Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Frostgrave a three player game


After our little taster last week the fruits of my loins were once more keen to delve into the frozen city for a game of Frostgrave. Sadly my job and regular duties as Dad's Taxi mean that I haven't made much progress on the painting front, though I have managed to just about get two warbands stuck together  to go with the earlier "Arab" one.

I took a Chronomancer and apprentice. She was accompanied by three thugs, an archer a crossbowman an infantryman and a man-at-arms. Oh and a dog.
Son and heir took the Arab lads - a Necromancer and apprentice four thugs, a thief, two archers and a knight.
And smallest boy went with Elementalist and apprentice, four thugs, a thief, two archers and a Templar (he's all about the big destructive weaponry).

 Valerie d'Horlage urges her men on

 Elemental fury 

The evil Necromancer and minions

Some time was spent on working out spells. To be honest the eight that I had were too many for me to keep track of properly, so I've no real idea what the boys ended up with.

I set up the city (note recently purchased grey felt playing surface - 1 square metre from Boyes). Then we placed the nine treasure tokens - which proved tricky to fit in with the rules (they need to be 9 inches from edges and 6 inches from one another).

Then we set off.
I raced forward to grab treasure tokens. Smallest boy pushed ahead, whilst eldest child played cautiously. Both boys were obsessed with casting spells - eldest in particular wanted to summon a zombie. Eventually he did. So his brother shot it.

 My lads fan out

 Quick,grab stuff!

 Hope it fits!

Shoot the guy with the big sword!

I managed to grab three treasure tokens with relative ease, but started taking fire grabbing the fourth one on my right.
My Chronomancer was having a few problems casting spells and wounded herself several times (if you fail to cast by a large amount you take damage).
Similarly my crossbowman failed to hit anything all game.

 Kill them all!

Just before taking two arrows to the face...

Small child had meanwhile worked out the power of the Leap spell and used it to grab three treasures and then whisk the carriers off the board. The spell is a little ambiguous - it says anyone affected may take "no further action" but this seems to mean you can run forward, pick up the treasure and then be whisked 10" away. For a low level spell that makes it very powerful (as son demonstrated) but I'm not sure if the intent is for the subject of the spell to not be able to take any actions at all other than be affected by the spell.

Meanwhile back at the game my infantryman was shot down and I began to withdraw. Another treasure carrying thug took two shots but somehow survived and my apprentice took wounds trying to heal him (clearly I have hired some work-experience Chronomancers).

Grab something!

Eldest child finally realised he wasn't going to get any treasure and began to attack his brother, but the small boy got away with his last treasure and I escaped with my last two bringing the game to a close.

Hand to hand finally breaks out

This was great fun. The wounding rules (now we have them right) are brutal and we were lucky that we only took five casualties in total - all of which made full recoveries in the campaign phase.
Shooting is powerful, and the archer and crossbowman are definitely better points investments that the two 50GC fighty types - at least the way we played.
Remembering the spells and making best use of them is hard - but doubtless (like the wizards themselves) we'll get better with practice.

There were a few head scratching moments - usually around the effects of spells and what that means for other activations in the turn - especially when the rules are quite explicit that the first activation you take has to be movement. But we muddled through.
The author is busy answering questions over on Lead Adventure Forum, so maybe I'll clarify some with him.

These are minor however and we got through with no real problems. The boys both had a great time and are keen to play again.
Eldest boy said at one point "It's a lot more interesting than 40k" - praise indeed from a 12 year old.

Now to crack on with the painting.


  1. Looks great, are we playing this on Thursday?

  2. Hey Tom, thanks for the write up, and thanks for the kind words about the game. 'more interesting than 40K'! High praise indeed.

    One little note to clear up. The rules say that one action has to be movement, it doesn't have to be the first. You can cast a spell and then move. Or shoot and then move.

    Leap is turning out to be one of the more controversial spells. As the rules intended, a figure can move, and then get leaped. I'll have to keep my eye on this, and make sure it isn't too powerful.

    The effectiveness of some spells will vary depending on the size of the board you are playing and how may players you have. By having 3 players, it probably did push the treasure out closer to the starting positions, which made them easier to grab and leap away with.

    Great blog, and I hope to read more stories of adventures in the Frozen City!

    1. Thanks Joe.
      Thanks for the move clarification - that clears up a lot of little questions we had. Must practice my reading skills.:)
      Leap was powerful, but probably more so because we hadn't thought of it beforehand. Next time we'll be prepared so it may balance out. Three players on 1m x 1m did push the treasures out toward the edges (we struggled to find room for all nine).

      If the boys get their way you'll definitely see more games played (and hopefully with painted models)

  3. Another great bat rep. Can't wait to give these rules a try with my boy!

  4. Thanks looks like I need to order a copy of the rules....