Thursday, 1 December 2016

BYZANTINES VS PAGAN RUS SAGA GAME

I got around to playing another great game of Saga the other night. I played a make shift force of Byzantines (im keen to buy these guys so hence the game) and was up against my brother Andrews, Pagan Rus force.  We rolled up a random mission and played the Defend the Homeland Mission which is an interesting scenario where upon you setup 3 buildings (one large and two small buildings) in a deployment area and then both players pick a number of points they think they will be able to defend/hold out for 6 turns, with the objective of the attacker would be to kill all the defenders to the last man by 6 turns.

Well with this only being my second game with the Byzantines, I thought I would like to defend the buildings and make use of my shooting and close support skills, so I secretly picked 5 points - thinking my Bow/Levy units could hold the buildings while my Hearthguard unit/Spear Warriors could support behind .........................  well wasn't I wrong, Andy thought of the same idea as me and wanted so much to defend, he only picked 3 points in which to do so !!!!! MADNESS !!!   ...this should be interesting, my mostly missile armed troops up-against a small group of Pagans that could excel against missile troops with some of their skills they have at hand .

So Andy had picked two units Warriors (one being 10 strong and the other 6 men) and a unit of 4 Hearthguard to defend with and placed them each in a building with a Spiritual Advisor Warlord (we called him the Soothsayer being Pagan) in the end building.
To face his puny force, I had 3 units of 8xJavelin armed Levy , a unit of 8x Bowmen, a bow armed Hearthguard unit, plus also had two small units of 4xWarriors and a mounted Warlord. (admitably I had too many bow armed troops and not enough melee but that's what I decided before we rolled the mission ! ...this is going to be tough since the Pagans will be in buildings)

Initial setup - please excuse the ragtag mess of my force and unpainted models - it was made up of multiple army units I had to represent the Byzantines

So I had the first turn and pushed up 2 Levy units and also the Bow Warriors and Hearthguard Bow,  I then activated the ever useful Scouting ability that activates 3 units of Levy and does not count for Fatigue YAY,  shooting the warrior unit in large building killing 2 of them. I had also used the Mass Archery skill where my bow armed units can shoot over friendly units in front , a very handy skill - this managed to kill a Hearthguard model ... a good start then


Andy had his turn, with only 5 Saga dice his Soothsayer came in handy giving him some extra. He didn't move as such and had no shooting, so all his dice went into skills that will annoy me such as
Cold Winds - a simply awful/awesome shooting reaction skill that if every dice rolled by the shooter that are a natural 6 it will result in a fatigue on the unit (and if a rare dice was used it is 5 and 6 results)  now this is painful for a shooting army.  He also placed the great winter in effect - another great skill that limits all movement and shooting only to 4" .  He also put up Frozen skill where it stops a second activation by me  - so some simply awesome defensive ability's there - no wonder he was confident only with 3 points !

So in turns 2 (and turn 3), I crawl up a meager 4"  , I get away with shooting some Levy and kill another few warriors , one of my Levy gets Frozen upon 2nd move, but I conduct some shooting with my Hearthguard that results in 2 fatigues being placed due to the Cold winds skill....ouch, but I do have a trick up my sleeve with my Common Efforts skill where I can transfer fatigue from one unit to non levy units as a Orders reaction .. haha . I also place some dice in my Strategikon skill , that shall stop Andy attacking me.

I have now managed to kill a few of his men but have a fair amount of fatigue markers due to that horrible Colds Winds .... This leads Andy to utilize another very useful skill that is called Endless Wastes - simply put if you have fatigue markers on your units you will DIE !!  and the fatigue markers stay there to make matters worse - so much needed rest needed but alas I have no time as theirs only so many turns left.


The following turn my Levy (with the help of some nearby Hearthguard using Strategikon) crack open the doors of the left hand building and poke their swords in but the two defending Hearthguard prove very staunch and beat them back killing a few in the process....... wheres a fire torch when you want one ? that would work wonders on these straw thatched hovels these rustic Pagans live in ......



I also shoot some more with my Bowmen warriors but that cold wind has left them exhausted , as they received 2 fatigue markers.  With my Strategikon skill all used up, this is what Andy was waiting for and his staunch 2 Hearthguard guys rush out the building in a swift counterattack against my tired Levy killing them and alas this has me placing more fatigue markers on nearby units.....he then attacks my 3 bow armed Heathguard but misses even though his barren lands skill is in play, but more fatigue goes down.... Andy then with the heroic sacrifice of his own Heathguard he uses his Endless wastes and kills a whole bunch of men..... simply horrible but oh so useful skill !


This is where Andy got a tad carried away and launched yet another assault with his 6 warriors in the central building (they must of got bored or were out of Vodka perhaps) against an exhausted 2 man Levy unit ... using his For the Khargan skill he rolled a bunch of dice and missed every one needing 3's .. haha I have them now as they can not retreat into the safety of nearby building.


This turn I get some good shooting done killing a few warriors,  but my foot warriors finally get into line - its hard work moving in the snow storm .....  they have even odds in the upcoming fight but with my Support Archers skill used, I tip the balance and manage to kill them all ....

Andy has only 4 of his Warriors and his Soothsayer left in the right hand building, so only 4 Saga dice Andy activates his Great Winter skill to slow things down , and he managed to activate his Endless Waste skill again,  I have only a handful of Levy and some warriors left as well as my Warlord

So coming into the last turn its up to my Warlord to kill the last remnants of these Pagans, he spends a turn moving towards the Soothsayer and then rushes (well I say rush but a 4" charge is hardly that! now is it) to the door of the building,  he calls out the Soothsayer but like the coward he is, he hides behind his warriors, typical ! I use my Strategikon with nearby warriors but only manage to kill one,  Andy was very unlucky not to kill my warlord then, as 3 of hits struck me (curse his Barren lands skill)  but I had managed to save all of them !


I then Sent in my Warlord again with some side by side Warriors - he calls out the Soothsayer again but he just cowardly smirks while his warriors dash out to defend him .... well I killed another one but that it was game over as I had no more Saga Dice.  All that was left of Andys army was 2 warriors and his cowardly but sensible Soothsayer,  I didn't fair much better with the model count as most of my force went down with the combination of Cold Winds and Endless waste skill !


So a well deserved win to the Pagans, and another great game, and with only 3 points against 5 as well, goes to show that the Pagans a tough bunch hiding in their buildings !  now where are those fire torches , lets burn down that building with his Soothsayer inside !!!

Cheers



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