We became acquainted with Maurice Suckling with his game Freeman’s Farm 1777 from Worthington Publishing in 2019 and really enjoyed the different mechanics of that game and how they all came together to create an interactive and interesting look at the Battle of Saratoga during the American Revolution. Since that time, Maurice has designed several games that have went onto successful Kickstarter campaigns including Hidden Strike: American RevolutionChancellorsville 1863 and 1565 Siege of Malta all from Worthington Publishing. He is now codesigning a game with Daniel Burt called Rebellion: Britannia that is the first entry in a future series from GMT Games and we agreed to host a series of Event Card Spoiler posts here designed to give our readers a look into how the game works.

If you are interested in Rebellion: Britannia, you can pre-order a copy for $52.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-989-rebellion-britannia.aspx

*Please keep in mind that the artwork and layout of these cards is not yet finalized and is only for playtest purposes at this point. Also, as this game is still in development, card details may still change prior to publication.

Card #3

Bountiful Land

This part of the Event Card relates to the Culture system discussed previously, which incentivizes the Briton factions to attempt to control Agriculture tokens, representing a focus on agricultural development over military conquests, although there can be some relationship between the two. This Event Card is placed beside the board and is used during end game scoring, with the card type being highlighted by having a VP icon (a laurel wreath) as its background. As not all Event Cards are used in any given game of Rebellion: Britannia, this Scoring Card may or may not come into play over the course of a game.

The Tribes Bristle

This is the same system discussed previously for Card #1, with Tension being placed in Brigantes.

The Event deck is the system through which we make the play space dynamic through the shifting totals and locations of British Tension pieces. Some of these changes affect player factions – the faction leaders themselves don’t always get to control when their support increases or dissipates. Some of these changes affect non-player British tribes. Although this game models three major British tribes and gives players the chance to control them, there were numerous other British tribes of note in this century, and we model them too. We have a non-playable conglomerate ‘faction’ we call ‘Other Britons’. These tribes can grow and shrink in power over the course of the game, and they can be influenced to join alliances with the players’ factions. (We know that the Trinovantes tribe joined Boudica’s rebellion, and we also know that Rome also tussled with the Ordovices tribe in what today is north east Wales – so this allows us to reflect this part of the history in the game as well.) Rome loses VP if any British tribe (including the conglomerate faction of ‘Other Britons’) cannot place a Tension marker when either an Event Card or their own card requires it. This represents Rome’s compulsion to keep the Britons in check – if there’s too much Tension in Britannia then Rome is failing at its overall task of suppression. This maintains pressure on Rome to keep the situation in check. It also incentivizes the Britons to keep agitating and to make life difficult for Rome.

The color of the Tension (the owning faction) is determined by the region itself. Either that region will belong to a player or it won’t. If it belongs to a player that player receives a Tension token they can use. If the region doesn’t belong to a player it uses the color corresponding to the color of the region’s outline.

Throughout the period the game covers (47-61 CE) the British tribes were seldom placid. The system in the game that generates tension in the regions on the board is a way to depict the constancy of the problem for Rome, and the opportunities for the British tribes. The tension arising from other British tribes can also be as much of a problem for players controlling British factions as it is for Rome – those other tribes can restrict their own movement. One of the ideas behind this tension system is that there are many elements outside of the control of the players – even if they are in control of factions, there are other factions they cannot control – as well as other elements too.

Venutius Rebels

There are several significant historical events which occur in the 14 year span of our game, with all the playable factions – Rome, Iceni, Brigantes, and Silures experiencing changes in leadership. The game uses the Event deck to control the triggering of these events, rather than letting players control this themselves – again, because life is complex. With 6 Event Cards put aside in every game players can’t actually be certain if events will happen within the span of a game or not. In the late 50’s CE, Cartimandua, Queen of the Brigantes, divorced her husband Venutius.Tacitus tells us they  had been loyal and “defended Rome by arms”, but on their divorce Cartimandua quickly married her shield-bearer, Vellocatus. Venutius raised forces against Cartimandua and her Roman allies, and the new Roman Governor, Aulus Didius Gallus was forced to send troops to quell the rebellion. Venutius’ forces were defeated, but he was spared, and Cartimandua and Vellocatus were allowed to rule as Queen and King – although their story doesn’t end there and extends to 69 CE and the year of four emperors (outside the span of our game) and Venutius retook control of the Brigantes when Rome was unable to send sufficient troops to keep Cartimandua in power.

If you missed the previous entries to date in the series, you can catch up on the posts by following the below links:

Card #1 Roman Supply Lines Tested, The Tribes Bristle and Development

Card #2 Military Occupation, Clash of Cultures and Prasutagus Dies

There will be more card spoilers to come in the near future with at least 8 total cards being spoiled. In the meantime, if you are interested we recently posted an interview with the designers and you can read that at the following link: https://theplayersaid.com/2023/01/09/interview-with-maurice-suckling-designer-of-rebellion-britannia-resistance-against-rome-in-1st-century-britain-from-gmt-games/

If you are interested in Rebellion: Britannia, you can pre-order a copy for $52.00 from the GMT Games website at the following link: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-989-rebellion-britannia.aspx