Wednesday 30 December 2015

Frostgrave: 3 into 1


I had hoped to be able to play some games over the Christmas break, but I've been laid low with what I suspect is a sinus infection.  Always these excuses, I know...

Anyway, I did manage 1 game of Frostgrave a few days ago with my 2 sons, J. and A.  Here's the tale, for your delectation.

The Forces

A.'s warband, led by Malcolm Firestorm, the Elementalist.  In our last game, he swept me from the field; this time his warband has even more newly-hired soldiers.

My squad, led by Mysterio the Soothsayer.  One of my archers is being nursed back to health this week, but I've hired a barbarian called "Crom" to help fill out the ranks.  Labelled "H." in the following pictures.

Newcomer Meyneth the Illusionist leads J.'s group.  As well as a couple of halberdiers, he has a knight, a sword and dagger-armed treasure hunter, a mysterious, cowled apprentice and a thuggish halfling cook.  Meyneth might look like a beautiful, young woman, but that's the thing about illusionists: you can never be sure that it's not just a facade.

The Game

We decided once again to play the "standard" Frostgrave scenario (look for something different in the next game I play!)  Once the terrain was laid out, we placed what seemed like a great many treasure tokens and then chose our starting positions.  I had the advantage of having cast a Reveal Secret spell before the game so I placed an extra treasure token near my position.

The first turn went predictably enough, with all 3 warbands advancing towards the nearest treasure tokens.  My plan was the same as in the last game we played (here), so Mysterio cast a Wizard Eye on a suitable piece of wall deep in enemy territory.

Oddly, all 3 apprentice wizards fluffed their spell casting in the first turn and were hurt by backfires.

After that, things broke down into a series of small, localised actions.  Here are some of the highlights:

Ellie, A.'s apprentice, got it together and turned one of J.'s soldiers to smoking cinders with a very powerful bolt.
The first ever wandering monster appeared in one of our games of Frostgrave.  It was a weedy giant rat and was promptly splatted by A.'s knight.
A.'s thief ran through the woods to retrieve an isolated treasure token, but was torn apart by a couple of hungry wolves.
Meanwhile, Mysterio tried again and again to cast Blinding Light on A.'s warband, but failed every single time.

The apprentices on all 3 sides were having a mixed time; sometimes spells were cast successfully, but just as often they backfired and injured the caster.

Ellie casts another powerful bolt, badly injuring J.'s halfling thug.

Malcolm Firestorm, A.'s wizard, was having a ball.  He summoned a demon (what, again?  He did this in the last game we played, even though his chances were very low!), then used a scroll to slay one of the wolves.  The other wolf then charged towards him, but was quickly dispatched by an archer.

My apprentice, Little Annie, finally cast Leap successfully and jumped over a stand of trees onto a treasure token.  This was after several turns of failure when she fell flat on her face and hurt herself.  Honestly, she'd have been better just walking there!

2 armoured skeletons appeared right in the middle of my table edge.  OK, new plan: my soldiers will run screaming straight into the middle of A.'s squad.  With luck, the undead monsters will follow me and make mincemeat of his guys.  What could go wrong?

So, A.'s barbarian barely even broke off his fight with my tracker; he destroyed both of the skeletons that attacked him without a second thought.  It turns out that they're not so tough after all...

On the positive side, my barbarian ("Crom") really doesn't like wizards.  With one sweep of his huge, double-bladed axe, he felled the enemy wizard, apparently dead.  You can never be sure with wizards, through.

A.'s archer promptly stuck a dagger in Crom's back and killed him, so it wasn't all good...

Meanwhile, on the far side of the table, J.'s soldiers were trying to make off with various treasures when A.'s knight, demon and halberdier interfered.

Just before he fled off the table, J.'s apprentice cast a successful Push on the demon and slammed it into a wall.  However, A.'s knight promptly charged and slew J.'s treasure-laden soldier anyway, so it didn't really change anything.

