As per usual I'm not going to offer an in-depth review of SAGA, as I'm sure a quick google search will give you plenty to choose from, but, as per usual, offer a more impressionistic view. A few more of these and maybe I can refer to them as being trademark?
Having spent 45 mins or so watching a demo game at Warfare I'd found the battle-board element an interesting take on resource management but in all honesty, as a observer with no knowledge of the game, I felt that there was lot going on for "just" a skirmish game. It probably didn't help that it was, quite rightly for a demo game, a simple "kill the warlord" scenario.
Having played through twice, I'm fairly convinced that SAGA isn't really a skirmish game and definitely not "just" another game at all. The battle-board is quite simply inspired and is almost a game in itself, its mastery is surely the key to the game.
The rest of the game mechanic is pretty simple other than Fatigue, which is another mini blinder. Each time a unit fights a combat and / or performs an action past the first it gains a point of Fatigue. Fatigue can be spent by your opponent to reduce your defence or raise his, though you can Rest a unit, as an action to drop them.
First game was learning, thus "kill the warlord, whilst for the second I chose the one where one side ambushes the others baggage train who are attempting to cross the board, I forget the name, as a deliberate attempt to push those rules within my tenuous grasp. All worked intuitively. Good stuff.
SO....back at my main point it didn't feel like a skirmish game. A standard 6pt game is six UNITS which, unless I've missed a bit, adhere to coherency. To ME that's not a skirmish game, though thats not a criticism of the game at all. To ME it feels much more like a medium sized game of Warhammer, historical or otherwise, .........but much, much, much, MUCH...better!
|Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, its off to battle we go!|
|5s required to hit!|
|None shall pass!|
|The baggage goes by a more circuitous route....|