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SAGA New Edition (2018)

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Compiling what we know (or think we know) from the teaser video...

  • This is a whole new edition of SAGA. Not a supplement that compiles and updates the rules the way The Crescent & The Cross did. This implies there could be anything from minor to major changes to the core rules mechanics.
  • A single core rule book that will cover overarching rules for all settings.
  • Multiple SAGA Universe source books that will cover all factions within each setting.
  • A compendium of scenarios and "additional rules." I'm sure future additions are possible and probably likely.
  • The mention of Joan of Arc implies a medieval era (100 Years War) and/or setting.
  • The mention of Achilles implies an ancients era and/or setting.
  • More "legendary" (not quite historical) heroes (Achilles, Beowulf) will join the mix.
  • Myth and monsters???
  • The new edition is expected to be released sometime in 2018


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Saga 2 – Evolution or Revolution?

Let me reassure Saga players – you’ll recognise the game you know and love. You’ll still use Saga dice and battleboards, and you’ll still lead your Warlord to a glorious end, whether in victory or defeat!

This new edition has been a chance for us to put the years of experience we have accumulated since Saga was first released in 2011 to work ironing out certain aspects of the game, without touching the bones of the system. We have improved certain mechanisms, simplified others, and rearrange the layout. The changes are numerous, and amply justify a new edition.

I think that this new version is easier to learn, brings more tactical choices, and offers a challenge as much to existing players as to new ones. I’m sure that some of our choices will surprise players, but rest assured – we have spent countless hours around the gaming table weighing up each change, checking and testing every one to develop the current version.

How will the new edition of Saga be released?

Saga will be released as a softback rulebook of fifty or so pages. This format was chosen in order to provide the rulebook – the entry point into the Saga system – as cheaply as possible. Although for now we cannot give a price for the book, believe us when we say it’ll be lower than some have feared, and much closer to the cost of Dark Age supplements like Northern Fury than a book like Crescent & Cross.

This rulebook contains the whole game system, but does not include any factions or battleboards. It explains the mechanisms of movement and melee, how to assemble a warband, the special rules, and includes a generic scenario.

Over time we will publish the Saga Universes. These will be hardback books devoted to a particular historical period or fantasy setting. Each of them will specifically describe the special rules for all its factions and will provide several battleboards. Each Saga Universe is an independent and self-sufficient product (well, except for the main rulebook). Therefore, each Saga player will be able to choose the universe or universes that interest them, without having to invest in the entire collection, or having to buy books on periods which don’t appeal to them.

The first of these Universes will come out at the same time as the rulebook. It will be Age of Vikings, which will cover the Dark Ages from the 8th to the 11th centuries with no less than 12 factions, the legends of this heroic age, and mercenaries for you to recruit.

You’re going to add fantasy to Saga? Vikings with fireballs?

Yeah, and Saracens with flying carpets…

More seriously, we’ve never hidden our affection for myths, legends and medieval fantasy in general. We aren’t going to introduce fantasy into historical settings (at least no more than we already have, for those who think Saga is already a fantasy game!), but what Saga player could resist the call of the Iliad, Norse mythology, or any other medieval fantasy world? Not me, in any case – I dream of playing Saga in these universes!

Therefore, some Saga Universes will be purely historical, while others will draw from the myths, legends and medieval fantasy stories that have inspired us. Players will be able to choose which settings they want to play in depending on their preferences.

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Gripping Beast's is posting sneak peeks of new battle board abilities on their facebook page.

This one should make SigurdBC very happy.  I'm confident that the new Viking Age book will give the Normans a  much needed boost.






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Yeah it's a shame about the Strathclyde. They were very similar to the Welsh as I recall with how they played, just with more mounted javelin wielding troops. I do indeed like that new ability which gets you more hits by spending a fatigue. It makes my Normans even more punchy. I just hope there is one ability on the battleboard that gives me some durability and hopefully all my "good" abilities don't all require a rare die to use. I'm looking forward to what Gripping Beast will produce for Saga 2.0

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From Footsore Miniature's pre-order webpage:


It looks like both the Strathclyde and the Bretons have been folded into related factions.

Another thing that I'm excited about are the new rules for mercenary units.  With a couple of exceptions, the mercenary choices for the Dark Age factions are awful.  I'm hoping to see Dark Age mercenary choices on par with the Aeitus Arthur mercenaries, which are awesome.

