Friday, 9 August 2013


Well with everyone in Upper Hutt's gaming group getting into the new SAGA game, Andy and I have both decided to join them.

SAGA is a Dark ages miniature skirmish type game, where each side plays to a points value  - 4 points being ideal for beginners games and 6 points for tournament type games.

Points are calculated by the type of unit it is and is really simple to work out.
1 point is either one of the following - 4 Hearthguard, 8 Warriors, or 12 Levy
Your Hearthguard are your top Warriors and often your Warlords bodyguard
The Warriors are the bulk of your army
The Levy are the peasant type armed with missile weapons and the like.
You also have your Warlord of course which is free and must have.
You can pick any combination of units as you see fit for the point allowance.

A 6 point army would roughly be between 20 and 72 miniatures, organised into groups of 4-12 warriors each - You can organise the groups into any combination of number, and this also will determine how many SAGA dice you will get.

Your Warlord gets 2 Saga dice and the Hearthguard and Warrior units gets one dice for every unit. The Levies don't create any dice as these are mere peasants!
The Saga dice has icons on them and are used in conjunction with your armies Battleboard that give your command choices for the turn.

SAGA DICE symbols

Combat and movement are simple and based on dice rolls, the real challenge is how to use the options from your battleboard as effectively as possible. Every army has their own battleboard with all their own skills.

A turn consists of Orders/Activation, movement, shooting and Melee phase.

An Orders/Activation phase is where upon you roll your SAGA dice and then assign them to your battle board depending on what skill you can or need to use for the turn. Most orders only require one dice symbol to activate it where others require a combination of two the same or different symbols required. Each dice has thee symbols with 1, 2 and 3 being the first, 4 and 5 being the second and 6 being the third.

Shooting is quite interesting, is three main types of weapon - the bow, sling and javelin. also the Crossbow the Norman's use. Each type of unit generates different amounts of shooting dice depending on what their class is. The Levies and Warrior generate 1 dice per every 2 models shooting in the unit.
Hearthguard generates 1 dice for each model, and the Warlord having two dice to shoot with. Of course is some warbands that have skills to increase thier shooting prowess as one would expect.

The Melee phase is similar to shooting where upon you generate attack dice depending on the unit type.
The Levies generate 1 dice for every 3 models in range of the enemy fighting.
The Warriors 1 dice per model
The Hearthguard 2 dice per model
Warlord getting a mighty 5 dice to hit with.

Warlord and Herthguard models for the Anglo-Saxon
Fatigue also plays an important part of the game. You get fatigue by moving a unit twice in turn, by moving and shooting a unit, and for each melee the unit is involved in. If you go over the fatigue limit, the unit is exhausted. Some warbands battle boards evolve around giving their enemies lots of fatigue.

You can use the enemies fatigue against them in number of ways, when moving you can lower their movement allowance by on level, when shooting and in melee you can lower their armour value, or increase your own armour making them harder to hit. Each type of unit has an armour value - Warlord & Hearthguard is 5, Warriors are 4 and Levies 3

Their are 15 different armies to choose from,
Norse Gaels
Rus Princes

So after much debate with Andy and finding out what other people were taking (so I didn't pick an army that all the others were using) the Anglo-Saxons sounds like my type of army. Their army description in the book was : - "Any warlord who likes to lead hordes, will love the Anglo-Saxons! As they draw their strength from their numbers, this faction definitely needs to field large units, and needs to have at least 2 or 3 of these 10 strong units to take advantage of the various abilities of their battle board. Unlike the Anglo-Danish, the Anglo-Saxons must act quickly, as they cannot sustain a war of attrition that would fatally reduce their effectiveness of the battle board commands, so act quickly and to overwhelm the enemy with your numbers is the key to victory" this is me!

The Anglo-Saxon Force

The battle board skills for the Anglo-Saxons are all geared up to have units above 10 models, there is one in particular that is quite useful, as it grants a +2 free modifier to number of models in units you have, so for example a 8 model unit would count as 10 models for use in your skills. You can also boost this skill to be 4+ if the appropriate dice was used to activate this skill)

The Anglo Saxon Levies are quite good, as you have the option of arming them with spear and shield, making their armour go to 4+ and melee attack dice generate 1 dice for every 2 models (instead of the normal 3 models required for one dice).

So with this in mind, I have a plan of taking a Warlord, 3 units of Warriors and 3 units of Levies (all armed with spear & shields) for a 6 point army.
My army composition would be to use - two units of 10 warriors, one unit of 4 Warriors,  and three units of 12 Levies and the Warlord himself  -  this would give me 5 good units that are 10 models strong or above, and will also allow a total of 6 SAGA dice for my warband, which I think is good enough.

Andy is thinking of using the Norman's, as he likes the idea of shooting with his crossbows and then charge/counter charging with their heavy mounted cavalry. He also likes the Rus Princes as these models look fantastic, and are all geared around their Hearthguard units and lots of them.

The rules are fairly easy to get used to, as we played a game with some proxies and after two games I think we had it fairly right. It would just be a matter of familiarizing yourself with your battle board commands and see what works well with the combinations you get and against the army your facing.

The miniatures look great also and at 28mm should be a welcome change from 15mm Flames of War. I will have to buy more paints mind you as theirs a lot of bold colours in the shields they use.

Their is an end of year tournament on the 7 & 8 December that the Hutt Club are running, its a 6 point tournament that Chris Pooch is running with 5 rounds.
Not sure at this stage if I will have my army ready by then (wish they had it at 4 points, as this would be easier given everyone is just starting). My decision will also depend if theirs an important sailing event/race that day on whether I attend or not.

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