Saga - Second Edition

Richard
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Re: Saga - Second Edition

Post by Richard » Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:24 pm

Richard wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:21 pm
Just a heads up for those interested in Dark Age armies, though not just for Saga. I was talking to a gaming friend yesterday and the new edition of Saga came up. He told me that another gaming friend of his was talking to Julian, one of the owners of Victrix, at a show recently and he told him that the next period for Victrix will be the Dark Ages. Looking at the quality of what Victrix are now producing in plastic then this is excellent news - have a look at their Imperial Romans or Celts! The downside is that, from previous experience, it usually takes a year from concept to gaming table for Victrix. Having said that, it will give you time to clear the decks so you’re ready to paint them when they arrive.

Also, Footsore Miniatures have now released their armoured Hirdmen for their Vikings and they look every bit the quality we have come to expect from this company. Only need some Berserks now and a Saga force will be complete!

Richard
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Re: Saga - Second Edition

Post by Richard » Thu May 31, 2018 9:13 pm

After considerable delays - mostly my own availability being a problem - I finally played my first game of Saga using the 2nd Edition Rules this week. Now I haven’t played Saga for probably 5 years or more, so you can imagine (with my memory) it was a tad tricky to say the least. Probably wasn’t really helped by using Anglo Saxons against Normans where any serious mistake could be quickly and most bloodily pounced on by those garlic eating treacherous pseudo frogs! (These are not to be confused with my own Normans who are the enlightened bringers of civilisation into the backward world of Dark Age Britain!) ;)

I would say that the game basically went quite historically with the A-S’s trying to use the terrain to avoid the worst excesses of Norman missile fire, whilst the Normans chose where they wanted to initiate the melees before retiring from A-S counter attacks! However, the A-S have some powerful Saga abilities with regard to ‘Fatigue’ so if they can hold the initial Norman charges and build up fatigue on their knights then they can cause them to become ‘exhausted’ - a cavalry commanders nightmare of having his troops on ‘blown’ horses! When exhausted they can do nothing but ‘rest’ so are effectively sitting targets for a quick dash forward by the A-S foot, who proceed to enjoy horse burgers for the post battle feast! I managed to do this to kill the Norman Warlord, who found his blown horse of little use when confronted by a group of irate Huscarls, carrying Danish Axes with malice aforethought! Sadly, by the time I had worked this out it was too late in the day to gain the victory but carrying off the head of the Norman Warlord to decorate my Warlords summer residence would certainly set the standard for ‘must have’ home accessories in the neighbourhood!

The game certainly provided a steep learning curve. For example, I wasn’t aware of the ‘close up’ rule that can be vital to the A-S in particular until after the game and I was thoroughly confused in the first couple of turns about when I could actually use some Saga abilities (eg, completely missing a phase when I wanted to use a powerful ability as I thought it was at the end of my turn when it was actually at the beginning...oops!) but the whole point of this game was to get a good look at the rules and see whether I would enjoy playing them on a regular basis...once I’d actually learned them of course! Unless something jumps out of the woodwork that I’m as yet unaware of, then the answer is a definite ‘Yes’.

I haven’t space for a full review and there are already some good ones on you tube, etc, but I’ll just mention a couple of stand out changes that I noticed and thought played a significant part in the game I played...

My concerns over the changes to the Warlord rules proved unfounded. He has become toned down whilst potentially being even more potent. Ok, I know that sounds contradictory but his attacks have increased to 8 ( :o ) making him a tad dangerous, though - on the downside - he can now only offload hits onto Hearthguard class troops. No more gathering a group of Warriors about him and charging off into the enemy with each warrior in turn nobly sacrificing himself to prevent his Warlord losing any vital bits to anything sharp coming his way from a hostile enemy! Thus even offloading hits is going to really hurt. Another highly significant point is that he only generates 1 Saga die nowadays.

Talking of Saga dice, Hearthguard continue to generate a die as long as anyone in the unit remains but Warriors now require to have 4 surviving figures in the unit to generate a die! Big change that so no more scurrying your last Warrior in a unit to the back of the table for safety and still collecting a die for him! Another big change is that Levy units now generate a die BUT only if there are at least 6 figures remaining in the unit.

The biggest change (for me) on the battleboards is that you can now leave dice on the battleboard from a previous turn and these DO NOT count towards your Saga dice total for this turn. In the past if you generated 5 Saga dice but had 2 dice on the battleboard from last turn then you either had to remove those dice or subtract them from the 5 total. However, now you may still roll all 5 dice AND leave the dice on the board provided the total number of Saga dice in play does not exceed 8! This is a very big change allowing either more to happen in a single turn or allowing you to plan ahead to achieve that big attack that could turn the battle your way...or fail miserably! :lol:

There is a new concept called ‘Manoeuvre’ which, if you are outside L distance of the enemy (12”) gives you a free move that does NOT count as an activation provided you do not move to within L of any enemy. This certainly saw a lot more units move in the first turn than usual and I think it’s designed to get troops up the table in a turn restricted game. I think it’s great!

