Monday, December 3, 2012


A small confession on the advent of the SAGA expansion, Raven's Shadow - I have not yet played any of the factions from the last expansion, Northern Fury.  When I got back into gaming after a long absence, I filled my shelves with Vikings and Saxons (thank you, Bernard Cornwell).  An itch for Normans hit me after buying SAGA and reading some Jack Ludlow.  After turning some Wargames Factory Ancient Germans into Welsh, I have ended up with at least 6 points of all four original factions.

Then came the Jomsvikings, Anglo-Saxons, Bretons and Scots.  Obviously, the first three are analogous to original factions, with some differences.  The Jomsviking wrath mechanic was interesting, but gimmicky.  The Anglo-Saxon battleboard, with bonuses for large units, does not suit my style of play and the Bretons...liked them, painted a unit of skirmishers, and have every intention of getting them on the table.  Which brings me to the Scots.  The Scots battleboard is intriguing, and seems to demand a bit more forethought and strategic positioning of your forces.  Hopefully, my game next weekend can be a four point match up, with two hearthguards and two warriors.

Above and below, Thanes by Crusader Miniatures

Scots warriors

I was not able to find any conclusive or well documented depiction of pre-heraldic Scottish shield designs on the net.  So I went with vaguely Viking designs with some Celtic influence, borrowing liberally from a few other blogging wargamers.  

Reading Suggestions:

Clarkson, Tim, The Makers of Scotland: Picts, Romans, Gaels and Vikings. A highly readable look at the evolution of Scotland from pre-Roman times until roughly the year 1000.  The first third of the book suffers a bit from the authors attempt to weigh primary sources and chronicles, and ends up focusing on royal names and succession, rather than on the peoples and cultures promised in the title.  After working through this, Clarkson ends up delivering some valuable information about the development of the Scots, culturally and politically.  As a further inticement to SAGA players, the the forthcoming faction the Strathclyde Welsh also play a prominent role.

Dunnett, Dorothy, King Hereafter. Previously recommended, a historical novel in which Dunnett proposes that Macbeth and Thorfinn of Orkney were not cousins (or half-brothers) but one in the same.


  1. Hi there,

    I really like some of your shield designs, especially the ones displayed in the second picture. Very inspiring, thank you. Nice looking warband overall.

  2. I like the warrior with the striped tunic, neat lines.