|Norman knights gear up for a charge|
Last night my mate Rick and I played our first game of Saga using six point armies of Normans versus Anglo-Danish. I’d read the rules once, while Rick only had a quick gander at the cheat sheet. Despite this the game turns moved along fairly quickly with the inevitable interruptions to check sections of the rules. The basic mechanics of the game are fairly simple but anticipating you opponent’s moves and choosing the best options with fatigue, your Saga dice and battle board, are all things you probably won’t pick up straight away.
We deployed on opposite sides of the four foot by three foot board and the Norman knights, true to character, promptly charged impetuously towards the Anglo-Danish line, while the levy bowmen unleashed a massed volley on the unsuspecting ceorls to the right. The knights charged the ceorls in the centre but rolled poorly and one unit was forced to disengage.
|The board with Normans on the left and Anglo-Danish on the right.|
|The knights charge the ceorls in the centre|
The Anglo-Danish turn saw a counter attack by the huscarls and warlord. After a bloody melee both units of the knights were destroyed but at great cost with many casualties among the huscarls and ceorls. The Anglo-Danish warlord was only saved by his special rule of resilience and the (VS = 2”) proximity of a unit of ceorls who were able to save his bacon by taking the hits on his behalf. The death of a warlord in Saga means the end of the game.
|Norman knights fight to the death|
|Anglo-Danish warlord is saved by his ceorls|
The remaining Normans were totally unscathed, and advancing towards the depleted Anglo-Danish force, shot with their crossbow men and levy archers. The Anglo-Danish although severely mauled in the previous melees, had no missile troops, so could not afford to sit back and be shot to pieces. They attacked but were running out of steam and the next few turns saw the last two huscarl units wiped out. At this point we had to call it quits before the two warlords could fight it out in a duel to the death.
Both sides had three units and their warlords remaining but the Normans scored 18 Victory Points (based on casualties inflicted) while the Anglo-Danish had only 13. Thanks to Rick for a fun game. I’m sure there were a few things we got wrong but all in all it was a very satisfactory introduction to Saga.
|The Anglo-Danish try a desperate counter attack|
|The huscarls go down fighting|
|Final stages of the game|