Queen of the Celts
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Queen of the Celts is a scenario-rich environment, covering both the resistance to Roman invasion and Boudicca's "rebellion" a generation later. Plus some ore fighting on top of that. Here's a look at what you get in the package:

The Medway
Summer, 43

Plautius was able to land unopposed in Kent, in three beachheads based around the Wantsum Channel. The Romans quickly and efficiently organized themselves for the coming campaign. Caractus did not even have the option of opposing this, as he had to again rally the scattered tribes for warriors. This proved more difficult than before, as with the Romans actually ashore, there were Britons who believed the chance to resist them was over, and having prospered via economic ties to Rome, were lukewarm about fighting. He could only assemble as many warriors as possible a safe distance away from the Romans and await their first moves.

Plautius moved out of his secure bridgehead with the invasion already planned in successive stages. The first stage was to cement the conquest of southeastern Britain and to do this he would expand and improve on Caesar’s second campaign. At the River Medway he would meet Caractus. The latter had destroyed the bridges and slightly outnumbered the Romans so he felt pretty sure about his positions. The resourceful Romans, using agents among the disaffected, knew something about the lay of the land. On their left flank, out of sight of Caractus, the II Legion forded the river. On the right the Batavian auxiliaries and supporting troops did the same.

The Batavians joined battle first, and Caractus sent his mobile formations, chariots and light cavalry to deal with them. Then the II Legion arrived and he had to dispatch a larger infantry force against them. As the battle raged on both flanks north of the river, Plautius began to cross the Medway with the XIV Legion against lighter opposition than Caractus would have offered otherwise. Fighting was fierce and the Celts gave as good as they got but when the XX Legion arrived on the flank to reinforce the II, it became obvious to Caractus that the battle was lost and he retreated in good order to the north.

Iceni   Legion

The Thames
Summer, 43

Plautius paused long enough to gather his forces together north of the river and prepare the next stage of his advance, as more reinforcements from the beachhead arrived. Caractus withdrew north of the river Thames to do the same. Once again he sought to use the river as a shield against the Romans as he gathered more support. After the retreat from the Medway this became even more difficult as many tribal elders saw the futility of opposing the Romans and wanted to salvage as much independence as possible by cooperating with the invaders.

Caractus’ force north of the Thames was a shadow of the army fielded at the Medway. Some warriors melted away, and most of his mobile forces had been lost covering the retreat from the earlier battle. The Roman navy, which would prove a wonderful resource to Plautius, helped in the crossing of the Thames outside of Caractus' reach. The XX and II Legions and support fell upon the Britons, who took up position in the marshy fens since they lacked chariots and cavalry to fight over more open ground. Fighting was fierce and casualties heavy to both sides but Caractus was forced to withdraw as morale collapsed after the death of his brother, the brave Togodumnus.

The Fall of Camulodunum
Fall, 43

Politics now entered military operations for the Romans. Pausing north of the Thames, Plautius sent word to Rome that the campaign was no longer in doubt. Claudius hit the road with a vengeance, and reinforcements were already gathering on the Gallic coast. Once Claudius arrived, and records seem to indicate he stayed less than three weeks in Britain, the Romans struck out towards Camulodunum (modern Colchester), one of the most prosperous and frequented seaports in north-east Europe. Its fall would demonstrate Roman might and the futility of resistance.

Employing the IX and XIV Legions which had largely escaped damage in the earlier battles, the Romans advanced with Claudius “commanding.” Contemporary accounts are at odds but it appears the Imperial procession was opposed near the river Lea by local forces that had rallied. Seeing the elephants which Claudius brought across the channel, the Celtic war ponies had a collective coronary and the opposition was brushed aside quite easily.

Rape of Maiden Castle
Spring, 45

The future emperor Vespasian took his II Legion and supporting troops into south-western Britain with multiple purposes in mind. The subjugation of local tribes was of course a good thing. He also needed to establish a land route for supply purposes to aid Roman expansion in the north. Sea travel around Land’s End between the English and Bristol Channels was treacherous due to tides and winds. A secure land route was highly desirable. Resistance was scattered and largely ineffectual, as Vespasian would take one Celtic hill fort after another, defeating the tribes piecemeal as with Caractus far to the north, no one was able to unite them.

The most fierce opposition to Vespasian came at a large hill fort known as Maiden Castle. With intricate wooden and earthen ramparts and walls, the defenders stoutly resisted the Roman attack. Fighting was fierce and casualties heavy. Archeological evidence is not clear whether the Romans actually occupied the fort after the fighting. There is some indication that, having broken the back of the local tribes who made their stand there, Vespasian moved on without occupying the castle, as his aim of destroying the armed warriors was more important than detaching a garrison at every turn.

