vendredi 29 avril 2016

Infinity-The Merovingian FRR in action!


So today is my first game of Infinity in a while; for the occasion, we settled on a 300pts limit. Since this is more of a sparring match than anything, my opponent was going to build my list so I don't make stupid game-wasting mistakes even before starting to roll dices. He's one of the best tactician I know and the goal here is to brief about and learn from this list-making as part of this practice game.

I know I know this is against the spirit of list-building in Infinity, where you keep stuff hidden from your opponent and such chenanigans but this time around we'll play like the spies from both sides have been working real hard and got all the informations about the opponent's detachment before the conflict.

I am going to field my Force de Réponse Rapide (MRRF), the merovingian side of Ariadna, a french colony that was part of the original Ariadna space exploration/colonisation mission who got lost and secluded from the human sphere for a while, hence being less technologically advanced than most of the rest of humanity.

The terrible Mirage-5 Duo

 So let's go back to the list; I had only one condition and it was that I wanted to play the Mirage-5 team, as I just finished painting them. I usually field a 5-men métro fireteam when fielding this army, including a deadly HMG, but I knew my buddy was not a big fan so I was not surprised to see the team nerfed to 4 with no HMG, a limited infiltrator unlinkable trooper with a rifle and some D-Charges, a paramedic (who in time killed more métros than most of my ennemies), a lieutenant and the bottom of the line métro trooper with a rifle and not much else. Then the other thing that set this one appart from my standard Mérovingian lists was the absence of the alguacil hacker, a little nomad ally that I like to bring along and surprise my opponents with, even though it's far from the best hacker in the game. With all the options they get nowadays I am always garanteed to put it to good use. Not this time though!

The list was also including 5 loup-garous, 3 of them with light shotguns and adhesive launchers (you don't know how anoying these might be until you get glued down for the game!), one with one of my favorite weapon, the viral rifle, and last but not least a sniper. This is a very good unit with an unusual configuration, personally I'm more into viral rifles as you can guess but eh, let's glue the ennemy down for once!

Closing the list was a moblot with light shotgun, rifle and e/mauler, a device I like a lot. A chasseur with a light flamer, mines and a rifle was also part of the list. I usually put the adhesive launcher in the hands of this guy but we'll try to burn faces with it this time, or drop a mine on a strategic point, ready to blow to shreds any fool enough to get close. also included was a lone para-commando, a unit I usually field more of, but this single one was going to be just fine, a forward observer with a rifle.  Last but not least a zouave (always funny to read that one, from where I come from this is an insult more than anything), he will be the one with the honor of carrying the heavy load, the fat HMG! and with the foxhole rule of this unit surviving seems to be at least a bit easier than for its métro counterpart.

I just realized that this is going to be a long one folks, stay tuned, I'll try to shorten up a bit and get you more into the thick of things. So now, on with the game!

So it was going to be against the Tohaa. I have a pretty good record against them, I know they are as good an army as any but for some reason I've always managed to beat them so far. Let's see if it was going to be the case here again. No need to mention that I didn't feel like winning this one versus the almighty JV!

Extremely dangerous!

The scenario was to kill as many ennemy lieutenant as possible, meaning that once you kill the first one your opponent have to nominate a new lieutenant freely. It was 1 point per kill, plus 3 if you have more lt. kills than your opponent. We also had one hidden objective each, giving 2 points per completion. Mine was to hit a model with one of my two forward observers and to make sur I get those two points, I put my para-commando on the task, arriving from the right flank to score this objective easy breezy.

I'm sorry I cannot give you much information about my opponent's army as I don't know much of the models I faced tonight; there was a Makaul troop at least, the one with the viral CC weapon, who acted as kind of a bodyguard for the lieutenant. Some sort of combat jump unit, a Gao-Tarso I believe, also was there. The unit that really shined for the Tohaa was the Kerail Preceptors; they got into the fray a bit late to really turn the tide but they managed to kill 4 out of my 5 Loup-garous and my Chasseur as well. I think the lieutenant was Neema Satar but I'm not sure. She was quite resilient however and gave a hard defensive challenge tu the merovingians. I know that my opponent, knowing that I was getting back in the game, gave it to me easy mode by playing new models and trying things with his list. He didn't hesite when he could massacre some of my guys however, to make sure I don't get away with it like it was a field trip!

