Friday, January 22, 2016

Road to AdeptiCon 2016 - SAGA Grand Melee Doubles

AdeptiCon is getting close and crunch time is here. I’ve put off painting almost this entire winter due to holidays and kids and things. I signed up for Bolt Action combat patrol on Thursday, SAGA Grand Melee Doubles on Friday, and Bolt Action Grand Tournament on Saturday / Sunday.

I have to say it is amazing that AdeptiCon has grown into far more than just a 40k convention. They have added Bolt Action, SAGA, Warmachine, Ancients, Infinity, Hail Caesar, and others. It is awesome to see this event embracing so many other awesome games that people want to play. I am sure since the TV show Vikings has come out that many, many more people have jumped aboard the SAGA train.

Will and I decided to register for the SAGA team tournament after seeing how much fun it was last year. The SAGA tourneys were in the same room as the Bolt Action tourneys so I got a good view of it. Everyone got free stuff, everyone was excited, and the models and terrain were amazing.

SAGA is a Dark Ages skirmish game that is really easy to pick up and play. The costs to get started are small regarding miniatures – a standard list is around 20-40 models and most can be picked up in plastic, so probably a $50 investment. The rules are a bit more expensive and include very important ‘battle boards’. You also should pick up your faction’s SAGA dice. While that means your investment is probably nearing $100, it is a lot more affordable than many other miniatures games.

The game is very simple, yet strategic. Each turn you roll your SAGA dice (you get certain amounts granted per unit) and assign them to your battle board. On the left side of your battle board you can activate units and do things. On the right side of your battle board you can boost your troops or hurt your enemies by doing certain actions.

These actions are somewhat abstracted – for instance, Anglo-Danes can discard two ‘helmet’ icon dice to put ‘fatigue’ (somewhat of a pinning mechanic) on three enemy units. It is called “Trapped”. These are all on your battle board.

The rest of the game is pretty simple – move a certain amount, hit on X, armor save of Y. You can spend fatigue on the enemy units to cause them to take penalties – worse armor save, make your own armor better, reduce their movement, etc.

Anyway, if you’re looking for a demo or info on the game there are much better sources. This article is about my prep for AdeptiCon. Will has chosen Pagan Rus and I am playing Vikings. Each of us creates a 4 point warband with a warlord in charge. One of our warlords will be the ‘general’.

Here is my list:

Hearthguard (4 models) – 1 pt
Hearthguard (4 models) – 1 pt
Warriors (8 models) – 1 pt
Warriors (8 models) – 1 pt

I chose not to use any levy (12 models) because they don’t generate any SAGA dice. I’m curious to see how people build their lists when we get there as we haven’t really played much. One unit of Levy might help with board control and melee / shooting.

Dark Ages models can be pretty general – in that you can use Saxons and Vikings and they look similar. I have chosen to use mostly Footsore Miniatures for my warriors. My hearthguard will mostly be from Black Tree Design. I also have a unit of female hearthguard from Bad Squiddo Games.

My warlord is Ragnar from Stronghold Terrain. I’m sure there will be plenty of him around because the show is so popular but he’s really cool in my mind J

Each warrior unit will be led by one person from the show too – Rollo for one and Lagertha for another. Rollo comes from Stronghold Terrain, Lagertha from Bad Squiddo Games. So that unit will be leader + seven guys with spears and shields.

I don’t really know if I have a general strategy, yet, since we’re going to hammer out some practice games just to get our rules down. It shouldn’t be too tough to get the rules down since again they’re fairly simple.

I’m going to document my progress on these guys – here is a small album of ‘before’ shots with Ragnar, hearthguard, warriors, and objective markers. I plan to use Michael Farnworth’s guide here to get these painted up quickly. Thanks for looking!

Black Tree and Bad Squiddo Hearthguard
Black Tree and Bad Squiddo Hearthguard
Lagertha leading her warriors
Rollo leading his warriors
The objectives - cats and dogs, a haywagon, and villagers


  1. Nice start, I love your female hearthguard! I'm going to be at the Grand Melee too. Hope to see you there and good luck!

  2. Nice start, I love your female hearthguard! I'm going to be at the Grand Melee too. Hope to see you there and good luck!