Relics & Artifacts?  I'm really looking forward to seeing these rules.   


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I’m interested in getting into Saga especially with the Aetius and Arthur supplement. What are your thoughts on where to start? Does the Arthur book work with the others? About how many figures would be a good start and is there a recommendation on manufacturers?  Thanks

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The Aetius Arthur rulebook is a source book for a period.  It includes rules for the factions from the Great Invasion period, but not the game's core rules.  As such, in order to play, you will need the new SAGA 2.0 rulebook (released this month) and the Aetius Arthur book.  Once you select a faction, you will then know what SAGA dice to purchase. 

You certainly may play games involving factions from different source books (I do), but keep in mind that the factions from a source book are designed to be played against factions from the same source book.  With that said, one of the great things about the Aetius Arthur books is that it includes rules for using certain Viking Age factions (Irish, Welsh, Franks, Strathclyd, and Byzantines) in the Aetius Arthur period.

6 point games are the most common.  Each warband gets a warlord for free.   One point will buy you 4 heathguard (elites) or 8 warriors (rank & file) or 12 levies (archers and fodder), so a six point warband can vary anywhere from 25 to 73 miniatures.  Most warbands number between 40 and 50 models.

Footsore Miniatures and Gripping Beast sell the best miniatures for this period.  Below is a list of manufactures that sell miniatures (quality varies) suitable for one or more factions from the Aeitus Arthur period. 

Artizan Designs
Bad Squiddo Games
Crusader Miniatures
Curteys Miniatures
Fireforge Games
Saxon Miniatures
Steve Barber Models
Stronghold Games (a small collection of character models)
Wargames Foundry
Warlord Games
Westwind Productions

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I took these images from a short review of SAGA 2.0.  The review is light on details, but it does confirm that the core rule book includes only one scenario.  It also mentions the future release of a Book of Battles, which I assume will be a book of scenarios.

Someone else has reported that the Age of Vikings book doesn't have any scenarios in it.

The new movement and unit coherency rules are going to take some getting used to.




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I copied this text from a French site and translated it using Google Chrome.  


The Orders phase has been largely reworked. The generation of Saga dice is heavily modified:
         - The Lord only generates one Saga die.
         - Warrior units of less than 4 minigames no longer generate Saga die.
        -  Levy units of at least 6 minigames generate a Saga die.
         - The mercenary units generate Saga dice just as any unit in their class.

Specifically, on a classic composition with 2 points of Guards, 1 point of Levées and 3 points of Warriors, you will generate the same number of Saga dice as v1. What will change is the speed with which you will lose them. No need to eliminate whole units, just reduce their numbers below the thresholds indicated above. It will now be rather risky to play small units of Warriors, except to have many. It will be necessary to think carefully of the articulation of his band in order to have enough dice Saga at the beginning of the game, all without presenting units too fragile that will lose dice Saga very quickly.

Some other major changes:

         The limit of dice that we can throw goes from 6 to 8 . So if you have a band of small units, you can throw all your Saga dice at once.

         The Saga dice you left on your board are no longer deducted from the dice you throw. This element will have its importance in play: you can consider keeping dice in reserve from one turn to another to use key abilities at the most convenient time.

         However, you can no longer place half of a combination of dice on one ability in the hope of placing the other symbol on the next turn. You must place all the dice required for one ability at the same time.

The sum of these changes will often make it possible to roll more dice at the beginning of the game, especially during the second turn of the game where both bands will still be fresh and have been able to benefit from dice set aside during the first round; in return, the Saga dice supply will melt much faster, and we will think twice before making a useless fight for fear of his unit of Warriors falling below the fateful threshold of 4 figures ...

The Activation phase has also undergone some important changes:

         To engage a melee, it will be necessary to perform a charge activation , which is distinct from the activation of movement. When you activate your unit, you must now declare that it activates for a charge and designate its target, which eventually allows your opponent to react accordingly. If, for any reason, your unit fails to engage its target, the activation of your unit is canceled. Your opponent will probably be less reluctant to exploit the Fatigue of your units to reduce their movement. Likewise, the Activation / Reaction Saga abilities that move one of your units before charging will become much more efficient since they will completely prevent the activated unit from moving.

