Monday, December 31, 2012

Normans vs Vikings: Clash of Warlords

Tom and I got in 2 games of Saga one night, this being the second.  With little time left, we decided to play the basic "Clash of Warlords".  We thought it would be neat to have a burning village in the center.  Why?  Cause some men just want to watch the miniature world burn.  Tom's warband consisted of one unit of 8 Hearthguard, 3 units of 8 warriors, and 1 unit of levy archers.  My list was one unit of 8 Knights, 2 units of 4 knights, one unit of Sergeants with Crossbows, and a unit of peasant archers.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Into the Woods..... Build and Review

I recently received a number of items from 4ground.  Amongst them were three of their large woods for use in my Saga games. I decided to get the trees glued and painted first. You can make use of three woods in 4 to 6 point Saga games.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Viking Wardrums ...

The war drums are sounding.  Warriors are gathering at the banks and launching towards glory.

     Being the Noob Commander and having an attention span of a 4 year old, it was only a matter of time before I launched my hobby efforts into the World of Saga.  I was able to get a game in at Fall In and won!  It was a simple yet crunchy and fun game.  The models look great and can be purchased from many product lines to make your forces fit.
     Steve and Dirty Jon assisted with my force launch by donating Vikings to the cause.  I am looking forward to clashing in the Feast of Crows !

     The first unit I am gonna concentrate on for this WIP is the Warlord.  The warlord is actually a Foundry Barbarian I picked up at Historicon 2012 for $1.00.  I decided I wanted my Warlord to stick out and "paint a picture" as well.  I purchased Norman Casualties SG01 and began to form a plan.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Normans vs Vikings- The Challenge

Tom came by tonight for some games of Saga!  In our first game we played "The Challenge".  Tom's warband consisted of one unit of 8 Hearthguard, 3 units of 8 warriors, and 1 unit of levy archers.  My list was one unit of 8 Knights, 2 units of 4 knights, one unit of Sergeants with Crossbows, and a unit of peasant archers.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Frankish Faction - What Can You Take?

There have been a few posts on the WWPD Saga Forum recently about the make up of the Frankish faction from the excellent Saga "the Raven's Shadow" supplement from Gripping Beast.

This faction is unique so far in that it can be made up in different ways. I am not going to plough into the history of the Frankish dynasties as that will be the subject of another post on this forum. Here, I will just clarify the restrictions of the three flavours of the Frankish factions within the Saga wargame.

Carolingian Warriors

Friday, November 30, 2012

Saga Dice - Luck or Judgment?

The title of this article is really a grand way of saying that I want to talk about the way the number of Saga dice you have affects the game you can play out with them. In particular, your choices on using "rare" dice based abilities get less and less as your Saga dice go down.
Note: "rare" meaning the rarest symbol that is on just one side of each Saga dice. There are two uncommon symbols and three common symbols.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Review of The Raven's Shadow

Raven's Shadow is the latest expansion from Studio Tomahawk for the Saga wargame.

The expansion gives the Saga universe four more Factions to choose from. The Franks, Irish, Norse-Gaels and Strathclyde. The booklet weighs in at 27 pages along with four full colour card battle boards.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

SAGA Tournament Fall-in Pictures

Our first I-95 Fallin Saga Tournament was great success we had a lot of new players.  Below are a some of the Battle stats that I was able to capture.  Bill Wilcox was the winner of the tournament with Welsh and Vikings played (he was borrowing my armies I think I may have created a monster) Paul Georgian came in second with Normans.   Thanks to all the guys for coming out.  Special thanks to Tom Keegan and Steve MacLauchlan for loaning armies and teaching new guys.  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tom's Vikings

My Vikings
Here are some pics of my viking army.  (I figure it can also do double-duty as Anglo-Saxons, Anglo-Danes and Jormvikings.)  Most of the figures are Wargames Factory plastic Vikings, but the central figures are the Eureka Miniatures metal Beowulf and Retinue pack.

