Thursday, 27 March 2014

RUS PRINCES SAGA FACTION

I have gone and brought myself another Saga Warband, this being the Era of Rus Princes.
This warband is about the Russian's that converted to Christianity during the late 10th Century - with their predecessor's being the Pagan Rus in Saga. So I now in fact have the next generation in Andrews force he has already got. I have played them a number of times now, very good army but may take a bit more practice to get the most out of them I feel, as I tend to say "why on earth didn't I use that ability right now" just having picked up on an opportunity to use a good combo which I had not thought about till that moment.

First of all, the Rus Princes are rather different than their Pagan predecessor's, as they mount all their worthy warriors on horses and rely on shooting to soften up the enemy (the Pagans have no shooting to speak of) so rather a different beast all together, and think again if you thought Christianity has softened the Rus at all - it hasn't - Ragnar says so !!

They have a good range of melee and some neat shooting abilities as well, some orders abilities that rather unique. Some of their abilities are centered around their mounted Dhuzhina (Hearthguard) troops with 3 of them being only accessible to the Dhuzhina and Warlord only, which are marked on the battle board with a holy cross symbol. The foot bound troops make up your Warriors (named City Militia ) and the bow armed Levy (named Militia Archers) of the warband.




Their battle board abilities in more detail then :

PRINCES OF WINTER: Orders/Reaction ability - Until the end of the current turn, the armour values of your Dhuzhina and Warlord units are increased by two against shooting.
This allows your horse units to have armour 6 against all shooting for a whole turn , very handy and must go to skill to use every turn against those pesky shooty type army's 

WINDS OF DESPAIR: Melee ability - Any non warlord unit with less than 4 models that should disengage from this melee is eliminated instead of disengaging.
I like this skill a lot, has huge potential against a large Hearthguard unit, I have only been able to pull it off a few times but for one to lose 3 hearthguard or warrior models when forced to diengage is a big bonus I feel.

GREY WOLVES: Melee ability (Dhuzhina and Warlord only) - If no unit engaged in this melee has any fatigue, your unit gains 4 attack dice.
Another very useful ability for which I use a lot on the attack during the first half of the game, even if the enemy has fatigue you simply spend it and also gain 4 attacks - if on the defense and your own unit has fatigue your opponent will have to think hard weather to use your fatigue against you or not first and then you choose to activate this ability in response.

PARTING BLOW: Activation ability (Dhuzhina and Warlord only) - Activate one of your units, it may be activated for either a movement in which it may not engage in melee but may shoot as if armed with javelins, OR a shooting as if armed with bows. This ability does not generate any fatigue.
I use this ability almost every turn (being only a common dice) makes a 6 or 8 man hearthguard unit a very effective shooting unit that has an added bonus of not generating fatigue if used for second activation

UNDER THE DARK SKIES: Shooting ability - If the enemy has suffered at least one causality from this shooting, it must immediately make a disengagement move as if it was disengaging from this unit in melee.
Very nice ability to isolate ones Warlord from a bodyguard of warriors, as it will isolate him and he will not be able to use his warlords skill of transferring allocated hits on to his warrior unit.

HARDENED: Orders ability -Until the start of your next turn, each time you discard a uncommon or rare dice from your combat pool, the unit benefiting from the combat pool gains one attack and defense dice. (two attack and defense dice each if the dice for this skill was a rare dice)
Very nice, and I use it often - you can gain so many extra dice and on the attack you gain the very useful defense dice as well, you normally wouldn't be allowed.

POWER OF STEEL: Melee ability (Dhuzhina and Warlord only) - Any enemy unit that has more attack dice in their attack pool than yours, he must immediately reduce his amount of dice to match your amount of dice. Units can not gain any additional dice with abilities
I often use this ability in defense - as you wait till they load up their dice to attack you with then you ever so politely ask them to remove most of it , very amusing !  On the attack use it with a two or even a one man unit of Hearthguard and charge in, combine with this ability with Winds of Despair and it can be quite devastating for the opponents unit who was forced to retreat. Of course there is a 50/50 chance that you wont win but its worth the risk .

