A festive treat of wargaming as Michael hosted a gathering of reprobates and scuff laws, with me, Luke, Red, Chris and Aidan descending upon his house, and only some of that number came just for the food. Red split off to take on Ben in a bit of Star Wars dog fighting, and the rest of us settled down around Michaels dinning table to play the Wooden Oaths scenario for Saga. It was designed for 4 players, but suited 5 nicely, with Aidan’s Strathclyde-Welsh and Michael’s Normans pulling black and facing off against my Welsh, Lukes Danes, and Chris’ Vikings.
General fear broke out immediately amongst the red players about the effectiveness of being stabbed in the back by Aidans roving (off-table) horse, and we all began moving into the centre of the table. This brought my Welsh into contact with Michaels Normans, and an exchange of javelins and crossbow fire saw me come off worse, but not by much, with a fair few horsemen down. The Strathclyde-Welsh ‘harassed’ the Vikings and Danes bringing fatigue but little else. The first turn card draw came and went with everyone trying to second guess the others and ending up on the same side as before. This gave Michael the opportunity to use his crossbow firing squad on the advanced guard of the Anglo-Danes, cutting down several, while my Welsh did little to help their allies. The Vikings clustered more towards the Danes hoping they would lead them to a fight, and the Strathclyde-Welsh, with most of their troops off table ‘harassing’ the Danes and Vikings did nowt.
It then became unpredictable and interesting, with the cards seeing me and Chris join Michael, and Aidan switch to Luke’s side. This left the Danes in a very nasty sandwich between the Welsh and the Viking attack column, with the Normans coming up on the rails. With the Strathclyde-Welsh in no position to assist, Luke was glad to get first turn, and took advantage of the Viking Warlords impetuous nature to bushwhack him, gaining revenge for the insults hurled beforehand by the Viking chief! The Welsh and Normans bloodied the Danes on one side with javelins, crosswbows and horsemen, and the Viking warriors waded in and joined the Welsh warlord in wiping the floor with the rest of the Danes, leaving Luke with just his warlord. Chris’ Vikings, having butched most of Lukes troops then allied with him by switching straight back to the Red’s, joining Luke’s warlord and Aidans Strathclyde-Welsh, and stuck with that for the rest of the battle, while I went with Black and an alliance with Michael’s Normans. I caused a rumpus when I attempted to stab the Normans in the back while supposedly on their side, and having ruled as a group against such nefarious tactics the Red’s then had cause to regret it when they looked at Luke’s warlord, whose death would have greatly increased their points total by reducing the division of their victory points!
The last few turns were quieter. Luke’s warlord launched a single-handed attack on my Welsh and was killed off by a couple of lucky hearthguard. Chris’ Viking warriors did the same against my warriors and bounced off somewhat embarrassingly, while Aidans troops turned up, but then charged in against the Norman horse only to be wiped out. Finally my warlord made an unnecessary (but entertaining and dramatic) 18” charge on foot across the battlefield to try and take out Aidans warlord, only to fall himself. Battle over and the Blacks (me and Michael) had won comfortably, and with Michael having plenty more surviving troops than me he took the plaudits and the overall victory.
From a technical point of view we used 4 points a player to speed up play, and a kitchen table much smaller than the recommended size, but we fudged it and it worked well! We also spent much time bickering, insulting, and a fair amount of time sitting chatting and eating – as an evening it was extremely well spent!
As for the Star Wars result – in Red’s own words:
In the kitchen I faced a tooled up Millennium Falcon, Wedge Antillies (with R2D2), a Red Sqn. pilot and Rookie pilot in X-Wings, a Green Sqn. pilot in an A-Wing and a Gold Sqn. pilot in a Y-Wing. For this first game I had 6 Tie Fighters, 3 Tie Interceptors and 2 Tie Bombers.
I think Ben was a little overwhelmed by the options which left him lacking firepower to take down enough of my ties.
He learnt the lesson well though and turned it back on me in the second game where I took a pair of Y-Wings against 3 Tie Fighters and a Tie Interceptor.
Looking forward to the next game.