Saga Sunday: A Beginner starting Anglo-Danes
When I read Adam’s post about Saga back in February (read it here) something got its hooks in me and wouldn’t let go. It could have been the pull of plastics that I don’t yet have waiting to be painted, but after reading about the rules and the game itself, I realised that I’d finally been bitten by a historic 28mm game.
As a total newcomer to the game, Adam was kind enough to show me the ropes, and I had a game using Mike’s vikings against his Byzantines. The game was ace. Despite having my small band cut down to the last man, it was a lot of fun. As well as the usual tabletop strategy element, there was also the battleboard element which appealed to me – which bonuses to use and when, so I moved on to force choice.
With I quite fancied the Anglo Saxons, but with Dave doing them, I went with the Anglo Danes – Viking settlers who made England their home. Next I needed rules and miniatures. On the advice of everyone, I looked up up the miniatures I wanted and the rules, and was directed to Triple Helix who sold everything I needed in one place and for a good price. The delivery took slightly longer than some stores, but they’re a small company and it was still with me before I ran out of things to build or paint – to be honest, the sun could shine for the last time before I’ve finished painting everything…
With a pack of Saxon Thegns and a pack of Dark Age Warriors, that should give me enough to make a Warlord, hearthguard, warriors and also some levy armed with slings. R Kid was also after some levy, so we went halves on the pack of Dark Age Warriors. Considering how much they cost for the number of figures, I wasn’t expecting much, but the Gripping Beast Plastics were excellent, and carry more than enough detail to be painted up well.
The first thing I did was check the rules, and was pleasantly surprised to see that I could field a Warlord and Hearthguard armed with two-handed weapons. Now the packs I’d picked up didn’t have any two-handed weapons, but I do have an abundance of Frostgrave miniatures and sprues, so I did a little conversion work, lopping off the hands of the Gripping Beast miniatures, and replacing them with the hands and weapons of the Frostgrave. Having done this, I put my Warlord together. As a Warlord option, or as a champion I put another together with a sword and shield, and mounted them on 40mm GW bases.
Next came the Hearth Guard. To add a bit of variety I made two four man units armed with either an axe or sword and a shield, and a final four man unit armed with two-handed weapons.
From the remaining Thegns box, I put together three eight-man units of Warriors, armed primarily with spears, but with the odd hand weapon and shield thrown in for good measure.
Finally came the levy. Now these guys come in units of twelve, and as I was splitting the warriors 50/50 with R Kid, it meant that I had only 20, which wasn’t enough for two squads. Despair not! There were enough guys left over from the Thegns to add two chain mail sling wielders to each squad. Realising there were only 4 slings for every five chaps on the sprues, I grovelled to R Kid who would be using javelins with his levy to request a few of his slings. Problem solved, the construction began.
After the trade, it meant that he had two chain mail chaps to add to his Viking levy, and all the javelins from my sprues to arm them, so it worked out pretty well for both of us.
With the rules, battleboard and dice all ready to go, the Anglo Danes are ready to take to the field of battle. It’s now just a case of undercoat the rest and get cracking with the brush!
Below is the finished force, made up from about thirty GBP worth of miniatures, which isn’t bad at all. After playing Warhammer 40k for decades, it’s nice to be able to build an army without selling an organ. Can’t wait to get cracking on them.
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