Frostgrave in 15mm – A 3 Player Brawl

What better thing to do the night before Partizan than stay up late playing Frostgrave! Andy and Jase were staying over and we had a blast with a very entertaining and slightly chaotic 3 player game.

I think we had a Summoner, an Enchanter and a Chronomancer, but I could be wrong. Andy brought some of his recently painted (and very nice) figures, and we set to in a generic grab-the-treasure and generally-screw-the-opposition scenario.

The table:

We played with a few preferred house rules borrowed from the wider Frostgrave player community (such as random encounters occurring on a 14+ when a treasure is first picked up). Somehow this resulted in a very enjoyable series of monsters appearing behind Andy’s warband! It was certainly a baptism of fire in his first game – a Giant Worm, a Bear and several Rats all decided they needed to pick on Andy. Me sending a summoned Greater demon towards him (his Barbarian was getting too close for comfort and, well, it seemed like a fun thing to do), and generally flinging Imps around the table was my contribution to the chaos. Jase concentrated on nicking most of the treasure and dishing out whatever punishment he could whenever he got the chance.

Some in-game pics:

Lots of spells were cast, and nearly as many were mis-cast, causing a lot of injuries to wizards and apprentices. In the end everyone survived with modest casualties and got hold of some loot.

Hopefully we’ll get a chance to have a re-match with these warbands at some point in the future. It was great fun –  we wouldn’t have got to bed so late if we hadn’t spent so much time laughing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Defence of Arnor – A Dragon Rampant mini-campaign

I’ve finally started my Middle Earth campaign, which will be an on-going series of linked games set in the mid-Third Age. The background is the fight for survival of the declining kingdom of Arnor, or rather its one remaining splinter state, Arthedain, against the Witch King of Angmar and his allies.

The idea is to play games of Dragon Rampant (with a few minor scene-setting tweeks), both solo and 2-player. There’s no campaign map or ordering troops around, just battles and minor book-keeping to record who the faction leaders are and how they’re progressing (or not).

The objectives are to have fun and get a bit of immersion in Tolkein’s world. Arnor in the T.A. 1650s offers lots of scope for different forces, alliances and troop types, so I can free-form things in whichever direction I choose to go.

 

Lord Finaroth gallops out to turn back a border incursion by Rhudaurim raiders. Despite his heroic efforts he was slain by an arrow in the second game, giving his enemy some useful victory points.

No orcs or other nasties on the table yet, just men in a classic good vs evil confrontation.

 

Helgmar, a Rhuadar Chieftain, leads his savage hearthguard on a raid. His unit has routed in both the first 2 games, costing him victory points and loss of face, but unlike his initial opponent, at least he’s still alive.

Figures are from various 15mm Dark Ages and Late Roman era armies. I have plenty of fantasy figures to introduce over time, and am working on some Arnor royal troops for when these initial minor border clashes turn into something more serious.

The Chronicle so far:

# Scenario & Location Arnor Angmar
1 ‘Take them head-on’

March Lord aims to stop a Rhudaur incursion on the border

Ruins of Caer Molir watchtower

Lord Finorath (Might 10, Aggressive)

Attacker. +6 Might

Helgmar (Might 10, Energetic)

Defender. +0, Might, routed

2 ‘No Quarter’

Rhudaur chieftain seeks to restore his reputation by killing his adversary

The Weather Hills north of Amon Sul

Lord Finorath (Might 16, Aggressive)

Defender. Slain by an arrow. +1 Hero

Helgmar (Might 10, Energetic)

Attacker. +3 Might, routed. +1 Standard bearer

3

next

‘Ride Now’

With Finorath’s force destroyed, a nearby border patrol is outflanked and attempts to retreat

The Weather Hills north of Amon Sul

Ealdorman Branost (Might 10, Proud) Helgmar (Might 13, Energetic)

 

Bold – won scenario, otherwise drawn

Finally Some Gaming

A recent house move has disrupted projects, painting and gaming plans, but it’s all been worth it. The new games room is mostly sorted, and last weekend Jase and I managed to fit in a couple of co-op games of Rangers of Shadow Deep and a game of Sci-Fi Rampant. Everything was in 15mm.

