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Any SAGA players in Seattle?


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I have 6 points of (unpainted) Irish and I am looking for opponents who live in the Seattle area.


I can supply all the terrain and objectives needed to play any of the basic scenarios, so if you are new to SAGA or if you want to get into SAGA, all that you need to supply is a warband and SAGA dice.


Also, I have only one game under my belt, so my Irish shouldn't be too difficult to defeat.

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As an incentive (or disincentive) to play SAGA, here is the Batrep of my first game. Please excuse my poor Danish and equally poor attempts at using Irish slang. I Googled both. :)




I finally played my first game of SAGA. Sherbert and I played the Battle at the Ford scenario. Five points of Sherbert’s Vikings faced off against five points of my Irish.



-Jarl (Warlord)

-8 Hirdmen (Hearthguard)

-8 Bondi (Warriors)

-8 Bondi (Warriors)

-12 Thralls (Levies) armed with bows



-Ri Tuathe (Warlord)

-Curaidh (Champion Hearthguard)

-Curaidh (Champion Hearthguard)

-6 Fianna (Hearthguard) armed with dane axes

-8 Bonnacts (Warriors) armed with javelins

-8 Irish Wolfhounds (Warriors)

-12 Kerns (Levies) armed with slings



Opposite the bridge to my left, I deployed my Kerns as far forward as possible, flanked by my Fianna and Curaidh. The plan was for the Kerns in conjunction with the Heirs of Mil order (no enemy may shoot or charge the protected unit unless the enemy unit starts within 4" of the protected unit) to slow the Vikings advance and to serve as a screen for my other units. And while the Northmen struggled to get across the bridge, the Kern would use their slings to whittle down the enemy fighters.


Wolfhounds have a ridiculously low armor value, but they can move 12" and they are not slowed down by uneven ground, so I deployed them a bit further back and within the cover of the forest. Like my Fianna and Curaidh, the Wolfhounds were positioned to counter attack the Vikings who made it to my side of the river.


I was pleased to see the Bondi and Hirdmen deploy in the opposite forest because I knew that this would slow them down for a turn and give me a chance to target them with the Sons of Dana order (enemy unit within 4" of uneven ground suffer a shooting attack with a number of attack dice equal to half the number of models in the target unit).


On my right, my Ri Tuathe, Curaidh, and Bonnacts faced off against the Viking Jarl and Bondi. Thanks to their superior armor and aggressive Battle Board, Bondi are better fighters than my Bonnacts, so I was hoping that the Irish javelins and the battle prowess of the Curaidh would give me the edge that I needed to hold my right flank.







The Vikings won the roll to go first.


To my right, the Jarl used his Determination combined with the We Obey rules to move the Bondi and himself onto the bridge without expending any SAGA dice.


To my left the Thralls moved to the river's edge to bring the Irish within range of their bows. The Bondi in the forest received two movement orders. This got them out of the forest and almost to my riverbank, but it earned them a fatigue point. The Hirdmen moved at a slower pace, but they had just enough movement to clear the forest.


I began my turn by making sure that I put the required SAGA dice on my Heirs of Mil. The rest of my SAGA dice were placed on activations and the Sons of Dana order.


My Kerns and Curaidh targeted the advancing Bondi with their slings and javelins. Despite some pretty terrible dice rolls, I managed to send two Viking freemen to Helheim.


The Bondi were too far from the forest and the Hirdmen are hard to kill with shooting attacks, so I used the Sons of Dana order to target the Northmen Thralls. The rulebook describes this order as "some ambushing Irish lads throwing stones or potatoes from their holes in the uneven ground." Three of the Northmen's slave warriors were severely injured or killed before the ambushing lads and their time traveling potatoes* turned tail and fled back into the trees.




*Potatoes came from the New World and they weren't introduced to Ireland until the late 16th century, five hundred years after the end of the Viking Age.




Over on the other bridge, I used my Warlord's Determination ability in conjunction with We Obey to move my Ri Tuathe and Bonnacts onto the bridge where they all hurled their javelins at the oncoming Northmen. My Curaidh moved to the side of the bridge and hurled two more javelins at the Bondi. Then I ordered my Bonnacts to hurl a second volley of javelins at the Bondi. Despite all my efforts, I was thwarted by a flurry of terrible die rolls and only a single Viking was slain. Boo!




Please note that for game purposes the Bonnacts at the foot of the bridge's steps are actually standing immediately behind the back rank of Bonnacts on the bridge.






More later...

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Thanks to the Heirs of Mil order, the Vikings on my left had very little to do this turn. The Bondi unit was more than 4" away from any of my units, so it couldn't engage the Irish in melee. Instead they shuffled onto my side of the riverbank and let the Hirdmen catch up to them.


