Monday, December 2, 2013

Swords for Hire - The 'Sons of Death'

This time another unit of mercenaries for Saga - The Gall-Gaedhil "Sons of Death".

The Gall-Gaedhil ("Foreign"), also known as “The Sons of Death” were lawless warriors of mixed Norse and Gael blood, that are first mentioned in the Irish Annals in the 9th century. They were marauding bands of adventurers and looters that joined the Vikings in their plundering expeditions.

Later, the name came to designate all mercenaries that came from the Norse colonies of the Isles where Norse and Scot blood was mixed. Their ferocity, coupled with their warrior pagan cults as Diberna or Fianna earned them a well-deserved terrifying reputation. Swords for Hire: The Gall-Gaedhil are mercenaries and may be included in any Saga warband.

Rules for the "Sons of Death"...

Recruiting the Gall-Gaedhil:
Adding the Gall-Gaedhil to your warband costs two points. A warband led by a Hero of the Viking Age may not include the Gall-Gaedhil.

Sons of Death:
This unit is composed of 8 foot Warriors. They have an Armor of 4, and each of them generates two Attack Dice. The unit of Gall-Gaedhil doesn’t generate any Saga Dice. Unlike of other Warriors each Gall-Gaedhil is worth 1 VP.

The Gall-Gaedhil must be the first unit activated each turn of their controlling player. Once any other unit of their warband has been activated, they may not be activated this turn anymore. Their activations are unlimited within a turn, and are free, so don’t cost any Saga die (but they take Fatigue as any other unit). The Gall-Gaedhil may never be targeted by Saga abilities played by their controlling player. If a Saga ability played by their controlling player targets more than one unit, the other units still are affected by the ability, with the Gall-Gaedhil being immune to its effects.

Blood calls Blood:
At the end of step 4) of any melee, any unit engaged with the Gall-Gaedhil suffers a number of extra hits equal to half the number of successful hits they scored against the Gall-Gaedhil.

After the deployment but before the first turn, the unit of Gall-Gaedhil may make a single movement.

Use in Saga:
In games of Saga, the Gall-Gaedhil make for a tough unit that can cover ground quickly and hold it

They have plenty of attacks (they get a free hit from "Blood Calls Blood") but if fatigued seemed to make for a glass hammer. They cannot receive a War Banner as a unit of only eight warriors, so being attacked immediately after making several moves would be costly (enemies with cavalry may not be their ideal opponents).

They cost two points, so would be an expensive strike force in any faction. The fact that they can't generate Saga dice but in return don't need any to activate means they could "hold on" when the rest of your force is smashed. Equally though, those two Saga they could give you as two units of Hearthguard could be used elsewhere.

They appear to be a situational unit, possibly in a faction that lacks serious hitting power (a skirmish force). They would still suffer from other effects such as the Pagan Rus "Great Winter" so you have to decide ahead of a game whether to use them.

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