (There are also three levels of fortification.) The need for a player to clear out his force pool for the next set of forces means often going through unusual gymnastics. For example, he may use other player forces to conquer rebels, then use rebels to conquer them back and finally use his own forces to conquer the rebels. The other unusual feature is that in a four-player game, each player has only six turns and only on half of them may he declare scoring (which occurs for all players). Just as in their previous game, the board is no board at all, but printed on a folded cloth.
BGG entry

Dark Continent
Nineteenth-century Africa
Peter Schutze and Lloyd Krassner; Schutze Games;
2001; 2-4
Players take on the roles of rival European-based powers expanding their influence and control into Africa during the nineteenth century.
BGG entry

Hegemonia
Ancient Greeks
Sven Andressen;
City-of-Games-2004; 3-5 (4 optimal)
From Agamemnon and Troy to the wars of Athens/Sparta and Persia, then Alexander the Great and right up through Hannibal and the Roman conquest of the entire known world. Simulating 1600 to 146 BC in 16 rounds to last about 5 hours. Includes 36 pages of rules, 60x60 cm board, 16 cards, 298 pieces, 5 dice, scoring track, etc. Games are made on demand for 35 Euro + packing and shipping. In German.
BGG entry

The Dragon and the Pearl
Ancient and Medieval China
Thom Richardson;
Spirit Games-2004; 4
Chinese history from 200-1300 AD (Han Dynasty to Mongols?). Desktop-published game includes some 200 plastic counters in 4 colours with stickers, color map on heavy paper and two pages of rules. Shipped in a roll without container. Unlike Britannia, does not use special victory point awards for each particular group. More at Andrew Parkin's site
BGG entry

Britannia, second edition
British isles from the Romans to the Normans
Lew Pulsipher; Fantasy Flight Games-2005; 3-5 (4 optimal)
Combines together all the different versions of the rules and adds a method for distributing nations that will provide greater variety in the 3- and 5-player games (optionally also in the 4-player). More at Lew Pulsipher site
BGG entry
"Myths of British Ancestry" by Stephen Oppenheimer is a fascinating article on the early peopling of Britain, mentioning for example that Germanic languages were probably spoken there much earlier than previously thought and also the Norwegian invasions of the isles prior to the Romans. Obviously this game needs a prequel.

Italia
Italian Peninsula from the 400 BC sack of Rome to 1080 AD
Andreas Steding; Phalanx Games; 2006
The history of the Italian peninsula, Roman Africa and Illyricum from the foundation of Rome to the consolidation of Julius Caesar in the first scenario and in the second, from the invasions of the Visigoths to the consolidation of Charlemagne.
Published in October at the Essen Game Fair. More at
Andreas' site
BGG entry

China: The Middle Kingdom
China: Warring States to modern
Tani Chen;
Decision Games-2008; 4
There are 400 army pieces, are used in 24 game turns, each a century long, starting from 403 BC. Important aspects impinging on play are mountains, emperors, heroes, new inventions, rebellions, barbarian invasions, diplomacy and the Great Wall. Growth of each nation depends on the amount and nature of the territory it owns.
BGG entry Early Comments

Small World
Fantasy
Philippe Keyaerts; Days of Wonder/Edge Entertainment-2009; 2-5
Re-make of
Vinci, now as a game of giants, dwarves, elves, orcs, amazons and wizards. Includes 14 races and 20 special powers.
BGG entry

Reconquista!
Struggle for Iberia, 850-1250 CE
Javier Romero; Decision Games-2010; 1-3
Includes 200+ counters representing Andalusians, North African yihadist forces (Almohades and Almoravides), Frankish, Catalan, Aragonese, Asturias/Leon, Castilians, Portuguese, Military Orders (Templars, Santiago, etc.) and Christian Crusaders. Published in issue #266 of Strategy & Tactics magazine.
BGG


The Unpublished:
(so far)

Mediterranea
Mediterranean Basin and Britain: 400 to 1100 AD
David Bofinger; unpublished-2001; 4
Shorter scenarios include "Decline and Fall" (of the Western Roman Empire), "Heirs to the Empire" (German successor states), "Jihad" (rise of Islam), and "The End of the World" (millennial).

Fertile Crescent
Biblical
John Strand; unpublished

"Israel Britannia"
Biblical
Unpublished design which J.C. Connors reports was submitted to Avalon Hill during the latter days of its ownership by the Dotts. Apparently it even included an "Ark of the Covenant" piece. This may be the same as Fertile Crescent or Chariot Lords above.

Conquest Europa
Europe 400AD-1480 AD
Roger Heyworth; unpublished-c. 1990; 6
The game includes 41 nations and covers from the collapse of the Western Empire to Joan of Arc. Playing time is about ten hours with rules based on Britannia rules. Includes two pages of special rules mainly for enhanced movement and fighting; submission and revolt; sacking Rome; "fight as they move" (to simulate the conquests of Attila, Genghis Khan, etc.); etc.

Eurannia
Europe: Scythians to 18th century
Ralf van der Post; unpublished-c. 1995; 4-6
The game has a playing time of probably more than twelve hours.

Mandate of Heaven
China: Han Dynasty to modern
Philip Jelley; unpublished; 4
Playtesting is occurring online; details at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MandateH

Germania
Ancient Germans and Roman Empire
Lew Pulsipher; unpublished; 2-6
More at
Lew Pulsipher site

Dark Ages
Fall of Rome to the Mongol invasion of Europe
Lew Pulsipher; unpublished
"Successor to Britannia."
More at
Lew Pulsipher site

Mesopotamia
Near Eastern history, 2600 BC to 500BC, Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Armenia, and Egypt
Lew Pulsipher; unpublished
More at
Lew Pulsipher site

Invasions
British Isles and Ireland
Lew Pulsipher; unpublished
Covers the same period as Britannia adding Ireland and subtracting much of the scoring. Battle cards replace dice and plastic figures the counters. More at
Lew Pulsipher site

"History of the British Isles"TM (Mega-Brit)
British Isles and Ireland
Lew Pulsipher; unpublished
This is "8 hour Britannia" (including Ireland). There are more nations and more areas. More at
Lew Pulsipher site

Caledonia
Scotland
Lew Pulsipher; unpublished
Scottish history from the Romans to Norwegian king Magnus Barelegs. More at
Lew Pulsipher site

Iberia
Iberian peninsula
Lew Pulsipher; unpublished
Presumably similar to Hispania (see above). More at
Lew Pulsipher site

Albion
Britain
Torben Mogensen; unpublished

Byzantium
Byzantium
Simon Bullock; unpublished
Starting in 360, it ends 14 turns later with Murad II taking Constantinople. It accommodates 4 players each controlling 4-5 nations, plus an extra 10 or so nations assigned randomly at the beginning of the game. Included are (player 1) Byzantines, Mongols, First Crusaders, Catalans; (player 2) Goths, Bulgars, Lombards, Venetians, Ottomans; (player 3) Persian, Vandals, Franks, Russians, Seljuks; (player 4) Huns, Saracens, Normans, Magyars. Randomly assigned are Sarmatians, Serbs, Croatians, Genoese, Avars, Slavs, Cumans, Uz, Karamans.

Hy Breasil
Fantasy
Torben Mogensen; unpublished

Italy
Italian history
David Bofinger; unpublished

Italy
Italian history
Lew Pulsipher; unpublished

Romania
Romania
Torben Mogensen; unpublished

Empires in Ancient America
North America
Pete Belli; unpublished
to cover the period from 500 BC to 1500 AD.

See Also

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