Sunday, 3 January 2016

My Wife Triumphant

The time between Christmas and New Year's Day is an odd time for me. I usually try to take some time off and I was able to do so this year. If I can, I like to get in a game of Napoleonic warfare, but that was not to be.

Instead, my wife, Beth, and I ran a small game of SAGA between her Welsh warband and my Irish. We decided to try something new and used a named warlord for each army. She chose Maredudd ab Owain, king of the Britons. This guy has the nasty ability to restrict the number of SAGA dice his opponent can throw in the first two turns, then allow his army to activate on any SAGA dice. Seriously nasty. I chose the only choice I get with the Irish - Brian Boruma mac Cennetig, the Ard Re (High King) of Ireland. He's inspiring and ancient and really slow moving. However, taking him allows the Irish player to take Brian's brother, Ulf the Quarrelsome, who cannot be a warlord but counts as a Hearthguard unit all by himself, replacing two hearthguard. He is a fearsome fighter with some special abilities and a gruesome character. So I had him and another unit of Hearthguard, six strong.

Clearing the kitchen table, we began to throw dice.

Beth's warlord, warriors, and hearthguard.
(Gripping Beast, Old Glory, and Foundry figures)

My unit of wardogs and their handler; they all count as warriors.
(Dogs by Gripping Beast, handler by Mithril - the Beorn figure from their LOTR range - a favourite of mine.)

More Welsh warriors... from Old Glory and Gripping Beast
Beth took the figures from her Late Roman/Arthurian/Sub-Roman Briton army.

The Warlord and his warriors being belligerent.

Welsh Hearthguard... really Viking Bondi on loan from Rob.
Beth started out by constricting my movement by cutting the number of SAGA dice down to 1/3 for the first turn and 1/2 for the second. That really cuts the legs out from under you. Her archers chopped up a sling-armed unit of levy facing them. My javelin-armed levy never even got into the battle at all. The only success I nearly had was from a combined charge by Ulf and the wardogs. They took apart a Welsh warrior group but were hurt in the process. 

Welsh archers, infesting the forest.

My sling-armed levy and the Hearthguard armed with 2-handed axes.

Beth's sling-armed levy

Beorn and the wardogs
Pick up their latest album when you can.
As it ended up, we called the game at the end of turn 6 (especially since we had dinner reservations at a local Mexican restaurant, a truely excellent place.) Beth won on points quite handily - 22 to 6. She ended up killing Ulf, cutting up the wardogs, smashing my slingers, and fighting my warriors and Hearthguard to a stand-still. She really knows how to play this game... and I'm getting the feeling that I don't. I have to look into other options for factions. Franks? Norse-Gaels? I don't know. We'll have to see.

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