Monday 8 February 2016

Frostgrave: The Fountain of Dreams and Sorrows


In the ruined city, there is rumoured to be a magic well that can grant visions to the wizard who drinks from its waters.  Sounds like tosh to me, but that's what they say...

On Saturday, Steve and his son came round to play games.  First up was Frostgrave; since both of my sons wished to take part (yay!) and I didn't have enough treasure markers or figures for a 5-player game, I offered to act as gamesmaster instead.  Here's how it went...

The Forces

Malcolm Firestorm (Elementalist, A.D.).  Motto "Zzzap!  Zzap!  Why doesn't anybody like me?"
Meyneth the Illusionist (J.D.).  Motto: "I will if you will, as long as you're first."
Baryn the Timeless (Chronomancer, A.H.).  Motto: "Can't we all just be friends?"
The Great and Magnificent Peltar (Enchanter, Steve H.).  Motto: "Shoot the bugger!"

The Game

The game started predictably enough, with all 4 warbands advancing towards the centre.  Baryn the Timeless summoned a thick wall of fog to screen his party from the more dangerous, shooty wizards.

While Baryn was busy creating unnatural weather, Meyneth use Telekinesis to pull a treasure away from Baryn's puzzled followers.

Meanwhile, in the opposite corner of the board, 2 apprentices came face to face at short range in the ruins.  Nemo, the goblin, acted first, but his grenade didn't have any effect.  Ellie's retaliatory fireball caught him full in the chest and took the goblin out of action.

Our first wandering monsters (a pair of gaunt, emaciated wolves) appeared on the eastern fringe of the board.  Firestorm took no chances and sent both his barbarian and his demon (yes, he summoned another one!  That's every game so far!) back to deal with them.  As it turned out, the demon wasn't needed; barbarians are very good at killing wolves.

To the north, Baryn and his warband had mostly been milling about and facing off against Meyneth.  However, a new threat now appeared: Firestorm and some of his soldiers approached from the east.  One of Baryn's archers climbed a snowdrift and loosed an arrow at the enemy wizard, but was fried by a bolt of corruscating energy in return.

Meyneth now had problems of her own, though.  Her apprentice (Loki) had tried repeatedly to heal a crossbowman who had been somewhat injured by a goblin arrow.  However, Loki just couldn't get the hang of the spell.  Time after time, the spell backfired and injured the small, cowled figure instead of closing the soldier's wounds.

As if that wasn't bad enough, a pack of giant rats appeared nearby, no doubt attracted by the smell of blood.  In true illusionist style, Meyneth took the form of  a vicious snow leopard.  That should terrify the rodents, right?

2 of the rats were indeed frightened and refused to attack the illusionary leopard despite their gnawing hunger.  However, the other pair were terrified and attacked in a blind panic!  Their furious assault rapidly drove Meyneth to her knees and then out of the fight, before any of her assistants could intervene.  Ouch!

The hirelings rapidly slew the rest of the rats, but when a pair of armoured skeletons appeared on exactly the same spot a turn later, the dispirited bunch decided to dodge around the undead monsters, slink off the table and head for home.

Finally, the over-exposed Firestorm met his end, though from a somewhat unexpected source.  Instead of being taken down by Baryn's numerous warriors, it was Meyneth's solitary archer who delivered the fatal arrow!

In a near-repeat of the last game, Firestorm's heavies assaulted the goblin infantry.  However, the goblins fought back ferociously; the little green meanies swarmed the demon and took it down!

The melee swung to and fro; both sides took further casualties.  Finally, Firestorm's squad was reduced to just a single knight, whilst more of Peltar's goblins kept appearing to join in the fight.

As we approached our self-imposed time limit for this game, a few scuffles were still in progress.  Mostly, however, soldiers from all sides were busy dragging away treasures.

  • Peltar, the goblin wizard, reached the Fountain of Dreams and Sorrows, bent down and took a deep draught.  "Hmm, refreshing" he thought.
  • Meyneth's remaining hirelings backed off slowly, following their compatriots home.
  • Baryn's warband in the north still couldn't decide what to do; they milled around some more.
  • The remains of Firestorm's crew also retreated, apart from the lone knight who was surrounded by angry goblins deep in the ruins...


This was another game much enjoyed by the participants (and me too, as umpire).  All sides seemed to stick very much with the tactics that they had used before: the elementalist strode forth, flinging out blazing bolts of energy, the chronomancer hid behind a wall of fog, the goblin enchanter had more success with archers than with magic and the illusionist messed with people's minds by pushing and pulling stiff about.

Final tally:
  • Firestorm: knocked out of action, but it was only a close shave and he's all right really.  5 treasures.
  • Meyneth: out of action (by rats, no less!), but again, a narrow escape from any real injury.  2 treasures.  Apprentice Nemo hurt himself mightily attempting heal spells.
  • Baryn: 2 treasures.
  • Peltar: drank from the fountain, plus 2 treasures.  Managed only 1 successful spell all game (though his apprentice did recover from his wounds)!


  1. Nice report! Another great scrap in the frozen ruins!

    1. Thanks, Simon. I need more terrain with elevations; that would add some spice to these games :-) .

  2. Nice report and sorry you didnt get to play...

    1. Thanks, HW. I'm quite happy just umpiring, as long as everyone else is enjoying the game.

  3. If you as umpire had as mmuch fun as the prticipants it speals well for the game. Good entertaining aar as usual C6.

    1. Well, all my years umpiring at the local games club stand me in good stead here. I do enjoy it, though that's only possible if the players are having a good time as well.

  4. A challenging game.
    Firestorm has established himself as the powerhouse of the frozen city, and is rightly feared.
    It's interesting to see the other wizards adopting counter-measures to his attack-first tactics.

    There were plenty of fun moments during the game, and plenty to talk about afterwards.

    1. I think that most of the counter measures against Firestorm involve being out of sight, don't they :-) ?

  5. Action aside, the time-limit created some much needed urgency.

    On the basis of this one game,
    it seems an excellent enhancement to the vanilla Frostgrave rules.

    1. I hadn't mentioned it ion the battle report, but we were playing with an experimental limit of 8 turns. I think that it did indeed concentrate minds wonderfully!