My blog about my wargaming activities. I collect a lot of 15mm miniatures for the American War of Independence and so collect a lot of rules for this period. I started miniatures with Napoleonics, so I have a number of armies in 6mm and 15mm figures for skirmishing. I have15mm WW II figures that I use for Flames of War, Memoir '44, and someday, Poor Bloody Infantry. Finally there is my on-again, off-again relationship with paper soldiers that I sometimes write about.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Mesoamerican Saga - Battle Report

Don and I were able to get in a game of Saga yesterday. It was a 6 point battle and took us about two hours to complete.

I have not finished the battleboards for the Aztecs and Tlaxcalans yet, so we treated the Aztecs as Anglo-Danish and the Tlaxcalans as Welsh. I played the Aztecs and I found it very frustrating trying to close with the missile-heavy Tlaxcalans. Even when I got into melee, I often did not have enough "oomph!" to finish them off, so I felt very much the underdog. And the die rolling did not help. I could not get a rare symbol to save my life, early on. They Don was hitting like crazy (4 out of 4, 7 out of 8). Luckily, my Defence dice were working.

So, here is the game in comic panels. You can click any for a larger view.

This was a very interesting game in that it brought the special abilities of the factions much more into play than the first game. Don made frequent use of his ability to move through terrain at full speed, slow my movement, and to interrupt my activation and move during my turn (usually by peppering me with javelins). I started making use of the ability to cancel his activation, and to a lesser extent, putting up a shield wall against his fire.

The biggest play of the game, however, was when Don pushed a Warrior unit to pursue one of mine and took on two fatigue. I got a great Saga dice roll – the best I had all game – and I was able to play Trapped, which allowed me to add a fatigue to his unit, pushing it to Exhausted state, followed by Exhaustion, which eliminates two figures from an Exhausted unit. Don put on his grumpy face and said "I don't like that ability!". Took two rares and an uncommon dice to pull it off, however, and he had never had a unit within 1 Fatigue of exhaustion either, so it is going to be a rare event. But when you pull it off, it is sweet. Compare that to the Welsh abilities, which are basically firing every turn, wearing you down.

One thing I noticed is that Don did not use The Rising Out (activate all Levy and Warriors) or The Deadly Strike (lower the enemy Armour when shooting, and re-roll failed hits at the cost of one Fatigue and two common dice) as often as he could. I think that will change as he becomes more familiar with the abilities on the battleboard.

That said, I think the next game of Saga will be using his Bretonnians as Hundred Years War English and French. He has plenty of mounted Knights, medium infantry, and archers; I have a dismounted Knight unit or two to throw in. I am waiting for my plastic Fireforge Foot Sergeants to come in from On Military Matters. I will make at least 24 of them into crossbowmen.

Let me know if this format was a bit much, or did not display well. I tend to skip pictures of simple moves and only focus on those where shooting or melee occurs. I am also thinking of putting the red beads beside the figure before taking the photo and removing the figures and beads.


  1. Looked like a good battle. I like the comic book style of report and I think cutting straight to the action worked fine. I first read this on the kindle and got a little confused by pictures 2 and 3 but I see what it was now. As far as the trapped thing goes, it's funny how someone who's been rolling hot all day can feel cheated by you rolling an incredibly lucky dice combo. Go figure.

  2. Mind you that panel four shows him using the Taunt ability to draw my troops into the woods where he destroys them.

  3. Displaying two pictures wide, but I have a big screen and still have to scroll over to see the pictures on the right...

  4. Thanks Steve, that is good feedback. I ripped out the side-by-sides and just made it one long stream of images. It actually took a lot more work to make the images side-by-side, so knowing that it really does not work for people means I can go the simple way.

    As it turns out, I asked a question on the Saga forum and found out that one of the counters I was using – Intimidation to cancel his Hit and Run was illegal. So, we almost have the game down, but not quite. These ability interactions are still the sticking point.

  5. Great stuff! I have a small pile of Aztecs, Tlaxcallans and Conquistadores that I never did anything with. Other rules I looked at seemed to require a lot more figures than I was willing to buy/paint. So I thought Saga might work. Glad to see someone has gone ahead and done it! Inspiring...

  6. I was just thinking some more about this (though I am a long way from gaming it with so much to paint!). I wonder if one of the battle board abilities should be something to the effect of "Take Prisoner." As noted elsewhere, nowhere is it written that a casualty in Saga is actually KIA, just incapacitated in some way. Though wordy, the ability could be something "When a model causes a casualty in melee, the defending figure is removed from the battle and taken prisoner. The attacking figure is also removed from the game to guard the prisoner but does not count in victory point tabulation." I don't know. Needs work, but perhaps the germination of something there.


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Huachuca City, Arizona, United States
I am 58 yrs old now. I bought a house in Huachuca City, AZ working for a software company for the last three years. To while away the hours I like to wargame -- with wooden, lead, and sometimes paper miniatures -- usually solo. Although I am a 'rules junkie', I almost always use rules of my own (I like to build upon others' ideas, but it seems like there is always something "missing" or "wrong").