First SAGA Battle Report

Last night, we played another game of SAGA. We decided on the Clash of Warlords scenario, so it was a straightforward battle pitting my Normans against K.’s Vikings. My force consisted of one unit of Levies, one unit of Warriors with crossbows and two mounted Hearthguard. K. had one unit of Levies, one unit of Warriors, one of Hearthguard and, to frighten me, one unit of Berserkers. I set up as was usual in medieval times, namely with a strong and offensive right flank (both units of knights). In the middle I put my Warriors and on the left my Levies. K. put her Hearthguard on her far right behind the woods, her Levies with the Warlord and the Berserkers behind them in the middle and a lone Warrior unit on her left behind a hill – there was not much space between the woods and the hill, and she didn’t want her center to become too crowded. Those looked quite isolated, so I decided to concentrate my attack there.

The setup

For an overture, there was some shooting between the units of Levies which resulted in minor casualties. K. advanced her Hearthguard behind the woods while I moved my Warriors to give crossbow support to my knights. Those lazy Warriors, however, didn’t cause much damage before they were attacked by K.’s Warriors, which started to decimate them. Before they were completely done the cavalry came to the rescue.

Norman knights moving in

The Vikings, however, proved very resilient and the first clash caused only minor damage to both of us.

The Viking shieldwall was a tough nut to crack!

Then her Hearthguard had finally managed to move over to where all the action was and join in the fray – meaning they attacked my knights! Astonishingly, this time Norman horsemanship prevailed against brute force and the Vikings were wiped out while three of my Hearthguard remained. I should add that both of us rolled spectacularly bad SAGA dice in the second half of the game, which meant that we couldn’t use much of the fun special abilities – apart from K. finishing off the sad remainders of my Warrior unit with her Loki ability!

There was some more shooting in the middle while I retreated with my Levies, wanting to buy some time and concentrate my efforts on the right flank. It seems that this only made the Vikings angrier as K. sent in her Berserkers, which promptly slaughtered one of my unit of knights.

Berserkers hacking at knights

But with my knights gone, the Berserkers stood exposed on open ground. Some well-aimed shots from my stout Levies managed to kill them off. What a shame for the proud Norse Warriors!

Now, K.’s left flank was finally gone and I still had one unit of Hearthguard as well as the remainders of my Levies, while K. only had her Levies left.

The end is near
The end is near

I swiftly moved in with my knights and rode down the Levies, leaving the Warlord to leg it to fight another day (as this was the end of the last turn).

It was an exciting game which, however, was a bit slower paced than some of the other games of SAGA we have played. One reason were our bad SAGA dice, which made it almost impossible to do some of the really powerful stuff, so we moved around quite a lot – one turn, we both even rested most of our units. The other reason, however, may be that we are still not completely at home with our Battleboards and some of the game mechanics. I, for one, am still shocked how brutal melee can be for both sides, even if attacking a weaker unit. The small number of Heartguard models in our units (four) make them quite delicate. As soon as I have finished painting my mounted Warriors, I will certainly field them – eight models will hopefully prove more resilient.

Still, we are both happy with SAGA and  keen on practicing to improve our playing. After all, there is a campaign on the horizon!

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