The bid by the British officer Constantine ‘III’ to become western emperor has failed. Realizing this, the commanders in Britain have expelled his officers and agents and declared their loyalty to the Emperor Honorius in Ravenna. But things are difficult. Society and economy are in turmoil, and the cabal of officers ruling the province are a motley crew with various personal animosities and agendas. Nor is the situation much improved by the fact that Britain is still organized according to the ‘temporary’ expedient of the earlier British usurper Magnus Maximus: the civitas of the Iceni has been given over to the Saxon Hengest, whose fleet and warriors are to defend the area and the northern coast; more significantly, perhaps, the north and west of the diocese, the former provinces of Britannia Prima and Britannia Secunda, have been given over to native federate rulers. Will the Roman administration hold together? Can any of the federates be trusted? To make matters worse, the chaos in the Empire has caused havoc beyond the frontiers, and, seeing the disunity of the Empire, barbarian raids have begun… The first campaign season begins in March 411.
This campaign scenario is designed to explore how Roman political authority may have fragmented, how the regular garrison may have disintegrated, how kingdoms evolved, and how Saxon political units may have emerged. For the historical reasoning behind all this, see Parts 4-7. Will Britain break up into several small kingdoms, or will one player establish a general hegemony, as Clovis did in Gaul? And will the Cornovii end up in the south west and give their name to Cornwall? At this point, I can honestly say that it was quite by accident that I gave the ruler of the Cornovii the name of Gerontius, later, in the form of Geraint, a Cornish royal name: spooky, eh? The attribution of the I Cohors Cornoviorum to the commander of the south west was, however, subsequent, and deliberate! The (possibly unlikely) retention of the Equites Catafractarii from the old garrison, and their repositioning in the south
west was not fortuitous either!
This was very important. The title rex (‘king’) was, after centuries of being a dirty word in Roman politics, regarded as incompatible with Roman political identity. No Roman player may take the title rex, unless he also renounces his Roman-ness, and takes a new ethnic identity (including ‘Briton’). Doing so will remove him from the Roman political fold, and end any subsidies or help he receives from other Roman players. All Roman players will regard him as a tyrant (tyrannus). Federates who take the title of king will lose their federate status and their subsidies. After 450, if the campaign is played for that long, federates may take the title of king without penalty (precedents had, by then, been set). Any player who forces another to abandon his title adds 10 to his prestige. Any player who kills a tyrannus adds 20 to his prestige. A Roman player may take the title Imperator, but if his prestige total is not 20 higher than all of the other Roman players, they will fight against him, as a tyrannus. Taking this title may also invite intervention from the continent… Roman titles which may be used without penalty include consul, protector, tribunus, comes, dux, and vicarius; honorifics (as in ‘the right honourable’) include inlustris, gloriosissimus and patricius (very new-fangled in 410).
Each winter turn (see last time), each player draws a card from a shuffled pack, with the following results:
2-7: No event
8: Famine in any of your territories which suffered famine for the past two years; otherwise no event.
9: Famine in any of your territories which suffered famine last year;otherwise no event.
10: Famine in one of your territories; decide which by dice.
Jack ♣ or ♠: Rebellion in one of your territories; decide which by dice.
Jack ♥: Player’s character dies of illness during the winter.
Jack ♦: Player’s character assassinated during the winter.
Queen ♣ or ♠: (Between 413 and 425 only) Roman army of 2,000 men lands in Rutupiae, despatched by the government in Ravenna. This will support the Roman players if none has taken the title of imperator. It will insist on attacking any which has taken the title of imperator or rex. It will have to be paid for, however… Otherwise no event.
Queen ♥ or ♦: A major Pictish invasion crosses the Old Wall. 3,000 strong, it will plunder as far as the Humber if not turned back.
King ♣: (Between 410 and 414 only) A Frankish army of 2,000 men lands in the civitas of the Cantiaci, sent by the usurper government of Jovinus. It will march on Londinium to try to depose the Comes and vicarius, looting on the way. Otherwise, if Franks have conquered the Cantiaci, an army of 2,000 Franks arrives in that territory and invades the civitas of the Regni. Otherwise, no event.
