Saturday, 25 June 2016

Saga Team-Up

We got Saga out again on Thursday, but this time we played a scenario where two forces were allied against the other two for the whole game, rater than the chaotic alliances of the previous game.

We chose the alliances randomly, and so it was that I, playing the Welsh (again), found myself teamed up with the Normans, under John P. Meanwhile Caesar took Vikings and was teamed with Gary, playing the Jomsvikings.

This was our setup. As the Welsh I was happy to sit in rough terrain with my javelins, tempting and taunting enemy units into range and then throwing things at them and running away. John mixed some of his Normans in with my troops, which led to a little bit of a traffic jam.

On the other side, the Viking Alliance were heavily weighted to their right flank, which was opposite very little of our forces.

With a lot of Vikings opposing them, John pulled his Norman horse over to our right. This set the pace of what we thought might be a short, and rather uninteresting game, as our side ran away (or 'redeployed') and the Vikings tried to catch us.

Here's a shot of the whole field, showing the Vikings towards the top, and the Norman/Welsh Union at the bottom.

However we hadn't really got how the Jomsvikings work. They can force us to either lose troops, or give them Wrath points. The latter can be spent to move our units in a way of the Jomsviking's choice. Not wanting to lose troops - even the expendable levy - we conceded those points, and found to our disadvantage just how useful they are. Our troops, in their carefully prepared positions, soon found themselves moving to meet the oncoming Vikings, including this unit of rather vulnerable looking levy.

And the Norman cavalry, who were stuck with no choice but to charge the oncoming Vikings with very little in the way of support. They didn't last long; an unlucky combat on one side saw one unit wiped out with virtually no loss to the enemy, whereas the other unit inflicted casualties but was then routed by Viking trickery. And that was pretty much it for the alliance's cavalry.

I started working the Welsh board as best I could, showering the advancing Vikings with javelins, then running away when they tried to advance to combat. This led to the Vikings edging forward into and arrow/javelin kill-zone.

Some sturdier Welsh warriors joined the fight. They were also armed with javelins.

The Vikings finally brought the Welsh to battle. However casualties from missile weapons meant that the Welsh could bring their Strength in Numbers ability to bear. They lost the fight, but it was close and casualties were heavy on both sides. But the Welsh were happy to trade levy for warriors.

This is the last photo of the game, as my phone ran out of juice afterwards. Some Welsh hearthguard were drawn out of cover and attacked by Vikings and ended up getting wiped out.

At the end of that combat the Vikings were ahead on pints, and had just enough to claim a victory. However some more accurate javelin-throwing saw more Viking casualties, which evened things up to them having a mere winning draw. A final charge by the Norman warlord against a group of isolated Jomsvikings could have tipped the result either way, but in fact whilst the Vikings were totally destroyed, the warlord succumbed to his wounds immediately afterwards, leading to no change in the relative scores.

So the Vikings could claim a winning draw in what finally proved, in the second half, to be a tense and interesting game. I'm still not a great fan of Saga, with the Jomsvikings' ability very much being an example of how the things you can do with your board don't seem to directly represent anything on the table; they just seem to be able to magically make enemy figures disappear, or mind-control them, and I can't equate that to any kind of 'real life' capability. That said I find most of the Welsh board fairly logical, with their abilities relating to use of terrain, numbers and missiles.

Thanks to Gary and Caesar for putting on the game, and for John as well for adding in his toys.

Ralph and Brian played Flames of War 40K, with burning tanks ...

... and helicopters with snakes on.



  1. Great report, Kaptain, to yet another engrossing game of SAGA (I'm afraid I'm still fully hooked on the system). Pity you didn't have enough charge on the phone to capture the true decimation you wrought with those pesky javelins... Well, not really a pity at all for our sake; our skalds will contradict all that nonsense about brave men of Harlech and so on!

    I can stretch my reasoning to the vast majority of abilities on the traditional battle boards relating to plausible events. If anything, I find it adds to the battle narrative as you justify each action and certainly gives each faction a distinct playing style and flavour - asymmetric warfare at its best. And let's face it, this is Dark Ages done to heroic proportions, so it should be larger than life, and I love the game for that. Plus, it forces players to think or die.

    But I agree that the Joms are a bit hard to fathom. Still, when you've faced them once, they don't pose too much difficultly to defeat in future, so I doubt Gary will play the faction too often.

    Now, off to paint more figures! Normans this time...

  2. Great looking Saga stuff mate, especially the Norman horse!

    1. None of it my stuff. That's the thing with a blog - I get to display other people's toys and people think they're mine :)

  3. Great photos of the Team Yankee game!


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