Last week I took the plunge and did 2 new things. The first was to go to a wargaming club, the second was to play the Viking Age skirmish game, Saga.
I was nervous going to a new club. My last experience wasn’t overwhelmingly postive. Too much historical one upmanship, argy-bargy over the rules and a closed-shop mentality reminded me of why I stopped playing tabletop wargames in the first place. It wasn’t everyone, but significant enough to make the 100 minute round-trip on a Saturday afternoon unpalatable.
With Chris channelling his efforts in to another project at present, games are at a premium and I have to admit to casting a covetous eye over Saga (usefully reviewed here). If I wanted to play a new game and – perhaps – get a few more FoW games in, attending a club seemed a good option. A few enquiries later and all roads pointed in the direction of Sudbury and District Wargames Club.
Courtesy of their online forum, I was made to feel very welcome when I arrived and, with introductions over, was quickly invited to watch and then participate in a game of Saga.The innovative game system and speed of play were a massive attraction and, after my first win, I have to admit to being hooked.
Trouble is, branching out into a new period is costly and has taken me way out of my comfort zone. My first problem was getting hold of a copy of the bleedin’ game. Massively popular, trying to find copies of the Saga dice, a starter warband (Normans? What does this say anything about me?) and a rulebook at a competitive price has been challenging to say the least. If I bought direct from the suppliers, Gripping Beast (my preferred option), I would have been charged 10% of the price of my total order for postage and packing (around £7, ridiculous!). And they didn’t have any of the dice…
I thought I’d sourced a great deal at Triple Helix Games with 20% off the RRP and free P&P. This proved illusory as, like some other providers, what was posted in the virtual shop-window did not match the stock at the warehouse. 1 week on from being charged aand I’m still trying to get my money back after being offered a refund despite assurances of high levels of customer service (they never answer the phone during their stated opening hours – maddening!). I was finally able to get a copy of the rulebook and my Normans through the excellent Firestorm Games in Cardiff, but only after ringing up on the off-chance to see if they had any of the starter steps in-stock as none were listed on their website.
With most things eventually arriving over the weekend, I was faced with 30 little lead faces looking up at me from my workspace. Now, don’t get me started on painting chainmail, spears, horses(!), colour schemes, paints and historical accuracy. That’s a whole different winge. Suffice to say and as my wife will wearily testify to, you can expect to hear a lot more about Saga as I 1066 my way through a whole different era…