Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy New Year!

In just over two years of contributing articles to the Sagatapestry I have seen the number of Followers increase from 90 to 197. I think it is fantastic that so many people have found interest in our website and I hope it is a trend that carries on.

SAGA continues to fascinate with its simple but clever mechanics. Thank you to the guys and gals at Gripping Beast and Studio Tomahawk for this great legacy.

If you're interested in contributing an article (or more) to this website then please get in contact with me (PM to 'ambler' on the WWPD forums) or contact Steven or Jon from WWPD!

Thank you from me to you all and I wish you a very Happy New Year.



Monday, December 22, 2014

Brave New World - Sourcing the Skraelings

One faction that fell outside the 'norm' for Saga are the Skraelings.

They came and went very quickly as a limited edition in a Starter set from Gripping Beast. After that you seemed to need to get hold of the rules and some suitable models.... somehow. This is one faction that never made it into one of the mainstream Saga expansions.

After speaking to a Saga player recently I thought I would have a look at how to go about sourcing some suitable models. Result... it isn't easy!

The legend.... the old Gripping Beast Saga Skraelings 4 point Starter set. Be brave!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Saga event at UK Pick N' Mix 2014

This last weekend saw the Annual Pick n' Mix Event held in the UK at the North West Gaming Centre, Stockport. Among various historical games was a small SAGA tournament.

I want to say a big thanks to the guys (and gal) that attended. It was a three round event using 6 point factions.

From my side of things, after setting up, I ran my Normans (so as not to duplicate the other factions - at least I am familiar with them).  Joe ran Spanish, Collette ran Scots (with Kenneth as boss!). James and Rob both ran Saxons and Christopher ran Danes.

'Battle at the Ford' winding down....

Monday, December 8, 2014

Model Review: Gripping Beast Viking Age Heroes

Once again I have to thank those lovely lads and lasses at Gripping Beast for sending my some of their fantastic SAGA Viking age Heroes for review.

These models really do help set the tone and look for your armies, even if you don't actually upgrade a Warlord to a Hero. Let's take a look at some of these fantastic sculpts...

Gripping Beast Heroes to strike Terror into the Hearts of your enemies!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Event: Pick and Mix Saga - Stockport UK - 13/12/2014

For anyone in the North West of England on Saturday 13th December....

The North West Gaming Centre, Stockport, is hosting the Annual "Pick and Mix" Event.

There will be a SAGA tournament that day, run by my good self.

Registration for SAGA is 9:30, Game 1 is 10am. Finish around 5:30

Game 1 = Clash of Warlords.
Game 2 = Battle at the Ford (unless both players agree to play another mission)
Game 3 = Sacred Ground (unless both players agree to play another mission).

Three rounds of 2 hours each with breaks. there will be other events for you to watch in any downtime.

Cost of the event is 10 pounds payable on the day in cash to the Event Organiser, James "Hammy" Hamilton. Drinks are available at the venue. Your entry fee is for the event only. There may be food at the venue but local shops and pubs are at hand. The NWGC is also home to the Element Games store so you can check that out too!

You need to bring a 6 point Saga army (not Skraelings), rules for your faction, Battleboard, Saga dice and tape measure. It is a fairly light Christmas event  with other games going on over the weekend.

Scenery, rules, FAQ, scenario information are all provided. Bring yourself and have fun.

The rules will be the (very minor) updated ones for Crescent and Cross, but are basically the same as Dark Age Saga. Feel free to bring a C and C army!

If you are thinking of coming please let me know ASAP so I can sort out tables. You can go to the WWPD.net forum and send a PM to "ambler".

Interested in other games at the event... see this link and contact the overall Event Organiser.

1st Floor
Hallam Business Centre
Hallam Street

-- Mike.


Monday, November 17, 2014

The Mutatawwi'a Battleboard

One of the new factions in the "Crescent & the Cross" Saga expansion are the Mutatawwi'a.
This army of fanatics can field camels and use Martyr's in an attempt to defeat their enemies.

So, what abilities can this faction take to help them. Lets take a look....

