So another Monday night and with only two of us around I decided we would have another crack at SAGA. Following my awful initiation into the game with the Anglo Saxons I was fortunate to discover that the dice for these guys are the same as the Anglo Danes so I thought I would give these guys a whirl against the dreaded Vikings.
It soon becomes apparent even in the second game that these forces play so very different. Using exactly the same forces as the previous game - Warlord, 4 Hearthguard, 16 warriors and 12 levies we divided up our forces into sub units. Realising that you get more dice for the number ogf units (bar levies) on the table both sides opted to turn the warriors into 3 units. Both sides started the game with six dice.
The table was laid out in much the same way this time I was able to introduce the latest PMC building to arrive – the small church.
The forces were deployed (one unit at a time) 36 inches apart.
I had decided to split my bow armed levies with six on each wing and the bulk of my warriors massed in the centre with the Warlord and Hearthguard. With the terrain as a focus my strategy was simple allow the Vikings to advance and let them fall upon my spears whilst defending the walls of the churchyard. The first couple of turns passed uneventfully with the Vikings marching on mass down the centre of the table.
With only three men in the unit remaining Mark played the Loki initiative and these guys scarpered from the field – I was down two units for the cost of one but more importantly I had lost a die.
Over on the rightflank I decided to try and resieze the initiative, a quick round of archery from my levies miraculously knocked out two Viking thralls hiding behind the stone wall. With growing confidfence I launched a warrior unit in to despatch the remaining thralls. With these despatched I turned on the other unit of bow levies. With some atrocious dice I managed to bounce off the lvies leaving myself open to a counter charge. Again Loki despatched this unit and all that was left were the units in the church grounds.
Trusting god, the walls and my spears I allowed the massed ranks of Vikings to advance. The first assault was repelled with no loss to my own men. With a cry for God my Warlord and Huscarls lept the wall destroying one unit of advancing Vikings. Having planned my escape the Warlord and his guard rushed back to the cover of the wall, tired but elated.
Incensed by my sneaky tactic the Viking Chief and guard threw themselves at the wall in bloodlust. Again the stones held strong and one Viking warrior died in the ensuing melee. In a serious lapse of judgement my Warlord and the guard jumped the wall and slammed into the oppositions leader and his retainers. A bitter struggle with no winners. Alas I had kept nothing back. The Viking chief carefully summed up the situation selected his attacks and crashed home. With fatigue playing its part in the final outcome my warriors and Warlord crashed to the ground in a pool of blood. The Vikings had prevailed once again, their leader surviving thanks to the courage and sacrifice of his men.
Once again a great game, close, thrilling and very much in keeping with the dark age theme.