Blog discription

What will you find here? Ramblings from an aging gamer-miniature painter. When I first started out in this hobby computers were in their infancy and finding other gamers could only be done by going to conventions or as in my case bumping into somebody who happened to see me reading "Panzer Leader" on the school bus. Look how far we have come! The internet has allowed our small community to be able to connect on a level I never dreamed of when I was but a small lad. What I do hope you will find here is something interesting from one wargamer/miniature painter to another. I paint miniatures somewhat decently, so I will be posting some pictures of my work, and perhaps a review or two of games and/or miniatures. Most of all this is just about having fun and anything I post here is meant to be for that reason.

Friday, June 6, 2014

What do I have to do to win one of these!!!

Well the continuing Saga (get it, Saga) for my Anglo Danes is that they just can't get past these Viking dogs. An Army that I am beginning to hate. Today I gamed against Mark and he brought his only Saga Army over to go up against my only Saga Army the Anglo Danes. This time we played the "Sacred Ground" scenario, more to change things up than anything. This one has the goal of you putting troops into terrain for victory points which are calculated at the end of each game turn. The one good thing that came out of the whole ordeal (yes it is becoming an ordeal with this Anglo Dane Army) is that while you are getting the models painted and terrain in order, it helps keep your interest up by getting a few games in.

Mark was kind enough to bring over some trees to make our board look a little better, but I definitely need to purchase a nice ground cloth. I've got a few but they are all for naval or air games with hexes on them. Which won't do at all, so it's a bed sheet until then.

Going into this game I had an idea of how to use my battle board a little more efficiently than I have in the past. The ideal was to use a one, two punch. Hit his Warriors with one of my Warriors and use the ability "Lords of Battle" on him. The idea is, regardless of a win or loss, I would follow up and hit him while he is exhausted with one of my Huscarl units. Perfect plan right? Wrong! You can only plan the best you can and then the wicked little woman called "Lady Luck" pops in and destroys all your visions of glory.

Anglo Dane Battle line
Viking Battle line

There was a hill placed in the center, and two woods placed down both sharing the same flank opposite each other. The scenario lasts eight turns and I am not sure how balanced this one is. You have to keep troops in the terrain to get points, but someone has to leave the terrain to go kick the other guy out of his. This leaves for some interesting choices or chances. 

Being as I wanted to test out my thoughts on how to use my battle board better I charged ahead and sent a Warrior and a Huscarl straight up the middle to the hill with two moves each causing each to take one fatigue.Following up on their flank was another Huscarl and my Warlord using the 'We Obey" rule to get some more troops up for support.
Situation at end of turn 1

Turn two Mark brought up his Warrior unit backed up by his Warlord by using "We Obey" and an activation. This caused him to take one fatigue but he always picks the ability "Frigg" to make it go away. He used his usual choices of "Heimdal" (gives you three attack dice, but lowers your armor by one which I now just realize that Mark has not been doing for our past three games. So THAT'S how he's been winning all this time!!!) and "Ullr" (which let's you re-roll misses). Notice how he always sets up one unit with all his other dice. Mental note, read my opponents battle board more closely, and somehow take advantage of this one unit armored fist attack. Oh yeah, back to the battle. He took out four of my eight Warriors for a loss of one. So now was the time to unleash my idea! I hit him with my Huscarl using "Unforgiving". The idea here is not to use the enemies already acquired fatigue from the previous melee, and by this melee and the Unforgiving ability will cause him to become exhausted at the end of the melee. This is where Lady Luck pops in and screws everything up for me. Against my Huscarl he causes three hits and I save two, I cause 5 on him and he saves 4. Being a tie I have to disengage. Okay I say to myself no problem, I still have 3 models out of my 4 for the Huscarl unit, and he is now exhausted. So I charge in with my now 4 model Warrior unit and I use Lords of Battle on him. He gets four dice and I get seven, but I will also add three more fatigue to him at the end of melee, but I am thinking I should be able to punch his clock and be done with it. Nope I cause 4 hits and he saves 3 and I lose 1 model so AGAIN I have to disengage! Now I am getting a little perturbed at Lady Luck. She is not helping me at all! It seems my Anglo Danes are cursed as I can't deliver a death blow to any of his units in the beginning of the game. With this thought in the back of my head I throw in my other Huscarl unit in an attempt to wipe him out. Long story short, I walked away with no loss but he still survives and disengages with two models out of 6. A bloody trail....
End of turn 2

