A couple fresh new players this week, and Brad brought his terrain along, so it was a nice big chaotic learning game.
We were running 60 can teams, so with new players it was pretty much a guarantee we wouldn’t finish, but lots of cars means lots of interactions, and that’s always a good thing when you’re learning (whereas finishing and somebody winning is a whole lot less useful).
We got off to a gloriously messy start. The three cars on the road in the front line got off to a decent start, but the yellow truck had to get off the shoulder and that threw everybody else off.
I managed to position the Cougar decently in the first phase and lined up a Slip Away opportunity for gear 2. The Cougar (silver) bumped the GTX (green), which put the GTX comfortably in the lead. As a performance car with only armour and smoke, I wanted him way ahead before the rest of the pack hit gate 1.
The GTX was doing well at this point, but the Cougar and my Manx (the first buggy way in the back) got pretty bogged down in that starting pileup. I was able to keep them in good shape, but they were moving pretty slow. Some I tend to soft up early and fast, that meant a lot of swerves, veers, and evades.
More cars started to get free of the pack around this point, so I made plans to leave the track and cut across the very busy centre of the table with the GTX. This would mean some risky high gear maneuvering.
The Cougar and the Manx were getting ready to break free of the mess at this point, but a wipeout for the Manx left it spinning into the path of the Cougar, slowing them both down again.
We started to spread out a bit more as the gear phases outstripped some of the vehicles. It also gave me the chance to get the Cougar back in the game.
The jeep with the big gun opted to take the long safe route along the track instead of following the GTX through the middle. This meant my GTX would approach it head-on, and my smoke would be useless. My Cougar suddenly needed to get its machine guns into play.
The Cougar was able to land several hits over the next couple phases, and the jeep became our second casualty just before it rounded the corner and escaped.
And that’s pretty much where we ended this particular learning game. A couple vehicles trashed, and the rest of them spread all over the place. Good fun.
Last weekend we ran our monthly casual day for Infinity. We only played one game, but we took our time with it; Steve and I were both playing some unfamiliar stuff so there were a lot of things to look up. Steve was running Varuna; for me, it was Ikari Company. We fielded 150pts each against Aaron’s 300pt Nomad crew.
When the Non-Aligned armies came out, I was excited by a couple of them. Both StarCo and Ikari included some models I already owned, and when I managed to get some old Wu Ming and a Yojimbo for cheap, my decision was made (while I was certainly interested in many of the Nomad models in StarCo, the idea of Yojimbo leading a pair of Desperadoes was too good to ignore). Casual day is the perfect opportunity to try something new, especially because I have a pretty bad track record with bikes in this game (they show up, they blow up). I brought:
Keisotsu x2 (1 paramedic)
Al Fasid (HMG)
Bounty Hunter (Spitfire)
No lieutenant for me, as my crew were paired with Varuna, and Steve had the better lieutenant.
The Keisotsus performed admirably. They missed a lot of shots but managed not to get killed themselves. The paramedic attempted to save some folks but without success; all of his patients failed their PH rolls and died. The Brawler accomplished very little beyond taking a bullet that might have killed somebody else, the very first shot to hit him was the DA round that killed him. I definitely underused the Al Fasid. He made some good advances and claimed a Quadrant in the final turn, but the first two turns I barely touched him. He was a little too buried in cover to be especially useful in AROs, and those pesky Nomads kept landing repeaters next to him, which had me playing a little more hesitantly than was probably really necessary.
The bikes, though! This was quite possibly my first game in which I had bikes last beyond the first turn. Both were killed, but they both went down in admirably violent outbursts, which my friend Peter (who fields many a Haqq bike) assures me is what bikes are for. Yojimbo took out a couple of threats with his CrazyKoalas. I was a little surprised to see he had no rifle/long gun (since there is clearly one strapped to his bike) but he still took out a pair of serious threats; next time maybe I can get him into close combat…
With the way cleared, my Desperado sped up the left side of the board unopposed and took used his shotgun to do a bit of damage.
