Sunday, August 30, 2015

We Return, But to a Frozen City-. Frostgrave.

After roughly 3 months away I hope I am back to gaming and blogging a little more  regularly. Our recent move was substantial and difficult. After a couple months of remodeling the new house, while getting the old place ready for closing, and then moving  (without  movers mind you did it all myself with some family help from my brother in law and his businesses 16ft truck) was a bear.  Add to that, working and having two young kids in a beach town in the middle of summer  in my “spare” time , left me no room for anything else but sleep.  

While I say 3 months its more like 6. Other then  Adepticon and handful of Bolt Action and SAGA games this year has been a total wash for the hobby. While I have Operation Sting ( a now, Bolt Action tournament) which features nearly all my favorite Chicagoland gamer pals  coming up in about  6 weeks,  my Army for that is done minus a few weeknights of touch ups and display work.

Somewhere along the way during late night web surfing, I came along the game Frostgrave Despite my years of big army gaming, I am a skirmish player at heart and a skirmish game this popular using any generic figures seemed right up my alley. A quick Amazon order later I was digging thru the rulebook and realizing this was very easy game to to play. I like the mechanics a lot better than  Songs of Blades and Heroes and with a Mordheim style campaign and interest  from my almost  9 year old daughter in full effect,  we set out to playing a game.

          First of all, we needed a board, something small , as I am probably year away for unpacking and organizing all my Hobby stuff, things like my sprawling Hirst Dungeon seemed to cumbersome for this at the moment, so I saw my built but not painted pile of Osgilath GW  terrain sticking out of a box and said Osgilath?/ Frostgrave!. Perfect.  With some foam insulation, some Hirst left overs I had cast forever ago  and 12 or so free hours over the course of the week - we had our first section of  the Frostgrave city.  

It measures 30”x 27” so slightly large then the recommend 2 x2 for a small game

FROSTGRAVE  Report 1,  Elementalists  Versus Summoners

For our first game, my daughter went  with an Elementalist as that traditional archtype is really all shes knows, and we will call them quote , the good guys.  I wanted to try the Summoner, Specifically a I was of course the “bad guys”

Elementalist Team L-R  Knight, Apprentice, Wizard, Contruct
back row: Infantyman, Crossbowman, Man At Arms, Thief.
Elementalists spells:  Elemental Ball, Bolt and Shield Animate Construct, Fast Act, Heal, Write Scroll and Bind Demon.
Summoner Team L-R: Infantryman, Demonologist, Apprentice, Barbarian
back row: Archer, Infantryman, Infantryman
Summoner Spells : Bind/Summon Demon, Possess, Grenade,  Destructive Sphere, Steal Health and Brew Potion

Note on Spells: first time thru with a campaign in mind we went for a good balance of in/out game spells I had my daughter specifically take Bind Demon as I was a Demonologist and I also had her cast Animate Construct before game so she could add the construct to her  warband.

We place treasure tokens, pick table sides, set up  and Dice off,

Elementalist team in two groups of 4 on Northside of table. Summomer is 3 groups on Southside.
Optional games rules in play:  "wounded"."critical hits"  "creature spawning"


Initiative: Summoner

Wizard Phase:

Summoner: My Demonologist  moves  6  and tries to cast summon demon . I roll a “5”  fail  takes 1 damage from Spell failure
Elementalist:  My Daughters Elementalist uses group activation and moves her wizard, knight, Construct and Thief up to within sight and nearby reach of 2 Treasure tokens. The Thief with his 10.5 double move is just about on the nearest.

Apprentice Phase:

Summoner: I use a  group activation – Moving Demonologist Jr., my Barbarian and Archer  all move 9 inches. My Barbarian touches treasure  nearest token , but  I read the rules on carrying treasure and decide to leave it for now.

Elementalist: Elemental Apprentice   group act  MAA and Infantry move with here  double move. Crossbowman goes to toward ladder to other treasure token

Soldier Phase:
Summoner:  Remaining infantry moves x 2 . 9 inches.
Elementalist: All  previously moved via group activations.

Creature Phase: None.

Turn 2 begins and it gets hot and heavy right away..

Initiative: Elementalist

Wizard Phase:
Elementalist:  Activates by herself  as she wants to cast a spell first  so she cant group activate (Group activate requires movement action or sacrifice of , First.) She casts Elemental Bolt  at my Barbarian who I left totally in the open  Casting roll is a  19 to hit (oof) , it’s a crushing  +8 shooting attack.  She rolls an 16 +8 for 24! defense roll  is a weak 13, I am hit.   the successful 24 roll  versus  my Barbarians  horrible armor of 10 ..means I take  14 points of damage ! and my best fighter  Barbarian is immediately out of action at the start of  round 2.   The Elementalist  drops back under cover of bridge. My daughter says I like this game!