POWER OF BLOOD: Melee or shooting reaction ability (Dhuzhina only) - Discard between one and six SAGA dice off your battleboard. For each dice discarded this way, designate one Hearthguard figure in your unit. The designated figure are not eligible to be taken off as a casualty during this shooting or melee resolution and cannot be killed
This is a nasty ability that I tend to use a fair amount of - basically charge in with a small unit of Dhuzhina, use the grey wolves to do some more damage and remove extra saga dice so your unit cannot be killed in return - too good .... They cannot be killed in any way at all , awesome. 

BODYGUARD: Melee ability - During this melee each time a friendly figure should be eliminated as part of the use of your warlords resilience special rule, roll a D6. If you rolled less than the armour of the eliminated figure, it is not eliminated and the hit on your warlord is cancelled.
Very handy if used in conjunction with your Warrior unit - simply move the warrior unit up to a enemy, then charge your warlord in (keeping the VS zone of a friendly warrior) then place any hits on the warrior(s) as part of resilience rule and then cancel all hits - yet another way of reducing casualties ... nice

THE LONG DARK: Orders ability - Discard all your SAGA dice. Until the end of your turn, your Rus units may be activated for free any number of times for free, generate two extra attack dice in melee, but may not rest. At the end of turn each unit takes one fatigue.
This ability is often used during the later stages of the game, but when done it can be very effective. You will not be able to use any abilities as you effectively do not have any Saga dice on your board after this ability (and has to used first). But having your whole army being able to activate for free as many times as you can (until its exhausted that is) can be horrible for your opponent. Just keep in mind his next turn you are going to have a lot of fatigue counters on all your units so waiting until the end phases of the game is a good idea - not a good idea to try it in the first turn that's for sure.


The Rus Princes have no Hero's of the Viking age, but can upgrade some units to those stated below, and you may not have any swords for hire (except for Steppe Nomads - so no Monks or bards .... rather upsetting as monks would work quite well with this force I feel.

If you have included a unit of Steppe Nomads, you can upgrade this unit to be Cherne Klobuki (the Black Hoods) for an extra point. They act as Warriors not Levies so generate a Saga dice. They also considered to be Druzhina for all purposes when it comes to using abilities so can benefit from Power of Steel, Parting blow and Grey Wolves. They also follow the Steppe Nomads Swords for Hire unit abilities as normal. I have yet to try these guys out but can see some potential there.

You can also upgrade one unit of Druzhina Hearthguard to Malaia Druzhina (veterans) up to a maximum size of 8 models. This unit costs one point from your allocation for the game. They generate two Saga dice and are mounted with bows.Their elite status gives them no penalties for being mounted and armed with bows so have armour 5 all the time. The unit gets the Determination ability (normally used only for the Warlord) so you can ignore the first hit suffered and they also get there first activation for free like the warlord. There is only one downside to this unit - when the unit dies, all the rest of your units take one Fatigue each including the warlord (ouch) so keep them busy and protected with some skills (Power of Blood perhaps)
I have played a game with these bad boys in it recently, it was verses Andrew's Pagan Rus warband and turned out to to be a very close game indeed.


Have made and based all the models I need for this, just need to put some where in the painting queue.  I love the fact that all the Militia models have some sort of robe/cloak over them and they are very similar in style to each other- shall be fun to paint - some photos of my models below.




My Bow armed Levy with Spear armed warriors behind

My Rus Princes Warband  -  4 points of mounted Hearthguard,
also 1 point each of foot bound Warriors and Levy Bowmen

My Warlord - not sure I like the pose however

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

TICKET TO RIDE - AFRICA AND ASIA MAP's

I did a review of the Swiss and India maps the other day, so thought I would follow that up with the other two maps in my collection - The Heart of Africa map and the Asia maps

So a quick Review of Ticket To Ride - Heart of Africa map

Have played this map a number of times now, it is a 2-5 player game, and have played with regularly with 3 players and 2 players and once with 5 players - the later being most chaotic as the single routes are quickly claimed leaving everyone bridging gaps in their lines rather quickly so not to be left in the lurch. Its best with 3 or 4 players we find. You the start of the game with 4 Destination Tickets, of which he must keep at least 2. During the game you can draw new additional Destination Tickets as normal, but he draws 4 new Tickets, of which he must keep at least 1. 

