Archive for Battle Pics

Saga: Saxons vs. Britons

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , on November 1, 2017 by Sean

I recently played a game of Saga: Aetius & Arthur, where my Britons fought the Saxons.

The scenario was Retreat. We figured after yet another skirmish between the invading Saxons and the native Britons, the Britons were retreating back to a stronghold, pursued by Saxons. We used 6 point armies.

The Britons were a mounted Warlord, 8 mounted Hearthguard, 24 Warriors, and 12 bow Levy. I’ve posted the Warlord and Hearthguard here already. To represent the Britons I used my Welsh and some of my Anglo-Saxons.

The Saxons were led by the original trouble brothers, Hengist and Horsa. The rest of their warband were 8 Hearthguard, 16 Warriors, and a unit of Hunting Dogs. The Saxons were my friend’s army, and are in the process of being painted.

In the scenario, the defender sets up in a thin band at about 1/3 from the attacker’s edge. The attacker sets up across from him near their edge, but can also deploy up to 2 points of units from the opposite edge to cut off their retreat (they start with Fatigue, representing their rush to cut off the retreat). The defender has to get as much of his force off that edge as he can, while the attacker just wants kills. The defenders are assumed to have been running or recovering from the earlier fight, so every Defender unit has Fatigue at the start.

The Britons held the center, anchored by a cottage on one flank and woods on the other, the center a swamp occupied by the bow Levy. The Saxons started with both Warlords and their Hearthguard on the close side, with a unit of Warriors in the middle, and sent the Dogs and the other unit of Warriors around back.

The battle began with some quick movement from the Saxons on both sides, threatening my force immediately. I responded with a few retreat moves, but decided I needed to break the pursuers before they could press their advantage. The Hearthguard charged the nearest warlord, Hengist, pushing him back but unable to kill him. After a countercharge, they were able to bring him down, but at the cost of half the unit. The Fatigue across my whole army was eating activations to remove, since I didn’t want to face the Saxons in combat with Fatigue.

In response to his brother’s death, Horsa went ham on my army, cutting down most of a unit of Warriors in repeated charges. My opponent was able to use his Battleboard ability to just remove Defense dice when he had better armor than my units, easily done with a Warlord who doesn’t get Fatigues from fights. My own efforts to fight through the rear attackers floundered, with great saves by the Saxons and poor saves on my own part leading to losses or ties, keeping my forces hemmed in.

The last part of the battle had little left on the table. Horsa slew my Warlord and his Hearthguard. crushing the last few Warriors in the center. My last group of Warriors finally was able to squeeze through the gap of the rear guard and escape, a measly 5 men out of the whole army.

The last men in my army were the bow Levy left behind in the swamp. Horsa turned his attention to them, launching himself into their ranks. He cut down 4 of the Levy, but miraculously he must have slipped and sank into the murky water or something, as the Levy managed to kill him in combat. After that the game ended.

In the end, it was a Saxon victory by 3 VP’s. They killed my Warlord, 8 Hearthguard, 19 Warriors, and 4 Levy, but paid for it, with the loss of both of the Warlords, 8 Hearthguard, 15 Warriors, and 5 Dogs. This was a horrific battle, with the loss of 3 Warlords!

My Britons performed ok, but I made the mistake of fighting the Saxons head-on instead of retreating, as the scenario wanted. The Saxons did very well, chasing my units, forcing fights and cutting my men down. Their rear guard held my units the whole game, buying his forces time.

More battles in time.


Saga: Thundering Hooves

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , , on August 31, 2017 by Sean

I’ve finally finished the 8-man mounted Hearthguard unit for my Briton warband for Saga: Aetius & Arthur. I posted the first half of the unit earlier. They’ll also serve as Roman mounted troops as well.

The newest members include a leader type, a musician, a draco standard and a Roman signum, reflecting the mixed culture of the Romano-British models I used for the unit. I chose the standard of Legio vigesima Valeria Victrix (Twentieth Victorious Valeria Legion) which saw action in Briton in the later years of the Empire. While the unit has a roundel shield design, I added a few odd shields for individuality. The signum bearer has a small target shield with a serpent, the horn blower has a wolf, and the unit’s ‘leader’ (the second in command of the warband after the Warlord) has a unique dragon shield.

I gave the signum bearer dark skin to reflect some of the recent archeology on Rome in Britannia. I figured he was either a Berber or North African recruit, or even a recruit all the way over from the Middle East. I have also read of the grave of a Syrian who was in the Roman army found at Hadrian’s Wall, so decided to reflect that.

