Jean Charetier was in a mellow mood. "Hello birds, hello sky" he murmured as he trotted quietly along on his warhorse, the sound of gentle lowing and creaking cart-wheels the only thing breaking the peace around him. The extorti...er.. tax collection had gone well and he was on his way back to his Motte and Bailey with the finances he needed to finish the roof.
Suddenly a cry went up!
To his horror and amazement the road ahead was blocked. Some uncouth Saxon peasants barred his way homeward, with more appearing from the woods and hills.
His mood shattered, he pulled out his weapon and waved it around. "Kill them all, men, kill them all!"
So we finally took the plunge and went for the full six points of SAGA.
We decided we'd play the Escort scenario with the Normans as the escortists and my Anglo-Danes trying to stop the waggon train.
My force was:
I duly deployed as if ambushing, again with more thought to how it looked than how best to win.
The Normans went first and began a general advance.
With nothing on my SAGA board the Anglo Danes were vulnerable to the Norman Crossbows and four of my Ceorls were duly gunned down.
In response I pushed forward in the centre and sent a unit of Ceorls racing toward the crossbows. Then I loaded my board with defensive stuff.
After sneaking some knights round the flank, the Normans duly charged my centre with their knights. Some spectacular dice rolling from me and some poor rolls from the Normans saw huge chunks carved out of the knights (and we both discovered that Dane Axes can be quite deadly). I was also able to stop the deadly crossbows from hurting anything much.
My counter-attack saw two units of knights and the Norman warlord killed!
This slowed the Norman advance for a turn until we re-read the scenario rules and decided that the carts should be generating SAGA dice after all.
I finally got some Ceorls into combat with the crossbowmen but was unable to kill them all.
Meanwhile the Normans had re-grouped and started pushing the wagons forward, screened by serjeants.
The game now turned into a race for the corner. The Anglo-Danes were able to catch and destroy one cart, but careful deployment of SAGA dice and skillful positioning of serjeants meant the second cart was able to squeeze off the board. Finally the Saxon warlord having found it too tough a nut to crack, the Ceorls who had dutifully plodded from the far side of the board were able to ransack the remaining cart ensuring the game resulted in a draw.
Another great fun game with the SAGA rules. I think this is a hard scenario to get a result from. The defender will struggle to kill all three wagons and the escorter will find it hard to get more than one wagon off. The wagons become very hard to kill in the end game as units get fatigued and lose numbers. Most likely result will be a draw in most cases I suspect.
But that didn't really matter as it gave us an exciting tactical challenge.
Next game is likely to be the river one in a couple of weeks.
Getwin Wefansson surveyed the field, nodding his approval as his men took from the wagons what was rightfully theirs. He'd make sure the pickings made their way back to the villagers they'd been stolen from.
"We're robbing the rich to give to the poor, lads" he shouted.
"Now that's got a ring to it" he thought...