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Saga is a Dark Ages skirmish system that can be used for a wide variety of periods. Forces are broken up into units of anywhere from 4-12 figures, which have different stats depending upon troop type. Each turn a player rolls a handful of order dice depending upon the number of units, which are then set out in various combinations on a roster card that dictates which units will move along with their special abilities for that turn. Each army has various abilities such as improving melee dice, re-rolling, sacrificing casualties for extra die rolls, etc., which makes it very challenging for players to choose the right combination each turn. Melee and shooting are done with a series of die rolls along with saves, which is quick and pretty deadly. There are several supplements to the rules and plenty of ideas for adapting them to other periods.

Saga Playtest


First Battle Using The Saga Rules

Although it's been out for a few years now, this was our first time trying out the Saga rules for Dark Ages skirmishes. Rob had created a beautiful 4 x 4 terrain set up with a great looking river for the battle as well as prepping the scenario. We used the forces at hand since there were four of us, so it might not have been the most historical scenario that we've ever played. There were a force of Teutonic knights and Welsh who entered on the opposite side of the board that were responsible for preventing the Normans and Vikings from sacking the town. Since this was basically a learning scenario we had a lot of questions and it took awhile for us to get the hang of the order dice, but in the end everything worked out great.

The Teutonic knights and Normans went right after each other from the first turn! There were a series of charges, melees, then multiple shooting at each other type rounds that bloodied both forces quickly. On the other side of the board both sides were having difficulty moving up as the terrain precluded any wide deployments and the bridge produced a bottleneck. After a few turns, however, both sides came to grips with each other in a series of deadly hand to hand battles. After a seesaw struggle with the Welsh, the Vikings were severely depleted and the Normans were already in bad shape. In the end the game was called as a Teutonic/Welsh victory as the Normans and Vikings ran out of gas and had taken too many losses. For our first time the game went pretty well and after a few turns everyone figured out the system. It would be interesting to see this game played with larger forces and hsitorical opponents, plus I would like to see it tried with other periods.

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