After a great game of SAGA at the club a couple of Fridays back, we thought it would be fun to play The Battle of Hastings, SAGA style. Perhaps rashly I offered to put together a scenario for both Hastings and Stamford Bridge. Well one thing leads to another and once I got the bit between my teeth I thought I might as well do Fulford Gate as well!
The three scenarios are now written and play testing will begin soon. I've used the excellent As Told in the Great Hall as the main source of information for each scenario. This book offers background information, battlefield plans and orders of battle that proved quite easy to adapt for SAGA.
The overall design consideration for the campaign is to make the games, whether players win or lose, fun. Each scenario is based on the three real battles, with specific elements added to warband composition, deployment and special rules. All of which should introduce a little spice. Each game is intended to be played as a two vs two player game. This ensures there are common (and sometimes conflicting) objectives for players to achieve and ensures the games are more 'social' and less competitive than standard 1 vs 1 player games. Here's a summary of what I aim to achieve for each scenario:
A smaller Anglo Danish force has a defensive position on a low hill in the marshes. A larger Viking force must negotiate local tides to cross fords and achieve victory before nightfall.
An unarmoured Viking force is camped awaiting arrival of hostages and caught unawares by a fully armoured Anglo Dane force. Viking reinforcements are on the way. A lone Viking champion stands on a bridge. Can he hold back the attackers long enough for his companions to mount an effective defence?
A fatigued and somewhat depleted Anglo Danish force stands on a hill facing Normans (and Bretons if figures available). A trickle of Anglo Dane reinforcements arrive as the battle progresses. The Normans must secure victory before the trickle becomes a flood. If Vikings manage to win at Stamford Bridge they may play this battle, but each Viking warlord should remember that there can only be one King of England.