Sunday 30 August 2015

Frostgrave Trials

All aboard the train to Frostgrave!

A lot of the bods at the club signed up for the Nickstarter for Frostgrave and since a few others have picked up the rules as there has definitely been a lot of interest for this set of rules coming out. This is possibly due to Osprey doing their marketing well or just because a new fantasy skirmish rule set was needed. They certainly caught my attention so I picked up a pre-order bundle too. In any event, the rules are pretty much out there now, and generally well received.

I won't go into a full review of the rules here as this has been done plenty of times elsewhere, suffice to say they are a well produced, coherent set of rules which are easy on the eye and read pretty well too, with a slightly 'Old Skool' feel and the artwork very reminiscent of the 3rd Ed Dungeon & Dragons style and layout.

A fair few bods were keen to try the rules in anger so to speak, a we arranged a one off multi-player trial game to get the feel of the rules and see how they played with several people running about.

Playing with four bands/gangs/wizrdly retinue's on the table and starting in opposite corners we had at it.

I'd plumped for an Enchanter, Kev took a Sigilist, Doug was a Witch and John went for a Necromancer. (I think people's choice of Wizard say's a lot about them, sorry John but I think you are going for world domination Mwa-ha-ha-ha!).

The game ran through itself quite easily and we all picked up the rules almost instantly with only a couple of referrals to the rules early on, though we all referred to our wizards spell lists constantly and checked what the spells could (and couldn't) do.

The game itself was interesting enough with each of us skirmishing with both our neighbour's on each side initially but following the early loses and moves, and the change of initiative on each turn (a small thing but makes a huge difference, and one I particularly like) the battle settled down to a largely Sigilist vs Witch and Enchanter vs Necromancer match, though everyone had losses from pretty much everyone by the end.

Sigilist and Witch's troops battle it out, with each others beasts
going for each other's throat (or thorax)
My Enchanter went down pretty early on (ish) and this made quite a difference on my game, and John's Necromancer went down not long after. This loss of your big hitter alters the run of your game and this seems fine given the premise, and looks to limit the effectiveness of the band severely and will affect how things play out in a campaign setting knowing this. Protect your experience gatherer. The only other observation during the game was that the terrain layout needs to be pretty close as our table was obviously too open with lots of Line-of-sight effects, too open a table and you get the sniper-effect too often.

Enchanters gang close on the Nercro's
In the end Doug's Witch claimed the honour of victory but because all had treated the game as a one off, we all had about 75% losses, but all in all the multiplayer experience was a pleasant and relatively trouble free experience. Thumbs up for Frostgrave so far.

Final run as honours even, the Hunter goes for treasure
 as the Barbarian holds off the Necro's
The following week, I had another game of Frostgrave as a one on one game just to keep things fresh and have another taster. Again I fielded an Enchanter and his retinue up against John's Nerc's.

John getting to grips with the Necromancer's spell list had altered his spell choices slightly and had picked up on some interesting uses, particularly the 'Bones of the Earth' spell which immobilizes opponents and prevents them from doing anything until they have fought the bony hand. A spell he put to good use. He had also thought out the strategy of putting his Wizard in a vantage point out of harms way and use him as a sniper, one which the terrain layout happened to favour on the night.

The dice gods were against me that day and I lost my entire retinue, Wizard and all (barring the Apprentice who stoically fought off bony hands all game practically and survived by virtue of not actually getting into action) against managing to only slay the extra Zombie in return. One of my hounds gets his dinner after all.

A fun enough, if rather one sided, game and one which gives another feel for the rules. All good and experience under the belt.

There is likely to be a club multiplayer campaign in the offing, and I look forward to this.


  1. All good other than I was only helping to run the game. It was Doug who was the 4th player.

    1. Doh! So it was, should write these things up quicker. I remember now

  2. It does look like great fun and has certainly captured the imagination of a great many.


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