Last night I popped along to the club for a game of Saga. Three of us decided to play the Feast For Crows scenario, but with 6 point warbands instead of the recommended 4 points. I had my vikings, Ian and Mike both had Anglo Danes. After setting up the terrain, we diced to determine deployment order and I won, Ian rolled second highest and deployed in the corner directly across from me, Mike deployed in the diagonally opposite corner to me. I knew Ian would be my immediate threat, so deployed two groups of hearthguard (a 4 and an 8) towards him, then covered Mike's possible approach routes with 2 sixes of warriors and another 4 hearthguard. My warlord kept 4 warriors with him (Hint: warlords can transfer unsaved hits to warriors or hearthguard within 2 inches to save themselves)
For the first few turns the dice were against me, as was my brain - I made a complete bodge-up when I launched my 8-pack of hearthguard into his levy archers. He had two groups of them next to each other - one with 2 fatigue, the other with none. I'd also allocated one of my Saga dice to the Frigg ability which would allow me to lose 1 fatigue and gain an extra attack dice.
What I should have done: - attack the non-fatigued levies first (picking up 1 fatigue for having been in melee), then attacked the fatigued group (picking up a 2nd fatigue for activating a second time) played Frigg (dropping myself to 1 fatigue) and using both their fatigues to increase my armour and drop theirs.
What I actually did: attacked the fatigued group first, then attacked the fresh group, forgot to play Frigg. At least I took out 12 of his levy in those attacks and prevented them from shooting me up any more.
It didn't help that the dice were against me, at least the dice I was rolling for saving throws, leaving my 8 hearthguard cut down to just three (they'd taken 1 casualty from the levy archers on a previous turn). Ian was then able to wade into them with his warlord and a 6-pack of hearthguard - 17 dice versus 6 in the melee - guess what happened? My three all dead, but 2 of Ian's joined them.
Needless to say I had to do a bit of recovery work on that wing, but stupidly managed to get my warlord too close to his warlord (and accompanying hearthguard) but with only 2 warriors of my own in range to use as "saves" for my warlord. Ooops - Ian took full advantage of that, and my warlord joined his ancestors in Valhalla. he did manage to take two of Ian's hearthguard with him. They then decided to pick on the other 2 warriors from my warlord's "protection" detail. Bye bye warriors!
The upside was that my dice luck improved greatly after that, as my remaining 4 hearthguard on that wing attacked and killed his warlord and then the 2 hearthguard. Unfortunately they lost 3 of their own along the way. The one remaining hearthguard on that wing was then taken out by a lucky shot from his levy archers.
Meanwhile, Mike had been playing the slow game and advancing cautiously towards the action by a long and circuitous route. Seeing Ian was closer and quite badly weakened, he decided to attack him first (phew!), which at least gave me a chance to recover. He'd also been making good use of the "Exhaustion" ability which allows him to kill two figures from any exhausted unit (a unit is exhausted when it has a certain number of fatigue markers - 2 for Levy, 3 for Warriors, 4 for Hearthguard or Warlords. Exhausted units can only be activated to Rest, which removes 1 fatigue marker, and whilst exhausted they are at half dice in melee). One of Ian's levy units was exhausted and steadily dropped from 7 figures to one solitary archer over the space of a few turns.
By now we were onto the last couple of turns. I did what I could to deny Mike points by keeping my warriors out of combat and only in the last turn did I attack with my remaining 4 hearthguard, wading into a unit of his warriors and picking up a few more points right at the end.
Victory Points at the end of turn 7:
Ian - 24
Me - 15
Mike - 14
It was certainly an enjoyable game, and 6 point warbands made it much better than 4 point ones we'd previously done the scenario with.
I'm still prepping the musketeers and pikemen for the foot regiment upgrades - just a few to finish cleaning up, then they'll go into soapy water overnight and be dried and primed tomorrow. I've also been given some ECW type figures by Andy to paint up as his prize from my blog's half-birthday draw back in July. In total I will be painting up 10 dismounted and 5 mounted dragoons and 6 cuirassiers.
I've dry-brushed the wagons with various shades of brown this evening. Tomorrow I'll be doing the wheel rims, then they'll get a Klear/ink coat and matt spray varnish (if the Klear/ink has provided enough shading in the recesses).
Gabions, Corn Stooks and Hay Ricks
These got spray primed this afternoon, then were sprayed in their basecoats (hay ricks - Dark Green; corn stooks - Desert Tan; gabions - Dark Brown).
I've done some work on the hay rocks this evening, dry-brushing them with Brown Violet, mix of Brown Violet and Pastel Green, Pastel Green and then given a thin wash of Iraqi Sand. I think they'll need a final dry-brush of Iraqi Sand mixed with Pastel Green before I do the Klear/ink coat and spray them with matt varnish. I'll probably do the dry-brushing on the corn stooks (they won't need as many steps) and the gabions (will probably need more steps as they have more different things going on). Looking at them again, I probably need to do different basecoats on some bits - they have some planking, barrels and wheels as well as the mud and wicker-work.