Tuesday, 17 April 2012

More SAGA (Normans v Anglo-Danes)

Mist hung heavy over the swirling waters of the River Wódnesniht. The stillness of the morning air was penetrated only by the faint chink of mail and the huffing of horses. Getwin Wefanson knew they were out there, the fop Charretier and his detested Norman invaders, coming once more to try to claim his lands. He glanced about him to where his heathguard and the local Fyrd stood ready. Hefting his axe he indicated the river bank "They set foot across there - they die!"

So, inspired by the games last week we got together for some more SAGA.
We were using 6 point forces and played the Battle at the Ford scenario.

My force was:
Getwin Wefanson – Anglo-Danish Warlord

2 Units of four Thegns
1 Unit of four Thegns with Dane Axes
3 units of 8 Ceorls

The knavish Normans were:
Jean Charretier – Mounted Norman Warlord
3 Units of Mounted Norman Knights
2 Units of 8 Serjeants
1 Unit of 8 Serjeants with crossbows

I apologise for the somewhat variable quality of the photographs. We began the game with daylight streaming through the windows, but finished beneath the dreaded "energy saving" bulbs and I'm not sure my aged camera is up to the job of dealing with such variations in light quality.

I lost the roll for set-up so the Normans deployed all their Serjeants, meaning my army had to all go down before the knights were deployed. To be honest I was more worried about the crossbowmen - rightly as it turned out.
I deployed with Ceorls screening the Dane Axe armed Huscarls opposite the bridge while Getwin, some Huscarls and a unit of Ceorls covered the ford. Concerned about mobile knights in back-field I held back a unit of Ceorls and one of Huscarls to respond to any threats.

I won the first turn and we were off:

 Proud Saxon yeomen

 Beastly Normans

 Getwin delivers a stirring speech

 The race for the bridge

 The ford sees something of a stand off

 Hmm, now where did those Huscarls go...

At this point, growing weary of the jostling position I launched my Dane Axe wielding huscarls at a nearby unit of Serjeants. They did well, killing five, but the Normans did better and wiped them out. Yikes

 Saxon soil is despoliled!

 Sneaking round the back of their crossbowmen to the wide open bridge

 Suddenly the left flank is very vulnerable

 As more horse pour across

Desperate to pull something back as Normans piled up on my side of the water I launched Getwin and his huscarls across the river. Unfortunately, poor positioning meant they had to charge the Norman warlord, and Jean survived easily, pushing Getwin back. The norman knights followed up, killing most of the huscarls and leaving Getwin exposed

 Thrown back by the charging horse, the lone huscarl can only look on...

 ...as the noble Saxon warlord is surrounded and cut down

 Invaders! Fousands of 'em

 The Ceorls attempt to reclaim some dignity

With inevitable tragic consequences

And with that the game was all but over. Jean and several of his men moved easily across the ford to join their fellows on the Saxon side. A seven nil drubbing, including a dead warlord.
In truth I played like a buffoon, throwing away my huscarls early without really thinking things through. I also allowed the crossbows to dominate my thinking and ended up reacting to the Normans instead of playing my own game.
Still, another great, exciting game of SAGA.

Jean Charretier smiled as he cleaned his blade on the blood caked smock of a recently deceased Saxon peasant. That had been almost too easy. He glanced over at the nearby settlement where his men were already busy collecting back rent and ensuring the financial system continued to work like a well oiled machine.
"At last this is beginning to feel like home" he mused to himself over the sound of wailing Saxon women and screaming children. "A man could grow to like it here"


  1. Excellent report and lovely figures too. It is tempting me with some Normans...
    We have only just played our first Saga game using this scenario, Anglo-Danes vs Vikings. Battle report on my blog.
    I must admit I think I am hooked already!

  2. Thanks, we had a good time even if my tactical ineptitude made it all rather one sided...