Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Normans and Anglo-Danes face off......

Have been playing SAGA almost since it came out but only since Lion Rampant have I had the makings of a Norman warband and after the first skirmish a couple of weeks ago we had another chance to try them out face to face with the Anglo-Danes. Neither warband is easy to use so not recommended unless you have a bit of experience.
The challenge with the Norman faction seems to be that the strengths of the board are very focussed around cavalry and shooting but shooting with bows rather than cross-bows, which are one of the key troop types the Normans can take. What that means is the Norman infantry are fairly limited in their uses. Now as my warband is very much an adaptation of my Lion Rampant retinue it became clear they probably don't make the strongest SAGA warband.
Anyway having not played for a while we set up a straight forward battle, but as always quite a bit of terrain, some small woods and a notable impassable hill/cliff which would undoubtedly hamper the Norman Knights.
It was clear from the start that both sides were going to be fairly cagey small units of elite troops have a tendency to burn out quickly so need to be used with care. The Normans spread out pretty much across the baseline but with the strongest elements on the right flank.

The Anglo-Danes pushed forward with their archers to attempt to whittle the Normans down and edges their infantry forward on both flanks. The Norman Knights weren't going to put up with this so charged home against the archers pushing killing about half their number and pushing the rest back into the trees. This left them very isolated though and they were soon swamped and cut down. The first skirmish probably going the way of the Anglo-Danes.
Next came a period of cautious movement with both sides trying to get into position. Eventually with the Normans trying to get their cross-bows far enough forward to be effective the Danes made a concerted effort on their left flank.
This looked for a while to be the decisive move of the game and the elite Norman knights, mounted and foot were cut down to nothing. The Danes were playing clever ensuring that the Normans were heavily fatigued most of the time, limiting their options.
Finally though the cross-bow men came into range now normally shooting is not that effective but here as they are Warriors rather than levy troops they don't tire quite so easily and with the armour penetrating effect of cross bows they were able to almost entirely wipe out the Danish left flank.
The Anglo-Danish lord for a short while started to look very isolated with only a few retainers left he charged in to clear a path and then beat a hasty retreat back into the woods. With boht sides now down to limited dice, the Danish Lord falling back we felt it was pretty much a hard fought draw. 
I now need to paint up my remaining Norman knights to get the third unit of cavalry and next time I may swop out the infantry for archers ? You'll notice in the pictures I have moved to small brown buttons as fatigue markers rather than the ugly yellow buttons of previous battles.


  1. All those Danes that died, their bodies do not lie still in the grave.

  2. Remember whose land this is we may be from the same viking stock but we Normans will have this land for our own.