Thursday, 23 October 2014

SAGA GAME - MOORS VS SPANISH

Andrew and I had a 6 point game of Saga the other night - Andrew liked the look of the Spanish so I put up the Moors against it (being the historical choice and I very much like the look of the army) Since both of us decided to use one of the new Crescent and Cross armies we would be using some sub models so Andrew made good use of his Breton force to act as the Spaniards while I had a motley mix of Rus Princes and Saxons acting as the Moors.

First of all the Spaniards at first glance look quite hard to use, as most of their skills are either Orders/reactions or Activation/reactions so have to learn to predict and plan ahead, so there will be a lot of Spanish activity in the Moors turns I feel, something Andy is quite a home in doing with his Breton faction. So saying that it might appear that all the turns are muddled up a bit as you read this. Hopefully I make it easy for you to follow.
The Moors are mostly focused around disrupting the enemy by placing doubts, discord and even betrayal in the enemy's ranks. These two armies should be somewhere evenly matched being historical correct so a good game is in our midst's I think.

Andrew made up his force with a Warlord, a unit of mounted Hearthguard, 4 units of 6 mounted Warriors with Javelins, some Javelin armed Levy and some Fanatical Pilgrims (monks) .  I went with a Spiritual Advisor Warlord, 2 units mounted Hearthguard with Javelins, 2 units of 12 Warriors, and one unit of 12 Bowmen.

For the mission we both agreed that we would have 6 turns with the winner being the one with the most slaughter points at the end - so a simple game with it being a more experimental type to try out the different faction abilities rather than being tied down in trying to kill each others Warlord or the like.

Setup positions with my Moors in front, with Spaniards top of photo
I set up with my Archers on my right flank, two infantry blobs between buildings and some rocky ground with mounted Javelin HG units behind, giving me some protection from Andys Javelins. Andy had most of his force opposite mine with his Hearthguard and unit of warriors on his left flank.

The Spaniards got the first turn, but as for all our games we play, we play with the optional rule of having the player who is second to roll 3 Saga dice, so I got to use my corruption skill whereupon I allow the Spanish to roll an additional dice but I get a rare Saga dice in return, so place on Betrayal skill to setup my own turn. I also play my Moors Gold skill where if Andy activates a unit outside M of his warlord, his warlord receives a Fatigue marker..nice
Andy's turn consisted of his Monks moving up center, and 2 units of Warriors moving down my left, also moved his Warriors on right flank (warlord gets a Fatigue). He places 3 dice into his Iberia skill.

Moors 1st turn. With my Spiritual Adviser Warlord I got to roll 7 Saga dice to start, and gaining the Betrayal skill - where I get to pick a enemy unit of Levy or Warriors made up of 6 or less models and effectively becomes mine for a turn (cue evil laugh) I then pick Andys 6 warriors on my right and charge his Hearthguard unit, but they are somewhat reluctant and only throw handbags at each other as we both save hits annoyingly !! but gain a fatigue each- Andy then moves his left warriors using his Iberia skill (he gets to activate his unit in my turn) and throws some javelins at my HG unit killing one. I then move the betraying unit again along the side of his HG so picks up another fatigue marker. Andy moves his warrior unit away again ... rude ! but oh such a good skill !


Situation before turn 2 begins



Spanish 2nd turn,  Andy moves his warlord up first and then does some move and shoot with his Javelin armed mounted units doing little in damage, as the moors have a handy shooting reaction skill "Friendly Fire" where upon the Moors get to redirect half thier hits onto a another enemy unit within M of the unit shooting.... and its rounded up so one hit and Andy doesn't save !.  He then moves his Monks forward. The rest of his Dice are placed in his numerous reaction abilities they have.



Moors turn 2   I roll two rare dice so engage my Betrayal skill again, but with this skill the opposition has the chance to cancel it by receiving 3 fatigue markers (as long as he is not exhausted) so Andy decides to do this... either way I win !!  I then place a Saga dice onto my Discord skill, whereupon if he wants to rest a unit - a unit within M of that resting unit will gain a fatigue instead, increased to 2 fatigue markers if a rare dice was used.. very nice.
I move my Warrior block up and engage the Monks, and with my Fury of Swords skill in play I kill 10 of them for only one in return, very nice. Andy now does another out of turn move with his Jav unit. I go to activate my Warrior block again but since I have now a fatigue marker Andy uses his Stunned skill and cancels this activation ! and cannot activate again this turn - rather unfriendly that !  I also move my Levy Bowmen over to the left side

Where did the Monks go !!! hiding in the house now ... hehe
Spanish 3rd turn,  Andy now has an exhausted Warlord that he doesn't rest .. hehe.
Andy activates 3 units of his mounted Javelins but has a terrible turn of shooting with only one kill (and a friendly fire casualty) for their troubles. Then places the rest of his dice in skills he intends to use to good effect in my turn ... well he hopes so.

Moors turn 3  I quickly charge into his mounted javelin unit but once again I am denied as I forgot to rest first and Andy uses his Stunned abilitie --- you would think I would of leanrt that from last turn and should of activated the unit below it .. silly mistake ... must of been the tea break I had !!  

