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Thursday, 13 October 2011

First Game of Saga

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.

Norman warband
Anglo-Danish warband
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
 

12 comments:

  1. Excellent looking game and very nice figures.

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  2. Thanks for that, how long was the game before you quite, and how long do you think you had left to play?

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  3. Thanks Ray. Dan we were pretty slow and probably played for about two and half hours but I think if you know what you're doing a game is two hours or less. It would have been very quick if my warlord had been killed :)!

    Cheers

    Mike

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  4. Good looking game and need to try it sometime.

    Christopher

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  5. Thanks Christopher, Saga does seem like a fun, fast set of rules.

    Mike

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  6. Very nice photos and the boys look wonderful.

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  7. Thanks Rodger. We had another Saga game today (Viking vs Viking) with much slaughter!

    Cheers

    Mike

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  8. Great report with some very nice figures. I read a lot of good things on the rules..One question, do you need to place markers next to the units in the game or is it possible without?

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  9. I would like to try this ruleset at some stage mike, perhaps it may be a option for "Kingmaker" next year. I didn't realize the game could be this large.

    cheers
    matt

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  10. Hi Mike & Matt

    Saga is a lot of fun but you do need to keep track of fatigue for exhaustion or you can use your opponent's fatigue for your advantage to increase your armour or reduce their armour or movement. You could do this on a sheet of paper with a list of units if you don't like the fatigue counters.

    Matt it's a pretty fun, bloody and quick game but quite tricky working out your best options with fatigue, Saga dice and battle boards. I think it will be very popular because you only need 30-40 figures. It would be good for Kingmaker because it's a totally scenario based game.

    Cheers
    Mike

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  11. Thanks Mike. Not a fan of many counters and I try to avoid them if if I can. But more times than not, we have them on the board as well.

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