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!

Mission: "Champions of God" (from 'C&C' page 110).

6 turns. The winner is the one who gets greater than 3 points difference in Slaughtering Victory points (SVP's).

Basically, kill more than the enemy!

Scenery: Byzantines chose 1 item, Mutatawwi'a chose 3 items. the table still looks very open! Even with rocky ground and a what field (uneven).

Deployment: started with the Mutatawwi'a Warlord, then alternating units until all are placed within L of your table edge.


Byzantines: Warlord and 12 Hearthguard (mounted) - 6 with bows, 6 with lance), 8 warrior bow, 8 warriors spear, 1 unit of Steppe Nomads (special levy unit).

Mutatawwi'a: Warlord and 8 Hearthguard (Fanatics mounted on camels), 16 warrior spear, 16 warrior bow (Warriors are 'Chosen Ones'). No levy in this faction!

Turn 1:

The Mutatawwi'a leave themselves open to a long range hit and run by the Steppe Nomads
The Steppe Nomads retreat out of the way after a Parting Shot...

... and the Fanatic unit lose half their number to marksmanship from the Byzantine mercenaries. Ouch.
The Steppe Nomads 'moved and shot' then 'shot and moved' - two lots of shooting - that's 8 dice at +1 for their accuracy! They killed two camels in each movement activation with their little bows.

Turn 2: 

After deciding against a rash charge, the Mutatawwi'a push their Warriors forward...
The Mutatawwi'a battleboard has two interesting movement abilities - one (Like Djinns) gives a L move in the open that gets no fatigue if you end up engaged in melee. The other (Invoking the Name) gives an activation with no fatigue at the cost of one Martyr. This gives them a longer range with their foot troops if needed. The Byzantine player kept back and really got out of the way a bit.

Turn 3:

The Mutatawwi'a Chosen Ones launch an all out assault. 15 Attack dice. They kill 6 spear. 

At the end of the turn, the Chosen One unit has lost 4 warriors themselves.
The Byzantines used their cavalry moves to get back and around the edge of the Mutatawwi'a.

Turn 4:

Rock hard Byzantine bowmen push away the attacking Chosen Ones!

Byzantine Hearthguard cavalry now pound the Mutatawwi'a bow

The bowmen are whittled down.

Mutatawwi'a bow are charged by Byzantine lances and die but kill one Hearthguard in exchange!

Turn 5:

The Byzantine bow not only kill the last Chosen Ones, but suffer no loss. Some days....

The Byzantines have lost a handful of figures - the Mutatawwi'a are pretty shattered.

Mutatawwi'a Camels have backed off into the distance. The Chosen Ones are miles away from the action.

Turn 6:

Mutatawwi'a Warriors - too little too late....


We called the game at the start of Turn 6 - It wasn't going to go anywhere and the Byzantines had got about 15 SVP's to 5 for the Mutatawwi'a. The Byzantines won easily. Even of the camels had not been hot so hard in turn 1! The Mutatawwi'a just didn't get the battleboard together and as the Byzantine player pointed out, half the army didn't get involved. Saga really requires some combined arms "togetherness" to get the punch in. The Byzantines do that well.

Another game where the Byzantine ability to use smoke and mirrors with their cavalry and use the support of warrior bow behind a wall of spears.

When they got into contact, the Mutatawwi'a warriors were not too shabby. The problem was the shooting and some very lucky Byzantine bow warriors - they got some great dice rolls and finished off the enemy unit too. The men of the match.

Yet again, I am figuring out how to counter the Byzantines and am left wondering at how overpowered the Steppe Nomads unit is. It can move 16 inches, shoot, then shoot and move away again. Even with one fatigue, it gets so far out of range it seems impossible to trap. You can't even spend that fatigue they take for getting out of harms way (its a special rule for them).

Are Steppe Nomads the best unit in Saga? Read: overpowered?

I really need to practice more with this new faction to try and get the best out of their battleboard.

Thanks for reading.


Feel free to discuss on the forum....

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