Turn 3 see's Mark sweep forward with his 8 model Huscarl unit by using "We Obey", and then a move activation to slam into my 4 model Huscarl unit. Of course he uses "Frigg" to remove the 2nd move fatigue and "Heimdal" (Which as already mentioned we weren't reducing his armor value) and "Ullr". This is a tough combination to overcome and I did not. My 4 model Huscarl unit vaporized and caused 4 hits on him, BUT GUESS WHAT!!!, he saves three of them:( On my half of turn 3 I use what's left of my Warriors and my now 3 model Huscarl in a disperate attempt to throw his 7 model Huscarl off the hill so he doesn't race ahead in terrain holding points. I manage to take him out but at great cost losing all my Warriors and Huscarl in the process, also leaving my poor Warlord unsupported for turn 4. 
End of turn 3

Turn 4 he simply waltzed up to my Warlord with his fresh 8 model Warrior unit and Warlord using side by side and took my Warlord out. At this point I realize contining on with the game is moot as he know can afford to just sit back and rake in the victory points. So I concede. 
Dane Warlord bites the dust again

Bottom line was I still had fun, though it was tough going through some of those dice rolls, and I learned a little more about the game system. I did have thoughts about putting up the Anglo Danes on Ebay for a short while after Mark left, but I will soldier on. It's a good game system and I know one day I will win one of these without resorting to paying Mark off as he suggested;)



  1. The key thing about AngloDanes is defence. I've had success against Vikings by using levy to soften up the advancing units (using missile weapons) and then attacking with warriors to pile on fatigue (like you tried with Lords of Battle). The key though is to follow up with huscarls that are fully protected with shield wall and hard as iron. When attacked consider using defence dice. Tough huscarls die all too easily in SAGA. Keeping them alive when attacked is important. Plan your board to ensure you can defend when attacked.

  2. Oh and in the scenario you played, the Anglo Dane Trapped can be used effectively. The Vikings use Frigg in combat, but you can pile fatigue on warrior units to slow them down. Whilst it can be a good strategy to leave fatigue on an enemy when attacking with warriors (to exhaust them), don't be afraid of using the fatigue when you follow up with you huscarls.

  3. Great tips Lee, I especially like the idea of using both shield wall and hard as iron. Now if only I could get some saga dice with more than one helmet symbol on it;)

  4. Remember you can use Noble Lineage to change a die into anything you want (or re roll several dice). Intimidation is useful to stop a critical activation as well

  5. If you do manage to add lots of fatigue to a unit that has only a small number of men left, use exhaustion from the Battle Board to kill two. Useful for removing figures from small units that are still generating SAGA dice - and it can be used against hearthguard.

  6. Howdy Lee, yes sir I did indeed use that very ability in our game "exhaustion" and removed that 2 man warrior unit he had left. A gentleman at Studio Tomahawk forum gave me another great idea. Use a 4 man Warrior unit as a fatigue bomb by using Lords of Battle. I just need to paint up another 8 warriors to have more flexibility.


  7. I think 8 man warrior units are better since they don't get killed off so easy (and can still pile on the fatigue). I've tried four man warrior units but against Vikings they are vulnerable to Loki if they loose just one man. As it happens I have a game this Friday, but this time I will be playing my Vikings against Anglo Danes!

    Can't start painting the Vikings until I have my Anglo Danes finished though.

  8. Game over and my Vikings won! One thing that I learnt tonight is that the Anglo Danes should try to use terrain to slow down their Viking opponents.