Sunday, 23 July 2017

Saga Tournament Historicon USA

Saga Tournament 2017 Historicon 

You could say this was the least prepared and furthest tournament I have ever entered. Two days before I and my friend Kiefer left for my once in a lifetime trip (now maybe twice) trip to the USA, a passing comment from my friend who had just returned from work in the States led me to find out when Historicon was being held this year. to my amazement it was being held in Fredericksburg in our second week of our holiday when we were staying in Richmond, only an hours drive away. Immediately I found out when the Saga tournament was and sent an email to Jeff the organiser in case there were any places left. Unfortunately I didn't receive Jeff's reply of acceptance until I had began my epic journey of 3 days and five planes to get to our first stop at Billings in Montana. Therefore I hadn't packed my Norman army in case I wasn't going to use them, however Jeff kindly informed me that it was no problem because they had a choice of different factions for us to borrow for the tournament.

So the big day came and we got up very early to travel up the Interstate 95 to Fredericksburg, arriving half an hour before the start of the competition. After a rather prolonged registration procedure (just take my twenty five bucks, godamn it) we made it to the competition with five minutes to spare. I chose to borrow Anglo Danes from Ralph, another of the organisers, and Kiefer my fellow traveller chose the Irish.

The first scenario was "Hostages", each player had three hostages which they had to protect, whilst trying to free their own men who their opponent had captured. My first game was against another Jeff and his Normans.

My Anglo danes consisted of 2 six men units of hearth  guards with dane axes, 2 eight man units of warriors and 1 twelve man unit of levy with slings.

Jeff's Normans consisted of 1 twelve man unit of mounted hearthguards, 2 four man units of dismounted warriors, 1 unit of eight man unit of warrior crossbow men and 1 twelve man unit of levy archers.

I placed one of the hostages with a warrior unit in the small house, on hindsight I should of placed all the hostages in there, oh well, first lesson of the day learnt.

Having never played Anglo Danes before I was pretty new to their battle board. However  due to the Normans being my first and most played with faction, I knew what abilities (a lot of shooting little pointy things) I would be facing. Therefore to try negate the shooting arm of my adversary, I used the expensive but effective ability of "Trapped" that places fatigues on three of your enemy units therefore his levy archers were soon exhausted.

With Jeff busy trying to to rest his fatigued units in the first few moves, I decided the best tactic was to attack. However with starting in the woods this took a lot longer than I expected.

Organiser Jeff came around when we were half way through our third or fourth turn to say we had ten minutes to finish the game, which came as bit of a shock. Usually in the tournaments in Spain we play for just over two hours, but this tournament we were only playing for an hour and a half which is very short time.

This meant we only had time for Jeff to complete his turn, he launched his knights into my hearthguards, luckily the dice gods were actually kindly looking down on me and Jeff lost doublé the amount of figures I did. With no more time for me to have another turn, the game ended with a draw with my Anglo Danes slightly in front with slaughter points. Second lesson learnt, make sure you know how long the game lasts.


Meanwhile Kiefer was enjoying playing with the Irish, it was his first tournament and actually the first time he has played the official Saga game. He was familiar with the mechanics of the game because he has helped me test play my Western Saga variation rules. In fact his Confederate bush whacker faction we played with before was based on the Irish battleboard.


The next game was "Foraging Party" and I was playing against Rob and his Early Saxons. Each player had a wagon full off booty that they had to get off the other player's edge of the table aswell as capturing their opponents wagon.

Rob's Early Saxons consisted of 2 six man unit of hearthguards, 2 ten man units of  warriors, 1 unit of four man unit of warriors. (I think)

Knowing know that the game time was going to be short, I quickly moved forward to take the game to Rob, however one of his warrior units entered the enclosed field in the centre of the table first. My Hearthguards went in to start wielding their dane axes, however I did forget they had dane axes and we resolved the combat as if they were armed with swords. This did come as a blessing however because he used his abililty "Death is Nothing" that meant a third of my hits on his unit would count as automatic hits on my unit. To be fair he didn't realise how rubbish my dice rolling is and I very rarely get over fifty percent of hits anyway,  however I did mange to wipe out his unit.