Soooo basically what happened, outside the fact that the overall dice-rolling balance went on my side in this one, is that Sergent Duroc arrived mad as a raging bull and killed a lot of guys right off the starting blocks with his chain rifles and speed. He got the ennemy lieutenant down to one single wound left before dropping to the floor unconscious. After that the Tohaa tried to catch up as much as they could but couldn't achieve their objective anymore due to casualties. Margot arrived a bit late, I must admit I kinda forgot about her for the first two turns, but she sot good before getting downed in a gunfight. I couldn't finish off Duroc's business and the ennemy lieutenant survived the game, while mine was so deeply hidden in my territory that I wonder if he heard a single gun shot all game. My forward observer para-commando had no trouble tagging a target and scored me 2 points, a simple task that won me the game.
The Tohaa lieutenant

I'm still a bit lost on intuitive and speculative attacks, I'm going to read those up real soon, but overall the game went well, with my teacher giving me advices while playing. We looked up a few rules to make sure we got them allright but it wouldn't be Infinity othewise would it?

Oh and one last thing, it's my birthday in about a week and JV, my opponent tonight, gave me the Briscards box and the missile launcher blister to complete the set. That's super cool really! Now I have so much to paint it makes me want to cry. A little. From inside. But for real I know my merovingians needed those (MSV1, heavy rocket launcher and mountain wait nobody gives a crap about mountain terrain in Infinity!). 

So that's it, sorry about the pictures, I'm not a pro and I don't spend too much time taking shots of the game to not break the tempo but I hope you guys enjoy it nonetheless. This and the fact that JV don't have a single Tohaa fully painted, what are you waiting for bud ?!

Until the next one may the dices be good to you lads !

And now, the pictures, in no particular order:

The Loup-garou would have been better off not crossing that wide street...
Everyone's down!
They finally got Duroc down
The LGs had to cross that boulevard to get back into the action.
Duroc rampaging the backline
The luckiest holoprojector-using tohaa!
Aerial shot
The table, part I
Part II
Part III

mardi 26 avril 2016

Back in the Human Sphere

I've been focussing a lot on my 40k lately but I've always kept Inifnity in the back of my mind. This is a game I really like, as a sci-fi fan, and this one is simply put the best sci-fi tabletop game out there.
 One thing I've always said about this game is that the rules are quite complex, with a steep learning curve, but this complexity is just perfect as it reflects the high-tech style of the game. I played a lot during N2, the second iteration of the rules, played the Paradiso campaign with a closed group and had a ball with my Aleph before aquiring a Merovingian force to try a different style of play. Life being what it is, living in this golden age of gaming, I've put Infinity on hold for some time and, with the arrival some time ago of the 3rd edition of the game, it's time for me to get back into the human sphere! I've wrote about Inifnity before, on the club Chaos's blog mostly. To get back into it smoothly, here is a little article about my personal views on this great game.

A main aspect of the game that really set this one apart is its unique black op style. Most are played under 3 turns by small detachments of 10 models on average, although depending on the technological level or raw power of the models, some will have up to 20 models and some will have even less than 10. the game is all about the missions, in opposition to the all-out war we see in the most popular brands of tabletop miniature games. Of course, anihilating your ennemy still works fine, but the more you play the game the more you realize all the possibilities and tend to focus more on the objectives, stealth and cunning instead of brute force. Of course some armies will be more leaning towards this playstyle, like the combined army's Morats, a race of belligerent  symian-like aliens with a strong military tradition looking only to bash faces.
The very military Morats looking for trouble!

