Dark Ages in Central London 2015
Scaracens vs Various Viking Types
A 1-day Saga tournament at Central London gave me an excuse to use my fairly-new Gripping Beast (and Perry Miniatures as well as others) Arabs as Saracens for Saga
With the fast pace and binary nature of Saga, and with me not being too familiar with the army or even the rules (having not played for a while) these are really more pictures of some of the games with comments rather than actual reports as such.
My first game saw me stumble through the Saracen battle board against a Rus army managed by someone who knew exactly how to play it. Rus vs Saracens was a bit of a disaster, as the Saracens seem to need to dump some fatigues on their own troops as part of some of their core abilities, and the Rus can use fatigues to simply eliminate enemy figures... so this game went very badly wrong for me right from the start. After that it got worse, with the low point being when one of my 4-man mounted units strayed too far from it's friends, and the Rus hit it with 2 abilities, dumping 4 fatigues on it and then removing all 4 models... not a bad deal for 4 dice!
My bowmen here stuggle manfully to loose off some arrows against the hard-as-nails Rus, whilst the remnants of the second mounted hearthguard unit harass enemy warriors. The game is well lost by now and I was lucky to get to the end of it with any figures still on table to be honest
This is the first photo to show my Perry mounted Hearthguard to good effect - you can see them being painted here. This was the first mounted unit I have used in Saga, where the tradeoff for their faster movement is that they are more vulnerable to shooting and in combat.
See how I based the figures in this short video
This seems to be the same photo, but with a less exuberant colour balance - this time I think I was taking on Irish in a very brutal game in which large numbers of figures were removed from play very early on. What's not to like?!
The non-Gripping Beast Arab foot are from North Star's Artizan Designs ranges
The Gripping Beast plastics go together really well, and take a coat of Army Painter pretty solidly as well - certainly they achieve that "rode across the desert on a camel with no name" dustiness effect with some aplomb
In this game I was experimenting with splitting my 12 levy into 3 units, creating 3 "dumps" for fatigue markers so I could drop equal amounts onto my opponent. All this seemed to achieve was to make my 4-strong Levy exhaused and easier to wipe out once they were hit, so I abandoned it as a tactic later in the day and started working towards hitting the enemy with multiple "free" enhanced charges at the same time using the "double-6" ability and decent sized units of Warriors
The final game saw the Saracens fighting the Vikiings - another armmy who actually thrive on being given fatigue markers and so who also render one of the Saracens key abilities as useless. The battle was to claim the standing stone in the middle of the table, and this meant the game was a simple fight to the death
In this game the Viiking Beserkers did some amazing damage, and also did some even more amaxing surviving in melee, allowing them to get off at least 3 decent rounds of combat. The carnage was such that both sides lost their Leader, and by the end it was pretty close to last man standing
The Perry mounted can be seen here
Fortunately the last man was a Saracen, as the Vikings were entirely wiped out. Over the three games I'd only played one army with mounted units (who the Saracens are really good against), and two armies (Vikings and Rus) who thrive on being given Fatigues. The Saracens are regarded apparently as a tricky army to use, and my conclusion was that if you are as unskilled at the game as I am, the best bet is to use them like a "lite" version of the, erm, Anglo Saxons with their ability to charge loads of stuff simultaneously for one or two dice and stack up on the last 2 abilities on the board. The "you all get fatigues, so do I" seemed impossible to get full benefit out of, but finding a simple plan in the end was handy!
That's the end - so why not go back to the Match Reports Index and read some more reports?