For unknown reasons, we got a late start. Andy suggested a scenario from the main SAGA book called "The Feast of Crows." This consists of four opposing players in a free-for-all donnybrook where it's every player for him/herself! It seemed like a good way to get the game introduced to a new player and some practise for those still learning. Andy and Martin have sucked the ink of the pages of the rule books and battle boards, so Bear and I are still learning and Beth wanted to try the game for the first time. Score was kept by the number of enemy "killed" with the different types weighted differently.
So in each corner we had:
#1 Martin and his Byzantine force - Cataphract lancers and horse archers with peltastoi and javelin-armed levy
|Looking good, but the emperor does not live on Coke Zero alone!|
|Black habits - either Hospitaliers or commandos|
|"Oy, Llewellyn, we gots clothes and pointy sticks."|
|Faugh a Bellagh! Clear the way!|
|One of the options for the Irish list is to field a pack of hounds with their handler as a warrior unit.|
I couldn't resist.
Martin moved some of his cavalry toward Bear as did Beth. Bear's crusaders are cavalry-heavy so he had horse to spare. Beth put some warriors and levy to hold down my side of the board and that proved to be enough for most of the game. Martin and Bear skirmished with Bear's crossbow-armed coming through the small woods separating them and peppering the Byzantine cavalry with bolts.
|The dogs begin their approach, accompanied with the fastest pack handler in existence.|
|A Martin's-eye view of the pack attack and the frustrated warriors supporting the levy.|
|The Knights Hospitalier with the cross-bow armed levy move toward Martin's neck of the woods.|
|The Welsh hearthguard (elites) lead the way toward Bear. The figures are drawn from Beth's Late Roman/sub-Roman British/Arthurian army for larger battle sets of rules. She did the majority of the painting herself.|
|"Arthur" exhorts the troops on.|
|Bear's Knights of the Hospital spreading the good news in a way unacceptable today.|
|Arthur was heard saying: "Alright, you lot of fresh-painted slingers! Get the range!"|
As the game went on, Martin wiped out my dog pack, threw back my one levy unit, and engaged one other unit of my warriors. He also took damage from Bear, but gave as good as he got. Bear played the sea-saw game against Martin while sending a unit of knights against Beth who responded with her hearthguard. The wiped each other out. Meanwhile Beth and I skirmished with missile weapons on our shared flank.
|Another view of the attack by the dogs. (Old Glory figures I believe with a Foundry handler.|
|My kern face the Welsh warriors. (Old Glory Irish; Gripping Beast/Old Glory/ Essex warriors with a Foundry commander.|
|Bear's flanking force of knights is met by one surviving levy (who survived the game) and cataphract horse archers while the crossbows move through the forest.|
|Looking through the woods at a scattering of the Irish with the Byzantines in the background. Andy set up the scenario and served as rules encyclopedia.|
|My fianna (hearthguard) and warlord were too much of a tempting target for Beth's warriors.|
So we slugged it out in the middle. Her troops had to fall back but her warlord joined in, bringing troops as well.
The Warlords ended up killing each other.
Beth said she liked the game. She also decided to continue to use the Welsh and learn the intricacies of the faction. She was considering using a revised Byzantine list as true Arthurians, but felt the Eastern army was too cavalry heavy and the cataphracts would not be right for the proposed list. I need to be more familiar and practised with the Irish. I like them... not least of all because the figures are all bought and painted! I still think they could surprise someone.
|Arthur looking very "Arthur-y." A Gripping Beast figure|
|The Welsh moving through rough country.|
|I had to show this shield pattern. If I recall correctly, it's taken from the Notitia Dignitatum and there was a small unit of either auxilia or legionary skirmishers painted up. We called them "the Fox Boys" for obvious reasons.|
|The Viking in the "non-Food" camera setting. A "Cheesecake" viking stands in the background. (a Reaper figure)|
|Now the "Food" setting. I'll do some light testing later, but the setting allows me to focus on objects much closer to the lens than any other setting I've found. It also shows how messy my painting table is.|
|The back of the figure in better light. Not perfect, but quite acceptable, I'd say!|