PWG Saga Campaign

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Re: PWG Saga Campaign

Postby GeriatricGit » Sun May 21, 2017 3:38 pm

Looking great, guys. Keep it coming! :)
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Re: PWG Saga Campaign

Postby Golf Alpha Zulu » Wed May 24, 2017 1:38 pm

Even the wandering priests could offer no counsel.

The Thegns bickered and their people sulked, and the Mormaer pondered the strangest turn of events.

The Vikings had sued for peace.

More so, they had offered danegeld if the clans help them fight the Normans. Talk of gold was enough to seduce some of the Thegns. “Together with the Vikings”, they argued, “we could see off the Norman threat for good. And if we don’t, we hand the Normans a victory.”

“The Norsemen might be too weak to fight alone now ” the Mormaer countered, “but with every passing day more of their boats could arrive. Even one Viking’s boots on our land is too many…”

He had dismissed the Viking delegation with a curse and a threat, but had not expected the depth of unhappiness in his own hall.

And so he kept up the fierce pace of work on the burhs, patching of wall and digging of ditch. He needed something to show for the time they spent waiting behind their walls. But who would choose to attack them? Not Viking, for sure. And the Normans seemed to have no taste for battle beyond picking on peasant farmers? And the priests had no word to tell of armies on the move.

Who, then, was now their enemy?
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Re: PWG Saga Campaign

Postby Golf Alpha Zulu » Fri May 26, 2017 2:10 pm

The Thegns were buried at their halls, and the warriors at their steads.

And that the Mormaer buried more of the treacherous Welsh than of his own people, made the grieving no less bitter.

The Western hills – the Strath Clota – had long been a safe border to his clans, peopled by hardy folk that many of his own regarded as kith and kin. That the Welsh, in this time of hardship, had betrayed generations of peace, had made the fight particularly cruel.

The finest of his clans had fallen defending the stores. The price they paid was far too high for the meagre wagonloads that made it home.

And now, with few, and those few weakened and wounded, the Mormaer faced the most desperate of times.

The Normans of Godwin, the travellers said, had killed Eirik the Viking and many of his men. Godwin was now busy gathering a great force, of his own and his allies, and his eye was turned to Cambuslang…
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Re: PWG Saga Campaign

Postby Golf Alpha Zulu » Fri May 26, 2017 2:25 pm

Three games played last night.

The Normans of Godwin defeated the Vikings of Eirik in a pitched battle (Rulebook Scenario = Clash of Warlords), the Viking leader felled by a crossbow bolt in Turn 2. His son, now with a Blood Feud against Godwin, has taken over leadership of his force.

The Normans of Antonie the Bastard then met the young Eirikson in a challenge of the Hazel Wands (AotW scenario), and while the young Viking managed to inflict a game-ending wound to the Norman, his forces had suffered more casualties, and the Normans were declared the winners. (Antonie survived the wound, which was less severe than initially thought).

The Welsh raided the Scots using the rulebook scenario of The Escort (in which the defenders attempt to protect a baggage train as it moves across the table). Casualties were very high on both sides. On the Welsh side, only the warlord survived, but his force had by then done enough to destroy 2 out of the 3 wagons, meaning the Scots could not win. Stalemate draw that neither side could afford.
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Re: PWG Saga Campaign

Postby Golf Alpha Zulu » Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:14 am

Campaign Season 3 was concluded last night, with the Welsh defeating the raiding Vikings of Eirik's son. Again, it was the Forest Road scenario, which to be fair, has been shown to be very tricky for the attacking player to win. In smaller battles (4-5pts), its very difficult to cut off all avenues of escape...

So at the midway point of the campaign, scores are:
Scots: Campaign points: 4/Power: 16
Irish: Campaign points: 3/Power: 16
Welsh: Campaign points: 2/Power: 14
Vikings: Campaign points: 2/Power: 12
Normans/Lord Godwin: Campaign points: 1/Power: 16
Normans/Antonie the Bastard: Campaign points: 1/Power: 16
Byzantines: Campaign points: 1/Power: 12
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Re: PWG Saga Campaign

Postby Golf Alpha Zulu » Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:58 pm

“It wont matter what song the invaders sing”.

