Friday, July 8, 2016

Dice win games

Here are some pics of my recent SAGA battle with Mike A. He played the Vikings and I played the Welsh (if my figures look Romano-British to you, they mostly are. I'm playing them as Welsh for the moment, at least until Gripping Beast releases rules for Arthurians.) We played the River Crossing scenario. It may be that we chose unequal armies. The Welsh have more shooting power than the Vikings and the capability to field mounted hearthguard, and the ability to move quickly across the river and shoot across the river or at foes bottlenecked in the ford were more valuable than either of us anticipated. 

I love this fat Viking. He's one of the few survivors of a unit of hearthguard or warriors that my cavalry chewed up early in the game. After Round 2, having played conservatively and allowed Mike to cross the western ford, I was feeling pretty good about my odds of winning. Those Viking units crossing one by one were easy targets fr my javelins. Then, in round 3, the dice decided to betray me: in a massive attack that I initiated and should have gone in my favor, I got close to zero hits and the Vikings got tons of hits. Then my armor saves were no better than my attack rolls. Mike had wiped out all my cavalry!

 It seemed as though all was lost -- but then in Round 4, the dice decided that they had punished me enough and started to mock the Vikings' efforts instead. The picture above is my warriors crossing the eastern ford, where Mike had only archer levies.

 In the end, like a good Welsh warlord, I won this game by running away. I gave up on holding the Western ford and rushed every single unit across the Eastern one. The Rising Out ability was often useful to get my warriors and levies more moves than they should have gotten. The scenario is won by who gets more points' worth of models across the river, and by Round 6 my army was slightly less battered than Mike's, and I had enough move to get everybody across. That was the right decision -- trying to wipe out the Vikings who had crossed the river might have cost me far more men than him. I did have a quarter-strength unit of warriors that crossed the Western ford after Mike had gotten all his guys through. He could have left some units at ford to block it, a minor tactical error on his part perhaps but I think this game was decided by the maneuverability of the Welsh ... and of course by the whims of the almighty dice. Final score was something like 14 - 11.

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