[[bibliography]](enchant:?page,(text-colour:black)+(bg:white))You are Boudicca, the queen of the Celtic Iceni tribe in northeastern England. In 43 CE, 16 years ago, the Romans invaded your lands. Your husband, and the king of the Iceni, Prasutagus, chose to surrender with minimal resistance. During the 16 years since, Romans have occupied parts of your land and have forced you - among other tribes - to give up their weapons. This year, 59 CE, Prasutagus died. In his will, he left half of his property to the current Roman emperor, Nero, and the other half to be split between your two daughters. The Romans seemed to take being left only half as an insult, and soon troops came into your land and assaulted you and your family. You were whipped, your daughters were raped, and your husband's family was enslaved.
Finally, the barbarous Romans left. Suetonius Paulinus, their commander and the provincial legate, led them North to fight against druids on the island of Angsley. While they're gone, you gather your people and begin a rebellion. The Iceni force is quite large on its own, but the Romans are far more disciplined and skilled. Your advantage lies in your numbers and your knowledge of the land. You could recruit more warriors from the Cornovii tribe and the Celts of Dorset to increase your numbers even more. However, bringing warriors from other tribes into your forces could create tension between your warriors, or even bring a Roman-sympathizing spy into your troops. Do you want to increase your numbers even further with more troops, or stay with just your loyal warriors?
[[do not recruit]](enchant:?page,(text-colour:black)+(bg:white))Sources Used:
"Boadicea." In Biographies, edited by Judson Knight and Stacy A. McConnell, 38-44. Vol. 3 of Ancient Civilizations Reference Library. Detroit, MI: UXL, 2000. Gale eBooks (accessed January 23, 2022). https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/CX2587200044/GVRL?u=cinc13591&sid=bookmark-GVRL&xid=e0f09c0e.
"Boudicca." In Historic World Leaders, edited by Anne Commire. Detroit, MI: Gale, 1994. Gale In Context: World History (accessed January 20, 2022). https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/K1616000101/WHIC?u=cinc13591&sid=bookmark-WHIC&xid=c53bccb1.
"Boudicca." Encyclopedia of World Biography Online, vol. 18, Gale, 1998. Gale In Context: World History, link.gale.com/apps/doc/K1631000827/WHIC?u=cinc13591&sid=bookmark-WHIC&xid=729eda17. Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.
Grossman, Mark. "Boudicca." Facts on File. Last modified 2007. https://online.infobase.com/HRC/Search/Details/7?articleId=215966&q=boudica.
From World Military Leaders: A Biographical Dictionary
Kuhlman, Erika. "Boudicca." Facts on File. Last modified 2016. https://online.infobase.com/Auth/Index?aid=11113&itemid=WE49&articleId=396220.
From Women Amazons and Military Leaders
Mark, Joshua J.. "Tacitus on Boudicca's Revolt." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified January 18, 2012. https://www.worldhistory.org/article/100/tacitus-on-boudiccas-revolt/.
Mason, Catherine, and Carl Waldman. "Boudicca." Facts on File. Last modified 2006. https://online.infobase.com/Auth/Index?aid=11113&itemid=WE49&articleId=217499.
From the Encyclopedia of European Peoples
Turkilsen, Debbie. "An Examination of Ancient Greek and Roman Witches throughout Literature." In Academia, 1-35. Digital file.(enchant:?page,(text-colour:black)+(bg:white))You decide to recruit from other tribes in the area. Trinobante, Cornovii, and Durotige warriors have joined with your forces, making them 80,000 strong. While the cultures and lifestyles of these other tribes are not the same as yours, they are not too different either. All of your Iceni warriors are able to accommodate their needs, with minimal infighting. Recruiting and integrating the other warriors took time, and now, it is the summer of 61 AD. You are marching on a nearby Roman settlement, Camuldunum. The settlement includes all of its usual inhabitants, as well as 200 soldiers sent by Catus Decianus.
Your first move is to burn the fields around the city. You then surround the city with your troops and press in. After a few hours, all that is left standing is the temple in the center of the city. Inside are most of the Roman soldiers and some inhabitants of the city. You have a decision to make. You could attack the temple and kill everyone inside. Showing no mercy could intimidate other soldiers and settlements in the area, making future conquests easier. On the other hand, you could lay siege and take Roman prisoners when they inevitably surrender. You would have hostages to kill ceremonially for celebration purposes, but not killing them immediately could show weakness and waste resources.
[[kill all of them]]
[[take prisoners]](enchant:?page,(text-colour:black)+(bg:white))You have a smaller force, but you know them well, and they are loyal. Using your troops, you have already seized a local Roman colony - Camuldunum. You and your forces burned the surrounding area, destroyed the town, and killed everyone inside, including 200 Roman troops that had been sent to stop you. Now, the commander of the 9th legion has heard of your actions and is bringing his troops to stop you. They are 2,000 well-trained soldiers, strongest when they are in formation. You could take your reduced number of troops and set an ambush for the legion while they are marching, when they will be disorganized and weaker. You have a significant numbers advantage, so you could also station your troops to confront them head on.
