Tally Ho!

Saturday 9 June 2018

Saga Irish Warband - the first outing

This weekend saw me in Fishponds for my first outing with my newest army - Saga V2 Irish. 

The Warband

Irish Warband

For this game I chose a balanced warband which would exploit the many shooting-based abilities within the Irish battle board:
  • 1 x Warlord (javelins)
  • 2 x Curaidh champions (javelins)
  • 2 x 4 Fianna heard guards (javelins)
  • 2 x 8 Bonnacht warriors (javelins)
  • 1 x 12 Kerns levy (javelins)   

With 3 heroes this list should enjoy play of free activations from The Old Ways ability and would generate 6 Saga Dice.    

Warlord and Curaidh

The Scenario

The battle was a simple one - both sides had a treasury to defend in their own half whilst simultaneously looking to attack one in their opponents half. The terrain dice were helpful to the Irish with wooded areas near both treasures offering the chance of Sons of Dana ambush shooting from the cover.
My defenders

Assault force

I deployed with my warlord, 2 units of Bonnacht warriors and a Curaidh guarding my treasury. Attacking the enemy were 2 units of Fianna hearth guards and a Curaidh with a unit of Kern levies in support. My hope was to sneak the Kerns into cover opposite the enemy treasury whilst striking with the Fianna.

The Rus deployed with 3 units of 10*warriors and a Warlord attacking me and 1 unit of 10* warriors supported by a unit of 4*hearth guards protecting their treasury. The Rus have lots of defence tricks and an attack mode that relies on manipulation of their armour value to generate additional melee dice, but have no ranged attacks.  

The Battle

The battle began with a swift advance by both sides attacking forces. Fear of an ambush for the rough ground led the Rus attackers to compress their frontage and attack in a deep formation. Sensing a chance for a flank attack I switch my Kerns across the field and left the Fianna alone to attack the enemy.

Rus attack with flanking Kerns

As the Rus advanced I sensed a chance to attack the enemy in detail and so pushed forward with my defenders to pelt them with Javelins. Combined fire from the Kerns, Bonnacht, and Curaidh was enough to severely damage the leading Rus unit. The Sidhe ability allowed the Curaidh to sacrifice his own shooting to enhance the others          

Leading Rus units takes some hurt
On the right my Fianna advanced to towards the treasury. A Rus warriors counter attack was repulsed, leaving them largely inactive for the remainder of the game as I subjected them to a steady rain of javelins.

Fianna volley away

Second Rus unit scatters the Kerns

As a second Rus warrior unit crested the rise they too were met with a volley of javelins from the waiting Irish, which quickly routed them from the field. They did however badly maul the Kerns and render them ineffective.       

Second Rus unit takes heavy fire 
As the third Rus warrior unit attacked it too was subjected to deadly fire from the Irish units, while their comrades guarding the treasury were slowly whittled away by the Fianna. With the Rus warlord surrounded and fully fatigued, the game was called for the Irish.    

Third unit into the jaws

Fianna still chipping away

The end is neigh

The Verdict 

Its hard to tell much from a single game against a specific opponent but the following impressions occurred to me:
 1. The Rus had some bad luck at a key moment where they could not activate any warrior units for a turn.
2. Three heroes and The Old Ways ability gives the Irish a good chance to active most of the army every turn. This was vital as the Rus have the ability to shut-down one of your attacks but not multiple ones.
3. The army is nowhere near as terrain dependent as in Saga V1. The key is focused shooting and use of abilities like Sidhe to allow the weaker units to support the stronger ones.     

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