Sunday, 26 May 2019

A Weekend In Frostgrave

Strange doings and fell deeds were afoot this week, as four mighty warbands did battle in the frozen streets of Frostgrave. This was our first proper trying out of the rules, and for simplicity's sake, we didn't take apprentices in our warbands, and all used the same set of spells (the elemental ones, which are all quite straightforward). We also used the same lineup of minions: two archers, two men at arms, and two thugs.

Calm before the snowstorm

First, my own dwarves, commanded by the dubious Gurney Haddock, took on James F's allegedly noble humans. While we were both able to carry some treasure off the board, the game was decided by fierce hand-to-hand fighting in the ruins of an old house.

James F's wizard cunningly created a magical wall to separate my fighters (represented here by a pencil), but my bold man at arms (technically, dwarf at arms) scrambled over the top. My forces won thanks to some very lucky rolling on my part, and made off with most of the loot.

Spellcasting -  P.E.N.C.I.L!

Meanwhile, a more sinister battle was taking place in the ruins of St James' cathedral. A powerful vampire and her entourage of lurching revenants advanced on the basilica, aiming to loot precious treasures from the cathedral grounds.

The skeletons go to church

However, Chris' pale spectres rose up to oppose them, and the game turned into a ferocious brawl in the middle of the board. The skeletons put up a good fight against the ghostly horde, but the odds were against them. Despite a very impressive performance from two skeleton archers, James P's skeletons lost and Chris' ghosts kept the field. A victory for the undead, and a defeat for the, er, undead.

Deadeye Dave, skeleton marksman, covers the advance

Everyone agreed that the rules for Frostgrave are slick and do a good job of representing the events on the table. The system creates a lot of interesting tactical situations. Generally, warriors tended to do better than archers, and the rules for ganging up on rival fighters are deadly. The spellcasting was effective, although it's hard to tell how well-balanced all the various schools of magic would be. It may be that successful wizards have to balance being able to dish out damage with being able to help and move their minions.

The need to grab treasure does rather tend to make games turn into a big fight in the middle of the table, but we felt that this wouldn't be a problem with the right terrain placement and perhaps the use of the additional objective cards that Osprey produce. Overall, it's a really good game and hopefully we'll be giving it another go soon.

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