Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Saga Cross & Crescent

I had almost made my mind up to give the club a miss this week and concentrate on some painting as I am leaping ahead with the Auxiliary cohort at the moment and I suspect I will finish it today, basing etc. by Friday at the latest, so I have got another unit ready in the wings for the tray.

Anyway I got an invite to take part in one of Dan's large scale Saga games and as I had watched many of these from afar and always wondered about Saga I jumped in the Batmobile and braved the Lancaster traffic. I suspect most of you have played Saga as it is an extremely popular game and well supported with rules and especially some beautiful figures, one of which I 'stole' to lead my Saxons. The game is usually a skirmish game where you have a set of dice which represents your army and you use these to activate certain traits on a battleboard, these can help with melee, shooting or can disrupt something the enemy wish to do or just generally give you an advantage during a turn. You know how I feel about activation systems but this presented no problem during the game and although a few times I was unable to move a couple of units that was more down to how I used my leaders than the dice.

The Templars in all their majesty.

Dan uses 10mm figures and has enlarged the size of the units so the game presents a small battle rather than a skirmish and it does look good on the table, in keeping with my love of proper armies. We fought a simple meeting engagement as I was completely new, I chose the less fanatical crusaders while Dan took the military orders, I was opposite the less fanatical Saracens while Dan was up against his opposite numbers, whose name escapes me.

The Saracen fanatics.

These were a really lovely unit.
 I deployed with levy and shooters in the front line with cavalry on the left flank, everything else along with the good infantry was backed up behind, this was daft and I think I got off lucky that the enemy did not or could not take advantage of this. They did try and threw an early cavalry charge into the line but despite my horror at the casualties inflicted my boys stayed put, even the levy only fell back, a counter charge by my knights wiped out the enemy, a great start. It was now that my useless deployment held me up as I struggled to get my more experienced fighters into the front line, Simon kept playing one of his ploys on me which stopped my knights from moving and letting the infantry in, that was extremely annoying. Dan meanwhile was suffering from ferocious attacks by Ian's fanatics and was losing quite a few men, but luckily so were the enemy, one bug bear for us was a huge archer unit which kept us away from the centre of the battlefield for quite a while.

The enemy infantry advance against the Christian line, brave men.

With time running out I charged a unit of knights along with my Warlord into the enemy cavalry, I had some good extras to add to the fight but then only managed five hits from sixteen dice, only my bloodied Warlord survived to hobble back to my lines. Dan's Templars had charged the enemy infantry and been bounced back, but now my Sergeants charged them and drove the infantry back.

Dan had had all the fun and just as Simon and I were at last getting to grips time was called, the points totalled and we won! I think Simon would probably have lost his infantry but his cavalry could have destroyed my flank having lost my best knights, but it was not to be.

Dan took some more professional photos and when I get a few I will add them in.

A good evening's wargaming and a nice introduction to Saga, again a game which seems easy to play but requires thought to play well, very clever. Elsewhere we had a Sword and Spear (10mm) game and a Black Powder Napoleonic (28mm), sadly none of which I took much notice of as I was engrossed in my own game.


  1. George,
    Saga with massed armies in 10mm looks absolutely superb! What a brilliant idea.
    I reckon Saga is one of my favourite club games, as you can often squeeze in two games. The system itself is relatively straightforward to get the basics, but fiendishly difficult to master. Some people criticize it's re-playability; but being a "simple" game it's easy to pick up again if you haven't played for a while, so you can almost 'garnish' your other gaming experiences with a little Saga seasoning. Wow, two culinary metaphors in one post! ;o)

  2. Looks fantastic, I do like the idea of the mass game, especially with smaller figures.

  3. Thank you gents, the praise of course goes to Dan who put the work in, both armies are his as well. The black coated Saracen fanatics along with the Templars were particularly impressive and looked very nice on the table.