Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain board game
Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain board game

Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain

"At that time all members of the assembly, along with the proud tyrant, are blinded; such is the protection they find for their country (it was, in fact, its destruction) that those wild Saxons, of accursed name, hated by God and men, should be admitted into the island, like wolves into the folds, in order to repel the northern nations. Nothing more hurtful, certainly, nothing more bitter, happened to the island than this [...]"

Gildas (De Excidio Britanniae, Part I.23)

So wrote the 6th Century AD British monk Gildas in his pamphlet De Excidio Britanniae ("On the Ruin of Britain") about what had befallen the Romano-British lands. This crucial period in history saw the end of the Roman Empire in Britain and the seeds of the modern nations of England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and Brittany. Most of us know next to nothing about this period, but we know of its legends - from King Arthur and his knights, through Merlin, Vortigern and Hengest, Badon Hill and the Isle of Avalon, to St. Patrick and Niall of the Nine Hostages...

"For the fire of righteous vengeance, caused by former crimes, blazed from sea to sea, heaped up by the eastern band of impious men; and as it devastated all the neighboring cities and lands, did not cease after it had been kindled, until it burnt nearly the whole surface of the island, and licked the western ocean with its red and savage tongue. [...]"

Gildas (De Excidio Britanniae, Part I.24)

Volume VIII in GMT's COIN Series transports us into the 4th and 5th Centuries A.D. and to the embattled Isle of Britannia. Pendragon - The Fall of Roman Britain covers a century of history from the first large-scale raids of Irish, Pict, and Saxon raiders, to the establishment of successor kingdoms, both Celtic and Germanic. This sumptuous volume adapts the celebrated asymmetrical COIN engine to depict the political, military, religious, and economic struggles of Dark Ages Britain.

Shrouded in mists of myth and legend, this story so foundational to many national groups has been subject to many different narratives and interpretations. The traditional Victorian vision of brutal and violent conquest of Roman and Celtic Britain by Anglo-Saxon raiders and invaders now collides with modern historical views ranging from continuity of tribal rivalries to quasi-peaceful cohabitation and acculturation.

Pendragon leverages the tremendous flexibility of the COIN system, from dual events to dissimilar approaches and victory conditions, to capture the complexity of the period and let the players explore alternative narratives. Unlike earlier volumes, Pendragon is not about counterinsurgency per se, but focuses on the asymmetrical clashes between and among Romano-British authorities and Barbarian powers gnashing over the carcass of the Roman Empire.

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    Good choices. I agree that a game doesn't need to be a premium edition in order to be considered deluxe. 

    When did you get#Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain? Is it soloable?

    I don't have any "deluxe" editiions of normal games. However, I do have a few games that I think are deluxe in their own right.

    #Pax Pamir (Second Edition) is a truly beautiful game with truly awesome components. I turned mine up to 11 with buying the metal coins for it. It is a truly luxurious experience.

    #Cloudspire This is a preorder for me, I don't have it yet. But, I expect it to be a truly premium experience complete with the premium health chips rather than the stock health chips.

    This is sort of in left field, and many might not consider this premium in the normal way..... But, I think that #Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain is a deluxe game. All the counters are nice. The board is absolutely stunningly gorgeous. The cards are very very nice. And the hundreds, literally, beautiful wooden pieces. I do think that this is a premium game, even if it has a bunch of counters.

    At the beginning of the year I shared my top ten list. I plan to do so again at the beginning of 2021. Of the games that I have played, I do see great great potential in shaking up my top ten pretty handily.

    Top 5: I see great potential for the addition of:

    #Pax Pamir (Second Edition)

    #Pax Porfiriana

    and #Navajo Wars.

    In case you didn't notice, that is three games out of five. So, if they do break into my top five..... thank that will be a lot of turnover.

    In my top ten, I think that there is a great chance for:

    #1862: Railway Mania in the Eastern Counties

    and a good chance, although a lesser chance for:



    For games that I have bought, but haven't played... that I think could fit into my top 10.

