Sunday, 19 October 2014

Ilford SAGA Day

Had a great time today at Ilford Wargaming Group's SAGA day. Three games were played by each of the 12 participants. In the first game I squared off against a Norman opponant in a scenario called hostages. At the start of the game 3 figures from each warband were exchanged and held in three different units as hostages. I think quite a few folks fielded levy in this game! Hostages are rescued by winning a combat against the holding unit. If a unit is destroyed by missile fire, the hostage is killed! I managed to win this one by rescuing two of my levy (against 1 for the Normans). Three points in the bag!

The second game was a variation of Chance Encounter. This time my Anglo Danes and the vanquished Normans became allies while we tried to get two baggage trains across the board to safety. We faced a combined force of Vikings (who came with a 12 strong unit of hearthguard - with an armour of 6!) and Welsh. The Gods were listening to the prayers of the Anglo Dane Religious Advisor and we not only managed to get all of our baggage across the table, but the combined efforts of Anglo Danes and Normans also smashed our opponents baggage - along with the Welsh warlord. In what turned out to be a nifty move, my Norman warlord ally used multiple dice to race from one side of the table to the other, crossing a wood and drinking all of the Viking's beer! Turns out my mounted friend was a hero character who was immune to fatigue! As you can probably guess, the Viking warlord was none too pleased and decided to take swift and decidedly deadly revenge. To cut a long story short, the Normans took one for the team but we won! Six points on the scorecard, with one game to go.

So now we arrive at the start of game three. This time, Anglo Danes, Normans, Vikings and Welsh are all friends again. We were joined by another Anglo Dane warband and yet more Vikings. Six warbands - all sat on one side of a rather long table facing another six warbands for a mega multi-player game! And here's the photo to prove it.



It turns out that at this point in the tournament, only two warbands are in with a chance of winning first prize. Since I had won two games and had 6 points, one of the contenders was my Anglo Danes!


The last game was a slaughter fest, with one side of the table battling the other and warbands keeping count of kills. The side with the greatest number of kill points (from all warbands combined) would win the last game, taking another 3 points.

And the winner was...



The other side!


Another Welsh warband was sat opposite me and next to them (middle of the photo) were the Milites Christi. The Welsh fielded a unit of 12 javelin armed and mounted hearthguard who, it's fair to say, gave my Anglo Danes a jolly good spanking!! An opposing Saracen warband also did bad things to some Vikings (helping to earn the Saracens a prize for bloodiest warband). Since the opposite side had won game three, the Milites Christi took another 3 points for a total of 9 and first prize. Congratulations to Ian Mackay for a well earned victory!

It was a great day and an interesting way to play SAGA. The second game in particular was very enjoyable with lots of cooperation between the two allied warbands.

A big thanks to Dave Clarke and everyone else at Ilford for organising such an enjoyable and smooth running event.


Edit: Ilford Wargaming Group have published some more photos of the event on their website.



  1. Holy crap! That last game was impressive! Great photo down the length of table. Nice write up.


    1. The table 'board' was actually painted onto a roll of material. There were woods, elevations and other pre-painted terrain. Some models (trees and the like) were placed on appropriate areas. One good idea was the prepainted rivers and fords. But instead of calling them rivers, they were labelled as marshes. Useful way of braking up the board, without hindering movement too much.

  2. Sounds like a great day. Was the last game really 6 games of 1-on-1, or did adjacent forces help or hinder each other?

    1. Well, each side took its turn at the same time and warbands had the opportunity to move wherever their SAGA dice permitted them. Since the Welsh raced across the board and there pointy sticks at me, my own movement was constrained (!) and I had limited interaction with my adjacent allies. However, other warbands interacted a little more. The second multi-player game with baggage, probably worked better - because of the shared objectives. I've suggested some possible alterations to the organisers that may help to increase interactions between warbands at future events.

  3. "threw their pointy sticks..." Dam autocorrect!