The centre enclosed field seemed to be more of a focus than the wagons for some reason and he sent a unit of his hearthguards in to eliminate my Dane axless hearthguard unit. However my wagon was finally over the centre of the table and into enemy territory. For some reason I haven't any photos of the end game, but basically I cleared the enemy warriors in front of my wagon using my warlord and a unit of warriors, but then in my eagness to adavnce my wagon, I left it undefended and Rob attacked it with his Warlord and the remnants of his hearthguard. It managed to fight off the first attack, but he attacked again and caused three hits, the first was automatically cancelled, the second was saved and unfortunately the last wasnt and I lost my wagon. With no time to capture his wagon, which he had prudently kept out of harms way, the game ended.

On the next table, Kiefer was having loads of fun with his Irish against Picts and actually both players managed to get their wagons off the table. Something I believed almost impossible due to the fact that the tables were a foot wider than the normal sized Saga table we usually play on. In this game he used an abilitiy where he need to roll anything but a six against the Pict Warlord to basically kill him. Now Kiefer's dice rolling is even worse than mine, thats why I like playing him,  however you guessed it he managed to roll a six.

After an hours break for dinner we resumed back on time (not something I'm used to in Spanish tournaments). Our final game  was the "Singulus Junctus" scenario. In this scenario each warlord is placed on chosen ground and loses if they move off it or are killed. My next player was using my old adversary the Vikings with the special option of Harald Hadrada and his Varangian guard.
Harald won the toss and moved first, advancing his Varangian guard straight over and destroying one of my Hearthguards units with little damage to themselves.

In the next turn I counterattacked with my Warlord and a warrior unit managing to cut the guard down to two men and make them retreat off the chosen ground. His Varangian Guard attacked again doing more damaging causing my warlord to retreat, his other units including his beserkers had also moved up and with my battle line with more holes in it than a "Arnold Palmers putting range", My Warlord was killed, it was so quick I havn't got any photos of it..

So with a pretty dismal result of one draw and two losses, I came eigth out of ten players. Although I was rewarded with a 4 point starter army of Anglo Danes as a prize which was very generous  (right now I'm just painting them to make an Anglo-Saxon army). Kiefer did well in his first tournament coming seventh, and with finishing early we still had plenty of time to explore the convention and do a little shopping in the bring and buy.
It was a fantastic tournament and very friendly, thanks to Jeff and Ralph for organising, answering any questions for us and making the tournament run smoothly. Also thanks to the other players for making us feel welcome and the games enjoyable, we had loads of fun and hopefully return in the future.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

ADLG Tournament Murcia 9th May 2016

ADLG Tournament Murcia 9th May 2016

During my time off from writing on my blog, one of the new periods and rules I have started and played in abundance, is the French "L' Art de la Guerre" (ADLG) . In the last two years I have played in quite a few tournaments all over Spain from Malaga to Barcelona with an ever evolving army(s)  lists and strategies. This journey to where I am now with the game, I will write in a seperate post but for  this  one I will just concéntrate on the latest tournament we played in.

This Tournament came as a bit of a surprise when it was announced, due to the fact that nobody actually plays ADLG in the city of Murcia. However  Angel who owns the Wargaming Shop "Strategos" in Murcia and  in partnership with some of the guys in Alicante. Decided to put on the tournament for the local Wargamers so they could see the merits of the game in action. A bit like when FIFA hosted the Football World Cup in the USA to gain more interest (obviously this was on a smaller scale).

For this Tournament only Ancient armies could be used, no medieval so I went with an Army that I first started gaming these rules with, but lost heavily. The Romans, but with a twist they had  Arab Allies as well. Usually Roman units can be expensive in points so there are less units in the Army. making it easier to reach their breakpoint. After the great mistake of taking an elite but very small Roman Army to my first tournament with very poor results. I have always gone with large armies with the máximum of 36 units in a 200 point tournament. After a few changes my army was as follows:

Altogether 26 units including a fortified camp.
All packed the night before ready for an early start on Sunday morning.