My group and I have been playing lots of games with the new factions. I’ve played as the Saxons, Romans, Britons, and Huns, and played against Saxons, Romans, Picts, and Britons. I haven’t tried the Goths yet, since their battle board seems so weird (emphasis on balancing Fatigue, but encouraging accumulating it).

Recently we played a Romans versus Huns, using the Champions of God scenario from Saga: The Crescent and the Cross book. My friend fielded his Romans (Warlord, 8 Hearthguard, 16 Warriors with spear, 8 bow Warriors, 6 Levy with spear, and a Manubalista) versus my Huns (mounted Warlord, 12 mounted Hearthguard, 16 mounted Warriors, and 12 bow Levy). For this game I once again broke out my grisly Goblin Wolf Riders. I’d love to some day build up an actual human mounted force, but until then only my Gobbos have enough cavalry to substitute. I also use my Goblins for the Spanish faction, another potentially all-mounted army.

The game got off to a quick start, with the Huns using their board’s ability to move the whole army (with bonus distance for cavalry) right up into the Romans’ faces. I knew the Manubalista could potentially wreck my mounted troops, so I concentrated bow fire, wiping it out after its one shot (that my guys miraculously saved against). The left Roman flank collapsed within 2 turns, the Roman commander fleeing as fast as he could to the rest of his army. The Roman right flank had been held up by my Levy archers and some careful use of Fatigue from a small skirmishing cav unit.

I could have simply retreated then and there, since the scenario was based on VP’s for kills, and I had crushed half his army for a only a little damage to my own forces. Instead I decide to make it a fun game, so the Huns swung around and chased after the Warlord and got into a scrum with the remaining Roman infantry. I wore his forces down until the scenario ended. having lost a bunch of my army needlessly. However, he couldn’t make up the gap in VP’s so win for the Huns!

Saga: Aetius & Arthur

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , on June 10, 2017 by Sean

I’ve gotten in some games of Saga, with the Aetius & Arthur expansion. We’ve been playing the decline of the Western Roman Empire in Britannia. My regular opponents and I have been using our Dark Ages models, since they are generic enough to pass as ca. 400 AD, though it does make a stickler like myself twitch that my Saxons have the wrong shields. Oh well!

The first model I’ve done for the new expansion is a mounted Warlord. This is a Gripping Beast Late Roman General model, mounted on a 60mm base. I wanted him to stand out from his mounted soldiers. This model can stand in as both a Roman general as well as a Briton hero, and in a pinch could stand in as a Gothic Warlord (by this point in history the forces are almost nearly wearing the same gear anyway). I modeled him riding his horse down a dilapidated Roman path, next to a Roman road marker. I based the writing on a photo of a real marker from Britain.

We played 2 battles today. The first was Saxons versus Britons with the Frozen River scenario. My Saxons were using the frozen river surface to invade the lands of the Britons. We played 6-point forces. Saxons were Warlord, 40 Warriors, and 12 bow Levy. The Britons were Warlord and 2 Companions, 10 mounted Hearthguard, 16 Warriors, and 12 bow Levy.

My Saxons slowly crossed the river and fords, while the Britons turtled up waiting. The Briton battle board really encourages defense over offense. The Saxons have no choice but to advance!

The fights were very bloody, but the Saxons forced the defenders back at great cost. Eventually, the Warlord met in combat, pushing back and forth before the Briton’s lord was cast down (at a cost of a dozen Saxons). There wasn’t much left of either army by the end. The end result was 9-6 VP’s left, a Saxon victory!

The second battle was the Campfire scenario. This time I was using the Romans, while my friend stuck with the Britons. Maybe the Romans were chastising the Britons for letting the Saxons overrun the frontier earlier, or the Britons were negotiating military support from the typically arrogant Romans. Either way, things got out of hand, and swords were drawn…

The Romans had a mounted Warlord, 4 mounted Hearthguard, 24 spear Warriors, 8 bow Warriors, and 12 spear Levy. Except for the new mounted Roman Warlord, I used the Anglo-Saxons/Saxons models, with some donated mounted Hearthguard. The Roman frontier forces of the era were mostly Germans by this point anyway, right? The Britons had a mounted Warlord, 8 mounted Hearthguard, 24 Warriors, and 12 bow Levy.

The scenario requires the armies being split up among each other, which means the units are threatened from all sides. I scattered the Roman Forces in a rough circle, while the Britons had a few tight bulwarks of units. The fight began with the Roman Warlord drawing his sword and leading his nearest unit of soldiers against the British lord, cutting him down. After that the Romans had the upper hand, especially in Saga dice.

