14 January 2014

The SAGA of Paul the Hairy and James the Tall

Last night saw the Man Cave's first games for 2014: SAGA battles between Comrade James (aka James the Tall) and I.  The first battle was the Sacred Ground scenario, with 6 points apiece. James took Anglo Danes with 3 Hearthguard with Danish Axes (in two units of 8 and 4 figures), 2 Warriors and a Levy.  I played Vikings with 1 Hearthguard, 1 unit of Berzerkers, 3 Warriors (deployed in two units of 12 figures) and a Levy. Being a little hairier than usual while enjoying my holidays I fully intended to exploit the official rule that "ties shall be won by the player with the more impressive facial hair".
Game setup: Vikings were a little too far forward and moved back  2 inches before we started
(PS Inspiration for the labelled setup picture from the excellent Dalauppror blog here)
The initial stages went pretty much as planned, each of us capturing our right flank objectives and then pushing up with the heavies to contest the centre one sporting the sacred Menhirs.
The Viking opening advance - and an offering to Odin!
James pushed up a warrior unit to contest my right flank.  I obliged him by running down the hill at him, killing half the unit and sending the rest fleeing before taking position again.  The 12 man Warrior unit was quite powerful I found it well worth the loss of SAGA dice.
Anglo-Dane Warriors advance on the Viking held forested hill
The pivotal battle was always to be in the centre though, and James sent up his Danish Axe equipped Hearthguard to contest it, while cleverly using his "Intimidate" battle board ability to prevent my Levies and Warriors from reinforcing my now isolated and outnumbered Hearthguard and Berzerkers.
Anglo-Dane Hearthguard advance on the Menhir knoll
The Anglo-Danes occupy with right flank objective and view the battle with interest!
The opposing Hearthguard crashed together, losses weer taken, but this could only end badly for the Vikings until those reinforcements could be brought up.  Time was running out...
Taking a gamble, I invested all bar one of my SAGA dice into combat abilities (and lets face it the Vikings have a few options in that regard) and targeted the enemy Warlord.  The first Hearthguard unit was repelled, then I sent in the Berzerkers, who finished him off despite his being supported by his own nearby Hearthguard.  It was a gamble, but it paid off nicely.
The Warlord of James the Tall lies dead on the battlefield
And so with their warlord dead the Anglo-Dane army collapsed, but there was only 10 or so Victory Points in it at this stage and it was indeed a close run thing.  More offerings were made to Odin in thanks for the Victory and the spoils of battle!  It was also great to christen the mdf SAGA measuring sticks and fatigue markers that my mates Ken and Pete got for me for my birthday while I was away - they are awesome guys, thanks!
Victory Celebration Ale: Dragonhead Stout brewed in the Orkneys- what Viking wouldn't like it?
Report for the second battle to follow...


  1. Great stuff... must admit I am curious to have a go at the SAGA LOTR Variant...

  2. Smashing game POG! Too bad Lucky... next time you'll do for him!

  3. Great game, great writeup. Thanks for sharing

  4. Very funny review.
    Sounds like a good game and some great time!

  5. Great looking game
    Hail Odin!
    I do find that after making multiple sacrifices to Odin that my game play can become erratic. I wonder what's up with that?

  6. "Du gav korparna föda Paul" as a Swedish viking might have said;) or in Islandic: "Þú gafst Hrafnarnir fæða Paul"

    Congratulation to a great victory for the Vikings!

    Greate looking game and AAR!

  7. To the victor the spoils, great report Paul.

  8. Nice close game!
    Congrats for the win!

  9. Lot of blood, beer & fun! thanks for sharing