My first game was against David from Alcoy, he had a 42 Selucid Army which consisted of:

Right Flank

Commander Ordinary
2 LMI Bows Mediocre
1 Elephant Mediocre
1 Light Infantry Bow

Commander Brilliant
4 Heavy Infantry Pikes
2 Heavy Infantry impetuous
2 Medium Infantry 2HW

Left Flank
Commander Competent
2 Light Cavalry Bow
4 Heavy Cavalry impetuous
2 Medium Camels Bow
Unfortunately I only managed to take a couple of quick shots of the first game as I was fully concentrating on the game. David's right flank was pretty weak and I was able to take out some of his units including his Elephant.
My left flank
David had his first kill on my right flank with me going into melee with two of light cavalry against one of his. However my other cavalry faired better pushing his left wing back and letting me gain the high ground. In one turn David lost about 4 or 5 units and it wasn't long after the main bodies clashed that David had reached his Break point and my first game ended in victory.
My centre advancing up to the hill.
My next game was against Rafa from Alcoy, also with a Selucid Army, this game was going to be a lot tougher due to him being currently second in the world rankings. I won the initiative so I chose to defend and  was able to choose the terrain. It seems Rafa had never come across this before, because he disappeared for a few minutes to fetch his French book to make sure this was possible in all three languages. I had a field and a hill in my sector also once again we had a coast on one side. I usually try to get a coast because if an opponent tries a flanking attack you know for sure where the attack is coming from. Also you can place your baggage train there where it is more secure.

Rafa's army was as follows:

Right Flank
Commander Ordinary
1 Light Cavalry Javelin
1 Light Cavalry Bow
2 Medium Camel Bow

Commander Brilliant
3 Pikes
4 Cataphracts

Left Flank
2 Pike
1 Pike Elite
1 Elephant Elite
2 LMI Bows
2 Javelins
1 Light Infantry 


Rafa went first and slowly advanced his Pikes, then to scupper my plans of my two mounted Corps forming a grand  manouever around his left flank, I threw a 1 and failed to activate my Arab Allies. Rafa spent next few moves carefully advancing his troops making sure that none of his troops came within 4UD of my Arabs. I also spent several turns sending valuable command points from my commander to attempt to activate them, all to no avail.

 On my left flank things were becoming a stalemate, Rafa did not want to advance his cavalry into the fields against my light and medium infantry. I didn't have many command points to use to take advantage of the situation due to my commander having to waste them on trying to get the Arabs activated.


 However one light archer of mine was exceling in his ability to shoot arrows and was hitting Rafa's pikemen with every shot.

My Arabs were finally activated on about the third attempt. I decided to carry on doing a wide sweep, this I realise was a mistake and I should have gone and attacked directly his troops to help my Roman cavalry.


His Elephant and archers were able to advance and get closer to my camp, luckily it is fortified. His archers chased away the rest of my archers and his pikes were getting the better of my legions. Also my flank attack was held up by a single Pike unit. Then disaster struck his lowly archer unit attacked my camp and he threw a six, immediately capturing it and breaking my army's morale. So after two games I had one victory and one defeat.

After about an hour break for dinner we headed back to the venue for the last game, with me needing a win to be in a chance for a medal position. 
My last game was against Javier from Benidorm this was going to be a Roman Civil war game because he was using Patrician Romans although there wasn't any actual Roman legionares in his Army. His army consisted of:
Left Flank
Commander Brilliant
4 Heavy Cavalry Impetuous
2 Heavy Cavalry Bows
3 Light Infantry Javelins
Commander Competent
5 Heavy Infantry Impetuous
2 Cataphracts
1 Medium Infantry Mediocre
Right Flank
Commander Ordinary
4 Medium Impact
2 LMI Bows
1 Light Cavalry Javelin
Once again a coast was diced for and this time my Arab allies were activated and faced off against his cavalry next to the coast.
My left flank
My main infantry forcé faced off against his Foederati infantry with their blue wode painted bodies.
Javi had moved his Light cavalry within 4UD of my unreliable Roman cavalry and so automatically activating them. Which was lucky because I threw a one for my command points. This was his most vunerable forcé, as long as they didnt move into the field next to them. So I quickly charged to bring them into contact.
In the centre his barbarian infantry moved ever closer- Surely my well drilled legions will smash through their chaotic ranks. 

Oh dear, due to the fact he had furious charge and my armour didnt count in the first combat, my legions were shattered, funny enough my médium infantry faired better on the right of my formation.

