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Koyote's Britons & other SAGA Stuff


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After an 18 month hiatus from tabletop wargaming, I played an actual in-person game. We played a 6 point, Battle of Heroes scenario, using Age of Hannibal warbands. The noble Epirote Greeks battled the brutish Gauls. Both generals were rusty and bumbled about quite a bit, but we had a great game nonetheless.

Due to the scenario’s rules, the game ended on turn 4 when the Gallic warlord eliminated the Greek warlord in single combat. After tallying the survival points and bonus VPs, the game ended in a Greek victory, 28 to 12.

The Greek unit that saw the most action was my javelin Levy. Thanks to Aspis and Thureos, the normally fragile Levy was able to withstand attack after attack, and survive the battle. 

The Samnite mercenaries kicked ass. There’s no doubt, they are a keeper.

Both my elephant and unit of 4 mounted HG proved to be relatively fragile, but since I used them to attack isolated or weakened units, both performed well.


Four turns of play didn’t give me the chance to try out all of the Greek battleboard abilities or truly test my unit selection, but overall I was happy with how the Epirote Greeks played.

We have a rematch this Wednesday. 

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23 hours ago, Torg said:

I’ve picked up two factions for 6pt battle per side (Vikings and Norman) - Viking age book. But yet to actually play. Looking for a reason to assemble and paint lol



Torg, are you one of the Bellingham folks? If so, I’d be happy to get together sometime and play Saga. I have warbands for all 5 books, so we can play in any Age.  

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I want to test out Cretan Archers, so I built 8 archers using Victrix Greek Archers kit. Like the Victrix Peltast kit, the Archers kit is a bit dated, so I did some converting and kit bashing. I used heads from a couple different kits. Using a hobby knife, I remove the poorly cast daggers from the bodies, and added sheathed daggers that come from the Italian Allied Legions kit. 

I wish the Victrix Archer sprue included bucklers, so one can make proper Cretan archers, but sadly they don’t.

None of the kits that I own include small enough shields to serve as bucklers. I almost ordered a pack of Byzantine bucklers from Gripping Beast, but then inspiration struck. Using a hole punch and plastic sheeting I removed from the box my old iPhone was packed in, I made my own bucklers. 

The hole punch makes fairly clean cuts, so cleaning up the sides, by shaving with a hobby knife, took very little time.  

Once all the shields are glued in place, I’ll add greenstuff straps.



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  • 4 weeks later...
On 2/9/2020 at 1:33 PM, Koyote said:

The Barbed Bracken comes in two basic shapes: 1) a multi-stemmed, multi-leafed cluster that looks like an entire fern plant, and 2) a single-stemmed, multi-leafed cluster that looks like a young plant or a single branch of an older plant.   The former are too big for models on 25mm bases and the latter, by itself, looks like a sad, Charlie Brown Christmas Tree fern. However, by drilling a hole in the base I can insert 2 or 3 of the 'branches' and the result looks like a complete, albeit small, fern.

The overall plan is to texture the bases with fine sand/ballast, and after painting, add Army Painter woodland grass tufts to the mix of ferns, mushrooms, stumps, and (of course) skulls.  


Below you see the giant spider removed from the base so you can get a better look at my work on the base.  

The little critter on the Sorcerer's base is an old, GW squig familiar from the early 1990s.



I’ve added some reinforcements to my growing goblin horde. 

The model on the right is my warband’s new sorcerer. It’s an Avatars of War Forest Goblin Shaman 3D print.  It’s a huge improvement over my original Shieldwolf mini shaman.



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On 8/29/2021 at 9:15 AM, Ish said:

So, what you’re saying is, you now have two Goblin Shamans – a master and an apprentice. Perfect for Frostgrave

Thanks, but for someone who hasn't played Frostgrave in 5 years, I already have more than enough Frostgrave master and apprentice pairs....  And some are even painted. 😉


















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On 8/29/2021 at 8:31 AM, Koyote said:

I’ve added some reinforcements to my growing goblin horde. 

The model on the right is my warband’s new sorcerer. It’s an Avatars of War Forest Goblin Shaman 3D print.  It’s a huge improvement over my original Shieldwolf mini shaman.




I've made some good progress on my Chasm marker.  I've designed it to fit my goblin's theme.  Rather than causing the earth to open up beneath the goblins' enemies, the goblins conjure or release a nest of giant spiders.  

You can't see it in the photos, but in each large trunk section there are holes from which spiders are crawling out.  I can imagine hundreds of giant spider spiders pouring out of the knotholes and from beneath the trunks, spreading out and skittering over everything and everyone nearby.

The marker measures 6 inches by one inch.  I built it from bits from the GW's Arachnarok Spider kit, GW's Citadel Woods kit, and Green Stuff World's resin mushrooms.  I still need to add foliage and texture.

(click on photos for larger versions)




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I've added some ferns to my Chasm marker.


The Masters of the Underearth battle board has 3 advanced SAGA abilities that are assigned to a specific unit and remain in effect until the end of the player's turn.  I've created a marker for each of these abilities, to help me and my opponent remember which ability affects which unit.  Each marker is built on a 32mm base.  Bases large enough for a small diorama and to stand out from my infantry models, but not so large that it takes up too much space on the table.

From left to right: Traps, Tenacity, and Cave Dwellers.




Since spiders are already an important part of this warband's themes, I reasoned that massive web would serve nicely as a physical representation of the Traps ability.  The web is another bit from GW's Arachnarok Spider kit.


