Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Sacred Ground, Vikings vs Normans, 6 points

 This will be my first game with Bernard Harris, fellow SAGA enthusiast.
  Combatants are Harald Hardradda and his Hirdman warband against and unnamed Norman

 Vikings: Harald Hardradda, Hero of the Viking Age
                Varangian Guard, 12 man unit with banner and Dane axe
                2 x 4 man Hirdsman

Normans: Warlord
                 8 mounted Knights with banner
                 2 x Sergeants foot
                 1 Sergeant with crossbow
                 1 Peasants with bow

  Vikings set up on the left, Normans on the right, Normans move first. The hill is a flat topped hill, meaning that missile armed  units must be on top to target units, unless the units are on the edge. The hill blocks line of sight. Points are scored for units in terrain features at the end of the turn, totaled at the end of turn 8.

 Norman first move, two Sergeants move towards the wood, while Peasants take position to target Hirdmen.

Vikings Varangians  move twice gaining the hill, using their banner to rest. Hardradda to the base of the hill bringing a unit of Hirdmen. End of turn one, Vikings 12 v Norman 0 points.

Normans move one unit of Sergeants into the wood, and reposition their Peasants.

The Vikings bring the rest of their Hirdmen on the hill and prepare for the impending attack. End of turn two, Vikings vs Norman 4 points

Realizing that he must destroy the Vikings the Normans maneuver to assault with their Knights. Normans also move another unit of Sergeants into the woods

Hardradda turns his Varangians to face the Knights, and moves his Hirdmen to face the weaker Norman forces. End of turn 3, Vikings 68, Normans 12.

The Normans position themselves for a coordinated assault . The Warlord moves forward with the crossbowmen.

Hardradda positions his warband and braces for the impending assault! End of turn 4, Viking 96,  Normans 18.

The assault begins with the Norman Sergeants attacking up the hill, The result, 1 Norman, Vikings 0.

The Norman Knights charged the Varangians, inflicting 7 kills, but getting destroyed in the process. A huge loss for the Varangians, but more so for the Normans. Sorry, I forgot to take the engagement picture in the excitement.

 After witnessing the horrific carnage, Hardradda  and his Hirdmen rush from the safety of the hilltop, into the crossbowman. 

They annihilate the Crossbowmen , while only losing one of their own, and turn on the Norman Warlord.

The Vikings lose one more Hirdmen, but bring down the Norman Warlord, Bringing and end to this epic battle.

 Great tactics by Bernard Harris and his Normans!  Vikings are tanks, and must use their SAGA abilities, Ullr, Frigg, and Thor as much as possible, and at the right time. Hardradda and his Varangian Guard are a fearsome force, but not invincible.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

"Death to the Varangians" "Clash of Warlords", 6 points

    My SAGA gaming friend Phil Fores, is determined to beat down my Varangian tank. The following is the saga of Phil's attempt to do so with Harold Godwinson, and brothers, along with his AngloDanes. Control of the fork, 5 points along with casualties, or death of the warlord.

Hardradda and the Varangians , 12 man unit in the middle, Bezerkers on the right, and a unit of Bondi on the left.

 Godwinson's and their forces. Ceorls in the field on the left, Godwinsons in the middle, a unit of Huscarls behind them. Bow armed Geburs on the right, a 8 man unit of  Huscarl Dane axe unit behind them.

The Geburs moved to the left and setup to harass should the Varangians take the fork. The Ceorls moved forward to cross the wall and prepare to guard the Geburs from the impending attack from the Bezerkers.

Harald and the Viking warband move forward to take the fork, while Bezerkers move around on the right to attack the flank.

With Harald's forces taking the fork, Godwinson pulled his Geburs back, their bow fire not yeiding expected results. Also a unit of Huscarl move forward to reinforce the Ceorls, facing  the Bezerkers.

Seeing the Ceorls positioning themselves, the Bezerkers determine to charge into them when the Huscarls round the corner of the building. They then charge the Huscarls with cries of Thor, Ullr, and Frigg. The result, both combatants wiped out in glorious carnages, with the Ceorls cheering with dismay and relief. Thinking to attack the Viking from behind the Ceorls rush forward, not expecting to be stopped by one lone Hirdsman warrior.

