Just off the painting table: Saga (updated 03/09/17)

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Just off the painting table: Saga (updated 03/09/17)

Postby Golf Alpha Zulu » Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:35 pm

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Here are the first few points of my Moorish warband for Saga: Crescent and Cross. They can work as a 4pt warband (one unit of mounted hearthguard/Jund, two units of warriors/Hashid on foot, and one unit of levy/Mujahid). By using the Ben Youssef figure as a priest/Imam, I can stretch it to 5pts.

While I am not sure it will be effective, I can drop the mounted warlord, and instead field Ben Youssef as a Hero of the Crusade, the helmeted spearmen as an 8-figure unit of Black Guard, together with one unit of mounted hearthguard/Jund, one unit of warriors/Hashid on foot, and one unit of levy/Mujahid) for a total of 7pts! So I can conceivably table a standard 6pts force for games - even if its sub-optimal - while the next wave of figures gets painted up.

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Last edited by Golf Alpha Zulu on Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Just off the painting table: Saga

Postby DaImp » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:34 am

Lovely GAZ. My painting has stalled recently :(
I must get it back on track. One day I hope we get to play one another.
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Re: Just off the painting table: Saga

Postby geekgrrrl » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:51 pm

Those are very cool GAZ. :-D

I'd love to do a Moorish warband to play a campaign based on the Umayyad invasion of Frankia in the 700's.
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Re: Just off the painting table: Saga

Postby Golf Alpha Zulu » Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:15 am

Thanks for the feedback. Appreciated

These are a bit later than 700, I think*, (crossbows!) but with a few tweaks can be "backdated"... :-)

*My grasp of European history is sketchy at best...
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Re: Just off the painting table: Saga

Postby DaImp » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:51 am

Yeah, those Moors are more 1090s onwards. The First Crusade began in 1095 so they would be of that period.
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Re: Just off the painting table: Saga

Postby geekgrrrl » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:37 am

DaImp wrote:Yeah, those Moors are more 1090s onwards. The First Crusade began in 1095 so they would be of that period.


Yeah, been wondering how well the C&C muslim armies would fit into the Viking Age, since the Viking Age books don't have any factions to represent the early caliphates. The early muslim conquests under Muhammad & his successors would make for a really good fifth expansion book for the Viking Age, methinks. :-D
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Re: Just off the painting table: Saga

Postby Charles » Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:02 pm

Well done Gaz, that looks awesome.
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Re: Just off the painting table: Saga

Postby Golf Alpha Zulu » Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:42 pm

Thanks Charles.

geekgrrrl wrote:The early muslim conquests under Muhammad & his successors would make for a really good fifth expansion book for the Viking Age, methinks. :-D


A while back Studio Tomahawk said they are done with the Viking Age - all future Saga expansions would be new eras? So I think its up to the player base to develop new boards (which to be fair, they have encouraged from the get go).

Given the discussion at our club regarding the possibility of using C&C boards in an Eastern Viking Age campaign, I have been wondering how best to tweak the Moors to better represent them in an earlier period. I really like the idea used in A&A - where the board remains the same, but the unit choices change to represent earlier organisation and weaponry. MUCH easier than trying to dream up changes to the board.

Obviously, we need to get rid of the options for crossbows, and put more emphasis on bows and even slings. Maybe reduce armour for the majority of Bedouin or Berber troop types. Any other ideas?
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Re: Just off the painting table: Saga

Postby geekgrrrl » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:29 pm

Golf Alpha Zulu wrote:Obviously, we need to get rid of the options for crossbows, and put more emphasis on bows and even slings. Maybe reduce armour for the majority of Bedouin or Berber troop types. Any other ideas?


