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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

US SAGA Grand Melee!

My Christmas in March has come and gone, and I'm a bit blue that it's over.  Impossibly, Eric Hagen raises the bar each year. We have a group of players who make the annual pilgrimage from all over the US and the UK too. When we get together, we talk about our projects, our painting, our warbands and display boards, our real lives and history too. We talk about tactics and battleboards. We have dinner and drinks together.  Oh yes, we have a tournament to play too!

I got to meet the amazingly talented Bill Thornhill at the Footsore booth and I picked up a Pict army too.  The Pict scuplts are dead gorgeous and now I want to sneak them to the front of the painting queue.  Up on the Footsore Facebook page, Bill has a video where he catches me conceding a late night game with words, "I have jack sh*t."

So how did my Mutatawwi'a warband fare? They went up in flames like a Naffatun grenade, finishing with 3 losses, 2 wins and a tie.  It was a bit of a shock, since I was smashing opponents in most of my practice games. Someone asked me what went wrong and my answer was "A bit of everything." Bad matchups, bad decisions and bad dice made for a terrible trifecta.  As Odin is my witness, I will never field Naffatun again.

With Swiss pairing, you play someone with the same record in each round.  Day 2, I was stunned to see Tracey Beech across the table in game 5.  She is one of the best SAGA players around and she put on a clinic in Sacred Ground.  I tried to puzzle out what she was up to but was always one step behind.  On the last die of the last turn of her last move, she stole a victory. They say losses can be more instructive than wins and if that's true, I'm a SAGA genius!


Some players shared whiskey, especially with the "walking wounded." When whisky comes out in SAGA, everybody is a winner.

The Kansas City Crew was back, playing the entire tournament in kit.  These lads bring such joy and color to the show.  Stephen the Viking (in chainmail) finished 3rd overall and won the "People's Choice" with his amazing Steppe Tribes.  As we were leaving, Stephen shared some very kind parting words with me.  I was going to give him a handshake but went in for a hug instead.  Big mistake, he gave me a bear of a hug that almost cracked a rib! With that, I've now learned two things about Vikings:
  1. Never drink with them, and
  2. Never hug them.   


I got a decent set of battleboard pitctures.  Tracey Beech won "Players' Choice" with her Bayeux Tapestry themed board.  This was my favorite and I just couldn't help but stare at her creativity here.


Andy Lyon was just behind her with his Hollywood movie set for his Byzantines.  Brilliant!



A fellow from Seattle won "Best Painted" with his Irish.  He and his bud also won "Best Painted" in the Doubles as well.  Nicely done!













On Friday, I ran my Spanish.  On Saturday and Sunday, I ran my Mutatawwi'a.  I got in 11 games totaling nearly 24 hours of gaming with all great opponents.  And that is what our hobby is all about right? An opportunity to move nicely painted troops across a board, chat with your opponent, laugh and throw dice.  Mission accomplished. Same time, next year!




32 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Oh yea! Lucky for me, we have a couple of local SAGA events in the Twin Cities.

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  2. Wow! Some great looking Warbands on display there.

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    1. Yes! I want to take a stab at changing up my painting technique (never easy) and also getting inspired for a bigger and better battlebloard. I have a year to get it together!

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  3. Great stuff! Maybe if I start planning now...

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    1. It would be awesome. I'd love to meet you in person Christopher.

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  4. Very cool recap. Loved the Battle Boards. Some a works of art.

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    1. Thanks Jonathan. When I was working on my board, I thought "I could be painting!" That isn't the attitude of a champion. ;-)

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  5. Looks like a great event Monty, I would love to go to a big Saga event like this one day. Some very nice looking armies on display. Sorry to hear you had some bad luck with your games, did you roll too many ones with the Naffatans or was it something else that turned you off them - I played with them in my Moor force against my brothers Sthrathclyde force the other week and I rolled 3 ones once , it wasnt a pretty outcome for me the following turn...

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    1. Mark! It was a variety of things but Naffatun are much too dicey. I once burned up all 4 Naffatun in 4 separate shootings dishing out only 1 fatigue and 1 hit. Ouch!

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  6. Sounds great! Wonderful minis and terrain, thanks for sharing Monty!

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  7. Replies
    1. Yes it was! Last game was against a Viking and at the end, only warlords with a couple of warriors were left.

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  8. What a brilliant post Monty, so much to enjoy and it sounds like a wonderful tournament.

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    1. Thanks Michael, I'm blessed that I get to attend such an amazing event.

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  9. just amazing pictures. I understand it was your Chrismass.

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    1. Thanks Jean. Now I have to count down the days to the next "Christmas."

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  10. Looks like a lot of fun - I need to dust off my Normans

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    1. You should! Normans are a bit tricky to run but with practice, they can kick some butt.

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  11. Sorry to hear you got smoked, but it sounds like you still managed a good time. I have to say, I've been a bit jealous lately - not much opportunity for SAGA out here these days.

    FMB

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    1. Ha, ha! I did get smoked, didn't I? Shoot, maybe you and Cub will have to form your own club.

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  12. Looks like you had a great time. Too bad you too smoked in the tournament. I wish I had someone in my area that plays Saga. My group that I normal game wit isn't interested in Saga. Thanks for post a great articel

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    1. Gary! Yea, that makes it impossible. If it doesn't catch on, you have to play what you can find an opponent for.

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  13. Portland is a wonderful city, but I'm from Seattle. :p

    Koyote

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    1. Darn it! I'll fix it pronto. Hopefully we can play next year. And if we do, please excuse me while I drool on your warband. ;-)

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  14. Monty, it was great meeting you.

    Next year, I hope to bring an A&A Briton warband.

    You can follow it's progress here: http://studiotomahawk.freeforums.org/koyote-s-britons-t6966.html

    I overheard the organizer saying that the A&A warbands don't appear to match up well against non-A&A warbands, as such, he is thinking about a separate A&A tournament. Have you heard anything about this?

    I haven't played with or against an A&A warband, so I can't say how well they match up, but it would be nice if they could play in the Grand Melee.

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    1. I hope so too as I plan to paint up and play a couple of A&A factions. I know Eric gets an earful from players on the event. Some people don't think C&C and Dark Age factions mix well. I disagree quite strongly. If you have an opinion, I know he listens and responds to emails. So let him know before other people win the day. ;-)

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  15. Hey Monty! Sorry it took me so long to say hi ~ with the boom of FB groups I sometimes forget about the blogs. :P

    Thanks for the awesome write up and photos. Having YOU come to this event is always great company buddy.- high five!

    I will be taking a look at the A&A book soon. I'm not ruling it out of the big event. I just need to step back a bit and get and eagles eye on it.

    Thanks again to everyone who came and made this the best Saga tourney state side.

    Skol!

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