The Africa map - note all the desert routes on the top and bottom, with jungle
in the middle, and mountain routes on the edges of the board

This expansion is quite unique as it also introduces new Terrain Cards which are divided into 3 different terrain types, each terrain type is associated with 3 different Route colors as follows:
◆Desert & Savanna cards: Yellow, Orange & Red Routes
◆Jungle & Forest cards: Purple, Blue & Green Routes
◆Mountain & Cliff cards:White,Grey & Black Routes
Only one small problem one will note when playing for the first time, as you can quickly determine where each player is roughly going as to the cards he/she collects - maybe should of been a few more grey routes (which is a set of any colour for the route) in the middle to throw people of the scent perhaps.
At the start of the game, each player receives 1 random Terrain card, in addition to his 4 Destination Tickets and 4 Train Car cards. Another 2 Terrain cards are placed face up, within easy access to the players; the remaining cards form a Terrain deck placed face down next to these two.

The different terrain cards

During the game, anytime a player is allowed to draw a Train Car card, he may choose to draw a Terrain card instead. So when Drawing cards for his turn, a player may draw 2 Train Car cards; or draw 2 Terrain cards; or draw 1 Train Car card and 1 Terrain card. The standard Ticket to Ride rule regarding the picking
of Locomotives face up still applies. Terrain cards picked face up are immediately replaced with new ones drawn from the deck, just like with Train Car cards. A player may also choose to draw Terrain cards blindly from the top of the deck. Unlike Train Car cards, when drawn, Terrain cards are placed face up in front of the player, sorted by Terrain type and slightly offset from each other, to make it clear to others how many Terrain cards of each type each player has.

When Claiming a Route, in addition to playing Train car cards a player may also simultaneously play some of the Terrain cards in front of him to double the points value of the Route he’s claiming. 
◆ The Terrain card(s) played must match the color of the Route claimed
AND 
◆ The player must have in front of him at least as many cards of that Terrain type as any other player. The number of Terrain card(s) that must be played to double the Route value depends on the length of the Route claimed:
1, 2 and 3 space routes 1 Terrain card of matching color
4, 5 and 6 space routes 2 Terrain cards of matching color
The number of plastic trains placed on the Route claimed remains the same as when its Points value isn't doubled. Terrain Cards are discarded when played; and the discards reshuffled into a new Terrain deck when the deck runs out. Terrain cards in front of players at game end are worth nothing

The points table
This makes for some interesting situations,
as we find players usually collect a
monopoly of certain terrain cards so he/she has the edge over the rest, and then lays down their route in quick succession, gathering a lot of points.
So its worthwhile to take two random terrain cards to stop players cashing in on monopoly situations I think.



Madagascar route(s)
Madagascar Destination:
Madagascar has 2 locations on the map; Tickets to Madagascar can be completed by reaching either of these 2 locations, even if the other location isn't reached. 

A 10 point Globetrotter bonus is also awarded to the player who completed the most destination tickets during the game.

Also there are 3 off table destinations on the top of the map being Nigeria, Sudan and Tchad.

Example of Country destination cards

Ticket to ride: Heart of Africa is another great addition to this game, I like the look of the map, and use of terrain cards to gain more points, only downside would it may slow game-play down a little and can guess sometimes where certain players are heading.


A quick Review of Ticket To Ride - Asia map's



This expansion pack offers 2 games in one as the game map has two sides - with one being the Legendary Asia map, and the other being Team Asia map


Legendary Asia map
The Legendary Asia map is a 2 - 5 player game with another unique twist on it. It introduces "mountain mechanic" to the game. Mountain routes can cause a lot of wear and tear to the trains that travel them, so in game terms where upon if any routes have an X symbol on them, when you score the route you have to place an additional train piece in the mountain space area on the board - so if your route is two spaces long but both of them has X symbols you will have to spend 4 pieces to claim it. As you can see the game can be rather short if you head over the mountains as you will be running low on pieces rather quickly.

The mountain deposit box

Very busy in this area - lots of mountain areas
The up side to claiming mountain routes is that you will gain an additional 2 points per piece that is in the designated area at the end of the game. This version also has as with the original Europe game - long destinations tickets and the regular tickets, at the start you get one long and three regular and must keep two of them. As always you can pick more as the game proceeds.

