Monday, 2 March 2015

Weekend of Battle - Saga and Fate of a Nation Thoughts

So had a busy weekend playing wargames this time around. Played some SAGA with Duncan on Saturday, and then we had the last day of the Arab Israeli War campaign at the club.

Duncan has already put some battle reports up on his blog so instead of repeating the same thing I am just going to through up some pictures of the battles and give some general thoughts on things. Here are some links to the relevant blogs with the reports:


Fate of a Nation:


So the main goal of the SAGA day was for me to try out my army that I am going to use at the tournament next weeked at Cold Wars, and also to test out the custom scenario that the guy running it has created. Basically you have 3 treasure tokens in the middle of the board and the players have to go get them and take them off the edge. However this is complicated by it being quite order intensive to move them as you generate allot of fatigue.

Initial Setup
I wanted to give the Bishop of War a try to see if that option was worth doing, so I took a warlord, Bishop, 2 units of 4 knights each, and 3 units of 8 warriors 1 with crossbows. In the first game I attacked early with the Knights and thought I could try and cut back on the Saracens ability to move off with the treasure, while my foot guys came up and got the treasure.

The Bishop and his Knights bring some pain to the  Arabs in the Holy Land
This plan did not work out very well, the way the Knights battle board works it is better to build up piety for a few turns so you can make better attacks with your good troops in the late game. But I did quite like the Bishop, his Warlord lite ability is useful to have. Basically you can activate the Bishop once per turn for free and he can take a unit along, and they can charge together. He also has a cheap SAGA ability to gain 3 attacks and become respectable in combat. I still think he is likely to be a bit fragile, but the resilience rule usually seems to discourage him being attacked. So I do think the Bishop is a fun unit to have around.

Not so many Knights left now!
The other big winner for me was the Crossbow unit which was surprising. The Normans can also have a unit with crossbows, but I have found them to be kind of crap and generally not worth having. The Knightly Order cross bow unit thou is much better, there is a SAGA ability that gives and number of attack or defense dice equal to you piety level +1, which can be used to shoot. So generally you will end up at 3 or 4 extra dice before long, this doubles the effectiveness of the cross bows in shooting. So instead of killing 1-2 models you are getting 2-3, which is huge. The knights are allowed to get more also, you are just limited to now having more crossbows then mounted knights. So I think another good way of running this army would be to have 3 units of 4 Knights, and to big units of 12 warriors 1 with crossbows. I am working on getting this set up painted now so I will have a few options.

In the end I lost this first game, Duncan had 2 Treasure tokens for 4 points, and I had 1 and more kills for 3 points. The second we played was 'Clash of Warlords', I did a bit better there and managed a win so 1 for 1 so far hah.

So basically I am finding the Knights to be a fun and interesting army to use, am hoping to do better this time around then I did at Fall in with the Beothucks!

Fate of a Nation:

So the other big thing was the Arab Israeli game. I had a bit of a wurh to paint up some M113s (will post later), but managed to finish them and have 1 900 point force. I was quite looking forward  to trying this out again with the new book so everything was re-balanced. The Jordanians in particular were given quite a boost.

Initial Set Up
We rolled for a mission and got Pincer, since the Jordanians are Always Defend this meant the Israelis would have to attack. I was a bit worried at first, as we had 2 3 platoons armies in our combined Egyptian-Jordanian force and could only deploy 3, that we would get broken on company morale very easily. But in retrospect a big platoon of 10 T55s is not so easy to get rid of!

In the end the opposite happened and the Israelis were broken. It seems that the key yo success with the T55s Egyptian force is to keep them stationary, as long as they sit still they are a powerful and dangerous force, but as soon as they have to move, there chance to hit goes way down as they have both Hen and Chicks and Rate of Fire one. This means that they need a 6 to hit the Israelis in the open at short range, and can't hit at all if they are concealed or at long range. So the Israelis have to play a high stakes game of cat and mouse, ducking into and out of cover, and trying to mass on 1 platoon at a time.

Round 2 Start
In the second round we decided to try Free For All, so everyone would get to use all their stuff, and there wouldn't be such a huge advantage for the defender as there was no defender. My plan was to come around the hill at the bottom of this picture and kill everything around the objective to the north of the back building, while my infantry in the fast APCs snuck around to capture it.

This kind of worked, but with so many big tanks on the table, stuff was dieing all over the place. This time we felt the pain of Air Support and took a couple of good hits from the Israeli Air Force, meanwhile our Egyptian MiG was no where to be seen. I found the Jordanians much more fun to use this time around, with the handicap of Hen and Chicks removed I was free to maneuver around and actually play the game which makes all the difference.

I think the only mistake they made when redoing the book was not also removing Hen and chicks from the Egyptians. They can make all the excuses they want about play balance, and using it to make them cheap so they get tons of tanks. But the fact is that this rule is not fun for either side (no fun if you can't move, no fun to fight a huge hoard of tanks), so this is a rule that makes the game less fun to play and therefore is bad.

I was quite happy with how things work between Jordan and Israel thou, I got 7 tanks with good armor, and some infantry, and they got 4 tanks with weak armor and 2 with good armor, and better training. So I think this is pretty balanced and some real games can happen. I really liked this period so I will eventually be expanding up my Jordanians to 1500 points, and may get some Israelis as well who knows. I still have to paint the infantry, and then have a second mechanized platoon to do so I could maybe try out that army as well.

I will post another painting report later this week when my painting Blitz is over.



  1. You can make the URLs into hotlinks by using the link button in the editor.

    I do agree that the Egyptians still don't work well. We should give it a try with some of the other Egyptian lists (though I don't think I will get around to painting any infantry until after Cangames)

  2. Ah I just assumed they would be links automatically some how.

    Yea I don't imagine I will either, but with the digital PDF there are lots of different armies to try out now.

    Also I have just discovered that the T55s have a stabilizer special rule that drops the +1 for moving with rate of fire 1, so they just get the +1 for moving. Well ok the stabilizer costs 15 per tanks but I think that option would make it more fun for everyone.

  3. The stabilizers would make a difference (and to be honest the extra 15 points per tank just means a few less tanks to haul around -- the T-34/85s and SU-100s don't really add a lot to the fighting power of the unit)

    Now I am wondering where the came from in the address for my blog -- it works so I guess they must alias it across multiple domains.

  4. I think they are worth thinking about in lower point games like we have been doing so far. If people move on to bigger tanks like Centurions and Pattons in larger games then they just become a vulnerability.

    Yes you can get to it with a bunch of different domains. I did that at work and we are put through a proxy server in London so that is why it got the .uk thing added. Didn't really even think about it.