The Warband

Monday, November 12, 2012

Norman Horse Cart

A while back, Jon did two pieces for our baggage train, and I promised to do the third.  I finally came through on that after picking up these pieces at Fall In!  The Norman Pony is by Gripping Beast- Joe "Wow" Mezz happened upon it at the Architects of War booth and knew I'd be happy with it!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Focus On .... Welsh Javelins

The Welsh faction's unique style comes in the form of the way their battleboard caters for the hit and run tactics of the Dark Ages Welsh peoples. All troop types are capable of carrying and throwing Javelins. They are very much a skirmish force and not designed for close combat. They can be mounted, but suffer more penalties for doing so due to a lack of armour. How can you utilise this hit and run force? Here are the rules from page 44 of the Main Rulebook...

"Welsh Warlords are equipped with javelins. They may be mounted on horses.”

“Welsh Warriors and Hearthguard are equipped with javelins, but due to their lack of armour and protection, they have their armour value reduced by one against enemy shooting…”

“Welsh Warriors and Hearthguard may be mounted on horses (and this would also decrease their Armour against shooting by one…)”

“Welsh Levies are equipped with bows, slings or javelins”.

To see what Javelins do in the game here are the rules from Page 23 of the Main Rulebook...

"Javelins may be used the end of a Movement activation. Immediately after movement, if the unit has no figures engaged in melee with the enemy, the unit may perform Shooting as part of that activation. This doesn't count as a a separate activation, and doesn't generate additional FATIGUE.

Gripping Beast Welsh Warriors - painted
Painted Gripping Beast models from their Saga Welsh range

Monday, October 22, 2012

Norman Crossbow Conversion - Part 1

Having decided to use plastics for my Anglo-Danish and Norman Saga armies I wanted to find a way of creating crossbowmen from the plastic kits. The kits I have are the Conquest Games (CG) Norman Knights and Norman Infantry boxes. Also, the Wargames Factory (WF) Saxon Thegns and Saxon Fyrd. There are very few missile weapons to be had in the kits, none in the Conquest Games kits. Definitely no crossbows!
Having scoured eBay a few times I came across some metal 28mm scale crossbows. Just what I needed.

Here is the completed conversion......
Plastic Norman Crossbow Warrior Conversion
ready for action - after a coat of paint

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Quick AAR: Blood in the Snow (6 point Clash of Warlords)

Jon and I had a little time to kill and decided to quickly throw down on a game of Saga.  We both used our standard 6 point lists: Vikings (6x Hearthguard, 6x Hearthguard, 4x Berserkers, 12 Levy Bowmen, 8 warriors) and Normans (8x Hearthguard, 4x Hearthguard, 4x Hearthguard, Crossbows, Levy Bowmen)
The board.  Vikings all in the North.  Normans: Levy Bowmen to the left, with Archers to their right.  On the other side of the pond is a big unit of Knights.  Warlord and Knights wait behind the ranged units.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Focus On .... Danish Axemen

The flavour in the Danish Faction comes from the ability to utilise the Dane Axe (aka the Broadaxe). Here are the rules from page 43 of the Main Rulebook.

"Anglo Danish Warlords have double handed axes."
"Anglo-Danish Hearthguard may be armed with double-handed Dane axes." 
"When engaged in melee, a unit with double handed Dane axes will not use its shields and so suffers a -1 penalty to its Armour value. Hence, if the unit an Armour of 5, it counts as having an armour of 4."
"Attack rolls made by a unit equipped with double handed Dane axes gets a +1 bonus. To hit an Armour 4 unit, you'll only need 3's. This makes them easier to hit in melee."

Dane Axe used to decapitate a Norman horse
Dane Axe delivers a deadly blow in the Bayeux Tapestry

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Godwinson Brotherhood By Joe Moore

Just a few pictures of the Godwinson Brothers set released by Gripping Beast.  (link goes to Architects of War)  Painted by Joe Moore, lead Sagamite.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Focus On .... Viking Berserkers

Each Warband in Saga has its own unique flavour. For the Vikings Warband, specific rules are on the sparse side. One option you may want to consider is the Viking Berserker. Here are the rules from page 41 of the Main Rulebook.

