Friday, August 1, 2014

SAGA Rematch!

I couldn't let the shame of Earl Pusskin's defeat stand, so once more my Normans took the field reclaim their honor against my wife's Viking warband. All the bloody details and pics after the jump.

We let our son set up the the terrain for the game as an impartial third party, and then deployed our warbands ready to duke it out to in a "Clash of Warlords"

A small wood and building occupied the Viking deployment area. My wife split her forces to both sides of the woods in the center of the board.

Vikings array themselves for battle

As for my Normans, I upgraded one of my levies to warrior crossbows (using my one existing unit of archers as proxies), and placed them to deliver volleys to any vikings who crossed the clear ground towards my warlord.

The Norman warlord urges a unit of levy archers

Norman "crossbows" take cover behind a fence

I placed all of my cavalry on my right flank, hoping to charge to the far side of the board, hopefully flushing any vikings out of cover into the jaws of my missile troops.

Battle is Joined

Those clever viking were on to the threat posed by my archers. They took cover behind a nearby building.

The shooting gallery

Berserkers dash for cover behind a building

Seeing the bulk of the viking warband shift towards my right, I sent my Norman warlord to reinforce my cavalry on the right.

Vikings skirt to the Norman right behind woodland cover

Norman warlord races to meet the Viking thrust on their right

The viking berserkers braved the open ground in sight of my archers (with arrows apparently plunging into the ground mere feet away from their path) and dashed to the cover of the woods.

Vikings sprint across the field of death, but even with a double move fail to reach cover!

Ack! Inches short!

As my crossbow unit scrambled into a nearby field, one unit of viking hearthguard charged my archers, suffering a withering volley from all 12 of my archers suffering an incredible... 0 hits.

Still wary of the crossbows, the viking sheltered in the woods, while my Normans repositioned, hoping to deliver a few crossbow bolts or some lucky Saga dice rolls, before charging home.

The battle comes to a head. The cavalry lines up, ready to meet the viking charge.

Bondi lead the advance, hearthguard, warlord and berserkers following.

With turn five rolling around, and not a single unit broken yet, the vikings finally commited to battle, charging into melee with their bondi and hirdmen.

Crossbows loose their bolts, but drunk Harold apparently threw off their aim, dealing no hits!

On my left the viking hirdmen chewed threw my archers, but with their terrible performance thus far and lack of Saga dice, I wasn't too concerned. The bondi suffered heavily charging my cavalry and fled. With time running out, I charged home with my cavalry and warlord.

Cavalry charge home, attacking viking bondi and hearthguard. 

Units began to fall, and in the ensuing melees the vikings slaughtered too Norman units, while I was only able to kill one viking unit. One mauled viking unit remained in range, but with turn six ending, killing it would only grant me a draw. With a prayer to God, my Norman warlord charged into the viking chief.

In the ensuing bloodbath, both leaders dealt mortal wounds to each other, dying face to face in deadly hand to hand combat. With both leaders dead, and the Normans with one more dead unit than the vikings, we declared the pagans the victor. Aargh!

Still Dishonored

We're still getting the hang of things, and I'm sure there are rules we botched, but I had a ton of fun again. Swapping out one levy archers for crossbows helped quite a bit. And those archers, man, they can't hit a thing. No wonder the sample four point Norman warband in the rulebook doesn't field any! Thinking of upping these to six point warbands with the addition of more warriors. Looking forward to our next game, and the impending arrival of Crescent & Cross!


  1. A great looking game with some excellent action shots, looking forward to more battles!

    1. Thanks Ray! It's a great set of rules. Looking forward to more games myself.

  2. Great battle report if even the results are ignominious for us paternal family member-types. If you do up to six points for Normans, I think Archers are a must have - that 24 inch range ability is a killer. Also consider combining two 4 figure mounted hearth guard into one 8 figure unit. You loose a dice but get a unit that can steamroll just about anything on the table.

    1. Thanks Miles! Good to hear those archers come into their own in higher point warbands. I considered combining the cavalry, but I was already short on Saga dice. I'll have to give it a try once I get a a few more warrior units in the army.

  3. Excellent figs and terrain - just what Dark Age gaming should look like.

    1. Thanks Dean! Hoping to get some more Vikings and Normans painted up for some epic shield wall clashes :)

  4. Agree with the others - great looking game and report!

  5. Excellent report, I love the pictures! Great blog too. I play Normans and Vikings, so it's always interesting to see them against each other. They have quite different styles, and generally make for a good game. Shooting is a bit hit and miss in SAGA (excuse the pun!) but it can be devastating if you get in a good position. The best thing is you don't lose any figures if you whiff your shooting! I've found the levy archers only useful with six points of Normans, but the crossbows are great. They do tend to be the first unit attacked by the enemy, but a couple of rounds of crossbow bolts can turn a game. Cheers, Paul :-)