A fine SAGA Tournament taking place in Liverpool which was host to a mix of veteran and newer players. I say newer players but I must also add the standards were very high and they were all experienced in other systems which always helps.
For this event a had planned to take Carolingians which I had been using with some success. However when discussing armies with Chris the week before he mentioned Normans but said I couldn’t get an army ready for the event. This proved to be a challenge but a few days later I had a New army painted and ready to go. So I took my new Normans, Chris used his trusty welsh and Joe opted to use Norse Gaels although he was concerned the lack of shooting defence maybe dangerous as had proved in the practice games we had.
Prize support was provided by Footsore. We knew from our own events that footsore are always generous with there support and boast some excellent models. This was no exemption with a wealth of prizes
With the pairings done we got underway with the first round of the event which would be Desecration (Located on page 26 of the saga book of battles. My opponent for this would be……. Chris from our podcast. And his delightful Welsh with javelins sharpened. Joe was facing off against Dave Minnis playing Pagan Rus.
If you win, you’re walking homeMy opening comments to Chris
We Tactically placed terrain in order to hinder each other somewhat. I had a some Rocky ground for my Bows and we Both used swamps to protect the objectives. Terrain hurt me somewhat more than Chris who could use it to attack and as a safe place to retreat to avoid any charges from me. The problem we both had was efficient activation-reactions on our board. While Chris had the edge on those my army could move faster. This resulted in a standoff and shoot war with very little close combat. I was aware of how quickly javelins could destroy my mounted list. The Game ended as a win to me and we decided to go for a walk round Liverpool. Joe had a brutal game next to us finishing some time later as a hard fought draw (He goes into more depth in the podcast)
Game 2 was the Ambush scenario taken from page 24 of the Book of battles. For this I was matched against Andy Lyons and his fearsome Jomsviking. Next to us Chris and Joe had been paired against each other in a classic Northern Tempest fight to the death (Not literally, no Podcasters were hurt during this game) Again more details of this titanic clash in the podcast.
The game started with us setting the table. This is an important part of the game. It allows a player to prepare his side or add terrain that will hinder the opponent as I did by placing a swamp in Andy’s deployment area near to where I hoped he would want to be and a Large field. Andy also opted for a Marsh in my deployment zone and a large wood.
The Game started with us both striking rapidly for the objectives, I attacked from range with my bows and Andy made devastating use of Nordic Tempest. (The old name was better) as ever with Jomsvikings it becomes a game of when they play punishment. Trying to draw it out early is always key, however no cheap tricks would fool Andy so this was a tough puzzle. You know that they want wrath, but you have to balance the pain of not giving them any with the consequence of what happens if you do.
We both played wide in this scenario, Andy got 2 objectives with his warlord and hearth-guard and made for cover. I played as aggressive as I dared with my warriors knowing full well how badly a mistake would be punished. I did give wrath at times but I tried to keep it on my terms, this meant that I also had to factor in song of steel to my thinking. This ability could mean I have to watch as my warriors disappear should I get within easy range. The game when back and forth with this dance until it ended in a 32-32 draw. Hard fought but a great puzzle to solve.
The last game saw me draw against Mark Williams and his all mounted Welsh army. This army was beautifully painted and based and despite the challenge of the speed of it, I was looking forward to the combat. This round was feasting and pillaging found on page 20 of the book of battles. Mark won the role off and after very quickly gained all three objectives. He did however, not do this in a rash advance but laid a deadly trap, the move to grab the objective was done to spread out the unit towards the back of the board. Now it had been clarified that the whole unit had to be within the a move from the board edge to go off. But the trap was set that should I shoot and kill models in the unit, the objective would move with the unit closer and and I would have further to go.
So as I saw it the only move to make was to allow the units with the objectives to make it to the edge of the board while I focused on the remainder and then hope to re capture a few before it was too late. This plan paid off in the long run as mounted welsh do not like being shot or charged with Javelins, my Hearth guard going in with charge and taking the fatigue for more attacks wiped out a unit of warriors for no loss which was a boost for my chances. I managed to get an objective back and kill all but the off board units, the game ended as a win to me. I must say this was tough and I had to get some fresh air after.
Before we get to the final standing there was best painted army. Matt Spooner’s Normans winning the prize for this and a loverly army it is too. Matt has kindly sent me a few photos of his faction to share with the group