Although we have been in playing Bolt Action events for many years, AdeptiCon 2023 was the first time we played SAGA. After several failed attempts to get a Warband together, the stars finally aligned and we made it to the famous Age of Melee Doubles. In this event, teams of two players each build a 4pt Warband. All factions from any Age (excluding Age of Magic) are allowed and players are free to mix Ages on their team. Needless to say, we were extremely excited to play but with only a single learning game under our belts we went in fully prepared to get smashed off the table.
The Winter Kings
My Roman Warband consisted of a Warlord on a Horse, 2pts of Hearthguard on Horses, 1pt of Warriors with Bows, and 1pt of Warriors. With the exception of the Warriors with Bows (those are Gripping Beast Late Roman plastics) the entire Warband was the gorgeous Footsore Late Romans including their King Arthur as my Warlord. I’ve had these models for years and it was far past time to get them painted.
Ben’s Anglo-Danes rolled up with a Warlord with a Heavy Weapon, 2pts of Hearthguard with Heavy Weapons, and 2pts of Warriors. Ben’s entire Warband was built from the incredible range of models from Red Box Games with none other than Arnulf as the Warlord.
We went with a snow basing scheme across the entire Warband with some flowers to add a bit of color. The display board, we must admit, was whipped together at the last hour but it brought our two Warbands together better than expected!
First Contact vs James & Ty (Greek Cities & Macedonians)
Andrew’s highlight – James & Ty deserve massive props for helping Ben and I play through our second ever game of SAGA. They answered all of our questions and were incredibly patient as we worked out our strategy. Seriously, thank you! The Game 1 highlight for me was pushing all the way into their deployment zone (the objective) early in the game only be thrown all the way back by an unyielding wall of Spartans. One of their special rules is that Spartans never retreat (should have anticipated that) so even when I won a combat, their battle line forced my units back. Time and time again the Roman wave crashed against the Spartan line of battle. When James finally brought his Warlord into action, my force was in tatters. It was a true education in concentration of power.
Ben’s highlight – We lined up our forces basically side by side, which put me against Macedonians while Andrew attempted to attack the Spartan lines. I learned the value of cavalry maneuverability very early in this one, as well as the importance of keeping your warband coherent, as I traded models in the middle but overextended my right flank and left a couple units in a position where they couldn’t really impact the center of the battle. I did have some glorious clashes with the Macedonian Hearthguard however!
Violation vs. Mark & Scott (Byzantines & Crusaders)
Andrew’s highlight – Ok wow. Firstly, Mark and Scott’s Warband was exceptionally painted. The photos do not do it justice. They walked away with Best Painted and it was well deserved. Now on to the battle. Mark kept his Byzantine forces formed in a tight square that my Romans failed to break. But on the other side of the table, the true battle was taking place. Ben charged with northern fury into Scott’s pilgrim rabble only to be thwarted again and again by their unshakable faith. There are several SAGA Abilities on the Crusader Battle Board that limit Pilgrim losses and boost their own fighting prowess. Needless to say, Ben’s warriors had no idea what they were in for.
Oh also, I lost every model. Ben had to play the final turn solo!
Ben’s highlight – This mission was all about taking objectives that increased our massacre (kill point) cap. As Andrew mentioned, I was lined up against the pilgrims who were on their way towards Jerusalem. My Danes thought they were in for an easy time, overextending a warrior unit and rushing into battle, using my Crush the Weak ability to land a ton of hits… only to discover that some deity named “God” was protecting them and only let three die in a round thanks to a battle board ability. Uh oh. We had a good bloody conflict, and Andrew and I managed to loot two of our opponent’s three objectives. I eventually did manage to clear the pilgrims and some warriors off, but as Andrew said I was left alone on the field for the final battle and we ended far behind on massacre points as the Crusader cavalry rushed across the field and snatched up our stash of gold.
Let the Blood Run vs Tom & Tony (Anglo-Danes & Carthaginians)
Andrew’s highlight – The third and final game saw us taking the field against not one but two Carthaginian War Elephants (Norbert & Janice). To make a long story short, those beasts are terrifying and should not be trifled with. They went on a rampage through my lines and in an attempt to save my troops I foolishly closed ranks against the Elephant attacks – don’t do that. Closing ranks causes even more damage. I, once again, lost every model. At least Ben had some solid combats!
Ben’s highlight – Elephants look scary. And in hindsight, I should have lined up against them since Andrew’s army was half cav. Live and learn! We had some glorious battles between Anglo-Dane forces on the right side of the battle, Hearthguard and Warriors clashing into each other left and right. My true highlight however was when my Warlord and remaining Hearthguard and Warriors were pushing towards the middle, with the final activations of the game. My Warlord slew the enemy warriors, using his bodyguard and resilience abilities to sacrifice his entire nearby Hearthguard unit plus knocking himself into exhaustion due to the combat fatigue just so he could engage in single combat with the enemy Anglo-Dane Warlord. Granted, I lost that combat horribly due to all the fatigue, but Arnulf feasted well in Valhalla that night.
Andrew – What a fantastic event! Not only did we lose all three games, I got fully tabled in two of them! I had no expectations of winning going in, and I was proven correct as we faced off against three sets of very skilled opponents. However, you must believe me when I say that I was grinning ear to ear the entire time. SAGA is just such a fun game and the community was so welcoming. They certainly didn’t take it easy on us, and it was a true learning experience. Plans for 2024 are already in the works – we shall return!
Ben – We fully expected to go 0-3 in this event but our plan was to have a blast doing it. SAGA definitely falls into the “easy to learn but hard to master” category of games, and I felt like we learned a ton that day. Our opponents were all fantastic, and I would happily play any of them again. And hopefully, we will next year in 2024, as our eyes potentially look to the east…
2 thoughts on “AdeptiCon 2023 – SAGA Doubles – Andrew & Ben’s Recap”
OMG! You guys made Janice and Norbert famous!!!! Thank you for the great game and the even greater company you guys are the best! Your best sportsmanship title was well and truly deserved!! Can’t wait to see you guys next year!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Haha it was our pleasure! Thank you for the most excellent game – we had such a fun time. And congrats on your award as well! Happy that Ben and I could contribute to the Massacre total! Haha