I am, perhaps, the worst SAGA player in the world. I have never won a game. Recently, I successfully defended my title of “Most Hapless SAGA Player” at a local tournament with a dead-last placement. Afterwards, through a series of convoluted mental gymnastics, I convinced myself that a new army would be the panacea to my ever-growing losing streak. Enter, Victrix’s Late Saxon/Anglo Danes pack.
Disclaimer: This set was provided by Victrix for review.
This absurdly large pack contains 60 models – enough to field an entire SAGA warband. It comes with 8 sprues, 6 of which contain a mix of armored and unarmored bodies, and 2 command sprues containing nobles and priests. The end result is that you have a nice bit of a variety of light, medium, and heavily armored troops. Weapon options are also diverse, with swords, spears, axes, Dane axes, clubs, and javelins all present. The inclusion of a couple of priests is really appreciated and helps differentiate the force from their opponents (let’s be honest, armies can look a bit samey around this time period).
For my SAGA force I’m going for a Last Kingdom type Anglo-Saxon force. The Anglo-Saxon SAGA board rewards large units – many abilities scale based on the size of your unit and larger units are easier to activate. Furthermore, they have the Call to Arms ability, which temporarily increases the fighting power of Levies to match those of Warriors. This means that the Anglo-Saxons can potentially field an enormous, but still dangerous force.
Divvying up the 60 models the set contains, I elected to build 24 of the unarmored bodies as Great Fyrd – essentially the conscripted masses of least-trained men. These will be classified as Levies in SAGA and formed into two units of 12 each.
Next, 24 of the armored bodies became the Select Fyrd, landowners who could afford decent equipment and had a modicum of training. These I would likewise group into two units of 12 each.
Lastly, I turned 4 of the most heavily-armored troops from the command sprue into Thegns (Anglo-Saxon nobles) who would act as Hearthguard and protect my Warlord – made from the man on the command sprue with the coolest cape, of course. This gave me a standard 6-point SAGA force, with a handful of models left over.
There are a lot of options on how you build this set for SAGA. If you want a super unit, capable of smashing its way through anyway you could also build a 12-man Hearthguard unit and then pair it with three 12-man Levy units – giving you a large force with a very dangerous core.
Assembly can be a little tricky. The instructions are printed on the back of the cardboard sleeve stapled to the top of the bag, consisting of a short list of which parts fit with which bodies. I really would have liked more detailed instructions as tracking down specific parts from the 100+ bits can be tough – and not helped that the parts seem to be organized in no discernible order on the sprues. Also worth noting that the flowing folds of clothes on many models can make scraping the mold lines off a bit tough. Be ready to spend some time putting these together.
The sculpts themselves are excellent. I particularly like how unique and expressive the faces are. Look at how much character this guy has:
He looks like he’s ready to either fight off a Viking invasion and/or work as a roadie on a Def Leppard tour. The poses are dynamic and fun, perfect for a game like SAGA where models aren’t ranked up and get a chance to show some individuality. With this set you can build models blocking, swinging, stabbing, shouting, and winding back for a strike. The only components I didn’t like were the two-part heads, consisting of a face and helmet that you glue together. They just didn’t look right to me. Luckily, there is a surplus of head options available, so you can simply skip over those if you’d like.
Painting the models is fairly straightforward (unless you’re one of those lunatics that hand paint their shields). Despite the range being called the “Dark Ages” modelers can have a bit of fun here with colorful tunics, capes, and shields. No need to go all brown and grim, unless you want to. As mentioned before, the clothing has nice folds in them, which make highlighting and shading a breeze and really add some nice depth. The crisp sculpting makes picking out details for painting easy.
Overall, this a great set – letting you field practically an entire Saxon or Anglo-Dane force with one purchase. It remains to be seen if these Saxons will reverse my fortunes and grant my first SAGA victory, but at least if I lose, my army will look great doing it.
Questions, comments, suggestions? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment below.
Or if you’re feeling particularly Saxon, and want to forgive our grammar:
Ascunga, ymbspræca, gespanes? Mælaaþ email@example.com ge besende wordhord under.