Yesterday I introduced the superb SAGA ruleset to two fellow wargamers I just discovered on the Sweetwater Forum, Felix and Olli. I have no Vikings or the like painted…But Felix was eager to use the Trojan Wars miniatures the Sire and I had assembled for our Tactica presentation in 2012. Felix made his suggestion on Saturday, so I had three days to prepare the game as the deadline was on Wednesday. I gave the Achaeans/Greeks, led by Achilles, the aggressive “Vikings” board, and chose the defensive “Anglo-Danes” board for the Trojans. To give the setup a proper look I built a 90 by 120 cm (3’ x 4’) board and ordered the matching SAGA dice. Kudos to Michael at Miniaturicum for extra-fast delivery!
We played the dead-simple first scenario: Kill the enemy Warlord. 4 points to muster the forces, here you see the Greeks with Achilles in the centre, two 8-men warrior units and two 4-men hearthguard units, represented by the famous Myrmidons. One unit of Myrmidons received the “berserker” special skill, so they would throw 16 instead of 8 attack dice – but with their armour significantly reduced.
The opposing Trojans, led by Hector (I took a pic but it turned out too blurry, sorry for that), had only one hearthguard unit and three warrior units.
The game would last for six rounds, and King Priamus did the counting:
The Trojans built up a massive and dense phalanx, waiting for the sword-wielding Greeks to attack. The Greeks stormed forward, and in the second turn they crashed into the Trojan shieldwall. However, a clever choice of SAGA abilities and good deployment of troops helped to repulse the first attack.
Now it was Hector who, surrounded by cut down enemies, ordered his disciplined spearmen to counterattack. Backed by Luccan mercenaries he nearly managed to take Achilles’ head. But a godlike saving roll prevented that. The battle was fought within a small area between a pond and the temple, blood dyed the ground red, the dust made breathing difficult and sweat burned in the warriors’ eyes.
But then, on the Trojan right flank, the frenzied Myrmidons appeared like demons straight out of Tartaros. They annihilated the Trojan hearthguard and were ready to roll up the entire flank.
Hector recognised the danger and made a last all-or-nothing charge. He mocked Achilles, challenged him – but in the end the great hero of the Greeks once again saved his live with the aid of Ares (or manipulated dice, but that is still open for discussion). In return he again threw himself at Hector, shields crashing and blades of bronze emitting sparks. Surrounding the two great warriors their followers had stopped fighting, fascinated by the pure savagery of this epic duel. Finally, totally exhausted, they disengaged. Gasping, they stared at each other… then turned, and went away – to regain their strength and fight another day.
It was a very intense battle, performed by two very keen players. I really enjoyed watching the show, thank you Felix and Olli! We decided not to count the death, and both players agreed on a tie. The battle boards worked well with the factions, perfectly recreated the flair of the Ilias in my opinion. I am sure Felix and Olli will return to finish what they begun…