19 November 2013

SAGA: The Challenge

My blogposts over the last couple of months have been few and far between, not so much because I have nothing to post, but more so that I have been actually wargaming rather then talking about it. I have probably had more games in the last couple of months then I have had in the preceding two years.

Recently I have fallen in with some local wargamers and although I still look forward to my regular trips to Montreal, it has been great to be able to play locally. In last 2 months, I have got in 3 games of Chain of Command, 3 games of Lasalle as well as 2 games of SAGA and I finally got to field my Skraelings after more then a year! This Sunday, myself and Iannick are having our first go at Muskets and Tomahawks in Montreal. So I have been busy.

After a great and very close game of Chain of Command last Saturday, I had a game of SAGA with Mike, one of the local gamers I have recently met. I brought my Skraelings and he brought some Scots. I believe Mike told me that he has played a couple of times and I may have had 5 SAGA games. I felt I was ready to play that most difficult of warbands. Things as usual did not go as planned, it might of been the several drinks I had the night before; it might have been the exciting but exhausting game of Chain of Command I had just played; but most likely it was Mike just played better then me.
One of the great things about SAGA is that it is simple to set up, here is our 4x3' terrain. A green coloured blanket served as a base and we placed several pieces of terrain. We selected The Challenge scenario from the rulebook, probably not the best choice as in any melee the Skraeling Warlord is going to be at a slight disadvantage as he has a reduced armour of 4 rather then 5. 
The Skraelings are all in the farground with the Scots in the foreground, we both used 6 point warbands.  Mike had his Warlord, a point of mounted elite as well as 3 points of warriors and one point of javelin armed levy. He arranged his units thus, generating 6 SAGA dice. I had my warlord as well as 4 points of javelin armed warriors and 1 point of bow armed levy. As the Skraelings have poor armour (-1), I thought it prudent to have 2 large units (12 figures) as well an 8 figure unit of warriors as well as the levy, so I generated just 5 SAGA dice. 
From the Skraeling side. The tricky part of this scenario, which only dawned on me after I had laid out my units, was the scenario requirement that the Warlords be placed within S of each other in the centre of the table at the start of the game. I could not activate my warlord without having to engage in melee with the Scots warlord (the rules require melee if two units are within S of each other). Essentially the game is 7 turns and each warlord has 12 wounds, with victory being given to the player whose warlord survives.

So I had now figured out that things might not be so simple. We advanced our units, to engage in combat, I was able to score some early wounds on the Scots warlord with my levy with their bows, but my poor initial set up (it was really important in this scenario that you get a unit of warriors or elites in position to support your warlord) and the fact that Mike had mounted elites allowed him to get a unit to his warlord in very short course. Mike also focused his SAGA dice on his BB abilities rather then activations, so when we did finally melee he really used these abilities very cleverly. I was more focussed on using my SAGA dice to activate my units. With the Skraelings, I really should have focused more so on using and blocking the Scots BB abilities, as is unique in the Skraeling BB.

So we can see that my warlord was defeated in the the first melee and driven back although I  was able to kill a couple of the Scots elite with one of the  warrior bands. I think we played only 3 or 4 moves before my warlord fell with 12 wounds. By then my warriors had arrived to support their warlord, but it was just too late. Mike did a great job with his BB and his tactics. A well deserved victory........................

.........................but although I did not get to use the Soul Eaters ability (permanently disables  one of your opponents BB for the duration of the game) I did get to invoke Pathfinders and see these 6 dead warriors suddenly reanimate on the table. So it was not all to nought!

Although I got crushed, I really enjoyed the game as brief as it was and I will look forward to getting in some more SAGA.

Well in a few days, I get to field a brand new wargaming unit which I have just completed for the French Indian War. They are some of the nicest figures I have painted, but I will keep them under wraps for now until they are revealed this Sunday. I am sure Iannick will have an AAR on his blog, but I will post some photos of my unit next week.


  1. nice report and pictures John

  2. Great looking figures in a great match! And more gaming = a win no matter what the results are.

  3. Nice looking game. Good to see you found people who are a bit closer than me to help with your SAGA fix ;-)

  4. Great looking game and what better reason to have not posted could there possibly be???

  5. "more so that I have been actually wargaming rather then talking about it"

    Well done that Man!
    Great pics too :-)

  6. I think I played it wrong, the Scots just seemed to generate attack dice out of thin air. Also time to try a different scenario. Still, fun to get my lads on the tabletop!

  7. Looks like a great game, beautiful pics John!

  8. Egads, yet another New England Physician-gamer!

    Are either of you planning on attending HAVOC (Battle Group Boston's convention in Shrewsbury, MA - March 28 n- 30th this year.