         Movement rules have been simplified. There is no longer a TC control zone around each unit. The obligation to charge an enemy located at C during a second activation, rule so often forgotten by the majority of players, also disappears . The only restriction is that all moves must be done in a straight line and that you can not place more than C figurines of the first figurine moved (forget the line of Levées which takes half the width of table). A slight flexibility is given to the cavalry who can use two M rglets instead of an L ruler to move around and thus avoid obstacles. Theload is also done in a straight line , including for riders who have in this case no option to use two strips of M.

These changes will allow players to solve their movement and charge activations more smoothly. You will no longer need to place multiple C and TC rulers around enemy units to make sure your unit will not have to load a unit you want to avoid; you'll just have to put your slider on the table and make sure it does not come into contact with an enemy unit, unless of course you want to load it!

Likewise, the fact that the charge is a specific activation will speed up the defender's decision-making for using the Attacker's Fatigue on Movement or Activation / Reaction abilities, since he will know exactly what his opponent wants to do. This will, of course, give the reactive player an edge, but that should help to smooth the game.


Sequencing of shots and melee has been slightly modified. Now, players alternately play their Saga abilities, starting with the attacker, until both have passed their turn. The use of fatigue counts as the use of a Saga ability. This means that the order in which you use your Saga abilities will be even greater than it was in v1, especially if your abilities or those of your opponent depend on fatigue or armor value opposing. The consequence is twofold: on the one hand, a certain number of Saga abilities, which were useful only in attack (I think in particular to most capacities related to the absence of fatigue on its own units). In addition, it also implies that the defender can not wait to see what abilities his opponent will play before declaring his own.

The former Stage 2 melee, which allowed you to sacrifice attack dice to gain defense dice, has been modified. For the occasion, it was decked with a keyword: you will have to declare that your unit "  closes the ranks  ", which is much more practical than to say "I discard half of my dice of attack to win half of the dice discarded in additional defense dice ". Now you do not win any defense dice, but your unit has a solid cover, that is, it cancels the keys on 4+instead of 5+. This ability is also now restricted to units on foot that have no specific equipment, since riders and units equipped with shooting weapons are not allowed to close ranks. This restriction gives interest to pedestrians even when your chart tends to eclipse them in favor of other equipment. The advantage / disadvantage ratio is also much easier to calculate than with the defense dice gained in v1, which should speed up the decision on this during the game.
Now, all models have an aggression value, which refers to the number of attack dice they add to the combat pool (while we used to talk about generating attack dice). But, more importantly, the number of attack dice a unit can generate in hand-to-hand combat and fire will be limited: maximum 8 shooting dice and 16 hand-to-hand combat . You can, as before, earn additional dice with Saga abilities and special rules at the Saga ability-use stage ( maximum double your combat pool, so 16 shooting and 32 corps-to-combat). body ).


This new version contains a number of other changes that tend to remove situations that generated rule problems.

Let's start with a profile that has evolved a lot, that of the Lord  :

         The We Are At Your Orders , which allowed to activate a unit for a movement with the Lord, now becomes an activation independent of that of the Lord. This solves many timing problems with Activation / Reaction capabilities, fatigue evaluation, etc. Incidentally, this rule now allows any type of activation (rest, shooting, charge or movement).

         The side-by-side rule , which allowed the Lord to engage body-to-body with another unit, was removed . This rule was a real gas plant that caused a number of problems in interpreting Saga's body-to-body capabilities, exploiting fatigue, not to mention timing issues on Activation / Reaction capabilities or exploitation of fatigue on the movement. In compensation, the number of attack dice of the Lord goes from 5 to 8.

         The Resistance rule no longer allows you to automatically cancel a key without compensation. It allows to cancel keys while undergoing fatigue by key.As soon as the Lord is exhausted, he can no longer benefit from this rule. In general, therefore, the Lord will receive the first melee better than v1, but will be extremely vulnerable after the slightest fight. It strikes harder and can potentially better cash, but will be more fragile over time, so it will be necessary to think carefully when exposing him to combat. Note that this rule makes him lose his quasi-immunity to small units and shots: it now becomes particularly interesting to shoot a Lord to inflict Fatigue before engaging him in hand-to-hand (in addition, his armor against shooting is no longer 6, but 5).

