Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Half Day Raid - SAGA AAR

Last year, Saga was one of my 6x6 challenge choices. As Kevyn and I battled through our warlords Floki and Louis, Tomahawks Studio revealed that a new version of the game was going to be released in 2018.

I'm planning to run a four player game next month with the South Jersey Wargamers Association, and as a refresh, I offered to run a demo game with Bill, who owns and operates Half Day Studio.

Bill decided to command the Vikings, and I decided to go with the Welsh. I built two identical four point warbands - a warlord with two points of hearthguard and warriors, in four units.

The scenario was Clash of Warlords, but Bill and I ended up deploying our warlords on opposite sides of the table. Our warrior and hearthguard units lined up, with Bill's warlord and dane-axe hearthguard lurking in the woods.

The table was a pretty simple setup - a village, its fields, and the forest beyond. The fields were uneven ground, and the woods were uneven ground and blocked line of sight.

Both sides advanced in the firs turn, the warlords leading their men forward.

Bill's men advanced again in the second turn. I used the Welsh's Taunt ability to draw a unit of warriors forward into the village, and then had my hearthguard advance, throwing their javelins. The attack struck true, and four of the enemy warriors fell.

Not to be outdone, Bill launched a unit of warriors into my hearthguard on the left. The fighting was bloody - I lost three hearthguard, and Bill lost four warriors - but the real pain came from the Vikings' Lords of Battle ability, which exhausted the remaining hearthgurd.

While the men in the village held their ground, the fields and forest were drench in the blood of fighting men. Bill managed to reduce one of my warrior units down to a single model, but I wiped out one of his hearthguard unit and damaged one of his warrior units in return. My warlord and a warrior unit used their javelins to fell three hearthguards as well. 

With the beginning the fifth turn, the battle seemed to be winding down, as the numbers on both sides had been drastically reduced. Bill struck down the last member of the warrior unit on the left, and a sudden advance from his men in the village caught my hearthguard by surprise - two were killed, and the men were sudden overcome with fatigue with Bill's use of the Lords of Battle ability again.

The last turn didn't seem much combat, with the Welsh warlord and his warriors running to catch the last of the Viking hearthguard with their javelins.

Bill and I counted our dead and found that the Welsh had won, 14-9. Bill appreciated the game and found it fun - it was just a shame that it was going to be superseded so soon.

I'm planning on picking up the new version of the game, and I'm looking forward to seeing the changes that Tomahawk Studios has talked about implemented in the game.


  1. I'm not a huge Dark Age era fan, but the game seems to recreate the feel well. I hope the changes don't mean you have to buy new faction dice boards again...they are incredibly expensive for a piece of card stock.

    Nice terrain......


    1. Unfortunately, the new version will require new battleboards.

      However, they're being sold in a bundle with a new book that covers all twelve of the Dark Ages factions. And new versions of the boards also means a chance to balance factions, as the ones in the first book are a little lacking compared to later releases.

      And the dice aren't changing!

    2. I would get into SAGA if the price wasn't so outrageous for what you get. Any idea of retail $ for new release?


    3. Looks like £10.00 for the main rules and £30.00 for the Dark Age specific book. At least nowadays there's plenty of plastic boxes that are cheaper than all the metals I bought when the game was still new.

      Gripping Beast has a deal for Viking and Anglo-Saxon starters for £61.67 (excluding VAT) that comes with the two books, a 4 point plastic warband, 8 Saga dice, and MDF measuring sticks and fatigue tokens.