Battleshed Diaries

Friday, 22 August 2014

Dark Age lassitude


For our regular Friday evening Battleshed session tonight, arabianknight and I decided to delay the resumption of our SoBH campaign for one more week, as scratch built log rafts are required for the next scenario! Tonight arabianknight finally relented, after months of not so subtle hints and suggestions from myself, to play a game of Saga.

So arabianknight made the three minute trek up the hill to the Battleshed where I introduced him to a very basic 4 point game, using my regular Scots warband and arabianknight taking command of a Viking warband made up of  figures from my Warhammer Fantasy Empire army - Greatswords for Viking Hirdmen (Hearthguard), swordsmen for the Bondi (Warriors) and archers for, well archer levy (Thralls). A warhammer Warrior Priest of Sigmar wielding a huge hammer became the Viking warboss.

As this was a demonstration game for arabianknight, who admitted, for him, seeing so many figures on the table it constituted a unfamiliar mass-battle game for him, we decided to simply play a quick scenario of 'hold the Celtic Cross in the centre of the battlefield' by the end of seven turns, or when time/tiredness took over.

Summary: I won't do a full AAR, as that would be unfair for a demonstration, but it went like this:
The Vikings selected, albeit more by unfamiliarity and random choice than anything else, two Hearthguard units (of four apiece), a unit of warriors and a unit of archer levy. This provided the Vikings 5 'Saga' dice, as the levy don't generate any -  I did warn him!


For the Scots, I fielded a full unit of  eight Hearthguard, and two units of warriors - one of which included a Standard Bearer. Six Saga dice.  No ranged for the Scots...well apart from the 'Reach' ability, but I did mention it, under my breath.

The first few turns were used for movement, which was useful for the rookie Viking war boss, at least get used to the resource management of the Saga dice, activating units and managing 'fatique'.

The Scots rolled the initiative, so moved  the whole warband forward, with the Scots Hearthguard in the centre heading straight towards the Celtic cross. All the Scots units double-timed it at this stage, so the fatigue markers were dished out.

The Vikings advanced their centre placed archer levy to meet the Hearthguard, the Viking war boss keen to see what his archers could do. Not much as it proved. An early lesson in the tactical use of fatigue markers and the opponents ability and armour management for the Vikings. 
 
Meanwhile, over on the Scots right flank, their large banner-led warrior unit had hot-footed into the woods, but were soon met my the Viking Hearthguard and a melee amongst the pines ensued. A couple of turns later, the much larger Scots unit had easily absorbed some early casualties, whilst the Viking Hearthguard were down to two men!
Back in the centre, the Vikings decide to pull back their levy, anticipating the bloodlust of the Scots Hearthguard, and instead ordered a charge of their warriors from the their right flank. Result? The Scots war boss used his Saga dice combinations to activate the Hearthguard and overwhelmed the battered Viking warriors with a voracious attack which left, miraculously,  all but one decidedly worried Viking still standing!
 
This proved to be the final encounter, as we called time on the battle.

I hope I at least provided arabianknight a decent idea of Saga; although he was demonstratively tired having played an unfamiliar game after a long working week, and a game well out for his usual scale, he'll at least appreciate some of the enthusiastic AARs from our local gamers. Maybe Saxons next time?