Game Review — Saga

Over the last several years, Kathy and I have made a concerted effort to find and buy a whole passel (maybe a passel and a half) of interesting board games for our family. At Christmas time, I research which games have won awards and (more importantly) are on sale, and then I buy a whole box-load from my favorite online retailer. This year they were all labeled, “To Rudolph”, since they are considered to be presents to the whole family. Joshua chortled whenever another “Rudolph” gift was discovered, as a pattern began to emerge.

Joshua looks smug
A rare moment when I seemed to be winning.

(I’ve written to my favorite game store, asking them to offer a discount for my readers; if they do, I’ll be sure to post the details of the discount and a link to games I recommend.)

The game of Saga
The knights and districts of Saga

Tonight I gathered my two oldest boys and we played a quick game of Saga, in which players compete to capture and retain six kingdom districts. There are only a few simple rules, and it is easy to pick up the basics of the game, but it has unexpected depth in playing strategy. Kingdom districts change hands as the players marshal increasingly large armies of knights, looking ahead three and even four turns to outwit opponents. The game ends when one player manages to get all his knights in play (either attacking or defending), leaving his opponents shaking their heads in consternation.

Knights attacking Castle-land
Several knights and the Castle province

I’ve played the game three times so far, and lost every time — but I really enjoy its deceptive simplicity. Tonight Joshua timed it beautifully, snatching the critical forest-land district from my control as he played his last knight, leaving me with my forces in disarray and an abysmal score. I haven’t been defeated that badly in a game in a long time … it was an exhilarating experience.

Time to Play
Where to Buy
2-4 players
ages 12 and up
40 minutes
Check back later!
Duckabush Summary
This is a fun, easy to play game recommended for players 12 and up (although younger players may enjoy it as well). Since there are several layers of strategy to the game, it is possible for one person to play the game at face value while another player expends great effort trying to predict and thwart enemy strategies. Early on, it may seem that the game will never end, since you take your knights back into your hand whenever one of your provinces is captured by an enemy. Don’t become complacent, though, because the end of the game can really sneak up on you suddenly — it really does only take about 40 minutes to play.

Share or follow

Related posts:

8 thoughts on “Game Review — Saga”

  1. Thanks for the tip. Sounds good. I especially like the sound of 40 minutes, and “only a few simple rules”.

  2. Cool. I love the way your family plays games- and is always ready and willing to try a new one. I think this may very well be helping everyone with strategic thinking!!

    And fun!!

    Love you Edgrens. Aunt Kate

  3. Maybe a retailer will hit you up for testing their games! Earn a little money on the side…your family is a very good judge of what a “great game” is!

    Thanks for the new game idea!

  4. Again, your house always sounds like you are having fun. We love games but usually stay with our tried and true games. We have about 30 or more games but usually play 3 or 4 of them.

  5. Thanks for the review. I am always on the look out for a game that my husband will not find “boring”… This sounds like “he’s try this out” ;) – and looks like he’ll have fun :)

  6. Can you believe we didn’t buy a single new game this year for Christmas? Ds did win a stocking full of games from a local restaurant though and we gave most of them away. All but a Rubik’s cube that dd has wanted. I think we’re gamed out from all the games we ended up with last year – some of which we haven’t even opened to play yet.

Comments are closed.