Hi, I’m Paul, and welcome to another edition of Sculpting, Painting and Gaming.
Today’s Footsore Flashback brings you an article previously published on our Footsore Miniatures’ blog. One of many contributed by the indomitable Dom Sore, this gem focuses on his Anglo-Saxon Saga warband. Dom has contributed some great articles to us over the past few years, and this is one of his very best.
This article examines my six point Anglo-Saxon warband for use in Saga, the Dark Age skirmish game by Studio Tomahawk and Gripping Beast. It will be expanded at a later date for another game (more on which later!) All the miniatures shown are produced by Footsore Miniatures, and are available from their webstore.
First up, a little about the Anglo-Saxons in Saga. The main point is they use big units. A lot. Seven of the slots on their Battle Board effect (or have more of an effect) on units of ten or more figures. Not only that, but two Sutton Hoo helmets on your dice will let you move all your units containing ten or more figures. This doesn’t generate Fatigue either; which is a powerful advantage if used correctly (or, for that matter, just used!) For this reason larger units are the order of the day for Anglo-Saxons players.
I’m going to start with my Warlord and Ealdorman / Thegns (Hearthguard) and I’ve decided to make them mounted, mainly as my other factions have no cavalry. I’m taking two points of Ealdorman / Thegns so I need nine figures altogether. This is easily done using the Early Saxon Cavalry Command, Early Saxon Noble Cavalry and Early Saxon Cavalry.
One pack of each and I have one Warlord and two points of Ealdorman / Thegns. Whether I use them as two four man units or one eight man unit will depend on whether or not I feel I need the two dice or not; they will normally be used as one unit!
My next decision is how many points of Fyrd (Warriors) do I take; three or four? It’s a difficult choice, as I’m going to end up with two units of twelve Fyrd (from three points) or two units of ten Fyrd and one unit of twelve Fyrd (from four points).
Saga events often have six point warbands with the option to swap a point between battles. With that in mind I’m going for four points of Fyrd. I’ll start with three packs of Early Saxon Infantry, add in two packs of Late Saxon Thegns, and finish off with three packs of Late Saxon Fyrd.
That gives me thirty two Fyrd to mix them up between the units I use. I am happy to mix between the Early and Late Saxons as not everyone updates their weapons and armour the century they became available…
Finally I’ll add a point of Ceorls (levy) for some ranged ability. They can be armed with spear and shield for extra melee, but for now I’m going with bows. Simply take three packs of Late Saxon Archers, paint and there you have it: one point of Ceorls to shoot Vikings.
So that’s seven points of Saxons without using any Heroes of the Viking Age. I could have introduced Aethelstan or Alfred the Great. I might get some different Ealdormen using the Early Saxon Heavy Infantry and Early Saxon Heavy Infantry Command. I probably will as I have an interest in playing Hail Caesar from Warlord Games, meaning the warband will need to become an army in the future. The options for command, chieftains and priests will provide plenty of choice in that instance.
As for playing the Saxons in Saga, you want large units, as already mentioned, and you want to keep them that way. Saxons don’t get the use of the Activation pool as most other factions do. They do, however they have an ability called The Fyrd which allows you to roll a dice for each unit of ten or more; very useful! With big units you roll a lot of dice in melee, so keep units close to each other for support and you’ll do well. You’ll also want Sutton Hoo helmets, so hopefully you can get them.
A great way to get started with an Anglo-Saxon Warband from Footsore is our Anglo-Saxon Skirmish Warband for Saga; it will also save you money on buying the units individually.
And that concludes this Footsore Flashback. Don’t worry, we have a few more up our sleeve, and not a few of them feature more of Dom’s excellent Saga warbands. You really are spoilt, aren’t you?
About Dom Sore
Something of a wargaming butterfly, Dom likes too many games to list. Sometime writer and reviewer for Wargames Illustrated. Always bribable with bourbons (the biscuit, not the rubbish whisky copy).
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