Scent of a Gamer

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SAGA Game Review

I posted this elsewhere, but it belongs here too. SAGA is the most interesting miniatures game I’ve come across in the last few years.

Saga is a historical miniatures game from Gripping Beast and Tomahawk Studios. The game puts the player in command of one of a number of factions from Dark Ages Europe.

sagabookAs the title might suggest, the game puts a lot of focus on the various Viking raids and voyages of exploration that occurred in Northern Europe in the centuries following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire.

The core rulebook covers rules for the game and also for four separate factions; Vikings, Anglo-Danes, Welsh, and Normans, putting the game squarely in the 11th Century.

Armies will typically be 20-30 models, with variation either side if you are going for an elite or horde style army. Putting an army together is quite straightforward. Each army has access to a Warlord and three types of troops; Hearthguard (the elites), Warriors, and Levy (the dregs). 1 point will buy you 4 Hearthguard, 8 Warriors, or 12 Levy. You can spend these points however you wish. A typical game is 6 points, and starter games are played at 4 points.

The rules themselves are straightforward and allow for some deep tactical play. Units are activated one at a time and can move, charge, or shoot as you wish. When you activate your Warlord he can command a unit nearby giving you a 2-for-1 activation.

It is the way you activate your troops during the game that SAGA is truly innovative. Each army comes with its own set of SAGA dice and a Battle Board. SAGA dice are six-sides and have three different symbols; a common (seen on 3 faces of the dice) uncommon (2) and rare (1). At the start of each turn you roll a number of these dice depending on your remaining forces. You then use the dice to activate units and also to play special abilities. Each battle board is themed around the army it represents.

Battle Board abilities played at the right time will give you a winning edge. The Battle Board also brings a tremendous amount of variance into the game. You can theme your army around taking advantage of particular abilities on your board, leading to many different viable builds for each army, even when you are using 20-30 models.

Currently there are two expansions for SAGA, each adding four new factions. Often, the same SAGA dice can be used across multiple factions. For example the Norman dice can also be used for Breton or Byzantine forces.

SAGA is a great addition to the tabletop miniatures field, and is sure to feature in many a gamer’s collection.

 

 

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This entry was posted on February 9, 2013 by in Miniatures, Tabletop and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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