Monday, March 30, 2015

AAR: Welsh v Irish in The Escort


A six point Dark Age setting game using "The Escort" scenario from the Saga rulebook (this has been errata since publishing).

Each side secretly bid for Defender. The Irish went five, the Welsh six.

Irish: basic Warlord and 5 points of Warriors (including a unit of Wolfhounds).
Welsh: basic Warlord, 1 point mounted Hearthguard, 1 point foot Hearthguard, 3 points Warriors, 1 point Levy bow.

The Irish became guardians of the baggage and got to deploy their five points of troops and baggage first then got to move first in Turn 1. The Welsh got the advantage of seeing where the enemy had deployed. Seems quite balanced in that respect.

First thoughts: The Irish have lots of potential Saga dice points (11!), the Welsh much less (7) so cannot afford to lose units. The Welsh put their archers in the centre behind cover, the Irish put two baggage on table side, the other on its own with their foot troops spread across the table.

The Table: (we chose to go with 6 terrain items and kept them M from every other item, one item touching a long table edge)

Note: Apologies for washed out images. The room seemed a lot brighter than the camera has been able to capture.

Turn 1:

Using the optional rule, the Welsh rolled three Saga dice ready for the start of turn 1. Nothing they rolled helped them in this turn so no image of their battleboard.

"Sons of Dana" is used to kill five Welsh Warriors...


The Welsh will use all their Activations to move a unit of Warriors toward one enemy baggage....

With a fatigue, shooting the baggage is pointless (it could use the fatigue to puts its armour up to seven).

The Warriors throw their javelins at the next-door warriors (who use the fatigue to put their armour up to 5)... and whiff. One hit that bounces on a save of 4+.

The Welsh Warriors continue to barrel into the Baggage on their next activation.
Even with a fatigue for making yet another move they are a potent force.

The Irish baggage item uses the enemy fatigue to put its Armour up to 6. The Welsh use their "Strength Lies in Numbers" to massively boost their Attack dice. the baggage can only bounce one hit and fails its saves and is destroyed.

The Welsh lose two men and take a fatigue. Should have put fatigue on the other nearby enemy units but forgot - ouch (it was getting late and the beer glass empty!).

Turn 2:


"Sons of Dana"claims four levy - the only target if I recall the board layout.

Revenge is in the air as the Irish Warriors are pushed on by their Warlord to charge the baggage-killing Welsh...

Attack dice mount up.... five dead Welsh, two dead Irish. This should have been closer if the fatigue point had been on the Irish from seeing their nearby baggage destroyed.


The Remaining Welsh Warriors are not put out at all and pull out a very lucky break. They Rest and then move to within M of the other baggage and throw their javelins. They add in that combat pool Attack dice to get three shots needing sixes.... and get two hits. The saves both fail and the baggage dies. Lucky indeed.

Turn 3:


Wanting revenge very badly, the Irish cannot use "Sons of Dana" on the little unit of three Welsh Warriors as they are just over S from the wood. Instead, the levies get the brunt of invisible shooting and lose one more man...

The Irish Warriors have to do the job themselves and kill the three remaining Welsh baggage-killers.

The Dog handler then sends his pack into the fray with a long move into the other little unit of Welsh - even getting a fatigue doesn't stop these pack from tearing the Welsh to pieces for the loss of two dogs.


Welsh levy fire it all twice over into the doggies..... who lose three of the pack....

This is followed by the Warlord pushing his chosen men into combat with the remaining wolfhounds.
The result is one dead Welsh Hearthguard to one dead unit of Irish dogs....

Turn 4:


"Sons of Dana" strikes the Welsh horsies... who lose one man...

...and are then counter-punched by the Irish Warriors in melee....

 The Welsh unit is thrashed soundly for the loss of just one Irish Warrior....

The Irish Warlord moves up finally with his bodyguard.....

 The other side of the filed can also move forward to try and get the last baggage home....


With only four Saga dice, life is getting difficult...

The Welsh Hearthguard have been waiting all game, now they move up and "Taunt" the baggage into moving then pounce in....

The baggage wins the day! The Welsh are pushed back after losing one man, the baggage bounced their hit.

Not to be outdone, the Welsh Hearthguard try again to kill the baggage... but whiff completely again. The only hit done is bounced but the baggage is pushed back this time.

Turn 5:


The Irish "Sons of Dana" was aimed at the little unit of Welsh Hearthguard near the House. No damage was done. The Irish player moved his baggage to the side of the house to try and go that way...


The Welsh move the Hearthguard into the walled garden area of the house... 

Turn 6:


"Sons of Dana" fails to hurt the Welsh Hearthguard hiding behind the fence...

The Irish player then moved his last baggage unit off the table with all his activation dice, reductions for fatigue did not quite work to stop this happening from behind the building.

The Welsh player lost focus (it was late at night). The best thing would probably have been to push the Warrior unit across the back edge of the table to block the Baggage item from moving off the board without first engaging an enemy unit.

Next time...!

Conclusion: This turned into a fun game in the end. Even though a draw seemed likely there was always the possibility of the Welsh destroying the last baggage and winning.

Sadly, the Welsh pretty much spent themselves in killing the first two baggage items in a do-or-die charge into combat. That added to the losses from "Sons of Dana" seemed too much for them.

Result: Draw, neither side could get a victory.

Lessons: Screen your baggage! Do not let the enemy charge a large unit into your baggage. This is only the second time I have played this scenario that I can recall and this lesson is all to obvious.
the fact that the enemy charging was Welsh and had "Strength lies in numbers" to help this one-sided fights makes them to be feared in this scenario.

The Irish did counter punch but after the baggage was lost. Using "Blade of Truth" might have helped stop some Attacks from the Welsh melee abilities. Keeping a unit on the back line to stop baggage escaping would have been good too!



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