Friday, 14 August 2015

Frostgrave - some thoughts, some piccies and a review of sorts

We played our first games of Frostgrave, the new skirmish game from Osprey, last weekend and if I were to sum up the collective view, I suspect it would be something like "all the lolz!"

All the Regimental Magpies (except for Prinny, who is refusing to give in to his magpieness) are using models out of our existing collections - I'm sure you'll see many photos of their respective warbands over the next little while. I've built my first one out of an old Mordheim warband I picked up some years ago - Savage Orcs and Forest Goblins:
It's a wizard 'Arry! My Savage Orc Shaman
Savage Orc Big Bosses - a Treasure Hunter, a Knight and a Barbarian. 
Some Savage Orc Men-at-Arms
Forest Goblin Archers 
Savage Orc Archers - these are my Rangers
Forest Goblins - two Thugs, a Man-at-Arms and a Tracker
Spiders of Unusual Size
I'm also working on a couple of other projects - a Forest Goblin drummer is being turned into an Apothecary and a Savage Orc Boar Boy who'll be going into the warband. The one thing I'm missing is a Forest Goblin shaman to be the apprentice in this warband. Of course finding one from this generation of GW miniatures might be quite challenging but I'll keep my eyes open.

My second warband (yep, have played 2 games. Already working on a second one.) is made up of some old GW High Elves. This warband is also missing a second wizard for an apprentice but as the GW High Elf range hasn't changed stylistically so much over time I should have more luck. I've also got an old Marienburger warband that has been thrown in the paint stripper on the off chance I can pick up a couple of Empire wizards on the quiet somewhere. Just in case, right?

So what do I think of the game? Well, like I said, I'm already working on a second warband (with a third to follow) so I must like it. :) It's certainly a lot of fun. The rules are simple and easy to understand and allow for lots of variations on gameplay. The combats are decisive and as the scenarios revolve around obtaining treasure as much as they do about fighting your opponents warband means that there's always the tactical decision making about which is more important to you as the player. The magic system is fun and having to select a spell list from across the schools of magic means there are literally hundreds of combinations of spells with goodness-knows which interactions might be in the offing.  The game scales really well for multiplayer as well which I have really enjoyed.

Specific things I like:

  • The ability to build a wizard and customise your spell list almost any way you please. It gives you the option to theme your wizard around just about anything you can think of. My Orc shaman is an Elementalist who goes for nuke spells and debuffs, exactly as it should be. My Elven wizard is going to be something quite different. Probably a Sigilist or a Chronomancer with buff spells and things that affect the game board. 
  • The generic soldier list allows the player to use whatever miniatures they have in almost any configuration they want. Brilliant. 
  • The scenarios are great - each has different features with different game effects. Some add an extra goal to the scenario and others add more hazards to the game board. I think having NPCs in a game with some simple rules to guide their behaviour is hilarious. I rather enjoy the idea that both players can cop it from mysteriously appearing wandering monsters.
  • The campaign system - it was what I loved about Mordheim and Necromunda. I like the simplicity of the campaign system too - the upgrades go to the wizard, who in turn upgrades his apprentice. The soldiers don't get better themselves but you can buy better ones over time and get them nice, shiny magical goodness. 
  • The author! I've started frequenting the Frostgrave forum on and he's been hugely available to the community since the release of the game issuing clarifications on some of the rules almost as quickly as people ask them! I understand there's a bit of an errata in the works which is excellent. I appreciate an author who's prepared to support their game rules like that. 
Is there anything I don't like? Not really! There are a couple of things that I'm not sure about if anything:
  • Some of the spells feel a bit out of whack but a part of me thinks that we haven't quite figured all the interactions out yet. Telekinesis and Leap seemed to be the big bug-bears from our first couple of games. 
  • I worry about the possibilities of warbands getting seriously out of control in the campaign - I earned enough gold in my first game to add an apprentice and still had enough gold left over to upgrade all my cheap soldiers to some seriously high end troops. By the end of my second game I was able to buy myself magic items.
I think both of these are resolvable easily enough. The first will come with time and more gameplay and I suspect the second is probably me making more of an issue out of it that it actually is. 

Anyway, if you've not tried it, I can heartily recommend giving it a go. Our last gaming day was the most laughs we've had in ages and I think we're all looking forward to more!



  1. Dude - the Fist of Gork is fantabulous. Those spiders are brilliant. I have already sorted my halflings :)

  2. Those orcs look awesome, loving the older Savage Orc sculpts.

    Magpie, away!!!!!!