I play two armies that are at the opposite ends of the technological aspect spectrum, namely Aleph and the Merovingians, a sub-group of the Ariadnans. Aleph is the name of the single Artificial Intelligence that oversees the data network of the Human Sphere, humanity's realm in space, and most major international technological systems. It controls all sorts of synthetic beings to fullfil its different roles, from deva functionnaries to the armed branch of the steel phalanx and have access to some if not the best technologies available. On the other side, the Merovingians, along with the rest of the Ariadna community, have been secluded from the human sphere until being rediscovered recently and missed a beat or two of the technological evolution. They are not that far from what we know right now in 2016 and good ol' rifles are a common sight on Ariadna.

A matter of dice!
Now as good as the game is, it have its downsides. We mentioned the learning curve and complex rules, but another thing that often comes up is the use of d20s. For players that are used to roll a ton of  D6 and get closer to the average stat by rolling a ton of dice, a single d20 offers a slightly more random result. some players simply refuse to play the game because of the d20 thing. Personnally I just don't care, and I actually like rolling d20s, even if sometimes you feel very lonely when the fate of the universe relies only on that single roll... now some will beg to differ, namely the GW haters, but eh, whatever floats your boat!

 Now this is the time for me to make the switch to N3, the latest edition. I've played about 3 games so far since the new rules are available but to be honest I didn't play enough to see much of a difference with the previous version, except for the hacking abilities and devices, which are more numerous and can now really be compared to spellcasting in other settings. I'm currently reading the Core book before the rulebook, as I like to really plunge into the universe before delving into the rules. So far, about 20 pages in and I can safely say that this is not a complete rehaul; some art have been seen in previous edition's books and even some of the text is quite similar. Of course it is the same game and same setting so it would have been surprising otherwise. The books are gorgeous though and the new art is simply amazing, not to mention the painted miniature pics.
Giraldez's Penthesilea, amazon warrioress. Nice work to say the least...

Talking about the miniatures, Infinity offers the best sci-fi miniatures out there; they are simply amazing. On top of this, Angel giraldez, one of the best painters out there, is the house artist for Infinity and even got his own Infinity painting technique book released; he uses an hybrid form, using the airbrush and classic technique to out-of-this-world results. Closer to us, Yaum la machine did some of the best-painted nomads I've ever seen on a table. You can see his work here:
Scroll down for a while and you'll eventually get to the Nomads. Try not drooling on your keyboard.

I plan to work on my Infinity a lot in the following weeks, either by painting or getting my ass kicked by veterans and mastermind players (Jv?!). So far I managed to finish  painting a Loup-Garou sniper I started about a year ago and speed paint Sergent Duroc, an angry dogface from the Mirage-5 paratroop duo, which logically leads me to paint the other half of the squad, Margot.

I'll keep you guys posted on my progress and hopefully bring you a batrep worth mentioning soon, until then keep your combi loaded and your blade sharp !

The Dreadfleet's Hunt!

So following my latest Merchants and Marauders game, played at le Grimoire, the store owner Israel, noticing my interest for ships and pirates in general, had the good idea of showing me the content of the Dreadfleet box, the latest naval game from Games Workshop. I was simply blown away by the quality of the miniatures, flipping through the rulebook and looking at all the amazing drawings by John Blanche, who made all the art found in the book, the seed was planted. I went back to get the game a few days later and ran home to assemble all the components of the box.

But before going any further, let's sum up what is Dreadfleet in a few words;
Dreadfleet is a stand-alone, one-time release two player (up to ten players) game from Games Workshop released on October 2011 that is set in the Warhammer Fantasy world. One player takes command of the Grand Alliance which is composed of the greatest pirate captains, whilst the other commands the Dreadfleet, a force composed of undead captains and their skeleton crews. 