A Mutatawwi'a Warband (copyright Gripping Beast)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Gone fishin' too!

 The Sagatapestry has taken a short break too!

 The old Saxon shack is in need of urgent attention, but normal service should resume soon...


Monday, November 3, 2014

AAR : Byzantines v Mutatawwi'a in Champions of God

I played another game of Saga versus the Byzantines recently using my new C&C Mutatawwi'a faction.

It was good to have painted something lighter and brighter for a change, but how would this new faction fare against the Byzantine finest?... Find out....

Mutatawwi'a Command- not quite finished yet but looking colourful!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Camels in the Crescent and the Cross

For those new to the era of Saga "The Crescent & the Cross" one of the most obvious differences must be the introduction of the humble Camel as a cavalry unit.

Up to now, the cavalry forces in Dark Age Saga have been able to rule the roost with their rapid movements.

Is it a case of 'move over' horse, make way for the camel?

Lets take a look at this humble beast as a unit in Saga....

Camels in Action! (Copyright Gripping Beast)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mini Review - Gripping Beast Crusader Axe & Egil

Here are a couple of units for Saga that escaped the other reviews for various reasons.
They were kindly supplied by Gripping Beast.

Firstly a C&C Crusader Hearthguard Axemen unit (that links to this article) and then a Hero of the Viking Age, Egil Skalagrimsson (I covered his abilities in this article).

Gripping Beast Crusader Axemen

Monday, October 13, 2014

Model Review: Gripping Beast Crusaders

I was happy to receive a group of Saga Crusader models from Gripping beast to review. These models go with the new "Crescent and Cross" expansion for the game and look great on their website.

Lets take a look at these models, starting with an image from Gripping Beast of a nicely painted warband. Hats off to the artist... the colour scheme really draws you in and helps show what a variety of units you can field...

A Gripping Beast 4 point starter Crusader warband - (copyright Gripping Beast)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Norman Battleboard Strategy

With the advantage of some Saga hindsight I wanted to try and look at how the Battleboards can be played effectively. This is going to be my thoughts and experience so if you find you have your own theories, please go to the forum link at the bottom of the post and discuss.

I have been playing Normans for a while now so it seems a good place to start. My experience has been a little mixed to say the least so what makes Normans such a hit and miss force?

Norman Saga dice - common to rare (left to right)  - Shield (1-3), Helmet(4-5), Banner(6)

Monday, September 29, 2014

New Saga Scenario: Backs to the Wall

In this earlier post (AAR)  I used a scenario I had made up myself. Here is that scenario laid out in a similar format to those in the Dark Age Saga rulebook. Feel free to tweak the rules for the scenario and please leave some feedback using the forum link at the end.


A bloody "Backs to the Wall" game!

Monday, September 22, 2014

AAR: Strathclyde v Franks in "Backs to the Wall"

I have had very little time for much at all recently (barring several attempts at "The Lord of the Rings LCG" game (!)  One problem is lack of space as I tidy my workroom. I wanted to try and get a game of Saga in on Friday but couldn't link up with anybody.

I decided in a two hour slot this weekend to try something new...

It was to be a solo game, me playing both sides against each other - I have no favour and love to beat up on both forces.
I only had room for a 3 x 2 board.
I wanted to try something a bit different from the usual.
I wanted to use the forces I had in a different way.... I used my Scots for the Strathclyde infantry and the Normans for the Franks. They are featured in the Raven's Shadow expansion.

So here is a photo AAR based on my idea for a scenario called "Backs to the Wall"....

Franks and Strathclyde go head to head.....

Monday, September 8, 2014

Model Review: BTD Camel Riders

As the Saga game expands into the Crusades, the range of models you can draw from - wonderful for the modeller!

I wanted to share a review of some Black Tree Design Camelry Models I just bought. Three packs of the beasties is enough to give a Warlord and eight other troops. They will probably serve as two points of Hearthguard giving eight tough troops for an enemy to contend with.

The rules in "The Crescent and the Cross" book for Saga give them an advantage over horse cavalry in both movement (uneven terrain fatigue rule) and melee (horse cavalry lose half their attack dice against them).

