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Subject: Lord of the Rings - SAGA: The One Ring rss

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Henry Rodriguez
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Hello all,

After picking up some Saxons to play with my buddies in Viking-era battles, I became enamored with the SAGA game system. I picked up the Aetius & Arthur and Crescent & Cross books and loved the flexibility and adaptability of the system.

I decided that the game system would fit perfectly for the Lord of the Rings ("LotR") setting, which I believe was the era (the early Middle Ages) that Tolkien drew on when crafting the Middle-Earth of the Third Age. In analyzing the Crescent & Cross and Aetius & Arthur books, I saw great potential in converting many of the factions therein into LotR factions.

The fruit of my work, little though it was that I added to Studio Tomahawk's rules, can be found at this dropbox links [these .pdf files are large due to imbedded images]:

The Free Peoples

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5odqze6rbv7l5xt/AACVchuqZz6wr_AC6...

The Shadow

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/yhcpkw2ufba4ljd/AACYmdNqELV8YZ-rk...

I would greatly appreciate all of your thoughts on these "conversions" and the rules I created (found mostly in the Heroes and Legends files, as well as Noldor and Misty Mountain Orcs). Naturally, the weakest link in this are my original additions.

I was partly torn in crafting some of these factions.

I decided to represent Isengard as Jackson did in the movies, as opposed to Tolkien's depiction. I thought it helped to distinguish this faction from the lowly Orcs of the Misty Mountains and Sauron's Orcs. Yet, I am likely to create a variant that includes lesser Orcs and Dunlendings in the near future.

The Noldor were especially tough given their strength and ancient experiences. An all hearthguard force meant creating 2 new Saga abilities to replace activations for warriors and levies. Are these new abilities balanced? I am cannot say yet.

The Misty Mountain Orcs required sticking in Cave Trolls as regular troops. I am pleased with my solution, but playtesting is required.

I am quite concerned with the balancing of the Heroes abilities.

The greatest amount of creativity, for my part, is found the Legends files where I made rules for Ents, Olog-hai and Great Eagles. I fear these need more tweaking to be worthwhile inclusions.

Thanks for taking the time to look at this. Your feedback is welcome.
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Gordon Watson
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SAGA as a system does seem like a perfect fit for 'Lord of the Rings' based skirmishes. The battleboard concept means that effects from magic can be included in the game without having a complete and cumbersome set of rules for magic - there's not a whole lot of battle-magic in LotR anyway so it is a good match.

Intending to have a good look through your stuff tomorrow and will try and give feedback - unfortuately I sold most of my LotR figured a years or so ago, before I discovered SAGA, so actual play-testing may take a bit longer.
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Chad Egbert
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What is SAGA?
 
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Gordon Watson
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pekin2121 wrote:
What is SAGA?


We are in that game's forum - just click the link
 
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Chad Egbert
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domus_ludorum wrote:
pekin2121 wrote:
What is SAGA?


We are in that game's forum - just click the link


Whoops...blush
 
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Henry Rodriguez
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domus_ludorum wrote:
SAGA as system does seem like a perfect fit for Lord of the Rings based skirmishes. The battleboard concept means that effects from magic can be included in the game without having a complete and cumbersome set of rules for magic - there's not a whole lot of battle-magic in LotR anyway so it is a good match.

Intending to have a good look through your stuff tomorrow and will try and give feedback - unfortuately I sold most of my LotR figured a years or so ago before I discovered SAGA so actual play-testing may take a bit longer.


Thank you for taking the time to write. I look forward to your critique.

We share something of a similar trajectory, as I traded out the bulk of my LotR figures during the summer of 2015 (though I did hang on to some figures for each faction for use with small-skirmish play, or perhaps a Mordheim/Frostgrave conversion). But then I was introduced to SAGA earlier this year, my wheels started turning & I created this ruleset. I have acquired (in some cases re-acquired) figures for each faction in order to have 5-6 points of each to play with.
 
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Henry Rodriguez
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Though it has been a bit since my last posting of substance, I have continued working on my LotR Saga conversion. You will find updated files for all factions in my first post.

Noldor v. Isengard Impact

I had intended to post a battle report at the end of February, but after writing 95% of the post along with pictures, this tapatalk webpage collapsed and I lost all of my writing. The BatRep will have to wait some more. From this battle, I made several changes to the Noldor list; here are my findings.

