In a fit of madness when discussing which game we should play over Vassal for New Year, there was a wacky bid of a figure game over a video link and this was the result – a game of Saga with the Irish facing up to the Normans (ironically, the Norman General was over 300 miles away from the table in Northern Ireland). The objective was simply to kill the opposing Warlord.
The Irish went first, with the unit of Hounds bounding through some rough ground to bite at the Norman crossbows which would surely have killed quite a few hounds had they been allowed to fire. Although the hounds won the melee and drove the crossbows back, this bit of the battle turned out to be a bit of a stand-off, with the hounds afraid to leave cover for fear of crossbow bolts and the crossbows failing to do much damage because the hounds were in cover. The rest of the Irish dice went on to the battle board to build up defensive abilities while one Curadh used his free activation to place himself between the massed Norman Hearthguard unit led by the warlord and his own Irish Warlord.
The Norman knights and Warlord rode at the Curadh and killed him for the loss of one of their own, but he served his purpose as a speed bump and the fatigue he put on the knights persuaded them to pause for the rest of the turn. Meanwhile the mounted warriors charged a unit of Irish warriors, but with no abilities on either board it was a straight roll-off with equal number of dice which the Irish just lost and had to retreat after the combat. This however left the Norman mounted warriors exposed to a charge by the Irish Hearthguard unit of 10 figures, and when the dust settled there were no warriors left (though they did take 2 Hearthguard down with them).
The Irish Hearthguard’s victory diverted the attention of the Norman knights and after charging towards the Irish Warlord who was guarded only by 8 Warriors but failing to wipe them out, they decided to charge the Irish Hearthguard for their second activation on a Warlord “side-by-side” activation. After the Normans rolled an obscene number of dice, only 4 Irish Fianna remained standing, but the Norman steamroller had been stopped as they now had too much fatigue on them to risk carrying on.
The Irish now had the Norman Hearthguard in the right place, and using a combination of javelins backed by battle board abilities and a side-by-side attack by the Warlord and a unit of Warriors, reduced them to 2 men. As the Norman spear-armed warriors were the only viable unit left, they were hurled at what was left of the Irish Hearthguard, wiping them out and piling into the 5 remaining Irish Warriors beside the Warlord.
The Normans and Irish were both rolling the same number of dice, but luck was with the Irish and the Warriors were reduced to 1 figure and pushed back. The Irish Warlord tried to manoeuvre himself and his remaining Curadh into a “side-by-side” combat with the Norman Warlord, but the flanking Norman figures stopped a legal contact by both figures, so the Irish Warlord went it alone with some battleboard abilities – he came up just short in the ensuing melee, though the Norman Warlord had to kill his last Hearthguard Knight to survive. With no forces left, the Normans picked that moment to roll their 2nd and 3rd flag of the game, so plonked them on the Dex Aie ability (which gave him double the number of dice in melee) and charged the Irish Warlord – he had to due to being in charge range and the “Warlord’s Pride” rule. The Irish had “Blade of Truth” on their battleboard which stopped any melee abilities being played, so the extra Norman dice were lost and the fight was inconclusive.
With both sides exhausted and time running short, we called it a day there. The Irish just scraped a win on victory points by 22.5 (rounded to 23) points to 22.
We were both amazed at how well this worked over a video link, so much so that we’re going to give it a go with Field of Glory:Ancients next – maybe a slightly bigger table and 15mm troops won’t be as easy to do but we’ll see.