Dismayed and outnumbered, J's remaining people fled deeper into the ruins.  They were pursued enthusiastically and Meyneth the Illusionist fell to a halberd stroke.

The treasure hunter stood at bay and braced for the demon's attack.  Cleverly, he sidestepped the foul creature's charge and sunk both his weapons into it, thus sending it back to its own plane of existence.  However, his success was short-lived and he was soon surrounded and cut down by A.'s rampaging minions.  Oh, well.


Once again, A.'s warband concentrated on fighting enemies, whilst J. and I tried to pick up treasure instead.  Once again, our heavily-laden, widely-dispersed soldiers were slaughtered one at a time by A.'s larger, better-equipped group.  Bother!

At least we saw some wandering monsters this time, even if they were relatively ineffective.  I suppose they were a distraction for some people, if nothing else.

Magic is fickle!  My wizard spent the entire game trying to cast spells from behind a nice, safe wall, using his Wizard Eye to see what was happening.  He managed to cast just 1 Blinding Light, which was promptly shrugged off by the target, Ellie Icewater.

The apprentices were amusing, in a ham-fisted sort of way.  Little Annie (my apprentice) repeatedly tried to Leap, but failed catastrophically several times in a row.  She's now going to have to pick grit and leaves from her teeth, since she landed face down in the dirt so often.

Ellie (A.'s apprentice) stalked about the centre of the table summoning bolts of magical energy.  Sometimes these would stick to her and burn her hand before she could let go, but on other occasions the bolts were thrown at enemies with considerable effect.  We even invented a new song for her; it goes something like this: "Let it go, Let it go!  Can't hold it back any more!" and so on...

Malcolm Firestorm (A'.s wizard) thought that a Strength spell would allow him to go toe-to-toe with my barbarian.  How wrong was he!

Final Results:

  • Firestorm's crew: 5 treasures.  Wizard and thief knocked out, but both recover without permanent  injury.
  • Mysterio's squad: 3 treasures.  Barbarian and tracker both KIA.  Expensive losses!
  • Meyneth's band: 2 treasures.  Wizard knocked out, but makes a full recovery.  Tracker wounded; must miss the next game.  Infantryman KIA.


  1. Hope you feel better soon. Nothing worse than feeling all bunged up. Nice report Frostgrave spells certainly seem to have mixed results depending on how kind the dice want to be. Perhaps a new strategy next time?

    1. Thanks, Simon. Several days later and I'm feeling a lot better, if not completely sorted.

      I think there is an issue with Frostgrave: the "winner takes all" victory condition does encourage the biggest party to just try to slaughter everyone else. Will have to think further on this...

  2. Sorry to hear that you've not been feeling too clever, I hope the game helped to lift your spirits.

    1. Thanks, Michael. Yes, the game (and a visit to the GP!) did help me to improve.

  3. A terrific "Frostgrave" BatRep which hopefully suggests you on the mend. Many thanks for posting this if you still feeling a bit ruff as I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially Crom's antics... what a pitiful demise!!

    1. Thanks, Blax. I had high hopes for Crom, but to go down to an archer's dagger is just pitiful for a barbarian!

  4. What a good report. Expensive losses, but bearable if you Captured 3 treasures so you probably got enough gold to fill their losses, but maybe with cheaper warriors. Maybe even enough gold to buy a heal scroll (50gc from memory) which can keep apprentices alive longer!

    Already looking forward to the next AAR. And shrug the infection of as soon as you can. My best wishes.

    1. Thanks, Clint. Yes, I can probably afford to replace my losses, but I'm just treading water in the game, rather than building up a fortune!

      There will be another AAR quite soon, I think :-) .

  5. I think you need to gang up on Firestorm and his gang after this debacle. - Great aar, very entertaiing and some monsters turned up too !
    Hope you're feeling better soon and I hope you and your's have a good 2016.

    1. The trouble with ganging up on the "big guy" is that no-one wants to be first :-) . Perhaps we'll be able to get a tasty monster to do the job for us?

      Thanks. Best wishes for 2016 to you & yours also.