I played my first game of the new SAGA rules, 'The Crescent and the Cross' yesterday, after picking them up at Claymore.
I say new rules because this isn't a supplement - it's a stand alone package. The rules haven't changed much from the original, more a case of clarifications, largely to address daft games playing from the rules lawyers.
So what do you get for your £30? What can only be described as a beautiful hardback rulebook, printed on glossy paper that should stand up to a bit of rough handling. A bit of crusading background and then straight into the rules. Plenty of explanation and worked examples, not to mention the obligatory eye candy.
There are some new weapons to reflect the later period, and a new unit type, priests. They have a range of special rules and can substitute for a warlord. Then there are the army lists for Crusaders, Saracens, Religious orders and their opposite number the Mutatawwja, Spanish, Moors and mercenary Dogs of war. These have their own battle boards with their own special abilities. Finally some scenarios and a QRS.
My test game was Spanish against Moors. Just 4 points a side. The Spanish with two hearthguard knights, warrior Jinetes and some foot. The Moors also had two hearthguard nobles, warrior foot and levy archers. The game played well, and mounted javelins are an interesting unit. As always with SAGA it takes a while to understand how best to use the special abilities, but first impressions are very positive.