In an attempt to gathering support for SAGA, Alex and I sallied forth back out to 7th Dimension Games and struck swords in a demo game. Ken and Brian, our willing audience, only mildly chaffed at their restraints as we played. Bumping our forces up to 6 points, I once again led my Vikings against Alex's stout Anglo-Danes.
Hearthguard - Berserkers
Levy - Bows
Warlord - Dane Axe
Hearthguard - Dane Axes
Hearthguard - Dane Axes
Levy - Bows
We decided on playing Clash of Warlord again, as it's a relatively straightforward affair - either kill the enemy Warlord, or have the most victory points (by killing models) by the end of turn 6.
Terrain generation saw Alex place a steep hill in the middle of the table, and since the table was a little narrower than normal, I was able to put a forest to the left of the hill. Much to my own detriment, as I was to discover.
I deployed my Vikings as a line, left to right: Warriors, Levy, Warriors, Berserkers, and the combined Hearthguard. I placed my Warlord behind the Berserkers (another mistake. I've really got to stop doing this. The Warlord is too important to get stuck behind other units like this.
Alex deployed in a staggered line, looking to use the Uneven terrain of the Forest and Steep Hill to protect his flank. Left to right you can see: Levy, combined Hearthguard, Warlord, combined Warriors, combined Warriors.
As my line advanced, Alex pulled his Warriors back and moved the Levy up. I had originally planned to use the Berserkers to make meat confetti out of Alex's Levy. Unfortunately, I allowed Alex, Ken, and Brian to taunt me, and with my blood boiling I sent the Berserkers after the opposing Warlord.
As my line advanced, Alex pulled his Warriors back and moved the Levy up. I had originally planned to use the Berserkers to make meat confetti out of Alex's Levy. Unfortunately, I allowed Alex, Ken, and Brian to taunt me, and with my blood boiling I sent the Berserkers after the opposing Warlord. Alex had his Battleboard prepped, though, and demonstrated just how well the Anglo-Danes can receive an attack. As the dust settled, all four of the battle-raging Hearthguard lay dead at the feet of the untouched Anglo-Dane leader. Damn!
(As a side note, Alex and I kept forgetting to lower the armor of the Anglo-Danish Warlord and Hearthguard equipped with Dane Axes. D'oh! Live and learn).
Just to show that the Danes were no slouches on the offensive, Alex charged his Warlord and a unit of Warriors into my big Hearthguard unit. Using a bit of fatigue and fighting defensively, I tried to keep my best fighters alive, but the Fates must have been laughing in the roots of Yggdrasil as half of them were cut down.
Trying to get my momentum back, I showed Alex that imitation is the greatest form of flattery, throwing my Warlord and remaining Hearthguard into the fight. After buckets of dice settled onto the table, Alex passed the 10 wounds I had managed to score back onto the Warriors behind his Warlord.
After pulling his remaining Warriors back (keeping them in the game and retaining a SAGA die from them), Alex brought his Hearthguard up. My own Hearthguard fell under the heavy blows of their axes.
I still had some fight in me, so my Warlord called the nearby Warrior unit into the fight. I can't remember exactly which Battleboard abilities I used, but you can see just how the melee went down...
My Warriors and Warlord focus their attacks on the enemy Hearthguard, and wiped them out! It was a bitter victory, with the near lost of the Warrior unit.
Realizing just how alone my Warlord looked, I started to bring the Warriors on the extreme left over. I had abandoned my Levy, who had made poor going over the half-movement Steep Hill.
Unfortunately, Alex wasn't going to give me that chance, and his Warlord charged his counterpart with the unit of Warriors in tow. My Warlord was quickly hacked to pieces, and Alex claimed victory.
Ken and Brian seemed to be impressed, and both expressed interest in picking up the rules at the very least. So, demo successful, it would seem! As for the game itself, in addition to the mistake made in remembering the armor of the Dane-Axe Hearthguard and Warlord, Alex and I thought that the Warlord could activate a unit within M, when the distance was actually S. Whoops! We'll be sure to remember that next time.
It was a great game, and kudos to Alex for setting the demo up. With the absolutely massive Dark Ages collection Alex has, playing with different forces shouldn't be a problem.