"One Unit of Viking Hearthguard exactly 4 models strong may be desginated as Berserkers. Each Berserker model generates 4 attack dice in melee (instead of 2 for other Hearthguards) but has their armour reduced to 3."

Credit: http://geektactica.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/viking-berserkers-for-saga.html

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Raven's Shadow- Looming Soon!

The 2nd SAGA supplement is on the way!  From the Studio Tamahawk Blog (Scroll down for English):

 New supplement means new factions. As Northern Fury, The Raven's Shadow offers four brand new and original factions: 
- The Franks, that will allow the players to muster either a Merovingian, a Carolingian or a Capetian warband. They will need practice to be used properly, but are one of the most rewarding Saga faction for experienced players. 
- The Irish that illustrate the cover. Their focus on individual deeds and heroic feat of arms are translated into their battleboard, and they will offer you the opportunity to field new units on the table as the Curaidh, King's Champions or the famous Irish wolfhounds! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Battle of Battle, 1066

If you are in the United Kingdom, and you follow this blog, the Battle of Hastings should be at the very top of your list of places to visit for several reasons. First, its well preserved for a 900 year-old site (When 900 years old you reach, look as good you will not!). There are so many battlefields of the Dark Ages that have simply disappeared without a trace. The exact location of major battles such as Stamford Bridge, and Brunanburh are lost to archaeologists.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Saga Tournament at Huzzah Hobbies Dec 1!

Hi guys!  Our pal Joe Moore is running a Saga tournament on December 1st at Huzzah Hobbies in Northern VA.  The tournament will be 6 points, and you are allowed to use the special leaders available in the books.  To sign up e-mail Joe Moore (joemoore78@aol.com) or call Chris at Huzzah.  We hope to see you guys there!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Norman Archers

At long last, I have a full 6 points of Normans!   It's only taken me how long?  Anyhow, as usual I'll mostly let the pictures do the talking here!  All of these are Gripping Beast metals.  Norman Archers I and II, with a Norman Unarmored Infantry Advancing blister thrown in for good measure... Actually Architects of War was sold out of all but the two Norman archer packs so I decided to just use the unarmored guys and gave them some spare bows I stole from Jon's plastic viking sprues.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dux Bellorum Review

Dux Bellorum Review
Osprey's latest , Dux Bellorum: Arthurian Wargaming Rules 367-793, skillfully blends traditional wargaming mechanics with elegant resource management and simple-flowing army design.  Although it covers a slightly different period than Saga, I think it will appeal to the same player audience looking for a quick-playing Dark Age game.

The Basics

Dux Bellorum is a scale independent game -- the photos and illustrations show everything from 10mm to 28mm.  Likewise, you can play in either inches or centimeters, since all measurement is in multiples of the standard Base Width you have chosen.  That said, Dux Bellorum seems strongly to prefer rectangular-based stands containing multiple figures, with the number of figures depending on unit type.  Most ancient games already follow such standards, but those of us playing with 28mm figures on round bases would probably have to make some movement trays for our figures.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Normans vs Welsh in Clash of Warlords

Thursday night at the NOVA Open, Alex brought his Welsh to face my Normans! We played Clash of Warlords. By this time, Tom and I were pretty deep into a bottle of rum, so I apologize if my images are a little blurry! We played at 5 points.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Normans vs Vikings in Homeland (5 Points)

With my recently completed 4Ground Games buildings, I knew it was time to try the "Home Land" scenario. Jon bid 4 to defend, and came up defending. I knew this was going to be a very tough one with my Normans since they aren't exactly good with buildings, but I was ready to give it a go!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hastings Castle Visit

Hastings Castle Ruins
Yesterday I was finally able to fulfil a childhood desire: to visit the Battle of Hastings. I forgot just how much 12-year-old me really wanted to visit this site and I was surprised by just how giddy I was leading up to it! So we travelled to Hastings and set up our headquarters. The battle took place several miles to the north, so for the first day we toured the city and had a look at Hastings Castle, which lies in ruin a top the seaward cliffs. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Mounted Welsh Warriors

Any Welsh player who has faced the Norman Crossbow knows the pain of long range death.  A good levy bow unit can be just as bad when welsh get hit at one less for lack of armor.  My thought on solving the Welsh bow target problem was a good unit of mounted Welshmen who could cross the ground fast and put those pesky bowmen to death. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Baggage Train

Just a quick post today to show you guys my new baggage train! When we were at Historicon, I picked up the Cart, Handcart and Two Ponies blister. We need three pieces for the Escort mission, so I am 2/3 of the way there!