Kablam. He managed to take out a trio, and it would have been 4 had the last fellow not had No Wound Incapacitation. This was probably the crux of the game; it left Aaron with neither the points nor the orders to claim sufficient quadrants in the third turn (we were tied after the first two, 2-2), and I still had the Al Fasid to advance into his quadrant to claim a couple points for our coalition.
Final Score: 4-2 for Varuna and Ikari Company.
I think we wrapped up our ‘Darker Horizons’-style campaign the other night. This Capture the Flag scenario was our 4th of an intended 5 events, but I’m significantly ahead at this point and I think we’re going to call it rather than dragging it out. Three of us for this one, with Dave fielding a truck and a couple cars (one might be performance?) and Steve throwing down a couple performance cars and a buggy. I had 3 cars, two of which were performance.
I spent the cans earned last month putting a turret-mounted harpoon onto my basic car, which wasn’t necessarily a good call, but was certainly weird. Led to a lot of confusing situations. What gear is a car in if I’m hauling it backwards into my rear end? What happens after it’s hit my own side and still has remaining uncancelled hits (does it keep going in a slingshot effect)?
In our previous game, that basic car with nothing but extra armour was a real champion, but the harpoon did a lot of damage to him. By the time I was close enough to use it, the odds were pretty good that I’d drag somebody right into me. Also, we had a *lot* of explosive barrels in the field, so I caught myself in a lot of explosions as well. I think he had 1 point of hull left at the game’s conclusion, out of 12. Most of that was harpoon related. Definitely effective, though, in terms of ‘redirecting traffic flow’. Certainly kept a few cars away from flags, while my other cars got mean.
In terms of maneuvering, I got off to a rough start. A lot of terrain in my immediate vicinity coupled with some overly aggressive shifting on my part put me at risk of some early wipeouts, so I ended up making a lot of weird lateral moves that didn’t cover much ground. I managed to stay on the right side of 6 hazards, but it meant I wasn’t going to be the first one to any flag; I was going to have to *take* one.
My Corvette spent much of the game trading shots and blows with Dave’s vehicles on my right flank while my Mazda got itself mixed up with Steve’s cars.
Once Steve’s cars were out of the way, I just had to beat Dave’s damaged performance car (it was on this side of the arena after being slingshot across the field in the second phase) to the flash and get out of Dodge.
After snagging the flag/crate, I put the pedal to the metal and rocketed back across the arena with a series of gentle turns and long straights, careening into my edge during the sixth gear phase of our final turn (we were playing at a local shop, so had some time constraints). We all had a good time, but I think our next session will just be a one off race. I know Dave wants to try putting a war rig together, so maybe we’ll look into that. As for me, I need to find a sturdier anchor for my harpoon.
Almost two years ago, I bought a 4-point metal starter box of Vikings from Gripping Beast, with the expectation I would never actually play (I just liked the idea of painting some viking miniatures). When second edition released, I decided to get the actual books, and convinced a friend to at least snag the base rulebook, but while that has generated vague interest, it hasn’t turned into actual models or games yet. I did field some of my Vikings as Ostlanders during the last local Mordheim campaign, but that and Frostgrave were starting to look like the extent of their usefulness around here, until I recently showed my Vikings to my friend Dave and got some real results (maybe the fact that I’ve recently made a real effort to get them all painted had an effect on their usefulness in this regard). He took advantage of the Gripping Beast black Friday sale and bought himself some Normans. He assembled them over the holidays, and last night we played an actual game of Saga…
We laid lots of terrain down, then rolled Method B for deployment and ended up touching almost none of it, haha. Clash of Warlords for our first game.
My Hirdmen watch as my Warlord and a unit of Bondi advance through the woods, leaving them behind.
Being new to this whole thing, I leave a unit of Bondi hiding in rocky ground while my Berserkers run around it in the open. The Berserkers will be largely cut down by ranged fire during Dave’s first turn; only one will be left standing.
