I am sat here with a lovely book in front of me. SAGA Age of invasions from our top chums as Studio Tomahawk. It is an honour and a privilege that we are allowed to gain early access and the three of us are overjoyed. For official purpose, everything within this post is taken from the age of invasions book by Studio Tomahawk and Northern Tempest makes no claim to it.
As soon as Joe is back off his holidays we plan to gather round the mic and share it with you properly but for now here is some of my favourite teasers I thought I would share for this new book out soon. May I say two small points, first we are not sponsored and for this reason we are free to criticise or promote without influence of others. Second and with that in mind I love this book and am looking forward to annoying Joe with my Picts again.
As is tradition with these new books the artwork is exceptional, another good quality book to match the others We have more new rules and equipment including but not limited to a Manuballista and Cataphracts. We also have the return of the Limes campaign system that so many people enjoyed in the A&A book. We also see the return of the scenarios Fight around the Fire, The retreat, The cattle raid and the Frozen river.
The factions involved are Romans, Huns, Goths (in two versions) Britons who are still very Galvanised que Chemical brothers music. Saxons, Picts, Franks and Sassanids. There is a dogs of war section with eleven entries, they are taken like mercenaries. Factions have many options to dip into here and they provide a wealth of abilities to augment your list. Certainly worth investing time into learning.
There is also the old friends new enemies section which allows players to adapt other armies to the age. These include the Scotti which uses the Irish board. Alt Clut and Cymry which both allow the Welsh board. Finally the Vandals which allow use of the Carolingian board, Mike will like that one I feel.
So a look at the individual factions. As stated we will be recording soon as we can where we will discuss them as a group and debate the detail but for now here is a few teasers and a brief overview from each board for you.
Starting with the Saxons. These are not the settled version at we find in the age of Vikings that represents the Fyrd being called. These are the thoroughbred fighting machines that Vortigern asked to help fight Britons enemies following the withdrawal of Rome. As you would expect their board shows no mercy and for those of you who like a good scrap this is your friend. Plenty of bonus dice to attack with and no fatigue charges. My favourite ability is called “Death is nothing” a rare dice ability not for levies triggered in melee. After the attack dice are rolled it allows you to inflict on the enemy unit automatic hits equal to one third of what your unit suffered (Max 4)
Sassanids Look to be a fast and deadly warband, mainly mounted but by no means a shoot and scoot faction. They have a range of abilities to compliment their style and they also bring elephants to the table. We have already seen Flames of Atar in an earlier spoiler. However my favourite ability for this board is “Ahriman’s curse” which causes the enemy to suffer -1 to it’s defence dice roll. A rare die will also remove the benefit of cover.-
The Britons are next and as before the board revolves around making the most of their Galvanised ability. A mix of melee and activations this board is also ready for a fight in close quarters. There is also a few abilities that turn your warlord or heroic unit into a tank. My favourite ability for this list would be “Dux Bellorum” which is an order lasting until your next turn. It allows the unit Resilience(2) if you use a rare this is put up to 3. There is a second ability at can also use a rare for extra bonus and your warlord will be nearly unstoppable.
The Franks board heavy on the orders ability with a fair amount of planning required. These will certainly reward those of you wishing to plan ahead before the fight. The also make heavy use of Franciscas. I will pick two abilities as my favourites for these. This shows how your plans can bear fruit. Both orders and use the uncommon for the first and common dice for the second. “show of force” lets you put three markers on the ability and you remove one for each melee that you win. When all three are gone you place them on Momentum, the other ability I wish to share which is also an order. Here you may remove any of the three markers to give units the Determination rule and give them +1 bonus to their attack dice in melee.
The Goths provide us with the classic double option of taking them as visgoths or ostrogoths and also allow the new Cataphract armour. Plenty of reaction abilities grace this board and they certainly hold their own in the melee. They also play with Fatigue so this is a section of the game goth players will need to make sure they have a firm grasp of the fatigue rules. For these my stand out ability would be “Weregild” which is an order or orders reaction. Every time an opponent uses one of your fatigues they must place a fatigue on one of their own units.
The Huns offer us another hard hitting fast moving faction. They have a nice balance on the range that they offer and will certainly reward the investment that players are prepared to make in them my pick for these is a cheeky little ability that will infuriate your opponent. It is “Encirclement” and activation at allows you to choose two Hun figures within L of each other. You can then add fatigue to the units in-between them
Next up is my favourite faction from the last book, the Picts. As bold as ever these can strike from nowhere and have some abilities and can puzzle and frustrate. They play heavy on terrain so Pict plays need to put as much down as they can including dangerous terrain. “secret ways” is my standout ability here and really shows how players can frustrate the opponent. It is and activation reaction that allows a unit to escape following an attack. You do have to take the hit which you should plan ahead for and have dice for defence. After the attack the surviving models can be placed anywhere entirely within VS of uneven terrain and more than M from an enemy unit. So yes, teleporting Picts. Cannot wait to get these awesome miniatures back on the table where they belong.
Finally we come to the Roman Board and what did it ever do for us? Aside from bringing artillery to the game of course, which may I say still stings from last time. The Roman’s also have their impetus level which they can raise and lower as the battle dictates. The activation pool is replaced with rallying cry which allows you to increase your impetus level by one or two depending on the saga die. My pick for this board for this mini review will be Plumbata. It was a good ability before and just as good now. It can be combined with another ability for a frightening result. Plumbata (it has the ae combined letter which I’m not scrolling through special characters to find. Its pronounced as a hard A so ill just put an a there) It is an activation for a none ranged weapon infantry unit. You reduce your impetus by one unless you use a rare die and activate to shoot with a range of M that does not generate fatigue. Your figures have an aggression of 1 however your opponent’s armour is increased as a result.
That concludes the quick flick through the book and boards. I feel honoured that Alex Buchel took the time out to send us this. (By the way on a separate note we do have an interview with mr Buchel in our archive of episodes. There is a link to them pinned on the facebook page.) I have looked forward to this book for a while and I was not disappointed, studio tomahawk have delivered another great book with lots of options to entertain us in our gaming session. We will soon be gathering to discuss in more depth and I hope you all tune in to listen. The book will no doubt be released soon for us all to enjoy.
Buchel, A et al (2021) SAGA Age of invasions, France, Studio Tomahawk SARL