Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Breton warband for SAGA

In the 4th century, Bretons serving in the Roman army were posted out of Britannia and into Amorica (Brittany). To escape Anglo-Saxon and Scoti invaders, a second wave of Breton settlers followed. Charlemagne subjugated the Bretons for a time. A combination of Breton revolts, military victories and devastating Viking raids forced the Franks to eventually concede the independence of Brittany. Somewhere in there, Breton King Morvan fought a personal combat with a Frankish chieftain that left both dead.  I'm not entirely sure how the opposing armies squared that unexpected result.

The 10th century saw a Breton campaign to drive out the Norse who settled on the Loire River. The Bretons and Normans were at war for a time but that didn't stop them from serving in William the Conqueror's left flank at the Battle of Hastings.  Breton history is enough to make your head spin!

In SAGA, Breton levies and mounted troops are javelin armed. Their battle board has 8 shooting abilities and I've been studying to see which stack well before my first game with them. Bretons suffer a -1 to their armor in melee, which means I'll stick to shoot and scoot tactics.

These figures can pull triple duty for me. First, I'll run them in SAGA as a Breton warband. I can also port them into Crescent and the Cross to buff out a Spanish army. Lastly, I can field them in a Hail Caesar Norman army. Portability for the win! 

All figures in the warband are by Gripping Beast, topped with LBMS shield transfers painted in.  I'm tempted to paint the hero King Morvan in a chariot. For now, I do like the look of this warlord hunting the battlefield with javelin in hand and no helmet! Those are the kind of risks that men respect.  They're also the kind of risks that get you killed in personal combat.   
These figures looked a bit dull at the finish line so I added a 2nd highlight to make them pop. You must look good to feel good and I do hope these javelinmen are feeling good right now.

I painted this warband while listening to Marc Morris' The Norman Conquest audiobook. It's fantastic overview of the conquest of England, and most of SAGA's "Heroes of the Viking Age" make an appearance in the book.  Its a perfect companion piece to SAGA gaming.