Sunday, 25 October 2015

Friday afternoon's SAGA

I get two days off a week. This isn't unusual for many people, however, I can't take Sundays off unless I'm on my holiday. As a pastor, I work Sundays. I'm not really complaining; I knew that this "came with the suit" when I took up the ministry. So I take Friday and Saturday off. So this past Friday, my wife says to me: "Let's get out the dice and figures and play a game." We decided on SAGA since we're both still learning the system.

So out came her Welsh and my Irish. She chose the Welsh because she has a great affection for Arthur and his reign. She holds that Arthur has a strong tie to Wales, and I certainly can't dispute her. She as an Arthurian army for WAB/Hail Caesar and so the figures were readily available in the house. I have some Dark Ages Irish and use some early Saxons as the more well-armoured Gaels. (I had a professor in univerity who held -with a good bit of evidence- that the Dark Ages with the Volkswanderung and the destruction of the Roman civilization in the West never took hold in Ireland. I leave that to greater minds than mine.) {By the way, Volkswanderung sounds like a peaceful vacation excursion rather than its alternate term... "Barbarian Invasion." It sounds like a few Goth came by, knocked on the door and said "Hi! We saw your light on and decided to drop in!"}

Anyway, we chose to go with the standard 6 point game, giving each of us a Warlord, a unit of Hearthguard (4@), three units of Warriors (8@), and two units of Levy (12@). Beth's Warlord and Hearthguard were mounted, and her Levy were bows and slings. All my troops were on foot and armed with javelins, except for the one Warror unit that was wardogs, because... well, because I couldn't resist.

Beth's version of Arthur - a Gripping Beast figure. Behind him are various warriors.
A close-up of some of Beth's Welsh warriors.
A more abstract Auxilia shield and the famous "Fox Boys"

Faction dice, Irish in brown and Welsh in yellow.
Birdies, snakes and elk for the Irish and Dragons, Celtic Crosses, and Celtic trefoils for the Welsh.

I won the initiative and deployed and moved first. It was a straight heads-down attack led by the wardogs who hit a Welsh levy unit and pushed them back. I was also able to grab some harder cover with a small homestead on my right.

The Wardogs pose for a photo. I think the dogs are Gripping Beast while their handler is from Mithril Miniatures LOTR range. He is listed as Beorn in human form. I've always liked the figure as well as his bear-form counterpart.

Sic 'em, puppies! The Wardogs take on the Welsh levy.
A unit of my Bonnachts (Warriors) occupy the farmstead.

Their opposition - one of Beth's Warrior units

My javelin armed Kern/Levy face more of the Welsh Warriors.

The Hearthguard and Warlord begin their ride into history.

Beth's Levy fell back but had given the Wardogs casualties.
The red bingo chip indicates a "fatigue" on the unit.
My Kern had exchanged javelins with Beth's warriors who fell back to leave the heavy lifting to the Hearthguard and the Warlord. It wasn't pretty for me.

The Hearthguard are a mix of Gripping Beast and Old Glory Arthurians/Late Romans.
My Kern are Old Glory figures.

The slaughter from Beth's perspective.

And again.

After disposing of the Kern, the mounted Hearthguard (less one... Hurrah, me!) wheeled left to take on more hapless Irishmen.
So Beth caved in my left, shattered my centre, and demonstrated on my right where one unit of Warriors and one of Kern/Levy held on. My Hearthguard attacked her's with my Warlord and a handful of warriors, but they were driven back, When her Hearthguard and Warlord wheeled left, the handwriting was on the wall. Shortly after that, her Hearthguard killed my Warlord and that was the end. 

Through later discussions, it appears I wasted my Wardogs and would have been better served by holding them in reserve until a melee started somewhere nearby. Since they move as mounted troops and ignore difficult terrain, the Wardogs could fly through stuff and add a nasty attack to an on-going melee. Maybe arming my Kern with slings would help too, doubling their missile range. The next game will see,

Welsh archers

The Hearthguards engage in a spirited discussion of politics... with swords and spears.

My Hearthguard, Warlord, and a few Warriors fall back.

The end of the game from the Goodyear blimp.

... and from a slightly closer angle.

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