It’s been a while since our first try of SAGA 2nd Edition, but at the club today Rohan and I went back for a second game, this time at the standard size of 6 points. As before, I took Normans and Rohan Vikings and we just played the basic “Clash of Warlords” scenario from the new rulebook.
I still haven’t got round to re-basing the large collection of Normans I bought last year so I’m a bit limited for options so I went with 24x levy bows, 8x warrior crossbows, 8x mounted warriors and 8x mounted hearthguard with a standard warlord. Vikings have very few options so Rohan chose 32x warriors, 4x berserkers and the legendary warlord, Ragnar Lothbrok who benefits from Resilience (2), grants Determined units within S at the start of the Activation phase and generates two SAGA dice instead of one.
I still haven’t got round to finishing off the bases for some of these figures – must try harder!
During the setup phase my superior facial hair broke the tie for determining the first player. Being an exclusively infantry melee warband, Rohan was keen to fill up the table with a load of woods while I wanted to keep it as open as possible. I deployed my warlord and infantry first, then Rohan deployed his whole warband in a close quarters in the edge of the woods and finally I deployed my cavalry – all my hearthguard in a large unit on the extreme left flank and my warriors pulled right back in the centre.
In my first turn I only had three SAGA dice but was also able to make use of the manoeuvre rule for units well away from the enemy. I pushed my hearthguard up the left flank and one unit of levy bowmen up the right flank. The bowmen then used Volley Fire to cause a couple of casualties on one warrior unit. My remaining unit of bowmen shuffled over to the left to screen my mounted warriors. In Rohan’s turn he took full advantage of Ragnar’s special rule and advanced through the woods before charging his front unit of warriors into my bowmen who took heavy casualties and were forced to withdraw, but not before inflicting serious damage to the attacking Vikings.
In the second turn my two units of levy combined to finish off the lead unit of Viking warriors and then my mounted warriors charged the second unit of warriors and heavily damaged them (thanks to Impact) but by the time they retired, they were exhausted. My hearhguard reached the Viking table edge and began to turn (retrospectively, they should have turned in sooner). Rohan removed fatigue from all his units with Njord and charged my warrior crossbowmen, destroying them thanks to loading up on abilities but as losing five figures in the process.
My bows destroyed the badly damaged Viking warrior unit at the start of the third turn and then I took a large gamble by throwing my warlord forward and almost destroying the third unit of Vikings (just one was left alive) but unblocked hits meant I had to use Resilience and therefore ended up exhausted and exposed in the middle of table so I was sure he would be finished in very short order. It was a calculated risk which hadn’t paid off but certainly in the spirit of the game!
I got a bit carried away with the game at this point so forgot to take photos! I think the last photo is actually the end of my half turn 5, not the end of the whole turn.
During the fourth and fifth turns, the Viking berserkers ran rampant, finishing off my warlord and mounted warriors but my left unit of levy bowmen somehow managed to cling on and repulsed a depleted unit of warriors. I was down to two SAGA dice at this point but still my large unit of mounted hearthguard flexed their muscles, mopping up heavily depleted warrior units and even Ragnar himself (who was also pretty short of SAGA dice at this point).
Rohan started the fifth turn with just one figure left alive – a lone berserker who threw himself against my hearthguard but died in the attack so in the end it was a victory to the Normans, but a Pyrrhic one!
The game was a lot of fun and the turns went quickly once we refreshed our memory of the rules. There was a lot of discussion about SAGA with others from the club while we played and the new edition is looking like it will be very popular.
While we wait for the official fantasy supplement for SAGA 2nd Edition, there is a Lord of the Rings fan variant of SAGA 1st Edition and we’ll be trying that at the next club meeting in June.