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Saga Ohio

Saga Ohio

By Michael Demana
This podcast is about the Saga skirmish miniatures game from Studio Tomahawk. It will focus on the games and gamers that play Saga in Ohio in the USA. Saga is a gaming using 28mm miniatures featuring armies from the Viking Age (Vikings, Anglo-Danish, Norse-Gaels, Jomsvikings, Pagan Rus, Anglo-Saxons, Scots, Welsh, Irish, Last Romans, and Carolingians). It has also expanded to cover Age of Crusades (Crusaders, Saracens, Military Orders, Mutatawwi'a, The Spanish, The Moors, Teutonic Knights, Russian Princedoms, Baltic Pagans, Mongols, Later Byzantines and The Poles).
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Saga Ohio, Episode 24
Host Mike Demana welcomes back Saga Ohio player Jim Randall, fresh off of his Adepticon 2022 adventure and the Game Table Adventures 8-Point Tournament. Jim talks about what playing Saga at Adepticon is like. He talks about the fun in meeting all of the other players, how welcoming they all are, and gives plenty of interesting details for people interested in trying out Adepticon next year. Jim took his Byzantine army to the Age of Melee tourney there and went 2-1. He describes his games and opponents. Jim ended up playing the eventual tournament winner in Round 3, so made it all the way to the finals. We then switch gears and talk about both of our experiences in the Game Table Adventures 8-point Saga Tournament held in April 9, 2022. Jim analyzes the differences of commanding an 8-point army and what players should expect if they try that format out. Jim is one of the top Saga players in Central Ohio, and takes his analysis deeper, talking about how he feels he's improved over the last six months. 
April 26, 2022
Saga Ohio, Episode 23
Host Mike Demana welcomes Saga Ohio member Dave Eblin onto the show to talk about their similar starts to Ancient wargaming and his Romans from the Age of Invasions. Dave talks about what sparked his interest in gaming, his passion for Ancient Rome, and modeling it in miniature. Dave compares the "old" Roman board to the newly-released one, and analyzes them in detail. He is quick to point out the challenges of running the Romans and what players using this faction will have to watch out for. He talks about recent games and uses them to illustrate his view on this battle board, particularly managing its unique "Impetus" feature. For pictures of Dave's Romans, be sure to check out Mike's Saga after action reports on his Lead Legionaries blog,
March 29, 2022
Saga Ohio, Episode 22
Host Mike Demana welcomes Saga Ohio player Lee Parker on to talk about his Milites Christi faction. Lee has painted his army as the Knights of St. John, also known as the Hospitallers. He's racked up a couple 2nd place tournament finishes and discusses why he chose the army and his basic strategy. Lee talks about the unique Milites Christi battle board and how he uses it to wrong-foot his opponents. Mike and Lee speculate on ways to use the interesting "Orison" ability on the board to its maximum effectiveness. Lee also provides a rundown of some of his games and talks about armies or units that provide particular challenges to his Hospitallers. Check out Saga Ohio's Facebook page ( or Mike's Lead Legionaries blog for more Saga content:
February 27, 2022
Saga Ohio, Episode 21
Monty Luhmann makes his second appearance on Saga Ohio as my guest. The gentleman of the hobby discusses the Picts with me, a new Age of Invasions faction we are both enjoying playing. We compare our experiences with the army, discussing our builds, what our ideas are on placing terrain, and our basic strategy. Monty and I talk about the advanced Saga abilities on the Pict board we think are top tier, and those that are more situational, and the ones we use less. We analyze the army's strengths and weaknesses, and what armies or troops may give them difficulties. Towards the end, Monty and I talk about how we both enjoy painting and how it is therapeutic part of our life. We discuss upcoming projects and what is going on Saga-wise in our communities. Be sure to check out Monty's Google photos page and its voluminous saga of the armies he's painted: Also check out host Mike Demana's Saga battle reports using his Picts on his Lead Legionaries blog:
January 29, 2022
Saga Ohio, Episode 20
For 2022's first episode host Mike Demana welcomes Chicago-area Saga player Terry Doner. The two discuss the Mongol faction, which Terry has played a number of times and Mike is currently painting up. Terry gives tips on how to build your faction, deploy terrain, and use the mobility of the army. The two discuss the Mongol battle board's advanced Saga abilities in detail, lining up abilities for great 1-2-3 punches, or even how to use up to six abilities for a single knockout blow. Terry explains why he uses an interesting mix of unit sizes and what the role of the bigger and smaller units are in his battle plans. Next, the two discuss Terry's ambitious goal to paint and field every faction in the Saga historical universe and the progress he's making towards it. They also talk about Saga tournaments at various conventions in 2022 and which ones they are planning to attend. To check out Mike's Mongols he's painting up (and accounts of his games), go to his Lead Legionaries blog:
January 01, 2022
Saga Ohio, Episode 19
