The Let's Play Archive

Ryse: Son of Rome

by Tanks

Part 10: Astro Nut - The real Boudica

I don't even know why they decided to make Boudicca's father the driving force in this rebellion. Was the death of her husband and the annexation of her kingdom despite what the will said not dramatic enough for this game? She had to have her (named for this game) father lead the army before being killed off instead?

Yes, yes, Crytek admitted to artistic history when making this game, but I don't even see why this would be particularly necessary.

But to provide some context for who're going off just the video:

Boudicca was the wife of Prasutagus, the king of the Iceni, a tribe that lived in roughly modern day Norfolk (top bit of England's bum). Now, the Iceni were a Roman client state, and a common practice, for maintaining stability and stuff (in theory), was for the kings of said client states to leave their realms to the Roman Empire. Except, Prasutagus didn't want that, so he tried to leave it as a joint realm of his daughters and the Emperor. The Romans didn't take kindly to this, forcefully annexing the Iceni whilst having Boudicca flogged and her daughters raped because, y'know, subjugation and domination was a thing in Roman culture and politics. Boudicca, in turn, said fuck this (not in the same sense the Romans had) and rallied together several of the other tribes to go on a general rampage against Roman Britain whilst the local governor, Gaius Suetonius Paulinus, was busy dealing with enemies in Anglesey - which, for those who don't know, is the island off the coast of north west Wales. In other words, the opposite end of Great Britain, giving Boudicca and her allies a perfect opportunity to go nuts. As I mentioned previously, they attacked several of Rome's settlements in eastern England, said to be in no mood to take prisoners. With an army of around 100,000, there was little to stop them.

Then Suetonius met them in battle.

The exact details are vague at best, but is generally believed to have happened on 'Watling Street', which rather than a street as we imagine it today, was one of large roman roads that connected the distant parts of the empire. How many were involved on both sides is vague, and Boudicca's 'army' may have involved a number of unarmed civilians, but Suetonius is believed to have had 10,000 versus a force somewhere in the hundreds of thousands (Dio claims 230,000). After all, Boudicca was hot off the heels of giving Rome the worst beating it had seen from any of its colonies in years, and so people were rallying to her.

Whatever the numbers were, the Romans crushed Boudicca's army, owing to what's generally believed to be better armament, tactics, and location - a narrow gorge to funnel the enemy where the Romans could handle them. In any case, the rebellion did not last for much longer, and indeed, fuelled further occupation of the country by Rome, which led to, of course, Hadrian and his wall (which really should not exist even in Ryse's alternate timeline).