King ♠: A hostile Frankish army of 2,500 men lands in the civitas of the Cantiaci. It will attempt to conquer the civitas. Otherwise, if Franks have conquered the Cantiaci, an army of 2,000 Franks arrives in that territory and invades the civitas of the Regni. Otherwise, no event.
King ♥: Severe winter, and spring floods. No campaigning may take place anywhere until May (applies to all players).
King ♦: Irish army of 2000 men lands in the territory of the Demetae and attempts to conquer that civitas.
Ace ♣ or ♠: Plague! Decide which territory it begins in. Each adjacent territory dices to see whether the plague spreads there. On a roll of 4,5 or 6 the plague spreads to that territory; otherwise it is spared.
Any territory hit by plague yields only half its normal revenue.
Ace ♥ or ♦: Birth of a son to the player.
Long distance trade
By the middle of the fifth century trade routes seem, because of the collapse of the economy and social structure in lowland Britain and the north of Gaul, to have switched to come from the Bay of Biscay round Cornwall and into the Irish Sea. This was a huge boon to rulers in western areas. So, to represent this, after 425, throw 1D6 and multiply by 50. This represents the number of units of revenue derived from trade. Throw 2×10 to see the percentage taken by the Dumnonii in Cornwall. The rest is divided equally amongst the Durotriges, Silures, Demetae, Ordovices and Deceangli.
+ = Christian; # = pagan
Johannes+, Vicarius et Comes Britanniarum:
Aged 30. Duke of the Britains before 410, somewhat to your surprise you were elected to rule the Diocese of the Britains after the expulsion of Constantine’s officials. Only a fool, however, would fail to see that this was a compromise measure, to stop Valentinus and Constantius from starting a full-scale war for control between them – and you are no fool. You respect both Valentinus and Constantius, but like neither. The opportunity to remove one or both would ease matters considerably, but both are popular generals. At least their current commands are removed from each other. Constantius is the more dangerous. His territory is wealthy enough to pay for all his troops and more. You should try
to use his troops as a reserve or field army and keep them dispersed, if possible… Hengest you see as a necessary evil, and he’s an agreeable fellow. Your former second in command, Eleutherius, is much closer to you, and you established a good working relationship with Coel whilst in the north. This, however, of course means that Cunedda is no fan. If their feud could be ended or prevented, that too would make life easier. Installing Gerontius in Deva (Chester) would keep them apart. Technically it is
a colonia and thus outside any civitas, but the Deceangli claim it. That makes things awkward.
Seat: Londinium Augusta (London)
(Decius # [remote descendant of third-century emperor])
(Fullofaudes [of Alamannic descent; descended from Count killed in 367])
Revenue: 1437 + 416 = 1853
- You need to subsidise Valentinus and Eleutherius to the tune of 50 units each, per an.
- The federate rulers each require a subsidy of 100 units per an.
- As central commander, you will need to assign funds to maintain fortifications, relieve famine, and so on and so forth.
- a. 100
regulars of the II Cohors Lingonum at Londinium Augusta
- b. 100 regulars of the Cuneus Sarmatorum at Venta Belgarum (Winchester) (Disciolus)
- c. 100 regulars of the I Cohors Hispanorum at Calleva (Silchester) (Decius)
- d. 100 regulars of the II Cohors Lingonum at Verulamium (St Albans) (Fullofaudes)
- e. 100 regulars of the III Cohors Nerviorum at Corinium (Cirencester) (Faventius)
- f. 100 regulars of the III Cohors Nerviorum at Glevum (Gloucester)
- g. 100 regulars of the I Cohors Morinorum at Salinae (Droitwich) (Benignus)
- Retain power as Comes and Vicarius
- Maintain integrity of Roman territory in Britain
- Prevent warfare between Valentinus and Constantius
- Prevent warfare between Coel and Cunedda
Valentinus+, Dux Britanniarum
Aged 45. An experienced commander, you began your career under the emperor Gratian, whose memory you treasure and whom you like to claim as a relative, though no one really believes you. You were Count of the Saxon Shore until last year, when the politics of 410 saw you packed off north. This meant that you did not, as you, and any right-thinking person for that matter, had expected, become Count and Vicarius. This was because of trouble-making from Constantius. Well, it would be. You detest Constantius, largely because he is a creature of the tyrant Magnus Maximus, murderer of Gratian. How he survived the quashing of Maximus’ usurpation is a mystery, but then he always was a slippery devil. You do not like Coel, because he was a beneficiary of Maximus’ policies, and mistrust him as a traitor. He’s not as bad as Hengest, however, who really is a snake in the grass, and, needless to say, another favourite of Maximus. Cunedda you do not like much either, though since it was Maximus’ troops who uprooted him and moved him to the north west, you have more time for his grievances. You have also taken a shine to Gerontius, who seems not to like Constantius. Johannes is a nonentity, and Eleutherius a mere boy. Both should be able to be pushed about.
