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This topic contains 31 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  dugthefug1644 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 32 total)
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  • #1613653

    dugthefug1644
    23490xp
    Cult of Games Member

    IMG_20210212_180413Why did I start playing Saga? Why did you start playing Saga? Why was I so daft to think there was no Saga Facebook page until I “discovered” the game and made one embarrassingly myself? Why did I persevere with it and get close to 950 members? Why does Beasts of War OnTableTop love the game and yet not have a Let’s Play? Why did Warren hate the magic in Saga Age of Magic? Why are Pagan Rus Filth? Why would you free hand when transfers exist? Why can I not beat a Norman Army for love nor money? Why am I trying to win a 15mm WW2 game when my love is Saga, Frostgrave and The Walking Dead?

    For answers to these questions and more please join me in some interesting chatter this week.

    #1613674

    dugthefug1644
    23490xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Why did I start playing Saga?

    Rubbish In Rubbish Out.

    That’s not a comment on Saga. That’s the name of the You Tuber that I first tripped over playing Saga. He had a wonderful easy turn of phrase, a pleasant Australian accent and was sharing the basics of a game that immediately looked cheap to get into and easy to game with new people.

    I then discovered the in-depth stylings of the Wisco Horn Dog (now known as Roger Rules on YouTube… For probably fairly obvious unwelcome attention or false advertising reasons.) He introduced regular content with Saga Thorsdays weekly and then I was hooked and eagerly looking to make my first purchases.

    These two content creators hooked me and kept my interest peaked and the event of joining a gaming group also became a major catalyst.

    I realized that I could build two 4 point armies cheaply and relatively quickly and get a game played. My club seemed to be crying out for light skirmish sized relief from the rigours of the 30K and bloated 40K rules. They jumped at a different game to play and this has kept me building, painting and getting into new factions ever since.

    #1613693

    horus500
    7612xp
    Cult of Games Member

    The best thing about Saga is that it’s simple to understand. The Battleboards add just enough to the game to make factions feel different from one another. Fatigue is a great mechanic and the Magic (in Age of Magic) like in Kings of War, isn’t overpowering.

    I also really like that every new book has added something to the game. Scenarios (Book of Battles), mass combat ( Age of Hannibal), War Machines (Age of Magic), etc.

    #1613700

    dugthefug1644
    23490xp
    Cult of Games Member

    @horus500. I couldn’t agree more. Also for people turning away from bigger companies and bigger battle games the release schedule and amount of time that rules remain relevant and current stands up well against a lot of systems out there. Cheers for sharing.

    #1613702

    commodorerob
    9203xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Yes SAGA is a good game it’s simple to play and fun,  but it is very abstracted and the battle boards give it to much if a “fantasic” feel for me I know it’s like trying to to tell the stories or sagas of the Viking which it achieves well, but I am would prefer the “Bernard Cornwell” version of this period where yes there is great stories but actually when it comes to it it’s actually all just men v men.

    #1613715

    dugthefug1644
    23490xp
    Cult of Games Member

    @commodorerob

    I hear what you’re saying and you have a lot more rulesets under your belt than I have. I agree with what your saying, but chose to add another slant along side that to sell myself on the game.

    The abstract nature feels like an easy way to avoid just having the enemies smash together in the middle of the table and chuck dice, rinse and repeat. This can still happen, but the luck of the battleboard and clever use of fatigue can make the chaos of war element mean a touch more than I threw more ones than you did this turn. The abstract bizarrely also actually puts me more into a Dark Age mindset rather than break the immersion. The superstition and pagan faith and customs have changed so much since then that I forget how unlike modern soldiers and modern people they were. Some skirmishes were carried because someone rocked up and said we can’t lose today. “A raven ate my breakfast and told me so.” Sometimes when everyone was armed and armoured very similarly a more determined force would win the day and a confidence boost or a superstition manipulated on the day is the flavour of the battleboard.

    I love Bernard Cornwell books and the Uhtred stories. A game with just man Vs man emphasis would be good and I am sure there are ways around the historically accurate, but potentially predictable, scrum, dice roll and pack away.

    Cheers for sharing.

    #1613958

    horus500
    7612xp
    Cult of Games Member

    @commodorerob I disagree about the battle boards in that they achieve the same as special rules for nearly every other wargame out there. The mistake people make is viewing them like a ‘magic power’. What they are is abstracts of the tactics and strategoes that these groups are renown for. For example (and I’m picking this because it’s not in the game) the Roman testudo fascinates everyone. As a formation it was pretty good at providing cover to moving heavy infantry from missile fire, and yet no-one else really used it. There was nothing stopping other nations or states equiping and training their troops to do it, it just seems to have been a largely uniquely Roman thing. If it appeared on an Imperial Roman battleboard saying you gained heavy cover but could only move S we’d all think it was thematic and reasonable. Some of the names on the boards may sound a little fantastic, but they all have a solid food in reality.