Lots of Ferry routes to Japan and Korea

TEAM ASIA MAP 
The other map (on the reverse side of Legendary map) is a team play map - only played it a  few times as its hard to find opponents willing to play some times. You can have up to 2 teams of 3 OR 3 teams of 2 play each other, each team should sit next to each other so team members play in succession. Players split their train pieces into even piles between them - they also score points together using the same colour score tracker piece.
Team play map
Very busy area around minor Asia - expecially if you get your
team mate to claim the other double route along side yours ...

Teammates on the same team also share 2 cardholders (one for their team’s common Train cards, the other for their common Tickets), placing them in front of them, within easy reach of one another. During play, teammates cannot table talk ! I am not very good at this part.

Train Cards
At game start, each player receives 4 Train cards, as in a regular game of Ticket to Ride, keeping them for themselves; their common Train cards cardholder remaining empty. During the game, when a player chooses to draw Train cards, he must place one in his hand and the other in his team’s cardholder. When a player draws the first card, he must immediately decide whether to add it to his hand or share it with his teammate by placing it in the common cardholder. The second card he draws must then go to his other location (hand or cardholder). If the player chooses to draw a single face-up Locomotive, he must place it in the common
cardholder. To claim a route, a player may use any combination of Train cards from his hand and/or those in his team’s cardholder.

Destination Tickets
This expansion includes 60 Destination Tickets. At game start, each player is dealt, in secret from all
others including his teammate, 5 Destination Tickets. He must keep at least 3 of these Tickets. Once both
teammates have selected their Tickets, they must simultaneously place 1 in the team’s common Tickets cardholder. Each team thus has 2 Tickets shared at game start. All other Tickets still in players’ hands must remain secret. During the game, if a player wishes to draw additional Destination Tickets, he draws 4 new Tickets, of which he must keep at least 1. The player then places 1 of these newly kept Tickets into his team’s common Tickets cardholder, keeping the others secret from his teammate.

Sharing Additional Tickets
During the game, a player may use his whole turn to place up to 2 Destination Tickets in his hand onto the common Tickets cardholder, to share information with his teammate. The player cannot do anything else this turn.

Double and Triple Routes
In 4 Player games only, once one of the tracks of a double-route is claimed,
the other route becomes unavailable to all players. One exception: Both tracks
of the double-route from Hong Kong to Canton remain open even when there
are only 4 players.
The map of Asia also contains some triple routes. In 4 Player games, only 2 of these 3 tracks may be claimed, though both players on a same team may decide to claim one each, effectively blocking off the other team.

The tunnel routes have numbers on them - this is the required amount of drawn
cards you have to draw when claiming a tunnel route
Tunnel Routes
In Asia, tunnels play much like they do in Ticket to Ride Europe, where they were first introduced. The only difference is that in the Himalayas the number of Train cards drawn from the top of the deck is higher, varying from 4 to 6. Tunnels are special routes identified by the special black Tunnel markings that
surround each of their spaces along the route. When attempting to claim a Tunnel route, a player first lays down the number of cards required. Then the top 4 to 6 cards (as dictated by the number on that particular Tunnel route) from the Train Car card draw pile are turned face-up. For each card revealed whose color
matches the color used to claim the Tunnel (including locomotives), an additional card of the same color (or a locomotive) must be played from either his own hand or his shared team cards to successfully claim the Tunnel. If the player does not have enough additional Train Car cards of matching color (or does not wish to play them), he may take all his cards back into his hand, and his turn ends. The Train Car cards revealed for the Tunnel are discarded.

When any one team’s combined stock of colored plastic trains gets down to 4 trains or less at the end of a player’s turn, each player, including that player, gets one final turn. The game then ends and teams calculate their final scores. A 10 point Asian Express bonus is awarded to the team with the Longest Continuous Path on the board. A 10 point Globetrotter bonus is awarded to the team who has completed the most Destination Tickets. If 2 teams are tied for a bonus, they both score it.

So another great map with some good twists to make for some fun games.






Friday, 14 March 2014

TICKET TO RIDE EXPANSION MAP GAMES

Have been playing a lot of the Ticket to ride expansion map board games lately, especially the Switzerland and India maps, as well as the Heart of Africa map and Asia maps ... really enjoy them with the Switzerland map easily being my favorite. Have yet to buy the Nordic Countries map and Nederlands map but will no doubt buy them some day

So a quick Review of Ticket To Ride - Switzerland

The Swiss map is designed specifically designed for 2 or 3 players so as you would expect it is rather a cut throat and busy map with 3 players involved, with everyone fighting over the best single routes. Being a small country with mountainous terrain there is a vast amount of tunnels involved, and as such the rules state that the wild locomotive cards can only be used on tunnel routes and not on the normal routes - this makes it a fair bit more challenging. In 3 Player games, players can use both tracks of the double-routes. In 2 Player games, once one of the tracks of a double-route is taken, the other one is no longer available (makes for a fun game).

