Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Saga 2 First Impressions

I managed to get my hands on an early release copy of the new Saga rulebook at the Vapnartak show in York at the weekend. I am a huge fanboy when it comes to Saga. It's the best skirmish game I have played - the rules are easy to pick up, but there are levels of complexity in how it can be played. If I could only ever play one game, it would be this one. Here's my first impressions on this update to my favourite game.

The rulebook is softback, 50 page A4 size, with good quality full colour pages. They get a bonus internet point from me for featuring Yggdrasil on the cover. It's certainly improved in layout since the first version. Everything is well laid out in a logical sequence. The contents progress from what you need to play, to the basic rules on orders and activations, more on activations, special rules and terrain rules, a scenario, a glossary and a reference section.

Each section is well explained, it's mostly very precise and unambiguous, with little waffle or history or fluff interrupting the explanation of the rules. If you have played before you will breeze through this book, purely looking for changes from the previous version. If you are new to the game I suspect you may well have appreciated more examples of gameplay. Like I said at the start, Saga is an easy game to learn, but explanations and walkthroughs for beginners are never a bad thing. Perhaps these will appear online at some stage.

Veterans will still have to read the book completely, there are plenty of small but significant changes from the original version. There is no summary of these revisions, maybe this will be released online at some stage? Reading through the lovely book is certainly a pleasant way to spend an evening or two, but if you want to dive straight in with just a cursory glance you may come unstuck.

There is one scenario to try out your newfound knowledge of the rules. It's a basic clash of arms - line up your troops, swing your axes and kill as many of the enemy as you can. I would have liked to have seen a little more than this. Three scenarios would have been nice, especially for completely new players. There is a Book of Battles mentioned, which will include more scenarios, so I understand the desire to hold back on this content. It keeps the rulebook clean and concise, but nevertheless one scenario seems a bit sparse.

That minor quibble aside, I am really impressed  by the new version of Saga. It's a nice looking book with great production values. From what I can gather on a first read through, the revisions make sense and will streamline an already good set of rules. An extra four pages containing two more scenarios would have made it an even better product, especially for newcomers.

I am really looking forward to trying out the new rules. I did also pick up the new Viking Age book in Yorvik (sorry, in York) - my Danes and Vikings are eager to test out their new battle skills. More to come on the new Saga, when dice have been rolled in anger.


Adam Carriere said...

So they give you a scinario to test out but can you actualy test it out without battle boards?

Lee Brady said...

I see the Viking supplement (again no scenarios) is £30. SO £10 for the rules + £30 for Vikings (+ other supplements that may well be priced the same) + £?? for scenarios. Ouch.

Darryl Hunt said...

Cheers for the review, am looking forward to receiving my stuff and getting playing :-) @Lee As far as I'm aware its all the viking age armies included for the £30 and all the battleboards which seems fair enough to me.

Steven Williams said...

I’m taking my first steps into Saga with this edition and have already preordered both books. It all span off from my boy doing a school project on the Vikings a few weeks ago. Whoops!

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