Starting Your Journey in SAGA: A Comprehensive Guide

For enthusiasts ready to delve into the world of historical skirmish gaming, SAGA presents a compelling world. As the official manufacturer and seller of SAGA miniatures we at Gripping Beast offer an extensive selection of figures to help you bring your personalised warbands to life.

Step 1: Understanding the Basics with the Core Rulebook

The journey into SAGA begins with the core rulebook, which details the game's mechanics. It provides the essential rules needed to assemble warbands, manoeuver units, and engage in battle, serving as the foundation for all gameplay. You can acquire your rulebook here. (This one Rulebook covers all SAGA Supplements)

"SAGA is a skirmish game taking place in the heroic ages, whether they are historical, mythological or sprung from the minds of writers. It brings to life the battles between exceptional warriors - Warlords, who defy their enemies on the battlefields at the head of their warband.

This game puts you at the head of one such warband, made of thirty or so figures, and lead by your heroic alter-ego. Each warband is chosen from among the available SAGA factions and has a specific Battle Board and SAGA dice which grant them particular abilities in battle and reinforce their identity.

This book contains SAGA's simple and innovative basic rules. They are easy to learn and illustrated with numerous examples. they apply to all the universes you might explore. These rules are the fruit of years of development and the contributions of a large community that plays SAGA around the globe."

Step 2: Delving into History with Supplement Books

SAGA's gameplay is enriched by a series of supplements, each focusing on a distinct historical (plus one fantasy) period with unique factions and rules. Read more about each faction below.

Age Of Vikings

Covers Europe from the emergence of the Norse kingdoms to the Battle of Hastings which marked the end of the era.

This Universe offers you twelve factions covering all four corners of Europe during this period, each with its own Battle Board, history, legendary units and special rules.

Factions for SAGA: Age of Vikings are: The Anglo-Saxons, The Welsh, The Normans, The Vikings, The Anglo-Danes, The Last Romans (Byzantine), The Norse Gael, The Irish, The Pagan Rus, The Scots, The Carolingians, The Jomsvikings.


Age Of Crusades

Covers the wars of faith fought in the West and the East from the First Crusade to the Mongol invasion of Europe.

This Universe offers you twelve factions from the period covering each arena of battle, each one accompanied by its Battle Board, its legendary units and its special rules.

Factions for SAGA: Age of Crusades are: The Byzantines, The Crusaders, The Ordensstaat, The Moors, The Milites Christi, The Mutatawwi'a, The Pagan Peoples, The Polish, The Eastern Princes, The Saracens, The Spanish, The Mongols.

Age Of Magic

Dragons, sorcerers, and paladins descend upon SAGA's gaming tables in the Age of Magic, a fantasy supplement.

This Universe offers you six factions. Recruit new units like Monsters, Creatures and War Machines, and confront your opponents with the aid of powerful sorceries. 

Factions for SAGA: Age of Magic are: The Great Kingdoms, The Lords of the Wild, The Undead Legions, The Horde, The Otherworld, The Masters of the Underearth.

Age Of Invasions

Covers the era of the Great Invasions that ended in 476 AD when the last Roman emperor was dethroned. Divided between East and West since 395.

This Universe offers you eight factions from a little-known period that has left its marks in our imaginations. Featuring Arthur, Aetius, and Attila.

Factions for SAGA: Age of Invasions are: The Romans, The Huns, The Goths, The Britons, The Saxons, The Picts, The Franks, The Sassanids.

Age Of Hannibal

Covers the three Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage that took place between 264 and 146 BC.

This Universe offers you six factions and this supplement ends with Epic Saga, an entirely new way of playing Saga that allows you to play games with warbands of 12 to 18 points on each side.

Factions for SAGA: Age of Hannibal are: The Carthaginians, Republic of Rome, The Gauls, The Graeculi, The Iberians, The Numidians.

Age Of Alexander

The second supplement to cover Antiquity. It describes the events that forged the Greek world, from the Persian Wars to the chaotic agony of the Successors.

This Universe offers you six factions, all totally compatible with the previously released Age of Hannibal and the soon to come Age of Caesars.

Factions for SAGA: Age of Alexander are: The Greek Cities, The Persians, The Thracians, The Macedonians, The Indians, The Successors.

All of the above supplements come in hardback form and you can acquire yours here.

Before constructing your warband, the choice of faction is a pivotal decision that will define your play style in SAGA. Each faction not only represents a unique segment of history but also brings distinctive strategies and units to the table. Your selection should resonate with your preferred narrative and tactical approach. Will you reenact the cunning manoeuvers of Hannibal, or lead a Viking longship crew to undiscovered shores? Once you've chosen a faction that appeals to your interests and play style, you can move on to the immersive process of building your warband.

