Battle in the Fog

It was an early morning, and a thick fog hung over the battlefield. Out of the fog came the sounds of battle, as the Anglo-Danes and Irish met for war.

This week’s game of Saga was a battle between the Irish and the Anglo-Danes. I’ve only played the Irish about once before, and I’ve never gone up against the Anglo-Danes, so it was going to be an interesting battle. After a friendly discussion about table sizes (my game mat matches the 90cm x 120cm that Saga ‘recommends’, which is slightly smaller than the recommended size given for outdated units of measurements), we rolled randomly for the type of battle.

We were going to be coming on the board in march column formation, and for the first three turns the battlefield would be covered in fog. This would mean no charges or shooting over a distance of M (15cm). This didn’t affect the Irish missile troops, who all had Javelins with a range of M, but did limit my horse which had a charge distance of L (30cm). The Anglo-Danes had slingers, with a range of L, but all their troops were infantry.

This evening was also the club’s AGM, which meant we lost about an hour of game time to discussions and voting. This resulted us eventually cutting the game short, but we got in four turns.

The ‘March Column’ rule for deployment meant that we rolled to see who needed to deploy the next unit. Except for a single unit of war hounds (who were placed hiding in a field to the East), the entire of the Anglo Danes had to deploy before the Irish deployed anything else.

The battle field at the start

I deployed most of my units near the middle, but my mounted Warlord and Fianna were deployed on the western flank. With me to go first, I used my three Saga dice, We Obey and Determination to charge them up the western side of the table and launch a charge into the Anglo-Danes flank of warriors. They lost two figures, and the Irish lost one.

Irish Fianna striking at the Danish flanks

We managed to fall back before it was the Anglo-Danes turn.

Unsurprisingly, the Anglo-Danes gave my mounted Fianna some fatigue, exhausting them. I had one use of Sons of Dana to shoot his troops as they moved around the woods, but that had no effect. The Anglo-Danes finished by using manoeuvre to move forward.

Anglo Danes holding back

For turn two, the Irish rested for a bit, and pulled back into position. The Anglo-Danes charged forward, engaging my warriors with their warriors. The Irish lost six men, and only managed to inflict three kills on the Anglo-Danes. The Irish were forced back.

Irish and Danish warriors clashing

On turn three, the Irish decided to use their war hounds who were still lurking in the field to attack the Anglo-Dane warriors. First though, they tried to soften up the warriors with some free javelin shots from the (few) remaining warriors and levees. Every javelin missed or was saved against.

Trying to wear down the Danes (without success)

So the war hounds charged anyway. Both the Irish and Danes got four hits against each other and managed to save them all, so we fell back into the field.

The Anglo-Danes responded with a charge against the Irish Levees, slaying 8 of them. In return, only a single Danish warrior was killed.

Irish levees getting crushed by the Danes

Turn four, and again the Irish use of Javelins did nothing. By this time the fog had lifted, and my mounted Fianna were in position to charge the front line Anglo-Dane warriors. They got 3 kills, with no casualties themselves, and the one remaining Danish warrior had to fall back.

Irish Fianna charging warriors

My war hounds were brought into use again, charging the second line of Danish warriors. Again though the Danes held firm, and slew four hounds, forcing them back into their field.

Final charge of Irish war hounds

It was the Anglo-Danes turn to take the offensive, and managed to wipe out my mounted Fianna with slingers. The rest of the Danes were now moving up the table, ready to bring the full force of their strength against the remaining Irish.

By now though it was quite late, and we were the last game still playing whilst everyone else was clearing away their tables. Though we still had two turns to go, I decided to call an end to things, and gave victory to the Anglo Danes.

Though I’d had a bit of success at the start, and the Danes had spent a lot of effort trying to avoid my Sons of Dana, they had the advantage and things were bound to only get worse for the Irish as we moved into more melee.

I think the mere threat of some of the Irish abilities limited what the Danes were doing. But then I also had the same problem, since the Danes could put fatigue down on my units, making it dangerous to try hit and run tactics.

It was a good game though, and interesting to fight a new army. One of the things that I like about Saga is that there is a lot of variety between the different factions, with each having its own battle board. Before I play the Danes again, I’ll need to think about how best to counter them.

Samuel Penn