Summoner : Moves 6 casts the spell  Grenade at Knight and Construct who haven’t activated yet.
I rolls a 13! I need a 14 since it’s a spell from a Neutral School ,  I burn 1 health to empower the spell and succeed. "Grenade"  is  +3 shooting attack on both I roll Roll 18 +3 = 21 to hit   Knight rolls 15 +5 (Fight 4 +1 modifier as I moved for 20! He almost escapes but doesn’t.. I wound for 21-13 armor = 8 damage .Construct rolls 18 to defend but F+1 and +1 modifier as I moved for  20 vs 21 again 21-12= 9 damage.. Both almost escape but luck was on ourside Grenade becomes the go to spell of the game for the Summoners.

Apprentice Phase.

Elemental  Apprentice :  Group activation  runs across bridge toward other Treasure Token and hard cover.
Summoner Apprentice:  Group activation himself and Archer. No movement for either considering his nice vantage point with cover. He also casts Grenade at the now wounded  Knight and Construct and rolls a 15!  He needs a 16 due Apprentices being an additional -2 to cast , as they are Apprentices.  He also burns 1 health to empower the spell  to succeed.

Unfortunately as a shooting attack I rolls a "6" +3 for 9 and he  misses both  with higher defense rolls

The Archer then shoots at thief, whose going to get the first treasure toked of the game if not stopped
 I roll the first natural 20- a critical hit  vs Thief  15 defense total . He does stand a chance and goes down hard with 24 damage. 20+2 -10armor = 12 x 2..
We both now have 1 figure Out of action
Soldier Phase:

Elementalist: Knight and construct  retreat back under bridge. Crossbowwomen climbs ladder and reaches a treasure token

Summoner:  My 3 Infantrymen see the advantage and move on the double.. toward the Elemental Apprentice and another Treasure Token.

Creature Phase: None

6 of the Elementalists figures are under cover in this picture. the Elemental Apprentices postion is extremely important considering the epicness happening in the upcoming Turn 3.


Initiative : Elementalist

Wizard Phase:

Elementalist:   Activates by herself  again solo to cast Heal on the Knight rolls 11  Needs a 12 as ita an aligned school . So  burns 1 health to  and Heals the Knight for 5 points. Moves to another covered position under bridge withing range of Treasure Token where Thief fell.

Summoner:    Casts  Summon Demon again with a second attempt  rolls a 15! and then a 12 for a minor demon.. whose is planted 1 inch from him.

Apprentice Phase:

Elemental apprentice: activates.moves up thru cover of doorway and and casts "Elemental ball" at approaching infantry she rolls a lucky 15 on the casting roll and then a super lucky 19 to hit!! (oof again I am getting creamed here ) Elemental Ball is a +5 Shooting attack that hits all three.
My counter rolls defense rolls  are 10,11 and 5.. not even a chance with a 24 attack versus my infantry’s 11 armor all three go down!  Ugh  Brutal

My daughter:  I really like this game!!!!!

Summoner Apprentice:  I call a group activation  again for himself and Archer.  Again with the Grenade Spell  attacking The Elemental Summoner who just blasted my remaining troops to dust. The casting  roll is 19!.. the Shooting  Roll 18 +3  Vs  15+2 for cover as She  has cover versus my shooting 21vs 17  I still hit …21-10= 11 damage The..Elemental Apprentice is down and out of action
Take that I say!.. my daughter frowns.

I am aware we have some hot dice here and the worm is going to turn soon…I am just waiting,

My Archer moves and picks up Treasure token near fallen barbarian..
Creature check I roll a "6"….pass

Soldier Phase:

Elementalist Soldiers:
Crossbowman uses move to pick up treasure token . My daughter rolls a  creature check  of  17!- fail 
creatures spawn. She rolls a couple of Ice Spiders that come in near where her Apprentice fell she's not happy. 
Her  crossbowman takes a shot  at the demon..but misses with a 4..
Knight stays to guard wizard….but the damaged Construct moves  in range to but does not engage demon buying some time ( the construct isnt human some altough its has 3 hits left we dont use the wounded rule on it.
Infantry and MaA move and secure another Treasure token.

Summoner Soldiers…
Minor Demon moves and attacks Construct but the wounded construct wins the fight and does 3 points of damage to the Demon pushing it back

Creature Phase:  Ice spiders move double and engage Elementalist Man at Arms. forcing combat.
There are not activiations left so the turn ends.

My Infantry thinking they where going to get to go this turn before they all got blown to hell courtesy of Elemental Ball.

Demon Summoning is fun, for the moment.

Construct moving up to feed itself  to the Demon, but it won the first buying valuable time for the Elementalist.

Ice Spiders Attack.

Initiative: Elementalist.

Wizard Phase:
Elementalist:  She knows what she needs to do, First act with a clear line of sight is too try to cast  BIND DEMON needs a 14 as its an aligned school and  Rolls a 20!!!. (oh jeez I say)
.Demons Rolls a 15 to resist +4 will to a 19, nope Demon switches sides…Shes much better looking Ok the party is over for  Summoners I think.

Summoner:  looking thru my spells, I see Teleport which seems key right now.   I  need a 14 rolls..and I roll a 14…unlike just about everyother games Wizards in this game can fight well in Melee (Gandalf style) I zap across the board and move into combat with crossbowman whose holding a treasure token.

