We kicked off again at 9:30 Sunday morning, which was nice as I needed a sleep in after a hard windsurfing session the night before !
First up was the painting beauty pageant, or as it was called ... the Biggest Beards and Shiniest Axe Competition. There were a few armies that stood out for me, clearly in front and received my vote was Rob Curry's Normans - very well painted and based. Also Bede's Normans and Russell's Vikings were very nice as well. As was Andrews Pagan Rus army (like the winter theme and shields)
Game 4 - Clash of Warlords mission.against Nick's Franks
I had Nick quickly run through his battle board with me as it look rather complicated at first glance, and I found they do look interesting but maybe a little hard to use / master. For those who don't know what the key of this mission is - Hunt down and kill the opposing side's Warlord, if neither killed, its down to VP's
Nick formed his army into one massive unit of 12 mounted Hearthguard !! (not sure what to do against this)
He also had 3 units of 8 Warriors and his mounted warlord. I stuck to my plan from day one and had 3 units of 12 Levy, a unit of 12 warriors, a 8 man unit and one 4 man unit of warriors. Upon deploying I realised that I had made a mistake of making such big units of Levy - I should of had 4 units of 9 Levy each ... this would of helped me keep my units above ten a lot longer for the "Fyrd" skill, and with his 12 man horse unit these could be quickly eliminated. Having some bowmen would of helped as well.
Just want to point out I was very lucky in this game ... very lucky indeed.
Things started as I had expected and I didn't get the first turn ...again.
Nick filled his 'Battle Pool' skill (and incidentally never removed them for the course of the game, as the Franks battle board evolves around these dice in that space. Using the Exploitation (4 extra saga dice) and Oppression skills (activate x amount of units without fatigue with X being the dice in the battle pool) Nick maneuvered his horse all around my right flank and his warriors up, forming a formidable bunch on my right. Nice !
I had to move my Levy unit across to the right to hold up his horse unit, the warriors positioned themselves nicely for a counter charge. I also put a few defensive skills up such as defenders of Realm as I knew Nicks next turn was going to be decisive.
Nicks turn saw his horsie unit and Warlord charge full on into my Levy and with his "protection" skill in place - disregard X amount of hits taken with X being 3 ... and his combat pool dice, this would be hard going.
The Mounted Hearthguard got 18 hits in total and to Nick's horror (my delight) I had managed to save 12 of them !! so only suffered 6 casualties ... I caused one or two of his horse to fall over.
My next turn and I was unable to use my Fyrd skill as Nick had used his Interdiction skill on it, as this allows him to place X fatigue on a unit(s) if I have used this skill he had Interdicted.
So it was my turn to push my Levy into melee being against a unit of his warriors, with both my combat skills in place I manage to kill 5 of his for 4 of mine. I also push a unit into the tail end of his horse unit to good effect and kill one of them.
His next turn and once again activates and smashes his mounted Hearthguard into my small warrior unit, with a grand total of 13 hits..... he should of killed them all, but I had saved 11 of them ....... Nick took it well, while I was laughing at the situation, was hard not to ........silly dice
The following couple of turns saw Nick's horse turn my unit of 12 Levy and 8 warriors down to 1 or 2 stands left (never quite enough to kill them all) then I had a lucky break and managed to retreat his warriors enough away from his warlord, so I charged in with my warlord and unit of warriors, with Nick having only one warrior there and not being able to take sufficient hits on them to cancel the 4 hits on his warlord, I manage to kill him.
A very unlucky game for Nick as my saving throws were against him, not sure how I managed to win that one, but I will take it. I did like the Franks skills, but a little too complicated/calculated for my style of play.
Game 5 - Wooden Oaths mission
Next up was a 4 player game - Wooden Oaths game. Seeing as there was 16 of us, we had split in to tables of 4, with myself playing with Simon's Scots, Damien's JomsVikings and Reg's Normans.
The mission is all about having alliances that allows the option in the next turn to either break that alliance and join another or stay true to your original oath. There are two teams, being Red and Black, each with their respective dead pile- once a player kills a man, you place the dead in the teams colour you are on at the that time. The winner is the side(red or black) with the most kills ..... sounds like fun - as the mission is setup so there is a lot of shafting and swapping of sides that can take place to benefit players.
Each player has a red and a black card, and at the end of each turn, he then chooses which side by placing it face down on the table and then simultaneously you all turn over to reveal the side you are on.
This happens each turn until the end of turn 4, where upon you have to keep that alliance until the end of the game in turn 6. Also each turn you have to roll off who starts the turn with the highest going first, then after he has finished you have to roll off again, this way you don't know who's going next.
I am randomly teamed with Reg's Norman's on Team Red (thank you - as he has a lot of shooting) which makes Damien and Simon our enemies in team black ... well for the time being that is.
Simon places his force in the top right corner with Damien in the top left, Reg places his 2 bow units facing Simon's bowmen, with his crossbowmen in a central wood, with two units of knights on either side of the wood. I am in bottom left corner, with over half my army facing Damien's JomsVikings and 2 units in the center half close to Reg's men in the woods.
The first turn saw Simon go first, where upon he charged his knights somewhat recklessly into Reg's bowmen unit and they dismissed the knights by killing them all for only 3 of their own losses ... Simon's dice were horrible - enough said.
My turn and I move my warrior unit up into building opposite the Jomsvikings with Levy next door (love buildings and will be taking more of them to tournaments), my troops in center edge closer to unsuspectingly towards Reg's knights and crossbowmen. Reg shoots at Simon's spear-men and takes killing a few, also charges his knights in and kills another small amount and then activates them again to retreat back to his line (nice) At the end of turn one there was a lot of dead in the red teams pile. The next turn I picked to be in the Black team (as I wanted to pick on Reg's Knights and well I felt like being traitorous) but to my horror Damien had picked the red team, damn, but lucky for me Simon stayed Black so I was now teamed up with him. That turn saw Simon charge into Damien's warriors, Damien charging into my Levy and counter charging Simon's spear-men, with more cross bolts and arrows firing across the field between the Scots and the Norman's, and myself charging into Norman knights and Damien's Hearthguard to some effect, the Red pile is growing ever larger .... time to change back to the Red side.
At the end of this turn we (after Simon had suggested it) thought it would be funnier if we randomly choose what sides we were on, so the next turn saw all of us on the same side !!! so all we could do was better position ourselves and rest units that needed too ....... the next turn saw the black team have Simon, Damien and myself against the lonely Norman player ... haha , I charge his knights then his cross bowmen taking a few from each. Damien is too far away to do anything useful and Simon throws some javelins due to his Scottish Reach skill.
In the end the Red teams dead pile was counted out to points value and then split between Simon, Damien and myself being in the red team This was not good, because even though the red pile was significantly larger than the black pile, Reg didn't have to split any points - so Reg came out the winner .. well deserved
Anyone who plays Saga and hasn't played this mission before, has to give it a go. The game was a real hoot to play, with everyone swapping sides to begin with and then us switching to a random draw, making it quite funny indeed.
The results of the Weekends gaming.
1st place on 4 wins was Damien's JomVikings (After a very close game with Andy's Pagan Rus)
2nd equal with 3 wins each was Bede's Normans, Andy and Myself.
Best painted went to Rob Curry's Normans.
Most Warlord kills (with over 30 kills) went to Alex Byzantine's - he also came in last place with no wins.
(My Warlord could only manage a meager 7 kills !)
So all in all a great weekend.
Everyone have a good Xmas and new years