1-day Saga in Central London 2014
Vikings vs Vikings
One game down and the bar was already open. After a traditional "it almost counts as breakfast" initial Guinness I faced another Viking army, in a scenario in which both forces would battle for control of 3 pieces of terrain
Gripping Beast's SAGA hint - you can divvy up your army into different sized units each game, so you do get a little flexibility in what is a very simple army structure
With 3 areas of terrain to contest, worth 3/2/1 points respectively for each turn they were held I had deployed my Huscarls and Beserkers in a position to contest and hopefullly eject any enemies from the 3-point land on my right, with warriors looking to overrun the other two pieces in the middle and on the left. We could then either contest the 3-pointer later, or hopefully be acccrusing points faster than the opposition could and just hold out for a win. My Commander was also not in a position to die before the game had really started this time...
The opposition had a nasty and large unit of Varangians - with extra armour - ready to steam down the right hand flank and try and take the high value terrain piece - they would be facing the Beserkers and my own Varangians too
The centre looked far more encouraging, with only one enemy unit trying to contest the mid-value central hill - my commander, fresh back from Valhallah, led two Warrior units against one - hopefully a decisive advantage once his own dice were also added in too
Battle Board Analysis
The Guinness can clearly be seen in this picture of my battle board
In top left I have chosen to deply some dice to move forwards cautiously - the Hearthguard merely seek to contest the high value terrain initially, hoping to draw the enemy into it and then unleash the beserkers.
The warriors in the centre are benefitting from some movement dice as they creep forwards to gang up on the enemy who are atop the hill
With combat already imminent, several dice are being placed where they can help wipe out enemy advantages in armour, or support my men as the enemy attack them in their next turn
A Z or two would have been nice as well, but clearly it was not to be....just yet
The enemy Viking raiding party have made huge strides down the right flank and are almost in the terrain already. Their warriors also stand atop the central hill taunting my men and in the far distance a unit of paltry levy are lurking in the third terrain piece - woods - with some of my warriors bearing down quickly on them
Battle Board Analysis
With three sets of possible combats to focus on against the already-in-place enemy my battleboard is filled now with combat dice, removing enemy armour, allowing re-rolls and sorting out fatigue
This is all about winning decisively in the two weak places in the enemy line, and the first target is the levy hiding in the woods.
The enemy uphill can be taken by a charge led by a Follow Me Commander, so they too only need basic combat dice too
Very few movement dice, lots for combat and recovery
The board is set - now is the time to sweep the peasants off the field with some real warrior spirit!
Grown men were trembling as if at the mere thought of Olaf the Goat-Impregnator's hawknose armpit hair! In a spectacularly poor effort the battle-board stacked Warriors get utterly humiliated by a bunch of levy bowmen, losing 3 bases, being hammered for fatigue and finding themselves sharply ejected from the woodlands! What should have been a routine operation of peasant massacreing ends up being something that most certainly wont make it into any lonog form norwegian language song anytime soon, and in reality leavs the Warriors an almost spent force which will now surely struggle to find any way to eject the still almost intact 10/12 levy unit!
Similar scenarios unfold on the hill, although with a little more success - Harald the Commander and his trusty Warriors do this time manage to eject the enemy from their perch, but at quite a painful cost, with a 6 for 4 exchange of casulaties not really showing the added benefit of the battleboard stacked dice off to it's full advantage. At least the enemy wwere now barely there and ready to be swept away
The enemy Varangians were bedding down for the night in the rocky ground, claiming their 3 points a turn whilst their peasants casually added 1 more - my 2 for the central hill looked a but, well, half-hearthed by comparision. At least the Beserkers were in position to do their thing - once the right dice came along of course
Battle Board Analysis
But with another round of dice totally bereft of Z'eds the time for the beserkers was not yet.
Equally anoyingly, a Zed as also needed for LOKI, which woudl have allowed me to just take the remaining two enemy figures off the table in the middle.
