Welcome to the second part of my look at Studio Tomahawk’s Saga, in part one I looked at some of the rules of Saga that set it apart from other table top wargames. Today I look at my first game of the new version of Saga, where I took my Skraeling against Neil’s Welsh.
We played a six point game, with my warband consisting of a Warlord, five units of eight Warriors one unit of twelve Levies with bows. The welsh consisted of a Warlord, three units of four Hearthguard, which were fielded as two units of six, eight mounted warriors and two units of eight warriors on foot.
We played the standard scenario from the main rulebook which saw our forces facing off against each other in a bid to kill as many enemies as possible. At the end of the game we would add up the number of victory points and see who was victorious. Victory points would be scored for killing different amounts of each level of combatant, four for the warlord, one for every Hearthguard, one for every two warriors and one for every three<?> levies. A bonus point would be scored for wiping out a unit. At the end of 5 <?> turns, if one side had at more than eight points and least three more than their opponent they would win.
We rolled for the style of set up and got a diagonal deployment, after a roll off, the Welsh set up their Warlord and half their force, followed by all of the Skraeling, and then the rest of the Welsh. I was a little cautious with our set up knowing that the Welsh would go first.
Only getting three Saga dice, as opposed to the expected six, in the first turn meant that the Welsh couldn’t do a great deal but with a lucky roll, they were able to get a first turn charge with the mounted warriors. On paper this looked like a great first turn move but after the combat was fought, the cavalry retreated after five of their number were cut down.
One of the new rules in the second version of Saga is that if one of your units is over 12 inches away from the enemy and not in cover, they can move without having to burn an activation. The only caveats are that they cannot approach within 12” and cannot enter cover. This is a really good mechanic as it allows units that are way out of the battle to join in, where as in the previous edition, if you didn’t have enough activations you could find you’d have units that never took part in the battle.
In my next couple of turns, I crept up towards the Welsh line, bolstering my units strengths by planting Totems, which is a special rule for the Skraeling allowing them to get certain benefits that other armies are not privy to.
The Welsh continued to close the noose in the confines of the huts, with clever use of their ability to remove fatigue and some sneaky movement managed to encircle the Skraeling and then make an assault on the Warlord. The rules for negating wounds with your Warlord have slightly changed in the new rules, whereas before you basically ignored the first wound (like the rest of the infantry, Warlords only have one wound) now you can ignore multiple wounds but at a cost of Fatigue. Once your fatigue reaches three, you can no longer use this ability. With multiple shots and close combat attacks hitting the Skraeling Warlord, it was not long before he was dead. With no bodyguard rule (the ability to take wounds on a nearby unit) the Skraeling struggled to keep him alive.
With the Warlord dead, the Skraeling started to see the fight slip away from them, but still fought with vengeance on their mind. As the final turn came to be the Welsh retreated so that no cheeky points could be grabbed in the final attacks.
We added up the victory points and it was a 19-22 point win for the Welsh. A very close and fun game, where anyone could have taken it.
I haven’t played Saga v1 for a while, but the first game of version two made me love it even more. Look forward to my next game, hopefully there will be a load of new scenarios released soon, but in the meantime the basic one in the book does have enough variance in it to keep you going for a while.
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