Friday, August 31, 2012

A Few Pictures From an Incomplete Battle

Jon and I started a battle of Sacred Ground but only got halfway through.  Tough to say where the battle would end up at this point.  Jon still had 2 units left: 2 Berserkers and 8 Hearthguard.  I was down to a total of 7 Hearthguard but also had my Crossbows.  Still anyone's game!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My Normans: Now and Later

I wanted to take a second to catalog my Norman army so far, and talk about where I plan to take it.  I've been slow getting this army off its feet since Saga is very much my "Second Game".

Monday, August 27, 2012

What Conquers a Conqueror?

The White Tower (Tower of London)
Advance warning & disclaimer time! Fundamentally, I'm a historian of medicine. Its what I studied at university, and its something that runs deeper than even military history, so what I'm about to write is going to be gross, or downright lose-your-lunch disgusting. So if you're put off by gruesome stuff, or perhaps your sitting down for lunch or something while catching up on the blog-o-sphere, you may want to have a look at Dux's excellent Saga blog and come back once your meal has settled firmly.

Right, you've been warned!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Norman Crossbows!

To counter Jon's new Viking levy bowmen, I finally finished up some Norman crossbows!  With their reduction in enemy armor, these guys are one of the best shooting units in the game.  I've had great success with them- especially vs those who already take a reduction in armor against shooting like welsh or knights!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Normans vs Vikings in Clash of Warlords (4pt)

Sean's first game of Saga!  Sean borrows Jon's Vikings for this round.  We decide to play Clash of Warlords just to show Sean the mechanics.

Steveaux the Handsome's Normans
  • 8x Knights
  • 4x Knights
  • 4x Knights
Sean  Luc's Normans
  • 6x Hirdmen
  • 6x Hirdmen
  • 8x Bondi

Monday, August 20, 2012

More 4Ground Games Buildings

After thoroughly enjoying my Medieval Cottage by 4Ground Games (see my review here), I was eager to order the other 2 buildings in the line: The Dwelling, and The Hovel.  Because they are essentially the same product shaped slightly differently, I'm not going to review them individually, but instead let the pictures do the talking.
The village

Friday, August 17, 2012

Miscellaneous Celtic History 101

The Ancient Celts

The Celtic languages constitute one of the major branches of the Indo-European family of languages in Europe. Celtic-speakers seem to have been particularly wide-spread across Northern Europe in the ancient period of Iron Age Europe. As the dominant "barbarian" groups of the Europe, various Celtic tribes first appear in early Greek histories.  The Celtic speakers of Gaul were one of early Rome's major enemies.  In the 390s BCE, a Gallic force defeated the Romans and sacked Rome itself.

Such Celtic preeminence gradually faded as Roman rule expanded northwards. Thanks to the Gallic Wars, in what is now France, the Roman Republic brought many Celtic-speakers under its rule. The Roman invasion of Britain incorporated the many island Celts there.  The peoples in these new provinces did not immediately switch to Latin - rather a hybrid culture with Roman and Celtic elements developed -- but Celtic tribes lost their independence in these areas.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Guns of August SAGA tournament

The Guns of August Convention is one my favorite local cons in a good location that my whole family enjoys.  I was able to take the kids to Busch Gardens in the day and play SAGA  all night so everybody was happy.  The SAGA Tournament was 4 point armies and run by the Williamsburg Legati.  I cannot say enough good things about the Williamburg Legati they are a super bunch of guys who really know how to run a tournament.  They had Architects of War support and everything a gamer needs provided on the table. 

