Saturday, 2 June 2012

Let the Saga begin

At one time I dabbled in historicals. I had joined a wargame club to play Warhammer, but found that many of the members preferred historical gaming. I borrowed armies for a few games and finally decided to take the plunge with a small viking force. For reasons I forget (it was about 12 or 15 years ago), I never got very far. I painted up a small handful, including these three figures, then moved on to other things. The unpainted horde remained stashed away for many years, until finally I sold most of it.

In the past year or so I  have heard many good reports of Saga, a dark ages skirmish wargame. I mentioned this to my gaming buddy to see if he would be interested. He seemed reticent, so I pushed it to the back of my mind. But then suddenly, a couple of weeks ago, he told me he had bought the rulebook and was busy painting up some vikings and saxons. Game on!

Last night I had my first taste of Saga. After a quick practise game with a very small force, we set up a larger game (a four point game, which is the starter level I think). We got stuck in, rushed towards each other in a really stupid fashion and had both warlords hacked to bits. No matter, the battle continued until finally the last viking fell dead. Obviously we had been foolish and not played the game to it's fullest potential. But even from this brief glimpse we both realised that the game has fast, easy to learn rules, with plenty of scope for tactical thinking, with a bit of dice luck thrown in too. It's played on a 3x4 table, takes about an hour or so, the starter forces are compact (around 24-36 models), with a little leeway you can use one set of figures to represent a few of the factions, and there's even some plastics available to keep the cost down. If that doesn't get the gamer juices flowing, then nothing will!

The first step for me is to assemble a force of my own. I have dug out the old viking figures, some will be suitable I think. I probably have enough figures to put together a 4 point warband, but ideally I would like to build a 6 point force. These figures can be used as either (duh) vikings, jomsvikings or Anglo-Danish. In the longer term I would like to try the Normans/Bretons, but that's getting ahead of myself. The first thing I have to do is strip these old figures and crack on with painting. Let the Saga begin!

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