My Bondi attempt to cut down some Norman Crossbowmen, but Dave’s dice are on fire…
… son of a dingleberry! (I rolled 13 hits, and Dave defended against almost all of them).
My last Berserker decides to make himself useful and charges a unit of mounted Norman Hearthguard. Valhalla gets him some extra dice…
… and he takes them out! He’s also gone as a result of Valhalla, but this is probably the first interaction to go even remotely my way, and marks a bit of a turning point in our battle.
Having finally dragged themselves out of the rocky ground (and having been whittled down by more ranged fire), my Bondi manage to take out some more Norman Warriors, but not enough. A few still remain standing.
My Warlord has defeated his Norman counterpart, but so has 3 Crossbowmen and a largely untouched unit of Levies to deal with.
Crossbows down, Levy Archers to go…
While he doesn’t take them all out, my Warlord does take out enough Levy to negate Dave’s final Saga die, ending the game.
We quite likely played more than 6 turns, as we sorta glossed over that part and just played until one of us ran out of Saga dice. Lots of fun, though, and both of us are very much looking forward to playing again (and we’re going to get some more miniatures so we can start thinking about 6 points in the not too distant future).
Thoughts after our first game?
Normans are probably going to be a tough fight for me. I did okay once I’d closed for combat, but the Norman ranged options did some real damage (especially to my poor Berserkers!) and the mounted Hearthguard twisted some of my deployment choices back on me. Their maneuverability really limited my ability to choose my battles via deployment.
Berserkers need some real help getting across the battlefield. I’ll need to make better use of terrain and other units to get them safely into combat.
Our game took a few hours, but that included *lots* of rules searches and clarifications, plus we basically played to annihilation. Games should be pretty quick once we get a better handle on the game.
I’ll probably read through the rules again now that I have a game under my belt. It’s well laid out from a reading perspective, but trying to find specific rules while playing was pretty rough (reminded me a little bit of Infinity’s second edition, but not as brutal since the book is a lot shorter). There are definitely a couple of things I’d just like to confirm we did correctly where movement and fatigue are concerned.
TLDR: We really like Saga.
Yes, with the second Bondi unit that I posted a couple weeks ago, I finished painting a full army. Not something I can say very often. Let’s take another look at those final 8 warriors:
What follows is pretty much going to be a bunch of photos, because I’m feeling pretty good about these guys. Sharing time!
I feel like this guy’s got some tricky moves… Watch the feet!
And there we go. Thanks for checking them out. I am in fact working on those Gall Gaedhil I mentioned last time, but I interrupted that painting task with some shieldmaiden assembly.
So lots more Saga still coming. I picked up Njal, too. Also, Dave’s Normans arrived, so once he’s got them assembled and on bases, I’m actually going to get to play!
Tonight I put the finishing touches on my last 8 Viking Bondi (warriors). That’s right, I am now the proud owner of a fully painted 4 points of Saga. I’ll have to get a group photo at some point.
When we left off, I’d put in a couple evenings of paint, and the Bondi were looking like this:
Day 4: more paint, plus some dirt on the ground!
Day 5: finished up any still unpainted spots, but mostly a bunch of shades and washes. I don’t think I snapped a picture of that.
Day 6: some detail work (including shieldwork), and some light drybrushing to give the hair, fur, and dirt some depth.
They’re starting to really look like something at this point.
Although they can’t look at anything themselves. No eyes just yet.
Day 7: Day the last! Eyes and blood! Here’s a few of them before and after the finishing touches:
And one final group shot:
Up next: the Gal Gaedhil (Sons of Death)?
K, this is it! I’m only 8 miniatures away from having a fully painted 4 point Saga warband, so I’m painting all 8 at the same time.
Day 1: Prime the last few that were still bare metal…
Day 2: Some blues, some greens, some browns. Moving right along…
Day 3: A few different skin tones and wood colours, and most of the clothing complete.
Until next time!