Seat: Eboracum (York)
Territories (and commanders):
- Parisii (Brictius + [a cousin of Constantine ‘III’])
- Corieltauvi (Sallustius +)
Revenue: 1026 + 161 = 1183
N.B: You will need a small subsidy from Johannes to ensure that your men are all fully paid and to maintain your fortifications.
- h. 50 regulars of the Numerus Pacensium at Derventio Cornoviorum (Littlechester) and
- i. 50 regulars of the Numerus Pacensium at Letocetum (Wall), in Cornovian territory
- j. 100 regulars of the Equites Crispiani at Danum (Doncaster), and
- k. 50 regulars of the Ala Asturum at Calcaria (Tadcaster) in Brigantian territory
The troops in Cornovian territory act as an advance warning force, whereas those in Brigantia guard key river crossing points. All are supplied from Roman territory. All might be called upon to assist the Brigantes or Cornovii if they are attacked. You’d be wise to comply if asked.
- l. 100 regulars of the Numerus Supervenentium Petuariensium at Derventio Brigantium (Malton)
- m. 50 regulars of the Numerus Supervenentium Petuariensium at Petuaria (Brough onHumber)
- n. 50 regulars of the Ala Asturum,100 regulars of the Numerus Defensorum, and 100 regulars of the IV Cohors Lingonum at Eboracum (York)
- o. 50 regulars of the Numerus Pacensium at Ratae (Leicester)
- p. 100 regulars of the Numerus Vigilum at Lindum Colonia (Lincoln)
The troops at York may be supplied from Roman territory.
- See Constantius removed from office and/or (preferably) killed
- Become Comes and Vicarius
- See Hengest and the Saxons expelled from Britain
Eleutherius+, Comes Littoris Saxonici
Aged 28. Until the events of 410 changed everything you were Johannes’ second in command in York. When Constantine III’s officials were expelled, the ensuing politicking saw you promoted to Valentinus’ old job as Count of the Saxon Shore. You have no real enemies amongst the Romans. However, you do not like Coel at all, not sharing your former commander’s enthusiasm for the ex-Roman federate chief, whom you see as a traitor. Not surprisingly you are sympathetic to the cause of Cunedda. You are loyal to Johannes, but are not happy at the fact that the northern portions of the Saxon Shore have been stripped from the command. Although you will have to work with him, you dislike and distrust Hengest, and any chance to reincorporate the civitas of the Iceni and its revenues into the Saxon Shore would be very welcome… You were born at Letocetum (Wall) in the civitas of the Cornovii. Gerontius’ family was a rival to your own in local politics, and it is absurd that they now rule the whole civitas as ‘protectors’. The civitas should be brought back into the Empire, and with it the old legionary base at Deva.
