While I enjoy SAGA I need to admit Frostgrave has sort of taken over my painting drive. I assembled my SAGA warbands a long while back but actually giving them a coat of paint has been a chore. I’ve really been dragging my feet on them. Love the game but my spark for painting the figures consistently seems to flare up for only a few days and then die down to a smoldering ember for months.
But I’ve managed to get some troops painted up. One big draw for me getting into SAGA was the relatively low model count and cheap options for figures. I decided to pick up a few sets of Saxon Thegns from different manufacturers as I wanted to build both Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Dane warbands. That way I could switch around some of the hearthguard and warlord models, but keep much of the core force of warrior models the same.
I opted for one box of Gripping Beast Saxon Thegns. They are a nice set of plastic figures for a decent price. You get a whopping 44 minis, including a sprue to make a standard bearer, horn blower, and some details like a cloak to deck out one model making it your warlord. For Anglo Saxons a lot of battle board abilities revolve around 10 man units. I’ve puttered around with a few hearthguard but I’m now leaning towards using more warrior units to take advantage of the 10 man abilities. So having a lot of extra figures is welcome.
The plastic figures are well detailed with some nice armament options. You get 5 bodies per sprue with a few extra to make up the command elements. They assemble well and are pretty easy to glue together. Square bases also come with the set including some larger bases for single ranks. I’m using round bases instead but it’s nice to have some included in the box. I’m no expert but the gear and figures seem historically accurate and it’s nice to see a ton of spears in the set also.
I’m slacking on the historical accuracy some though. To keep things clean with WYSIWYG with the warrior units in SAGA, I’m keeping them in mail armor and dropping the shields. This is passable with the figures I’ve got, but I’ll admit the right arms are sculpted to accommodate shields. I decided to base them without shields, saving those for the hearthguard.
Now another manufacturer floating around with nice medieval plastic sets is Wargames Factory. I imagine a lot of folks would like to know how they stack up and could you mix and match them. The pic below is of two Saxon Thegn figures from each company. The one on the left is from Wargames Factory and the one on the right is from Gripping Beast. I think they are very comparable for scale. The Gripping Beast figures seem a little more stocky in the shoulders and arms, but painted up they don’t really stand apart from each other.
Overall if I was pressed to stick with one set over another, I’d go with Gripping Beast figures. The minis have a little more detail. There are some nice small bits that stand out (like necklace crucifixes) with the Gripping Beast Saxons. They really are fine minis for a good price and work great for getting up a core force of rank and file figures for your SAGA warband.