As a Phil Kelly's pet project, the game didn't get the commercial success expected from GW and, with all the GW-hater gamers out there waiting like sharks to bash on this company's releases, good or bad, the game was tagged negatively. There was even a rumor that GW called back the product from all stores worldwide and burnt them so they didn't have to pay to store them...ahhhhh haters! Fact is you can still find the game here and there in gaming stores, big or small, and even at some official GW stores. Truth is it didn't sell mostly because it is a stand alone game and they announced from the start that there wasn't going to be any expension whatsoever. In comparison to the greater lines from GW, namely 40k and Fantasy, the replayability seemed so weak that players decided simply not to buy this game and keep focus (and wallets) on their main ones. 

Now back to the game: first thing I noticed was how full this huge box was; there's a lot of content in there my friends! I took me pretty much the rest of the day to assemble and prime all the components carefully. Once everything is put together, you can tell that this game is no joke; all sorts of islands (a castle on a gigantic turtle skeleton anyone?), sea monsters, small auxiliaries, from small ships to dragons to dwarf zeppelins and of course the main ships of the story, 10 amazing models from a dead gargantuan orb leviathan carcass used as a ship by a horde of undead skavens to a floating ghost ship, a mechanical kraken manned by a lone chaos dwarf inventor and last but not least the two flagships, count Noctilus's shipwrecks amalgam topped by a chunk of Sylvania, housing the castle of the infamous vampire captain of the Dread fleet and the gargantuan Heldenhammer, stolen from the cult of Sigmar to go and chase the Dreadfleet.

Now as I write this I am still reading the sole book contained in the box, an amazing work in an unusual format completely illustrated by the regreted John Blanche and his unique art. I decided to read the fluff part of it first, as this always inspires me to paint and play a game. So far the story has been very captivating!

Now rulewise I watched a few batreps and reviews, namely the Beasts of war review and the batrep from the esoteric order of gamers. Both were quite positive but in the batrep they tweeked the rules just a little by drawing a single event card instead of two every turn so the random factor still leaves place to strategy. As they say in the batrep, with two event cards each turn it's more like your fleet against the sea instead of facing your ennemy! Well, the field of battle depicted in the game is the Galleon's graveyard, some sort of out-of-this-world warp-created sea of despair but eh, as evil as it might become, you don't want to fight the waves instead of your nemesis !

Otherwise the system seems great, with deadly broadside shots and bloody boarding actions, wind direction and ship-like movement on the wonderful cloth sea-mat included with the game. For now I will keep on painting the ships and get back to you guys as soon as I am ready to gather the crew and hit the deck!

dimanche 24 avril 2016

A Pirate's Life!

Merchants & Marauders - BoardGameGeek Top 100 - Rental Games

So I got this game about a year ago and managed to play only two games. Lost in a sea of gaming awesomeness I couldn't manage to find more time for this very awesome game, that and the fact that I've been missing a regular dedicated gaming group of reliable gamers for this kind of game.
 Lately though I got the expension called Seas of Glory and I got back into the project of painting all the ships, including the new ones, and play the game on a more regular basis. 

First thing you guys and gals have to know is that I'm a huge fan of anything maritime, spending a good chunk of my childhood on a sailboat. Piracy, contraband, seafaring and such have always populated my imagination since then and some 30 years later I'm still fond of the sea and its many mysteries. I'm also a huge fan of Blacksails and if you haven't seen it yet, what are you doing matee?

No need to tell you this game was meant for me; in a market where good pirate games are scarce and few, the reviews on this one got me purchasing it in no time. So what's it like you ask? Well let me sum up the game for you.
An overall view of the table
You start as the humble captain of a humble ship; captains are determined randomly from a deck and you can end up with a french, english, spanish or dutch skipper. All of them have different stats and a unique special ability. You also get to choose your first ship out of two models, which is strongly influenced by the stats and special ability of your captain. If you tend more on the pirate side of things, a sloop is preconized for its speed and manoeuvrabiliy where if you lean more towards the merchant side, a big-hulled flute is all indicated. 
Painted ships!
This choice is not definitive in any way; later in the game, your fedup merchant can angrily raise the black flag or your pirate can try to get the pardon of the nation(s) he offended and get back to an honest living of trading around the caribeans. 