“They will bring the same battle to our burhs”, argued the Mormaer. “Norman or Norse, Welsh or Irish, and we will need to fight them in the same way.”

No leader could rely on such a boiling pot of rumours that filled his halls with wild vapours. They clouded the Mormaer’s mind, and he hoped that to wait for better signs would at the least do no harm. For if even a pinch of truth was to be found in that bubbling kettle, it signalled difficult times ahead.

The Thegns urged him to at least harry the Normans of Godwin, whose army was reported to be growing by the day. But news carried from the south suggested that Antonie had refused to pledge fealty to Godwin, and that the bitterness between the Norman lords might soon spread to their men. To attack Godwin might simply serve to unite the Normans. And the idea of Norman fighting Norman was a worthy prospect. Besides, the weakness of his own forces meant hope needed to carry more weight than action.

Irish bandits had been raiding the outlying steads, as Irish do, but it was unlikely they would choose to attack a defended burh. Waiting would do no harm. And the Welsh had retreated back to their hill towns, and would take time to regain their strength. To attack them now at their weakest would be ideal, but his own clans were just as exhausted.

Waiting would have to do…
Last edited by Golf Alpha Zulu on Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PWG Saga Campaign

Postby Golf Alpha Zulu » Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:08 pm

The Irish devils fought like they always do.

As much to appease the Thegns, and to clear the halls of fretful rumours, than to make any difference to his strategy, the Mormaer had led a small force against the Irish in the eastern borderlands.

The bandits had camped out in a homesteading, and despite his best efforts to evict them, had repelled his warriors with some cost.

He could ill afford to bury any more of his fighters, and if the price of building his forces was the loss of a far-flung farm, he was resolved to pay the price. He led the defeated force home.

And to the Mormaer’s surprise, there was a reward in the defeat. Thegns, who for years had ignored his missives, were arriving to pledge allegiance. They brought with them recruits, and although most were the young and the untested, every spear and every bow would help.

And the mood in the halls was lifted. His people, it seemed, wanted to be led by a warrior…
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Re: PWG Saga Campaign

Postby Golf Alpha Zulu » Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:24 pm

Only one game was played in the past week - Scots defending vs Irish campaigning in the Homeland scenario. The Irish chose a 4pt game (to neutralize the much larger Scots force) and then bid to defend the village with only 2pts. It certainly was a bold choice, and resulted in a game balanced on a knife-edge. The Irish warlord made a series of risky solo sallies from the buildings to slow down the Scots advance, and fate rewarded the risk-taking with a victory after 6 turns. Despite the defeat, the Scots warlord saw his Reputation increase, due to a fortunate roll on the post-battle fate table.

Thursday also saw the first use of Danegeld payments by warlords wanting to avoid battle with stronger opponents. Two scheduled games were decided this way, with the Vikings paying off the Normans of Antonie, who in turn paid dues to the Normans of Godwin (who has amassed an impressive force).

One game is still due to be played to conclude Season 4...
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Re: PWG Saga Campaign

Postby Golf Alpha Zulu » Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:58 am

Last night's game resulted in a narrow victory for the Byzantine warlord against the Welsh, leaving the scores at the end of Season 4 such:

Irish: Campaign Points = 5/Power = 19
Scots: Campaign Points = 5/Power = 18
Byzantines: Campaign Points = 2/Power = 15
Vikings: Campaign Points = 2/Power = 14
Normans of Godwin: Campaign Points = 1/Power = 18
Normans of Antonie: Campaign Points = 1/Power = 16
Welsh: Campaign Points = 1/Power = 14

The moves for Season 5 have been declared, with almost half the forces choosing to stay at home to defend, two forces raiding, and two forces campaigning. There will be two games based on rulebook scenario Battle at the Ford, one game based on the rulebook scenario The Escort, and the first playing of the campaign scenario "the Burh" in which the attacker attempts to storm a defended fortress wall.