At the tournament I was running Welsh: 1 Levy and the rest Warriors.   I had one unit of mounted Welsh Warriors.
Battle with Skraelings
My first game was against Mark Mckinley a Skraelings player and all around great guy.  I had never played the Skraelings before and was not sure what to expect.  It started out with missile exchanges because the Skrealings are just like the Welsh and "Throw Sticks" the only difference is all his troops are one less armor.  So we were winning the exchange and Mark's horrible dice were not helping him.   I was killing tons of Skraelings but little did I know these guys have an ability to regenerate dead skraelings into new units so it was like fighting a zombie horde.  My thought now was the only way to stop the zombies is to kill the warlord.   I got lucky with the initiative roll and had two turns that were back to back and mark could not recover from that and I was able to ride the Cavalry to the back and kill his warlord.   I killed 27 warriors 6 Levy and his Warlord so going into round two I had a lot of points.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Normans vs Vikings Battle at the Ford (4pt)

Jon and I got in a quick game one night before doing some recording for News From the Front.  I promise I'll have my 5th point ready soon!  I am the bottleneck.  Painting horsies is hard!  Jon wanted to try a "silly" army this go round.

Steveaux the Handsome's Normans
  • 8x Knights
  • 4x Knights
  • 4x Knights
Jon the Dirty's Vikings
  • 8x Hirdmen
  • 4x Berserker Babes
  • 12x Thrall Archers

Friday, August 10, 2012

SAGA: Beginning Impressions

Steve-O and I have jumped right in to SAGA over the last few months, and I have organized my thoughts and impressions so far.

I really like the fact that we can crank out a game in an hour or less. There are not a ton of complicated rules to bog you down in this game -- toss some SAGA dice and get on with it! I like the fact that the armies are pretty evenly matched, with mostly the Battle Board to give them flavor. The Missions are mostly straightforward and do not need a ton of strategy time.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Challenge: Normans v Vikings

After getting crushed in one turn on our last game, I was eager to redeem myself!  We elected to play The Challenge.  

Stev Goatcrusher's Vikings
  • 8x Hirdmen
  • 4x Hirdchicks (Battle Babes!)
  • 8x Bondi
Jean Luc's Normans
  • 6x Mounted Knights
  • 6x Mounted Knights

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Last Kingdom

As I prepared for my entry into the world of Saga, I tooled around the Internet researching the various factions found in the game. While doing this, I stumbled upon a series of dark age novels written by Bernard Cornwell. Cornwell is perhaps best known for his historical fiction series that follows the exploits of Richard Sharpe. His lesser known Saxon series focuses on the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex, England during the 9th-century reign of Alfred the Great, his opposition to the Danes, and his attempt to unite England as one country. The series currently consists of six books: The Last Kingdom (2004), The Pale Horseman (2005), The Lords of the North (2006), Sword Song (2007), The Burning Land (2009), and Death of Kings (2011.)

The Last Kingdom (2004)
ISBN 0-00-714990-5 (hardback)
ISBN 0-06-053280-7 (paperback)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Viking Levy Archers

Eric Lauterbach bullied me into buying some Archers for my Vikings. Even though they are Levy, give no SAGA dice and are very....un-Viking, I decided to get some. Eric was nice enough to drag me around the vendor area of Historicon and help me put together 12 of these guys. Here are the pics:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Normans vs Vikings: Clash of Warlords

Luke's first game of Saga! Warning- it's a short one. I make a bad Viking.

The mission is Clash of Warlords

Stev Goatcrusher's Vikings
  • 8x Hirdmen
  • 4x Hirdchicks (Battle Babes!)
  • 8x Bondi
Jean Luc's Normans
  • 6x Mounted Knights
  • 6x Mounted Knights
  • 4x Mounted Knights

Monday, July 30, 2012

Skraeling History 101

Iceland, Greenland, and North America

L'Anse Aux Meadows today
Norse settlers journeyed all over the North Atlantic, raiding, conquering or settling the lands they found there, from Scotland to the Orkneys and Faroes.  Their largest settlement was in Iceland, which does not seem to have been inhabited (aside from maybe some Irish monks) before the Norse colonization.