The movements of both armies was chaotic, but the Romans quickly redressed their ranks and tried to hold back the Britons. The Levy struck down several British Hearthguard with their plumbatae (heavy darts) and some lucky combats. The Roman defensive abilities served them well. On the other side the Britons were wearing the Romans down, both holding their own lines and performing repeated charges and volleys of bow shots. The Hearthguard performed a disastrous charge, the Briton shieldwall holding and wiping them out. Oops. Eventually though the Roman Warlord rallied his forces and crushed the flank, beating back the encirclement and winning the battle. Final VP’s were 19-14, victory for the Romans!

French & Indian War tables

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , , , on August 14, 2016 by Sean

As long as I’m posting pics of the progress of my French and Canadian forces for Muskets & Tomahawks, I figured I’d post some pics of some of my group’s recent gaming tables. most of these tables were 4’x6′ (400 points), but the second is a 4’x4′ (200 points)

The buildings used here are laser cut wooden pieces from 4ground from Warlord Games, and the trees and shrubs are a mix of suppliers. The fences are scratch built and resin prepaints. Felt pieces mark out fields and orchard boundaries.

We tried to make ‘organic’ looking frontier settlements, with at least some resemblance to a real farmstead or trading post. The better to attempt to burn down, right? Gives the games a bit more flair than too scattered and random.

These are a few pics of units during some of the games. The Canadians and Marines are from my French force (previous posts) while the Highlanders are from a friend’s British army, though I painted those as well (shown in previous posts).

The big scrum between some French Marines and Highlanders was a decisive point in one battle, with both units crushed from the sprawling melee. After the sides broke off the fight there were only a pair of Highlanders and a single fleeing Marine left. The Marine got revenge though, managing to fight off a British Officer who cowardly charged him in the back, taking the oafish Brit out of action. The losses from the fight pushed the Brits into a Morale card situation, which eventually broke the force (good thing too, since my own force was teetering on the edge as well).

The fourth pic is a 2v1 game, with mine and a friend’s French forces versus a British force. At that point in the battle, units were depleted and scattered all over.

Saga: Avalon

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , , on March 16, 2016 by Sean

I have started a Saga campaign, based on a mysterious island in the English Channel called Avalon. I have 11 players involved so far. We did the first turn this week, with the first battles. I’m very happy it’s gotten Saga back in play at my FLGS, with 4 new armies started!  My own Anglo-Saxons hit the field, as well as some of the Irish I’ve done for a client (also in the campaign).

-Anglo-Saxons vs. Moors

-Vikings vs. Milites Christi

-Saracens vs. Bretons

-Irish vs. Vikings

Saga: Battle of Brunanburh

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , on July 26, 2014 by Sean

This Saturday we played a nice Saga Meg-battle, a recreation of the historic Battle Of Brunanburh, one of the most important battles of Medieval England. In 937 AD, King Aethelstan of England lead a coalition of English against a force of Welsh, Vikings, and Norse-Gaels. He won, cementing the idea of ‘England’ as a unified nation. It was “the moment when Englishness came of age.”

We refought this with 11 points per side. We could have gone bigger, but we didn’t want the game to go on forever.  I tried to keep track of when and where key events on our game went, but I might be misremembering or placing events out of order (one always remembers notes and proper photos too late). Here’s a best-remembered report on the battle. We had a good time, and the mostly painted forces looked great on the table. The back and forth chaos of the battle really made the game enjoyable.

My side were Anglo-Saxons, Anglo-Danes, Bretons, and Viking mercenaries. I fielded Aethelstan as my Warlord, along with 2 units of 12 Saxon Warriors, on the left-center flank. The Bretons were a Warlord and 8 Mounted Hearthguard, positioned on a rise to move to where neeeded. The same player also fielded a Viking Warlord and a bodyguard of 4 Hearthguard on the right flank. The Danes had a Warlord, a unit of 8 Warriors, and 2 6-man Hearthguard units (one with Dane Axes) in the center.

The other side were Norse-Gaels, Strathclyde Welsh, and Vikings. The Welsh had Owen as the Warlord, plus 2 4-man units of mounted Hearthguard, as well as 2 8-man units of mounted Warriors, positioned on  their right flank. The Norse-Gael had a Warlord and 2 8-man Warriors units, one equipped with double-handed axes, in the center-right. The Vikings were divided up to 2 players, with each having a Warlord. One Warlord brought a 6-man Warrior unit and 4-man Berserkers, on the left flank, while the other Warlord brought 2 units of 6 Hearthguard and a unit of 6 Warriors, center-left.

We played with an alternate activation, with a roll for initiative every turn, then moving down the line from the winner from left to right (our teams’ left and right). Activate a player’s force, then the next across from them on the opposing side.

