Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Bring me my mead!

And, yes, I indeed had the pleasure of sampling my first taste of mead, courtesy of my friend, Steve, in celebration of our weekend game of Saga.  And it was good!  The mead, that is.  And Saga.  A fantastic afternoon all around.

Steve and I are still learning the rules for Saga, so we're playing smaller 4-point games, instead of the standard 6-point games.  We've been swapping factions back and forth between Anglo-Danes and Vikings.

Steve did a bang-up job, painting these Dark Age warriors by Gripping Beast miniatures.

It's such a pleasure to play a tactically satisfying miniatures game with superbly painted models.  This is what I imagined the hobby would be like when I started 8 years ago.  I've finally arrived!

We wanted to add shooting to the mix, so I brought some stand-in models to help expand the forces.  I brought my Haradrim archers from the Lord of the Rings Strategy Game.  Not a perfect fit against Steve's Dark Age warriors, but close enough until we can expand our Dark Age forces.

Steve and I are both very impressed with the Saga rules design.  The rules are compact, understandable, and elegant.  They strip away complexity and yet succeed in providing a fair representation of the period and styles of combat.  It certainly leans more towards game than realism, but it delivers a satisfying blend of realism and cinema, which definitely hits the sweet spot that we're seeking from a pseudo-historical miniatures game.

The game is very well paced, too, allowing us to fit in 2 or 3 games in one afternoon, with enough time to take breaks and enjoy a frosty beverage outside.

Here we are lined up for our second game, after Steve's Vikings clobbered my Anglo-Danes in the first game, where I insisted on using my Levy bowmen, despite the counterproductive price in activation cost.

I just had to see how they performed, and they were very convincing in their cost-to-performance ratio.  They are indeed a support option, best for area denial and running interference.  You can't count on them to win a shooting battle.

I applied them more practically in the second game, returning priority to my warriors and hearthguard.  Steve exposed a flank to one of my hearthguard units, which managed to collapse the Viking flank.

The Vikings almost overturned the combat when their chieftain shockingly survived an onslaught of Danish axes and made a desperate attempt to slay the Anglo-Danish warlord.  But the loyal Danish warriors sacrificed their all for their mighty hero, allowing the head Dane to settle the score once and for all with the Viking upstart.  At least until next game!

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