From the Depths: Britannia

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12 Mar 2019 00:00 #293712 by Jackwraith
I've been trying to get away from what seem to...

A slow-moving wargame that's often as much history lesson as game experience.

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12 Mar 2019 14:45 #293713 by Jackwraith
I find it mildly odd that the Amazon ads show this version going for $125, while the FFG version is on sale for $220. No respect for age, I guess. Or were the components in the FFG version really that much better?

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12 Mar 2019 14:52 #293715 by Sagrilarus
Britannia is a great choice for a long session, and almost guaranteed to spawn some serious discussion during the play, historic, strategic, and otherwise. This is a game you schedule to have a dinner break in the middle of. Kids, this title is from the time when games were manly things. You'd step away to split firewood, do an oil change or sire children on other peoples' turns.

I'll mention that Britannia is the best known of a whole family of games with a similar running gear. I used to own Maharajah, which lets you dive into Indian history instead of British, if you're looking for a change of pace. (The British make a late appearance of course.)
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12 Mar 2019 15:17 #293717 by Jackwraith
Oh, wow. I totally forgot about Maharajah. I loved that game because, again, it taught me things about Indian history that I was clueless about. Now I should trade for a copy...

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12 Mar 2019 15:48 #293719 by Count Orlok
I played the FFG release once many years ago and remember enjoying it. It was long, however.

One thing I wondered about this game would be the possibility of turning it into a campaign game. I don't think you could keep the spirit of the game by simplifying and speeding it up too much, but maybe if you had a way to break the full campaign up between multiple sessions easily you could make it more feasible to get to the table. With games like this, the scope is part of the appeal, but also one of the major obstacles to seeing them played or reprinted. Perhaps enterprising developers could consider how they could be adapted for gamers who balk at six hour sessions, but will played dozens of Gloomhaven sessions?

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12 Mar 2019 22:43 #293725 by Jackwraith
Hm. That's a thought, but I think it would be a major redesign of the game. In all honesty, it's not that complex. It just takes some thinking and there are a lot of pieces involved at any given moment. Trying to stretch it out over several sessions might turn a slow-paced game into tedium. It might be feasible if there were a way to represent smaller action within the 80-year turns, like we used to do with our combo BFG/Epic/40K games, where we'd basically drill down from one scale to the next. But that, again, would mean adding a ton of detail.

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12 Mar 2019 23:06 #293728 by Sagrilarus

Count Orlok wrote: I played the FFG release once many years ago and remember enjoying it. It was long, however.

One thing I wondered about this game would be the possibility of turning it into a campaign game. I don't think you could keep the spirit of the game by simplifying and speeding it up too much, but maybe if you had a way to break the full campaign up between multiple sessions easily you could make it more feasible to get to the table. With games like this, the scope is part of the appeal, but also one of the major obstacles to seeing them played or reprinted. Perhaps enterprising developers could consider how they could be adapted for gamers who balk at six hour sessions, but will played dozens of Gloomhaven sessions?


Vassal.

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13 Mar 2019 10:45 - 13 Mar 2019 10:46 #293746 by lewpuls@gmail.com
The FFG version is considerably better, in most players' opinion. I used that second edition as an opportunity to fix some misunderstandings that crept into the first, and to add such things as Roman roads, Boudicca's rebellion, and Saxon burhs.

A reissue of the FFG edition using plastic figures will be out within a year from PSC Games (UK). It will include in the same box a two player Duel Britannia, using a different board and lasting 65-75 minutes. This will both help people learn the system of the big game, and provide an alternative to those who prefer much shorter games. The game is in late playtesting.

I've also developed a much shorter four player game with a new board, "Conquer Britannia", which has been played in as little as 84 minutes.

Within the year there should also be an electronic version of the FFG game available from a French company.

Providing we all live long enough, of course!

Lew Pulsipher
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13 Mar 2019 10:54 #293747 by Jackwraith
All of that sounds excellent. Thanks for chiming in, Lew.

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