Romans and Saxons

This weeks game of Saga: Age of Invasions was the first outing of my Roman army. It’s a four point army from Gripping Beast, which consists of:

  • Mounted Warlord
  • Mounted Hearthguard
  • Hearthguard
  • Warriors
  • Levies with Javelins

They were up against a 4pt Saxon army, which had two hearthguard and two warrior units. This gave the Romans the advantage of missile troops and mounted troops.

I was the second player, and we went for a random scenario, which resulted in:

  • Scenary: Frontier Region (2nd player puts down 3-4 pieces of terrain)
  • Deployment: Vanguard (mounted and missile troops deployed first)
  • Length: Regicide (6 turns, or death of warlord)
  • Special: Dash of Nostalgia (Warlord gives 2 saga dice)
  • Victory: Target (double massacre points for one unit)

Deployment basically consisted of most of my troops coming on the board, then the entire Saxon army, then the last of the couple of Roman units. I chose the Saxon warlord as my target, and the Saxons chose my unit of Levies.

My plan was to try and use my warriors to pin the Saxons in the middle of the table, with the Levies harassing them at range, and my infantry hearthguards to charge and finish off anything fighting the warriors and levies.

My warlord and mounted hearthguard I wanted to bring out and round to attack the Saxon Warlord at the rear. I’d deliberately left the centre of the table clear of terrain to try and give my mounted troops lots of room to manoeuvre.

Turn one. Since we’d both deployed quite far forward, the Saxons were able to use manoeuvre to bring themselves within two moves of the Roman ranks. It allowed them to use The Storm Breaks to charge two of their units against my Levies.

The first wave of Saxons had 16 attack dice, versus three from the Romans. The Saxons got five kills, but the Romans managed to kill 3 Saxons in return before falling back. Because the Levies fell back, the second Saxon unit triggered by The Storm Breaks wasn’t able to charge.

Now it was the Roman’s turn. I used Plumbat√¶ and In This Sign, Conquer. This allowed my warriors (who had no missile weapons) to shoot at the nearby unit of Saxon warriors. The second ability gave me some automatic hits. The unique feature of the Roman faction is that they have a resource called Impetus. This starts at four, and is reduced by some abilities.

However, the current level of Impetus affects how powerful those abilities are. In This Sign, Conquer reduces my Impetus by one, but replaces a number of attack dice equal to my Impetus with automatic hits. This got the Romans four kills on the Saxons, and them the Levies used their free shooting action with their javelins to kill the last one in that unit.

In turn two, the Saxons used Vivacity and The Storm Breaks to move forward and attack again. They kept getting ‘Helmet’ dice, so were able to use The Storm Breaks without gaining fatigue.

First, a Saxon hearthguard unit charged against my mounted hearthguards. It was a disaster for the Romans, and the entire mounted unit was wiped out. Two Saxons were killed though.

Next, the Saxon warriors charged against my warriors. I closed ranks, and only took a couple of casualties, killing one Saxon in turn. My warriors had to fall back, but were mostly intact.

In the Romans turn, I used Signa to rest my Warlord and Warriors. Then I used Plumbat√¶ again to kill a Saxon warrior (not as good a result as I’d wanted). My Hearthguard infantry charged in, and got two kills, but at the cost of a Hearthguard. I finished things off with the Levies shooting against the warriors, which did nothing.

So my plan to try and use my warriors as a defensive wall was so far sort of working. The hearthguard infantry were doing their job, and the levies were harassing.

Unfortunately, I’d completely lost my unit of mounted Hearthguard, which meant I’d been forced to bring by Warlord back to where my infantry were. Now he was stuck next to the infantry to be able to use them as bodyguards, he’d lost his movement advantage.

Turn three was where the attrition really started to set in. My levies were almost wiped out by a charge from the Saxon Hearthguards, with only one surviving. The Saxon warriors charged my warriors again, and once again we closed ranks. Despite the Saxons making use of multiple battleboard abilities to give themselves extra attack dice, they completely bounded. No Romans were killed, and the Saxons were forced to fall back with no casualties themselves.

With the Saxons now closer, it was time for the Romans to go on the offensive. Plumbatæ killed one Hearthguard, and my heavy infantry charged in. We got one kill on the Saxons, and no losses for us. My warriors charged against their warriors, and took two casualties without killing any Saxons.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough Saga dice to activate anyone to attack the Saxon Warlord, so he was safe for now.

Turn four was to be the final turn. The Saxons went all out, managing to wipe out my remaining Hearthguard with their warriors, then it was time for The Storm Breaks again to attack my warlord. First, the warriors went in, which only resulted in one of them dying. Though being forced into melee gave my Warlord a fatigue.

Then the Saxon Hearthguard went for my warlord, forcing him to use a fatigue to cancel a hit. But he wiped out the Saxons in turn.

That left Warlord against Warlord. The Roman had three fatigue, so was exhausted. The Saxon Warlord charged in, and got a single hit which was enough to kill the Roman.

This was now the final turn, so I threw everything I had against the Saxon Warlord. However, I only had one Saga die, so that wasn’t much. The last of my warriors gave their lives trying to kill the warlord, but failed. One warrior was left alive at the end. Finally, my one remaining Levie threw a javelin and got a hit, giving the Saxon Warlord another fatigue, leaving him exhausted.

But with a warlord dead, it was the end of the game, with victory going to the Saxons.

Samuel Penn