Thursday, 12 June 2014

The SAGA returns

SAGA is one of those games I really enjoy but don't get to play very often, so it's a nice change of pace to my gaming every now and again when I do get a chance to play. I've been offered the chance to play in a mini-campaign (two games) by Owen Conlan who has taken the time to find a historical setting and background and written up some short campaign rules.

I won't steal Owen's good work so I'll link you to his own blog where he has posted the information.

Part 1 -Background :

Part 2 - Rules :

Owen will be commanding the invading Vikings (using Norse-Gaels) of Amlaíb Conung, while I will be playing the defending Picts (using Scots) of Causantín mac Cináeda. My next step was to go and read the rules for Causantín, which Owen is representing by using the Kenneth Mac Alpin rules (Causantín's father). I did like what I saw there. The campaign is set at 7 point games (usual 6 point warbands plus one for the Heroes of the Viking Age).

Now, I only own 4 points of Scots, so I have to reach into my Bretons collection to make it up. If I throw in a unit of Breton cavalry Hearthguard and my Breton levy with javelins, I get the following warband.

Causantín mac Cináeda (1 point)
4 mounted Hearthguard (1 point)
8 infantry Hearthguard (2 points)
16 Warriors (2 points)
12 Levy with Javelins (1 point)

Although taking the cavalry and Levy don't allow me to use several of the Scots abilities (neither are designated as spearmen), I still find them useful in game, as an entirely spearmen based army can be very one-dimensional, and sometimes the speed of the cavalry or the javelins of the Levy can come in very handy. Due to the extra SAGA dice provided by Causantín, I might combine my infantry Hearthguard into a single unit. If I can keep Causantín in the thick of things safely I will be able to benefit from his rule granting me bonus attack dice, which is a nice bonus but not really enough to encourage me to take stupid risks with him. I do look forward to the MacAlpin's Treason rule, with a lucky roll it could turn into a real nuisance for one of Owen's units.

I am looking forward to taking on the Norse-Gaels, they have some interesting abilities and the challenge rule could make things interesting. A lot may depend on Owen's warband, whether he takes a lot of combat troops with Dane Axes or lighter shooters to harass me with javelin fire.

The scenarios Owen has chosen may suit the Scots style of play. In game one "The Escort", the Norse-Gaels need to cross the board with their hostages. Not only will Owen have to spend SAGA dice to activate the hostages as well as his main force (although Amlaíb's "The Raider" rule may help) but he will have to fight his way through the Scots spearmen. Game 2 "Sacred Ground" again encourages the armies to fight, as the Scots will be quite happy to sit in the relevant terrain pieces and force the Norse-Gaels to come to them.

I'm looking forward to this. We will be playing tomorrow, but don't know if we will get both games in or just one.

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