Friday, October 07, 2016

Love/Hate Saga Relationship


Been doing a lot of thinking about Gripping Beasts Saga game of late and I have been trying to figure out why I feel the way I do about it. Now I will have to give credit to Robert over at Drunken Samurai Painting Blog he is having the same thoughts but for Bolt Action.

I have been playing Saga for a few years now, but have not been to serious about it. Yeah I do have three armies now, but I have sort of been flirting with the game for years. I don't hate the game, but don't seem to love the game either, it is just there in the middle. That's why I have been thinking about it a lot, why have I not moved it into the Love this game category.

As most readers of this blog know, I love skirmish games of all types, heck you don't have to look to hard to figure that out. Also readers will know that I absolutely love GW's Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game, which to me was the best skirmish game out there. I also love anything that deals with the Dark Age period, my first Warhammer Ancient Battle army was an Orkney Isle Viking army. So when Saga came out, I saw it as a mix of my two loves, Skirmish and Dark Age period. But for some reason I kept Saga at arms distance. I remember seeing an article in Wargames Illustrated showcasing Saga and I remember being turned off by the this new dice mechanic for activating units and abilities.

I eventually caved in and started playing Saga using my Vikings from WAB. A few of the other guys I game with picked up the game and we started playing, but once again the game was just there in the background for me. Perhaps it was the fact that I was using models that I painted for another system or it was the fact that I was struggling to understand just how to use the battle board and the rules. Not sure why I was having issues with it, was pretty simple.

Another thing that most readers will pick up on is that I like to organize events and with that I build a ton of terrain for said events. Just look back at all the tables of terrain I built for Lord of the Rings, most which I still have. When it came to terrain for Saga, it was easy to re use LotR terrain. I did pick up a few buildings from 4Ground for Saga, but nothing much. So once again, I had terrain for Saga but still was not feeling it.

Maybe it was the fact that there were no events for Saga going on locally. When I last attended Adepticon a few years ago, they had gotten the Gripping Beast Grand Melee for the US. I happened to be in the same room as this event and was blown away by what my friend Eric Hagen had done for terrain. Also the format looked awesome for the event, but unfortunately I had other commitments for Adepticon and could not play in it. Then I found out that Eric and his crew run an event called Saga Storm, basically a small Saga event held outside somewhere up in the Frozen North!

So here were two awesome looking Saga events that were run very well and it spoke to me inside that I should do something for Saga locally, because as people know, I like to organize stuff! So with the help of Mike, we organized a "Non" event for Saga called Ragnarok back in 2015. We had support from Gripping Beast and had about 8 players. Everyone had a great time playing in this "Non" event. But I was feeling burned out on running events, so I did not really push doing something with Saga. I still had that non committal feeling about the game.

So, after thinking about all of the above items mentioned, I think I finely figured out what is wrong with Saga, it is me! It would seem that I have been the biggest reason why I was wanting to think there was something wrong with the game. I was letting past experiences cloud my judgement of this very cool and popular game. I even know the point when I finally figured out it was me, last Sunday when Robert and I got in a game. It was a very close, challenging game and after Robert packed up and left, I had this lightning bolt of a realization that I do love this game! I have been thinking about this all week and my mind has been trying to tell me differently, but I think I fully have embraced Saga.

So what does this epiphany mean for me? Well it means that I will be working on a few new armies, building a few new terrain pieces and it may, that's a big may, mean I will run another Ragnarok event in the near future, we shall see. But it has been eye opening to me to fully come to terms with this game and realize that I was the one in the way of it. Self realization is an important thing in life, I think it makes you a better person and why not have the self realization in our hobby as well?

So now who wants to play some Saga???



Robert Ligon said...

I'm not sure I understand the epiphany. You realized that the rules had grown on you? You think your lack of craft investiture may be preventing you from fully embracing the game? You have fun in this tense game?

Tim Kulinski said...

The epiphany was the fact I kept trying to dislike the game, I came to realize that I do like the rules.

Tim Kulinski said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom O said...

I have done that before myself...that is looking for reasons to dislike a game or models when in fact I like them. I'm glad you worked through it...SAGA is generally a fun, challenging game.