Sunday, July 27, 2014

SAGA! Our first game

I finally got SAGA onto the table this weekend, after having only played a few games at HGMS conventions over the years. Our Vikings and Normans mix it up after the jump.

My wife an I played a brief game to get a handle on the rules, and then played a full game with four point warbands made of the dark age minis I've painted up. To keep things simple we played "Clash of Warlords."

The Vikings

  • Warlord
  • Two units of hearthguard
  • One unit of berserkers
  • One unit of bondi

My Normans

  • Warlord
  • Two units of hearthguard
  • Two units of levy archers

Set Up

My wife's Viking warlord emerged from his village hall to the excited shouts of his hirdmen. Collecting them into a defensive shield wall around him, they readied their blades to meet the approaching Norman raiding party.

My Normans were levy heavy. To ensure some of their bows would come into play, two units were sent to the clear areas to the left and right of a wood near the center of my deployment. A fence line and crops on the Norman left looked like they might provide cover to blunt and funnel a Viking charge.

Battle Is Joined

The vikings loped forward, the warlord sending his hirdmen and berserkers down the clear lane between the woods and field.

Hirdmen charge forward, picking up a fatigue for moving twice

My archers loosed arrows but failed to halt their charge.

Cavalry move to block charging hirdmen

Hirdmen unblunted by archery

My norman cavalry charged the approaching hirdmen, but in the ensuing melees (prolonged with the viking's Thor ability to fight another round of melee), my cavalry suffered heavily.

Cavalry recoil after suffering a casualty

My norman warlord trying to rally his men and get them back into the fight

When the dust cleared, the cavalry was destroyed, and the lone surviving hirdmen rested while his hairy brethren loped up beside him.

The surviving hirdmen. I think we botched a rule here, but my wife was still
rolling awesome and playing her battle board really well.

On my right, I attempted to send cavalry around the woods to catch the vikings from the rear. In a humiliating turn of events, their impact on the viking bondi faltered, and they were cut down, the single mounted survivor pulling back to lick his wounds.

Ugh. Cavalry slaughtered by bondi.

The vikings continued to press forward, the berserkers charging into battle and slaughtering the levy screening the Norman warlord who had pulled back to rest, having fatigued himself earlier in the battle.

Viking berserker taking a breather after hacking down my levy archers

With the viking warlord finally in charge range, the normans losing badly, and entering turn 6, I hurled the last of my warriors into a futile charge, which ended tragically as expected.

Futile charge into the viking warlord.

Final Thoughts

Wow, the rumors are true, this is a fun game. We're still learning, but my wife has a much better handle on the viking battle board than I have of the normans. My warband is pretty lopsided (rolling only four Saga dice each turn hurts), and I'm learning how to get my archers into position, but I clearly got stomped here. Still really enjoyed it, looking forward to playing again, and looking for some norman warriors to add to my norman warband.

This game is pretty rough on the ego though. She named my Norman warlord "Mr. Pusskins " for his frequent tactical withdrawals. Clearly we'll need a rematch to recover our Norman honor.


  1. Very nice figures and write up. Taking two lots of levy in a 4 point warband is definitely brave!

    1. There's a fine line between "brave" and "foolish", and I think I erred pretty heavily on the foolish side! I didn't realize how crippling two units of levy would be on the table. I'm planning on replacing them with warriors for our future games.

  2. Nice report - you will love these rules as they are so much fun! Well done.

    1. Totally! They play fast, figures die in droves, lots of fun choices to make... definitely a winner. Looking forward to many more games.

  3. Great write up, good to see those Normans get a kick in.

    1. Thanks Andrew. I'm looking forward to figuring out what makes these Normans tick :)

  4. Replies
    1. I'm already checking game stores that have regular Saga games for my next fix!

  5. It is a great game, and you provided great pics to illustrate that.

    1. Thanks Robb! Hoping to get these guys to the table again soon!

  6. Welcome to the addiction;) Saga has brought me out of my miniature painting slump. I've actually enjoyed painting these smaller war bands as well as the bigger returns of being able to play right away. Plus like you said, the rumors are true, it's fun!