There was nothing really viable to do without Zeds for the beserkers, so the dice were potentially useful to the near-broken unit which was still fearful of taking on the peasants on the left
Faced with this combination of dice and situation, the only other sensible thing looked to be to try and sweep the 2 enemy bases away with combat
My 4 warriors and Harald Hardrada picked some dice that would help them do just that
They attacked as if possessed with the spirit of Frigg's flame-singed nasal hair! That didn't really succeed as planned - a 8-dice battle-board supported attack on 2 cowering enemy was repulsed with 50% casulaties and a lot of fatigue
The warriors on the left were slowly getting shot up by the bow weilding peasants, and so picking some of the remaining decent combat dice charged home to try and do this fighting thing a little better this time against the handful of dice the peasants could muster
By now many men had fallen under the baleful influence of Olaf the Goat-Impregnator's Norwegian Codpiece! In another stuning reverse the peasants again outperformed the so-called fighting men and leaving only one man alive, rudely kicked them out of the woods for the second time
Battle Board Analysis
Finally a run of dice came online which allowed my forces to do their Varangian and Beserker thing, and to do so in sme style
Zeds re-rolled as more Zeds and I was up to the full 8 dice on the board
This would allow the Beserkers and Varangians to get into the enemy Varangians in two waves
A few too many movement dice might be required as the terrain slowed my men to a crawl
But a good Valhalllah and some extra dice should leave the enemy reeling as my second wave hit them and hit them hard.. taking advantage of their fatigured state to degrade ther armour
Classy movement sticks made their way onto the table to check how far my men could reach without being drawn into combat - for that was the job of the Beserkers
The wolfskin clad nutters found a weak spot on the enemy line as the sheer size of the Varangian unit meant that not all of their dice could counr against the attack from the flank
The beserkers sacrificed three men to get an incredible number of dice on table = surely nad news for the Varangians?
Morale was now at the bottom of Colin The Norwegian Huntsman's horny huge helmet! ! Apparently the news wasnt all that bad .... almost 40 dice rolled and only 5 casulaties inflicted, and the Beserkers of course wiped out... including their Saga dice. THis left a lot for the rest of my forces t do to eject the enemy from this high value terrain
Bu it was my men who got ejected, as the enemy stepped forwards and battered my Varangians 3:0, taking control of the most valuable patch of real estate on the table
With only a unit of warriors now left - against 7 Warangians in hard cover - the game was now sadly well and truly up, with the enemy scoring 4 points every turn to my 2, and no crtedible way of ejecting them from either terrain piece.
The Result is a bad loss for my vikings.
Click here for the report of the next game in this competition, or read on for the post match summaries from the Generals involved, as well as another episode of legendary expert analysis from Hannibal
Post Match Summary from the Viking Commander
Well, this was a touch unfortunate wasn't it? I'm not quite sure how the enemy managed to race across the table quite so quickly, and I am even more puzzled about my brave warriors failure to dislodge a load of peasants from a woodland... how did that happen?
I think really because of the very unusual nature of these occurrences that I will blame this defeat on unfavourable ill will being inflicted on me from the Norse Gods - perhaps the Guinness offended them for some reason, and I should have stuck with Koppaberg cider or something a little more Scandianvian - perhaps a pint of flat packed lager for instance?
Having swiftly glossed over this one then, perhaps we should just start thinking about a curry for lunch and then wrapping up the weekend in time to watch the FA Cup Final?
I'm sure no-one is interested in this - move along, move along...s
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
You truly are the sweetheart of the troll at Svinafell, and it is said that he uses you as a woman every ninth night - but at least that will be more gainful employment than this shambles of a battle plan
What on earth were you thinking - this game was simply aboout taking one bit of terrain and holding it, so your opponents tactic of putting all of his best troops into one upgraded unit and sitting in the terrain was hardly something that you could not have expected? And how pathetic was your attempt to dislodge them..? The Varangians are well armoured, and in the terrain they are almost invulnerable so throwing away the Beserkers in a half-hearted attack was only going to fail. They are good for getting extra dice, but in this situation the Valhallah ability needed at the very least to be combined with a reroll on failed hits - but instead you tried to initiate 2 attacks in one turn, frittering the dice away between two units rather than putting them all on one
Three bits of terrain, two of which confer advantages for the defender... and you chose to spend your initial dice on getting close to the one which was open? Surely any idiot could notice that this was the easiest one to take on, so why not do so later - and make dammed sure you contested the high value piece at all costs.
Heroes of the Viking Age? I think you were a Shambles of the Hightest Order and little more. At least there is only one more game left
Click here for the report of the next game in this competition
Viking & Saga Stuff
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