The Thralls let loose a volley of arrows, but inflicted only a single casualty upon my Kerns.





Howling war cries to Odin, the Jarl and the Bondi stormed across the bridge and into the Bonnacts. To my disappointment, the Bonnacts were just as inept in melee as they were at hurling their javelins. The Noresemen hacked down six Irish warriors without suffering a single casualty in return. The surviving Bonnacts were pushed back 4" to the base of the bridge.





I began my turn by placing a SAGA die on the Blood of the Kings order (allows a Warlord or Curadh to ignore two unsaved hits per activation rather than one), the Eagle Eye order (provides a bonus to shooting attacks), and the rest were placed on activation orders.


My Kerns fire two volleys of sling stones at the Bondi. Even boosted by Eagle Eye they failed to inflict a single casualty. My dice were abysmal and Sherbert's dice were on fire.


Next, my Curaidh charged the bullet-proof Bondi, but failed to land a single blow. Luckily, the Bondi were equally inept so my Irish champion lived to fight another day. The Curaidh was pushed back 4".


The last trick up my sleeve was to unleash the Wolfhounds upon the indomitable Norse warriors. I saved the Wolfhound for last because their 12" move and ability to ignore uneven ground gave me the flexibility to use them against the Bondi or the Hirdmen.


For the first time in the game the dice gods smiled upon me. The Wolfhounds killed 4 Bondi and I lost only a single hound to the Viking blades.


And for the second turn in a row, the Ri Tuathe's most powerful unit of retainers, the Fianna, stood around doing nothing.





On the opposite side of the table, I played it a bit more cautious. Rather than risk my Warlord and needlessly send my Bonnacts to their death, I moved the Ri Tuathe behind the Bonnacts and moved the Curaidh up to support my Warlord. They all hurled their javelins at the Northmen. One of the javelins found its mark and a dying Bondi toppled from the bridge, crying out a Wilhelm scream (

) as he plummeted into the icy waters below.


More later...

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Like their Fianna counterparts, the Hirdmen had stood on the sidelines for too long. Shouting curses at the Wolfhounds that had mauled their Northmen brothers, the Hirdman charged across the bridge and into the hounds. The 8 Hirdmen generated 16 attack dice. Sherbert spent my Warhound's fatigue counter so his Hirdmen hit on a 2+. Once again the dice gods smiled upon me. And while the Sherbert predictably rolled a huge number of hits, I managed to roll just enough saves with my Defense Dice to keep one member of the Warhound pack alive and thus preserve the SAGA dice that the unit generated. Additionally, two of the elite Vikings were killed in the melee.


Even though the Warhounds were neutralized, there were still too many Irish units on my side of the riverbank so the Bondi fled back across the bridge. Sherbert didn't want to throw away the SAGA die that the unit generated.





The slaughter of the Wolfhounds was followed by the slaughter of the two hapless Bonnacts on the opposite side of the table. The rules do not permit an attacking unit to simultaneously engage two or more defending units. So, Sherbert had to decide whether to charge the Bonnacts or the Warlord. Instead of gambling on an attack against my Warlord's high armor value and his Resilience ability, Sherbert decided to go for the sure thing and obliterate my the Bonnacts. Both Bonnacts were slain with ease, but at least they took a Bondi down with them.





At this point in the game things looked grim for the Irish, but I still had all of my elite units and they were all in a good position to counter attack.


I rolled a single stag and placed it in the Activation Pool to gain extra SAGA dice. I placed SAGA dice on the Blood of the Kings order (an insurance policy to save either my Warlord or one of my Curaidh) and the Blade of Truth (prevents both players from using melee abilities and fatigue points). The remaining five dice were placed on Activation orders. I knew I would need plenty of activations this turn.


I began by targeting the Hirdmen with my Kerns. One the louts must have sobered up enough to aim true, because a single sling stones struck home, sending a Hirdman to Valhalla.


Next, I double activated my Fianna in order to get them to grips with the Hirdmen. The Fiannas’ dane axes reaped a mighty harvest. All but one of the Norsemen were slain. But the Hirdmen are no Bonnacts. They sent 3 Fianna to Heldheim before the sole surviving Hirdman turned fell back from the melee.


The retreating Hirdman didn't make it very far. I used the Curdah's Determination ability to cut down the last Viking hearthguard. Even so, the brave Norseman died well. He landed two hits on Curdah and if it were not for Irish champion’s (limited) Resilience rule and a lucky Defensive die, the Hirdman would have taken the Curdah to Valhalla with him.





On the opposite side of the table, the Ri Tuathe and Curadh stood alone, against a Jarl and a unit of Bondi.