Hit and Run
Summer, 47

The Romans spread north and west in gradual stages. Advancing with both cohorts and diplomats, one tribe after another would subjugate voluntarily or otherwise. Most saw the economic advantages of this and conquest proceeded largely without trouble. Plautius would leave the island in 46, being replaced by Marcus Scapula. Caractus and the opposition were hardly inactive during this time. He would lead a guerrilla war against the occupation forces and traitors that would gain him a great reputation across unoccupied Europe and the Roman Empire itself.

This scenario is typical of the raids lead by Caractus against the occupation forces. Supply and relief columns could be hit and destroyed, making life miserable for the Romans. Sadly, such tactics could not turn the tide of the campaign.

Last Stand at Caersws
Summer, 51

The Romans slowly spread like a disease throughout the island. The followers of Caractus dwindled though the great leader did not give up the fight. His strategic maneuvering caused Scapula to split off the XX Legion among the Silures while Scapula continued his Welsh campaign with the XIV. Seeing a chance at defeating the Roman general, Caractus offered battle at the hill fort at Caersws.

Caractus misjudged the Romans in a set piece engagement once more. Using the testudo formation, the Romans were largely immune to Celtic sling stones. The fighting was fierce but Rome clearly carried the day and Caractus escaped and attempted to rally support among the mighty Brigantes tribe, whose royal family was divided in loyalties. Their ruler, Queen Cartimandua, seized him and handed him over to the Romans, and our brave but luckless hero would later occupy the place of “honor” in a Roman processional triumph. The Queen’s husband, Venutius, not impressed with his wife's perfidy, would divorce her and raise the banner of resistance for years to come in the northern parts of the island.

A Woman Scorned
Summer, 60

By the summer of 60, the entirety of what is considered England proper was under Roman rule. Scotland was still not subjugated and Wales was still restive. It was in the latter that the current governor, Gaius Paulinus, was campaigning in an effort to destroy the Celtic Druids in their stronghold. The Iceni were one of the many tribes who had submitted to the Romans and had prospered somewhat by that association. When the Iceni king died the Roman administration saw an opportunity to put an end to the charade of self-rule and took over the tribal lands. When the wife of the late king strongly protested she was beaten and her daughters raped. Boudicca escaped to foment rebellion that had been smoldering underneath the surface of Roman rule. Warriors flocked to her banner and Roman cities were sacked and their inhabitants (both Roman and collaborators) were put to the sword. One by one the cities fell and Paulinus hastily rushed back to meet the last great threat to Roman hegemony.

With the XIV and XX Legions fresh from their victorious pacification of Wales, Gaius Paulinus knew he would be outnumbered badly by the revolting tribes. On a hill near present Lichfield, he made his stand. The Britons did indeed outnumber the Romans, but many were non-combatants. The Britons attacked frontally, as the terrain permitted little else. The war chariots led the attack, which was a tactical mistake by Boudicca. Not able to maneuver with a mass of infantry charging behind, they were quickly destroyed. Once the lines were joined the Romans actually began to advance. In the cramped melee the tribal numbers could not be brought to bear and the warriors had little room to swing their broadswords. This was the legions’ style of warfare at its best. Morale broke and the warriors began to scatter. The camp followers and baggage carried by the host delayed getting back across the Anker river and the slaughter began in earnest.

Search and Destroy
Winter, 73

By this time resistance had all but collapsed everywhere but in the north. Venutius would lead a brilliant but ultimately futile irregular war against the Romans. While he would have successes he could do little to disturb the pacification of the island. Attacking isolated garrisons and ambushing foraging parties were the limits of his reach as the Romans slowly pushed further north.

The Romans were constructing a fort near modern York when attacked by Venutius' men. They were being slaughtered to a man before the garrison’s cohorts could move against the rebels. In the end it mattered little. The Romans returned to build and with the garrison on alert the string of settlements and fortifications would grow one by one.

Celtic Twilight
Summer, 84

Rome would push further and further north, and organized resistance became more futile, an exercise in both bravery and foolishness. The newest governor, the most able Julius Agricola, took the field with two legions well supported by auxiliaries into Scotland. Opposing him was the last Celtic force under arms that could be called an army. Under the chieftain Calgacus nearly 30,000 warriors would make a last stand before the highlands.

The battle was almost a foregone conclusion. Perhaps it could have been better fought had the Celts remained on their hill in a defensive position. But as the Romans advanced the Celts came off the hill and attacked, routing some advanced auxiliaries before the legions could intervene. They were then attacked on both flanks by light forces and assaulted by the legions in the center. As dusk fell the Roman was master; though as both Hadrian's and the Antonine Wall suggest, the entirety of the island never fell beneath Roman sandals.

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