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BRETWALDA, n.: the title given to rulers of Anglo-Saxon kingdoms from the Vth century onwards who had achieved overlordship of some or all of the other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. The first element, "Bret", may be related to Briton or Britain. The second element, "walda" is generally translated as "sovereign" but is more literally a "wielder". Therefore, a Bretwalda is a wielder of the Britons.

The game begins in Winter 620/1 with no units on the board. This is then a build phase, where each power can construct any units in its home centres. Fleets can only be built in ports (see below), but in this phase boat bunches can also be constructed in any coastal centre. This cannot be done in any subsequent build phase. (See below)

Winning conditions: There are 50 supply centres on the board: thus 26 are required for victory.

Special areas: Iona is a land territory, although due to the sea area between it and mainland Scotland, an army cannot move to Dunadd, Great Glen or Ross from there. A boat bunch or fleet can do so, however, and armies can still exist in Iona (having been convoyed or built there): they just can't move anywhere without first building boats.

Home centres: As part of the adjustment phase, players are now allowed to designate a single home centre to be moved to a different centre they control. The original centre gives up its ability to build new units, while the new one gains it. Both must be in the control of the player at the time, and the change does not take effect until the next adjustment phase (i.e. in the same phase you can still build in the old centre, but not the new one)

By designating neutral centres as ports, this allows a lot more tactical options.

If a power loses a home centre while it is a home centre, they cannot simply move the centre to somewhere else and continue to have 3 home centres. That centre remains as a home centre, and must be recaptured if they wish to have 3 build centres again. Of course, it is also possible to move any neighbouring home centres away and fight on with only 2 (or whatever). A power can never have more home centres than it started with.

So the advantages of moving your home centres nearer the front line can be outweighed by the risks of losing all your home centres if the tide turns against you.

In the Dark Ages, many people groups were migrating around the British Isles, and power depended more on population than immovable resources. It seemed like a good idea, both historically and tactically, to allow for this migration and have non-fixed home centres. However, I'm not really a fan of the idea of building in *any* centre you own: it too easily turns small advantages into big ones and makes it very hard to fight back.


Bretwalda has 3 types of unit: armies (A), fleets (F) and boat bunches (B).

(1):Armies These behave exactly as in normal Diplomacy.

(2):Fleets These behave exactly as in normal Diplomacy, except for one thing. They were not readily available in the Dark Ages, and hence construction of them is restricted. They can only be built in designated ports. The Picts were the only British kingdom to have a decent sized navy: this is represented by giving the Picts 2 ports, and everyone else 1. The following supply centres are designated as ports for the various powers, and the neutral ports:

Dalriada: Iona [Ion] East Anglia: Ipswich [Ips] Gwynedd: Caernarfon [Cae] Kernow: Scillonia [Sci] Leinster: Wexford [Wex] Mercia: Gloucester [Glo] Northumbria: Bamburgh [Bam] Pictland: Abernethy [Abn] Pictland: Burghead [Bur] Wessex: Portchester [Por] The neutral ports

Rheged [Rhe] Isle of Man [IoM] The Hebrides [Heb] Galway [Gal] Ystradtywi [Yst] London [Lon] Flanders [Fla] (3):Boat bunches A boat bunch represents an army with a set of boats. They are constructed from a coastal army by a special boat-building order: A (Den) = B. This move will work unless the army is attacked: similar to cutting support. Boat bunches cannot be built during build phases.

A boat bunch may move across sea areas, but because the boats are smaller and of poorer quality than those comprising fleets, they must hug coastlines at all times. In other words, a boat bunch may not pass from one sea area to another unless there is an adjoining coastline common to both sea areas. For example, B (NSN) - WAS is legal, B (NSN) - NSS is not. This does not prevent B (Wic) - CDG, B (CDG) - Aby, however: only sea-to-sea movement without a coastline nearby is prevented.

Once constructed, the boats are kept with the army until voluntaily abandoned. This can be by one of 4 means:

(1) moving inland : B (Den) - Pow leaves Gwynedd with A (Pow). (2) supporting inland: B (Den) s A (Che) - Pow leaves Gwynedd with A (Den) (3) being convoyed : B (Den) - Mer VIA COL leaves Gwynedd with A (Mer) (4) being explicitly abandoned : B (Den) - Che (db) signifies that the boats are to be left behind.

Coastal boat bunch moves default to taking boats with the army unless explicitly stated otherwise.

