Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Demo Games - SAGA AAR

As I mentioned last week, I'm here in Dublin for a study abroad program. I met up with Greg (quozl on several forums) after conversing with him over several emails, and he brought a pair of warbands for Saga to demo the game for me.

Both games were fought with the same scenario, which places a river down the center of the table separating the two players' warbands. There are only two places where the river can be crossed (which you'll see in the pictures).

My plan was to basically rush forward. Greg's Irish were a 'shoot-and-scoot' faction, as he explained it to me, with everything except the wolfhounds carrying javelins. While this makes relatively fragile in combat, Greg quickly demonstrated that getting into axe and sword distance of the Irish would be a gaunlet of flying pointy sticks.

With a 3-action combination on the Battleboard, the Irish javelins went from flying pointy sticks to being flying pointy sticks with heatseeking capabilities and exploding armor piercing tips.

The above is just such an example. The group of warriors crossing the river started at 8 strong, and and was reduced by have in a single turn. Of course, terrible dice rolling on my part didn't help at all.

The left flank was the first to fall, with my warriors and Hearthguard falling to sustained javelin attacks and with the jaws of wolfhounds clenched around their throats.

The right side didn't fair much better. The Irish Cuiradh (mini-warlords) and a unit of warriors did the same to my Warlord and his men as the Irish did to the vikings on the left. At the end it was a desperate charge by the Warlord that ended the game, with him falling victim to the Irish and looking like a giant pin-cushion. 

Greg asked if I was up for a second game, and I definitely was. So we reset the table and switched factions.

Wanting to try and copy Greg's tactics (the best sort of flattery) I placed a forest on his right which would allow me to throw javelins via my Battleboard (simulating the sneaky Irish fighting from rough terrain). Greg, on the other hand, found quite a powerful combination of actions that allowed his vikings to fly across the table - I'll be remembering that for sure!

I screwed up my deployment by placing my Irish within the Viking's movement range in the very first turn. Luckily I had screened my Hearthguard unit with my wolfhounds, which took the brunt of the initial Viking charge. Most of the action took place on my right, with the two Curaidhs and a unit of Warriors holding down the left (and being very important in the end!

The fighting on the right was fierce, with Greg slamming his vikings repeatedly into my own warriors. I wasn't as cunning as Greg was when he had the Irish, and so the Vikings tore apart my large Hearthguard unit and left only my warlord and a single dog. The dog didn't last long, and neither did my Warlord.

Incredibly, Greg had managed to save every single one of his units with just a single model in each, so he still had all 6 of his Saga dice in play. With only two Curaidhs and a unit of Warriors, I could only manage 3. Luckily, the Curaidhs could make a action for free on their own, so I could manage with two Saga dice for actions.

With the victory conditions for the game being the number of men you had gotten over the river, I realized with a quick count that if I could kill off the warriors awaiting on the opposite side of the river I could tie Greg's current score. I took a gamble and situated my Saga dice so I could effect some decent ranged combat.

With some lucky dice rolling, I managed to kill off the remaining vikings on the opposite side of the river. Greg and I decided to call the game at that point - I still had enough Dice and warriors left that if I holed up in the rough terrain of the woods Greg would have a tough time dislodging me, and I wasn't about to run up to the remaining Viking warlord and his surviving warriors to try and knock them out, lest they severely mess up my own few remaining troops.

And that was my first two games of Saga! I think I'm hooked - I'm already looking at picking up the Viking and Anglo-Danish starter warbands for myself...

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