Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Romans vs Goths: 6pt SAGA AAR

I took so many pictures from my last 6pt game of SAGA, I figured I would do a bit of an After Action Report (AAR) from it.  By my count, this was my 6th time playing the Romans, and I faced off against the Goths for the first time.  (also form the A&A book)  I didn’t know my opponent’s exact composition, but I THINK it was something like: 

3x Units of warriors (5,5,6)
3x Hearthguard (5,5,6) 

While I brought:Warlord
2x Units of Bowmen (8,8)
2x Units of Warriors (8,8)
1x Unit of Hearthguard (4) **Filler unit
1x Unit of Levies (12) 

**As I mentioned before, I want to drop the HG for another Levy unit + Ballista 

The game is about to start.  We basically lined up across from each other.  I set my two archer units on either side of my army, with melee to back them up.  The bulk of my force was set up in the center, ready to respond to whichever direction my opponent went.  My opponents always target the archers first, I use them as bait to draw my opponent into range of the rest of force, as Romans are a slow moving army, that or risk getting peppered all game.  I also set them up, so that any potential 1st turn charge, which I was expecting, would require multiple activations. 

I lost the first turn, and my opponent elected to have me go first.  My first mistake was moving up the archers to get into firing range. Honestly, I should have rolled my dice, placed them all defensively, then passed the turn.  As they say, hindsight is 20/20!  The archers on either side took some potshots at the goth warriors facing off against the, but to no real effect. On my opponent’s turn, the Goth Warriors respond on either side by charging in, wiping out 1/2 of each unit.  I tend to play extremely defensive on my opponent’s turn, cutting my attacks in favor of defense dice, and then counter attack with a melee unit on my turn.  I had some great defensive rolls, despite massive attacks coming at me.  

On my turn, the Roman warriors on the right cleared out the Goth warriors that attacked the archers.  My Hearthguard attack the warriors on the left, but end up retreating , as each side killed  2 models.  My Levies move in, and  attack the warriors on my left.  The goal wasn’t to kill them, but to exhaust the warriors, and I ended up doing just that, and retreating after only losing just a single man! 

After that, my Warlord and  move in to finish off the exhausted warriors. On my opponent’s turn, the Goth Hearthguard and Warlord charge into the woods.  I end up bouncing off, having played defensively as before, having only lost 2 warriors. 

In a crucial play, my Warlord charges the Hearthguard in the woods.  My strategy was to thin the HG down a bit, and then activated him again, going in for a another side-by-side with the warriors.  Maybe go in once more against the Goth Warlord if he’s left high and dry!  Sadly, the combat was drawn, and I had hoped to be able to bounce to the right to pull off my strategy, but instead, I bounced to the left, well out of side-by-side range, and my activation dice was poorly placed, leaving me with no real option to assault the Hearthguard once more.  Man, if only my Warlord had went to the right side and not the left!  I honestly think I would have secured the game right there!

That said, during my opponent’s final turn, the highlight of the  whole game for me had to have been when the Warlord charged into my Levies, failed to cause any wounds, and subsequently retreated. It's not every game that a Levy unit sends a Warlord packing! (That's gonna stain his SAGA for the rest of his life!) 

The final turn was also the most crucial turn! The score was 11-9 in favor of the Romans. His Hearthguard charge in, kill enough leftover bowmen to bring the goths up to an 11-12 lead.  Then, his Hearthguard charge in against my hearthguard. He's exhausted, and only rolling 5 dice. I’m hoping to keep the game in a draw range at this point, so I figured instead of playing defensive, as usual, I would go for the attack, and try to cancel out any gained points. I'm also rolling 5 from the combat pool. Both raise and lower armor, we roll. Both score two hits. The Romans, after having insane defense rolls all game, roll 1's to block, while the Goths roll 6's! 

What an ending, final score 14-11, my first loss with the Romans!  I’m not super bummed by the loss at all, it was a really tight game, and as I mentioned, I really think had the combat where my warlord bounced the wrong direction gone more in my favor, it would have been a much different score.  Once again, though, the Hearthguard cost me the game, as they are just worth too many victory points, and you will inevitably lose a few.  It’s crucial that I drop them for the Ballista and a half-sized levy unit, as they should give me a better return on my investment in final victory points.  Another takeaway from this match is that I didn’t really blunder my handling of the impetus mechanic like I had in the past, though remembering to raise it through the “rally” ability can be tricky at times since you have to think not only for your own turn, but your opponent’s as well.  All in all, a few tweaks to the list, and bit of hammering down the strategy a bit more, and I should be good to go with my Romans! 

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my AAR!  If you enjoyed reading this, please let me know in the comments section.  I’ll post more of them in the future IF I see they are being viewed and enjoyed by visitors!  Until next time! 



  1. Great write up, I am at the moment collecting a Roman warband so I would be interested how your future games go. I have played a game against the Goths with my Saxons - my opponent found them hard bunch to get the grips with but it was his first game with them, I think the Goths have to either get to combat early or do multiply actions to get some form of fatigue going before they full on commit to melee fights, but if you have some bad saga dice you may be left exhausted and vulnerable after.

    1. I feel like I've had a pretty good string of luck with them. 2 wins vs Saxons, 1 win vs Milites Christi, 1 win and 1 draw vs Huns, and this being my 1st loss vs Goths.... which could have turned the other way were it not for that miscalculated retreat. The Romans can be a tough nut to crack!

  2. Love it! I've got a growing Late Roman warband (up on my blog) and haven't lost yet in 4 games. I agree, ditch the HG. I run 2 pt shield & spear levy with a ballista plus 4 pt of warriors. I just painted up 12 warrior archers which I plan to run in 1 big unit. Well, against the Goths probably not!

    1. Yep, that's what I did as soon as I got my hands on a ballista model! Your list sounds similar to what I've been running the past few weeks. 2 Levy (w/ Ballista) and 4 warriors, running 2 as archers. It seems to work. I think my only 2 defeats were vs Goths, and Huns that ran the special character granting 2 free defense dice free moves. (Even then, it was close)

      Thanks for stopping by!