Also on the Swiss board map, some of the routes no longer link cities to cities, but connect cities to Switzerland's neighboring countries instead. These countries being France, Italy, Germany and Austria. There are also destination tickets that connect countries to countries. The tickets give you a choice of four countries to connect to with lower points for close ones and higher points for countries ones further apart.

City to Country Destination Tickets with your choice of destination points indicated
Country to Country Destination Tickets
If you are familiar with the original Europe map you will note they have 1 long destination ticket and a number of short destinations - In the Swiss map these replaced by the city to country tickets. At the start of the game, each player is dealt 5 Destination Tickets of which he must keep at least 2. During the game, if a player wishes to draw additional Destination tickets he draws 3 new Tickets, of which he must keep one of them. So make sure you have enough playing pieces before you commit to your choice - this has made me loose a many game before now. As in the original Ticket to Ride game, the player with the longest continuous path of routes at the end of the game receives a bonus of 10 points.

The Swiss Map - very busy around Zug, Zurich and Bern areas.
The countries are on the edges
Tunnel routes galore !

Very busy route to Italy .. all of them tunnels
Andrew and I have played numerous times and with 2 players it is still been very competitive with the double routes only counting as single ones. Also have played a lot of times with 3 players lately, makes for a very interesting game I can tell you, all trying to get those vital single connections early on, before the other players steal them them all.



Now a quick review of Ticket To Ride - India

The map of India is designed specifically for 2 to 4 players. In 4 Player games only, players can use both tracks of the double-routes. In 2 and 3 Player games, once one of the tracks of a double-route is taken, the other one is no longer available.

This map is an exciting one as you have to get as many destination tickets completed as you can but also you get bonus's for making a loop or circuit of that destination - i.e. you connect Manmad to Raitam
(score normally) but if you also connected these places via a different route - say through Ahamdabab you gain an end of game bonus as well, try to do this as many times as you can and the bonus points can mount up, giving you the edge in the game. Of course this makes it all very busy.
Also quite a few Ferry destinations on this map- ferries must have a locomotive (wild card) used when completing the route, and with all of them being rather long grey routes they can be hotly contested over. Grey cards mean any set of the same colour card - in case your wondering.


The India Map - very busy in the middle sections
get the little red one between Manmad and Kwanda ... such a vital route

Also a 10 point Indian Express bonus is awarded to the player who have the Longest Continuous Path on the board. As described above, each player may also earn Grand Tour of India bonuses. Any Ticket whose 2 Destination Cities are linked via at least 2 distinct continuous paths of its owner's plastic trains qualifies for a Grand Tour bonus. These 2 paths may intersect, but cannot share trains. The size of a player's bonus varies depending on the number of his qualifying Tickets, as per the Mandala (“Circle” in Sanskrit) bonus table shown on the Map. A player’s first and second qualifying Tickets are worth +5 points each, with the next three worth +10 each. with the most a player can receive for his Grand Tour tickets is 40 points.

The Mandalay Table showing the bonus points given for
each circuit (or loop) you can create for your destinations
 Have played this map about the same number of times as the Swiss one, as the India map is Andy's favorite map, as it can be very busy when you start creating your multiple loops of tickets. We have yet to try it with 4 players but with 3 and for that matter 2 players it is a very good addition of the Ticket to Ride maps.

It gets very busy in this section - India is a cut throat exciting game, if playing 4 player mode
the single destinations are crucial early on.


Next time I will give a review of the Africa and Asia maps - very good game editions

Has anyone played the Nordic and Nederland expansion maps perhaps? - be good to hear if they are are any good in comparision

Friday, 7 March 2014

PAINTED SOME WARRIORS

Finally got around to finishing a unit of Anglo-Saxon warriors.

I have painted all the shields the same, as I think this gives the feel that all the warriors are from a single house hold trained guard, where as in contrast all my Levy troops have a large range of shield designs which I feel indicates these guys would come from all around when the Fyrd is summoned.

