I picked up two new games recently, both of which could be loosely described as skirmish games based on the dark ages. Lord of the Rings battle game from Games Workshop, and SAGA: The Viking Age, by Studio Tomahawk. Both are lovely games. The first editions of both were pretty simple, and I suspect (and hope) that the second editions will be even better, with those little wrinkles ironed out.
I haven’t played SAGA for a long time, but I remember it is the better game of the two. The challenge of managing your saga dice on the battle board is engaging and the opportunity (need) to use your abilities and dice every phase keeps you at the table.
The King had not yet returned when I last played Lord of the Rings, whatever that year was. The new book looks pretty, but to be honest the length of the rules compared to SAGA means I haven’t really looked at that one yet. I bought this LotR on a whim, partly because I have some armies and partly because, being GW, it will be relatively easy to get a game in should I want.
So, not a review, as I’ve done no more than skim the books, and nor have I played any games yet. Consider this more a statement of intent.
Now, back to painting some shield maidens that arrived in the post …
OK, so not only are there orcs running around the Wesfold but now the mighty Uruk-Hai have turned up. Rather rough, but they’re orcs and they just kept shouting to hurry up with the painting and get them on the table.
Together with the earlier orcs, I can now field a modest Orc army for LoTR, but more likely is that I will use the Uruk as elites to make up 5 or 6 point warbands for larger games of SAGA. Having used my Rohan as Scots with no complaints I plan to use the orcs as Vikings. I hasten to add here, I’m not trying to typecast the Vikings – but their battle board seems to translate well to warriors with swords and no fancy stuff. Add a few beserkers and the orcs with SAGA Viking rules seems a good match.
I am reasonably happy with the warriors; as you can see I didn’t take much time on the freehand eye symbols on the shields. I don’t think the orcs would have either. I used a flesh wash over a brass and gun-metal drybrush on the armour. I thought it might make it look rusty. It turned out warmer than I expected. You learn a bit everyday, I guess.
I did not want them to look too uniform, so although I used a limited palet, I didn’t seek to make the armour or shields to much alike. Even the same figures look a bit different, which is good.
Lurtz is present, of course; union rules you see. No Lurtz, no start.
So there you have it. Tremble weaklings, for there is manflesh on the menu tonight!
It is somewhat ironic I find myself painting orcs just as the 40K Ork Codex is updated. As the photos make clear, I’ve been working on GW Lord of the Ring miniatures.
Quite some time ago, there was a movie tie in magazine that included a sprue each edition. The magazine was just the sort of thing a 12 year old would have loved. On the other hand I saw a cheap source of toys- the magazines recycled at the time, the miniatures languished undercoated but otherwise ignored.
I did paint a Rohan warband that I have used for SAGA. I think these orcs are destined for the same. Without trying to typecast any particular races, I think orcs will run OK as the Viking faction, which is the simplest of all the factions available: dudes with swords.
I can arrange these into a 4 point war band, enough for a small battle. Another dozen dudes will (hopefully) be finished shortly that will lift things into a warrior heavy 5 point (or even stretch to 6 points if needed).
See you around the battlefield.