I went digging through some of my Ospreys and found some info that could be useful. To summarise:

Early Muslim Arab armies up to around 750AD - transition from Umayyad's to Abbasids
Highly militarised society - the majority of Arabs were nomadic merchants or herdsmen, and warfare common. Apart from locally made iron weapons, other equipment such as felt & leather armours & shields were produced in and around Arabia. Verse analysis of Arabic poetry suggests that armour was fairly common, though helms were rare, and that swords & spears dominated the battlefield.
The early Muslim armies also suffered chronic manpower shortages, and by around the mid 700's recruitment of defeated foes was actively encouraged and the regional "Jund" armies were established. Muhammad & his successors' armies were generally outnumbered, so they fought in close formation for moral support, & often used javelins or infantry bow skirmishers to soften enemy forces before main force contact & protect flanks. They are thought to have copied much of this from their early contact with the Byzantine army.
Greater Arabia had a shortage of horses, while Eastern regions such as Iran, Yemen & Oman were a bit better off. Because horses were so rare and valuable initially, they were led to battle and only mounted for combat. Cavalry generally functioned as opportunists rather than impact troops, hovering on flanks of enemy forces waiting for loss of cohesion and other openings. The lance was the preferred weapon. Muhammad and his successors apparently went out of their way to acquire horses through plunder, purchase and levies from subjects. Cavalry consisted of a very small contingent of armoured shock soldiers, while the majority was light cavalry tasked with mopping up already broken infantry.

Under Marwan II and through the Abbasids
Marwan II was the last Umayyad Caliph. He reorganised the army to become more heavily cavalry oriented. His armies were divided into smaller forces, each consisting of heavy cavalry, heavy infantry and bow archers, with light cavalry limited to reconnaissance. The heavy cavalry would periodically charge from behind their lines striking at the opposing forces, while the heavy infantry held the line against opposing cavalry. Cavalry were also highly effective dismounted, using their lances as pikes in defensive blocks - keeping in mind these weren't the heavy lances from the medieval era but more like long, heavy spears. It seems that the Muslims were again copying these tactics from the Byzantines, very effectively, even as the Byzantines were abandoning them - at the time they were increasingly recruiting Asiatic steppe archers such as the Tatars, Khazars, Bulgars, who were very effective against heavier cavalry & infantry.

The Abbasid era sees the Muslim armies gradually transition into what we're more familiar with from Crescent & Cross. One important development is the introduction of Ghulam armies. Ghulams were initially highly trained slave soldiers from Asia who functioned as heavy horse archers. This period also sees horse armour become increasingly important to protect the cavalry from enemy horse archers.

There's a lot more, but the bits I read paint an interesting picture. :-D
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Re: Just off the painting table: Saga

Postby Golf Alpha Zulu » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:59 pm

Thanks so much. Very helpful. I have also been delving into how the Umayyad military was organised... plenty of options as it seems there was a serious melting-pot of Caliphate forces (and mercenaries) in southern Europe. The Moor board emphasises the limitations of the cavalry, and the reliance on a core of heavy infantry, so not much needs to change there. The Bedouin Scouts (Dogs of War unit) seem like an ideal way of representing the earlier javelin-armed light infantry - although a deeper rule change would be to allow javelin-armed levy to represent the same.
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Re: Just off the painting table: Saga

Postby Golf Alpha Zulu » Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:42 pm

Couple more points finished - one points worth of Warriors (light cavalry) and one point of Hearthguard (heavy cavalry. All figures from Gripping Beast.

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Re: Just off the painting table: Saga (updated 03/09/17)

Postby DaImp » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:34 pm

Lovely! I REALLY MUST GET PAINTING ON MY SAGA STUFF! You are putting me to shame here.
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Re: Just off the painting table: Saga (updated 03/09/17)

Postby Golf Alpha Zulu » Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:41 pm

Get going on your Saga painting, Dimp! :)

A Saga warband is a mini project, in normal wargames terms... its so easy to set reasonable painting goals and get them done quickly. And the game is good enough to get plenty of milage out of the figures you have painted...

Since these were posted, I have gotten another unit of warriors close to finished, which means my Moors are done, with enough options for a bunch of different lists up to 8 or even 10 pts. 17 cavalry and 37 foot figures in total. Finished and klaar.

There are the nice-to-have units that could still be added ... a unit of Bedouin Scouts (mercenary option), for example, and maybe banner bearer, musicians/bard and an imam. And possibly some themed baggage for the scenarios. But they are far from core choices, and the army can happily be played as it is.
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Re: Just off the painting table: Saga (updated 03/09/17)

Postby DaImp » Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:45 pm

Well I am Hoping to run our SAGA campaign in November so I have a deadline set to have it all painted for then :)
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