I think they turned out rather well




This my favorite - great pose, wish I had more like this.

Now on to the next lot of warriors - only have two more units of 8 to finish and also my "Alfred the Great" warlord model I had won at Sagacon event last year ....... and my Anglo-Saxons will be all finished.

Until next time.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

A LITTLE GAME OF SAGA

Andrew and I got to play a Saga game on the weekend, Played my Anglo-Saxon force verses Andy's Strathclyde ponie's. Thought we would give 4 point battle a try since its been a while playing anything but the normal 6 point warbands, and get some practice for next weekends Saga event.

(Note - Andy is in the process of painting these models, so for proxies he has used his Fantasy knights and a odd goblin in their place - my apologies for them not looking the part)

Played the simple kill the Warlord mission. First time playing with the Anglo-Saxon's with only 4 points, so put together a list I thought would maximise Saga dice early on.
So Warlord, 2 units of 4 Warriors, 2 units of 12 spear armed Levy, and one unit of 12 Monks and a Bard.

Andy put together a Strathclyde list with it focusing on his off table units doing most of the work for him.
All his units are mounted have no shooting to speak of, but hit hard and fast in melee and can even retreat after this! So Warlord, 4 units of 5 Warriors with another 3 units of 4 Warriors being off table.

Being a tournament style game for practice we picked terrain pieces and placed as per the rule book - we do not usually do it this way as the table doesn't look very interesting in my opinion.
Table has a hill in middle, building on edge, and crop field in other corner so somewhat sparse.
Andy won the dice off for picking sides, so picks the side with the building ( I wanted that piece)

Overall deployment - pretty sparse

I place my units on the corner thinking I could advance up and protect my flank with the building there, so monks out in front and Levy on other side, with little units behind for protection.
Andy places his 4 units covering the whole board being more maneuverable than I  and wins the dice roll for going first.

1st turn - Andy )   The lucky bugger rolls 4 dragons from 6 dice (typical, why cant I start like this) and once orders are over ends up with 5 of them !!  I roll up Shoulder to shoulder skill and the Fyrd skill.

Andy starts well by using his harassment skill killing one of my 4 man units outright (ouch), then he charges his warriors into my monks with the Wild charge activation and Doomriders skill making for a total of 14 attack dice and 4 defense dice (nasty) but due to Should and Shoulder only kill's 5 of them. Using my martyrdom I roll up defenders of the realm and some combat pool dice.

He then moves another unit of ponies twice to hit the monks again and with his War spears and Bold attack skill gets 6 hits of which 4 monks fall down. - only 3 left now, not good.

Andy charges into the Monks


1st turn - Saxons)   Gain Stout hearts and Saxon kingdoms (make my levy into warriors) and use the Fyrd skill to gain 2 extra Saga dice.

My Levy (or should I say Warriors!) charges into the pony unit to take revenge for killing the holy monks, and thanks to Clash of shields generates 17 attack dice so cut all five of them down, haha take that you heavens. Andy misses all his attacks with needing 5's due to his fatigue I used to raise my armour. I also move other units up towards the building.

My Levy OR should I say Warriors charge into his pony lads

Andy 2nd turn  )  He uses his off table Harassment again but only kills one of my 4 man warrior. His Warlord and side along Warriors both charge into my Levy on right and again combines Doomriders and Whirlwind skill and manages to kill 4 Saxon Levy - I only manage to kill one pony in return. They use the Outmaneuvering skill to retreat back to safety.... Nice

The result of Andy's 2nd turn - I'm not looking to good for numbers
Saxon's 2nd turn  )   I only get 5 dice with no Helmets.  So my warlord now yells at his Levy on the left to charge the ponies milling about the farm building (a very nice building for the period, must be Roman!)
I throw in my Defenders of the realm skill but due to me fluffing my dice rolls, I only kill 2 ponies

Levy charge into the pony around the roman building.
Andy 3rd turn  )  He repeats his harassment skill and kills my 3 man warrior unit (I truly suck at cancelling hits) His Warlord and side along Warriors both charge into my Levy on right yet again and combines Doomriders and WarSpears but miraculously I all save, and then promptly miss with my own attacks. He backs away but uses his Outmaneuvering skill to retreat back further. He then charges down my Bard and kills him !! - not looking to good.