Friday, July 27, 2012

4Ground Games Medieval Cottage

Greetings, Sagamites!  Today I'll be taking a look at 4Ground's Pre-painted High Medieval laser cut cottage.  I picked this little beauty up for $25 at Historicon  from Brookhurst Hobbies and assembled almost as soon as I got home!  

description from their website:
[The cottage] is a great example of the 10th century development from the Saxon dwelling into the high medieval cottage with its loft room; though this building would have not been that uncommon as a rural dwelling during the Civil Wars of the 17th century. It still retains the smoke-hole gable, the through doors each side and a central firepit.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Historicon Tournament

On Friday, I participated in a 10 man, 6 point Saga tournament at Historicon put on by Joe Moore (of I95 fame) with prize support from Architects of War

The tournament was to be round Robin with a big "Feast For Crows" at the end for the top 4 places to determine final ranking!

I am notoriously bad at not getting pictures of my tournament games, so I do apologize.

Monday, July 23, 2012

12 Points, 6 Players! Vikings vs Normans

*Warlord names definitely NOT a result of Norman propaganda...

We got in a big game at The Game Vault in Fredericksburg VA. 3 to a side! I faced off against Eric, and really our game was essentially a 1v1. Thus, this battle report will be focusing on Steveaux the Friendly and Eric the Cheaty!

  • Jon The Dirty's Vikings
  • -Hearthguard (4)
  • -Heartguard (4)
  • -Heartguard (4)
  • -Warriors(8)
  • Scott the Slippery's Vikings
  • -Heartguard (6)
  • -Hearthguard (6)
  • -Warriors (8)
  • Eric the Cheaty's Vikings
  • -Hearthguard (4)
  • -Warriors (8)
  • -Warriors (8)
  • -Levy Bowmen (12)
  • Brian the Polite's Normans
  • -Mounted Hearthguard (4)
  • -Mounted Hearthguard (4)
  • -Dismounted Warriors (8)
  • -Crossbowmen (8)
  • Joe the Helpful's Normans
  • -Mounted Hearthguard (4)
  • -Mounted Hearthguard (4)
  • -Dismounted Warriors (8)
  • -Dismounted Warriors (8)
  • Steveaux the Friendly's Normans
  • -Mounted Hearthguard (4)
  • -Mounted Hearthguard (4)
  • -Mounted Warriors (8)
  • -Crossbowmen (8)

Friday, July 20, 2012

4 Points Normans vs Welsh in The Crossing

Dirty Jon and I rode up to the excellent Game Vault in fredericksburg VA on a vacation day to get in some Saga with our buddies Scott, Joe, and Eric (plus his retinue- his 2 sons are Gods at dice rolling!).

 This was not only the first time I've faced the Welsh, it was the first time I've even seen the shooting mechanics in play! I think I can safely say I learned the drawback of my poor Normans! The Mission was The Crossing where we had to try to force our way across the river.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Viking Riot Grrrls

As you guys may have figured out, I like the Ladies. I figure that if you HAVE to look at something for hours, it might as well be an attractive woman!

I had to order a few things for Arnhem from The War Store. To fill out the order, I grabbed some Foundry metal miniatures for SAGA. I love my Vikings so far, but I wanted to check out something I didn't have to assemble. When I saw that they had the same ladies Joe Moore has, I grabbed the VIK054 Valkyries, Daughters of Freya and VIK55 Valkyries, War Maidens of Odin blisters. I started with the ones that are actually clothed.

Monday, July 16, 2012

4 points Jon & Scott All-Viking AAR: The Challenge!

Scott and I got together at The Game Vault along with Steven, Joe Moore and Eric Lauterbach for some SAGA games. We played a Viking civil war, and rolled the The Challenge! This one was going to take a while...

Scott is up top, and I am set up at the bottom. I fielded 3 4-man units of Hearthguard and an 8-man unit of Bondi.
Scott had 2 6-man units of Hearthguard and an 8-man unit of Bondi.

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