Rangers scenario 1 – we did pretty well with our shiny new Rangers and their companions, bar the odd guardsman being taken out by a rabid rat.

Sci-Fi Rampant (which is Dragon Rampant played straight from the book, but with a lot of thought going into the representation of the troop types we want to use) was great fun as always. It presents a very different tactical challenge when both sides have a lot of shooty units. It was a close game but on this occasion the force with armour upgrades won the day.

Now I need to get some painting done, as there hasn’t been any since January and there are deadlines looming!

 

 

Rangers of Shadow Deep – First Go

I’ve had some fun today with Joe McCullough’s new game. It uses the Frostgrave mechanisms so it’s been pretty easy picking them up (despite the lack of a QRS or playsheet…!)

I’ve got a lot of 15mm fantasy stuff – scenery and figures, but it’s still been a challenge putting the scenario settings together. Actually it’s a nice departure from the norm, and the scenarios themselves are very varied and challenging.

I created my Ranger, Vantaniri, and recruited a few companions (one each of Rogue, Tracker, Archer, Guardsman, plus Fido the Warhound). The first mission saw the Warhound slaughtered by a giant rat, while the rest of the team kicked evil ass pretty well.

Nasty giant spiders got Fido II in the 2nd scenario, while Vantaniri and the boys torched the spider nests, etc.  Everything was going swimmingly, although the good die rolls couldn’t last forever.

Here he comes, bounding and panting with doggy enthusiasm. Oh dear.

The next mission, which I’ve not yet finished, is proving very tough. Getting past some Gnoll bridge guards involved a combination of sneaking, swimming and getting chopped up pretty badly. Luckily everyone made it through, thanks to the recovery rolls, but we were carrying some residual injuries going into the tower that’s the main mission objective.

There’s time pressure once in the tower, with a turn limit for crossing each of the initial (very large) rooms. Leaving a man down in each of the first 2 rooms, it’s a slightly beat-up team trying to make it through to the end game. Will it be enough?

I’ll be finding out post-turkey 🙂

Critters

I haven’t managed to paint much recently but have tinkered with a few more 15mm fantasy bits and pieces.

I say ’15mm’, but actually these were mostly either 10mm or 28mm, but that’s the beauty of fantasy! I put in a couple of small orders, to Element Games for some Reaper Bones figures, and to Pendraken for some of their fantasy range.

The Bones figures:

Giant rats done:

I’ve also painted the scorpions, along with 3 from Pendraken, which are a good match size-wise. The bat swarms and 3 of the spiders are also Pendraken, all nice figures, and the bigger spider is actually from a 15mm range (Demonworld):

I still have more to do – you can’t have too many nasties in a dungeon crawl can you?

Ruins, Generously Donated

The very kind Count Belisarius sent me these plastic ruins that were surplus to requirements. They’re going to fit in very well with my 15mm Frostgrave setting.

They arrived as assembled kits, in shiny black plastic. I based them on cork tile and added some rubble and patches of plaster to blend them in with my existing scenery. I also covered over a couple of electrical cables, presumably they’re originally designed for W40K or similar.

They then received a matt black undercoat, followed by dark grey, light grey and white dry-brushes. This was very quick to do, so they’re all finished within 48 hours of arriving.

Thanks Andy! 🙂

More 15mm Frostgrave Scenery

I have finished off a few additional bits of scenery for my Frostgrave set-up. The main piece is a larger bridge, and there are some more rubble piles, columns and stone walkways/jetties too. I added a pit as well, as it’s one of the extra scenery pieces you can use with the Ulterior Motives cards.