I bought one Command pack and two unarmoured model packs.... read on to see what I think of them...

Monday, September 1, 2014

Updated Saga Quick Reference Summary

Between the original "Saga" release with its Quick Reference Sheet (QRS) and the new "Crescent & the Cross" book, there have been a few clarifications and changes to the QRS as a result of the learning curve and the introduction of new elements to the game (for the latter read Camels!)

Here is a little summary of the summary, so to speak....

Monday, August 25, 2014

Model Review: Gripping Beast Byzantines

Those nice guys at Gripping Beast sent along some Byzantines from their range of 28mm miniatures for me to have a look at. Having played Saga against Byzantines a number of times I am fascinated with the way they make best use of combined arms to really push their opponents to the max (and off the cliff in my case!)

Having taken a look at these models, I really want to go and finish off a 6 point Byzantine force fairly soon.

Here's a look at the models I received...

Byzantine Hearthguard Cavalry (Gripping Beast models)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Saga "The Crescent & the Cross" items out NOW!

While this little Viking took a break in the sun, the guys at Gripping Beast certainly haven't slept.

I took a look at the Gripping Beast website last Thursday and saw that the new Saga releases would be on sale on Friday. So, as any good gamer would do while on holiday, I took the time out to order some of the new dice and a few bits I hadn't bought before.

When I arrived back yesterday, what did I find? Yep, the parcel with the four items I ordered.

Placed order at 12pm Friday - goods arrived next day. Hats off to 'the Beast' I say. I expected there would be far too many orders pouring in on the Friday to do justice to that many of them, especially my midday one!

An image from the new Crescent and Cross book. Copyright Gripping Beast.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Saga Crescent & the Cross - What's new...

The new Saga release has finally hit the Gripping Beast website and should be available any day now.

What have Gripping Beast released to support the biggest thing since Saga (Viking Age) hit the decks some three years ago?

First off we have have the new book itself... 120 hard backed pages of full colour. You can read about it here....  link to review

Monday, July 28, 2014

AAR: Byzantines v Scots

Here's a little photo AAR with some notes from a game I played on Friday evening.

I was using my new 6 points plastic army as Scots (four points spear warriors, two points of Hearthguard cavalry). You can find out more about it on my blog here.

The cavalry are what I would like to use as Norman Exile Knights (under "Warlord Macbeth" someday). They are plastic Conquest Games Norman Knights (these models are very flexible in how they can be used in Saga)

 The spearmen are made from Gripping Beast Dark Age Warriors and I have kept them deliberately "generic" enough to use as Welsh, Strathclyde (foot), Irish and maybe a few others as well!)

My opponent, Dan, was using his own Byzantine troops. Three Hearthguard (Kavallaroi) spear-armed Knights, two Hearthguard bow-armed Knights and one unit of Steppe Nomads.

We kept things easy and went for the "Clash of Warlords" mission - just kill the enemy Warlord to win!

We chose only two scenery pieces and the table was very open. The new Saga book, the Crescent and the Cross improves terrain selection greatly, but we are using the old ways until the new book hits the streets!

Here is a photo walkthrough....

Byzantines win the deployment and get to put most of their force down after the Scots. The Byzantine Warlord hangs back (centre right mainly out of shot)

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Crescent & the Cross - The Spanish Faction

With the impending release of the new Saga expansion "The Crescent & the Cross", I thought I would give a little teaser on the Spanish faction and its battleboard.

This is one of my favourites so far as it allows for a lot of "cavalry action". Always good to see something that should be able to counter the Normans "like for like"!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Model Review: Gripping Beast Swords for Hire: Monks and Minstrels!

Gripping beast have sent some more metal figures from their extensive range for the Saga wargame. This time it is the turn of the Bards and the Angry Monks.

Let's start with the Angry Monks...

Gripping Beast Angry Monks - armed to the teeth!

Monday, July 7, 2014

The SAGA Tapestry Historicon Tournment IS ON!!!