Seat: Camulodunum (Colchester)
Territories (and commanders):
- Trinovantes (Petrus + [brother of Marcus, short-lived usurper of 406])
- Cantiaci (Rufinus +)
- Regni (Arnegisclus + [a Frank])
Revenue: 496 + 201 = 697
q. 6 Ships at Camulodunum
r. 100 regulars of the Numerus Abulcorum at Anderida (Pevensey) (Arnegisclus)
s. 50 regulars of the Numerus Exploratorum at Portus Adurni (Portchester)
t. 50 regulars of the Cohors I Baetasiorum at Rutupiae (Richborough) (Rufinus)
u. 50 regulars of the Cohors I Baetasiorum at Dubris (Dover)
v. 50 regulars of the Cohors I Baetasiorum at Regulbium (Reculver)
q. 50 regulars of the Numerus Fortensium and50 of the Equites Dalmatae Branodunenses at
N.B.: You will require a small annual payment from Johannes to ensure that all your troops are paid up all of the time. This could make things difficult. Loot captured from raiders could help…
- See Hengest and the Saxons expelled from Britain, and the Iceni territory restored to the Saxon Shore
- See the Cornovii restored to the empire, and Gerontius removed from power
- Become Comes and Vicarius (preferably as Johannes’ designated successor)
Constantius+, Comes Valentiae
Aged 43. Born in Gaul,you began your career, just as Magnus Maximus, the last real emperor, came to power. He transferred you to Britain, where you have been ever since, as Duke of the Britains and commander of troops stationed in the south. You struck up a friendship with Coel and Gerontius’ father, worked well with them, and like Gerontius well enough, although Cunedda still holds you responsible for moving him forcibly to the civitas of the Ordovices from his homeland. It doesn’t seem as though he’ll ever forgive you for that, though heaven only knows that he’s done well enough out of it. You also get on well with Hengest, an old friend. We’ll make a Roman of him yet. Any reasonable fellow would have thought that with the expulsion of Constantine’s men in 410 you would become Count and Vicarius. However, that sentimental old fool Valentinus prevented you. As a result your old command was reduced and you’ve been sent off to god-forsaken Isca with the newly created title of Comes Valentiae (Count of Valentia, the south-western province). Valentinus pretends he’s related to the imperial dynasty, as well. Ha! Whereas, showing real nobility, you are related to the family of Constantine the Great, though it’s irritating that no one believes you.
Seat: Isca (Exeter)
Territories (and commanders):
- Dumnonii (Gratian + [son of Gratian, short-lived usurper of 406])
- Durotriges (Mallobaudes # [of Frankish descent])
Revenue: 431 + 541 = 972 (+ long-distance trade into the Dumnonii and Durotriges, after 425)
- w. 100 regulars of the Numerus Exploratorum at Nemeto Statio (NorthTawton)
- x. 100 regulars of the I Cohors Cornoviorum and100 regulars of the Equites Catafractarii at Isca
- y. 100 regulars of the IV Cohors Tungrorum at Durnovaria (Dorchester)
- z. 100 regulars of the IV Cohors Gallorum at Vindocladia (Badbury)
- aa. 100 regulars of the II Cohors Dalmatarum at Lindinis (Ilchester)
- See Valentinus removed from office and, preferably, killed
- Become Comes and Vicarius
- Convert Coel, Cunedda or Hengest to Christianity
Coel, Tribunus #:
Old Coel, aged 50. In 383 you were the last governor of the old Britannia Secunda under Gratian, although you didn’t go by the name Coel in those days. When Magnus Maximus seized power, by a clever bit of footwork, you not only kept power but expanded it. Maximus needed troops for his campaigns and so withdrew the formal frontier far to the south, leaving you as a tribune commanding native British federates in his absence. No one doubted that when he came back Maximus would have you framed as a rebel and bandit, and a pagan to boot, and eliminated. But he never did come back,
did he? Meanwhile you changed your name, went native, got on well with his subordinates Constantius and Hengest, and have been ruler of the far north ever since. Life got simpler when, in the first and last move you made with Maximus, a campaign uprooted the new king of the Votadini, Cunedda, and packed him off to Segontium. His father had been a difficult enemy, and the new rulers north of the old Wall have been easier to deal with. Nevertheless the feud with Cunedda is very much alive. You’d let it die, but the old savage won’t. With the exception of Valentinus, you get on well with the current crop of Roman officers.
Seat: Corstopitum (Corbridge)
Territories (and commanders):
- Brigantes (Coel)
- Carvetii (Maglos #)
Revenue: 414 + 391 = 805 + 100 subsidy from the Romans
- Personal bodyguard of 300 men
- Maglos’ bodyguard of 200 men
- Remove Cunedda from power, or kill him
- Take Eboracum as a new capital – Corstopitum is such a backwater
- Take the title of king
N.B.: The Roman Empire still garrisons the colonia at York, and the strategically important river-crossings at Danum (Doncaster) and Calcaria (Tadcaster). Though these are all surrounded by your lands, the Romans are allowed free access to and from these sites, and are supplied from imperial territory. This is a bit of drag however, as these units act as something of a watchdog, and a check on any southwards ambitions you might have.