The bridge was designed by my wife, who’s taken an interest in Frostgrave and played in the first game (2 crossbowmen on the roof, I ask you…!). I did the construction under close supervision, and added optional leg extensions to allow the bridge to also span taller gaps. It was mostly made from styrofoam, but has an arched cobbled roadway using a sheet of Slaters plasticard.

A couple of drinking fountains:

There are some more bits and pieces I want to do, and I’m still finding it fun so they should happen soon!

15mm Frostgrave – First Game

After all that scenery making it seemed logical to give 15mm Frostgrave a go. So, we played a 3 player game on a 3’x3′ table, using the basic treasure-grab scenario. We had a Chronomancer, an Illusionist and a Thaumaturge, each with a reasonably typical starting warband.

There were a good variety of figures in use, including lots of adventurers/characters, but also some Orcs and even the odd Lizardman as thugs and thieves.

The table was put together fairly randomly, but with plenty of raised areas, especially towards the middle to create an interesting setting to game over. We placed 2 treasure as centrally as possible, the players then placed more 2 each, and off we went!

We were using a few light house rules, designed to encourage a broad use of spells, keep the focus on treasure and the mission, and provide a greater likelihood of random monsters appearing. Apart from the last, which still only generated a single bear, they seemed to work well and everyone was prioritising their spells and movement over just lots of shooting and fighting (although there was a fair bit of that too!)

Crossbows on the roof – nasty!

Anti-crossbowman fog spell:

Cat and mouse in the old courtyard:

Creeping up to the treasure:

The surprise bear was dealt with very efficiently:

General action shots:

The Chronomancer tries a last spell before legging it:

The game took a good while to get through, but everyone needed time to learn the rules and get used to things. I think there were more than 15 different spells cast in all, which provided a lot of variety to the action. Playing against two opponents was a lot of fun and made things very unpredictable.

For me the most dramatic moment was when the Chronomancer’s apprentice managed to cast Scatter Shot, with my wizard and half my warband in range. Only a few cuts and scratches were suffered, but it was pretty worrying at the time! My archer was able to remove the risk of it happening again with a well-placed arrow.

At the end, honours were pretty even in terms of treasure and experience points. We’ll certainly be playing again with these warbands and we have a bit of gold to spend in the meantime!

15mm Frostgrave Scenery

So, after a year or so of being convinced that making a my own 28mm Frostgrave scenery was just too daunting (and a future storage challenge too far), I’ve gone ahead and done it in 15mm instead!

In the end this made a lot of sense. I’ve already got a pretty good 15mm fantasy collection, both for conventional wargaming and for my dungeon game. This includes characters, monsters and some minor scenery pieces. Now, after a January styrofoam, cork and card blizzard I have produced a 3×3 ft ruined playground for wizards and their warbands to explore and fight over.

It was a lot more fun to do than I expected and I’m happy with the outcome so far. There are some more pieces to do, and most importantly there are new base boards to make. The ones in these pictures are my old winter boards and I’ll be going for something with cobbles in the future. Hopefully February will see all this finished.

I’ve had a solo test game and the 15mm figures certainly help make the whole set-up seem grander and more imposing than I would have been able to achieve in 28mm. Modelling buildings and ruins in this scale is also a lot more forgiving. I’m a basic level modeller and happy to try for a consistent look rather than finely miniaturised architecture.

Some of this scenery can also be used with my dungeon game, and for future plans for a Dark Ages/Middle Earth hybrid skirmish setting – ruins of Rome, Arnor, etc.

I’ll post more pics as I finish new bits, and hopefully some in-game shots soon.

 

 

Ice Demons – Cos ‘Tis the Season

I’ve had these Demonworld figures for a few years, having bought them on ebay when the range was out of production. Although I prep’d and based them at the time, I’ve only just now painted them. They didn’t take very long, so as always it’s a mystery why I kept putting them off!

I decided that they’d look best in icy colours, and I’ve dry-brushed the bases with white over the top of my usual green/brown.

They’ll be used in my 15mm Dungeon game as big demons, and potentially in 25/28mm Frostgrave as man-sized demons.