Harald, upon hearing the roar of the battle rushes to join the battle, 

Harald Hardradda rounds the corner of the fence and witnesses the carnage. Seeing the Ceorls rushing forward,  Harald charges forward out numbered 8 to1, shouting Thor,Ullr and Frigg. Three Ceorls fall in the first round of melee and a fourth in the second round, and the Ceorls fall back.
Harald enraged and bloodied again charges the remainig four Ceorls and slays another, again the Ceorls fall back, leaving the bloodied and worn King cursing them.

Sensing, Hardradda is at the end of his strength the Ceorls rush forward to exact their revenge.

This was to be Harald's final battle, taking two more Ceorls lives before falling to a grievous strike.

Yes, it would have been prudent for the warrior king to have returned to his Varangians and laid claim to certain victory, or wait for his Bondi to join him,  but that's not what sagas are written about. A sure path to Valhalla for a mighty warrior, fallen in glorious battle.

  Both sides had proxie banners, but they were never used. SAGA dice were used for SAGA abilities.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

SAGA Norman Invasion, Battle at the Fords

  We set up a six point game intending on using Heroes of the Viking age. Phil Flores had chosen the scenario, Battle at the Ford, Victory was the side that had the most forces(points) on the opponents starting side of the ford
 When I arrived Phil had his Normans set out and was eager for battle. They were led by the Norman Hero Knight, Ivo Taillefer, on horseback. Taillefere led a formidable force, two units of mounted Knights, two units of foot Sergeants one armed with crossbow, the other with spear, and a unit of Peasants armed with bow.
 I fielded the AngloDanes led by Harold Godwinson, King of England, and his two brothers, Gyrth and Leofwine, all three wielding Dane Axes. The King had brought 3 units of Huscarls, two sword armed forming one unit of 8, the other with Dane Axes. A unit of Ceorls armed with spear, and a unit of Geburs armed with bow.
 We placed terrain, I chose a copse of woods close to the ford (represented by a bridge) on my side of the river, Phil chose a plowed field near the other ford on his side. I setup and moved first.
 Not wishing to become a Norman pin cushion, I set up defensively, with hopes to draw him into a trap. I set my Geburs at the edge of the wood close to the ford, with Harold and his brothers close by. The Dane Axe Huscarls in the middle so as to lend support to either flank. The Ceorls and remaining Huscarls positioned  the other ford.
 Phil placed his Peasant bow in the middle, Taillefer, a unit of Sergeants, and a unit of mounted Knights, poised to oppose my Geburs and Harold. His other unit of mounted Knights and Sergeant crossbow poised at the other ford.
  I perceived Taillefer’s plan was to weaken me by using Massed Volley, from the Peasants, and cross the ford with a superior force on weakened foe. Harold countered this threat with use of Shieldwall and Intimidation. Knowing Taillefer, eager for battle, was overconfident, Harold prepared his men and waited for the onslaught, and the counter attack he would order. Frustrated by Harold’s tactics, Taillefer forced the issue as the day was ending. He charged his Sergeants across the ford towards my Geburs and Harold. Pushing them forward they fell short of engaging my Geburs and were fatigued doing so. They were followed at a distance by Taillefer. I ordered my Gerbur to fire and caused one casualty, then Harold and his brothers charged at the exhausted Sergeants. Before charging Harold used Trapped, to place a fatigue on three of Taillefer’s units, this put my target of unit of Sergeants into exhaustion, cutting their melee ability in half. The unit of Sergeants were reduced to one very exhausted warrior, 4 fatigues, while my Geburs cheered Harold on. I finished off the lone warrior with Exhaustion, and charged Taillefer. The ensuing melee caused no casualties and the Godwinsons fell back. Taillefer, enraged by the carnage, charged into the Godwinsons, leaving his mounted Knights straining to catch up to support their leader. Here, Ivo Taillefer died a glorious death in a furious battle, taking Leofwine Godwinson with him. Had Taillefer waited for his Knights, for support, he could have survived the combat and defeated the weakened King Harold.
  Using Heroes adds a lot to the game, they bring unique skills to the battle. Despite all the special skills and SAGA abilities, it all comes down to tactical strategy, and good dice rolls. Mastering your SAGA abilities is crucial!
 It was a great game and learning experience!