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Author Topic: The Black Order - Britcon Report p.67  (Read 163363 times)

Offline Ogrob

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Re: The Black Order - Banner Markers p.66
« Reply #990 on: August 11, 2022, 08:02:00 PM »
Great work, really fits the vibe of your force.

Offline Pattus Magnus

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Re: The Black Order - Banner Markers p.66
« Reply #991 on: August 12, 2022, 01:06:54 AM »
Those really set a mood. I’m looking forward to seeing them painted.

Online Knight-Captain Tyr

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Re: The Black Order - Banner Markers p.66
« Reply #992 on: August 12, 2022, 11:07:03 AM »
Cheers lads. Desperately painting them up at the minute...

@Elbows: Yep, they're objective markers for SAGA, but will do for objectives or status markers for other games too, I hope. At least that's the idea!
" ... the seventh wave of Thrall stumbled and climbed over the slippery, piled dead and Mazzarin saw The Watcher with them and at last knew the number of his days."

-Thrall Flavor Text, Myth: The Fallen Lords

Online Knight-Captain Tyr

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Re: The Black Order - Banner Markers p.66
« Reply #993 on: August 12, 2022, 04:52:31 PM »
And we're done. With the completion of The Bannerman, the final objective marker, that's all my painting done for the weekend. All packed, prepped and good to go for Sagageddon at Britcon!










What do you think?

Offline Olsson

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Re: The Black Order - The Bannerman p.67
« Reply #994 on: August 12, 2022, 04:59:17 PM »
 You work quickly! Wonders of a deadline. They look excellent, might have to look into getting one of that vingette myself.

Hope you'll have a great time at the event!

Offline Ogrob

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Re: The Black Order - The Bannerman p.67
« Reply #995 on: August 12, 2022, 04:59:43 PM »
Speedy work indeed, well done and good luck with the event!

Offline Bearwoodman

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Re: The Black Order - The Bannerman p.67
« Reply #996 on: August 12, 2022, 06:56:59 PM »
Very nicely done! Grim, but very much in keeping with the tone of the Black Order. Hope the rest of your army have better fortune than that poor chap.

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: The Black Order - The Bannerman p.67
« Reply #997 on: August 12, 2022, 07:11:48 PM »
Those are amazing - and so evocative!

Best of luck at the tournament!

Online Knight-Captain Tyr

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Re: The Black Order - The Bannerman p.67
« Reply #998 on: August 14, 2022, 06:39:51 PM »
So, yesterday was quite the epic (some might even say it was a Saga, snarf)

yes, that's as good as the jokes get

Anyway, after a bright and early 0415 wake-up, I got on a train to Nottingham to check out Sagageddon , my first ever Saga event, hosted within the venerable auspices of Britcon. Suffice to say, on the second hottest (?) day of the year and a massive rail strike affecting most of the UK, it was a bit of a mission but we got to sunny Nottingham in the end!


The venue itself was pretty decent - fairly spacious, well-lit and nice overall, it was just a shame with all the glass roofing that it basically turned into a greenhouse by midday. Still, global warming aside, it was a great venue. I'd have loved to see more of the actual Britcon trade show itself, but it's probably good for my wallet that we didn't end up browsing the wares much.




For this event, I took the Black Order in their Eastern Princes configuration from Age of Crusades. I'd only recently started playing with the wintery, wild Lords of the East, but they've been a lot of fun to date so I thought they'd be fun to play. After a brief conversation on the Saga Thorsday Discord channel, Daneel (the Sagageddon organiser) suggested they weren't an army often seen at UK events, so I thought why not give them a try.

I took:


Warlord (mounted)
3pts Hearthguard (mounted), usually deployed in 2x6
1.5pts Warriors (foot, War Banner)
1pt Levies (crossbows)
...and a War Wagon to round things off.

The format of the day was pretty straightforward. We were to play four games, with the final rankings determined by win/loss + strength of schedule. This was an Age of Melee event, so lists from the Age of Vikings, Age of Crusades and Age of Invasions universes were allowed.

On to the games!

Round One - Desecration

Opponent: Romans (Age of Invasions)



Game one against a warband I'd never faced before - the Romans! My opponent for this game was a lovely chap called Jean-Paul who'd travelled over from France specially for the event. In Desecration, both players have to destroy their opponent's home objectives whilst protecting their own. I deployed all three of my home objectives on the far left flank (slightly out of shot, but just next to the foot warriors and the crossbow levy). Jean-Paul took a slightly more balanced deployment, with one objective on the far right flank and two others closer to the centre.