[[set up an ambush]]
[[confront the Romans frontally]](enchant:?page,(text-colour:black)+(bg:white))Your ambush is successful! Once more, you kill every one of the Roman soldiers, and you even manage to sustain only minimal losses - largely due to the Romans' lack of preparation during your ambush. Now, you are planning on marching on Londinium, one of the largest Roman settlements in Britain. However, the Romans know about your plans, and Suetonius Paulinus and his troops have marched back down from Angsley to stop you. They have already reached Londinium, and deeming it indefensible, left. They took with them all those that could keep up, leaving mostly elderly, women, and children behind. Still, Londinium has around 30,000 inhabitants left, a massive number in comparison to the forces you just faced. You could choose to surround the settlement with your forces and press in, hopefully taking the colony with pure force - but your lines would be stretched thin. You could also dress up the women you have with you in dark robes and blue painted symbols on their skin, similar to druids or witches. You think that the Romans have strong feelings about magic, so perhaps they would be terrified by the display and surrender immediately - or become so enraged and desperate that they fight back with even more force.
[[magic]](enchant:?page,(text-colour:black)+(bg:white))Alas! Your frontal attack fails. The Romans are prepared when you attack, and your forces have not yet faced a Roman enemy. They are timid and unconfident. Combined, these factors led to the defeat of your forces by the 9th legion, after which your remaining capable warriors flee for their lives. You are captured after the battle and are taken back to Rome to await the Emperor's judgement.
You know that he does not forgive nor forget.
[[bibliography]] (enchant:?page,(text-colour:black)+(bg:white))You encircle Londinium with your troops, but due to the size of the settlement your lines are spread thin. When you begin to press in, the citizens fight back with remarkable strength. The lines break in numerous places and many warriors flee. You are killed in battle, after entering the fight where a line had broken, by an elderly Roman woman who stabs you in the back. You have died, and your warriors have fled in defeat.
[[bibliography]] (enchant:?page,(text-colour:black)+(bg:white))Your soldiers scrounge up some dark cloaks and make blue paint. Many of the women in your entourage volunteer to dress up. They don the cloaks and paint swirls of blue on their skin. Combined with the lanterns they held in their hands, it was an intimidating sight - especially for the magic-fearing Romans.
As soon as the Romans of Londinium spotted the "druids," chaos breaks out. They panic, and in their disorganization you are able to launch an extremely successful attack against them. Once more, every one of the people inside of the settlement are killed. You take no prisoners.
Now, Suetonius Paulinus, the provincial legate, is moving his troops - the strongest you will have faced so far. You remember how the Romans of Londinium reacted to the sight of your druids and decide to keep the same tactics.
[[suetonius]](enchant:?page,(text-colour:black)+(bg:white))Your clash with Suetonius happens in an open field. The Roman troops are prepared for your presence, but not for the apparent appearance of magic. The soldiers are uneasy, which weakens their formations and lessens their confidence due to their fear. On the other hand, your warriors have seen the panic that this new strategy can cause in the Romans and are excited by the possibility of taking revenge today.
The forces collide, and although the battle is long, your troops emerge victorious. No matter what happens after this battle as you continue to face down the power of Rome, you know that you have killed at least 80,000 Romans and inflicted serious damage on the Roman military, economy, and infrastructure. That is revenge too.
[[bibliography]] (enchant:?page,(text-colour:black)+(bg:white))Your forces overtake the Romans inside of the temple and kill everyone inside, a decisive victory. With growing confidence, it is time to move on to the next city. Londinium is a much larger city of around 30,000 residents, though most are women, elderly, and children.
With the size of your forces, you decide to surround the city and press inwards on all sides. Since the majority of the population is unable to fight, your forces quickly kill everyone inside. However, there are supplies that can be taken from the remnants of the city. You could settle down in the remnants of Londinium for a few days to fully replenish supplies and rest your warriors - it is now 61 CE, and it has been a hard couple of years, even with all the victories along the way. You could also continue moving and leave the city immediately for the battle against Suetonius. You wouldn't gather as many supplies as you possibly could have, but hopefully you could gain higher ground at the battlefield and keep your momentum forward.
[[settle down in londinium]]
[[immediately move out]](enchant:?page,(text-colour:black)+(bg:white))You take the prisoners with you to where your forces set up camp for the night. Killing them ceremonially, in celebration of your victory, brings your troops much excitement and confidence and is great for morale. However, a few of the warriors from other tribes are not happy with your decision. A few have already confronted you about it, and even threatened to withdraw their support from your rebellion if you continue to show such weakness. Your next move could decide the continued support of these other tribes. The other tribes want to move immediately and harshly to take high ground at the battlefield. They hope that if you hurry now, you will be able to reach the battlefield before Suetonius does and be able to take high ground, which would provide a huge strategical advantage for the battle. However, Suetonius might be expecting that. You could also split your troops up and send small groups into the woods surrounding the battlefield, lying in wait as an ambush for when the Romans arrive.
