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

Flanders was a vassal country of the Capetian Kingdom, in the far north of France. Due to raids from Vikings there was no shortage of work for these trained soldiers and their heavy spears either to the Franks or to the Normans (at Hastings they formed part of the right wing of Williams army).
After the Norman invasion, our friendly mercenaries would tout for business in England as well.

So how do they work in Saga....?

These guys come as a group of eight Warriors. You can't split them up - they fight as a unit on their own. The cost for them is one point from your game allocation. Each Warrior in this unit is worth one Victory Point.

You can't take them if you have other 'Swords for Hire' units or even a 'Hero of the Viking Age'. Jealousy, perhaps...

These guys are heavy foot troops - they are Warriors but get an armour of five (not the usual four). Subsequently their movement is reduced to S (not the usual M) in open terrain [that chainmail, kite shield and heavy spear really drag!]

The unit does not generate a Saga dice. How do they get activated? Well, you can activate this unit once per turn for free (no Saga dice need be spent).

They cannot make use of Saga abilities from their controlling battleboard even if you have a friendly unit that affects others then they could NOT be activated that way.  Food for thought. They really are "foreigners" in the game and have to rely on themselves.

They do get a "shieldwall" effect if they are attacked in combat. If they are the subject of an engagement by the enemy they get the benefit of Hard Cover. This combined with their Armour of five makes them a tough cookie.
If they are the attacker, there is no benefit (these guys put the 'heavy' in heavy infantry!)

So, you can see that the Flemish mercenaries are a unit to be used defensively. They would be good for holding objectives (hills, fords, houses). They are not going to be good in a fast moving game where they are needed somewhere quickly.

I would suggest they make a good "seventh point" unit where you have to draw six points worth of troops from a seven point army (some tournaments are run like this). If you need a solid defence, use them. If the game is dynamic (killing an enemy warlord or escorting baggage) they may well not be useful!

Thanks for taking a look! You can pick the complete unit up from Gripping Beast. Here is what you get.... see my article here for a review of these models.

unpainted Gripping Beast Flemish Mercenaries


You can discuss this Swords for Hire unit here....


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