The First of the Fast Forward History
was a somewhat slow year in Britannia land,, with only
33 players vying for the silver tray. But, we had a special guest
on tap to observe the games. Lew Pulsipher, the long lost designer
of the game, showed up to watch! Lew observed every round of
Britannia with an eye towards coming up with a rationalized
set of rules for Britannia 2. We'll all look forward to
the new game.
In the meanwhile, Lew had a couple of short scenarios for
Britannia that received extensive playtesting during the
tournament. A number of people had fun with those as well as
two other games Lew's working on, Germania and Dark Ages. You
can check these out at http://www.pulsiphergames.com/projects.htm.
In the wins and losses column this year an unusual thing happened,
Blue won three games in the heats! Generally, Blue is lucky to
achieve even one win. Not only that, but all of the wins were
solid at 110 points or better. It is to be hoped that this unusual
result stems from the random distribution of colors in the heats
that was started this year.
Nonetheless, as usual, Red claimed the highest number of heat
wins with five, Purple and Blue followed with three each, and
Green trailed with two. High scores in the heats were claimed
by David Yoon (Purple 121), John Emery (Green 111.5),
Jon Squibb (Red 147.5), and Jim Jordan (Blue 127.)
The final featured two serial rivals, Nick Benedict and Ewan
McNay, being paired with David Yoon and Ralph Gleaton. David
is a calm veteran of the game who has shown up in the finals
before while Ralph is new to the tournament this year and won
his way into the semis with a Blue victory.
Much to Ewan's disappointment, random selection bestowed Blue
his, umm, favorite color in the final this year. Meanwhile, Nick
had Purple, his favorite (or perhaps just the one he always seems
stuck with.) Rounding it out, Ralph pulled Green, and David Red.
The game was thus set for a furious fight.
The beginning of the game was not happy for Blue with the
Belgae only striking one of the Purple horde of legions. The
Brigantes also faired poorly with taking down but one legion.
So, the Romans did well at the beginning, coming up with 52 points.
In general, after that, the Purple turn was inauspicious with
few points for the Romano-British or the Dubliners, but the Scots
pulled in a steady round of points, maintaining a balance with
the Picts in the north.
The mid-game looked positively normal, with Red and Blue maintaining
a strong presence in England. The Danes managed to score well
on their major invasion, but were swiftly beaten back to a small
presence. Green nonetheless held on to steady points with the
Welsh and the Caledonians. And, somehow, Ralph's Jutes hypnotized
David's Saxons into leaving them alone for rounds and rounds
to score a massive 12 points.
All of the strong presences on the board meant that the final
invasions were not going to be easy. It was somehow fitting that
Nick and Ewan's rivalry came down to the end with Nick's Norwegians
and Ewan's Normans. The Norwegians came into the thick of it
and managed, just, to get the standard 14 points. But then there
was the denouement. The Normans came into a nasty wall of units
and, in a horrible turn of dice rolling, William was run over
with boxcars. And that was it for Blue. But it was not it for
In the last event, the few remaining Norwegians, reduced to
two spaces, were attacked by the Normans in one space. This allowed
them to retreat to two spaces, ensuring an extra point for Purple
and pushing Nick into a 107 point win over Ralph Gleaton's Greens
with 106.5. Nick thus becomes the first person on the Britannia
plate to add his name two years in a row. We'll see what happens
Thanks to everyone for playing! In notes for next year, we'll
continue with colors being randomly picked in each round. Additionally,
three heats worked fine this year, as did the demo, so we'll
continue those as well. For the demonstration next year we'll
use one of the short variants that Lew came up with which demonstrates
the mechanics of the game very well. The variant is for two players
and has the Romans playing against everyone else for the first
five rounds. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone next year