Friday, 22 May 2015

Gripping Beast SAGA. The spuds of wrath!

As agreed from the speed painting challenge Macca and I set out our 4 points of newly painted warbands for a game of SAGA this Thursday.

Macca has gone for the Irish while I have gone for the hard riding Normans.

He managed to frighten the life out of me by knocking out three quarters of his warband in under a week!

First up his Warriors

Two units of Hearth guard and Warlord

And a unit of warrior Dags!...... sorry dogs

I win initiative and being a bit unsure of the new force, decide to have my Crossbows advance to the wall and use the open field of fire to whittle away any Irish brave enough to cross the open ground. I will use my two units of 6 elites to move aggressively to the centre. Hopefully they will draw out an Irish unit which I can then decimate with crossbow bolts before finishing off with a cavalry charge OR mob an exposed unit of Macca’s warband. . . . .

Like this one

"Got yer!"

Macca’s turn . . . . 

and the shenanigans begin! He plays 'Sons of Dana' and unleashes his spuds of mash destruction (see what we did there?). Basically he gets a free shooting attack on any one of my units within 2” of uneven ground. Two of my Elite fall to POTATOS!

Both my Elites gallop forward and my Warlord moves over to support the crossbows (and I do not want to pawn off any hits to the more expensive elites).

Macca pops another of his shenanigans and plays an ability which only allows me to attack his exposed unit if I begin within 4” of the unit. 


I move up aggressively anyway to put the frighteners on Macca.

"We curse you, you potato throwing heathens!" 

The rest of Macca’s warband slink off round the trees to avoid the crossbows. I am more than happy to use the crossbows as a stalling force as it will hopefully give me time to destroy the exposed unit of Irish warriors before allowing my fast moving Knights to come rolling up the Irish flank.

The combined charges of my Knights finally wipe out the exposed Irish warriors on my right.

Macca’s turn. Once again I lose troops to magical flying spuds! 

Macca then moves forward aggressively with the majority of his troops, while making the best use of the available cover.

I have two options. Move further back with my missile troops or charge in on the ‘Dags’ cowering behind the walls. 

Me being me I hearken back to the Viking heritage of the Normans and pitch in on the Dags with my Warlord and my warriors in support.

Despite Macca’s armour buff from the wall I rip through six of the dogs and the losses are more than acceptable.

I am really pleased with myself until Macca realises I have exposed my Warlord to his alpha strike and Macca charges in Warlord with some hearth guard in support.

Thankfully my Warlord is surrounded by sufficient sergeants to soak up the hits and secondly Macca fails to use the Norman leader’s fatigue to lower my armour!

This mistake costs Macca the early win as all but one of my sergeants falls to the assault and we are sure Macca rolled a couple of 4’s in the attack roll!

I cower behind my remaining Sergeant before running my Knights over to threaten Macca’s flank and deter him from chasing down my vulnerable Warlord.

Macca’s first fatalities are the last of his dogs. The massacre of the dogs allows me to place a fatigue on the surrounding Irish units. My Knights gallop onwards and their momentum carries them into the Irish hearth guard.

I am more than happy with the results. 

Sensing the end (and not being able to bail out after 25% casualties) Macca’s Warlord girds his loins and makes a one man charge on my blood splattered Knights!

My Knights are massacred but manage to pull down the enemy Warlord with their dying breath.

Lessons learnt.

1 1) With the Norman board favouring mounted troops or shooting there might actually be a place for levy in this force.

   2) The larger bases of the cavalry, cuts down some of my options. This is something I am going to have think about.



  1. Great stuff! I have some Vikings and Revenants ready to be painted over the next couple of months so hope to get my first game of SAGA in the not-too-distant future!

    1. I honestly cannot recommend SAGA enough. As long as the do not play it thinking it's an historical game you will be fine.

      I remember someone calling it 'history light' which is very appropriate.

    2. As a big fan of Pulp and VSF, the 'ripping yarn' or 'sagas and legends' kind of history is right up my street!

    3. Funnily enough 'The war of the worlds', 'the time machine' and 'The princess of Mars' are three of my favourate books ever.

      I think H. G. Wells was a genius and it blows my mind to think his book was written 2 years before an effective internal combustion engine was developed!!!!!

  2. Good BR, both Normans and Irish being lower tier forces no one really had the upper hand. Irish dogs are awesome :)

    1. i'm not sure about the tier ranking of any force in SAGA.

      It was a fun, knife edged battle.

  3. Fun looking game, and an entertaining report. I have Normans (and Vikings) and the levy bow are good. The Normans are a tricky board, as you need a lot of banners to get most of your abilities working, but they are fun to play.

    1. it's only my second game with them but it's a concern how many of the abilities add additional fatigue to the unit.

      It makes sencs that banners will be the way to go.

    2. looking at my dice I now realise you mean the banners (i.e. rares) on the faction die.

      I am such a plum!


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