Well, I've had the excellent Dark Age 'fun' ruleset Saga from Gripping Beast and its expansion Northern Fury for a fair while now, so it's about time I got my finger out and painted some stuff up.
The plan is to get two warbands to about 4 pts (the points system is explained a bit more below but you really need about 4 to 6 pts for a game). I'm planning on getting the age-old enemies - Vikings and Anglo Saxon warbands to fight one another.
The army lists for Saga are pretty simple:The Warlord
You have a warlord base (bases themselves can be any shape and size and lends itself to a bit of modelling) that is free. He's the boss and he gets a couple of wounds. He can also attach himself to other units to help them fight better (other units have to stay within their class). Your warlord is free.Hearthguard
These cost 1 point, normally for 4 men. These are the best fighting unit you have (other than your warlord). Heathguard can form up into a big unit with other hearthguard (to a max of 12 men) but no other unit types. For example, Viking hearthguard are called Hirdmen. 1 point gets you 4, but you can buy more and have them as small units or lump them together in a combination you choose. Viking are notable as they have another type of Hearthguard, the Ulfwerners - berserkers.Warriors
These are the bread and butter troops of a warband. Normally they would be semi-professional or enlisted from other professions as and when needed. 1 point gets you 8 of them.Levy
The peasantry. 1 point gets you 12 men but they're pretty crap! They often have slings or bows.
This is a pretty basic overview as some factions have minor upgrades or specialised units (like Norman crossbowmen), but you get the drift. It is all simple and easy to pick up.
Then comes the Saga dice! The composition and number of units that you have (levies not included) affects the number of Saga Dice you get to roll in a round. The opportunity-cost of small units is a lot of saga dice but these units are then smaller and less effective in combat (and will die quicker!). Anyway, the dice are cool (if pricey!):
These dice are rolled and the top facing icon means you can use certain activation abilities on your faction specific board, like so:
And this is where the skill comes in - the faction boards add the flavour to the game. Many abilities can cancel out other's abilities and some combos can be extremely powerful if used properly. I don't know what they are yet - I've not played a game!!
So, on to my vikings! All inspired by Joe Abecrombie and his Northmen and Bernard Cornwell's the Winter King!The Warband of Asger Sturluson.
Hearthguard (1 pt) - Bondi (Named men!) - Svein the Red, Torstein Gunnhild, Vagnar Vigdis and Ulf Sternaxe.
The shields depict crosses, makng the warband as ostensibly Christian. The Chi-Rho Christograms suggest a connection with orthodoxy and Byzantium, possibly marking them out as ex-Varangian Guard.
They were painted with Army Painter and the shields were from the brilliant Little Big Man.
I say 'ostensibly Christian' as the warband clearly clings on to some of the old ways, as the Úlfhéðnar berserker hearthguard unit demonstrates:
3 more of these to follow to complete the unit!
I'm also trying to get a bit of themed scenery done for every army I make now, so here's a small, overgrown, roadside Christian shrine for the warband to defend/attack!:
It's a small resin piece I picked up for a couple of quid from Salute. Pretty pleased with how it's turned out.