Monday, 24 October 2016

Saturday of Saga and Tanks

There was only a light gathering at the Hamilton Road Games Group this past Saturday. I arrived a little later than usual with a box of books to give away. A friend of mine was cleaning out his library and gave me a few books to share with the gang at the Group.

When I arrived, Andy and Ralph were already playing Saga. Andy's Vikings were facing Ralph's Skraelings. The Skraelings are a late addition to the Saga list of armies and they are quite unique. Based on the First Nations bands the Vikings encountered upon their arrival on the coast of Labrador, the Skraeling army list and battle board are only available on-line and are not included in the commercially marketed supplements to the original game. They have no "elite" level troops and can only realistically have one "peasant" class unit, who are armed with bows. The rest of the warband are "warriors" armed with javelins and very little armour. Both they and the warlord are armoured at a -1 level compared to other factions. From what I've discovered, "Skraeling" was the Norse word for the local natives encountered in Labrador and it means something akin to "screachers." (Photos were taken by the author and by Martin.)

Skraeling bow-armed "scouts" advance across the table.
The Vikings appear to be surrounded.
One of the Skraelings abilities - if the Saga dice cooperate - is the ability to bring reinforcements in made up of figures
who have been killed in the game. The dead still count as dead for points and they aren't zombies; they're simply reinforcements.
Ralph uses a measuring stick to move his warriors forward.
In the previous photo, the multicoloured stick is Andy's measuring stick, converted from a knitting needle.
Ralph tells me his Skraelings are Gripping Beast figures that are no longer available.
Andy contemplates the Skraeling advance. The Vikings were whittled down all through the game.
Sad to say, I can't remember who won.
Meanwhile across the room, Bear and Martin, later joined by Derek, were playing a game simply called "Tanks." Apparently, this game is a 'thing' right now. It appears to be a packaged and laid-out table top game for a very few tanks. I saw that Bear had only one Panther, while Martin had two Shermans. I've not played the game myself, so I can't say much about it.

The M-4 and the Mk. V square off in what seems to be a North African village setting.
Bear moves aggressively.  It appears that even the measuring devices are part of the package.
First blood! Andy asked why you'd put a tank so close to the side of a building anyway.
Ronson... lights first time, every time.
A "ghost tank"? I don't know if the tanks were Martin's although the terrain was.
Two down!
Another view of the carnage.
The Panther seeks other prey... another day.
Ralph and I got to play Saga after we ate lunch. He took my Irish and I got to try out the Skraelings. It made for an interesting game. One thing I forgot to tell you about the Skraelings is this: they get to use their opponent's battle board. They can block certain abilities on the board and can mimic others. This makes them tough to play, but quite effective.

The Irish hearthguard and warriors advance.
To their right, kern and more hearthguard.
I deliberately made my units smaller than normal to cover more distance.
Beyond the trees, the Irish hound warrior band can be seen. They charged and fell back. They're tough to play at times.
I use them to "jackel" enemy bands since they can move like mounted troops and ignore most terrain.
We advanced toward each other, although I kept my scouts in the woods to fire their bows from cover.
That's my measuring stick. Very conventional/
Irish warriors advance on my Skraeling warriors.

We're up close and about to come to blows. The Danish axe is a nasty weapon, doing extra damage, but reducing the user's armour by 1.
The Irish warlord and his Fianna (hearthguard) face the Skraeling warchief.
The little shield indicates a "fatigue" on the unit. Fatigues show how fresh or motivated your unit is.
I like this figure of Ralph's so much, I took a portrait of it.
Since neither warlord was killed (the victory condition required in the scenario called "Kill the Warlord"), Ralph and I totaled up points to determine the winner. I won by one point!

And here is Martin's YouTube video of the unusual occasion!


  1. That was a fun game, John. You were a much more aggressive Warlord than I and that paid off. Sometimes Saga punishes you if you are too timid.

    1. Thanks! I don't think of myself as aggressive, so thanks much!

  2. If I ever win a game (especially with Ronin against Bear) I hope someone is there to film it.

  3. The terrain was mine, but the Tanks and gaming paraphernalia are Bear's.