05 October 2018

The Sacred Forest

Myself and Adam finally got a game of SAGA in last week. It is the first we had played for a while. We are now playing SAGA2, which we both believe is an improvement over the original set. Unfortunately it was a bit of a difficult game as our knowledge of the rules were quite rusty and many mistakes were made.

It has been a bit of a challenge to find scenarios that are designed for SAGA2 as we are still waiting for the Book of Battles to be released. There is only one official scenario released so far and that is in the main rulebook. I think we have already played in twice, so something new was needed. Fortunately a SAGA player has released a series of unofficial scenarios which can be found in a link on the Studio Tomahawk English Forum.

After a look through, I decided that the Sacred Forest scenario looked interesting, you can download this specific scenario here. It was quite a good scenario and I can recommend it. We went with 6 point  warbands. 

Ragnar Lothbrook (1)
Hearthguard (1)
Berserkers (1)
Warriors (1)
Shield-maidens (1)
Sling-armed Levy (1)

Brian Boru (0)
2 Curaidh (1)
Hearthguard (1)
3 Warriors (2.5)
Wolfhounds (0.5)
Gall-Gaedhill (1)

Adam arranged his warband so that he had 6 SAGA dice to start and mine were arranged to generate 7 dice. Victory Points were given and the start of each players turn if he had more units in the forest than his opponent. A Victory point was also awarded at the end of the game for each unit that was destroyed and 3 Victory points were awarded if you killed your opponent's Warlord. The game was 6 turns but could be extended on a dice throw after the sixth turn.

I took a few photos at the beginning of the game which went 7 turns and lasted about 3 hours. This is a little long for us but the game was marked by much debate about the rules. The scenario is actually quite good and I commend the author. We originally gave the victory to the Irish by 9 to 7, but in retrospect it was cleared that the Brian Boru would have been killed in the 6th turn if the rules had been properly applied, giving a victory to the Vikings by at least 10 to 9.
3x4' terrain with large forest in the middle
Advancing Irish
My slingers got to throw one shot and then had to withdraw after being chopped.
Advancing Berserkers, they also died quickly.
You can find an AR with more photos on Adams blog. I spend a lot of time going over the rules after the game as I felt that several of them had been mis-interpreted. I find it best to read through the whole book, which is easy enough as it is quite short. Relying on reading one sentence in the book is rarely helpful as a sentence has to be interpreted in the context of where it is found. Here is a list of the misinterpretations and clarifications of the ruleset that I discovered. I confirmed them by asking question of the SAGA Forum.

SAGA Mistakes

First Activation after Rest does not generate fatigue.

No limitation on movement in respect to other figures friendly or enemy
You can not slow movement to VS by taking a fatique in difficult terrain.

The attacker can not use the enemy’s fatique to reduce armour, the defender can use his enemy's fatigue to increase armour.

An exhausted unit can only rest, this includes using any SAGA activation abilities.
If a unit that starts a melee exhausted it remains exhausted (-1 on attack dice) even if opponent uses it's fatigue during the melee process.

You can not use resilience when the Warlord is exhausted.

The process is this, if a WL has a resilience of 1, this means that instead of taking a casualty you can take a fatigue. A warlord can take up to 3 fatigues but then becomes exhausted. If the Warlord has a resilience of 2, this means that he takes only 1 fatigue for 3 uncanceled hits, while a warlord with a resilience of 1 would take 2 fatigues for 3 uncanceled hits. Once he exceeds 3 fatigues he dies!


  1. I am keen to try Saga2, but the more I read about it, the more it seems...confusing...

    1. It is actually the simplest ruleset I play, we are just having some learning issues from v1 to v2.

  2. Good to see you have these (updated) rules and figures back on the table!