Thursday, 14 November 2013

The Vikings have the Danes for Tea

Over the past year I have probably played more than a dozen games of Saga. At first the novelty of the battle boards and the unique abilities of each of the troops has thrown out some great games BUT over time we have found that they become a little bit predictable – I charge into you wipe out a unit, you charge into me wipe out a unit etc etc etc...If anything the luck of the dice tends to create the variations in the game. Perhaps I am being a little unfair because every game we have played has always been great fun.

 Last night was no different and to spruce things up we decided on random deployment. This in part was necessary because we were playing on my 7ft x 3ft Kitchen table. With little depth on the board we decided to use the full length of the table and divide this up into thirds. Once the units were determined we randomly rolled their entry point along the table edge. The Warlords could be deployed as and when the players wanted.


Our forces were both based on 6 point armies and had very similar compositions – once again I played the Anglo Danes and Mark played the Vikings – could I win? Read on


The following table illustrates the deployment and forces

Top Edge
1 unit 8 Warriors
1 unit 6 levy
1 unit 6 levy
1 unit 10 Warriors
1 unit 6 Warriors
Middle Edge
1 unit 8 Hearthguard
1 unit 6 Hearthguard
1 unit 6 levy
Bottom Edge
1 unit 8 Warriors
1 unit 4 Hearthguard (Danes Axes)
I unit 6 Hearthguard
1 unit 6 levy

All levy are bow armed

Table before deployment

The significant difference in this deployment was forcing the units to spread across the table and therefore create a pattern of play somewhat different to previous games- a big mass of mutually supporting troops

Another view of table before deployment

With both Warlords sited on the top edge of the table it was inevitable that the action should commence in this area. Mark moved his larger Warrior unit forward taking the cover afforded by the wattle fenced enclosure (if you are interested on how these were made head here...

Wattle Fence Tutorial

elsewhere he began to move his units on the lower edge towards the centre.

Top Edge - with deployed troops

Time for the Danes to act I pushed forward a unit of levy and stacking a number of dice on extra shooting attacks I let rip. All my arrows missed. I too moved my units on the lower edge across the board.

Danes prepare to advance
Vikings in Wattle Enclosure

Round 2 Mark Launched his big warrior unit into my Levy troops decimating the first unit and crashing into the second. 10 warriors made mincemeat of the poorly armoured levy for no casualties. In response I threw my last unit with the Warrior into the engagement. A savage melee ensued with the Danes victorious albeit losing three of their number to the savage Northmen.

Early Skirmishes

Things were evenly balanced at this point in time.


Mark realising that there were bigger fish to fry in the centre turned his attention to the middle zone. He marched his smaller Warrior band and Warlord into the Middle Zone – his hearthguard started to advance supported by his levy units.

Danish Centre

The movement of his warlord presented my boss with an opportunity....I threw my dice and ended up laying fatigue on his Warlord the attached unit of warriors and his levy in the centre. The rest of my dice I stacked on extra hits and charged with the remnants of my top edge force. With five warriors and a warlord against six warriors and his warlord could I have an impact.

Viking Advance

Despite arriving fatigued I could put 12 dice onto his warlord in attacks (albeit needing sixes to hit) a further three dice could be aimed at his warriors. I rolled ALL MISSED, Mark rolled ALL MISSED or SAVED. With one Viking warrior as a casualty  My Danish Warlord looked rather exposed.

The Danish rush
Attacking the Viking Warlord

Mark threw his Hearthguard into the fight taking out the remainder of my warriors but not my Warlord.

Danish Hearthguard

The following turn I tried again this time throwing in my larger Hearthguard unit with Warlord, Again fatigues was playing its part as none of my hits went through. It was a different story for Mark, his demon dice rolling destroying my Hearthguard unit comprehensively. Two opportunities to take out his Warlord had been presented but failure on both occasions. Luck had clearly deserted me.

Vikings crash into remains of Danes

Who called me Ginger !

With my Warlord in serious danger of being overrun he fled back to the remains of his troops.

Viking Levy armed with Bows

The Viking levy stepped forward and unleashed their arrows – four brave warriors died. This was a rout. With no sizeable force left my Danes retreated from the table.


Once again the miserable Danes got hammered – this weekened I am going to buy up a Norman Force at Warfare (Reading) – hopefully a change of force will mean a change of luck !




  1. Smashing! I've just got my copies of Saga and Northern Fury, so I'm fumbling through. I hope I have as much fun, but I'll put my hands up to planning some 4pt games first.

  2. Very entertaining report and great pics.Looks like you had great fun despite not having the dice gods on your side.

  3. You make an interesting point about the sameness of SAGA games over time. I'm just starting to notice the same thing so there may be some validity to your argument. We're about to mix it up by starting a small campaign based on the WSS article in issue 59. Coincidentally we mostly play Anglo-Danes vs Vikings too...

    1. Thanks Michael - I was hoping it wasn't just me