Pandemonium Games have kindly offered us some prize support for the campaign, and in the spirit of narrative gaming, we decided to award these prizes to warlords who advance the narrative, rather than points winners. We decided that the prizes would go to 1) the first warlord to slay his opponent in solo hand-to-hand combat and 2) the first attacking warlord to lead his forces across a burh wall. So this season has opened up the possibility of the second prize being claimed. (The first has already been claimed, by young Eirik's son, who dispatched Antonie the Bastard in season 2.
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Re: PWG Saga Campaign

Postby Golf Alpha Zulu » Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:54 pm

More than a lord, or a banner, or a priest, hunger will always call a man to fight.

As the weeks had passed, so the Mormaer’s enemies had nibbled at his outlying steads like rats at an oatcake. Yes, none were brave enough to attack a burh, but Vikings, Norman, Welsh and Irish alike were hungry enough to raid and skirmish and harry.

The gradual loss of farms on the borders was now being counted in the granaries. The burhs were filling with new recruits, and feeding the swollen ranks was becoming an end in itself.

And so, to have fewer men leaning on the storeroom walls, and to try and stem the loss of farms to raiders, the Mormaer led a force to patrol the borderlands. He left the dependable Thegns to defend the burhs, and took with him as many of the peasant hunters and untested spearmen as he reckoned could be supported by foraging alone.

***

The Viking raiders, it appeared, had not expected the poorly-equipped force to be led by The Mormaer of Cambuslang himself. They had rashly charged into the bowmen protecting the rear of a baggage train, hoping to see off the ceorls and snatch the last of three wagons.

But in doing so, they had invited a counterattack led by the Mormaer, who thundered into the line opposite the Viking leader. It was the Mormaer’s first look at the young Eirik’s Son – fast and bold, but flecked with the rashness of youth. The spearmen’s counterattack had pushed back the rest of the Viking sheldwall, and despite, (or possibly because of) his speed, the young Viking became isolated, facing the Mormaer alone.

Solo combat might mean more long songs for the skalds to sing, but in truth its a messy business that doesn’t bear many words. On the day, grizzled experience bested deftness and speed, and the young Norseman was stunned by the back of war axe to the temple.

He fetched a fine ransom, and an oath sworn to never raid Scots land again.

And the wagons made it safely to the burhs. The warriors would march to their next battle on full stomachs …
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Re: PWG Saga Campaign

Postby Golf Alpha Zulu » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:04 pm

Three games completed in Season 5 so far.

The Irish, defending in the The Burh scenario, beat the attacking Normans of Antonie, with an aggressive strategy of sallying beyond the burh walls.

The Normans of Godwin defeated the Welsh, fighting the Battle at the Ford. Overwhelming numbers of archers and crossbowmen meant the lightly-armoured Welsh were on the back foot most of the game.

And the Scots defeated the raiding Vikings of Eirik's Son in The Escort - the defense of a baggage train.

One more battle to fight this week: Welsh raiding the Vikings using Battle at the Ford.
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Re: PWG Saga Campaign: Wrap up

Postby Golf Alpha Zulu » Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:58 pm

We have just wrapped up our first attempt at a Saga Age of the Wolf campaign.

We had 7 players, who played 5 “seasons” or rounds of games, over 8 weeks. In total, 20 battles were scheduled to be fought, but 2 of these were avoided by warlords paying Danegeld, so 18 games were played.

The battles involved a mix of 9 scenarios (4 from the rulebook, and 5 unique to the campaign). Was interesting to see how the demands of the campaign impacted on the basic rulebook scenarios – for example, a simple clash of warlords would take on another dimension when both players had to rely on a less-than-optimal mix of troops, or when forces were mis-matched and unbalanced. And the different motivations and campaign goals of the various warlords directly affected their game tactics...

All games were played in a great spirit, and all seven players participated until the end.

Midway through the campaign, we received a generous offer of prize support from Pandemonium Games.