    One point I didn’t make earilier was cost. Because of the range of manufacturers out there, it’s also one of the most reasonably priced games out there.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  horus500.
    #1614348

    dugthefug1644
    23490xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Why was I so daft to think there was no Saga Facebook page until I “discovered” the game and embarrassingly made a Saga page myself? Why did I persevere with it and get close to 950 members?

    The easy answer is a lack of familiarity with the search function of Facebook at the time and how unsympathetic it was. I either didn’t spell something right, or was too specific in my search and I didn’t find the long standing “saga: the skirmish game”. I think I was looking for ‘Saga – the game by Gripping Beast’ or ‘Saga – the game from Studio Tomahawk…’

    So March 11th 2017 I ventured out and created the “Saga – The Dark Ages game from Tomahawk Studios”

    Then I advertised the page on a version one Beasts of War forum thread and was very quickly and politely told by someone that there was already a page out there. Then the late great Andy Zeck pointed out that when looking at the Viking era it is technically “The Dark Age” rather than The Dark Ages and it was Studio Tomahawk rather than Tomahawk Studios.

    So on March 12th 2017 I re-ventured out and created the “Saga – The Dark Age skirmish game from Studio Tomahawk”

    Andy did encourage me to keep it going, if only to have somewhere to share my photos and the ideas that I was picking up as a novice, from the videos I had been watching and buying my first minis.

    I still check on the number of members of the page all the time. No idea why. There’s no prize, there’s no money incentive, there’s no life changing reason to keep the page going, but I just enjoy seeing the number slowly rise and the regular contributors still coming back to share their hobby week after week. I sometimes think I should do a weekly pole or paint more Saga minis, but I remind myself that if the running of it becomes a chore it will become an irritant and ruin my relaxed unobtrusive page in the members’ social media lives.

    I do feel inadequate as a page owner of a fairly popular game not to be better at playing it, understanding the history, the tactics and battleboards better. I don’t own all the supplements and there have been long periods away from painting anything for the game. That slight lack of ambition and deep knowledge from the page owner is thankfully mitigated by a mini community that has grown around the page; the fact that OnTableTop stalwarts like Gerry have helped with hobby and history questions, that the SAGA tournament organiser Richard Keenan has always been helpful with rules based questions and a handful of more competitive players willing to support with tactics advice… everything has been ticking over without the need for people to resort to going to the saga: the skirmish game page or other sources for any queries people may have.

    I will keep the page going. I plan to do some Normans and some character models this year just to give myself more options for when the lockdowns slowly end. It will be fun to play real games again, with real people, across real tables, rolling real dice and inflict real wounds on real metal spears, when we fail to judge real distances when moving very real miniatures, around real terrain features on real gaming mats.

    Ben1

    One of the first pics uploaded on my page was one of Beasts of War Ben’s minis from a BoW forum. ***Ben was the first to make me aware of the game I think, even though Gerry and Lloyd now carry the torch forward. 🙂

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    And Andy Zeck helped me get the group off the ground with some regular posts to begin with and I’ll always remember that and appreciate it. (RIP big man.)

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1748859648777691

    #1614640

    commodorerob
    9203xp
    Cult of Games Member

    @dugthefug1644 I have to say you have set up a great page in FB for SAGA. Keep up the good work.

    @horus500 don’t get me wrong I like the battleboard mechanic in SAGA. It’s fun all I am saying though and agree it adds some special rules like other games, it’s great at representing the heroic feats, I just think some of the abilities are more tailored towards the idea of the “SAGA” with a bit of the additional bravado or daring do that was added to the sagas. It’s just takes it away from the historical which I am more inclined to enjoy gaming.

    I really must get my 28mm Vikings painted up 🤣

     

     

     

     

     

    #1614768

    dugthefug1644
    23490xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Why does Beasts of War OnTableTop love the game and yet not have a Let’s Play?

    I have asked this question before and it isn’t really that contentious. It seems to be that with a busy schedule it’s difficult to find time to add a Let’s Play for a game that is already well established. The version 2 rules coming out was a potential time to make a Let’s Play relevant and schedule worthy, but sadly this too was missed.

    The best way to get a Let’s Play scheduled is as part of a week devoted to your game and have a nice focused blast of faction talks and a Let’s Play introduced like Frostgrave recently, like Blood and Plunder, like several Infinity weeks and Guildball to name but a few.

    This takes creator input and Studio Tomahawk are just not that interested or good at this side of their marketing. It’s not just a language barrier thing (as they are a French company), but it feels like a focus thing too. i.e. There have been drops in availability of their dice, which for a newbie with a little cash to spare is a huge easy money spinner, but they allowed this money to slip through their fingers and got a poor name for themselves distribution wise.

