Another fairly unique (within the COIN series) feature of Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain is that, at least in the scenarios starting at the very beginning of the period covered by the game (c. 360 AD), two of the four factions begin play with not one single piece on the map! These are, of course, the two barbarian factions, the Saxons and Scotti, as Britain begins solidly in control of the Roman Empire, represented by the two Briton factions, the Dux and Civitates. While the barbarians can raid by sea and over the northern border, it will be essential for them to settle on the island itself to compete for a win:
For the very first time in the COIN series, in Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain, you will be able to take control and use for your own the pieces of another faction… How so? Through the very unique feature of Foederati, that typical Late Roman practice of hiring potential or even erstwhile enemies in exchange for land or subsidies. Let us explore this further:
The fourth and fifth centuries AD were ones of widespread violence in Western Europe as the old Roman imperial structure buckled down under internal tensions and external barbarian pressure. Whether as a result of raids, or as a product of direct military confrontations between rival powers, there will be a lot of battles in Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain, and we are now going to have a look at how these work.
As we examined in the previous volume of these Chronicles, raiding is an important feature of the period covered by Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain. As a consequence, if you are playing a Briton faction, you better be prepared to suffer significant harm and desolation from marauding raiders. But that does not mean you are helpless in trying to mitigate, punish, or even deter these depredations, as you are going to see forthwith.
Possibly the most characteristic feature of Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain is the importance of raiding and counter-raider warfare: no matter what approach you adopt, you are going to undertake (if you play a Barbarian faction) or suffer (if you are playing a Briton faction) a lot of raids, so let’s start with raiding. We will talk of counter-raider warfare in the next installment of these Chronicles.