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Monday, December 31, 2012

SAGA AAR. Byzantines V Anglo Danes.

 Hi Guys
A very relaxed New Years Eve here at 'Trailape's Gun Park'. Stan popped around after skiving off from domestic duties to have a game of SAGA with me. I've never played the game before, so I quickly based up some Byzantines and took to the 'field of Honour' to face Stan's Anglo Danes.
I'd had a glance through the rules previously but I would rely on Stan to get me started.
I decided on a Warband consisting of a Warlord / Strategos (derrrr), one Mounted 'Hearthguard' (called Kavallaroi) and 3 units of 'Warriors' (one armed with bows called Toxotai and two armed with spear and shield called Kontaratoi).
Stan's Warband consisted of a Warlord, two Hearthguards and two Warrior units.
Terrain consisted of a 'Large Building' (a Roman Villa) and a hill.
I deployed first.
My plan was rather simple, ('cause simple is good). I'd pepper him with arrows and send my Kavallaroi off on a sweeping flanking attack with the Warlord. I figured the KONTOS Saga Ability could be a game winner for me, so I wanted to get my Kavallaroi. The photos below follow the game:
BELOW: Stan's deployment.From left to right: Warriors, Hearthguard, Warlord, Warriors, Hearthguard.
 BELOW: Ready for action my Warband form with my 'Warriors' in a nice neat line, with the archers in the center and a spear armed unit on the hill.
 BELOW: My turn 1. I advance my warriors, with the Toxotai slightly back. I wasn't keen for them to get into any 'Hand to hand' combat.  My Kavallaroi move off to envelopment Stan's right flank. My Strategos changes into his battle dress. :)
 BELOW: My Archers open fire and simply annoy the Hearthguard ('sigh'). My BLUE Kontaratoi attack their opposite numbers and despite the lack of spears, (I'm painting them) flog the Anglo Danes. Stan's dice rolling was horrible (for him).

 BELOW: Stan then throws his Hearthguard into the fight. My BLUE Kontaratoi are reduced to one brave soul, but the enemy Warriors are reduced to two and the Hearthguard are also down to two!
 Meanwhile I unleash the Kavallaroi with the Strategos and adding the 'KONTOS' Saga Ability slaughter the Anglo Dane Hearthguard on the right flank for the loss of not one Kavallaroi trooper.
BELOW: The situation at about turn 3 or 4.

BELOW: Stan feels a tad isolated.
  Stan pulls a clever move, and double moves his warriors in front of the hill to attack my Kavallaroi and rescue his Warlord. I reserve half my dice in defence. Consequently I only lose one Kavallaroi trooper.
 ABOVE: Meanwhile my Archers / Toxotai finish of the two Warriors and then start firing at his two left flank Hearthguard.
BELOW: My Kavallaroi disengage and move back towards the villa. My Stategos moves around to support my Infantry.
 BELOW: Stan now turns on the Unit of Kontaratoi that have moved off the hill,...
... and kills quite a few of them. (See BELOW)
However, time is against Stan and his Anglo Danes and the game ends. It'll be decided on points.
A quick tally and we conclude the Byzantines win 14-7.
So what do I think of SAGA now I've played a game?
Well I must say I'm a fan. They system is elegant and challenging.
I like the tactical challenge of matching the dice to the battleboard to get maximum effect from your troops and I like the fact you can hold dice in melee back to use purely defensively.
Each 'Faction' or different warband has it's on particular strengths and weakness, and there is a challenge in simply playing to those strengths and weaknesses.
But ultimately it's about having fun, and SAGA is certainly fun.
I really enjoyed playing with the Byzantines.
My eldest daughter recently purchased me enough PERRY MINIATURES Normans (Early Crusaders) and now I'm motivated more than ever to get them painted and based. I can see them clashing with these Byzantines.
Comments welcomed.
Cheers and HAPPY 2013!


Anonymous said...

Great read!

I am just painting up my second Warband, which are Byzantines. So I hope they will do as well as yours (although I am planning for a stronger emphasis on cavalry).

Happy and a healthy New Year to you and your family!

Cyrus said...

Excellent report! Saga is definitely a fun game and it takes a while to really effectively use a faction and battle board.

Phil said...

Fantastic pictures, figures, and texts...Happy new year!

dugroz said...

Thanks for the report! I just had my first SAGA game recently too. Fun.