Also available: SAGA: Book of Battles

While not necessary for those just starting out, expanding the SAGA, is the Book Of Battles, an invaluable supplement for SAGA players. It is filled with a plethora of new and exciting scenarios, each designed to offer a different challenge and require you to adapt your strategies. (This is for use will ALL SAGA supplements). With this expansion you can:

  • Explore New Scenarios: Discover a variety of battle scenarios that range from historical recreations to fantastical engagements, giving you new ways to test your tactical acumen.
  • Customise Your Games: Tailor your battles with the varied victory conditions, deployment options, and special rules. This book provides a rich toolkit to keep your games fresh and engaging.
  • Enhance Replayability: With so many scenarios, the Book Of Battles greatly increases the replay value of SAGA ensuring that no two games are ever the same.

Adding this book to your collection opens up a new realm of possibilities, ensuring that the SAGA experience continues to evolve and excite with each game you play.

Also available: SAGA: Spell Cards

The Spell Cards are a supplementary tool to quickly reference the wide variety of sorcerous abilities available in SAGA Age of Magic. The rules on these cards can also be found in the book. 


Step 3: Building Your Warband

Once familiar with the rules and the desired historical period, players can build their warbands. On our website options include:

28mm Metal:

  • Custom Warband Creation: Our figure packs come with a variety of options suitable for constructing a custom warband, we also have a Build-Your-Own-Warband feature available.
  • Pre-Made Warband: For convenience, pre-made warbands are available, providing an immediate entry point to SAGA wargaming.

(Note that all our figures arrive unpainted and unassembled)

(Above image is of our Mutatawwi’a Starter Warband For SAGA: Age Of Crusades)

28mm Plastic:


Creating a warband in SAGA is an engaging process that allows you to craft a force that is both historically themed and personalised to your playstyle. Here's a guide to understanding and building your SAGA warband:

Understanding Warband Composition

Every warband in SAGA is composed of several types of units, each with its role on the battlefield:

  • Warlord: Your warband's leader, a singular figure who is the most power unit and often has special abilities.
  • Hearthguard: These are your elite warriors, heavily armed and armored, and typically fewer in number but very effective.
  • Warriors: The backbone of your warband, these units strike a balance between offensive capabilities and numbers.
  • Levy: Often numerous but less skilled, these troops can be used to swarm the enemy or hold strategic points.

Points System

  • Warbands are usually built to a points limit, which defines how large and what types of units you can include. For instance a common game size is 6 points.
  • Each type of unit within your warband costs a certain number of points, typically as follows: 1 point can buy you 4 Hearthguard, 8 Warriors, or 12 Levy. (When buying individual figure packs from our SAGA range, we have already arranged our Hearthguard, Warrior, and Levy packs into packs of 1 point. For special units you will need to consult your book.)

Steps to Build Your Warband

  1. Choose Your Faction: Based on your preferred historical period and playstyle.
  2. Select Your Warlord: Every warband must have one Warlord; this is your chief and the thematic centerpiece of your force.
  3. Allocate Points to Units: Decide how many points you want to allocate to each unit type, ensuring a good balance between quantity and quality of troops.
  4. Special Units and Mercenaries: Some factions can hire mercenaries or have unique units with special abilities. Consider if these can enhance your strategic options.
  5. Warband Theme and Look: Think about the appearance of your warband. This might influence whether you select more Hearthguard or Warriors, for example, based on the miniatures you prefer.
  6. Battle Board Considerations: SAGA uses unique battle boards for each faction, with special abilities that can be activated in-game. Tailor your warband to leverage these abilities, enhancing your tactical approach.

Tips for Composition

  • Balance Is Key: A good mix of units will give you flexibility in both your strategies and in-game responses.
  • Synergy with Battle Board: Choose units that complement the abilities on your faction's battle board.
  • Unit Roles: Understand the role each unit type plays in the game. Use Hearthguard for tough fights, Warriors for flexibility, and Levy for numbers or specialised tasks.

Finalising Your Warband

Once you've chosen your units and understand their roles, you can purchase the appropriate miniatures and start assembling your warband. As the official manufacturers of SAGA figures, we provide a wide range of miniatures that are suitable for each faction and unit type. Here's how you can proceed:

  • Acquire Your Miniatures: You can purchase high-quality SAGA figures directly from us or our many stockists around the world. Our figures come unpainted and unassembled, allowing you to customised their appearance and make each warband truly your own.
  • Painting Your Warband: We also offer a variety of paint supplies specifically curated for our SAGA figures. You can choose historically accurate colours or devise a unique scheme that reflects your vision of the faction.
  • Expect Variation: Please note that the poses of our figures may vary from the photos. This variance ensures that your warband will have a dynamic and realistic look on the battlefield. with each miniature contributing to the overall narrative of your force.