This was a pretty close game - I deployed everything on the left flank, with a single unit of Hearthguard on the right flank ready to zip up behind a forest and threaten the objective on the right flank, while I chipped away at the Roman centre with the crossbow levy.

Broadly, this more or less went to plan, although a heart stopping moment happened when the Roman mounted Hearthguard broke through my lines and went for one of my home objectives. However, the Roman charge was unable to take out the objective, and I I managed to take out a single one of the Roman objectives in turn, which in the end saved me the game.

Round Two - Ambush

Opponent: Normans (Age of Vikings)



See above for "Seconds before disaster..."

For Ambush I castled up pretty heavily in the centre of the board, aware that this scenario was scored on Survival Points and that I was facing a Norman warband with crossbow-armed Warriors and the dreaded bow-armed Levies capable of the Volley Fire ability. I deployed well out of range of the Levy, and then on turn 1, sent a unit of mounted Hearthguard galloping toward the baggage train in the centre of the board...straight into range of the Norman Levy as they moved up into the woods. Four Hearthguard dead in a single volley.

Ouch.

Thankfully, my mistake didn't cost me the entire unit, and I moved the Hearthguard back into cover. I then spent the next two turns whittling away at the baggage in the centre with my crossbows whilst trying to stay out of range of the Levies. One of the baggage mules seemed to have something to prove, as he kept on moving straight forward - right into a unit of my mounted Hearthguard on the far end of the table.

So by turn four, I had managed to seize two of the objective markers in the baggage train, using the War Wagon to good effect to cover my Warlord and mounted Hearthguard. I'd taken a lot of casualties among the foot Warriors, who had to deal with a fully souped-up Norman Hearthguard charge (ouch), but it was worth it - I had two objectives to the Norman one. With the Norman Hearthguard and Warlord shot apart by the crossbow Levy, I was able to pull back in good order with two of the objective markers to win the day. Phew! I probably gave the Normans slightly too much respect in this game, but their Volley Fire was really brutal. I managed to deter Volley Fire once or twice using the Eastern Princes' Hesitation ability, which is an incredible ability allowing you to generate two Saga dice with the facing of your choice if your opponent cooperates. It didn't always work, but when it did, it set up a powerful counter-attack in my turn.

On to game 3!

Round Three - Claiming Territory

Opponent: Romans (Age of Invasions)


The above shot is actually from mid-game, and by this point the crucial moment had, more or less, taken place - it was a seriously tight game and could have gone either way up until this point. Yes, Romans again - they seemed pretty popular at Sagageddon. However, these guys had a Manuballista, which looked like being the Kryptonite to my mounted Hearthguard, so I gave these guys a wide berth.

Basically, I deployed everything I could behind a hill or behind a forest, as I saw the Romans looked set to make good use of the Manuballista and the Plumbatae
ability, which lets you shoot with archers using another unit's LOS and positioning. Not nice. Having played Claiming Territory twice before the event, I figured that this is basically a scenario that rewards whoever has big blocks of Warriors next to their home objectives. You score points based on objectives you control - the ones in your table half score half the victory points, the ones in your opponent's half score full points. But the number of points is determined by the size of the units controlling them.

In other words, being outnumbered by the Romans, I'd lose the game if I sat and camped, as his Warrior and Levy blocks would score more than my lone Warrior block. I had to go in very hard and try to seize at least one of the Roman objectives for a full turn, depriving him of points and scoring max points for myself. Mounted Hearthguard, time to earn your pay!

In the pic above, you can see that the Black Order Hearthguard managed to do just that - losing 6 of their number, they nevertheless managed to hold and claim an objective in the Roman half of the table for a full turn, enough to score points to put me just ahead of the Romans. After that, the Hearthguard died to a man, but they'd done their job. Meanwhile my home objectives were too far away from the Romans to be threatened, so it was just a case of holding back the Romans until the game ended and riding out the small lead I'd managed to accrue. Close victory to the Order!

Round Four - A Tale of Challenges

Opponent: Welsh (Age of Vikings)



For the final game, the Order faced an (almost) all-mounted Welsh army under Mark B, who's previously won the UK Grand Melee. This was a great game and easily my favourite of the day! Not least because the Welsh are completely new to me, but also because Mark was a gent - he talked me through some of the vagaries of the Welsh list and explained a few other rules oddities about Saga that I'd managed to miss so far. Was a great sport throughout the game too.

