Hi, I’m Paul, and welcome to Sculpting, Painting and Gaming.
Today we bring you another Footsore Flashback. In this article—as previously published on our Footsore Miniatures website—we revisit dazzling Dom Sore’s Irish Warband for Saga. If you haven’t read this article before, then you’re in for a treat. If you have, well…
…One can never have too much of a good thing, can one?
If you are reading this, chances are you’re already aware of Saga, the excellent Dark Ages and Crusades skirmish game from Studio Tomahawk. That being the case, let’s skip the introductions and talk about how I used Footsore Miniatures’ Dark Ages Irish to build my new Irish warband.
First off, a little bit about the Irish in Saga to keep in mind. Every Irishman is armed with javelins (with some exceptions, which we’ll come to later). They use uneven ground well (especially the dogs), and they shoot; a lot! Remember that because they throw javelins at the end of a move.
Let’s start with the Fianna, the Irish answer to the Hearthguard. I’m going to get two points (eight figures) of these, and I want them to have Dane Axes (please note, this is an exception to the javelin rule). Whilst I could just use the eight variants (two packs) of the Irish Fianna with Dane Axes, I don’t want to because I want to upgrade two Fianna to Curaidh.
Curaidh are like mini-warlords, and I find them very useful in Saga as they generate dice and get one move for free. I am, therefore, using the Irish Heroes with Dane Axes for my Curaidh. These miniatures wear chainmail and one carries a severed head, thus they need to be used as special characters! Now I have used two points and have two Curaidh and a unit of six Fianna all with Dane Axes and Multiple Attacks. The Fianna will be my hammer unit and with six of them they are also more resilient. I do, however, have two miniatures remaining, so they’ll go into my Bonnacht (warrior) units.
For the Bonnachts, I have two of the Fianna figures to which I’m going to add the Irish Heroes (which are different to the Dane Axes armed variants), the Irish Infantry Command, and four packs (sixteen figures) of the Irish Warriors for a total of twenty four miniatures. That’s three points of Bonnacht. You will want to mix up the command, heroes, and Fianna in with the javelin armed warriors to add variety. The Bonnacht don’t have any weapons other than javelins, but that doesn’t mean the individual figures all have to have one. There’s also a bannerman amongst those but I’ll come to those at the end.
Now it’s time to choose the warlord, and there are a few options. There’s the ‘ordinary’ Warlord figure (and another bannerman); that’s the ‘simple’ choice. Or you could use Brian Boru as a Legend of the Viking Age (he doesn’t cost the usual point either) which also allows you to use his brother Ulf the Quarrelsome, but this options costs a point (and you lose the Curaidh).
All those packs will give you three bannermen in total, with one already used in a Bonnacht unit, and an extra gentleman with a Dane Axe. Banners can only be used in units of Fianna that are six strong, or in units of Bonnachts that are ten strong. I recommend swapping that bannerman for the extra Dane Axes you have. If you want to use the bannermen you’ll need to reorganise your Bonnacht into two units of ten and one of four and use a bannerman in each of the big units and another in your unit of Fianna. The choice is yours!
So far I have created five points with an ‘ordinary’ Warlord, or six points with Brian and Ulf. Normally you’d field six points, so I need an extra point from somewhere. I’m going to add a Warrior Priest, therefore, for a point to my normal Warlord, who I’ve named Padraig.
So there’s a six point Irish Warband, with options, that you could even push up to eight points with more Fianna. On the table, you want your Bonnacht to protect your Fianna and Warlord until they are needed. Remember your javelins, and use your banners to keep the fatigue down. You have abilities that need uneven ground to work properly, and you want to roll Swans, that I promise you!
And so concludes today’s tasty treat. Please join us again next week for another delicious morsel. No snacking in the meantime, mind you; it’ll ruin your appetite.
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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