Thursday, 31 July 2014


Last Friday night Andrew and I played a game of Saga - I wanted a game with my Anglo-Danish force and Andrew played with his new Breton force he is currently painting up at the moment. 

We rolled up a simple kill the Warlord mission which suited me fine. I have played Andrews Bretons before now and they can be rather painful in the first 3 turns or so as you get peppered by javelins and that "in all directions" skill they have is simply annoying as they get to move away from you in your orders phase (so useful but it does start to annoy you after a while) but as the game progresses you can eventually work the horses into a corner and isolate a group, and once you have him in combat the Bretons are rubbish as there armour is on the weak side being mounted and with javelins.

So with this in mind and to keep my numbers up from relentless shooting I decide split my force into 4 units of 10 Warriors and a unit of 12 angry monk Levy also have a Bard and the Warlord of course.
Andy has a 8 strong Hearth guard mounted Javelin unit , 4 units of 8 mounted Javelin Warriors and some Levy Javelins as well as a Bard and his Warlord.
You may have noticed I have no shooting (haven't got the models) so I will have to move fast to get into contact without loosing too many casualties .... this is going to be hard going I feel.

My force, Anglo-Danes with some Angry monks - and there out for blood!
Andrews Breton force , in varying stages of painting

 Some of Andrews Heath guard Cavalry unit - looking good !

Like the sheilds
The table setup - in the desert of course ! where else would you find the Bretons and Danes !!
I am on the right side with the Bretons on the left- Andy places his hearthguard in bottom left so my plan was to pivot down to the bottom left corner pinning him in there and his Levy unit (giving me some points)
Andrew gets to go first .. The jammy git only happens to roll two rare dice to start off with in which he uses the activation pool ability to get all 8 Saga dice up, he places his in all directions, and puts the rest into his Hearthguard and warrior activation's.  I roll up the Shield wall and combat pool ability in defense.
 He gets real close with the horses and shoots me with Javelins and I loose 
4 men from a warrior unit on the far side and a monk.
He has a blinder of a first turn in which the 8 Hearthguard shoot my warriors 
facing him with no less than 4 casualties ...ouchie ! 
Andrew is all smiles after his first turn of shooting 
My turn and I roll up "Intimidation" skill and the "Shield wall" again, as well as some warrior activation 's but before my turn begins Andy uses his "In all directions" skill and moves away from my units... mutter mutter.
So after my turn I have moved up into the town and monks out in front for protection and the 
Bretons have moved back to their start positions !
After Andys second turn and my numbers are dropping ... 
only 4 from the warriors in the foreground of photo 
and the monks and top warriors are falling to casualties too.
Andrew again uses his "in all directions" skill so there is still no combat for me, he also places his "backwards" skill up so when I did close for combat, he declares that before any engagement takes place he gets to have a retreat move away !!! so double win for the Bretons - such a classy and handy skill !
Andy's 3rd turn and he doesn't roll the dice needed for his "all directions" skill ... 
wootwoot , haha had to take a photo of it as I have him now I hope.
He places his dice on the "LadyMary" skill and the "backwards" skill again.
He then targets the 4 warriors I moved into the building and him using the Lady Mary the unit loses all benefits of cover and only saves on a 5+ instead of 4+ .... only one survives.
I finally get some helmet(rare) dice .... Lords of Battle and the Push skills please
I charge twice (due to his backwards skill) with my monks into Andrews warriors using Lords of Battle killing 5 of them ! for only 2 in reply. I then charge my Warriors into Andrews Levy and make him retreat with him taking more casualties ... like this skill as when the losing side retreats they take further damage by if you roll over the armour save they are lost as causalities, very nice against Levy as he has only 2 left!
Andrew now swings around above my troops (not what I wanted to see - dam his superior movement)
My 10 unit warriors are reduced to only 4 men again, but can you spot the mistake he made !
He has moved his Warlord within line of sight of my Warlord......and he didn't get his all directions skill
Needless to say I now charge at him with my warlord and warriors, we hit each other with handbags as both our dice are rubbish and move back ...
Next turn Andy's warlord is unable to move unless he charges my warlord due to Warlord prides rule so is pinned in place, so continues to kill more of my Warriors.
Uses Lady Mary and Saint Kado skill where you take amount of fatigue counters equal to the amount of causalities taken making a Warrior unit next to useless... awesome combo shooting skills!
I then charge into Andy's Warlord with my warrior unit with Lord of Battle skill and Stubborn skill needing to get 4 hits to kill the Breton Warlord, as he has nearby warriors to take hits on...... I get 4 hits and Andy fails to cancel the hits .... so game win to me then  :-)
Must say if it did come down to victory points I was well well behind, as Andrews shooting took its toll on my warrior units having 2 units on one man each, and my biggest unit only having 6 left, and my monks were nearly finished as well. Andy just had some bad luck with his saving throws with his warlord.

My thoughts on the Bretons then, firstly you might be mistaken in thinking that the "in all directions" 
skill is an over the top and most annoying skill ever for a shooting army, it is annoying I agree but I feel 
that it is very very necessary for these weakly armoured mounted Javelin bunch, as without it they would 
get chewed up in combat very badly. 

When you combine that skill with Backwards and Fight skill they come into there own!
The first 3 or so turns the Bretons should be well in control of the battlefield picking off your men as you had seen here, its only when they get pushed into a corner or fail there required dice use of All Directions that they get into trouble - eventually you are bound to trap some units. 
I like the force for its abilities they have.

As for my Anglo-Danish they are very nice force to play with, and whats more with the added bonus of me being able to use my Anglo-Saxon models, just have to get some double handed axe wielding dudes for my Huscarl units and I will be all set ... oh and maybe some slingers for some shooting ability.
My skills I used such as Intimidation where used upon Andrews Hearthguard made them less of a nuisance which was very handy. 

Right thats all for now, thanks for reading ... cheers Mark.


  1. Excellent write up Mark. This game is a classic example of how you need to impose your armies play-style upon the opposition. And to keep your eyes on the prize to win the scenario! I've been caught out before too with my Normans, getting my Warlord stuck in front of the enemy Warlord. Greater movement sometimes has its drawbacks! Cheers, Paul :-)

  2. Warlord is key. He has to be well considered when he moves.
    Great report. Thanks for sharing.