My Roman cavalry destroyed both of the archer units in the first combat and destroyed a médium infantry unit in the second.

On my left flank my Arabs were fairing quite well to, with the camel archers actually destroying a Heavy cavalry bow unit with their arrows (must have been the height advantage on those humps).

On the last turn we were both 2 points away from destroying eachother. I managed to rally 1 unit, but failed on the other. I destroyed another couple of his units breaking his army and in the final combats I managed to hold on just losing one unit, However when we came to count (including several recounts)  I had actually lost 26 points and so my army was broken as well. This meant we had drawn to the  delight of Miguel who knew that he had secured third place.
Rafa once again came in first place.
Javi came in second place.
Miguel once again came third

All the players who participated in the Tournament.

                                               Official results and placings for the tournament.

This was actually a very good Tournament and even though most of the players were from my club, I played against two new players. The venue was good with lots of other games and tournaments going on in the hall. Also in the foyer/café área all day there was lots of board games being played with people of all ages. Thanks to Angel and Salva for organising it.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Saga Tournament Alicante 2014

                                                                Introduction May 2016

Sorry I haven't published anything on my blog for a while. This was due to a number of things with other projects and work etc taking my time. I found this report half written in my draft from 2014 but thought it would be beneficial to still publish it even if its just for proof that I can actually throw sixes! Hope you enjoy the photos and vague scribblings.

 On Saturday 29th of November 2014 we had our second Saga Tournament. As soon as the date was announced I put my name forward. Funnily enough I hadn't had a game of Saga since our last tournament around 18 months ago. I decided this time to play more to my Norman Battle Board strengths and use only archers and mounted knights. Looking for inspiration on the Saga fórum I decided to play with the  "William the Bastard" special rules. My army  consisted og

                                                  3  points of heartguard armed with bows 12figs
                                                  2  points of mounted warriors 16 figs

 I was undecided whether to swap one mounted warrior with a dismounted warrior unit  with crossbows.

We diced off for who paired off with who and for my first game I was against Salva and his Welsh boyos. I was deemed the attacker and although most of his troops hid behind the hill and woods in the centre of the board. One of my archer units ( I had decided to split my archers into two six man units). I threw seven dice, one for each figure and an extra die from a battle die. I could not believe my eyes , I threw all sixes and even after the saving units. Salva had lost six men from a warrior unit. Not a bad start.

Even at extreme distance my archers proved deadly.

  The Welsh used a tactic to bring  one of my units into their javelin range and my 12 figure strong mounted warrior unit charged forward. The welsh came out of hiding to throw their pointy sticks and killing five of my troops.-

    My archers on the flank fired to full effect and killed seven welshmen in the unit nearest to them. My Knights decided to go for glory and charged uphill at another welsh warrior unit.

Although they destroyed another welsh unit, they lost most of their remaning figures with only one rider to make a hasty retreat. 

                      Whilst most of his army retreat back into the woods , the Welsh war leader decides to show them how its done.

However with my army mostly intact by turn six, I win by 21 points to 12 points.

The night before the tournament I decided to read the scenario rules for each game and realised in this scenario "Slaughterfest" that any casualties caused by my bowmen would not count, so I was at a serious disadvantage before I started

            The second game I was against a Scots army that had ran out of blue woad and appeared to be trying out a black woad. They tried to hide from my archers but my cavalry charged straight into their left flank.

My tactic was to weaken the size of the Scots units and then attack with my cavalry.
My cavalry finished off a Scots Warrior unit and the game ended with surprisingly myself having more points than my opponent and winning the game. 
 The last game was against Juan Marcos and his Jomsvikings duel between the warlords

My archers advance to chase the Jomsviking around the house, stay still you buggers

The Jomsvikings playing Hide and seek, cowards.

Trying not to get the Jomsviking wrath up but its a hard task with the options given.

Mt warlord is starting to get a thrashing now his warlord has got his wrath up.

Some pictures from others games.

                                   Beautifully painted Normans, obviously not mine.

                                 Carlos' Vikings also painted brilliantly.

                                 Lone Norman archer takes on the Warlord

                                                    The Welsh hiding in the woods

                                  Juan Marcos comes in first place.

Salva takes second place with his Welsh

I take third place with my Normans.