As you will have gathered from my other posts I have decided that for my New Years Hobby Resolution I am going to start Saga as one of my 2 new game systems/armies for the year. I then had the joy of deciding on a faction, which I did without veiwing the Rulebook, deciding to go with my gut and as a fan of Viking mythology and lore I chose to go with Vikings! I ordered the required products and set about painting them in accordance with the rules of my New Years Hobby Resolution (more on which can be found in my other blog posts). Now the time has come to sit down with the rulebook, which I must admit I have already flicked through a couple of times soaking up the pictures within for insperation, and get reading the rules in preperation for the beatings…. I mean games at my Local Club. So while I was at it I thought I’d do a review of sorts and go through my feelings about the rulebook, etc.
So What Is Saga?
Saga is a 28mm Skirmish Game set in the Viking Age, an age of endemic warfare that saw mighty Warlords at the head of their Warbands struggle for power, wealth and glory, writing their legends with steel and the blood of their enemies! Dark times that brought us the tales and deeds of legendary heroes like Harold Godwinson, William the Bastard or Ragnar Lothbrok. You, as a Warlord, Cheiftain or Legendary Hero of the Viking Age get to lead a Warband of fighting fit soldiers and levies from one of the main factions of the Viking Age.
So Where Do I Start?
The Main Rulebook is what I am going to talk about in this post so here we go:
The Rulebook itself is priced at around the £25 mark and has been available, then out of print and is now avaialble again! Some might say this is a good average price for a Miniature Wargame Rules Set and to a degree I agree however it is worth stating that the Rulebook itself is a paperback book that has a page count of only 74 (that includes 2 pages of Photocopy Templates and Counters). HOWEVER it redeems itself by being in full colour and full of beautiful artwork, Diagrams and Photos! It also has a very straight forward rules set that only requires it to be 74 pages and as it is set in a historical setting all the backgroud material is available elsewhere and so the book isn’t 1/3rd rules 2/3rds fluff like some other Rulebooks. It comes with 4 Full-Colour Card Battleboards (1 for each faction represented in the rulebook) for use during the game (these form a Key part of the game), these Battle Boards are of a High Quality!
- Pages 4-5 is a little bit of fluff about the Viking age setting of Saga
- Pages 6-29 the How to Play Saga Rules (yes a rule set that is only 23 pages)
- Pages 30-31 is clarification on Terrain
- Pages 32-35 is an example of a turn
- Pages 36-48 is all about Mustering a Warband (including specifics for the factions)
- Pages 49-58 explains the Saga Abilities, for each faction, in more detail
- Pages 59-69 is where you’ll find the Scenarios
- Pages 70-72 is a section of Design Notes and Overlooked Rules
- Pages 73-74 is a section of Tokens and Templates for use in the game for you to photocopy
I like the way in which this Rulebook has been presented overall!
I like the summary and Ragnar Speaks sections that summarises, in a short paragraph of info, the Phase/Page/Chapter which will make referencing much easier!
The Diagrams are very simple but precise and because of this it makes understanding what they are trying to portray very easy!
The addition of a Reference Sheet on the inside back cover is very good and is laid out in a very simple manner.
I think this game DESERVES some Love & Attention!!
This game, from reading the Rulebook, seems simple to learn and will be a pleasure to play! This is because the core rules are concise and simple (a man with a sword and shield is the same as a man with an axe and shield, etc), there are no 8 or 9 stats to remember for each different unit entry (just movement, armour and number of attacks which are dependent on the unit type!) and there are only 4 different unit types: Warlords, Hearthguards, Warriors & Levies!
on the contrary with the addition of the Saga Dice and the Battleboards it adds a random element to the game and so mastering your Warband and getting it to do everything you want each turn isn’t guaranteed. This means that in Saga there is no Killer Army Lists/Combos because they can all fall apart if you have no luck with the dice!! The game also has another variable…..FATIGUE! This is a wonderful addition to the rules and how your opponent uses your fatigue against you could bring an end to best laid plans!!
Modelling & Painting with Saga?
As an historical wargame Saga taps into the wealth of 28mm historical miniature manufacturers which means that even making a Warband from metal casts you never need to have the same looking model twice! There are also companies out there producing some excellent plastic miniatures in 28mm so the options are astounding! The quality of these models can vary greatly and are not on par with the Games Workshops or Privateer Press’ but on a whole are very pleasing to look at and paint (some examples of Gripping Beast’s Viking models can be seen on my other blog posts!) The game also has no strict basing requirements just a suggestion that your Warlord is on a larger base than a trooper! Official Saga & Gripping Beast models are supplied with round Renedra bases but pictured in the rulebook are square and the lipped Warmachine bases that I have opted for! All in all this makes creating a Warband easy and allows those who plan to create (or who have already got a) Viking Age army to use models based for other systems!
I will be able to confirm my feelings about game play once I have managed to get some games in. Hope you have enjoyed the read!!
Scorpius GLC out for now!!