Cunedda #, Patricius
Aged 45. When your father died you were still young but nevertheless succeeded to the throne of the Votadini, north of the Old Wall, and began to establish yourself. Then one day, one dawn, the hillfort was stormed by Roman and native British troops. All the older warriors were butchered, and the younger ones rounded up. You and they were marched off under close escort. The Romans set you up as federate ruler in the west, with your capital in the old fort at Segontium, whilst a usurper was put on the Votadinian throne in your place. They gave you a noble title – patricius – but you know you’re a king, and one day will be again. The problem is that taking a royal title will set all the Romans against you, and cut off any payments. Still, time will tell… You still hate Coel and Constantius for what they did, and wouldn’t be surprised if Hengest had something to do with it, but the other Roman officers are all right, and Valentinus seems like a potential ally. You do not trust Gerontius, who seems to have an eye on Deva.
Seat: Segontium (Caernarfon)
Territories (and commanders):
- Deceangli (Avitoris +)
- Ordovices + Mona (Cunedda)
- Silures (Boduoc +)
- Demetae (Similinus #)
Revenue: 453 + 341 = 885 (+ long-distance trade into the Silures, Demetae, Ordovices and Deceangli, after 425) + 100 subsidy from the Romans
- Personal bodyguard of 300 men
- Avitoris’ bodyguard of 100 men
- Boduoc’s bodyguard of 100 men
- Similinus’ bodyguard of 100 men
- Become king
- Kill Coel
- Kill Constantius
Aged 38. For some reason which you have never really understood, in the 380s the Emperor Magnus Maximus made the civitas of the Cornovii a federate territory, when he withdrew the troops south, and made your father protector of it. You have always assumed that it was a desperate expedient, never intended to be permanent, but meant as a counter to the large new territories of Coel and Cunedda. Yet the job was botched. To make the policy effective the territory of the colonia at Deva should have been added. This would have allowed the Cornovii a route to the sea, and kept Cunedda and Coel’s territories apart. You would like to take that land, and that around Condate (Northwich). You cannot stand either Coel or Cunedda, but both are to be feared and respected. One person who prevented the acquisition of
Deva in the past is Constantius, whom you had to work with before, and was a friend of your father. He was helpful to you in the past, but patronizing, and you do not like him, though he thinks you do. Otherwise the Roman commanders are decent fellows, with the exception of Eleutherius, who is from a rival family and a bit of an upstart.
Seat Viroconium (Wroxeter)
Territories (and commanders):
267 + 346 = 613
+ 100 subsidy from the Romans
Personal bodyguard of 300 men
Other sub-commanders (if needed):
- Marcus +, son of Gerontius
- Maxentius+, son of Gerontius
N.B.: Regular Roman units are still stationed at Letocetum (Wall) and Derventio (Littlechester) but they are supplied from imperial territory, and are allowed free access to and from that territory. This is a bit of a drag as they act as something of a watchdog. Still they could help, too, in times of crisis.
- Take Deva
- Take Derventio
- Take the title of king
Hengist Saxo #, Protector
Aged 47. The son of a king, you were ousted from your rightful place in Saxon politics when too young to do much about it, and took to a career of piracy. The sly old fox Magnus Maximus appointed you to rule the civitas of the Iceni and guard the British coast against other Saxons and Frankish raiders. This is a pleasant land, though, and would make a fine kingdom if need be. But the empire is a good paymaster, too, and they wouldn’t allow that. You work well with Johannes, who’s a pleasant fellow, and your old friend Constantius. Coel you always got on well with, too, but Eleutherius seems prickly and it would be wise not to trust him, though you may have to co-operate. Valentinus hates you, and you don’t much like him either. Cunedda dislikes you, though you have no real animosity towards either him or Gerontius.
Revenue: 210 + 276 = 486 + 100 subsidy from the Romans
- Personal bodyguard of 200 men
- 500 Saxon warriors settled in the civitas
- 8 Ships
You may recruit from Greater Germany
Other sub-commanders (if needed):
- Aesc #
- Horsa # (brother of Hengest)
Become either king, or Comes and Vicarius
See Saxon territory in Britain enlarged to include at least one more civitas.
See Valentinus removed from office or, preferably, killed
There are a number of significant barbarian bands at large. These may be played characters, or controlled by the umpire. The may raid territory and try to establish their own kingdom, or be hired by the other players.
