Saturday, 30 May 2015

A Bucket-load of Bondi

Finally, in celebration of all things average and ordinary, I present the good, old Bondi, 4 points worth in SAGA terms, who form the core (if not the "hard" core...) of my Vikings.

I have heard a fair bit of negative criticism of plastic figures at various shows, and on more than a few blog and other posts. These are usually of the"they're not metal" kind, sometimes of the "I can't be bothered to glue them together" sort but other claims too.

I unashamedly LIKE plastic figures, though the quality of different sets can vary. I am not really a kit builder, especially in white metal (the GW Tomb Scorpion still brings back nightmares when I think of the issues I had building that all those years ago...), but I do enjoy both the construction of plastic figures but also their possibilities. Even just mixing similar sets, such as the Gripping Beast "Hirdmen" and "Dark Age Warriors" sets as I have used here and for most of my SAGA Viking force, gives a plethora of usable results and options that allow for a nice, varied force. But when you add in the opportunities afforded by conversions, then WOW!!!

Go plastic!


The "terrible" thirty-two in all their one attack dice each glory...

The pointy-stick lads

The hackers and slashers

The exceptions...these are two metal figures, from 1st Corps/ Curtey's, that I had left over from a command pack I originally bought for my English/ Scots collection, but who are clearly "Dark Age". "If you've got it, use it," I say! The sword being brandished by the figure on the left of the photo is a plastic one however, the hand and sword cut neatly from a GB set and used in place of the 1st Corps/ Curtey's option which I did not like.

Just to illustrate some of the options, armoured heads and bodies are from the GB Hirdmen, everything else from the Dark Age Warriors. Lots of choices (heads, weapons, poses, etc) from a couple of well-priced and readily available boxes of figures for those inclined to either "go Dark Ages" or just add to what they have.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

A quick game of SAGA

Over the Easter weekend, I did indeed get the couple of planned SAGA games in by way of a taster for our forthcoming (in July...) campaign.

The first game came down to the mutual extinction of our respective warlords in single combat, so draw it was. That was against Nephew Nick, who then promptly got all confused in his second game, against Nephew Paul, and threw away the victory with indecision and poor play. That left me to take on Nephew Paul for my second game, which was a rather different affair, though killing the enemy warlord was still the objective.

Terrain was selected by our usual throw it at the table and see where it lands method, with a dice roll off to see if it stays or not. I very handily won a hill on my baseline, though too far back to be fully effective.

Set up. My plan was to suck him in and spit him out, which worked very well indeed (sort of...)

When I deliberately split my front line apart to reveal my levies as bait, Paul duly charged in and pasted them - all going to plan so far, as I was then able to smash a big hole in his line as planned and isolate his warlord by swamping his victorious but in dire trouble hearthguard with their standard bearer (centre of shot)

One massacred enemy hearthguard later and he was rapidly trying to bring up troops and retreat his warlord, having seen the trap at last. It did cost me dear however - I should never have lost four of my own Hearthguard, but Paul's dice are usually good.

This is the last shot I took, as Paul, with usual cunning, tried something desperate and jammily pulled it off. He kept moving and attacking with his remaining Hearthguard unit (centre rear of shot, with axes aloft), moving sideways first and then beating my Bondi (just in front of my warlord at left of shot). My warlord beat them, however, but he had a dice left to send them back in one last time and they were just able to finish me off....One more turn and his warlord was toast, but it was not to be. With such a profligate use of his best troops, I wonder how well he will do in the campaign!!! Well done for his win though. He took the chance of building up all that fatigue and pulled off a close run thing.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Follow the Hird

Things are progressing well on a number of painting fronts, with another Swiss pike block, the first half of an Irish SAGA warband and a few bits and bobs ready for photographing, posting and, hopefully, some actual use!

But it is high time I finished showing the Vikings. You've had the crud, you've had the Jarls and now you can have the Hird. All of them are plastic figures built from the Gripping Beast Hirdmen box, built pretty much as nature intended, i.e. no conversions.

Only the various warriors to feature now. And the standards. And the odd boat or two...

Is there anyone else out there who never knows when to finish a project???


This is the entire Hird banded together in a dozen, looking like a unit. I still struggle with four figures making a unit in SAGA terms (and, indeed, in Donnybrook also if you choose an elite unit). It is the age-old dilemma between grouping them for aesthetics and some staying power or keeping them in fours and having all that flexibility...

Patterned clothing was a Viking thing, if only a hemline decoration, so most feature some sort of pattern on tunic, breeches or both.

Throughout the entire force, I have tried to choose different parts from the box to make different looking figures. I still have various options to cover.

The three fours, as it were. I have kept the shield designs simple for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I think their simplicity actually helps them stand out better on the table and secondly I think that is how they would have been historically! No two will ever be the same, however, regardless of how many Vikings I end up painting.