Friday, January 6, 2017

Frostgrave Fightin'

Happy to get in a game of Frostgrave the other day with an old friend and opponent. We decided to kick off a campaign as this was our second ever game. I dusted off some of my homebrew Frostgrave terrain and a GW battlemat and off we went!

Our warbands were very similar, here is mine:

Melvin the Mildly Marvelous and gang.

Battlescribe Screengrab. Double click to expand


Wizard: "Melvin the Mildly Marvelous": (Elementalist.)

Spells: (See image below)
Spell cards. Before you ask, can't remember where I got them...
As the elementalist has the image of a traditional "explosive" damage dealer, I went with Elemental Bolt and Ball, Grenade. I also went with a couple of buffs (Fleet Feet) and debuffs (Slow, forget Spell)
EDIT: A friend has pointed out to me that I have chosen my spells wrongly. You choose 3 spells from your OWN school, three spells from aligned schools (but each of these must come from a different school) and two from any of the five neutral schools, (but again, each of these must come from different schools.) Thanks for the advice, and apologies to my opponent.

Warband: Some heavy hitters (Knight and Infantryman), ranged damage (archers), fast mover (thief) and cannon fodder (thug.)

I've still got to get a more "frosty" battle mat, so the city of Frostgrave was a bit verdant, but here are some photos and highlights.

The Warbands:

First of all, team photos:

Melvin the Marvelous (wizard at right) and Halfnar (the Cack-handed) at left

Da enemies.

The (decidedly unfrosty) City of Frostgrave:

Drone shot: Avenue of Heroes and Wizards Tower at center. Wailing watchtower at right.

The City Graveyard (scratch build treasure chest at top right)

Wizards Tower (with treasure chest)

The Old Stone Circle

Treasure chest (out in the open? revealed by the melted snow) by the Avenue of Heroes

Treasure in the town hall.

Highlights:

With both warbands on the table, I deployed mine into three groups, wanting to head straight up the table for a treasure grab. One treasure chest was right in front of me in the Graveyard, so Melvin, guarded by a couple of the warband, picked his way gingerly among the bones ("Damnit Jim, I'm an elementalist, not a necromancer").

Another group composed of the thug, thief and an archer sneaked off for the town hall - those corrupt politicians would surely keep their ill gotten gains from over taxation and bribery there right?
Melvin makes his way across the Graveyard. Thug and Thief at bottom right.

All that glitters...is not gold! (pill box, and gold tape!)
In these opening moves, Melvin failed to cast "Fleet Feet" on his underling, instead injuring himself. Halfnar the Cack-handed meanwhile DID get the spell off and the knight found himself able to run further than usual. (Although, as we all know, Knights were actually very mobile in their armour.)

Enemy warband makes their move, hiding behind (foam!) walls...

...and swiftly grabbing some nearby treasure.

Across town, the other warband moved up, making careful use of cover. After quickly recovering one chest of loot, their wizard successfully cast "Glow" on Melvin. Now lit up like Tokyo tower, Melvin is a juicy target for ranged attacks. An enemy archer grazes him, but he is then struck in the head by their tracker, and drops to the floor! DAMN!



Before his untimely death, Melvin looses an Elemental Ball spell,
while one archer picks up some treasure at top right.
Perturbed by his mentor collapsing like a sack of non-magical potatoes, Halfnar nonetheless surprises himself (and me), by actually managing to cast Elemental Ball, taking a whopping 13 points off the enemy wizard. Seeing how badly injured the enemy spell caster is, one of my archers takes a pot shot at maximum range, and manages to hit him. The other hauls one set of treasure to safety, and will now trudge back to base
The end of turn 2, and already two wizards have bitten the dust!

With both wizards out for the count, the two apprentices square off. Glow proves to be a devastating spell for my opponent, and he makes good use of it. I probably should have tried to use Forget Spell because of this, but was out of range.

Now into turn 3 and noticing one of the enemy trying to sneak off with some gold, Halfnar aims an Elemental bolt, but fails to complete the enchantment and for his trouble gets hit with an arrow (2 damage).

Halfnar, supporter by the Knight, looses an Elemental Ball

Stepping up to the plate, my second archer wings the enemy apprentice. Meanwhile my thief and thug sneak around the buildings, still heading for the town hall for a bit o' burglary.