         A new rule is emerging, Bodyguards , which allows the sacrifice of figurines in the place of the Lord (which was previously covered by the Resistance rule). Henceforth, only the Guards can be sacrificed, whereas previously the Warriors could also be sacrificed; in return the scope of this rule has been extended to C TC . Combined with the new version of Resistance , this tends to make the Lord more vulnerable than in v1, unless you take a lot of Guards - but killing a Guard earns a lot of victory points ... Lords may be seen playing on tables with small units. Guards who will truly serve as bodyguards (whereas before, it was the Warriors who did this job).

The accumulation of these changes therefore makes the Lord more powerful in battle, but more vulnerable to prolonged effort. Its use will therefore be more delicate than before, where it could be placed in the middle of a horde of Warriors to make it virtually invulnerable. In return, as soon as he hits, his action will be more decisive thanks to his 8 attack dice (it is really worth a unit on its own).


         From now on, all the depletion thresholds are the same , regardless of the type of unit. It is set at 3 . The Levées gain at the change, the Lords and the Guards will be easier to exhaust (whereas 4 fatigues, it was sometimes long and complicated to reach in v1). And the Warriors are always equal to themselves.

         The exploitation of fatigue is no longer limited  : if your opponent has several fatigues, you can increase several times your armor, or lower several times his, while in v1 you could get each effect only once .

         We can now exploit two fatigues of an enemy unit to cancel its activation .

         The depletion rule has also been changed: instead of losing half of its attack dice, the unit suffers a -1 penalty on its attack dice .
         A unit can not have more than 3 fatigues. So, if she is already exhausted and she should get a new tiredness, too bad for your opponent, she stays with her 3 fatigues. Nevertheless, this means that the abilities that grant an effect on the condition that the unit suffers X Fatigue do not work on an exhausted unit (like the Goth's combat pool!).

The equipment:

The equipment rules have been standardized. You will not have to refer to the rules of each faction to know if your unit has armor reduction or not: it is now linked to the generic rule of the equipment included in the rule book. This was particularly true for bows and javelins, which until now had been managed on a case-by-case basis.

The rules of composite arcs and javelins have been revised. They no longer generate a firing sequence that is part of a movement activation as before, which resulted in the misunderstanding of many players, especially regarding interaction with the Shooting and Shooting / Saga abilities. Shooting activations are now separate activations, which is much simpler.

To get into the details, when a unit equipped with javelins solves a movement activation, it receives a free fire activation immediately after its movement. In addition, the javelin grants an additional bonus: when a unit charges, it gains a +1 bonus on its attack dice.

Things are a bit different for composite arcs. This armament makes all the unit's fire activations free (they normally generate fatigue, of course). However, the unit can not perform two successive fire activations, it must resolve another type of activation before it can fire again. Management of archery shots on horseback will require a little more finesse than v1 where these units functioned a little too automatic.
In conclusion…

In general, this new version tends to remove all potentially problematic rule points, as well as various restrictions and limitations that could previously slow down the game. The game will gain fluidity and speed (but the parties will not necessarily more violent than before, contrary to what we have read in places), but at the price of certain subtleties of the game that have been put aside.

Another positive aspect: the redesign of the plateaus of the Viking Age and Crusades. Indeed, some plateaux suffered from the comparison with more recent releases, lacked attraction or flexibility (yes, the Norman style of play was a little frozen in V1 ...). This recovery makes it possible to put everyone on the same wavelength. In addition, the supplement Crusades will receive additional factions, some unpublished, increasing the number of bands that will be possible to play for tournaments on this theme.

And we look forward to the Saga Universes announced in the V2 trailer ..

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How would you say Gripping Beast minis compare to Footsore minis? Are they comparable in size, detail and scale. Would they look good together say in a unit?  Some manufacturers have a different scale measurement or the figs have huge heads or tiny feet!

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In general, Footsore and Gripping Beast minis scale well against one another.  Many of the GB models, especially the older ones, tend to have tiny little feet.

With that said, depending upon the age of the sculpt, the medium (metal vs plastic), and the sculptor, you will find some discrepancies in scale between models from the same manufacturer.  This is true across most miniature manufacturers, but appears to be especially true for manufacturers of historical minis, which tend to be smaller, less tech savvy operations. 

If the models you select are metal minis armed with spears, I strongly recommend replacing the spears, which tend to bend and break,  with metal (wire) spears.  Both FS and GB sell wire spears.  I prefer GB's spears ( SC57 Wire Spears (20) - SC57) as they are noticeably thicker than those sold by FS.


