Monday, October 28, 2013

Defeating the Pagan Rus

by Mike Wood

Here's a look at the abilities that make Pagan Rus hard to deal with and how you might stop them or at least neutralise their strengths in your  Saga games.

There has been some discussion on the forums about the abilities that Pagan Rus have and how they seem more akin to a form of fantasy "ice magic" than to real life. Each Saga faction is built around the tactics and flavour of the places, culture and time that they were found in. As a result, each faction is very unique (so far) and the Pagan Rus are no different in that respect. They can be seen as very defensive in their abilities. I have read that the "Byzantines had the measure of the Pagan Rus". If so, how? Here is a look at the Strengths and any Weaknesses of the Pagan Rus and how to work around them in battle!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Morale in Saga

The free online dictionary defines Morale as "The state of the spirits of a person or group as exhibited by confidence, cheerfulness, discipline, and willingness to perform assigned tasks".

This time I am taking a look at how the Saga wargame cleverly moves the idea of Morale away from being an "abstract system" for dealing with the "human psyche" and putting it firmly and seamlessly into the hands of the players.

Excerpt from the Bayeux Tapestry

A system of Morale in a wargame is designed to give some element of calculated risk of your army "melting away" and the game coming to a more "realistic" end than just wiping out the enemy. It has been a key of every wargame I think I have played and has become a natural part of the mechanics associated with a wargame. Even if the army itself does not have a breaking point, then the individual units will have a breaking point of some sort.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Focus On.... Scot Spearmen!

The Scots spearmen in Saga should put fear in the hearts of their opponents! Here is a faction that has one big secret weapon. Men who stand and hold their ground with sheer determination. How do the abilities on the Scots battleboard give so much power to this unit. Are they unstoppable? Not if their enemies can help it! Here is a look at the rules and thoughts for the humble Scots Warband Spearmen....


The Scots were formed over time from a mix of clans and lordships in the North of Britain, being descendants of Irish migrants and the local Picts. The history of the Scots always seems bloody, with usurping and murder being the name of the game!

Scot Hearthguard (Thanes) or Warriors (Soer-Chele) armed with shield and spear making up a shieldwall was a standard tactic of the time. This helped to give some protection from cavalry and missiles. The warriors could stand and hold or push forward, with a mix of experienced warriors supporting the greener ones. Once penetrated, sheieldwalls usually fell apart quickly, as the greener warriors started to panic and flee. Battles of this kind routinely lasted no more than an hour. The Battle of Hasting made an exception to this, lasting several hours almost into darkness.

In Saga terms, some of the foot units are armed with thrusting spears and can make use of the abilities marked in green on the battleboard.The Scots battleboard is very much aimed at the spearman.

The special abilities for Scots Spearmen are covered below....

Monday, October 7, 2013

Saga on a Budget for 2 to 4 players

by Mike Wood

I wanted to take a look at building Saga armies on a budget. Two key ways of doing this are first to buy plastics, as you get more bang for your buck. The other is to share to cost with two or more players. This way you can get more choice than just buying one box yourself.

Dark Age Plastics.....

The aim is to build a playable 6 point Saga army that is more than just one type of model, but keeps costs down by sharing models around (or having 2-4 factions yourself!) but still being playable.

After running a poll recently to see what the most popular armies are, the top two are Danes and Scots. After that Bretons then other including Normans, Vikings and Irish.

Two players can band together and buy one box of Gripping Beast Saxon Thegns (Hearthguard) and one box of GB Dark Age Warriors. These boxes are currently around 19 to 20 pounds in the UK.

This gives you 44 Armoured Saxons to use and 40 Unarmoured figures.

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