Put it all together - Saga is bloody good fun!
We had a small group of us at the club tonight getting stuck in with learning the rules by playing or simply watching. It possibly didn't help that only 2 of us had actually managed to obtain copies (the rest have them on order and should get them soon, now that a new print run has been done), so those of us who had were having to try to explain things like turn sequences having never actually played ourselves.
For the club's introductory campaign, each player starts with 1 point of warriors or levies, but no warlord. To compensate, levy units give you Saga dice and you get a free one to make up for not having a warlord. You gain army points as follows:
- 1 per win
- 1 per 2 successive losses
When you reach 3 army points you can add hearthguard to your band (but still no warlord) and lose the free Saga dice. At 4 points you get a warlord and restrictions on troop selection are removed.
Playing this evening:
Me - Vikings
Ian M - Jomsvikings
Ian G - Anglo Saxons
Andy - Anglo Danes
Martin - Anglo Danes (borrowed from Andy for a quick game)
My first game was against Ian G and I lost quite quickly. Next up against Andy I won - yay me! Both of us moved up to 2 point warbands. Then I gave Martin a 1 point game which was a very quick and bloody loss for me.
Finally, I had another game against Andy, this time of 2 points.
Saga of the Death of Sven, son of Grymn and his Vengeance by Ragnar
In the year of 894 since the birth of the weak god of the South, Sven and Ragnar the two younger sons of Grymn son of Grymn son of Harald set sail from their father's fjord to seek fame and riches by viking in the lands of the Saxons and the Danes. With them sailed 18 sturdy warriors and they landed in the marshes known as the Gewaesc. Leaving 4 men to guard their ship, they set off inland to find a village to pillage.
A local fisherman must have alerted the local Thegn, for they soon found a shieldwall blocking their approach.
Thinking to outflank the Saxons/Danes, Ragnar led his group of warriors to the left, but the worshippers of the forgiving god countered this by moving to their left - Ragnar would not be able to join the fight as soon as was needed!
The cowardly Saxons and Danes, outnumbering Sven surged forward first with one half of their force and then with their other. Sven's men, caught outnumbered by this trick, lost two men in the first fight and were pushed back. By the time of the second attack they had recovered and exchanged 3 for 3, repelling the vile abandoners of the true gods of the north.
Knowing his group were outnumbered, Sven pulled back to recover and give his brother time to join the fight. Ragnar and his men rushed through the rocky outcrop towards the Saxons and Danes, eager to soak their blades with their enemies' blood.
The larger party of Saxons charged Sven's small band. "Thor, give us strength!" cried Sven - his entreaty answered as Norse swords and axes struck home killing 5 of their foemen. However, Saxon swords felled the last 2 of Sven's men, leaving him alone to face 3 warriors.
The three Saxon curs closed in on him. "Odin! I give you blood!". Sven's sword hit again and again, sending two of the Saxon's to their grave, but he could not avoid the third one's spear and was felled.
Ragnar, seeing this, swore vengeance and charged the other group of Saxons. Eight swords rang out against five. The Northmen's fury held true and all the Saxons died for not one loss. The last Saxon, the slayer of Sven, was left alive to tell the tale to his village and prepare them for the justice which was soon to be unleashed.
Some of the Northmen there that day swear that they saw a woman clad in mail and bearing a spear kneel by Sven's bloody corpse and carry his spirit off to Valhalla. He died with his sword in his hand, killing more than his share of foes, so their tale could be true....
Thoughts on Saga
Other than "Saga is bloody good fun! some things stood out. In low point games, certain abilities are very powerful - the anglo-danish "Intimidation" in particular. Looking over to the next table where Ian M was using Jomsvkings, their "Wrath" seemed to be particularly devastating. This probably won't be the case when we get onto using larger warbands, but for the introductory campaign it could give them a distinct advantage. At this point, it is difficult to say by how much or whether any others would have even more advantage.
One thing we all agreed would be useful on the QRS is a "turn sequence". I guess that is something that can be knocked up easily enough.
Terrain placement - again something that could benefit from having a summary on the QRS. As we were playing on 3' x 3' tables, the "at least 12" from any table edge" caused a few problems