Posted by Eric Lauterbach

The SAGA Tapestry tournament will be held at Historicon 2014 on Friday 18th Starting at 9:30AM and ending at 4PM. The format will be “jump in, jump out” meaning you do not have to play all the rounds to join. Rounds will roughly run an hour long using 4pt or 6pt SAGA armies, from all current official lists. The point level will be decided by you and your opponent based on what you have. Heroes are allowed if you and your opponent agree. Score will be based on number of wins and then points. Points will be awarded in accordance with the rules with 1pt for every three Levies, 2pts per Warrior and 1pt per Hearthguard eliminated by your army. Each enemy Warlord eliminated is worth 5pts. No unpainted figures will be allowed. We will use the official scenarios in an order TBD. If you would like to sign up please contact Brian Sherry at blackknight@gmail.com, or show up the day of and we will squeeze you in if at all possible. We will have enough tables for 16 players at one time. To keep up with current announcements go to http://www.sagatapestry.com/

Great fun at these had by all!  Even this guy...

You can't do worse than this confused dude! New Players welcome, bring your army and try it out! This is a very noob friendly event very low key.
 Thanks again to Brian Sherry for running this event he has secured some great prize support from Gripping Beast as well.   See you all there!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

WSS Wargaming Survey

Apart from rolling dice, there seem to be few things wargamers like to do better than discuss the state of their hobby. Are we dying out? Are we all just loners in a dark basement? The purpose of this survey is to actually get a measure of some of these - and many more - questions. The outcome will be published in an upcoming issue of Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy as well as online.
At the end of this survey, you'll have the chance to enter your email address into a raffle for some very nice prizes, such as the SAGA Great Hall from 4Ground, a 1000-point Bolt Action army offered by Warlord Games, pirates from NorthStar, books from Osprey and Casemate as well as three 2-year subscriptions to either Ancient Warfare, Medieval Warfare or Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy! Moreover, as a thank-you for taking part in this survey, everyone will get a discount coupon for use on the Karwansaray Publishers website and can be used to purchase any of our books and magazines.
Please note that this survey is entirely anonymous, unless you choose to provide your email address for the raffle. If you do, this will only ever be used to contact you if you win. 
Finally, filling out the entire survey shouldn't take more than 5-10 minutes, and we're taking responses until July 31st, 2014.


Monday, June 30, 2014

Review of Saga "The Cresent & the Cross" book!

For those who have been waiting this release it's been a while coming but I finally got my review copy of the English language version of the latest Saga supplement "The Crescent and the Cross" from those lovely guys at Studio Tomahawk and Gripping Beast!

After seeing the fantastic display stand at 'Salute!' this year I have been more than ready to read this "expansion".

Here it is - the Crescent and the Cross for Saga....

So, what goodness do you get in this new book?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Hero of the Viking Age - Gunnar Hamundarson

Here is a look at another of the Saga "Heroes of the Viking Age". This time it's the turn of the legendary Gunnar Hamundarson.

So who was this man and what can he still do for you in the Saga wargame....

Monday, June 16, 2014

Tactics in Saga - The "Hammer Effect"

After playing a number of games of Saga, there seem to be a few tactics that become "standard" in your arsenal. They need to be adapted to the type of force you play, but here are my thoughts...

First, "the Hammer"..... this is pretty much just the basic concept of using a smaller force to deal with a larger one. Instead of acting as a 'distractor' or 'misdirector' you actually use it in combat to defeat the enemy in one swift blow.... in other words... hammer them!

The idea is usually used to push the enemy off their perch (a river ford, a house, a hill, etc.)

Various factions have ways of doing this usually through special rules or special units. Sometimes it is necessary to use several Saga Abilities to boost up a fairly mundane unit. Other times it is just plain fun to boost a good unit and "go for it". That is one of the things that make Saga a really great game.

The Vikings have the Berserker "glass cannon". The Scots can boost their Attack dice significantly with Saga abilities to make one unit a "big hitter" with the Norman Knights, the Norse-Gael and the Saxons all being able to do the same kind of tricks.

Take a look at your Saga Battleboards now for those "combos" that boost Attack dice, re-rolls and Armour and can be used on the same unit in the same combat.

Viking Berserkers and Warlord prepare to move out....

