Sometimes, we are in the mood for a quick and brutal game – fortunately, there is SAGA! So K. awoke her Vikings from their mead-induced slumber and I gathered my Normans to have another go at the Clash of Warlords scenario.
We both fielded 6 points. I chose one unit of Levy Archers, one unit of crossbows, two units of mounted Warriors and two of mounted Hearthguard. K. also took Levy Archers, two units of Warriors, two of Hearthguard and one of Berserkers. We diced for terrain and only got to place two pieces, so K. took a wooded area and I the watchtower – mainly because I like how it looks.
For the set up, I again made up a cunning plan: I positioned my Warlord together with his Hearthguard and a unit of crossbows to the right of the tower, ready to strike into the Vikings flank. The rest of my men was positioned to the middle – I wanted to keep them back until the flanking force was ready to strike.
K. had her forces lined up with her archers facing mine. She kept to the center of the board, only one unit of Hearthguard was hidden behind the woods (it really was hidden, I didn’t realise it was there until she brought it out).
K. started the game with shooting at my archers, which hurt them more than I would have thought. She also brought a unit of Hearthguard to cover the flank were my cavalry was advancing. Then she set her SAGA dice so that I couldn’t use my shooting abilities. I nevertheless decided to go for it and sent my first unit of knights to attack her flank Hearthguard without softening them up with crossbows first. The attack went ok but strained my cavalry – three points of fatigue meant that they suddenly were very vulnerable and all alone at the front!
As was to be expected, K. didn’t show any mercy and massacred them with her Hearthguard, which at least went under with my knights. Meanwhile, my archers managed to deplete one of the units of Warriors. However, they themselves took heavy casualties from the pesky Viking archers! K. decided to give them the rest by attacking with her other unit of Warriors, which threw themselves at my poor Levies. The mounted Warriors were still waiting for the signal to attack.
My Warlord with his flanking cavalry decided to abandon the flanking manoeuvre and tried to pull his men back. This was one of my classic capricious moments when I decide to change a plan in the middle of a game. Moving the troops around meant that my most powerful units were out of the game for quite a while. I did, however, finally attack with my mounted Warriors.
However, K. grasped the nettle and threw her crazed Berserkers at my Warriors. Together with the Warlord, they made short shrift of the cavalry. Some ferocious dice rolling also meant that three out of the four Berserkers actually survived the attack!
This left me in a dire situation. My approaching Warlord, seeing that none of his other troops were left, ordered his remaining Hearthguard to retreat and decided to call it a day.
Another defeat for the Normans! I put all my eggs into one basket by putting my best units plus my Warlord on the flank. Unfortunately, the flanking manoeuvre got stuck – had I pulled it through, I might have caused havoc in K.’s units. But as it was, I panicked when it didn’t work out and decided to move my cavalry back to the center, which effectively took it out of the game. Meanwhile, K. could systematically decimate the rest of my forces, which were sitting like ducks in the center of the playing area. Nevertheless, the game was great fun, quick and brutal, just as we wanted it to be!