Overall winner, earning “The Wolf Lord” title was Dean, commanding the Irish. The player with the highest power, earning the title “Of all the Kingdoms” was Lindsay, aka Godwin the Norman. Richard aka Eirik the Viking was the first warlord to slay his opponent in solo combat, earning the title “Fates Gatekeeper”. Each title earned the player a R250 Pandemonium Games voucher. One further prize will be awarded by lucky draw at a club meeting on the weekend. Many thanks to Ryan at PG for this support - it is much appreciated.

Final Scores

Irish: Victory Points 10 Power 19 Land 3 Wealth 6 Reputation 4
Scots: Victory Points 9 Power 18 Land 4 Wealth 5 Reputation 4
Normans of Godwin: Victory Points 7 Power 20 Land 5 Wealth 3 Reputation 3
Welsh: Victory Points 3 Power 16 Land 2 Wealth 5 Reputation 3
Normans of Antonie: Victory Points 2 Power 16 Land 4 Wealth 4 Reputation 3
Byzantines: Victory Points 2 Power 15 Land 4 Wealth 5 Reputation 2
Vikings: Victory Points 2 Power 8 Land 2 Wealth 1 Reputation 1

Well done to the winners and well played to all participants.

Lessons were learnt. First, the Saga points system is not granular enough to accurately account for the fluctuations in force strength caused by a campaign, and when we play the next campaign this will need to be houseruled. (The way the campaign doesnt address this, and the official input via FAQ and on the Saga forum, is frankly, a mess...) Second, game scheduling needs to be both flexible and pro-active to keep the campaign moving. We planned to play for 6-8 weeks, and aimed to get 6 seasons completed, but in hindsight, we did very well to play 5 seasons in 8 weeks. In some seasons, one player could have up to 3 games to play, and another none. A way of dealing with the swings in player involvement would help...

We hope to play another campaign soon and there is potential to include Saga players from the broader gaming community next time, and play at multiple venues in the Cape.
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Re: PWG Saga Campaign

Postby DaImp » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:32 pm

Great reports on the games GAZ. I'm hoping to kick off our campaign up at 3+ shortly so your lessons learned can be joined to ours and then hopefully we can find ways of improving on the campaign system.
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Re: PWG Saga Campaign

Postby Golf Alpha Zulu » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:24 pm

DaImp wrote:Great reports on the games GAZ. I'm hoping to kick off our campaign up at 3+ shortly so your lessons learned can be joined to ours and then hopefully we can find ways of improving on the campaign system.


Its worth trying to resolve the unit points issue before you start. Have a look at the Saga forums... its causing much confusion.

Saga normally has a disconnect between the way units are purchased, and the way they are fielded. But in the context of the campaign, where the number of units on the rosters feed into the Power scores, that is not so useful. And of course, there are constant changes to unit sizes. Seldom do players have neat 4/8/12 Saga unit modules on their rosters, so totaling up the size of the war band isnt easy.

We figure there are 2 broad approaches that are possible.

The first: 1 unit = 1 point, no matter the size (assuming the normal max of 12 figures). And no unit on the roster may be merged with another for a game, or split for a game. (Mergers on the roster at the start/end of a season are allowed, and follow the normal campaign rules). That does mean the some folks will be keen to create 12-figure hearthguard units - effectively fielding 3 pts. But by doing so they will keep their power limited to 1pt for that unit, when they could rather have 3 units of 4, and 3 power points... Thats before they consider the number of dice their warband generates...

The second: Scrap the conventional Saga points and replace with a more granular version: 4pts for a Hearthguard model (i.e. a unit of 4 =16pts), 2pts for a warrior model and 1pt for a levy model. And no unit may be merged with another for a game, or split for a game. (Mergers on the roster at the start/end of a season follow the normal campaign rules).That will allow easy and accurate comparison of rosters when the campaign demands decisions are required about a game size.

One other thing - the "Forest Road" scenario was never won by an attacker, and we rolled it often - 6 or 7 games out of 20. All players were sick of it by the end of the campaign. Strongly suggest lessening its impact on the campaign somehow. Simple fix - make it the least likely of the three Ambush scenarios, rather than the most likely. Effectively, swap it with Battle at the Ford on the Ambush table.

Good luck with your campaign, and please keep us updated on progress...
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