Saturday, 23 April 2016

Saga Louts

Operation Buyaloadofvikings at Salute was a success, and on Thursday we played our first (or for Ed and myself, our second) games of Saga. Highlights included some authentic shield-wall action, a unit of Warriors getting absolutely minced in one round of combat with a wholly untouched unit of Hearthguard, and the creation of a number of sudden and unexpected vacancies on the Bayeux Equestrian Dressage team. We also managed to down something like sixteen beers between three of us (a prodigious achievement even by our usual standards), which must mean that Saga is the holy grail - a game I can win whilst drinking. That's right, even after three games I remain... THE UNDEFEATED SAGA CHAMPION! Admittedly we still have a lot to learn about the rules, but everyone seems pretty sold on the battleboard system and keen to start a campaign.

The vision that greeted Tom le Bâtard when he finally arrived on Thursday...

Which is fortuitous, because at Salute I also managed to pick up an early copy of Gripping Beast's new campaign supplement Age of the Wolf. I've only given it the briefest of skim reads thus far, but the mechanic by which you designate each season whether you will be raiding, campaigning or defending seems very interesting - as do the more RPG elements such as Warlord traits and motivations, units gaining experience, and unforseen events. You can even hire mercenaries and pay off opponents with Danegeld to avoid fighting certain battles.

Sadly only in soft-back... my copy looks like it came back from Salute via Lindisfarne.

Each player begins the campaign with four Saga points to spend, which I think each of us except le Bâtard currently has based and ready to go. But everyone knows the gods favour those with painted miniatures, so today I finally finished cleaning up my Jomsvikings (a pretty herculean task, I wasn't expecting the acres of flash and mould lines like tram-tracks... and the less said about the hands that need to be drilled out to accept spears the better) and got them undercoated. I'm setting myself the innocuous-seeming goal of getting twelve miniatures painted a month, one unit of Hearthguard and one of Warriors, at which rate I should six Saga points complete by August - though I've not actually painted 28s in ages, so am not sure how realistic that is at my glacially slow painting rate. Looking at Age of the Wolf in more detail, I may also need to pick up some extra Warriors for mercenaries. Though thinking about it, as Jomsvikings I kind of am the mercenaries...

 My main tactic for talking Daz into new wargaming projects.

All round then, Saga seems to have been a hit. Big D even started asking about the other Saga games, The Crescent & The Cross (sat on my bookshelf, unplayed) and the upcoming Invasion. Who knows, maybe I'll be able to persuade everyone to join me on Crusade sometime soon.

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