The match was 4pt battle between the Noldor and Isengard. It proved quite balanced. I felt that there were many disappointing features to how the Noldor played. First, the warband, apart from the warlord, was wiped out to an elf. This is partly due to having only two defensive abilities and partly to this being a Hearthguard army. I have removed the added armor rating (which had benefitted mainly against shooting) and replaced it with the melee-only “unnumbered tears” ability for the entire army. To partially compensate, I removed his “wise in war” ability from the warlord. This ability may end up being too strong.

Secondly, I felt that I barely used most of the Saga abilities (though part of this was due to poor Orders rolls and a 4pt game). I felt the two-die requirement for Staggered Ranks was too much, so I eased the cost while weakening its galvanized ability. Wisdom of the Eldar was clarified, and since it is infrequently used, I opted to allow the Noldor player the choice of what to remove. As Wrath of the Eldar costs a ‘6,’ it seemed best to allow the Noldor player the choice of fatiguing a unit, but now with some limits.

Army Lists Generally

In addition to the Noldor list, I tweaked, clarified and spellchecked all the other army lists. Some changes were thematic (e.g. names of abilities) and others were alterations to Saga and unit abilities. I also made some changes to Aragorn's abilities.

I am tempted for thematic reasons to switch, within the Easterling faction, the Khand and Rhun unlimited Saga abilities. I will not do so until I get a few games in with these factions.

Armory

I also gathered all of the "Armory" entries into one separate file thereby consolidating all of the weapon & mount rules.

Saga Dice

I spent much time searching for LotR symbols to use for the different facing of custom Saga dice for each faction. I drew heavily on Fantasy Flight Games set symbols for their LotR LCG. You will find two files presenting each factions' symbols by rarity, as well as a printable file for the correct quantity of each symbol needed. You will note that in the update army lists I only use these symbols for the battle board abilities.

Lastly, I suggest printing these on sticker paper and applying them to blank dice (probably with a gloss sealer spray).

New Factions

I could not get past the fact that some of the factions did not properly reflect all the ways that faction might organize a military "expedition." Thus was born the sub-faction ruleset (based on how Aetius & Arthur repurposed Viking-era factions to the End-of-Rome-era). So you will find these three new factions:

Dol Amroth (uses Gondor board)

I imagine this principality being charged with protecting Gondor's southern frontier, such as Harondor. No access to ballista is replaced with more versatile weapon options for the units. You will also find stats for Imrahil.

Dol Guldur (uses Mordor board)

Mordor should have access to warg-mounted orcs, and this seemed to be the best place to put it. I also could not help myself but create convoluted rules for giant spiders.

Raiding Orcs (uses Misty Mtn. Orc board)

The mountain orc list represented, in my mind, the orcs fighting in their mountain warrens or nearby foothills. But I wanted a list that would better reflect what we see Bolg lead in the Battle of Five Armies. The raiding orc list was born. Gone are trolls and in are wargs (and Bolg too, his abilities may be too weak)!

I did want to create one additional Free Peoples sub-faction, but I simply could not come up with one. I nearly did a Woodmen list (with a special Beorning unit), but I am not sure that the Mark (or perhaps Nandor) battle board is appropriate for this foot-bound faction.

Saga 2.0

Be aware that I am working on converting all of this for the new 2.0 rules.

I look forward to everyone's comments on these changes / additions.
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Gordon Watson
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Hi - I'm still intending to have a look over this but a few things have got in the way - including Saga upgrading to 2.0 which meant I wasn't sure about wanting to be playing two versions of the same system.
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Henry Rodriguez
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Well, I will be having these army lists transitioned over to 2.0 in the next 2-3 weeks I think.

Then, I have to figure out how I am going to structure the basic Saga rules for LotR. I like some of the 2.0 changes, but not all. So I will be making a 1.5 "ruleset" for LotR, requiring another transitioning of the army lists.
 
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jj solignac
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Hello and congratulations for your work on LOTR SAGA version. It is a tremendous idea. We are a lot having GW LOTR minis hidden and waiting in a plastic box. I thank you very much and cannot wait your 1.5 ruleset.
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Bruce McBain
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Excellent work!LOTR is a very inspirational setting for people to get their GW, among other, miniatures on the table. If your 2.0 battle boards are at playable please let the community have a try at a few. We’re ready to fight-test your ideas and churn out feedback! Thanks a lot!
 
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