Ochta: A Saxon leader, and distant relative, of Hengest. He has 10 ships and 300 men.
Aelle: A fearsome Saxon leader, and old enemy of Hengest. He has amassed a force of 15 ships and 450 men.
Cuthwulf: A Saxon leader, with 5 ships and 150 men.
Waldhere: A Saxon leader with 5 ships and 150 men.
Niall: An Irish leader with 10 ships and 300 men
Ailerán: An Irish leader with 10 ships and 300 warriors
Ailill: An Irish leader with 5 ships and 150 men
Fergus: An Irish leader with 5 ships and 150 men
Dúngal: An Irish leader with 10 ships and 300 men.
Other names (if you need them):
Roman ‘Saxon’ Germanic British Irish
Ambrosius Æthelbald Athalaric Aneirin Adomnán
Arborius Æthelberht Bauto Bridei Anmchaid
Antiochus Æthelric Childebert Cadbad Ardgal
Asturius Æthelstan Childeric Cadwallon Colum
Bonitus Berhtred Chrodobert Cuneglassus Cormac
Celsus Berhtwulf Chrodovald Cynan Diarmait
Damasius Cuthred Gundebert Iutgaul Flaithbertach
Hesperius Cuthwine Hellebech Meic Mael
Hesychius Osberht Hermenric Millo Murchad
Melitus Osric Sigeric Pedr Niall
Pacatus Oswald Theodegisl Regin Suibne
Ticinus Saeberht Theodovald Rotri Tigernach
‘Germanic names’ (or ‘Saxon’ ones for that matter) can be used for ‘Roman’ commanders too. Given the fluid nature of politics at the time, other Germanic names could appear in ostensibly Saxon forces. The list here is a mix of names from other continental Germanic-speaking groups. New Testament and ‘early martyr’ names (Laurentius etc.) can be used for Romans and Britons (Pedr is Welsh for Peter).
* = Highlandcivitas. Basic resource value halved
** = Prosperous civitas. Basic resource value doubled.
Civitas: Extent: Revenue Centre
1. Dumnonii: 119 squares 357* = 179 Isca (Exeter)
2. Durotriges; 84 Squares 252 Durnovaria (Dorchester)
3. Belgae: 54 squares 162** = 324 Venta Belgarum (Winchester)
4. Regni: 75 squares 225 Noviomagus (Chichester)
5. Atrebates 39 squares 117** = 234 Calleva (Silchester)
6. Cantiaci: 45 squares 135 Durovernum (Canterbury)
7. Dobunni: 95 squares 285** = 570 Corinium (Cirencester)
8. Catuvellauni: 132 squares 396 Verulamium (St Albans)
9. Trinovantes: 43 squares 126 Caesaromagus (Chelmsford)
10. Iceni: 70 squares 210 Venta Icenorum (Caistor St Edmund)
11. Corieltauvi: 137 squares 411** = 822 Ratae (Leicester) †
12. Cornovii: 89 squares 267 Viroconium (Wroxeter)
13. Silures: 70 squares 210* = 105 Venta Silurum (Caerwent)
14. Demetae: 74 squares 222* = 111 Moridunum (Carmarthen)
15. Ordovices: 70 squares 210* = 105 Segontium (Caernarfon)
+ Mona 13 squares 39** = 78
16. Deceangli: 36 squares 108* = 54 Canovium (Caerhun)
17. Parisii: 34 squares 102** = 204 Petuaria (Brough onHumber)
18. Brigantes: 172 squares 516* = 258 Isurium (Aldborough) ††
19. Carvetii: 104 squares 312* = 156 Luguvalium (Carlisle)
† = Are called the Coritani in older books. More recent research suggests that this was their real name, but it is all still very obscure.
†† = Recent books also give the Gabrantouikes (in the Wolds of north-east Yorkshire), the Setantoi (in southern Lancashire) and the Tectoverdi (behind the middle of Hadrian’s Wall), within the Brigantian area. I have ignored these, but for no very good reason except that breaking up the Brigantes would make them economically very poor and easy to knock out. Include them if you like.
Bonus for political centre:
Add squares within 6 square radius of seat; Deduct total from 169; Multiply result by 5; Deduct result from 831.
As usual, I’ll be happy to hear any responses, queries or feedback about this scenario.
Part 12: ‘Duke of Battles’