29 Feb 2012

The Saga continues!

So,, with only the Silverback and I available for a game, we decided upon trying out Saga again, for only it's 2nd outing.

Quick recap of the rules, you roll "saga dice" based on the number of units you have at the start of each turn and use these dice to either activate units or load special abilities on your "battle board".  The special abilities vary for each faction and so you have to balance whether to get 1 unit to do a lot or activate everyone and they all do a little.  And you may want to save some abilities for your opponent's turn to counter him..... The more units do, the more they get "fatigue" which your opponent can spend to reduce your armour, increase his armour against you, etc.

We went for the classic "Clash of Warlords" meaning the objective of the game was to kill your opponents warlord.  We both had 4 point warbands with 2 hearthguard and 2 warriors in each, with the Vikings including 4 berserkers as one of their hearthguard units (loonies!) and the Anglo Danes including some 2 handed axemen (chop!).

We both set up in a rough line and headed warily towards the middle.  Multiple use of "intimidate" by the Anglo Danes kept the berzerkers unmoving at the back of the board, chewing away on their axe handles and dancing themselves into a frenzy.

Both battle lines stopped a little out of the 6 inch charge range from each other and the battlefield was eerily silent.... The Anglo Dane Hearthguard with shields took it upon themselves to break the deadlock and moved into range of the viking warriors on the right flank.  The Viking hearthguard ordered the warriors to hold fast as they wanted to meet the challenge, so they double moved into combat (gaining 1 fatigue in the process).  The Anglo Danes went into shieldwall (making them harder to hit) and became Lords of Battle (giving them extra defence dice).  The Vikings countered with an ability to re-roll their misses.  After all the dice had fallen, no Anglo Danish were dead and 2 vikings had fallen.  Undeterred, the vikings played an ability to immediately force another round of combat.  Unfortunately, the 2 remaining vikings fell for the loss of only 1 Anglo Dane!

The remaining vikings shuffled to better meet the challenge of the Angle Danes.....

The Anglo Dane Hearthguard, bouyed by their success, plowed into the warriors in front of them, but the combat was largely disappointing as only 2 warriors fell and the Anglo Danes warily reformed their line and saved some dice on their battle board on the right, their left flank as forgotten as the Viking right as we were using all of our dice for the units on the right!

However, the Danes had miscalculated how far away the loonie berzerkers were and had forgotten to "intimidate" them to stop them moving and so they broke into a run, double moved into combat with the hearthguard and used their fatigue to increase their own strength - darned Viking special ability!  After the dust settled, only 1 berzerker had fallen, but due to good use of "Lords of Battle" defensively, only two hearthguard were killed.  The lone guard fell back into the no-mans land between the forces (pic below - it's the only one I remembered to take all game!  Anglo danes in the bottom and the right, Vikings above and the forgotten flanks just about in picture on the left)


In the following turn, the warriors on the right piled into the berserkers, figuring their only chance to finish them was when they were tired and had no abilities loaded from the battle board.  using the fatigue of the berserkers to hit them on 2+ (!) they finished the loonies, but lost 4 of their own to the frenzied chopping despite some great armour saving throws which shows you how nails the berserkers are.....

In the following turn, the viking warlord decided to try to settle the matter and the charged the lone hearthguard and ordered his warriors to charge the depleted warrior unit.  The warriors fared well, leaving only 2 Danes alive for the loss of only 1 warrior and the warlord unceremoniously cut down the tired hearthguard in the middle.....

This gave the Anglo Danish warlord the opportunity he was looking for and the previously forgotten 2 handed axemen double moved into the lone warlord and set about him with crushing blows.  Having forgone the protection of his warriors, it was too much for the warlord who fell like so much chopped wood......

Another good game of this great little system.  It's really good fun and very tactical as you balance your saga dice against moving, offensive action and being able to respond to your opponent in his turn.  Silverback had some terrible dice though and didn't throw a 6 for his saga dice until about turn 5, so 30 odd dice and only one 6... This meant there were some of his battleboard abilitites not available to him without the magic 6.  I also had some great luck with saving throws and managed to survive a few fights where otherwise I'd have gone down.  This was important as each unit generates a saga dice, so even with a one man unit I got a dice for them to be used as I saw fit.

Looking forward to playing some of the other scenarios and also looking into using other figures in the game as the mechanics would easily suit other eras and figure ranges, in particular Warhammer Fantasy Battle with all of the little forces that I've acquired through years of being a wargames hoarder :)  But you could easily use aliens, cavemen, etc. and the game would work.  Very elegant system and I look forward to the next game where the viking warlord will no doubt be out for revenge.....

2 comments:

pulpcitizen said...

Since my main gaming buddy wants for us to play Saga this year, it was nice to read this post about the game. :)

Tea Urn said...

I can heartily recommend it. Nice mechanic with the saga dice and we've already expanded our forces. Not that us wargamers need much encouragement to do that mind you :)