Again rather belatedly, our first bunch of SAGA games were fought on Easter Sunday. We managed to get three games in in a relatively short session surprisingly, given our unfamiliarity with the rules. It really is a quick and easy game to pick up if we can manage it!
Paul was late arriving (an affront we're used to, but rarely forgive!) so myself and Gary took the first game. I'd forgotten I'd taken my camera with me, so there are no shots of the first game, which is unfortunately as it was my best result! In was largely decided between our respective Warlords and Hirdmen, while the Warriors flitted around the periphery. I got the jump on Gary's Hirdmen, who died to my Hirdmen, only for Gary to then pounce on my weakened Hirdmen with his Warlord and a Warrior unit and finish them off. Our Warlords then duelled it out, and ended up slaying each other simultaneously to end the game in a draw.
By the time we'd finished, Paul had finally showed up so Gary sat out to play umpire while myself and Paul battled it out. We decided to up the game size to six points. I'd also remembered the camera by this point, so here are some photos!
I initially took an aggressive approach by driving everything down the centre of the table towards Paul's battle line, as he'd spread his units thinly to cover almost the whole of the treeline.
My Hirdmen (3 points worth!) led the charge, quickly wiping out Paul's Levy slingers and creating a big hole in the centre of his line.
Paul advanced with his left-hand Warrior unit and forced his Hirdmen around behind the wood on the right, and effectively caught my warband in a pincer movement. My Hirdmen and a Warrior unit combined to eventually wipe out Paul's Warriors on the left but I lost most of my own Warriors in exchange. On the right, Paul's Hirdmen shattered one of my Warrior units but were badly damaged in return.
My Warlord and remaining Warriors attempted to cut down the last of Paul's Hirdmen, but failed dismally and took even more casualties. With my turn up, all Paul needed to do was charge his lone Hirdmen in against my fatigued Warlord and his dice didn't let him down - the Hirdman died, but so did my Warlord and I had lost the game!
Next, it was my turn to sit out and watch Gary and Paul play. With a sparsely covered field to fight over, this fight was a classic battleline encounter.
Gary presented a solid wall of shields in the face of Paul's advance, while his slingers rained missiles down on the enemy.
The real action (which, of course, I didn't take any photos of...) was happening on the opposite flank though, as Paul repeated his "trick" from our game, with his Hirdmen charging recklessly across the board to isolate Gary's Warlord (who was positioned far out on the end of Gary's battleline), racking up multiple fatigue counters in their efforts to break through and get to Gary's warlord before he could respond. In the end, it paid off - Paul's battered Hirdmen eventually got to the Warlord and killed him.
So despite turning up late and getting deserved abuse for it, Paul paid us back by winning both his games. I'm not sure his tactics will work quite so well in a campaign though - despite achieving the victory conditions in both games, his warband came off much worse than either mine or Gary's in terms of casualties. He might win the battles, but he won't have many figures left to claim the prize at this rate!