There is no better choice between the two, although many reviews will recommand new players to stick as merchants if not for the whole game at least for a while. Being a pirate is more of a high reward / high risk style of play and the slightest mistake can see you hanged in front of the governor's house after that english admiral has tracked and hunted you down. 

Now the game can seem a bit heavy at first, with all the sailing, trades, missions, rumors, NPC merchant ships raiding/pillaging and warship naval battles, not to mention the seas of glory expension including crew morale (...and mutiny), new gears for your ship, contrabancy rules an much, much more. A good thing about seas of glory is that every new module is optional, so you can play with what suits you the most. 

Now the ultimate goal of the game is to be the first to  rack up 10 glory points, and there are many ways to get those; stashing your gold in your hidden treasure chest, trading prized cargo, contraband, combat, completing missions, successfully investigating rumors and much, much more.
Stashin' up that spanish gold!

We had a 4-players game recently and we had a blast; a bit lost at first in that sea of options and rules, but in the end we got the hang of it and had a very enjoyable experience. This is a game I want to play more of and if like me you are a fan of anything piraty, this is a game I strongly recommend.


dimanche 27 mars 2016

The Empire Strikes Back Again!

A long time ago, in a Galaxy far, far away....

So recently I finally had the chance to try out Star Wars: Imperial Assault from Fantasy Flight games. Since its release I've always kept an eye on this game. Most reviews would compare it to descent and that's exactly what it is, in a better, more recent version, plus the star wars background of course. A big plus if you ask me.

I used to own a  copy of Descent and even started a campaign with 4 players and myself as the villain mastermind. The game was very well made but I for one didn't like the grid thing much after playing a lot of D&D skirmish back then. The overall before-game setup was quite something too. Also, a 4 players campaign means a lot of commitment for a lot of people; even playing once a month, a single little game of about 3 hours with some friends proved impossible for most of my regulars so I ended up selling the game.

Back to SW, an interesting aspect of the game is that there's two play modes; campaign or skirmish. We opted for the campaign mode to start things off and I was pleasantly surprised by the startoff; it's a storyline in the aftermath of Return of the Jedi starting on the moon of Yavin 4, where a suspect signal, possibly of imperial nature, demands investigation.

The first thing you do as a player is to choose your hero(es). Since I was the only rebel player, I got to choose 4 of them. All fictional characters, from a sly smuggler to a rebel trooper, a force-sensitive Twi'lek to a seasoned veteran. This is a completely new story, not a reenactment of stuff from the movies and such, so you play fresh new characters that will eventually get to interact with the iconic characters later in the storyline.

On the gameplay side, this game is hard on the rebels my friends. We played only with the core set and let me tell you that I only won because the imperial mastermind made the slightest mistakes and rolled quite poorly during our 3 games, otherwise I would have been anihilated. This is very climatic and star wars-like; the rebels always on the verge of loosing the war but coming out victorious in the end against all odds. I didn't look much at how the game was played from the imperial side but in the climax spirit of the game, they have a rising threat level with which they can summon new troops of all kind, making it harder as the game goes on for the rebels. The last game we played was a side quest where Han was asking for support to take care of an imperial officer and let me tell you that those emperor's guards are very, very scarry. When you see two trandoshan bounty hunters show up on top of that, things are definitely turning sour for the rebels!!!

Expensions even let you play with everyone's favorite bounty hunter!

I also like the fact that you level up and gain new abilities as the games go by, as much for the rebels as for the Imperial player. Overall, this is definitely meant for dedicated players looking to experience a solid campaign and as far as I can tell this system looks great, if a bit overwhelming when playing 4 characters at a time and having to manage all their different abilities. I would recommand 2 rebel players, controlling 2 characters each; just enough to get into it without ending up with a headache. Now 4 rebel players with 1 character each can sound fun but after trying it with descent and now with this game, I can safely say that 1) if you play a campaign, forget it, some people are going to drop the ball 99% sure after your first session for whatever best reasons in the universe even if they told you they were'nt going to drop it this time around and 2) cellphones are going to come out, people are going to loose focus since there is going to be too much downtime between their activations. I can also add 3) veteran gamers are going to get bored playing only a single character with not enough abilities and options to challenge them.

