SAGA is an excellent skirmish game and there have been a few ideas for how to reinterpret it for non Dark Age settings. I thought that the Trojan War was an obvious period so here are two battle-boards. I have composed these out of a re-mix of existing abilities, as that is the approach the Japanese Samurai project took and I think they had the right idea - more likely to be balanced that way.
I have done two boards: Ithaca (a combo of the Welsh and Vikings) and Ilium (Anglo-Danes and Normans). I think the Achaeans as a group are pretty much the Vikings - certainly Achilles and the Myrmidons would be (except that they would have the Norman Dex Ai for Achilles) so I will eventually do one-two more variants of the Viking board for the rest of the invading force, and for the wars amongst themselves before that.
|Achilles sulks in camp.|
|Hector, wife and son.|
I choose to have these equipped in the Classical Hoplite fashion. This is in the familiar style of visual (that I remember from my school age reading) representation of the Iliad – based on pottery from the Classical period. Handily, this fits well with existing 28mm plastic Hoplites (available from two companies, with more planned). However, miniatures do exist that reflect archaeological evidence of the Mycenaeans, in both metals and 1/72 'soft plastic'. Those plastics are very well done.
To start with, Ithaca: home to the clever Odysseus. He brought twelve ships to the battle. Not the largest contingent, but he is notable for being possibly the Atreid's (Agammemnon and family) most respected and trusted ally. In the closing period of the war at Troy, it is Odysseus who has the repect of the Achaean soldiery and is even entrusted to bear the symbol of Agamemnon's kingship when rallying the troops and exhorting them to fight. He was no mere scrawny courtier though - he fought the mighty (and massive!) Telamonian Ajax (Aias) to a draw, in the wrestling at the funeral games for Patroclus.
Your Warlord may exchange his shield for a heavy bow: -1 armour vs shooting and melee and his bow reduces enemy armour by -1. He may also opt to be mounted (in a chariot), which will increase his move to L. Doing so will lower his armour by -1 vs shooting. If he both has a bow AND is mounted on a chariot, his armour will be -1 vs melee and -2 vs shooting.
Greek armies in the the heroic age have two broad groupings: Aristoi (the Warlord and his Hearthguard companions) and freeman warriors. All will be equipped similarly, in the Classical Hoplite fashion. Even a freeman can afford light armour, Hoplon shield and Spear.
Greek armies may also have followers, hangers on and skirmishers recruited from amongst the barbarians, lower social orders and rural folk. These troops cannot stand against a well equiped warrior if caught in melee but are skilled in sling or bow. They do not often appear in heroic tales but had their role to play on the battlefield.
Of course, we need the opponents. So the other battle-board is for Ilium (Troy): This depicts the full combined arms force of that great city, mixing archers, cavalry, and heavy spearmen. The battle-board abilities reflect that. The key limitation of that board is that it lacks the 'heavy hitter' ability from either of the boards (Anglo-Dane and Norman) that it is derived from. That is a conscious decision on my part to make them more of an inter-locked military machine than something that can stack up a king hit. I think they can more than hold their own though.
Your Warlord may choose to be mounted. If mounted, he changes his movement to L but has -1 armour vs shooting.
If not mounted, you Warlord may exchange his shield for a heavy bow. He then has -1 armour vs shooting and melee and his bow reduces enemy armour by one.
Warriors and Hearthguard:
Your Warriors and Hearthguard may be mounted. If mounted, they change their movement to L but have -1 armour vs shooting.
One unit of unmounted warriors may have bows. If so, they have -1 armour vs shooting.
Trojan armies may also have followers, hangers on and skirmishers recruited from amongst the neighbouring peoples, lower social orders and rural folk. These troops cannot stand against a well equiped warrior if caught in melee but are skilled in sling or bow. They do not often appear in heroic tales but had their role to play on the battlefield.
Logical extensions and allies for the Trojan side would be at least the Amazons. I will have to revisit the stories and see what else could be done.
Feedback more than welcome.