Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Horseflesh for Dinner - Saga AAR

I recently met up with Josh for a game of Saga. Neither of us have had much experience with the new version, so we decided that a simple Clash of Warlords would do well to shake out the cobwebs and get a handle on the rules.

I brought out the Normans, with a Warlord, two units of six mounted Hearthguard, a unit of eight mounted Warriors, a unit of eight Warriors with crossbows, and a unit of eight Flemish Mercenaries. 

Josh brought his Jomsvikings, with the legendary Warlord Sigvaldi Strut-Haraldsson and five units of Hearthguard, two of which had great weapons. 

Sigvaldi ended up being fairly tough opponent. He had Resilience (2), which meant that he could take a point of fatigue to stop two uncancelled wounds. He gave his entire warband Armor 6 against shooting attacks. He could cancel advance melee Saga abilities with a dice roll against his Wrath tokens (which Josh largely forgot to use), and could remove the opponent choice of either allowing Saga abilities to happen or letting the Jomsvikings gain Wrath tokens. Yeesh.

The goal of Clash of Warlords is simple - play until one side cannot generate Saga dice anymore, then tally the dead. Whoever scored the most points was the winner. 

The game started with my mounted Hearthguard riding down a smaller unit of Jomsviking Hearthguard, who still managed to mangle my unit with their Great weapons. 

Josh pushed up hard through the village, forcing my mounted Warriors to flee after being savaged. Since I couldn't stop his Wrath generation thanks to Sigvaldi's Sly ability, the Jomsvikings Battle Board abilities hit harder. 

Unfortunately, my slow moving Flemish Mercenaries never got a chance to get into combat, and since they were mercenaries, didn't generate a Saga die for me to use. And while his warband has less models in it, each of those models were Hearthguard powered up by Wrath tokens. Josh used these to deadly effect, especially the ability that gave the Jomsvikings javelin shooting attacks, which my mounted and unshielded troops were especially weak to. 

It also didn't help that Sigvaldi's Resilience (2) meant that my Warlord couldn't seem to do enough damage to his Legendary opponent to deal the final blow. 

It was Sigvaldi that struck the final blow that brought down my Norman Warlord and ended the game. My unit of crossbow Warriors was too small to generate a Saga die, and the Flemish Mercenaries (which Josh had kited the whole game) couldn't contribute. 

With that, we crossed the fields of battle and counted the dead. Josh scored 26.5 massacre points, while I scored 23. It was a close battle, but the Jomsvikings could count it as a victory!

As I say in most other after action reports, I hope we play more. Josh is definitely interested, and picked up a box of Wargames Atlantic's Dark Age Irish to expand his warband options. 

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