    #Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain

    #High Frontier 4 All

    #Gaia Project



    Most recent board game *purchase* was #Imperial Struggle. I bought that from Gamenerdz with a gift card from a BGA GAW several months ago. But, I don't have it yet, I have it on hold there, I hope to release it sometime when I can more easily pick it up.

    I picked up all of my most recent arrivals at the same time, on my last trip to the states a month or so ago. They were:

    • #Pax Pamir (Second Edition). This is the second printing of this game. I kickstarted it back in March or so. I have had the chance to play this several times. And, it is truly great. I am very pleased with it. I bought it primarily for solo play.
    • #Pax Porfiriana This is the "collectors edition" of this game, and I had bought it several months ago. I mostly bought it because I was intrigued by the idea of Pax games, and I was listening to the "revolutions podcast" series on the mexican revolution. I knew there was a solo variant designed by Ricky Royal, but I wasn't expecting much from that. That being said, in my plays of it, so far I think I might like it a little bit better than Pamir.
    • #Root I picked this as a BGA GAW win back in January. I heard that the better bot pnp was really really good. I have only played it once. But, so far it is really good.
    • #1862: Railway Mania in the Eastern Counties Another GAW win. I picked it up to play solo. I have played it twice so far, and it is a really compelling puzzly sort of experience.
    • #Navajo Wars I bought this on a whim one time when Noble Knight had a NOS copy of the first printing, and it was on sale. This has been the biggest surpise of the bunch. I adore this game. It is super compelling.

    Coming on Kickstarter, I went all in on the #Pax Renaissance: 2nd edition/ #Pax Viking kickstarter. As a result I have, coming my way in the future:

    1. #Pax Renaissance: 2nd edition
    2. #Pax Viking
    3. #High Frontier 4 All
      1. #High Frontier 4 All: Module 1 – Terawatt
      2. #High Frontier 4 All: Module 2 – Colonization
      3. #High Frontier 4 All: Module 3 – Conflict

    I have #Pax Emancipation on preorder at GameNerdz.

    And, either waiting in Kansas, or waiting on me to release them at GameNerdz:

    1. #Imperial Struggle
    2. #Gaia Project
    3. #Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain
    4. #Conquest of Paradise
    5. #Porta Nigra

    Oh, there are many, including:

    There are many more.

    Also, yes, #Spirit Island is a very good, very thematic game.

    I am not 100% sure if #Pax Pamir (Second Edition) will deliver in time. It is going to be a close one. If it delivers while I am there, then that is what I am most excited for. If it doesn't deliver in time than I have #Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain waiting there. I think that is what I am looking most forward to that is there right now.

    Hey, my tagging works.

    #Castle Itter

    #Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! – Russia 1941-42

    #Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel

    #Conflict of Heroes: Guadalcanal - The Pacific 1942

    I really don't know how much time and effort he is willing to invest in learning and playing these games. But if he were willing to run some sort of AI bot, you could check out the COIN series from GMT. They are generally highly regarded. They include:

    #Andean Abyss

    #Cuba Libre

    #Liberty or Death: The American Insurrection

    #Colonial Twilight: The French-Algerian War, 1954-62

    #Falling Sky: The Gallic Revolt Against Caesar

    #Gandhi: The Decolonization of British India, 1917 – 1947

    #Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain

    #Fire in the Lake

    And, I have a feeling I am missing several.

    I have aquired games that I expect to never try to play multiplayer. Some of these I have played, and some are still in the states. But, they are multiplayer games that I expect to only ever play solo.

    They include:

    #Star Trek: Frontiers

    #Navajo Wars

    #Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain

    #High Frontier 4 All

    I am afraid I have, multiple times. Some include,

    The impulse is almost always price related. I don't think I ever really buy a game without pretty decent research beforehand. But, when I see a game I know a fair amount about for a good price, I have often picked it up without thinking much about it, no matter if it was on my "must buy sometime" list or not.

    I think that any Cole Werhle historical game will tempt me mightily. I am eagerly awaiting to see what he does with the second edition of #John Company.


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