I used my Warlord's We Obey and Side by Side rules and to permit my Warlord and Curadh to simultaneously charge the Bondi. Several Bondi were killed and the Irish didn't suffer any casualties in return. The Vikings lost the combat, but because of the size of the Jarl's base and the narrowness of the bridge, the Bondi survivors couldn't disengage. Instead the Ri Tuathe and Curadh were required to fall back 4". I had only one Activation die left to spend, so my sent my Warlord, alone, back into the fray. He killed all but one of the remaining Bondi. Because of the position of my Warlord and the position of the sole surviving Bondi, there was room for the Bondi to disengage.


This left my fatigued and blood soaked Ri Tuathe, alone, starring up at an angry and bewildered Viking Jarl.





More later...

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The outcome of this battle would be decided by the combat between the Jarl and the Ri Turathe, so Sherbert got right to it. The Jarl charged down the steps of the bridge, shouting out for Odin to witness this clash of heroes.





Here we made several mistakes. This was my first game of SAGA and Sherbert has only a half dozen or so games under his belt -none against the Irish. Neither of us have all the rules down, quite yet. Consequently, when Sherbert declared that he was going to use his orders to buff his Jarl's melee attacks, I declared that I was using the Blade of Truth melee reaction to negate the Jarl's melee orders. If we had followed the rules, I should have declared my use of the Blade of Truth on Melee Step 0, so the SAGA dice that Sherbert spent on the melee orders would have remained on his Battle Board for use elsewhere. Also, neither of us realized that the Blade of Truth also prevents players from spending fatigue counters, so Sherbert spent 2 of the fatigue counters on my Warlord and I spent the 1 fatigue counter on his Warlord. Also, we were confused about if and when I could use the Blood of Kings order. It was only after the game when I was looking through the rules that I realized our mistakes.


Oh well. In the end the mistakes didn't really matter. This climactic clash of heroes that would decide the outcome of the entire battle ended in the most ridiculous but entertaining way possible -both Warlords were slain.





I began my turn by placing one SAGA die on the Blood of Kings order and the rest of my dice into the Activation Pool.


Then, I double activated my Curadh and used the Irish champion to strike down the last Bondi from the Jarl's bodyguard.





At this point we called it. Sherbert's last 2 Bondi were doomed. I had two SAGA dice left in my Fianna Activation Pool. This would have been more than enough to send the last 2 Viking freemen to Valhalla, reducing Sherbert to 0 SAGA dice, and thus triggering an auto-win for the Irish. And even if the Bondi had survived to Turn 5, Sherbert would have been left with a single SAGA die and no way of stopping one or both of my Curadh from crossing the river by Turn 7. Besides, it was a beautiful, sunny afternoon and there were half a dozen breweries within walking distance of the game store. Killing Danes is thirsty work.




Below is what the battlefield looked like at game's end.





Thoughts: I really enjoyed my first game of SAGA. I've been playing tabletop wargames against Sherbert for years and win or lose he has always been a pleasure to play against.


I'm looking forward to testing out the other SAGA scenarios, but none of them look to be especially dynamic. I can see the game becoming more interesting at higher point levels and when one or both sides employ some cavalry. The game may also benefit by the addition of more terrain. One to five pieces isn't nearly enough.


I've heard that the scenarios in the Crescent and the Cross are more dynamic than the SAGA scenarios and completely compatible with SAGA. This will be worth looking into.

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If you're willing to drive down to the Tacoma area, there's Fix Bayonets this Saturday. Details:



We have a full day of games for you!

Fix Bayonet! Game Day
$10 entry (to support the fort)
Saturday, September 20th.
Doors open at 8 am, first game starts at 9.
Fort Steilacoom
8714 87th Ave SW
Lakewood, Washington 98498

No preregistration. 
No Host Bring and Buy Table.
Complete Fix Bayonet! Game List

Period One 9am-1pm
1) "A Runny Nose" 1/72nd Scale, Napoleonics, Guard Du Corps: Sean Clouch
2) 28mm Venus, Space 1889: Dale Mickel and Scott Murphy
3) "The Eviction", 28mm, Louisiana Game: Kevin Smyth
4) 28mm WW1, Bolt Action: Dean Motoyama
5) “Swedes and Cossacks” 15mm, Fire and Sword: Owen
6) 25mm, SAGA: Sven and/or Daryl

Lunch 1pm – 2pm

Period Two 2pm-6pm
1) "All Quiet on the Martian Front" Sven Lugar
2) Saturday Night Tank Fights, 15mm tank on tank action!: Damond 
3) Pig War: Sean Clonch
4) Check Your 6: 
5) 25mm, Bolt Action: Paul Nortness 
6) SAGA:

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