The Grand Melee

The dust has settled and we three are back home with lots to consider. we enjoyed all our games playing many factions, some for the first time (at least in this addition) I would like to thank all my opponents for the great games enjoyed. Tom Brinkman, Andy Parker, Mark “The champ” Birch, Richard Malpas (Where I believe we set a new speed record, 6 turns in 30 minutes) Luke Jackson, and Hamza Liciuu.

Thanks also to Gripping Beast for the support and prizes.

Nice day for gaming

For a full recounting ( Or the best I can recall from the second day) we hope to record a podcast on Sunday 5th December. For now, this will be a brief summary of the event as a whole.

The venue was Warfare held this year at the glamorous location of Ascot racecourse. The saga room presented us with some nice views although the lighting was a little dull later in the games. all in all, there was plenty of space to spread out over and the games did not feel cramped as 24 chaps moved about.

The cold walk in

Overall there was a good spread of factions, a few missing but only 4 factions were represented twice. One of which was Pagan Rus which explains the weather we had. It was also a close run event, either of the top two could have won going into the last game and the top 5 was far from settled.

  • Mark Birch 5 wins 29pts Scots
  • Chris Ainsworth 5 wins 27pts Carolingians (Capetians)
  • Joe Messenger 4 wins 27pts Iberians
  • Hamza Liciuu 4 wins 24pts Saracens
  • Chris Churchill 3 wins 23pts Carthgenians
  • Richard Barter 3 wins 23pts Byzantines
  • Andy Lyon 3 wins 22pts Saracens
  • Rob Pierce 3 wins 22pts Gauls
  • Richard Malpas 3 wins 21pts Pagan Rus
  • Jed Tales 3 wins 21pts Pagan Rus
  • James Joynson 3 wins 21pts Welsh
  • Jack Hocking 3 wins 21pts Byzantines
  • Austin Smith 2 wins 19pts Milites Christi
  • Matthew Reiling 3 wins 19pts Republican Romans
  • Rick Hocking 2 wins 18pts Scots
  • Silvio La Verde 1 win 17pts Pagan Peoples
  • Richard Cooper 2 wins 17pts Anglo Danes
  • Luke Jackson 1 win 16pts Ordinstaat
  • Dean Evenden 1 win 16pts Carolingians
  • Andrew Parker 2 wins 16pts Irish
  • Tom Brinkman 2 wins 16pts Normans
  • Jean Paul Affagard 1 win 15pts Anglo Saxons
  • Raymond Broadbent 1 win 13pts Norse Gaels
  • Steve Graham 0 wins 7pts
The champ Mark Birch
Silver medal position, our own Chris Ainsworth or Northern Tempest
In Bronze (Judge) Joe Messenger of Northern Tempest
The Wooden spoon Steve Graham.
The Lord “S” declared Andy Lyon had the best presented army

For this event. Mark Birch was also collecting data as to the significance of being player one or player two. He posted his findings on the Discord forums but for those not there I shall repost his words here.

Final analysis on Warband choices. We played the FAQ half-point swap rule, which worked well, also note that generally in the UK we play with 6pts from a 7pt roster. So 24x 7 means that 168pts were chosen. Obviously different warbands favour different troop types, but overall;
3 elephants
45.5 hearthguard
75 warriors
29.5 levy
15 mercs
So just under half 45%, were warriors

Credit Birch,M. available at Saga tournaments in SAGA THORSDAY. Discord accessed 29th November 2021

UK GM scenario analysis, for this we scored, 5 for a win, 3 for a tie, 1 for a loss with a bonus point for killing your opponents warlord. The tournament rules were that 4 pts difference was required for a win. The final round was a bit different, so looking at the first 5 rounds, the results are shown from the perspective of Player 1
Desecration, won 3 drew 7 lost 2, player 1s scored 42 pts, player 2s scored 38 pts
Old feud, won 7 drew 1 lost 4, player 1s scored 45 pts, player 2s scored 31 points
Change of Plans, won 8 lost 4, player 1s scored 46 points, player 2s scored 34 points
F&P, won 2 drew 2 lost 8, player 1s scored 25 points, player 2s scored 54 points
Claiming territory, won 6, drew 1, lost 5, player 1s scored 42 points, player 2s scored 39 points

Credit Birch,M. available at Saga tournaments in SAGA THORSDAY. Discord accessed 29th November 2021

So on a sample of 12 games per round, what can you conclude?
Desecration& Claiming territory seemed to have no obvious advantage to either player.
Feud & Change of Plans both seem to favour player 1
Feasting & Pillaging showed a strong favouring to player 2
Desecration also had a lot of draw, this could be as it was game 1 & players were more cautious, but could be driven by the tournament requirement for a 4 point difference as in BoB you only require a 1 point difference

Credit Birch,M. available at Saga tournaments in SAGA THORSDAY. Discord accessed 29th November 2021

The final game was Clash of Warlords. You only required a 2 point difference & draws only scored the same points as losing ie 1 point. The aim here is to try to create a final between the top 2 & down the table.
Only 1 player 1 won this scenario, with 2 draws & 9 wins for player 2. Player 1s scored 19 pts, player 2s scored 55 pts. So this scenario seems to strongly favour player 2.
My takeaway is that for future tournaments player 1 may need a tournament rule to help them in Feasting & Pillaging & Clash of Warlords.

Credit Birch,M. available at Saga tournaments in SAGA THORSDAY. Discord accessed 29th November 2021

With that done, I’ll leave with a few pics. There may be a wyvern war games event next year depending on support so we shall see, always a good event though so let’s hope so.

By Jim

I spent most of my days on building sites involved in and around brickwork. I've recently been following my passion for history and decided to jump in fully by starting university in my 30's.

2 replies on “The Grand Melee”

I see that there were no jomsviking players at the grand melee. I have found that with the new faq which changed song of steel to give them javelins till the end of the turn , combined with fury of the pagans and appeal to the gods ,makes them superstrong.

or is it just me that dont know how to deal with them?


Jomsviking are hard to deal with, I find they flow in and out of favour with people. That combination gives them much more strength, I do think they lack the ability to force people to give them wrath still though. It is rough to play against them, if your struggling to deal with them may I suggest developing a long term plan. Where and when for each scenario you allow them to have wrath. If you have the last turn you can let more wrath accumulate late on when they can’t take advantage of it. Always monitor their board closely.


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