torstai 2. toukokuuta 2019

First go with Saga - Age of Magic

Bringing more fantasy into Saga!



Since Age of Magic -universe for Saga was announced, there's been quite a buzz going on about it in the Finnish FB-group for Saga. May of us, including myself, saw this as an opportunity to dust old
fantasy miniatures (most of come from Warhammer) and paint some new lying around in our piles of tin, resin and plastic. I also really like the approach or design philosophy of AoM, as stated by Studio Tomahawks designers in the book:



 My plan was to start AoM with Dwarves (Masters of Underearth) and Beastman 
(Lords of the Wild or Horde). 
Read on to learn about my MoU Warband project and about my first two games with AoM. 



Masters of Underearth

Saga AoM gave me the reason and motivation to paint some exotic Dwarf minis I had bought / Kickstarted during the last couple of years. Center pieces of my Warband will be the Airship from Norba Miniatures Kickstarter (which unfortunately has some quality issues) and my Warlord mounted on a huge bear (Scribor miniatures). Bear cavalry (Creatures for my Warband) are also pretty cool (also Norba Miniatures). The Dwarf statue will act as my Titan (Monster).



Warriors with firearms (Mom Miniatures)

Seriously old school!
Ancient Citadel Dwarf Flamethrower team 
rebased into a Destruction team.

So my first 8 point Warband would be:

  • Warlord on Beast
  • 3 Quadruped Creatures 1,5p
  • Flying Warmachine 0,5p
  • Alchemist 0,5p
  • 28 warriors 3,5p
    • Destruction team 2 w
    • Firearms 10 W
    • Standard 10 W
    • Heavy wpn 6 W
  • Sorceror 1p
  • Monster: Titan 1p.

Saga AoM Gaming Day at the Club

I was away for Eastern and was now itching to get playing AoM. So I set up a games day for a Saturday. Mikko joined in for his first game of Saga 2nd edition, Lasse for his first game of Saga and Matti joined me in running these demo games. 

Matti's Great Kingdoms WB getting ready to face Lasse's Undead legions

Mikko deploying his vile Otherwordly forces

A Hail Caesar game was also running at the club, with Juha-Matti
as a potential new member watching


Game 1. Clash of Warlords against Mikko's Otherwordly Dark Elves

Mikko had also aquired AoM from Salute and asked me to run a introductory game for Saga 2.0,as he was yet to play it. So we set down to play with 8 point warbands.

Our mode of deployment was "standard" 12" and both players had placed their sacred grounds. My dwarves deployed in a robust battle line to the left from the center with my WL and Sorceror in the middle and my Titan anchoring the line in the right. Mikko's forces were more spread and a bit more of them were in his left flank. 


My left flank was only occupied by 3 creatures and my lieutnant ("small hero"). They were deployed close to the entrance of the tunneling network, which would allow them to "teleport" to the other side of the table!

Early phases

I was the first player and manoeuvred my battle line towards my enemy's right flank. Also my flying warmachine moved to the right. My aim was to destroy enemy forces on this flank with overwhelming numbers... Enemy sorceror kept casting Nightmares from the domain of Death to my key units...

This didn't daunt the (mad) courage of the enemy warlord at all, whom spurted her steed into a charge against my Titan!


Counter strike! As enemy HG tried to follow their over eager WL they met quite an onslaught from my battle line. First they were peppered with flames and bullets and then charged by my WL! I expected to wipe the HG out... 


The feeling when your WL manages 3 hits with 13 attacks!


Witch hunting & clash of Titans!

As midgame dawned I launched my trap! My creatures had bided their time by the entrance to the
underground network and now they moved through and appeared behind the enemy lines - eyes peeled on the annoying enemy witch!


Next turn my creatures charged the witch, but to my disappointment
failed to take her out!

In the meanwhile our warlords clashed in the middle, but neither managed to gain
any real advantage

Next clash of titans was between my Titan and Mikko's Behemoth, he has sculpted 
himself.

Daemonic fury slashed out at my stoic Titan, whom
countered with smashing strikes of it's stonehammer!

But once again neither fell! 

But then my Lieutnant (Alchemist) saw his opportunity
and shot the almost exhausted Behemoth down!

Soon after these clashes Mikko called the battle in. My army was still almost intact and
his already somewhat bruised, so we agreed on a... 

Victory for the Masters of Underearth!





Second Battle: Clash of Warlords against Matti's Great Kingdoms

This time we played the "whole thing" - starting from placing terrain to the bitter end...

Deployment mode made us rethink our game: all units needed to be at least 6" from another unit.
This was especially challenging for Matti, whom had several single model units. 

Alpha Strike


I was the first player with only three Saga dice to spend so besides manoeuvring I could only do a one thing really... as the enemy's cannon with it's limitless range really worried me I decided to make an alpha strike against it with my creatures, whom I had deployed just for that purpose... (I had first deployed half of my units, then Matti all of his, so I could react to his deployment somewhat)

First my sorceror walked to the creatures and cast a spell, giving them 4" of extra charge range... with this the cannon was easily within my reach... you can guess the rest!


My positions after first round:

 My warlord pushed forward to challenge enemy single model heroes

My warriors used the terrain to get out of LOS from enemy archers


While my fire support still held their vantage point

Like waves crashing to rocks

Soon the puny humans were sending unit after units against me...

First a unit of berserkers charged my destruction team and took it out

I then countered by first whitling their numbers down with my shooting 
and then charging in with my Warlord. No more berserkers!
My six warriors with great weapons and my lieutenant also moved via tunnel network to appear on the enemy's deployment zone.


 Meanwhile in the other end of the table Matti sent his Paladin (looks very much like Valten to me)
against my creatures. This Paladin was a special weapon against creatures and such, but since my teddy bears were protected by battle board abilities...


 and spells, he hardly made a scratch on them! 


Several Great Kingdom units were watching (just like Juha-Matti) this fight... while not noticing
quite a large threat approaching...

And got beaten by this monstrosity!



Midgame panorama: my army is starting to surround the enemy!


Finally, this stubborn Paladin managed to take out two of my creatures, but it was too little too late!

 Enemy warlord commanded his aide to sound the retreat. They had made a grave error by entering the mountain kingdom of the Lords of Underearth and they had paid dearly of their arrogance!


Another Victory for the Lords of Underearth 



Conclusions


It was truly refreshing to play Fantasy again. I felt an energy and excitement in me, that was on a higher level then typically when playing (even if I had painted until 2 AM last night), It felt like being a kid again! So I do warmly recommend Saga - Age of Magic!

So what was good?

  • Stuff is still quite well balanced
  • It's very nice how you can bring all your weird toys to the table! Meaning: the design philosophy leaves a lot of room for imagination and variation in building your warband!
  • Spells are useful, but not too powerful, as it should be, as there is no way to resist them
  • Warlords on beast seems to be a no brainer: Fatigue cap of 4, 10 attacks and resilience 2.
  • Large monster are also hard to bring down
  • Creatures with 5 attacks each, resilience 1 and movement of 12" are pretty awesome, they are vulnerable to shooting though







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