Essentially, Tale of Challenges is a weird scenario - you pick the titular challenges at the start of the game and win points if you achieve them, or lose points if you fail to. We both chose First Blood (be the first to kill a model) whilst I chose to keep 50% of my force alive and Mark chose another based on killing enemy models. I tried to deploy far enough back that Mark wouldn't take the first kill, but I stupidly put my crossbow Levy too far up, just far enough that enemy units could charge them without being affected by the War Wagon.

Mark took First Blood pretty easily, and then spent the rest of the game chipping away at the Order's units. I did manage to kill more (most?) of Mark's figures, but by the end of the game, I'd failed both my Challenges and Mark had succeeded in his. Clear victory to the Welsh, and a good lesson for the Order. I really did enjoy this game and hope to repeat it some day.

Final Roundup

To some considerable surprise on my part, the Black Order finished 3rd overall and took home the Best Painted prize at the end of the day. Was a nice way to end a hellishly hot day, but the important part was that I'd had some great games and learned a lot more about Saga along the way. I took home a Gripping Beast Saracen army pack and Aetius, Magister Militum, also from Gripping Beast. Who knows what I'll use them as?


And this was the final lineup for the Age of Melee event:

1st - Picts
2nd - Welsh
3rd - Eastern Princes
4th - Pagan Rus
5th - Anglo-Danes
6th - Polish
7th - Romans (AoI)
8th - Romans (AoI)
9th - Saracens
10th - Crusaders (Levantine)
11th - Normans
12th - Vikings

Final thoughts scenario-wise: I think Daneel chose the perfect mix of scenarios for the event to encourage players to take pretty mixed armies, but I do hope Studio Tomahawk update the scenarios at some point. In particular, Claiming Territory is an awfully static scenario that essentially rewards camping in place and not interacting with your opponent that much. I'm also not terribly sure about A Tale of Challenges, but maybe I just haven't played it enough yet. I did enjoy Desecration and Ambush (even though the latter isn't much of an exercise in simulation, per se, it's fun from a gaming point of view). Still, I had loads of fun and look forward to gaining some more experience.

I'll close with pictures of a few of the armies on display at the event - leading with my clubmate James' beautiful Vikings force, which I thought was unlucky not to walk away with the Best Painted award. Check out those details and that banner!















« Last Edit: August 14, 2022, 06:52:27 PM by Knight-Captain Tyr »

Offline LouieN

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Re: The Black Order - Britcon Report p.67
« Reply #999 on: August 14, 2022, 08:56:55 PM »
Congrats on your bronze finish and thank you for the write up.  A fun read. 

Offline PineyPhantom

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  • Posts: 32
Re: The Black Order - Britcon Report p.67
« Reply #1000 on: August 15, 2022, 12:42:37 AM »
Wonderful battle reports and a cracking paint job. I love how simple but evocative your flag designs are on the objective markers.

Offline Ray Rivers

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Re: The Black Order - Britcon Report p.67
« Reply #1001 on: August 15, 2022, 02:04:11 AM »
I've been lurking around this thread for quite awhile and I must say that it is indeed a superbly painted army! A well deserved best painted award!

That was a great write-up about the con as well. I actually read everything you wrote.  :D

Loved all the photos!  :-*

Offline Reed

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Re: The Black Order - Britcon Report p.67
« Reply #1002 on: August 15, 2022, 07:58:28 AM »
That was a fun reading. Saga has been on my radar for a time, I might try it someday, but too many things on my plate already…

Online Knight-Captain Tyr

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Re: The Black Order - Britcon Report p.67
« Reply #1003 on: August 15, 2022, 03:11:50 PM »
Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for the kind comments. I'm definitely considering the UK Grand Melee now. Tournaments in general aren't really my thing but this one was more relaxed than most.

That was a fun reading. Saga has been on my radar for a time, I might try it someday, but too many things on my plate already…

It's a great game - lots of narrative scenarios and flexibility for cool modelling projects like civilians, baggage wagons and other NPCs. I think it's got a lot of longevity as a gaming system.

Offline Ogrob

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Re: The Black Order - Britcon Report p.67
« Reply #1004 on: August 15, 2022, 04:55:27 PM »
Great report and congrats on place and painting awards, well deserved.

 

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