On the miniatures side of things, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the minis; I am really tempted to paint them up actually! A bit of flash here and there but nothing to write home about. Overall the sculpts are quite good and I've seen some very nice paintings over the web.There is a fair amount of models in the box, my only downside being the fact that there's only a single pose for the stormtrooper models. I know they are the most basic models out there but still. Maybe later? The core box my buddy got also included two extra blisters, Luke and Vader, making this thing totally worth it modelwise.

All the same...

What about that skirmish mode now? I don't know. Didn't have time to try it. A gaming buddy told me it was fun and more balanced than expected, and I'm definitely looking forward to try this motha out, but this is another story to come.

Big bad Vader!
Now the only downside here is the price of the game; first it varies widely from one store to the other, and at its worst it is 45% higher than the original price. Now I know everyone's got the best possible justification for this but as a customer, I just can't resign to pay that much. A friend gave me access to the pricing for the FF SW products from the only distributor in Montreal and nothing can honestly explain this pricing discrepancy, which is even worst in X-Wing. I saw the distributor's prices, end of the story. I feel sorry about all the different justifications I was given now that I know the real price. Sad.

Soooo did I have a blast ? Totally. Do I recommend the game? Yes, a lot. Should you paint the minis? Of course! Is the price too high ? Definitely. Find it online, buy it second hand, whatever but do not resign and pay that much for this game. Let the wave pass by and buy it later, this game will still be as good in 6 months! May the Force be with you!

lundi 21 mars 2016

Ragnarok is upon us!!!

This last christmas, my family was nice enough to get me this awesome game, Blood Rage. In short, you are the viking leader of a clan during Ragnarok trying to lead your fellow warriors to the most glorious death, nothing less!

The game plays over three ages; at the start of each age, players will draft from the corresponding age's stack up to 6 cards each. You can even keep an extra card after turn one to get a 7 cards hand. The cards represent combat prowess, mythic monsters you can recruit, different upgrades for your leader, clan, warriors or ships and all kind of Loki-ish shenanigans.

The goal of the game is simple; get the most glory before Ragnarok takes everyone to Valhalla once and for all at the end of the third age. There are many ways to get those glory points and the paths to victory are all as good as the others. Invasion, battle, dying at the right place at the right time, plundering and even trickery are all different ways of gaining glory.

The rules were surprisingly simple, in a world where boardgames are getting more and more complex and challenging or on the opposite spectrum very simple so everybody can play and have a good time. I can safely say that this game lays right in the middle; easy to learn, hard to master.

I also got the Gods of Asgard expension but have yet to try it out, basically the Gods are descending down to get involved in the conflict and exercising their influences over the different regions of the board.

Another thing about this game is the AMAZING models; from clansmen to monsters, every miniature included in this big box is simply awesome. If my painting agenda was not already booked for the next 10 years or so, I'd definitely paint those guys with all the patience and skills I can put in such nice models. Maybe one day...meanwhile, here are a few of those models, until next time enjoy!

lundi 21 décembre 2015


 saga logo

So I recently turned my attention to Saga, a medium-size skirmish historical tabletop game that focusses on the Viking incursion in England during the dark age, a near-medieval time of struggle on the great island of Britain after the departure of Rome.  The game recently got an expension along with a revised rulebook in the form of The Crescent and the Cross, this time bringing the players to the Great Crusades.
I never was fond of historical games; too narrow, more about reconstitution than actual gameplay, and to top it off the models themselves; short and stubby legs and arms, huge lance poles, etc.
A friend of mine was looking at some historical models lately and seemed very interested. Other players were starting gathering Saga armies and giving good reviews. I still was meh about it all but I'm not the kind of guy not to give a game a chance, so about three weeks ago I watched a game between the Franks and the Vikings. Both players had fully painted armies and I must admit they were gorgeous. The Frank player even made all his helraldry free-handed !!!
Not so bad aren't they?!

