15 January 2014

Part 2 of the SAGA of Paul the Hairy and James the Tall

Having seen the Vikings victorious in the Sacred Ground scenario (see here) we played a second Battle in the Man Cave this week.  This time it was the River Ford scenario.  We took the same 6 points armies as the previous battle, but James this time deployed his 3 Hearthguard units as two units of six figures.  I continued to deploy my 3 Warrior units as two amalgamated units of 12 figures.
Warlord Paul the Hairy discovers the Odin-blessed panorama feature on his iShield
As Odinn's Ravens saw it, the setup looked thus:
The Vikings looked forward to burning down the new 4Ground building to celebrate its first outing on the tabletop
We both went with the same strategy - push hard on the right flank and defend the left flank.  Of course we were looking at it from different directions though, which meant that our offences and defences were aligned from the start...

On my right I pushed up hard to threaten the ford with Warriors and Hearthguard while my Levy took up position on the bank to add support with their bows.  James brought up a unit of warriors for guard the other bank and committed everything to the other flank.
The Vikings threaten the right hand ford (the dice in the river show the limits of the ford)
For the Anglo Danes, it looked a bit menacing!
Meanwhile, on the other flank the Anglo Dane units were advancing and my units guarding that ford were going to be seriously outmatched.  I held back the warriors out of bowshot range and decided I would make the enemy advance to my warriors, and kept the Bezerkers in reserve to carve up anyone who broke through.  It was a pretty thin line though.

My new 4Ground building (on its first outing) broke up the massed Anglo Dane advance nicely, and with some well timed charges and withdrawals I was able to stave off the onslaught.  In this regard, the 12 figure Warrior units had a much greater degree of resilience, and being the defender, the conversion of attack dice to defensive dice significantly helped this unit to survive and remain in its blocking position.  The Berzerkers were committed to intercepting the 6 man Hearthguard as they crossed, effectively wiping eachother out.  I have concluded that the Berzerkers are a very powerful but single shot weapon.  You have to protect them from missile fire and unleash them at the right target...and don't expect them to come back!

Meanwhile, back on my right flank, the Levies continued to not do much as I wasn't getting the SAGA dice rolls I needed to activate them: a nice mechanism reflecting how difficult peasants can be to control at times!  Things were came to a head though, when I moved up my warriors to force the crossing...
A cinematic moment as opposing Warriors clash in the Ford!
...and sent the Anglo Dane defenders fleeing with half their number slain.  An interesting side bar discussion at this point was on the lack of Morale rules-  why don't units have a test after taking significant casualties to avoid routing? Our conclusion was that the player effectively does this himself.  Faced with a reduction of SAGA dice the player tends to be far more cautious with small, fragile units.  Anyway, it speeds up game play.

So my warriors broke through, and the Anglo Danes sent their Warlord and a Hearthguard unit to contain them.  After all, no VPs are won until the end of the game so if they could be eliminated they would spawn no VPs.  My Levy continued to sit dumbly on the river bank - so I bravely ran my warrior unit away and committed my flank reserve - a Hearthguard unit, to intercept the enemy elite in the last turn bloodbath...
..and in the mutual annihilation that followed the Anglo Dane warlord fell.  These hearty chaps really aren't as resilient when they get isolated.

And thus the evening's SAGA fun ended.  A great night in which we learned lots about the rules, and our Army's Battle Boards.   We felt a little guilty about not trying to get stuff done for the painting challenge, but when friend plays friend, everyone wins!


  1. Greate AAR Paul

    the lack of Morale rules have been an issue here to, its true as you say that the players tres to save small damaged units to preserve saga dice, but I still think some kind of warband morale could be usefull.

    Best regards Michael

  2. I feel for my fellow Anglo-Dane, James the Tall. On the other hand I can now steal his lands and chattels. John the Legless.

  3. It's all about knowing your battleboard! Fun games on whole just the same!

  4. I've played SAGA once myself and when it goes wrong it's usually downhill from there, good game!

  5. Great set-up and very nice AAR.

  6. Great looking game,love the first pic!

  7. Great AAR! I too like the fact that SAGA is fast & decisive. And as you noticed in the first AAR, it goes well with beer.

  8. SAGA, beer and mates. What more is there for a good time?

  9. Another cool BR, thanks.
    Love the 4Ground piece, it looks great.

  10. Sounds like a great day. The table looked really good too.

  11. When friend plays friend every one wins..............too true..............

    thanks for the Battle report

  12. Looks like a great couple of games, and wonderful reports. I particularly like the 'Raven cam' views. Now get back to the painting table!

  13. great game! great report!!!!