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A review of Age of Vikings from the Hobby Horse blog.'

After an introduction, each faction gets four or so pages of commentary. This is usually one full page colour photo of some minis, then factions rules and force selection, followed by a question and answer page on the abilities. Coverage of the twelve factions takes up the bulk of the contents.

There is then a section on Friends and Enemies, in which more obscure factions are highlighted and how they should be used - for example, Germanic peoples can be included by using the Aetius and Arthur Saxons battle board. A one page explanation of War Banners follows in the section on New Equipment.

Swords for Hire is, as you might expect, a section detailing the mercenaries available to each faction. Here you will find units such as shieldmaidens, Breton cavalry and Flemish mercenaries. There is also a list of various personalities and  troops you might hire - scouts, a priest or a personal champion perhaps.

Finally, there is an optional section on relics and artefacts, detailing items such as the sacred banner, the ancestral sword or the famous steed.

At first glance, the battle boards have not changed drastically. I have mainly looked at the two boards I am familiar with, Danes and Vikings. On the whole, the abilities are named as in the previous version of Saga and work in the same or a similar way. It will take a few games with the new rules to see just how much (or little) this aspect of the game has changed in conjunction with the updated rules. I have a game coming up over the weekend so will be able to make a better appraisal then. In the meantime, here's how a typical faction is covered in the book.

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At first glance I am quite happy with the rules changes that were posted above. Even with some "interesting" verbage for some of the game terms (hooray Google Translate), the edits to the game initially make it seem like the game will flow better and not be as choppy when it comes to combat and shooting steps like in 1.0. The two changes that I am the most fond of is that units that have taken damage can lose their SAGA dice generation ability. I can't even count the number of times during games that I would cripple a unit of warriors or hearthguard and not be able to finish them off in subsequent turns due to the lack of certain SAGA dice or terrible rolling. My opponent would then, smartly, run that unit to the back of the board and still have that 1 or 2 model unit be able to generate SAGA dice for use in later turns. This was so frustrating and I'm glad they changed it so that you are rewarded for crippling units and having good target prioritization. Utilizing your ranged units to soften up certain targets and having your melee units charge in to finish them off is very thematic and appropriate for this type of game imo. The second is the changes to Warlords. Buffing the number of dice a Warlord gets up to 8 makes them on par with a full unit of Warriors or a min. unit of Hearthguard from 1.0 which I feel is appropriate. 5 combat dice often didn't feel enough to dent certain big units in 1.0 which Warlords can now do with 8 (especially with my rolling). Reducing the amount of dice your Warlord generates down to 1 from 2 is also nice because its not as much of a blow if you lose your Warlord early and puts more emphasis on having more SAGA dice generating units in . your warband. Also, the change to Resistance where Warlords would shrug off one wound per combat did feel a bit overpowered and made you feel that you could only use your Warlord or a unit of Hearthguard to go after the enemy Warlord in order to do any damage. Now with your opponent having to choose whether to take the damage or gain fatigue per wound ignored I feel is an appropriate trade off. This also leads to more dynamic gameplay with fatigue management which I feel is one of the best aspects of SAGA in general. Just some beginning thoughts and feel free to agree/disagree with me below. 

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The straight line movement and cavalry pivot are going to take some getting used to, but trading  this restriction for restrictions on movement in close proximity to an enemy unit seems like a pretty good trade.

I very happy to see that Levy can produce SAGA dice, as this will broaden their appeal across all warbands. 

Being a Irish player, I'm happy to see javelins getting a boost. 

I wonder if they are going to release an errata for warbands in C&C and AA?  For instance, some of the AA mercenaries don't require SAGA dice to activate, so the question is do these units now generate a SAGA dice AND get continue to receive free activations?  Also, I read that the rules for rules for priests and warbanners are not in the core rulebook.  Does this mean that AA units cannot take priests and warbanners?

I'm excited to see the rules for the relics and the the new mercenaries.

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Shield Maidens:

1 Valkyrie: 4 attacks & gives the unit determination
1 War Banner bearer
4 Warriors, 1 attack

Large Shields: unit counts as being in soft cover

Pride: in Melee against units with better armor, the shieldmaidens may re-roll any of their attack/defense dice. Against units with lower armor they receive a +1 bonus to both there attack & defense rolls.

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