Monday, June 9, 2014

Vikings vs. Scots

It had been a very long time since Jon the Dirty and I, Steveaux, faced each other on the field of battle using the Saga rules. Since my Normans are still in a shipping container somewhere, we used Jon's forces: Vikings and Scots. Despite my ancestry, I opt for the Vikings.
My Viking. 2 units of Hearthguard, 1 of Warriors, and 1 levy.
Jon has 2 units of spearmen warriors, and 2 units of Hearthguard. We settle on the "Clash of Warlords" scenario.
Vikings ready for battle!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Swords for Hire - Flemish Mercenaries

One of the number of "Swords for Hire" Units you can get in the Saga wargame are Flemish mercenaries.

These guys are sell-swords, or rather spears! Professional soldiers to bolster your faction.

What's so special about them? Let's take a look.
A unit of imposing Gripping Beast Flemish Mercenaries

Monday, May 26, 2014

Model Review: Gripping Beast Swords for Hire Units

I thought it would be interesting to review some of the Saga Swords for Hire units instead of one specific faction.

These units can usually be bought by almost any faction in the game and help give some variation and tactical differences to forces.

Lets start by taking a look at the Gall-Gaedhil, "The Sons of Death"... you can read more about them here. Additionally, you can find the models here.

Gripping Beast 'Sons of Death'

Monday, May 19, 2014

Rus Princes Battleboard

It has been a while since I took a look at any of the battleboards. Having gone back over the posts on this website I thought it was time to look a little more closely at what the Rus Princes can do for you in SAGA.

The rules for this faction are in the "Varjazi and Basileus" expansion to the Saga wargame.

As you can see in the picture below from the Gripping Beast website, the Rus Princes make a colourful addition to your collection. Apart from being decorative they have some useful abilities too.

A formidable Gripping Beast Rus Prince Warlord!

Monday, May 12, 2014

AAR: Vikings v Normans - 4 point Sacred Ground

I ran a little Saga game to flex the skirmishing muscles after recently getting more Flames of War games in.

I wanted to try something a little different and strategic so here is "Sacred Ground". Unlike a scenario like 'Clash of Warlords' where you have to be tactical in deciding how to strike the enemy Warlord at the right time and with certain abilities stacked up in your favour, this mission is a different beast.

A Clash of culture - Norman Elite Cavalry smash into Viking Warriors.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Chernye Klobuki - the Black Hoods

The Chernye Klobuki or "Black Hoods" were a mercenary force that can be used as "Swords for Hire" in the Saga game. They are an upgrade to the 'Steppe Tribes' in the Rus Princes faction. Who were they and what can they bring to the Saga game...?

A hardened unit of Black Hoods from the Gripping Beast Range!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Gripping Beast Plastic Arab Spearmen and Archers

Gripping Beast have delved into plastics again as part of their support for the Saga wargame. The new "Crescent and the Cross" expansion moves the game into the period of the Crusades. To help gamers with a new period this new box set of plastic 28mm infantry should help a lot! You can find them at Gripping Beast here.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Info: UK Saga Grand Melee 7th & 8th June 2014

We just wanted to let you know about the UK Saga Grand melee in Cardiff, Wales, UK this June. 

 It's a great opportunity to put your skills to the test and have a great time. The cost for the weekend looks great when you consider what you are getting for your money.

Please take a look at the updated package below (from the Gripping Beast website) and then check out the links.

For those who go - good luck and have a great time!

