We played the river crossing scenario and used a 3x4 mat as outlined in the scenario. Chris and I each brought our Armorcast bridges.
The bulk of the goblin force prepared to cross the right bridge...
...while a large unit of 12 warriors and some levies were deployed near the left.
As the Goblin (i.e. Welsh) player, I used the Taunting ability on the battle board to draw the Numenorean archers towards the bridge. I charged my warriors in and caused some serious damage.
In response, Chris sent Isildur and his elite bodyguard in to deal with the goblin warriors. When the smoke cleared, both units were wiped out and Isildur remained victorious on the bridge.
My goblin warlord and his elites prepared to counter-attack.
Meanwhile, the other bridge was less active for both sides. I used archery to try and hold back the Numenorean advance.
My warlord and his bodyguard stormed the bridge.
The goblin bodyguard died but, in true goblin fasion, my warlord charged across the bridge and tried to take down the enemy warlord. As expected, the goblin warlord died...
...and Isildur and his men crossed to the goblin side where Isildur annihilated the goblin levies.
The victorious warlord and his men.
My warriors were doing a good job of holding the Men back but, by this point, the game was over and it was too late. It was a crushing victory for Isildur and his men.
SAGA is a brilliant game - let's just get that out there first. All of the hype is well-founded. Here are some basic observations from the two games we played:
- Ranged combat is far less powerful than in other systems. For the most part, the real damage is done in close combat. This is a game where history was/is made by those who were/are man enough to pick up a sword and stand in the shieldwall, not by the skulking peasants.
- Warlords are powerful but far from invunerable. Without the support of their men they can easily be swarmed and taken out.
- The battleboard provides almost all of the faction-specific information you'll need as you plan and play your turns. Spending all of your SAGA dice to activate units is one option, but the game (or at least the turn) often goes to the player who allocates dice to special abilities, especially those that allow you to react to and interfere with your opponent's turn.
- The way in which miniatures engage in combat is very smooth. Figuring out who's fighting and who isn't is so simple yet definitive. There's not screwing around (read:40k)
- The game has depth so it rewards a good plan and cunning play, however, the rules and faction-specific abilities are limited enough that gameplay is very intuitive and decisive. Our learning game was around 90 minutues, our second game was less than an hour.
- Finally, playing without SAGA dice is very straightforward and not at all required. That said, I will be buying the SAGA dice for my Vikings as I see LOTS of games in my future.
Thanks for reading,