Host Mike Demana interviews Graham Coates, a British Saga player who runs Graham's Wargame Vault on YouTube. Graham has more than 30 videos of his Saga games with local players on his channel (as well as other games like Sharp's Practice). Graham talks about how he started this project in response to the Covid lockdown, and he and Mike share laughs about his battles with his regular opponent, Wayne. After talking about the various ways he's recorded his episodes, and the pitfalls he's run into, the two branch off to talk about Graham's favorite armies. Graham goes into detail about his personal favorite, the Norse-Gaels. Graham talks about his build, his general strategy, and the two exchange tips for using them to generate loads of attack dice to unleash upon an unsuspecting foe. Graham and Mike then switch topics to Age of Invasions and what armies have caught their eyes. Check out Graham's YouTube channel at:  If you're interested in checking out Mike's own fledgling YouTube channel for his videotaped interviews of veterans, check out the link here:
December 14, 2021
Saga Ohio, Episode 18
After a 3-month layoff, I interview Andrew Bertelsen, who was the winner in our CincyCon 2021 Saga Tournament. Andrew brought his Irish to the Age of Vikings tournament and discusses his preparation, the reason for his build, and how his games went. He gives tips for playing the scenarios used from Book of Battles as well as insight into his tactics on the battlefield. Andrew is an Illinois area Saga player who was turned on to Saga at Adepticons past, and is a regular attendee there. He has been successful at those tournaments as well as our Cincycon tourney, of course. Mike and Andrew go on to discuss their plans for Age of Invasions and what lies ahead for each of them.
November 25, 2021
Saga Ohio, Episode 17
Host Mike Demana welcomes experienced UK Saga Tourney player Mark Birch in this episode which is all about Age of Hannibal. Mark recounts his plans, outcomes, and takeaways from participating in the Northern Tempest Age of Hannibal tournament on July 4, 2021. If you are interested in building an army from Age of Hannibal, THIS is the episode for you! Mark analyzes the Iberian army he took and its strengths and weaknesses against the armies he faced (Gauls, Romans, Carthaginians). In addition, Mike and Mark discuss the other armies in the book, too, and how they stack up against each other. Mark has been playing Saga since version 1 was released, so his analysis is insightful and helpful to both novice and experienced players. Mark then looks ahead to Age of Alexander and gives some of his predictions on what we may see from that release. 
August 21, 2021
Saga Ohio, Episode 16
Host Mike Demana welcomes Andy Lyon, one of the top Saga players in tournaments in the UK and abroad. Andy describes his recent victory in the Northern Tempest Age of Hannibal tournament (July 4, 2021). He gives details about how he took a different approach to playing the Gauls, and shares some of the tricks of the trade for a Gaulish warlord. Andy gives a rundown on each of his battles, picking out key moments that led ot his victories. Mike compares some of what happened in Andy's games to his own recent Saga weekend, taking his Moors to Minneapolis to play with Monty Luhmann's "Saga Storm" group. Mike gets Andy's input on the best way to set up a Saga tournament, soliciting his opinion on the planned setup for the Oct. 2 Advance the Colors Saga tournament. Andy also gives advice to players on how to prepare for and compete in a Saga tournament. Check out Episode 16 for insights from one of the UK's most prolific and successful Saga players!
August 04, 2021
Saga Ohio, Episode 15
Host Mike Demana welcomes his old friend, Saga enthusiast Jason Mirosavich onto the podcast. The two talk about Jason's all-time favorite Saga army, the Scots. Jason gives some historical background of the army, and then talks about his warband's composition. Mike compares his build that he used in his 8-0 run with the Scots (he prefers to call them to Viking-age Picts) jn Saga Ohio games to Jason's army. The two analyze the strengths of the Scot's battle board and each compare the combinations of advanced abilities that they preferred to use against their enemies. Jason talks about what he is painting now, and how he plans to sell some Saga armies (see Jason's gaming blog: He also gives some advice on how he prepares for a Saga tournament, which will hopefully include Jason flying up from South Carolina to Ohio for Cincycon 2021!
July 09, 2021
Saga Ohio, Episode 14
Host Mike Demana welcomes Rodge from the Saga Thorsday video blog. The two talk about how Rodge made the jump to playing Saga about six years ago, and what inspired him to begin recording his blog about the game. Rodge tells listeners a little about his group in Wisconsin and then begins our discussion on his latest army -- the Pagan Peoples from Age of Crusades. Rodge talks about the build he uses (which produce NINE Saga dice!), and the modifications he's done to it after playing his games. The two analyze the battle board and Rodge reveals some of the "tricks" from these Baltic peoples' Santa Claus-sized bag of tricks. He goes into detail which advanced Saga abilities pair best with which others, and how to best do the "teleporting Pagans" stratagem. The two talk more about their upcoming meeting at a Saga game day in Minneapolis-St. Paul, and ponder what lies ahead in the future for the game of Saga. Join us for an hour or so of good Saga discussion and learn from Rodge, one of the masters of the game!
