February 15, 2016

First Game of Frostgrave

Last weekend my bother Dennis and I launched our Frostgrave campaign and got in our first game. There are two more players joining soon. Unfortunately neither of us thought to take any photos! It's just as well as the terrain hasn't all been painted and I proxied a few models because all of my warband isn't painted yet - we had a great time and they will all be finished for the next session!

The intrepid warband of Summoner Madcap Toddlekin consisted of his Appretice, Kip, a Barbarian named Ulrich, a Thief known as Raker, a pair of Crossbowmen called Dahar and Jenkin, and four Thugs - Olaf, Sven, Hrothgar, and Knurl. My brother's forces were led by the Elf Thamauturge, Vall Paelias Aeridon. His force consisted of a Captain named Aelyr Pelt, two Rangers, a Tracker, two Archers, and a War Lion (Hound).

Initially I was worried about facing so many bows, but the table had lots of cover and more often than not my forces had the advantage in the dice rolling. By turn three I managed to get two treasures off the board (one with the judicious use of the Leap spell) and the Elves had only just secured one, though they hadn't been able to get it off table. The biggest threat to either of our wizards were themselves between miscasts and expending Health to ensure a critical casting roll was made, however they both managed to survive the game. I successfully summoned a minor demon though it did little more than draw fire. I also managed to use the Telekinesis spell to secure my third treasure.

Not so my Apprentice. Kip was dropped by an arrow from the Elf Tracker - we both rolled natural 20's. We were using the Critical Hit Optional Rule which means the attack hits regardless of the defender's score AND causes double damage. If we were in hand-to-hand, we both would have scored Crits, but there is no Critical Dodge result. Even without the double damage, Kip would have sustained 12 damage so it seemed a moot point.

At one point, I could have captured four treasures, but I got greedy and tried for five. In doing so, the arrows I had been careful to minimize all game finally took their toll, dropping two of my soldiers and my summoned demon in one round. The d20 mechanic can be very swingy like that. Earlier in the game, the Elves had +6 on an attack to my +2 and failed because their die roll came up a '2' to my '12'. My 14 Health Barbarian was laid out by a single arrow while my 10 Health Thug, Olaf, took two arrows and made it off the board with a treasure. In any case, it was time to leg it!

In the end, the game was a literal tie - three treasures each and 250xp for each wizard. I suffered five casualties, including my Apprentice. Sven was slain and Dahar will miss a game recovering from his injuries. Kip suffered the loss of a toe (and 1/2" Move) and from now on she will be know as Kip Nine-Toes. The Elves had a Ranger slain so I guess I came out ahead in the casualty department.

On the other hand, Madcap rose to second level, gained a new spell (Brew Potion), and focused on perfecting the Telekinesis spell (giving him a +1 to cast in future games - that's how much I liked that spell). I also gained a handful of potions and enough gold to replace poor Sven with a crossbow armed Captain named Bornad the Archer and a War Hound called Rudy. Finally Olaf, the Boromir (think Amon Hen) of my warband, was given the moniker 'Olaf the Stout'.

The rules are very simple and after a couple of turns we rarely had to look up anything beyond the spell descriptions, for which we have the handy Spell Cards. Part of me wishes the dice mechanic was something besides a d20. Three d6 would have nearly the same range with a reduction in a bit of the randomness - average die results would mean victory would go to the better fighter or the side that managed to maneuver for tactical advantage. You could still roll badly (speaking from experience as a Warhammer player who has watched handfuls of 1's come up in a single cast).

Anyway, it was a fun game. I think we both left feeling we had gained from the encounter which is good in a campaign system. I am looking forward to my next game and also seeing the wizards and warbands of the other players (a Witch and a Necromancer - the wizards, not the players).

Next time we'll take pics (I'll post pics of the other members of my warband as well in a few days)!

2 comments:

  1. You could try 2d10 or roll 3d20 and take the "middle" score.

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    1. I was just happy to roll something besides a d6. The mechanics can be a little swingy like he mentioned, but for me that is a draw of this system. Any roll in combat has a chance to drop any model on the board. It isn't likely, but it is possible.

      Next time we play a standard game we're going to use the Random Encounters optional rule.

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