Apprentice Phase:

Elemental Apprentice: Out of Action
Summoner Apprentice:  moves 6, into across the second story of the near building.  Again we try another Grenade Spell again I need a hail mary 16…I .rolls 14!.. and burn 2 points of burns of health  to succeed.  The Demon and Construct are in Range..   to hits are 14 vs 7 +3 + 1 (11) for the Demon  18 vs  1 +2  (3) on construct
Demon takes 3 damage, The Construct is destroyed..

Soldier Phase:
Elementalist Soldiers:
The Demon moves double to intercept summoner apprentice…move x2
The Crossbowman  is holding a Treasure Token when engaged by summoner wizard in melee so -1 fight  She rolls a 3 versus My Wizards  11  I win but only do 2 damage. 
 13 vs armor 11 = 2 damage… I can push her over ledge but the fall is only 4 inches not enough to kill her and she still has the Treasure Token so I choose remain in combat . Hoping for 1 more round.

Man at Arms vs two Ice Spiders, Infantry man drops Treasure Tokens a and engages one spider making the fight making 2 1 vs 1.combats.
Man at Arms rolls a 19 vs 7 for spider…killing it..
Infantryman rolls a 5 vs spiders 15 takes 4 damage and is wounded by spider venom..
The Knight uses move to climb up the bridge to try to stop the my Wizard from killing the Crossbowman  from stealing the Treasure Token.

Summoner Soldiers:
Archer  Fires Arrow at The Demon ,  misses  and moves half speed toward board edge,,

The Demon decided it like the other Wizard better and switched sides on me..oof/
Turn 5

Initiative: Summoner (really needed that)

Wizard Phase:

Summoner:  My Wizard continues the melee against the Crossbowman rolls a 19 vs 13 or 21 vs 14 wins and 10 points of damage Crossbowman  is Out of Action I .pick up the Treasure Token as my movement..

Elementalist: Calls a group activation with the  Knight,  She moves into base with other Treasure Token (creature check 11..pass) and picks it up…
Knight moves double, 7.5 inches toward my wizard to intercept..

Apprentice Phase:

Summoner apprentice:  When you're hot your hot, I keep pushing my like with "Grenade" and thrown another hail mary at the demon..I roll another 14 and burn 2 more health to make it work.
I'm at 5 hits anymore and I am wounded and only have 1 activation and other penalties.

Shooting Roll is 15 +3 = 18 vs the Demons 17! (17 +0) …He wins barely . 18 versus 11 armor= 7 damage…kills demon!!. He moves toward chest..6 inches..

Soldier Phase:

Summoner Soldiers: Archers…fires shot at Elementalist     hits for 2 damage then
leaves board securing the Treasure Token.
Elemental Soldiers:
Knight moves to engage wizard..not close enough. Both other soldiers kill the remaining spider and pick up the Treasure Token

The multiple Teleport spells to the platform where the chest is and back toward the statue proved key to victory.

Turn 6

Initiative:: Elementalist

Wizard phase:

Elementalist: Casts Elemental Bolt at Summoner Apprentice…fails rolling a 2,… taking 2 damage.. from Spell Failure. as if that a cue moves with Treasure Token toward board edge..

Summoner:  Casts Teleport again rolls a 15…!  Moves to far board edge..see you later Mr. Knight.

Apprentice Phase:

Summoner Apprentice:. picks up Treasure Token  rolls a  Creature check! 17!!  fails and an Armored skeleton appears at the same point the Ice Spiders did…not relevant this late in the game.

Soldier Phase:

Elementalist Soldiers:
All leave the Treasure Token secured..

Summoner Soldiers: All out of play or off board.

Creature Phase: Armored Skeleton moves random direction.

Turn 7

Initiative:  Summoner

Wizard Phase:

Summoner: My Wizard 
Elementalist:  Leaves the board with a Treasure Token secured. 

Game over

Summoner Apprentice only figure on board and has a Treasure Token secured. 
3 to 2 Treasure Tokens in favor of the Summoner
Remaining Treasure Tokens on board go to Victor so treasure is split  4-2 

Campaign Phase:

Summoner.  Two infantry Casualties, One full recovery, Barbarian misses next games, plenty of treasure to buy more soldiers

Elementalist: One Casualty , The Thief, who took an Arrow in the face for 24 damage.
good treasure for just two rolls.

Remaining Campaign actions, Bases, exp upgrades etc to be determined before next game.


Hectic back and forth, hot dice and pure luck pulled it off for the Summoning team. the way the game shook out just didnt give us a deep look at Melee combat or alot of different spells as we kept relying on the same ones. I can see alot of tactical play being required here, especially with the use of cheap troops that we will make sure to take more advantage of moving ahead. Frostgrave is definitely another easy to learn , hard to master type of game, especially against skilled opponents. The D20 add another layer of randomness which I like better than D6 at this point, We look forward to playing again and my other daughter wants to play so we will see As for now Osprey Games -Frostgrave gets two thumbs up!.


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