My unit now stuck in the middle with two fatigue markers

This is what else I did - moved some units over to help out and shot
Andys horse unit with my bowmen... pewpew ... only 2 left
You will also notice all the Fatigue markers on his Warlord .. haha
Spanish 4th turn,  Andy uses his Light horse skill (love this ability)  he gets to activate his mounted horse unit and shoot one enemy with Javelins and then move to shoot again at another unit.. very handy and has some bowmen levy down and out. His Hearthguard swing around behind the building to help out his warlord. 


Moors Turn 4   I place some pretty good melee skills up as I thought I would be using my big blob of Warriors and also get Bretrayal again picking a unit of his Jav horse on my left. Andy then laughs with an evil grin and says wait up, and does an Orders reaction skill "Battle Choas" where upon he picks up all my fatigue markers and then gets redistribute them as he sees fit with the restriction of no more than 2 per unit , so quickly exhausts my Levy bow, and place 2 more on my fresh Warrior blob unit. 
So with this I could move my big Warrior unit but Andy would use his Stunned skill and make it pointless, So I move his bretrayed unit and charge into his small unit, but without using any melee skills (unit have to be non-missile type to benefit..poo) I only kill a few.
So have to leave a lot of Saga dice unsed on my battleboard, some what waste of turn and missed opportunity. Also rest my Bow unit

Spanish 5th turn,  Andy moves his mounted Hearthguard up and charges into my Levy, but he fumbles along the way and embarrassing only manages to kill two of them for 2 kills in return from two attack dice , so funny. He does light horses again but I have some lucky saves only suffering a few lost souls, but with his Burning Sun skill, where upon if you suffer a casualty you can not activate this unit next turn ... thats annoying.

Moors turn 5 I decide to show Andy, how one should charge with thier Hearthguard unit, so move my unit of 4 HG into melee with his Levy javelinmen, but with a somewhat hilarious outcome, as I too only manage to kill 2 Levy kills for 2 kills in return on my own men, fall down laughing at this point !! stupid HG units ... 
Silly Hearthguard charge into Levy ... never again.
now that the side show is over I charge my small Warrior unit into some of his Warriors and with my melee skill "Impaling spears" I have up, the enemy can choose either to halve thier attacks or give myself a +2 to hit bonus... Andy chooses the latter, and I wipe out the unit. 

Charging warriors
Andy gets to move his Hearthguard unit in my turn and charges my Levy again, this time with more luck killing 4 of them, pushing them back. I go to charge his somewhat unprotected Warlord but once again Andy stops that foolhardy idea of mine ... I am beginning to like/hate the Spaniards and their cancelling abilities

A blurry photo of Andys HG unit pushing my Levy back in melee 

Spanish final turn,  Andy places dice into Broken command skill (more about this in my turn) he also shoots his Levy Javelins at my diminished HG unit killing them both .. sad.
He moves his Levy to now protect his warlord as well.

Moorish final turn  Andy once again interrupts my orders phase and with broken command skill, if I roll more than 5 Saga dice (rolled 6) I can not activate that many units equal to and above this - so two units being the Warriors..... nasty nasty bugger. especially after I have placed Saga dice into my warrior units
With not much to do as Andy will no doubt deny me anything fun things like melee, I decide to recklessly charge my Warlord/Spiritual advisor into his single HG figure to finish him off, using my Fury of swords skill I manage it just.... although very lucky not to get a hit in return, as the Advisor is some what useless in melee.

Final positions at the end of game .. so much carnage..... good fun
The final score was 18-15 points to the Moors ... Very close and fun game, those Spaniards are a hard bunch to encounter, especially as they have most of thier skills come alive in their opponents turn. I see Andy collecting these as he loved using them.
Also think Andy made the mistake to take the fatigue on his warlord when he cancelled my Betrayal skill, as it left him somewhat useless in his game, as he had 6 fatigue markers on him throughout the rest of the game and couldnt rest him due to my doubts skill.

The Moors were a pleasure to use, their Discord, Corruption, and Moors Gold being my favorite as it disrupts the enemy something awful. I can easily see myself running these guys. Changes I would make is to remove the two Hearthguard units and place more Warrior units, so I can make more use out of the Songs of Drums skill (move all warriors for 2 common dice) and also the melee skills there are to be had with this Battleboard.
I like the Spiritual advisor Warlord, good value but has to be protected.

Well, I hope you made sense of this, rather long after action report I admit but had good fun playing the game and then reporting it.

Cheers
Mark

4 comments:

  1. Wonderful AAR and very timely! I just started running Bretons and was wondering about the Spanish. They sound like a fun bunch to run!

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    1. Lots of fun the Spanish, their abilities to cancel activation's and to also activate their own units in the enemy's turns is really good - if not annoying to face.
      Andrew is going to maybe use his Bretons for the Spanish - he just has to repaint a few sheilds and maybe acquire some standards maybe. .. cheers

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  2. Great report Mark. The new factions are certainly a bit more complex than the old ones! Interesting to see how everything interacts, and good to see random things still happening (Hearthguard, I'm looking at you!)

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    1. The Hearthguard unit incidents were very funny, both charging into Levy for exactly the same results ...random results like that always amuses me. The factions look complex on the face of it but once you get to playing them they work rather well. Plan to have another few games with both Moors and Spanish against other Viking age armies to see how they work. Will do another report.

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