Saturday, 14 April 2012

A Couple of Games of SAGA

On Thursday I invited myself along to Maelstrom to "assist" Scrivs showing John how to play SAGA. Scrivs suggested I'd be able to teach them how to play, but I fear he rather overestimated my pedagogical qualities.
Anyway as I pointed out, I've played several games of Hail Caesar, Warhammer and WAB since I last rolled the SAGA dice and there's only room in my brain for about 1.5 sets of rules at any one time (and event then there's no guarantee that there's a complete set amongst that lot), so I'd forgotten anything I ever knew.

By the time I arrived Scrivs had got a lovely set up arranged on the table using his own scenery and he and John were about to start. I did offer some assistance to both of them, but actually SAGA is pretty easy to get the hang of, the real trick is in mastering the board, and as John was using Vikings and my main experience is with Anglo-Danes against Normans, I couldn't offer much insight. It was however quite an education watching Scrivs play. He used the fatigue far more tactically than I do (usually I just burn through it to make opponents easier to hit and myself harder) but watching Scrivs opened my eyes to a more skilful style of play.
Both games were four point games, with each warband having two warriors and two hearthguard units along with the warlord. This meant no levy and no shooting, which cut the learning curve a little. We also used the Clash of Warlords basic scenario, again to help with learning the rules.

Anyway, here are the pictures:

 Scrivs' Saxons advance on a broad front

 To where the Vikings await them

 After some jostling the lines come together on the outskirts of the village

 Fighting breaks out across the wattle and daub

 The shieldwalls continue to taunt one another

 A charge with hearthguard against warriors ends badly for the Northmen

 Though the warlord has more success on the flank

In the end Scrivs squeaked a narrow victory after the full six turns, but it was a close run thing and both warbands were well mauled
With that game out of the way there was still time for another. Although I had my toys with me, it made more sense just to use Scrivs models - although I had to promise not to throw them around like I did with his slingers.

 The Saxons push forward aggressively

 In the centre the battle lines draw together

 But over in the village the Vikings choose to withdraw

 The Saxon Lord finds himself isolated

 Saxon Warriors again prove their worth against Viking Hearthguard

 And the village will soon be pillaged

However the Anglo-Danish leader pays for his rashness and is surrounded and slain

True to form I played an altogether less tactical, and rather rash game. I saw a glimmer of a chance to catch the Viking warlord exposed, but hadn't really done the maths, with the result that I got my hearthguard killed and left my leader all on his lonesome. This was the point at which Scrivs chose to come back from observing the nearby Napoleonic game and lent his tactical advice to John with inevitable consequences. Though to be fair I'd so badly overplayed my hand John didn't need any help at all in killing him off to win the game.

Anyway, a good fun night of rolling dice and pushing soldiers. 
For an alternative take on how it went, check out Scrivs Blog

There's a club night at the White Hart in a few weeks where a bunch of us will be playing SAGA, so I'm going to try and paint a Viking warband for then and brush up my skills.

In other news my children returned safe and sound from France today so this weeks unprecedented burst of blogging activity will come to an abrupt end. Expect normal sporadic blog updating service to resume next week.


  1. How dare you accuse me of being both skillful and tactical.

  2. Nice report! I really must get around to posting up some reports of my own now that I've played a few games.

    Be interested to hear you expand on Scriv's skillful use of Fatigue!?

    Good to see some else using Early Saxons as Anglo-Danish.