Played my first proper game of SAGA last night using 6 points, I have had a couple of practice games playing with 4 points before now but was only using proxy Mordhiem figures, so was good to play with the real miniatures. As it was our first official game we both went into it as an experimentation/practice game.
So my Anglo-Saxon horde was up against Andrews Pagan Rus mob, I didn't take any photos of the battle as both our forces are only base sprayed black so not photo worthy.
My force was simple - Warlord, 3 Warrior units and 3 Levy units (all armed with spear & shields) for which I then split one unit of 8 Warriors into two units of 4 - thus giving me 6 SAGA dice and 61 models.
Andrews force was - Warlord, 1 Hearthguard unit, 3 Warrior units, 1 Levy javelin armed unit and Steppe Horse - for 6 SAGA dice as well and 45 models.
Andrew set-up his force in the middle with his horse unit on my right flank. His Levy were on the left on hilltop. I responded by placing my force in the middle with one unit on the right to try and stop his horse unit flanking me and being a general nuisance.
Andrew had the first turn and I would now like to point out the fact that I went into the game without knowing that much about the Pagan Rus battle boards abilities, but after Andrew finished his turn I have learnt a one valuable lesson - KNOW YOUR ENEMY'S BATTLE BOARD !!
First turn and with Andrew developing an evil grin on his face, organises his battle board and with his Fear of the Dark skill now in play promptly tells me (between laughing) to exhaust my unit of warriors on the right side by placing 3 Fatigue counters and then uses Endless wastes skill where upon you have to kill X amount of figures in a unit with X being the fatigue you have... so 3 dead warriors ! (must admit its a awesome combo) He then activates his steppe unit and proceeds to shoot and kills another warrior from that unit on the right.
So all in all a horrible start - an exhausted 4 man warrior unit that cant do much! leaving me somewhat sad. My first turn, with the help of the Stout Hearts and Fryd skill I rolled additional 3 Saga dice (so useful) , I get to do my Muster skill where I can activate all units if above 10 models so move units up and have no choice but to Rest the now small unit of warriors on right.
Andrews 2nd turn, and to my peril gets Endless Wastes skill again and I loose another 2 models from the warrior unit (more laughter), and after some good shooting the unit gets wiped out ! Andrew replies by boasting "that's how its done dude!"
The following turns I had learnt my lesson and the game was a little more balanced which involved multiple melee's and after a couple of hours playing (which went by very fast indeed) I eventually take out all 8 steppe horse, some warriors and a score of his Levy. Andrew managed to kill a heap of warriors and some Levy ... (sorry cant remember exact numbers) which I think we worked out to be small win to Andy.
I like my Bretwalda ability where upon my warlord can afford to rush out by himself and launch an assault against a weakened enemy unit. The skill jumps his armour to 6 and allows for him to re-roll all failed defensive dice, nice. My Shoulder to Shoulder and Clash of shields abilities are also very handy as a Melee/shooting reaction skill. My Defenders of the realm (giving me extra attack/defense dice) and Saxon Kingdoms skill (treat Levy as Warriors) are my favorites.
Andrew used his Biting like Wolves and Standing like Bears melee abilities very effectively and The great Winter skill is most annoying as it limits movement and shooting ranges. His Frozen skill is another useful skill where upon he can cancel enemy activating the same unit twice.
Saga is a fun and challenging game system that with time spent studying your battle board skills and learning what the enemy can do, will no doubt pay off in competition play. All up another fun night gaming where I have learnt more about my army and to beware of Andy's nasty skill combo's he has got up his sleeve, so until next time - with a little more painted up figures and some photos to share !