Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Late Summer Saga

After just dabbling in hobby stuff the last couple months, it was time for a full blown gaming day to kick off Labor Day weekend!

So up came my regular opponent, Jon, with his Vikings in an attempt to conquer Essex sometime in the 9th century. Yes, it was time to finally get those dark age minis on the table and give Saga a try!

Certainly Saga has been reviewed plenty of times elsewhere, so there is no need to go into details here. Suffice to say, our voices now join the chorus singing the praises of this system. We had a blast. In only about five hours, we got three games in. Not bad at all considering we were both learning the rules and playing for the first time. And every single game was incredibly even matched and literally came down to the last roll as our warlords went at it mano a mano. In the end, my Anglo Saxons won two of the three.

As we were learning, we basically just lined up some troops and went at it and didn't worry too much about scenarios. A brief recap of our 4-point games...

Game 1 saw the Vikings attempting to advance on a Saxon village. A line of Saxons came out to meet them. After an initial volley from my archers, Jon moved in and it turned into a nice slugfest. After eying each other for a couple turns, our warlords finally advanced on each other to settle the matter. I won. :) Lessons learned here were a 12 model unit of levies doesn't do much. Better to split them up. On the other hand, Anglo-Saxons definitely do better in larger groups, and may be better suited to a 6-point game.

Game 2 had a road running down the center, mostly open terrain. Both sides advanced, with me placing a unit of 12 warriors in the center, with two groups of six levies on the flanks. It worked for a bit, but my hearthguard was unexpectedly taken out. Some of those Viking abilities are wicked! Loki? Wow. And when my warriors got knocked below the 10 threshold, it turned into another even match before his warlord finally mustered the courage and (with a lucky roll ;) ) took mine out.

Game 3 we experimented with terrain. We put lots of trees and hills on the table, which really slowed movement and made us think more about our approach. In the end it was another close fought game, with my warlord finally putting an end to things. The thing that bothered us most in this game is the lack of any sort of penalty for attacking uphill. We thought perhaps one's armor could be reduced by 1 when attacking up hill, or at least be given an automatic fatigue beforehand. Doesn't seem like it would be that tough to employ, and would reward a player for gaining the high ground. Or perhaps the defender could simply be considered to be in cover? Something needs to be done there.

Anyway, without further ado, some photos of the festivities. Figures are a mix of Old Glory, Black Tree Design and Crusader. Jon's Vikings are plastic.
Too many levies put in one place.

Some warriors from Black Tree Design.

Sneaky Vikings trying to come through the woods.

Battle is joined!

Whew. Getting tired.

You looking at me, punk?

Hey, where did everyone go?

All right, let's do this...

Game, 12 Anglo Saxon warriors ready to rock.

Splitting the levies up helped.

Table overview. Love that Saga doesn't need much room.

Another view.

Game 3. That's a hill, not a Mayan pyramid.

Claire checking out dad's toys. And yes, the table is set on my Mustang. Poor Mustang.

Anglo Saxons go over the top! Sort of.

It's a race to the top!

I won. But did it matter?

My warlord, on the hunt for Vikings.

Random archer shot.