A few weeks ago my copy of the Saga rules arrived. Saga, for those that don’t know, is a Skirmish rules set in the Dark Ages (Vikings etc) created by Tomahawk studios and published by Gripping Beast Publishing. I am really excited about this game so excuse me if I get carried away in this post. First glance at what I got I thought, gee the rules are a bit pricey for what you get. The Rule book has a soft card cover and the pages are of the glossy magazine variety and bound with 2 staples. I thought it was a little ordinary for the price I paid for this product on this side of the world. However you get 4 colour cardboard Battle Boards with the rulebook as well. The rulebook is full colour throughout and has lots of photos of really well painted figures. Beyond all that though the 74 Pages of content is what really matters and the content is awesome. Alex Buchel (and his gaming posse) have come up with a real bonza game system. This is totally my cup of tea. No army list management or list construction voodoo sneakyness. Just get some figures and go. Others have said it but I will say it again the focus is getting toys on the table and making game choices then rolling dice. Skirmish rules so that means warbands...NOT armys. So no mega ranked figure GW 28mm fantasy collection style that you slowly collect over the course of months like I used to long ago. You can literally get yourself a box of plastic Gripping Beast Saxons or Vikings and you are all set. You got to build and paint them of course but that’s what we dig (well some of us do). Here is some random Saga science for you...
- Games are recommended to be from 4 to 6 points.
- No limitation on number of Unit types.
- No required compulsory units.
- 1 point = 4 Elite type fighters (Hearthguard) or 1 point = 8 fellas trying to impress (Warriors) or 1 point = 12 low grade peasants perhaps press ganged into action who only have slings, bows or perhaps just stones.
- Warlord (No cost).
- Fatigue. Units gain Fatigue counters until they are no longer effective and then they are destroyed.
- You can remove Fatigue counters during a game though.
Fatigue takes place of Morale and in my imagination it presents a number of reasons. Lots of bleeding wounds. Fear and so on. So it has to be managed during the game.
The Battle Boards are the wild card of the game. They contain boosts to the action on the table. An example might be adding some more attack dice in Hand to hand action or making some shooting more accurate.
At the start of each turn you roll Saga dice to allocate to slots on ya Battle Board. When you want to use a Battle Board bonus or wild card you remove the dice on that bonus.
Looking around already individual gamers are coming up with cool combos that work with their warband lists or combos that build up for a killer blow 2 turns into the future.
The game really has got my imagination fired up. It has several Scenarios (missions) and they inspire going beyond a basic Warband collection. One Scenario is ‘Escort’. Victory points for getting baggage of a side of the table successfully. I like the idea of a base of Vikings rolling some barrels of Ale across the table or herding some wailing women or just horse and carts. I have already started poking around the web for what I could use to bring these ideas to life. Let alone looking around for that perfect Dark Age miniature Warlord.
Saga producer Tomahawk also plan to introduce more Warband options and perhaps even other Periods (Crusades?). I would love to see Saga in Roman times. A lot of scope for that perhaps. I can imagine a Spartacus runaway Gladiator Warband, Legionnaires on Patrol, Gauls, Angels, Germans...Awesome!
As a testament of just how good and popular this game might be as of typing this the rule book and the groovy custom Saga dice has sold out!
Here is a couple of pics of inside the rulebook and let me know if this breaches copyright.
Here is some links that I have found for buying figures, inspiration and general usefulness.
Metal Saxon, Norman, Vikings, Carts, etc
Plastic Normans...looking forward to foot Normans in Plastic.
Hopefully in the Post a box of Plastic Vikings from these guys turns up for me soon.
Just for fun...Create a Viking Name.
Incredible Blog Post with inspirational figures. Top shelf work fella.
Cheers from The Kiwi (Brendon)