Misorders are simply treated as void - that unit holds. So if a boat bunch tries to move inland but orders something illegal, the boats are still held. Note this does not apply to supporting other powers' moves which don't happen ...

Convoys: Only a FLEET can convoy. A boat bunch cannot - it is inferior out at sea in this respect.

Either an army or a boat bunch can BE convoyed - in the case of the boat bunch this requires it to abandon its boats, as above.

BUT convoys are not restricted to "land-to-land"!

A sea-borne boat bunch can be convoyed by a (sea-borne) fleet. As this requires abandoning boats, however, the boat bunch is DESTROYED if it fails to reach its destination.

e.g. Gwynedd:

B (CDG) - Arm VIA IRI F (IRI) c B (CDG) - Arm

will leave Gwynedd with A (Arm) and F (IRI) if it works.

However, if Dalriada comes in with B (NCH) - IRI F (IoM) s B (NCH) - IRI. the convoying fleet is dislodged, and B (CDG) is DESTROYED.

A similar thing would occur if Dalriada simply moved A (Ban) - Arm, bouncing the convoy and leaving B (CDG) destroyed.

F (IRI) could still retreat to CDG if it is vacant.

A fleet moving into CDG in this case would succeed unsupported.

Void convoys where a convoy from another power's fleet was expected and not delivered, are treated as a "stand" order, thus boats are not lost, nor are sea-borne boat bunches destroyed. The same goes for moves which would otherwise lose boats, but are impossible (e.g. moves inland to non-adjacent territories) However, a support given to another power's move that does not happen does require loss of boats.

Bretwalda province names Land areas Abn - Abernethy P * Aby - Aberystwyth G * Alc - Alcluyd * Arm - Armagh * Art - Artois Ath - Atholl P Bam - Bamburgh N * Ban - Bangor D * Ber - Bernicia N Buc - Buckingham * Bui - Builth G Bur - Burghead P * Cae - Caernarfon G * Cai - Caithness P Cam - Cambridge E * Can - Canterbury * Cas - Cashel L * Che - Chester * Cir - Circinn P Cum - Cumbria Dal - Dalcassian L Dei - Deira N Den - Denbigh G * Dor - Dorchester * Dun - Dunadd D * Dyf - Dyfed G Elm - Elmet * Ess - Essex E Exe - Exeter K * Exm - Exmoor K Fla - Flanders * Far - Faringdon W * Gal - Galway * Gla - Glastonbury * Glo - Gloucester M * God - Gododdin * GrG - Great Glen D Gyr - Gyrwa E Ham - Hampshire W Hat - Hatfield * Heb - The Hebrides * Her - Herefordshire M Hwi - Hwicce Inv - Inverness P * IoM - Isle of Man * Ion - Iona D * Ips - Ipswich E * Ker - Kerrier K Lan - Lancaster N * Lin - Lindsey * Lon - London * Man - Manau May - Mayo Mer - Mersey Mgn - Morgannwg * Mun - Munster L Nrw - Norwich E * Ntn - Northamptonshire Ork - The Orkneys * Pns - The Pennines N Por - Portchester W * Pow - Powys G Rhe - Rheged * Ros - Ross Sci - Scillonia K * Sha - Shannon Shr - Shrewsbury M * SSt - South Strathclyde Sus - Sussex Tam - Tamworth M * Tar - Tara L * Tin - Tintagel K * Tir - Tirconnel D Tre - Trent M Tyr - Tyrone D War - Warwick M * Wea - The Weald W Wex - Wexford L * Wic - Wicklow Wil - Wiltshire W Win - Winchester W * Wiv - Wivel K Wix - Wixna E Wol - The Wolds N Wro - Wrockenset M Yor - York N * Yst - Ystradtywi * Sea areas ANG - Anglican Sea BCH - Bristol Channel CDG - Cardigan Bay CEL - Celtic Sea COL - Colwyn Bay CRS - Cornish Sea DOG - Dogger Bank ECH - English Channel FAS - Fastnet FFT - Firths of Forth and Tay HBS - Hibernian Sea IRI - Irish Sea LYM - Lyme Bay MAO - Mid - Atlantic Ocean MIN - The Minch MOF - Moray Firth MOR - Morecambe Bay NAO - North Atlantic Ocean NCH - North Channel NSN - North Sea North NSS - North Sea South PEF - Pentland Firth SEV - Severn Estuary SOD - Straits of Dover SOJ - Sound of Jura SOL - Solway Firth STG - St. George's Channel THA - Thames Estuary WAS - The Wash