[[frontal]](enchant:?page,(text-colour:black)+(bg:white))You make the decision to settle down in Londinium for a couple days to gather extra supplies and food. However, Londinium is not a very defensible city. There are few surrounding walls, and those that do exist are low and old. Suetonius Paulinus, who had already seen the city when he stopped by a few days earlier, knew this. He had already mapped out the weakest point of the city and uses his knowledge to send disguised troops inside. They then fight from the inside out, while simultaneously more Roman soldiers pressed inwards. Being attacked on both sides, your forces are quickly corralled, and then decimated. You are caught in the middle of the battle and die from a spear to the side, thrown by a Roman soldier while you rode on your chariot, encouraging your troops.
Your rebellion ends here, but you inflicted heavy damages on Roman populations and settlements in the area and got some revenge for those of your tribe that had been wronged.
[[bibliography]] (enchant:?page,(text-colour:black)+(bg:white))You decide to move towards the battleground immediately to keep your momentum and get higher ground at the field, sacrificing possible extra supplies. Unfortunately, this stage of your plan is unsuccessful. Suetonius Paulinus and his soldiers are already at the battelfied, and they have managed to claim the high ground already.
Nonetheless, you have around 60,000 troops remaining, while the Romans seem to have a max of 1,500. Surely, this must be an easy win with such a numbers advantage. Your warriors catch on to the imbalance as well, and, feeling confident, come to you asking if they can position their families in oxcarts around the field to witness the huge victory. Having family and friends witness the massacre of the Romans would inspire even more excitement and energy about your rebellion, but there is a chance that the oxcarts could restrict movement of your warriors and make it more difficult for them to fight.
[[no oxcarts]](enchant:?page,(text-colour:black)+(bg:white))You take your time on the way, split your warriors into groups, and send them into the woods surrounding the battlefield. The allied troops don't appreciate this decision, and as such they have abandoned camp in the middle of the night, reducing your numbers even further. However, this happens to work in your favor. Having fewer warriors makes them easier to hide in the forests like you are planning.
Your plan works well. The groups of warriors spread out through the woods, and when they see the Romans marching out of formation, they swiftly attack. The Romans are caught off-guard and unprotected and quickly fall to your warriors.
You are triumphant in the battle against Suetonius, and although you know that now, 61 CE, is not the end of the rebellion, you also know that you have killed at least 75,000 Romans and Roman-sympathizers, dealing massive blows to the Roman settlements in Britain. No matter how this continues, you have had your revenge.
[[bibliography]] (enchant:?page,(text-colour:black)+(bg:white))You decide to leave immediately for the battlefield and manage to claim higher ground. Your allied troops are pleased with your decision and elect to continue to fight with you. You station your warriors on top of the hill and wait for Paulinus to arrive. He and his forces appear shortly. You attack quickly, and moving downhill enables your warriors to move with more momentum and force at the Romans. It also prevents the Romans from throwing their spears to thin out your numbers before the battle even really starts.
You eventually win the battle, but it was a pyrrhic victory, with more than half of your warriors left dead on the field. You retreat for a while to one of your settlements in the area to recover, but more Roman troops quickly discover your hideout. They attack while you are weak, and your rebellion is harshly quelled. Your soldiers are killed and you are killed in your bed, mistaken for a warrior’s wife, as the Romans don’t believe that a woman was truly leading the rebellion.
[[bibliography]] (enchant:?page,(text-colour:black)+(bg:white))You allow your warriors to set up their oxcarts. You thought that it will help boost morale and excitement for the battle if families are watching on. But then the Romans attack. First come spears, thrown down from the hill, out of reach of any of your weapons. Many of your warriors are felled by the spears, and fear begins to grow. Then the Romans march down the hill, advancing on your soldiers. They begin to rally once more, preparing for battle. The Romans' strong formation ploughs through your disorganized warriors, slaughtering left and right. Iceni attempt to flee for their lives, but they are penned in by the oxcarts all around the battle field. Roman soldiers pin them against the carts and massacre your people, warriors and families alike. Your troops are absolutely demolished. You are able to flee the battlefield, but take poison along with your two daughters, preferring death by your own hand to capture by the Romans.
[[bibliography]] (enchant:?page,(text-colour:black)+(bg:white))The battlefield is wide and open, allowing your warriors to spread out. The Romans rain down spears from higher ground, but they are not as effective as they could be (if your warriors were grouped together). Then, the Romans march down the hill, taking on your forces as they go. Your remaining troops, despite their confidence and supplies, are easily defeated by the Romans. However, due to the lack of oxcarts surrounding the field, your troops are able to flee to safety and perhaps fight another day. You, on the other hand, are captured during the battle. You are not even taken back to Rome before being put to death by the man you consider one of your greatest enemies - Suetonius Paulinus.