Please bear in mind I’ve only really seen two of the battleboards in any detail but both seemed to support an historical interpretation of the warfare style of the factions being played. The Anglo-Saxon board offers strong defensive abilities with some powerful options to wear down the opposition by placing fatigue on their units. These combine well with closing ranks (a defensive tactic available to all factions), whereby the defending unit halves it’s own attacks to increase it’s armour rating. These abilities can build very strong shield walls to absorb the enemy attacks before counterattacking when they are vulnerable, which sounds pretty Anglo-Saxon to me. Of course the enemy will be doing his best to load his own Saga abilities to break through the shieldwall and thus the combat friction is created. The Norman board focuses on missile firepower and cavalry movement, encouraging the softening up of enemy units before they are charged by the knights. I can’t remember anything to boost combat infantry. It also provides an option for the Knights to withdraw to safety if about to be charged by the enemy. However, exhausted knights won’t benefit from this so care is required. I’m now very interested to see the changes on the Viking battleboard as the Viking vs Saxon encounters epitomised the clash of power vs endurance in the first edition of the rules.

I’ll wrap it up there by saying that, after the disappointment of the Godslayer Kickstarter, I am pleased to say my interest in Saga has definitely been reawakened. :D

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Matt
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Re: Saga - Second Edition

Post by Matt » Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:16 pm

Cheers Rich. I meant to try and get a demo of Saga at Salute this year but I kept getting distracted by other shiny things :D

Has anyone else picked this up?
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MrDwhitey
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Re: Saga - Second Edition

Post by MrDwhitey » Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:28 pm

I have books and models, nothing put together or painted yet.
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Matt
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Re: Saga - Second Edition

Post by Matt » Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:57 pm

MrDwhitey wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:28 pm
I have books and models, nothing put together or painted yet.
The new edition?
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John
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Re: Saga - Second Edition

Post by John » Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:30 pm

I've got both the new rules edition and the new Vikings book, which gives all the Battleboards for the original factions, plus the boards for the Byzantines etc. The Arthur rulebook was written at the time the 2 Ed rules were being written so already work for 2 Ed They have just added the new rules and BBs for The Crescent and Cross, bringing them into line with 2 Ed.
If anyone wants to try the new rules without having to buy the Books, I can supply them as .pdfs
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MrDwhitey
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Re: Saga - Second Edition

Post by MrDwhitey » Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:31 pm

Yup, 2nd edition.
Warzone Resurrection (Dark Legion),Dropzone Commander (Scourge),Infinity (Combined Army & PanOceania),X-Wing (Imperial and Rebel),Battlefleet Gothic (Imperial and Chaos),Malifaux (Guild, Ressers), Gates of Antares (Ghar), 40k (Chaos)

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Matt
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Re: Saga - Second Edition

Post by Matt » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:49 am

MrDwhitey wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:31 pm
Yup, 2nd edition.
Let me know if you fancy a game! You'll have to show me how to play though! :D
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Richard
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Re: Saga - Second Edition

Post by Richard » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:52 pm

As someone who was quite dubious about this second edition, having now played two games I feel quite enthusiatic about the changes. The increase in Saga dice availability increases the opportunity of more actions/boosters during a turn which all adds to the fun or chaos! By separating the factions into World Books they have, at a stroke, addressed one of the greatest criticisms of the first edition as your comparatively slow moving infantry factions, eg Anglo-Saxons, will no longer be standing around helplessly as the horse archer hordes whittle them down to nothing!

A new change that arose in my latest game is that Javelin armed infantry now gain +1 to their dice scores when then charge the enemy, reflecting some last second Javelin throwing before melee occurs. Thus the Welsh and Irish need more careful watching as they can advance (move) then throw a volley of javelins for free (this has always been the case) but now, instead of nervously hanging around waiting for the chance to throw again, if their first volley causes some damage they can charge in with +1 to their combat dice which makes they considerably more dangerous, although they remain more vulnerable themselves (which again was always the case).

Matt, if you check out ‘Saga Thorsday’ on the Internet then you will find some introductory videos for the new edition. Just check that it is the second edition as the guy made loads of videos for the first edition as well which are obviously past their sell by dat now! :roll:

Personally, for the first few games I’d recommend infantry forces, which are generally more forgiving of mistakes, as cavalry can move very quickly and need careful handling to avoid confusion and possible disaster.

Richard
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Re: Saga - Second Edition

Post by Richard » Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:59 am

Just picked these up from eBay at a silly price...don’t have a Military Order warband yet but probably will in the future. The same guy is also selling Norman dice for £6 (half price) if anyone’s interested...

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SAGA-dice-ch ... 1438.l2649

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