Thursday, 16 June 2022

A Saga of SAGA

 A Saga of SAGA

 About two weeks ago, I was able to return to the Hamilton Road Games Group at the Crouch Branch Library in London, ON. My time there was limited to about 4 hours, so Andy and I decided to run a game of SAGA, the "Dark Ages" skirmish game by Studio Tomahawk. It's a fun game with some odd twists based on a special ability "Battle Board" that each faction has. Andy fielded his Normans with some heavy cavalry while I fielded my Irish who barely have armour!

I conceded the game after about 6 turns. I couldn't hold up under the armoured onslaught of the Normans. Even my pack of war-dogs - my favourite unit - wilted under arrow fire and the stomping of spears. (The war-dog unit ignore terrain and fly through rough terrain the would slow other troops down. That's why I love 'em!)

The chieftain and his Fianna (household troops) advance through some woods.

Norman heavy infantry face off against Irish Kern with javelins.
Guess who got the short end of THAT stick?

Norman crossbow-armed infantry vs. Kern with slings.
Crossbows are deadly, but take time to load and have a few other disadvantages.

The pack of war-dogs slide through the woods and try to attack some Norman bowmen.
The battle puppies did not to well.

Kern flanked by Danish-axe-armed Fianna face down Norman infantry
... at least until the Norman knights came forward.

The knights cleared the hill but took some casualties.
Actually a lot of casualties.

I hadn't played SAGA in years and both of us were very rusty. However the game was fun and it fit into the time constraints we had to work under.
Last week, I didn't go because I didn't feel well for a number of reasons. This week, Bear and I hope to shoot it out on the streets of Lerado with some Old West Gunfight rules. We're breaking in the rules and I hope to report on them shortly after.

El Lobo with Ignatius the Iguana

The Road to Culloden -- 2022


Back a while - on the so-called "May 2-4 weekend", just ahead of Victoria Day - the annual reenactment of the Jacobite rising and campaign of 1745 was held at the Backus Page House Museum in Wallacetown, Ontario. I am more than a little bit late in blogging this, so I beg your forgiveness.

The photo above was taken on Sunday with the reenactors of both sides in the photo to honour the St. Andrew's Society of Detroit who were generous contributors to the success of this event. Even we who served as Crown forces say "Thank you!"

(Photos are courtesy of Paula H., Steve Z, and Beth G. Many thanks!)

Saturday's battle was one that the Crown loses. There is a brave Highland Charge against entrenched cannon and the red-coated infantry either surrender or melt away.

Musket inspection at the start of the day on Saturday

The small, but mighty Crown forces for the day.
I had the "honour" of command.

A bit of the Crown camp

Our flags were knocked down by the wind a few times.
We missed most of the truly nasty weather that hit London, ON.

The infantry was ready to go!

Here we are, with even myself.
Ollie and the guys from the US 22nd (1812 reenactors) got the bug for this event,
and were planning to obtain proper coats, since what they were wearing was borrowed,

A fine draft of men!

The guns were on the top of the hill and the Highlanders were getting ready to charge.
The uniformed French troops (a new addition this year)
covered the flanks in a disciplined manner.

Some of the Jacobites prepare for the battle.

The guns work hard in the hope of breaking up the impending charge.

... but it didn't work.

Sunday say the reenactment of the aftermath of the battle of Culloden with the Crown forces chasing the Jacobites, their families, and the French as they retreated. The reality was quite bloody and we don't  reenact the entire situation.

Clan MacLachlan (under their chieftain, Tom H.) prepare to move backed by French regulars.

Taking the field (actually this is Saturday! But it's a great photo!)

The refugees, the clan soldiers, their colours, and their piper come out of the woods.

The Jacobite column try to hold off the Crown forces.

Chris T., a major force in organizing this event, portraying one of the Jacobite leaders
assists a refugee running from the Crown forces.

The Crown forces advance and "gave no quarter."

The French (a welcome addition) served as rear guard and surrendered to... ME!

Clan MacLachlan holds the flank against the Crown artillery.

Mourning the casualties

The crowd takes advantage of the shade.

All the reenacting participants gather for a time of remembrance.
At the end of the battle on Sunday, there is silence and a lament for the dead
as well as a spreading of ground from the actual battlefield in Scotland

By the way, here's what missed us. A few views of what the weather did in London, ON:

Should you have time and interest in May 2023, please come out to this event on the Victoria Day weekend. If you are a reenactor, equip yourself as closely as you can for the period (flintlock, plaids, red jacket, tam-o-shanter or tricorn), and march with a side. If you enjoy a day out, the park offers bird watching, wetlands trails, and other delights before or after the event. If you are a "wee tad Scottish", come celebrate your heritage.