    The studio works with Gripping Beast to promote and sell their products in the UK, but don’t appear that interested in the kind of big push forward that a week on the top show covering the hobby would give to them.

    I tried to get involved because Richard Keenan (Saga tournament organiser working with, rather than for, Gripping Beast) spoke with me at one of my first trips to Salute. Richard was very keen on organising a weekend tournament in Coleraine and was likely to be able to get his travel and board paid for as part of his remit of spreading the tournament scene and promoting the game. I shared his details with Beasts of War and they did get in touch with one another. To make it a full bootcamp though there would have needed to have been approval / support from the creators of the game and things fell down somewhere.

    This isn’t meant to be a huge dig at the studio. They have created a fun game and I love the OnTableTop style of Let’s Play and I just want to see the two united in one great video.

    Never say never, but it will take some extra effort from parties outside of OnTableTop HQ to get Saga played as a Let’s Play… and it doesn’t feel like that’s about to be forthcoming overnight.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  dugthefug1644.
    #1615253

    dugthefug1644
    23490xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Why did Warren hate the magic in Saga Age of Magic?

    Weekender XLBS: Magic SUCKS In Wargaming

    Weekender XLBS: What Makes A Good Wargame Review?

    Well if you’re a backstage cultist you will know the reason why he dislikes the magic in Saga: Age of Magic.

    To summarize, in his opinion (and he’s not alone) the magic feels like it is bolted onto the side of Saga rather than being a fantastical opportunity to make the magic the core change to this edition. It felt like the casters are just a slightly improved priest or character with a few buffs for his army and a few low level attacks. Magic wiping out whole units with one dice roll might be overkill, but they have settled on an underwhelming feeling magic that appears fearful that it might unbalance the core rules used in regular Saga.

    The main thrust ended up being a set of battleboards that basically allowed you to field fantasy armies more easily. To make forces that aren’t tied to the Crusades or Dark Age playable in Saga but also are not tied to specific fantasy races if you don’t want them to be. The new battleboards have a collection of abilities (that might suit your play style), with rules that may have been similar to those aligned with a faction in regular Saga that you hadn’t wanted to play.

    Warren likes his magic big and brash and worthy of the name magical. I would agree. I haven’t played the Age of Magic game but I have bought the book and was heavily swayed by the talks in the XLBS videos above.

     

    #1616377

    dugthefug1644
    23490xp
    Cult of Games Member

    37270184_10156611758508255_8121258861488242688_n

    Evil scarred Norman.

    Why can’t I beat the Normans? Why are the Pagun Rus Filth?

    I can’t beat the Norman’s because I don’t know my battleboards. I rock up to the club with my painted Normans and my painted Vikings and Saxons / Danes and just throw down 6pts of whatever my opponent fancies that day. I am an awful tactician and roll dice and read my abilities at the table and hope I have picked something useful. That is not the way to beat some of the better factions in the game. The Norman list I have built and painted is able to use the majority if not all of the abilities on the battleboard. Whereas I think that I have one levy unit in my Saxons list, where perhaps having a 2nd unit would be better. The ability to suddenly change Levies to a warrior stat line (or at their least attacking stats) for the Saxons is really useful and I am not utilising it fully.

    All that said, there is a consensus that some battleboards and factions are easier to play and have a marginally improved chance of winning in most people’s estimations. Hence… “Rus Filth”.

    With my typical lazy way… I don’t know the Pagan Rus abilities and why they are considered filthy, but I know that people rate them highly and don’t find beating them easy. The fun has been that Gerry the Giant has been making the “Rus Filth” statement in his fun matter of fact way for so long that I and others love to hear him say it as a running in-joke. So much so that I and others say it whenever the faction comes up or whenever talk about balance and the best factions gets discussed.

    On our Facebook page I have often asked what factions people find hard to beat and I think the fact that the answers are fairly diverse, probably means that the game isn’t that unbalanced? For example, one person’s top tier / hard to beat factions for each Saga book looked like this.

    AoV (Age of Vikings): Pagan Rus, Welsh, Scots
    AoC (Age of Crusades): Crusaders, Pagan People, Ordensstaat
    AoI (Age of Invasion): Goths, Picts, Huns
    AoM (Age of Magic): Lords of the Wild, Undead, (Horde)

    The only one I would add would be the Normans for AoV and that view is shared by plenty of people. This person’s list seemed to be supported by various other people in the facebook group, but there isn’t outcry to change the game. The majority of the player base seem to revel the chance to get the best out of their army and beat a faction that in most people’s estimation would normally beat your faction board vs board. Plus the battle board dice rolls can be a great leveller. You can have amazing abilities on the board, but if the wrong dice fall you have to change your tactics on the fly or delay, waiting for the dice to hopefully roll your way next turn.

