Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Saga Battle Report - Or, How Owain the Prudent Lived to Fight Another Day

Playing Paul the Galloglaigh on Tuesday night with my Welsh for the first time really made me appreciate the subtlety of tactics possible in Saga. Gosh it's a good game! We each fielded a 4-point warband, with paul using Vikings against my Welsh. Critically, he didn't have any missile troops, so really needed to use the Vikings' ability to counteract fatigue to get into action with my troops as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me, but I have reconstructed the final move of the game below, mainly for gloating purposes. Although the following reconstruction is based on real events, the parts are all played by professional actors, and no miniature was harmed in the reconstruction of these events.

We were playing the Clash of Warlords scenario, with victory going to the first player to kill the opposing warlord.

Things didn't start well for the Vikings, who lost their berserkers early on to a shower of javelins. Paul was desperate to finish things, and I gave him the perfect opportunity in the penultimate turn, leaving my warlord and two surviving teulu retainers deliberately within charge range of his warlord and accompanying five warriors.

View from behind the Welsh lines. That's my warlord over on the right flank with his sword held back.

Paul took the bait, loading up his battleboard with dice to maximise his success in melee, then using the Side by Side rule to charge his warlord and warriors into my warlord.

Or at least that's what he planned to do. However, in my turn I left a die on the Hit and Run box, which meant that I could activate and move one of my units at the point Paul activated one of his within Medium distance. I made a bit of an error with the rules, originally planning to activate my exposed warlord and his two hearthguard, but of course I couldn't. So, telling his men that he would have songs composed in their honour, Owain legged it back behind the levies while his two faithful retainers tried to fight the Vikings and their million or so attack dice, with predictable results. The Viking warlord and his warriors were victorious, but they ended their turn horribly exposed.

Not Owain's finest hour, but now it was the Welsh turn and I could spring the trap. I put dice on Children of the Land, Taunting and Strength Lies in Numbers, as well as having one to activate my Priodaur who were on the far side of the swamp. First up I used the Taunting ability, and my Levies promptly made all kinds of gestures and ribald comments to the warriors surrounding the Viking warlord. THe Vikings weren't having this, so activated and charged my levies.

I really wanted to lose that combat, but ended up winning it, so that one surviving Viking fled back to within Very Short distance of the warlord. The bodyguard is heavily depleted - so far so good.

Next I activated the unit of warriors to the left of the swamp. Because of the Children of the Land ability they were able to ignore the movement penalty of the swamp and charge into the Viking Warlord. They all ended up within VS of him, so were going to roll 8 attack dice. However, I also had the Strength in Numbers ability, so I gained an extra die for every figure by which I outnumbered my opponent, giving me a grand total of 15 dice to the warlord's 5.

After rolling for hits and saves, I scored three un-cancelled hits. One of these was taken by the warrior within VS distance of the warlord, one was absorbed by the Warlord's Resilience, but the third hit finished him.

I love it when a plan comes together.


  1. A glorious victory for Euan and the boyos.

  2. Nice report, as a VIKING player the welsh are hard enemies to overcome especially in a 4 pt game, I never take beserkers at this level prefering an extra point of warriors to protect my warlord as all to often you get drawn into an exposed situation

  3. Great stuff indeed!
    But how can you have a Welsh warband with nobody names Jones? :-)

  4. ...the Prudent, great name and a good read and outcome, not very familiar with the rules but they sound good....