Turn 1- The first turn was largely uneventful. Most movement, with some javelin fire on the Vikings left that did no damage from the Bretons. The Danes pushed forward in the center, closing with the Norse-Gael and Vikings who did the same. The Welsh initially held back, due to the Danes’ Intimidation, but still advanced. A unit Hearthguard advanced to midfield. The Saxons advanced and used Aethelstan’s special rule that allowed 1 unit to have javelins. The Warriors let loose at the Welsh Hearguard, killing 3. The remaining horseman played no more part in the battle aside from supplying a Saga die.

Turn 2- Things began to get interesting. The Danes closed with the Norse-Gaels, with some pushing back and forth. They beat back the Norse-Gael Warlord with a two-punch attack by Warriors and Hearthguard, but couldn’t kill him. The Danish Warriors were then wiped out by Vikings in the forest where they had retreated. The Bretons continued to pelt the Vikings on the flank with javelins, while the Viking mercs came up to taunt the Berserkers into combat. This combat was a slaughter, with both the Vikings mercs and the Berserkers all killed.  On the left flank, an 8-man unit of Welsh Warriors went in for a charge on the Danes; the combat only cost a Welsh Warrior and a Danish Hearthguard.  Aethelstan and a unit of Saxons charged the Welsh mounted Warriors; with copious board abilities, they killed the Welsh horsemen to a man.

Turn 3- The combat got messy at this point. The Vikings, Norse-Gaels, and Danes in the center mostly rested, with the Danish Warlord and another unit of Hearthguard advancing. On the right flank, the Bretons pounced on the Viking Warlord. They couldn’t kill him, but they cost him some Hearthguard in combat. He retreated, but was forced by his pride to attack the mercenary (traitor?) Warlord. In that duel the English-friendly Warlord prevailed. First dead Warlord of the battle! On the left flank things were bloody. Welsh Warriors charged the weakened Saxon unit, killing them all. The Welsh were then counter-charged by the other unit of Saxons, losing a few members. A unit of Norse-Gaels charged Aethelstan, but he held them off, forcing them back.

Turn 4- The big turn. The Welsh took their opportunity on the exposed Aethelstan. Their Hearthguard charged him, and with their board abilities he had no chance (and I decided to not use the nearby Dane unit to soak up his wounds, as he took ~10). With his death, the Saxon line wavered, but held. In response, the remaining Saxon Warriors cut them down with vengeance in their hearts. I didn’t take photos of most of this turn, but it was mostly some movement in the center by Norse-Gaels (including a unit that fled entirely due to the English Vikings’ Loki board ability) and Danes. Dane Heathgaurd attacked the Norse-Gael Warlord, forcing him back for a loss. The Bretons cut down the last Viking unit on the right flank to 1 man, who fled into the woods to block their path for future turns.

Turn 5- The end. The center became a bloodbath (noticing a trend?). The Danes charged into the Vikings in the wood. The fights were pretty even at first. However, the Viking counter-offensive resulted in the death of the Anglo-Dane Warlord. Another dead Warlord! The Bretons pulled more sneaky hit and run tactics by killing off the last Viking on the right flank, then pursuing the Norse-Gael Warlord skulking behind his line. They pushed him away from his retainers, riding him down. With his death, we ran out of time.

Conclusion- The VP total was 43 to 38, a win for Aethelstan’s forces! Not strictly historically accurate (seeing how Aethelstan and his brother Edmond both survived the actual battle…). Perhaps they were merely ‘knocked out’ and lived on… For England!

Saxon Cattle War!

Posted in Miniatures with tags , , , , , on July 2, 2014 by Sean


I’m nearly complete on work for my Anglo-Saxons for SAGA. The only member of the warband left to do is the Warlord himself. These pics are from a game this week (taken by my phone so forgive the quality). My good ‘ol Saxon boys took on some no-good Saxon boys in a disagreement over some cattle or something.This was the Escort Scenario, with my friend Richard as the ‘attacker’, escorting some cattle (and a single very confused German dancing bear).

The first pic is two of the Thegn units and some Ceorl levy bowmen, with the Warlord ready to move in the back. He’s the unpainted one on the 40mm base. He’ll be done soon.

The second pic is the other units, a Ceorl levy spear and another Thegn unit guarding the crest of a hill from some of my friend’s Thegns.

The third pic is the enemy Angle-Saxon shieldwall as it advanced, with Thegns and Ealdorman (Hearthguard), with the Warlord and their prizes forming a center.

My troops performed poorly and a few great uses of Saga abilities and great rolls crushed my line very easily. Oh well, we didn’t want those cows anyway…

Just to note, my army is mostly made of Wargames Factory’s Saxon Fyrd and Saxon Thegns, with a few metal peasants from Harlequin. Richard’s army are Gripping Beast’s Saxon Thegns.