Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Painting Update - SAGA

Sorry about the lack of a post last week. I hadn't done anything hobby related, so I decided to take a break rather then spew out some opinion piece to fill the space. 

After a few weeks of painting, I finally managed to complete the 5 points of Vikings I have for SAGA. 

The Warlord, with his shield inscribed with runes to keep him safe. 

The hearthguard - the same that failed me in the last battle they were in. 

Hearthguard Berserkers, the glass cannons of the Vikings. 

The first unit of Warriors. 

And the second unit of Warriors. 

Bow-armed Levy. 

As I said, this comes to 5 points of in-game units. A standard game of SAGA is played at 6 points, and I've been wondering how to get that last point. A single unit of Levy is more than enough for Vikings, especially as they don't have any way of improving missile attacks from their Battleboard, and Levy are generally useless in melee. Another unit of Warriors might be useful, as I could split it into two and combine them with the Warriors I already have, giving me two 12-strong Warrior units.

But what really interests me is another unit of standard Hearthguard. Berserkers aren't an option, since a Vikings warband can only take a single unit (4 men). But another unit of regular Hearthguard could be combined with the unit I already have and give me an 8-strong unit in-game. Not only would this give me 16 attacks in melee - which can go much higher with the abilities available to the Vikings - but it also increases their chances of staying on the table after a bad round of combat.

However, my attention at the moment turns now from the Vikings to my second SAGA faction - the Anglo-Danes. My starter warband arrived earlier in the week, and the miniatures have been cleaned up and glued to their bases. I'm hoping to have them based (Drydex'd, I suppose) and primed.

My ultimate goal is to have the contents of the two starter warbands painted as soon as possible. There's a FLGS near my university that's very heavy on Warmachine/Hordes and 40k, but no Historical wargames. I'm hoping the similarities between SAGA and Warmachine/Hordes and the relative cheap price of getting into the game can attract some players.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Vikings vs. Anglo-Danes - SAGA AAR

It's been awhile since I've spoken of anything relating to SAGA, but that doesn't mean I haven't been doing anything with it. I've been busy painting the 4 point starter warband of Vikings, and even picked up a unit of levy to add some ranged attacks to the predominately (completely) melee focused Vikings. My next move will be to get the Anglo-Dane starter, then get both forces up to 6 points.

In game, the Vikings focus on offense in melee and removing Fatigue from their units, and the Anglo-Danes have many defensive abilities and can place additional Fatigue on enemy units. Because the two factions play so well off of one another, I've decided to use them as my demo factions in the future.

Alex, one of the guys who frequents 7th Dimension Games, showed up last Saturday with some miniatures (which he revealed to be a small part of a rather extensive Dark Ages collection) to act as Anglo-Danes, while I used my Vikings.

This AAR is really going to lack pictures, which is much different from my normal style, but I was much more focused on explaining the rules than recording what happened.

Our two warbands lined up opposite of one another. The objective was to killed the opposing Warlord or, failing that, get the most Victory Points by the end of turn 6. Alex deployed his Arthurian-based warband closer together, while I spread mine out, hoping to be able to catch him from multiple sides.

The first few turns of the game involved a lot of movement, with Alex and I positioning our men in an attempt to be the first to initiate combat. First blood went to my unit of Hearthguard (which you can see off to the far right, behind the smithy), who killed 4 of Alex's Warriors - and dying in the process. A little too enthusiastic to get into combat, they must have lept right onto the waiting Danish spears.

Alex kept his force fairly close together, and this meant that my wood-and-meat grinding Berserkers were left out of the battle for its entirety. 

Alex showed me that the defense-focused Danes were no slouches when it came to offense. He sent a unit of Hearthguards into one of my Warrior units and killed 5 of them. He then used 'The Push' ability and killed the remaining Warriors to had tried to disengage. 

My Warlord and Warriors then completely failed to do anything to the Dane-axe wielding Hearthguard, who showed my hapless Warlord what melee was all about, splitting his skull alongside a good few of the Warriors who had followed him into combat. And with that, Alex's Anglo-Danes secured their victory!

In our after-game talk, Alex said he found the game to be fun, and the fact that it's definitely on the more 'game-y' then 'simulation' side of historical wargames didn't detract from that at all. He told me that he has plenty of miniatures that could be used for Anglo-Saxons, Welsh, and Normans, so I won't be lacking for opponents (although some Byzantines would be cool... ). We also agreed that it wouldn't be hard to market this game to Warmachine players, since its shares more than a few similarities, and it's definitely cheap to put together a 6 point warband. 

So that's that! I'll hopefully have everything painted by next week, and if I'm lucky I'll have another AAR to post. If not, it'll be a painting display post, or perhaps a review of a certain board game that I recently picked up.