My life seems to FINALLY be returning to normal so I can get in some quality hobby time besides Flag Monday (Don't worry - that feature should continue at least through the rest of the year). I have another unit of AWI militia finished and awaiting photography, a unit of TYW infantry around the half way mark, a load of Warfare Miniatures in the mail, and of course I decided to start something new...
I check in over at Dave Imrie's Saxon Dog blog just about every day and he has an annoying habit of making me want to paint the same period he's working on (and he changes gears as often as I do). A week or so ago, he posted a small Anglo-Dane warband designed for use with the new SAGA game from Gripping Beast. I'd heard some interesting things about this game (including Dave writing "I have played 'Saga' three or four times at the SESW Club and I have to say...I'm hooked!") so I ordered a copy and it arrived yesterday. After reading through the rules (yes I read the whole book in a day - not only does it seem like an easy game, it was a fun read) I can't wait to them out.
Without going into great detail about the rules (I can if anyone wants, but there is a great review at The Man Cave), warbands are built with a very simple point system. The Warlord who leads the force (and your alter ego in miniature) is required and is free. Remaining models cost one point per group and the number of models in each depends on the class of troops you choose... 4 Hearthguard, 8 Warriors, or 12 Levy. The basic intro game requires only four points of models, moving to six points standard once you get the hang of things. Once purchased, models are grouped into units of 4-12 models. For instance, if you spend three points on Hearthguard, you could field them as one unit of 12 models, two units of 6 models, three units of 4 models, etc. You can play your first games with only 30 or 40 models per side.
Here's the great part. I ALREADY HAVE enough Vikings painted to field a four and a half point warband (the half point comes from only having six archer levy)!
These models are left over from a WAB project I started YEARS ago. I have nearly sold off this collection several times and I'm glad I didn't. They were painted with my first foray into the Kevin Dallimore style and happen to still resemble my work today. I want to go back and weather them a bit, beat up their shields to give a more battle worn appearance, and touch up the bases, but with the addition of ten models (4 berserkers and 6 archers which I already have in my unpainted mountain of lead) I can field the following six point SAGA Viking Warband:
1 Warlord (Weglaf Ravenshelm)
2 units of Viking Hearthguard (4 models each)
1 unit of Viking Berserkers (4 models)
2 units of Viking Warriors (one unit of 12 models and a reserve of 4 models)
2 units of Viking Levy (6 models each)
The actual composition might vary once I get a few games in, but you get the idea. This afternoon I dropped enough cash on the Perry site to get a six point Norman army (based on their minis from the Crusaders line). There may be a few anachronistic details for games set before 1066, but I think they will work well enough for a heroic style skirmish game.
I am looking forward to getting back into a regular painting groove and hopefully updates will come on a more regular basis in the future.