Doc and I played out a good game of Saga yesterday. Playing the escort scenario we had the viking warband trying to get their booty of horses, cows and sheep across the table faced with a welsh force trying to get them back – all played with the basic warbands.
I started by screwing up the terrain deployment and lost a major piece of rough ground. We ended up with a clear side of the table and a terrain heavy side. Guess where the vikings headed!
Early turns went the way of the welsh with solid sniping with javelins and no close quarter fights. The bondi were falling victim to effective hit and run tactics. Then the beserkers ploughed into the welsh hearthguard and both units were wiped out. Fatigue started to build on the welsh and as the saga dice ran out, so did the welsh ability to manouvre. The viking hardmen closed and the balance shifted allowing the warlord to escape with the booty.
This was a much more interesting game than the others we’ve played, which have all been ‘kill the warlord’. Playing an objective lead scenario like this made you play the boards differently. The welsh could not afford to sit and wait in terrain and the vikings had to burn dice to move the baggage. Much more challenging and fun.
The body count was pretty high. Only the viking warlord and one hearthguard made it off the table with the booty. The rest of the vikings were sent to valhalla. The welsh ended up with a decent force remaining on the table but not enough to stop the vikings leaving.
On reflection my warriors should have been far more aggresive when they had the advantage on my left. This would have lost the vikings more dice earlier and probably made things lot trickier for the hairy norsemen. As it was my blocking force of levies proved annoying enough for most of the game but when it came to the crunch just couldn’t get the weight of numbers into play to make the ‘Strength in numbers’ ability count. I still dream of the day that 12 levy take out a warlord or hearthguard unit.
It proved, however, that the welsh can be effective out of terrain, though I’d not want a standard fight without some holy ground beneath my feet.
Some hearthguard on horse could be a useful addition to the warband next.