June 25, 2021
Saga Ohio, Episode 13
In this episode host Mike Demana interviews his inspiration for starting the Saga Ohio podcast: Joe Messenger from the Northern Tempest Saga Podcast. Joe and his friends Jim and Chris have recorded more than 30 episodes of their Saga podcast since February of 2017. Joe tells his amazing story about how he got into Saga gaming, and what led he and his friends to start their podcast. The two talk about favorite episodes and how podcasts can help grow the community. Next, Joe talks about his newest army, the Iberians from Age of Hannibal. Joe talks about how he fields his army, its strengths, and explains the tactics behind the Iberian's guerrilla markers. The two analyze which battle board abilities bring out the strengths of the army best. Click to listen to the most recent episodes of Northern Tempest Saga Podcast, find the links on their Facebook page.
June 10, 2021
Saga Ohio, Episode 12
Host Mike Demana welcomes Monty Luhmann from Saga Thorsday as his special guest for this podcast. They talk about Monty's Saga Storm group in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, and some plans Monty has for getting gaming going again in the area and building enthusiasm. Next, Monty details his Baltic Crusaders list, talking listeners through how he sets up and deploys his army. The two talk about terrain selection and what battle board abilities best augment the Baltic version of the Crusader list, and which are less useful. Next, Mike unveils how he would "attack" Monty's army using his Moors faction from Age of Crusades. Monty returns the favor and says how he would try to turn the tables on the Moors and attack Mike's army. He then goes on to give some tips for the Saga Ohio folks on ideas to end the Moors' winning streak in Saga Ohio game days. The two then sketch out plans for Mike to visit the twin cities area for some Saga during his summer off from teaching. Be sure to check out Monty and Rodge on Saga Thorsday ( And for more on Mike's Moors, visit his Lead Legionaries blog:
May 30, 2021
Saga Ohio, Episode 11
The more the merrier! Host Mike Demana welcomes the "Next Generation" -- Jason Stelzer and his cousins, Daniel & Thomas Moehn. All are 29-year-old Saga players introduced to the game through the Saga Ohio group. Mike and the trio discuss their battles against each other from the latest Saga game day at the Guardtower East. Jason goes into depth about the tactics he uses for his Age of Invasions Romans. Thomas talks about the Levantine Crusaders, with much of the conversation revolving around the effectiveness of Fanatic pilgrims. Daniel talks about his forays with the Norse-Irish, recounting what went wrong in his games with Thomas and Jason. All share their excitement about Saga, and their plans for future armies or how they'll possibly change up the compositions of their warbands.
May 11, 2021
Saga Ohio, Episode 10
Springfield, OH, area ancients gamer Bob Boggs joins host Mike Demana for a conversation about a variety of Saga topics. The two discuss Bob's Baltic Crusader army that he has been playing with good success, lately. Bob shares his ideas on army composition and why he chooses Henry the Lion as a legendary leader. He uses his game at the recent Saga game day to discuss tactics and how he uses a mobile army. Naturally, the conversation turns to Bob's first love, Rome and Roman armies. Bob talks about his current painting projects and Mike reveals a new Saga army purchase he's very tempted to pull the trigger on. The two also talk about how much fun they have at Ancient tournaments and getting together with the Saga Ohio community. Bob makes Mike's day when he reveals that he is foregoing participating in Flames or War or Bolt Action in favor of the Saga tournament (sponsored by Gripping Beast) at this October's Advance the Colors convention in Springfield, OH. Listen in on an hour of good Saga conversation in the 10th episode of this podcast.
April 23, 2021
Saga Ohio, Episode 09
Host Mike Demana is joined by long-time friend Mike Stelzer, and the two chat about a variety of topics revolving around Saga. Mr. Stelzer talks about the gaming he's been able to get in during COVID, including with his son and nephews (aka the "Next Generation"). They ponder how the effect of troop types vary widely depending on their army's battle board. They also debate relative balance of each of the "Age" books vs. each other. The two talk about the painting projects they have underway, and some good by historical fiction and Hollywood inspiration. Both Mikes compare Saga to their previous Ancient's fascination, DBA (De Bellis Antiquitatis rules). They discuss similarities and differences and whether Saga tournaments can be the "next" DBA at conventions in their area. Both talk about how they are looking forward to the return of their twice-monthly Saga Ohio game days -- see the group FB page for info:
March 31, 2021
Saga Ohio, Episode 08
Host Mike Demana is joined by two Saga players from the Toledo area, Keith Hammack and Brian Burchett. They talk about their very active group that meets weekly at the Toledo Game Room. They are just starting to get back together again after the COVID lockdown, and give a nice rundown of the armies players field regularly -- including quite a few Age of Hannibal armies. Keith talks in detail about the Carthaginians, analyzing and breaking down their battle board. Brian chimes in with a good conversation about the Gauls, covering their strengths and weaknesses. He also makes a short pitch for the Graeculi board in Age of Hannibal, as well. If you are in the Toledo area, join Brian and Keith for some great Saga gaming. They are on Facebook as "Toledo Historical Miniature Gaming." If you are in Central Ohio or the Dayton area, the Saga Ohio players will begin meeting again in April & May.