Both players seemed really absorbed by the game, thinking hard before dispatching their army dices on their BattleBoard (more on that later). Combat seemed bloody and a bunch of crazed Vikings even made short business of some Frank knights cavalry! They were nice enough to tell me more about the game and I had to take a deeper look into it.
After reading about the game here and there, looking at the different models and reviewing my dark age great Brittain history. I was always fond of the Welsh culture, wrapped in mystery and old lore so my choice of army was an easy one. They are a Guerilla-type force, much like my WFB wood elves. They traditionally carry all sorts of javelins to battle and wearing nothing but rustic clothes and rags to battle for most of them. The cavalry is riding strong and stocky welsh poneys, like the ones found back then in this mountainous region of England. They are expert at taking advantage of the land and are very good javelin throwers.

The Welsh emblematic red dragon

My opponent was playing the Vikings and brought enough models for me to play the welsh fully painted. We went for a 6 points clash game, kill as many as you can 6 turns confrontation.
The first thing that strikes out about Saga is the special dices; every faction have to use a specific set of special dice on top of your usual D6, much like these:
SAGA - Welsh Dice
Welsh Dices

 They vary in colors and symbols but overall eveyone gets his set of special dice!
Those dices are to be used with the battleboards, which goes something like this:

Basically, you roll the dices and then matches the symbols with the different options and possible combinations on your battle board, basing your strategy on the resulting possibilities. This my friends is what makes this game unique.
To be honest, the rest of the game is a lot like your standard skirmish game à la GW; you activate your whole army then pass the turn to your opponent. When you activate a unit, you first need at least a die in the corresponding activation pool and then make it move, shoot, fight, rest, etc. You can also activate a unit multiple times but you have to keep a close eye on the fatigue; this is represented by tokens and every unit has a certain treshold over which they become less performant. Your opponent can also interact with your unit by using your fatigue tokens, either by slowing you down, getting a bonus on your armor (reprensenting your overall defense, not just your physical armor) or a malus on your opponent's amongst other things.
Terrain is pretty classic also, but we wouldn't want it any other way considering the setting; woods, hills, marshes, rocky formations, weatfields and more. The rules for terrain is pretty straightforward, slowing models down, giving them cover and/or armor bonuses.
Now the models; I told you I don't like historical minis much; paying such games as 40k and Infinity, I am used to a certain level of quality, the latest being the best looking sci-fi models out there. I also recently found what I consider to be Infinity's medieval's equivalent with Red Box miniatures. The stakes are high to say the least! I was surprised at how good looking the models were when I first saw the actual game. Of course, they are not on par with the above-mentioned games but they are fine and the heraldry brings an extra aspect to the Saga minis. Gripping Beast, the main Saga mini producer, even sell some specific, historically-accurate decals and to me these are a must, considering that Saga is a game that simply have to be played full painted.
Back to my first game, I really enjoyed the srtategic value of the game and was not disapointed by the elusive Welsh; the Vikings hitted hard when they got the chance but raining javelins suddendly flying from out of the woods caught the northern raiders flat-footed, resulting in a draw.
This is a good game for campaign, with the historical background richness and overall simplicity of the game. I recently got quite disapointed by another game's campaign and might go for a smaller-scale one this time around but I definitely think that this game offers this possibility.
So that's my first Saga impression and most likely not my last, stay tuned!

Here is a few pics I took from my game, note that they models are 15mm as my opponent doens't have enough 28mm for 2 armies:

The final melee!
The Welsh warband taking advantage of the land!
A Viking levy back there taking cover in the rocks in front of the welsh.
The Vikings are coming!