Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Saga - This Hallowed Ground

I managed to arrange a demonstration game of Saga the other week, ironic really - to call it a demonstration game - as I could barely remember the rules myself!

Nonetheless, I found no difficulty in gathering two forces out of my dark age troops.  My opponent would take control of the Vikings, whilst I took the Normans on.

Our scenario was the Hallowed Ground, which required only three pieces of terrain.  The wood on my left was my favoured ground, whilst the wood on my opponent's left was his.  The hill in the centre was  open to question!

We Deployed:

I had two units of mounted Milites, and two units of foot warriors; one with crossbows.  The Vikings had one unit of Besirkir, one of Hearthguard, a unit of warriors and a unit of bondsmen with bows.  Each force had a commander and was overall formed of four points.

After a slow start, due to my getting the movement rates for each side wrong! the Franks pulled out an early lead on the Vikings by deploying into the wood and sending our spearmen up onto the hill.  The viking levy hung back picking off some of our Milites.  Around turn three (of eight) my cavalry charges both his Besirkir and Hearthguard...

Resulting in the loss of all my cavalry, other than my commander.  Ulp!  I wiped out the Besirkirs but they were equally deadly in an exchange that had no victors.  On the opposite flank on Hearthguard walked away from a bloody but failed charge by the horsemen.

Around the hill, the Viking bowmen retired to the trees, whilst his warriors tried to catch mine off guard.  My Commander threw himself in to the fray; things were getting difficult for me though as the complete loss of two units meant I had less command dice than my opponent.

 His Warriors turned on my Warlord, and soon finished him off, despite losing a couple of men, but then my Warriors attacked the tired and weakened Vikings forcing them to retire.

Which neatly brought us to the end of the game.  You'll have noticed I didn't mention my crossbowmen; that's because other than picking off one of the Hearthguard, their only contribution was the steady strem of victory points for occupying my wood all game.  In fact as the Vikings never threatened to evict them it proved to be game winning for me.

It is always nice to introduce someone new to a game, but on this occasion it also set my mind to a different course.  When gathering the forces together for this game, I found myself wondering why I had so many dark age models - often it has to be said, of fairly poor quality - that I didn't really feel the need to use any more, when the only game I wanted to play with them required less than thirty a side.

More on that revelation in due course I suppose...

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