Wednesday, 25 September 2013

SAGA: It's *my* bacon!

The Scenario

For my second ever game of SAGA, we chose to play "The Escort" scenario from the main rule book.  My Vikings, laden with plunder, would try to escape past my son's Scots.  In the previous game, the Vikings had done quite badly.  Could they improve their performance now?

The Forces

Both sides would have 4 points worth of troops.  Although I now have 6 points of Scots painted up, the Viking force is the smaller and this limited the size of battle we could put on.

Vikings 

  • Warlord Leif Gunnarson
  • 1 x 4 Hirdmen
  • 1 x 4 Berserkers
  • 1 x 10 warriors
  • 1 x 6 warriors
  • 3 x baggage (1 group of pigs + old man, 1 group of pigs + rather corpulent monk, 1 flock of chickens + young boy.  The prisoners who were herding the animals had been warned of dire consequences if they misbehaved!)

Scots

  • Warlord MacBheatha
  • 1 x 4 thanes (mounted)
  • 1 x 4 thanes (on foot)
  • 1 x 8 warriors
  • 1 x 8 warriors

The Battle

The Vikings deployed both sets of pigs to one side, but the chickens were placed a long way off.  Since I only needed to get 2 of these 3 off the board in order to win, I regarded the chicken flock as a decoy.

Sure enough, in the opening moves the Scots cavalry tried to race round the far flank whilst most of the Vikings just advanced steadily.

Hmm, we're not having that!  Using the power of Frigg and of Thor, the large band of Viking warriors ran towards the Scots cavalry and forced 2 rounds of combat.

When the dust settled, 2 were dead on each side.  I'd hoped to wipe out the cavalry, but their defensive tactics compensated to some extent for being so heavily outnumbered.  Oh, well - 2 thanes for 2 warriors is still a good exchange.

Dismayed at the partial destruction of his mounted force, MacBheatha advanced towards the Viking lines with just a single body of spearmen to accompany him.

The Vikings were quick to take advantage of this splitting of the Scots force.  Leif Gunnarson grabbed the nearest group of warriors and charged with them into the opposing line.  Again, the Scots braced themselves defensively, but they still lost more figures and had to give ground.

"Odin and Valhalla!"

This left the Scots warlord, MacBheatha, somewhat exposed.  With a guttural roar, the Viking berserks ran from the back field and attacked him...

How many hits was that?!
Needing '5' or '6' to hit, the berserks threw an astonishing number of attack dice and scored many, many hits.  Even though MacBheatha had braced for defence, this was an unstoppable charge.  The Vikings cut him down, howled like animals and then danced on his body.

The frothing madmen didn't stop there, either.  Ignoring their fatigue, they charged on into the falling-back unit of Scots warriors.

Again, how many hits?!
Once again, the berserks obliterated their foes, though this time they took a couple of casualties due at least in part to their tiredness.

And still they weren't done!  With a last burst of energy, the remaining 2 berserks charged the small unit of thanes in the rear centre.  These armoured Scots were too tough for the exhausted Vikings though; they cut down the berserks, though not before one of their own had fallen.

Meanwhile, back at the chickens...

The remnants of the Scots cavalry finally stirred themselves.  They avoided the large band of Viking warriors who had attacked them before and headed for the chickens, determined to prove their valour.  Sadly, even this was too much for them as one of the horses was startled by a flapping fowl and threw its rider.

The remaining mounted thane attacked again, but this time the little boy guarding the flock threw a stone and hit the hearthguard in the face.  He, too, fell off his horse and was out of the fight.  Hmm - 2 hearthguard beaten by a baggage unit!

Mopping Up

 There were now only 2 Scots units left: a group of 7 warriors blocked the path ahead and the remaining 3 (foot) thanes were off to one side.

The warriors were pummelled, first by the Viking Hirdmen (3 casualties to each side)...

...then, after that attack failed, the Viking warriors in the centre had a go (3 for 0).  This left a single Scots spearman retreating through the trees.

In desperation, the remaining 3 Scots thanes approached from the flank.  This time, Leif Gunnarson decided to take them on himself.  A fresh set of Saga dice on the battleboard gave the Viking warlord a number of advantages as he charged the dispirited Scots and felled all 3 without even taking a scratch himself.  If only there had been a bard nearby to record such prowess!

Sensibly, the last remaining Scots warrior slunk away behind the hill rather than face the raiders on his own.  The remaining Vikings carried on their journey towards where their ship was awaiting them, tired but happy.  At least on this occasion, they'd be bringing home the bacon!

Conclusion

That was brutal!  The Scots were almost always on the defensive, mostly swapping attack dice for defence dice to try to stem the flood of casualties.  This certainly slowed the casualty rate, but it seemed that they just never had a decent chance to counter attack.  As for losing 2 hearthguard to a flock of chickens - that's just embarrassing!










24 comments:

  1. Nice Batrep, bit embarrassing to be taken out by fowl!

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    1. ...and a small boy. Don't forget the small boy!

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  2. Pff...them savages!

    Great barep again. I found myself adoring your bases and animals this time :D

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    1. I think I need more animals and civilians. Perhaps some cattle and geese?

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  3. Poor Scots fell fowl of the Norse, i must pick up the rules, i have some LOTR figs i could use

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    1. It's certainly a very interesting set of rules; the core is extremely simple but you could create battle boards for almost any faction desired. If you don't already know about it then the Studio Tomahawk forum is a good place to look for ideas: http://studiotomahawk.freeforums.org/

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  4. Great report. Huzzah for berserkers and chickens. Sounds like there needs to be a rematch.

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    1. Thanks, Sean. That second sentence is not one you hear often, is it :-) ?

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  5. I love the figures and the terrain. I just don't enjoy SAGA though. Everything is very nicely painted so I did get my daily eye candy fix. And I thank you for that!

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    1. You don't have to like the rules; as long as you find something worthwhile in my posts then I'm happy :-) .

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  6. Damn fine figures and batrep! Maybe you should add some chickens to your berserker unit for the next game? or would that be fowl play? ;)

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    1. Ouch, that's bad! Maybe I could name the unit, perhaps "The chickens of DOOM!" Or maybe not. It's just as well that there weren't any bards around to record this sorry incident :-) ...

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  7. I reckon the chickens were led by Foghorn Lrghorn! AH SAY, AH SAY, BOY!
    Great batrep, Colgar!

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    1. Ha, that would have been quite something to see, wouldn't it :-) ?

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  8. Great bat-rep and a good Victory for the Vikings, or at least what was left of them and
    a lot of luck seemed to go the Vikings way too.

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    1. I'd like to think it wasn't entirely luck, especially as I was playing the Vikings!

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  9. Don't make me cros that road now!!

    Said the chicken to the cavalryman.

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    1. I expect that the next time the chickens appear they will be double-teamed and torn apart in a cloud of feathers! Just to make sure...

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  10. Great batrep! I like the Berserkers!

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    1. I probably should have stopped after the second charge and let them catch their breath, but it just seemed very cinematic to keep going until they were all dead!

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  11. Very nice report, with great looking Berserkers!

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