Tenacity means possessing a strength of will.  Synonyms for this word include determination, persistence, steadfastness, grit, and also courage.  This SAGA ability gives extra defense dice, with the trade off of suffering a penalty to the unit's attack dice.  Coming up with physical representation for this thing that happens in one's mind was a bit tricky.  However, when I boiled it down to the question, what can make one both brave but less skillful, the answer became obvious -alcohol/drugs.  This fella is drinking down some "liquid courage".


The ability’s name, “Cave Dweller”, doesn’t give one much to work with, so I had to look beyond the title for inspiration. Like Tenacity, this is a defensive ability, but instead of providing extra defense dice, it provides a unit solid cover.  The answer came to me when I was digging around in one of my bits boxes, and happened upon sigil stone with a peculiar carving on its surface. The stone is small enough to fit on a 32mm base, but large enough to hide a goblin.

A goblin warrior crouching down and taking cover behind a huge stone seems like a fitting physical representation of this ability.  Plus the stone has this great carvings on it, that kind of looks like a primitive goblin holding up a sword and spears.  Perfect!


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13 hours ago, PourSpelur said:

Stunning as usual. Really dig the markers.

What's your opinion on the Shieldwolf goblins? Have some modularity or need work to make unique individuals?

Overall it’s a great kit, but it it does have some limitations.

Three of the five body bits (torso and legs) on each sprue have the same heads. Plus the models don’t really have necks so the heads attach to the bodies in only one way. Thus, turning the head to the left or right really isn’t an option.  With that said, each sprue has plenty of weapons, shields, and extra heads, so there is quite a bit you can do with the sprue without having to resort to conversions.

The wide rigid poses, forward facing heads and design of the bow arms make it impossible (without major conversion work) to pose these model like they are actually shooting their bows. 

Also, the wrists on arm bits that aren’t holding weapons are bent slightly to accommodate shields. This is fine if you want to add shields, but as-is they look a bit odd if they aren’t holding shields.

With so many extra arms on the sprue, I wish the kit included some arm bits with open hands or hands pointing. 

Each sprue has so many extra weapons and heads, that when you use up all the bodies and equip them, each sprue us left with tons of unused bits. I wish Shieldwolf sold just the bodies -perhaps as resin bits. With extra bodies I could build twice as many goblins and still have bits to spare.



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32 minutes ago, PourSpelur said:

Thanks for the in-depth review! I've had my eye on them forever but I really don't have any use for them. I just love the concept.

That was my same thought process when 'Kickstarted' them.  I thought that perhaps I could use them as a Mordehim warband or in Frostgrave.  Then a few months later they announced SAGA: Age of Magic, and I knew I had a use for them.



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I built the models pictured below to serve as Destruction Teams for my Masters of the Underearth list.  



I used them a couple of games, but I wasn't impressed.  It's is shame that Destruction Teams aren't more effective, because they really are some fun models.

My plan is to play my goblins in the Adepticon 2022 Age of Magic tournament.  The  tournament rules have not been published yet, so I searched the Adepticon archive and found the rules from the cancelled Adepticon AoM 2020 tournament.  The 2020 rules instruct each player to bring 3 objective markers.  Players may bring themed objective markers to gain extra points for their appearance score.  

Problem solved!

My shaman war drummers may not have a future as destruction teams, but with the addition of a 3rd model, I can use the models as themed objective markers.

Below is what I've come up with for my 3rd themed objective marker.  The statue is a ceramic tiki statue bead that I bought from a seller on Etsy.  I purchased a half dozen of these to decorate my goblins' Sacred Ground terrain.





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When I start a new warband project, I tend to buy way more models than I will actually need.   The extras end up in bits boxes or being used to make objective markers and the such, or eventually given away.

I've used some of my "extra" Aventine Greeks to make a Soldier and a Brute for the [i]Old Feud[/i] scenario.  

The Soldier is well armored and has the We Obey rule, so I chose a model that looks like a well armored commander.  The original model had a really tiny head, so I replaced with a plastic head from the Victrix Athenian Hoplite set.

The Brute has an aggression of 8 and is equipped with a heavy weapon that doesn't lower its melee armor of 5/5.  Aside from sarissas, Greek infantry from this era weren't much for two-handed weapons, so for my Brute I selected a large, well armored fighter and armed him with a shield and big spear that dwarfs the metal wire spears and Victrix plastic javelins carried by the other models in my warband.

The model's left hand was originally held up, palm out, but I want him to hold a shield, so I changed his greeting into fist. The model's right hand had short, stumpy fingers so I lengthened them.

The Soldier and The Brute



Below are two of three objective markers for this warband.  

The first are "extra" Aventine command minis.  It's not an especially creative objective marker, but it looks cool.  

The Second is a pair of minis made by Westwind Productions.  It comes from Westwind's Death of Arthur Diorama.  I replaced the heads with heads from an Aventine head pack.  The model holding the dying Arthur wore a chain shirt and a long sleeve tunic underneath. I carved away the chainmail detail and sleeves and sculpted a shaped cuirass, short sleeve tunic, and bare arms.  I carved away "Arthur's' right trouser leg and sculpted a bare leg.  I left "Arthur" wearing long sleeves, mostly because I was tired of carving away at this mini and I had cut open my thumb pretty good  



Except for the "extras", my Greeks have been assembled and based and are now ready for paint. Last night I began experimenting with various bronze paints on test models, as well as color testing on textured mock-up bases.  Once I settle on some workable recipes, I'll start painting Greeks in earnest.


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