Follow these links to begin building your warband:

  • Build Your Own Warband (This section of our website allows you to easily select each point of troops to build your own Warband)
  • Starter Bundles (This section of our website offers you a 1 click starter bundle with rulebook, supplement, dice, and warband plus freebies all included)
  • Purchase Individual Packs (For the more advanced customer, navigate through our factions and mix and match your own figure packs)
  • Pre-Made Warbands (Simply add the warband of your choice to basket and you're all set for the next stop)

Step 5: Acquiring the Essential SAGA Dice

Your SAGA warband isn't complete without the essential SAGA Dice, specialised for the game and distinct to each faction. These are not just ordinary dice; they are engraved with unique symbols that correspond to the actions and abilities on your faction's battle board. Here's what you need to know:

  • Faction Specific Dice: Each set of SAGA Dice is tailored to a faction, designed with symbols that match the faction's battle board. This makes the gameplay immersive and visually appealing.
  • Game Mechanics: SAGA Dice are rolled at the start of each turn, determining which abilities you can activate on your battle board during that turn. The strategic depth of SAGA often hinges on the management and allocation of these dice.
  • Purchasing Your Dice: Here is a brief dice to faction guide:
SD01 Continental Dice. Use with SAGA: Age of Vikings factions: The Normans, The Carolingians & also SAGA: Age of Crusades factions: The Polish
SD02 Saxon Dice. Use with SAGA: Age of Vikings factions: The Anglo-Danes, The Anglo-Saxons & also SAGA: Age of Invasions factions: The Goths, The Saxons, The Franks
SD03 Runic Dice. Use with SAGA: Age of Vikings factions: The Vikings, The Jomsvikings, The Pagan Rus, The Norse Gaels
SD04 Celtic Dice. Use with SAGA: Age of Vikings factions: The Welsh
SD05 Gaelic Dice. Use with SAGA: Age of Vikings factions: The Scots, The Irish & also SAGA: Age of Invasions factions: The Picts
SD06 Christian Dice. Use with SAGA: Age of Crusades factions: The Crusaders, The Milities Christi, The Spanish
SD07 Muslim Dice. Use with SAGA: Age of Crusades factions: The Mutatawwi'a, The Moors, The Saracens
SD08 Roman Dice. Use with SAGA: Age of Vikings factions: The Last Romans & also SAGA: Age of Invasions factions: The Romans, The Britons & also SAGA: Age of Crusades factions: The Byzantines
SD09 Teutonic Dice. Use with SAGA: Age of Crusades factions: The Ordensstaat
SD10 Eastern Dice. Use with SAGA: Age of Crusades factions: The Pagan Peoples, The Eastern Princes, The Mongols & also SAGA: Age of Invasions factions: The Huns
SD11 Order Dice. Use with SAGA: Age of Magic factions: The Great Kingdoms, The Lords Of The Wild, The Masters Of The Underearth (See also SD13 Magic Dice!)
SD12 Chaos Dice. Use with SAGA: Age of Magic factions: The Undead Legions, The Horde, The Otherworld (See also SD13 Magic Dice!)
SD13 Continental Dice. Use with SAGA: Age of Magic factions: All factions (these dice are required in addition to your factions dice, which will be either Chaos or Order dice.
SD14 Phoenician Dice. Use with SAGA: Age of Hannibal factions: The Carthaginians & also SAGA: Age of Alexander factions: The Persians, The Indians & also SAGA: Age of Invasions factions: The Sassanids
SD15 Ancient Roman Dice. Use with SAGA: Age of Hannibal factions: Republic of Rome
SD16 Barbarian Dice. Use with SAGA: Age of Hannibal factions: Gauls, Iberians, Numidians & also SAGA: Age of Alexander factions: The Thracians 
SD17 Hellenic Dice. Use with SAGA: Age of Hannibal factions: Graeculi & also SAGA: Age of Alexander factions: The Greek Cities, The Macedonians, The Successors

All the above dice images are clickable but you can also find them all in one category here.

Learning To Use Your Dice: While the dice are a key element of the game, their unique symbols and uses are easy to learn. With each game, you'll become more adept at deploying their power on the tabletop. Remember the SAGA Dice are a core part of the game's mechanic and theme, and owning a set is a must for any player. Whether planning your next move or hoping for the right roll to execute a bold strategy, these dice will be at the heart of your SAGA experience.

Step 5: Let The Battles Commence

With the rulebook, supplement, warband, and dice acquired, you're all ready to go! The tabletop awaits, a canvas for the epic tales your warband will weave through strategy and dice. Remember, the true spirit of SAGA lies not just in the pursuit of victory but in the stories of heroism, cunning, and valor that emerge from your clashes. Welcome to SAGA. May your dice rolls be favourable, and your tales worthy of legend. The annals of history await your conquests!


Before you go, why not join the SAGA Community

The SAGA community is active and supports new players through forums, events, and social media. Participation in this community can provide additional resources for learning and enjoyment of the game.

You may find the following links useful:

Gripping Beast Facebook

SAGA The Skirmish Game Facebook

Saga 28mm Ancient and Medieval Skirmish Gaming

SAGA Ironman (events run by Gripping Beast's Rich Keenan)

Onward to the tabletop!