Archive for Saxons

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 Saxon 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.

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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!