The Strathclyde Warlord and Warriors get stuck into my Saxon Levy.

Photo of Andy's horde of attack dice (white) and his defense (red) above
with my puny 2 attack and one defense - Good lord

Andy charges down my Bard - who's going to tell the story of my Warlords great deeds?
(who am I kidding I am going to loose this so maybe its good to kill him 
why pay him to sing songs of my doom!)

Saxon 3rd turn  )  I only generate a measly 2 Saga dice - yikes -  as the Monks are to far from the Warlord and all my Warriors and Bard are now dead. So with this I decide to place two dice into the combat pool and charge my warlord into his knights but due to myself having fatigue he lowers movement to 4" so not quite making it into contact and stops outside 2" of the unit ......my Warlord milling around in a huffy puff grumbling to himself .....

My warlord charges the pony's but Andy uses my fatigue
against me so lower's his movement to 4" .... aaaarrrgghh 
must be all the pony poo I have to step around

Andy 4th turn  )  Let me guess the harassment skill - Yep and targets my Warlord this turn with 8 attack dice !!!! but luckly I still have 2 in the combat pool , so have 2 extra defense and save all the hits, Haha
Annoyed with this, Andy charges his Warriors into my warlord, but due to only two against one rule he only generates 9 attack dice and 4 Def dice, I save all the hits again
So two great attempts to kill my Warlord and fails .... lucky save here I think

Andy's warriors charge my warlord but he staunchly lives on
(takes more than ponies to kill my warlord)

The situation looks grim for the anglo-saxons
only have one unit of Levy above ten models now

Saxon 4th turn  )  I get another mighty 2 Saga dice .... and activate the Truce and Overlap shields so a rather boring turn for me but manage to rid most of my fatigue on all units.

Andy 5th turn  ) Andy now targets the monks for harassment and due to my overlap shields he only kills 2 of them. - I manage to get Defenders of the realm with the martyrdom ability..nice.  Andy then Wild charges into my Levy killing 4 of them ... for none in return

Saxon 5th turn  ) I now have the monks in range so generate 3 Saga dice - I get off Saxon kingdoms but decide to activate in Andy's next turn. So with this the warlord rests and hand the turn over to Andy.

Andy 6th and final turn  )   I indeed activate my Saxon kingdom skill turning all Levy into Warriors (effectively saving my Warlord as I can now use Resilience ability and transfer wounds) . So with doing this Andy now totally ignores the warlord and targets the monks and Levy units, killing one monk and one Levy. He also brings one of his off table units on the table. ... about time as they count as dead giving away victory points at the end of the game otherwise, but then again I don't think he has to worry too much.

Saxon 6th and final turn  )  Well its all or nothing so I charge my mighty Warlord into the face of Andy's Warlord, I activate my Bretwalda skill and also one combat pool dice for 6 attack dice, but Andy saves all and he misses to hit ... rather dissappointing, as he was all alone and only needed two hits to kill him.

My warlord charges the big man and his red horse- both hit each other with their handbags !

The final positions at end of turn 6 - there isn't many of the Saxons left
Both forces leave the battlefield to the lonely monk who pray's over the dead

So down to victory points to determine the winner as neither of us killed the warlord -
I killed 9 warriors on table and two units of 4 warriors off table so end up with only 9 points... not looking too good for me I think.
Andy killed 11 monks, the Bard, 8 Levy and 8 of my warriors  so 15 points total ... WOW.

Andy had a great win, never underestimate his off table units as they can be deadly when combined with his skills, be good in the Ford mission as well I think. They may be mounted on little ponies but the Strathclyde are nasty little buggers - I will have my revenge!

So not a good game for the Anglo-Saxon's after all, with little in the way of rolling the much needed Helmet dice I could not use my better skills - but this was not the main problem as my deployment and unit organisation let me down, as the little 4 man units could be easily picked off by Andy's Harassment skill (quite forgot this annoyance when I made up the army list) I don't think my list works with 4 points, might need to give it more thought or even go Anglo-Danish for the event next week, as 4 points for these guys could work rather well OR maybe the Rus Princes even - haven't painted them though.

But all in all a very enjoyable game as always - lots of laughs 
Hopefully next time Andy will be playing with his proper painted force.