    Being as I don’t play to win at any costs to enjoy the game (luckily), or whether the Pagan Rus are Filth or The Norman’s are evil kaniggets, I will still enjoy this game. Easy to get into and hard to master is usually a winning formula and that is probably part of Saga’s success as a skirmish game.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by  dugthefug1644.
    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by  dugthefug1644.
    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by  dugthefug1644.
    #1616386

    huscarle
    3712xp
    Cult of Games Member

    I have been into Saga since the day it was released. The first thing that drew me to it was the period of History it encompassed, I love anything to do with the Dark Ages. Of the first four factions two I already had covered by my collection (it didn’t stop me buying more)

    At the time the only game in town was 40K, happy to say that’s not the case now but it was then so in order to get a game I would have to travel to play in tournaments fortunately Studio Tomahawk had a pretty active forum and managed to get to play quite a bit. I’m not what you would call a tournament player but I did find the Saga tournament scene very friendly especially to any new players that turned up.

    The game is simple to play and hard to master is very popular description and it is true

    There are a lot of factions now so you can find one that suits your play style or if you so wish pushes you outside of your comfort zone. There is a lot of choice, especially as a lot of the dark age warriors look the same to the non-discerning eye no armour, long hair, spear & shield. Maybe swap out the hearthguard and the warlord and you’ve got a different faction.

    So why Saga  for me? I’m a sucker for the period, I’ve met a lot of nice people along the way. I like the mechanics of the game and the ease to try other faction battleboards  but most of all it has Chainmail and Dane Axes and you can’t beat that.

    #1616784

    dugthefug1644
    23490xp
    Cult of Games Member

    @huscarle Cheers for sharing. Got to love a Dane axe. 🙂 I found the tournament people to be really welcoming too, but I too am not a regular at tournaments and in all honesty I enjoy the painting about as much as the playing.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by  dugthefug1644.
    #1616787

    dugthefug1644
    23490xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Why would you freehand when transfers exist?

    _20180211_235050

    Well the simple answer is why wouldn’t you. I know that we all start out as miniatures painters with an abject fear of fluffing a straight line, or a perfect curve or ruining an otherwise adequate paint job by trying to be too fancy. I don’t think that transfers stifle a budding painters progress or are lazy in any way. I just speak for myself when I say that not using transfers and painting shields, like the freehand in the pic above, have bought me great pleasure and much needed confidence. If it hadn’t been for Saga and shield design painting I would not have tried OSL, tartan and experimented with other techniques by now. I soon allowed myself to make mistakes on the shields and remind myself that if all else fails I can just paint it in halves or quarters and it will look perfectly historically accurate and adequate.

    I love the look of a crisp transfer as much as the next fella. The guys and gals at http://www.littlebigmenstudios.com are creating beautiful work, to sizes that suit specific shields from particular companies and selected ranges, to provide transfers that fits almost every shield in our hobby. The transfers can have wonderful patterns that would be almost unachievable by paint brush.

    I have used transfers – pic in the link below – to speed up the completion of a unit, to see the quality of the designs and as an experiment to see if they were worth the expense in my eyes. I sadly thought that a tan colour rather than the advised white undercoat on the shield before placing the transfer would give me a better finish. All this did was wash out some of the detail. I didn’t need to worry that the white would be too bright and there were better ways to weather a shield if that was my concern.

    https://scontent-lhr8-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/24301297_10155927979033255_8362665126477055312_n.jpg?_nc_cat=110&ccb=3&_nc_sid=b9115d&_nc_eui2=AeGMjv-4CXPy4mvDYMMW6bMw-em8ZySYrfP56bxnJJit82e8ckpZEGXPRTNpUYwvZ94&_nc_ohc=YMr-GZOo1jkAX_Pt24G&_nc_ht=scontent-lhr8-1.xx&oh=caf991e8dcaad8ab9b4d93720ff6d3dc&oe=605D76CE

    33112180_10156447933133255_3894548469951496192_n

    Transfers take some getting used to. They aren’t the easy solution that some people suppose. The Little Big Men transfers are not like the Airfix style waterslide decals of my youth. Some require the shield boss to be punched or cut out before they can be stuck to the shield.

    My conclusion would be that just because transfers exist we shouldn’t pass up the freehand opportunity that presents itself on a Dark Age shield. I would never look down on an army with just transfer shields because I understand the appeal and the benefit of speeding up a project and the offer a high standard finish at a reasonable cost. Thing is, as the painting is the majority of my fun in the hobby and there rarely being a harried deadline for my projects, I have the time to waste on mistakes and painting individual designs on an army that I will end up feeling very close to and feel proud of.

     

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by  dugthefug1644.
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