March 11, 2021
Saga Ohio, Episode 07
Lots of good Saga conversation in this episode! Host Mike Demana is joined by his guest from Episode 01, Jim Beegan. The two discuss the potency of Jim's Jomsviking army, which he feels is one of the toughest in the game. Mike then introduces his next army, Carolingians, and they discuss tactics he has used in his battles so far and whether his list is too one-dimensional. After analyzing both armies, the pair talk about Jim's amazing pandemic project to create a slew of spring, summer, autumn, and winter boards -- each with its own set of packaged terrain (with all possible options!). Tune in and join in on the Saga goodness! Also see host Mike's Lead Legionaries blog:
February 27, 2021
Saga Ohio, Episode 06
Host Mike Demana welcomes Cincinnati-area Saga veteran Adrian John. The two discuss Adrian's favorite, all-time army: The Normans. They talk about how he fields his Normans and which abilities on the battle board give them the best chance of success. Mike then draws Adrian out on how he approaches a game and formulates his battle plans (of which Adrian is a master). They talk about the things to consider to give a warlord the best chance of prevailing in victory. Adrian shares his opinion on his current project, Graeculi for Age of Hannibal, and the two talk about what they'd like to see next from Studio Tomahawk. For battle reports from Saga Ohio game days, check out Mike's Lead Legionaries blog: Also see our Facebook group:
February 10, 2021
Saga Ohio, Episode 05
Host Mike Demana is joined by Columbus area Tyler Putman. The two talk about Tyler's favorite army -- Irish from Age of Vikings. We discuss the strengths of the faction along with what battle board abilities Tyler uses regularly. They talk about the Irish's strengths and weaknesses. Tyler and Mike also talk painting -- including Tyler's recent air brushing and oil washes. They look ahead to the army he's working on, the Numidians from Age of Hannibal. Finally, they announce two Saga tournaments for 2021: Advance the Colors, Oct. 1-2 in Springfield, OH, and Cincycon 2021 in Cincinnati Oct 23.
January 22, 2021
Saga Ohio, Episode 04
In this episode, host Mike Demana chats with Jim Randall about his Byzantine army from Age of Crusades. Jim gives a historical background of the army in addition to detailing his warband composition. Jim talks about his basic battle plan with the Byzantines, along with how he uses the various forces in the army. Jim and Mike analyze the Byzantine battle board and how to get the most from the army's Advanced Saga abilities. Be sure to also check out the host's Lead Legionaries blog where you will read about the games Jim and other members of Saga Ohio have played: A special thanks and shout out to Joe and Jim on the Northern Tempest Saga podcast, as well as Rodge and Monty on Saga Thorday, for their kind words about this podcast! You guys are my inspiration!
January 10, 2021
Saga Ohio, Episode 03
Columbus area gamer Anthony Burger joins host Mike Demana to talk about his recent Saga game as part of the virtual Yule event. We go into detail about his plans for the Anglo-Danes, analyzing the battle board and how he plans to field his warband. Anthony also gives some historical background to the Anglo-Danes and why he's picking this army to be his main one. We continue the discussion talking about his next project, the Graeculi, from Age of Hannibal. He explains the synergies he envisions with the battle board and his army list, along with where he is planning to purchase the miniatures from.
December 21, 2020
Saga Ohio, Episode 02
Saga Ohio host Mike Demana welcomes Columbus Saga enthusiast Andy Swingle - one of the key players in the formation of our Saga Ohio group. The two talk about how the group came about. They also discuss the current army Andy's playing (Anglo-Saxons) and go in depth analyzing the battle board. They also discuss the optimum build for this army. Andy also talks a bit about his Age of Hannibal army, the Gauls, and the one game he played with them. Feel free to comment on this episode through the Anchor app!
December 07, 2020
Saga Ohio, Episode 01
Saga Ohio host Mike Demana welcomes Dayton area Saga enthusiast Jim Beegan for a chat about the miniatures game from Studio Tomahawk. Jim talks about his favorite armies, and the two analyze both the Viking and Jomsviking boards. They do detailed analysis on Jim's favorite - the Skraelings. Each talks about what's on their painting table, future projects, and upcoming Saga Game Days and a first-ever Saga Ohio tournament.
November 26, 2020