Monday, April 21, 2014

Star Trek:Attack Wing and SAGA

It's been an age (nearly two years) since I last posted. But I felt the urge to share, so I'm back. I've spent the past two years dealing with some family tragedy (both my parents-in-law passed away suddenly) and generally not feeling much like wargaming.

But lately that has begun to change, and  it has taken me in totally different directions - from futuristic science fiction space battles to dark age man-to-man combat!

About six months ago, the kids and I discovered Wizkids' Star Trek:Attack Wing. We've been going to the organized play events at three different local venues (Giga-Bites Cafe, Dr. No's and Titan Comics and Games), and enjoying it tremendously. It's the first game that all three of us have gotten into, and the first time we've participated in any sort of officialy-sanctioned competitive environment. Despite my initial fears that the uber-competitors would make it unpleasant, exactly the opposite has been true. We've run into three groups (with some overlap) of very friendly gamers, who have been very supportive of our participation. In particular, they have been generous and gracious to the kids, who are an oddity in that environment. My son Lucas, 13 years old, is the youngest participant by far, and my daughter Iya, 16 years old, is the second-youngest and almost always the only female. We've won, and lost, our share of events, but the main thing is that we've all had a great time learning and playing the game. I am hopeful that we'll be able to use this experience to branch out into other miniature wargames that the kids and I will be able to share.

The other game that has been taking one of our local stores (Giga-Bites Cafe in Marietta) by storm is Saga, from Gripping Beast, rules for dark age skirmish gaming. In fact, the rules themselves are almost impossible to get right now, and despite that there is a growing group of gamers that are getting into the game.

I am just beginning to assemble a Viking warband for Saga. I still don't have the rules myself, but from what I've been able to gather, except for the option of fielding a unit of Hearthguard as Berserkers there is no difference between how else I equip my figures.

I had several Wargames Factory Vikings and Germanic Warriors that I had built, but never based or painted to actually use in a game. I also had a Middenheim champion from Mordheim that I thought would make an impressive Warlord. But I did not have enough for a complete warband, so I broke down and bought the Gripping Beast starter box for a 4-point Viking Warband. Between what I had, and the box, I can put together a 6-point plus warband.

I have started to assemble some of the GB figures, and form them up into units with my other figures. The photo below shows my fledgeling warband. The Warlord is at the top. Below him the unpainted metal figures are GBs Berserkers and Hirdmen. Below those are two units of plastic Vikings that will make up more Hirdmen. At the bottom are a unit of 12 Bondi with spears, and half a unit of Bondi with hand weapons. I still have the 16 metal Bondi from the starter set to assemble, as well as the Warlord figure.


I'll post more details as I get them painted and into the fray. So far though I am very pleased with how the GB and Wargames Factory figures go together. My only disappointment is the selection of Hirdmen that came in the starter set. I understand the image on the box is merely representative, but I got all four figures with the integrally molded shield who look best as spearmen. I was hoping for some of the more dynamic poses from GB such as are shown on the box image. Going forward, I think I will likely either go with plastics so I can convert to my heart's desire, or buy specific packs of figures rather than another boxed set.

My goal for the rest of this week is to get these guys based and primed, and hopefully be able to start on the painting. (Life is very full right now, with family - two teen-aged kids - and work making it difficult to find time to wargame, and I am a very slow painter as it is, so I make no promises on how long it will actually take me to get this done! Perhaps by the time I get a copy of the rules and dice I will have at least enough troops to put a small force on the table.)
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