Hourrah! We are pleased to announce the dates for the first UK SAGA GRAND MELEE. It will be on the weekend of 7th & 8th June at the excellent Firestorm Games in Cardiff.
Two day and one day tickets are available now from Firestorm Games. One day tickets will be available in a months time.
Full details can be downloaded from here.
This is the updated version of the UK SAGA GM info pack. There are a number of changes in this version so read it carefully! In summary though:
• We have changed the factions you can use to EXCLUDE those in the Crescent & Cross. This is because of the delays in the production of the book which mean that people will not have had sufficient time to play with, or against, the new factions.
• We have decided to kick off on Saturday at 10:30 to give people who are travelling to the event in the morning an extra hour in bed!
• As a result of some clever re-jigging, we have been able to drop the entry price from £40 to £30 while still offering a bumper stash of prizes and providing goody bags and quality food.
• We will running some extra informal games in the evening for people who want to play C&C along with JUGULA and Muskets & Tomahawk games. And the bar will be open late!
The cost of entry is £30 for the weekend or £15 for a single day only. Lunch is included on both days and all entrants will receive a Goody Bag containing:
• Exclusive GM2014 Standard Bearer Figure (with detachable GM base so you either display him on his stand or base him up for your warband.)
• Exclusive GM2014 Fatigue Tokens,
• Exclusive GM2014 LBMS Shield & Banner for your figure
• Discount Voucher for SAGA purchases made on the day (Full trade stand in attendance!)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Model Review: Gripping Beast Welsh

-- Review by Mike Wood

Here is a look at several packs of Gripping Beast models suitable for Dark Age Welsh warbands in the Saga wargame.

Lets start with the Warlord, this one is mounted.

Welsh Warlord SW01b

Gripping Beast Welsh Warlord SW01b (all figures from Gripping Beast)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Saga at Salute - New Crescent and the Cross

I was looking forward to seeing the new "Crescent and the Cross" expansion for Saga at "Salute 2014" in London. I was not to be disappointed!

Alex Buchel and the team at Studio Tomahawk were there to show off their new Crusades expansion for the Dark Age wargame, Saga. They also had a fantastic Siege table to show off their painting and modelling skills.

Here are some images taken at the show... enjoy...

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Road to Salute 2014...

by Mike Wood

This week is a bit of a build-up to WWPD4Vets, ( 24 hours of Worldwide gaming experience) so instead of a normal article I wanted to let you all know that this coming weekend I will be off to Salute 2014 at the Excel Centre in London.

There I will be meeting up with Jasper Oorthuys from Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy Magazine. I will also be able to do the rounds and get to see a couple of great new products from the boys at Gripping Beast.

Yes, this Salute sees not one but two new game experiences.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Saga LBMS Shield Decals

by Mike Wood

I recently purchased a number of shield transfers from LBMS as I wanted to give them a try. Previously I had used some Norman kite shield transfers and had some issues getting them to stay free of blemishes. The images on the interwebs of Saga figures with colourful designs and creatures look really great.

Here is one of  the sheets of transfers I purchased. You can source them here... Saga LBMS Shield Transfers

 These are my Vikings with very plain painted shields...

Monday, March 24, 2014

Joe Moore's Angry Pagan Rus Army!!!

By Joe Moore and Eric Lauterbach

After getting thrashed several times by Joe Moore's beautiful Rus Army I took some pics to show the SAGA crowd his great work.   I think I am total of 0-4 verse these guys but it has been a pleasure to watch his great looking troops work their Rus winter magic on my forces.  The army if you have never played it or against it makes your head spin with a what???  Eastern Anger can get real ugly when your whole army is close to the Rus Warlord.  What ever you do stay away from horses when you play against this army they are seriously hard on them.  So lets take a look at Joe's work.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Model Review: Gripping Beast Irish

by Mike Wood

I have a few packs of Gripping Beast Irish models to review. These are great for playing Saga as they include Champions and a Mounted Warlord option in their range. Lets take a look at each pack and see what they have to offer....

Gripping Beast Mounted Warlord SI01c (all models courtesy of Gripping Beast)

Irish Mounted Warlord SI01c

This figure came as a rider, mount, sword and plastic Renedra cavalry base.

The horse has long shaggy hair (mane and legs) and a sweeping tail that should add interest for the painter. The horse is more shaggy oversize pony befitting its origins rather than the larger continental Norman horse. There is a saddle and reins modelled but no other adornments. The horse model had a mould line running along its back that should clean easily with a blade or file with no impact. There seems to be a little flash on the underside of the horse near the join with the legs. This seems mild and easy to clean. The horse is mounted on its own solid base which needed a little cleaning on the underside to get it to sit comfortably on the plastic cavalry base.

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