The enemy warband proves their mastery of using cover by moving into good positions and continuing to lay down a hail of arrows, one finding its mark in my infantryman, who suffers a minor wound.
The enemy lines up some cover, continuing to loose off arrow shows.

...the enemy tracker moves forward. Aware of his predicament, Halfnar
hides behind the outhouse (Wizard's tower lacks plumbing!)
They make good use of this maneuvering in turn 4. The tracker (surely man of the match?) looses another arrow at Halfnar, hitting him. The apprentice, (foolishly thinking that hiding behind the outhouse would keep him safe) sinks to the floor, ignominy adding to injury by the unpleasant smell of night soil that fills his nostrils before he succumbs (to the arrow injury, not the smell of night soil!)

Not wanting to go down without a fight, the now leaderless warband rallies and sticks to the plan. One of my archers hits the tracker, but doesn't kill him. My thug, thief and infantryman have continued towards the town hall, finally within reach of some treasure. The thug and infantryman now break off towards the enemy warband, hoping to put them under some pressure. On the right flank, the knight, now alone, makes a dash for home with some treasure. (This was a big error from the beginning of the game as I barely made use of him. I should have let an underling go for the treasure and run him into the enemy warband.)


My archer lines up a shot at the enemy tracker - and HITS!
Knight does a runner...

In turn five, the enemy apprentice fails to cast a healing spell on himself, resulting in more blood loss, and my second archer goes down to an enemy arrow, slumping lifeless behind a building. One of his band also gets a second treasure chest to the board edge!

With the tide turned against them, Melvin's band have some tricky choices to make. We have safely gathered two treasures, and the thief is close to a third, but will he make it back to safety? Over the next couple of turns my infantryman and thug decide to run interference, hopefully distracting the enemy as the thief gets his gloved hands on another box of treasure. The infantryman's leather armour doesn't protect him for long though, and he falls.

The thug does a bit better, tying up a few enemy in the center over a couple of rounds of combat. Despite his lowly reputation, he gives a good account of himself before being overcome by sheer weight of numbers.

Thug life...ain't no life.

In an exciting finish, and now totally alone, the thief makes off with his treasure. He runs from cover to cover trying to arrange arrow fire (pesky bowmen!) or magical interference. In turn 8, the thief makes a run from cover towards the solid stone walls of the graveyard. Falling back on an old tactic, the enemy apprentice casts "Glow" in the hope of aiding his archers, but fails! (taking another wound).

Sighting down his arrow, the archer lines up a final shot, lets fly...
...and misses, his arrow ricocheting harmlessly off a graveyard wall!

Behind the old tower...

...to the graveyard wall (notice the combat in the back as the thug runs in!)

...and to safety!

Relieved to have made it to safety, the thief staggers away into the mist towards the warband's lair with his prize, but with many injured, will anyone survive to make a run at the city again?


Post game!

Great fun! Lots of shooting (both mundane and magical) and lots of wounds and excitement to go around. In the final analysis I managed to get 3 sets of treasure out of the city, and he got two. As we decided to make this the first game of a campaign though, we consulted the treasure table. Here is what I ended up with:

Experience points:
-190 points of experience (I got off x4 spells, and 3 treasures)
-130 gold coins
-2 magic scrolls ("Write" and "Create Grimoire")
-1 "Banish" grimoire
-1 magic item ("Fate Stone")

Don't know if that is a good haul or not, but as to the warband itself:
  • Melvin survived (phew!)
  • Halfgar the Cack-handed recovers, but is "Never quite as strong" (so starts every game at -1 health)
  • Archer 1: wounded
  • Archer 2: OK, and hungry to return, and wreak some rewenge.
  • Infantryman: Dead, DEAD, DEAD!
  • Knight: ready for duty.
  • Thief: ready for pilfering.
  • Thug: Really dead.

Lessons

  1. It is super easy to die. Use those buff spells on yourself if you have them.
  2. Archery is really handy. Would it be fun to have a Robin Hood themed "Band of Merry Men"?
  3. If you have debuff, get it in when you can (for example, Forget Spell might have helped by causing his wizard(s) to forget "Glow", which tipped the archery battle in his favor.)
  4. Don't skimp on thinking about your deployment. As with many games, this is one of the most important aspects. I wasted my knight carrying treasure by putting him with the wizard. More careful consideration of who goes where at the outset might have helped me.
Cheers!


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