Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Frostgrave - first impressions

Thanks to a friend of mine who got a review copy I was able to try the new Osprey game Frostgrave before its release and boy, it is fun!

Frostgrave is a fantasy skirmish game where you lead a wizard and his warband onto a battlefield in search of treasures - only you're not alone, there's a second (or third or more) band of filthy pillagers looming the table as well.

So what do I think after my first game?

  1. The game is fun, there are no dull moments where you need to wait for your opponent - with the system of activations (wizard-wizard, apprentice-apprentice, henchmen-henchmen) you always wait just few minutes at most - just the right amount of time to think through what you want to do next.
  2. The wizard is a lame spell caster at the beginning - you need to be aware of that when selecting the spells and you better choose some easy ones for start - I decided to go with Necromancer and having an offensive spell (Bone Dart on a 8+ roll, gives +5 shoot) made quite a difference - I was able to cast it pretty much every turn, maybe even twice (Apprentice can cast the spells as well). Remember you also get experience from every successfully cast spell! 
  3. The table needs a lot of line of sight blockers - and by lot, I mean A LOT. After all, the setting is a ruined, forgotten city, so you would expect lots of walls, ruins of old abandoned buildings, maybe close to city fight with narrowish streets. This is necessary to mitigate the effect of LOS effects such as that lovely Bone dart spell of mine or the shooting henchmen.
  4. It's not about that one battle - as said earlier, the wizard starts with very limited spell casting abilities and you won't cast a lot of spells (and I'm not even talking about the really cool, difficult spells here) at first. Thus this leads you to play Frostgrave as a campaign. This means you don't need to win it all at first - get some treasures, maybe kill an enemy or two, level up and you'll see how things go the next time you meet your opponent. You roll a die for each treasure you've found to see what was inside - gold, spells or magical items
  5. Henchmen are disposable - use them, let them get killed if necessary, you can always replace them - they are here to help your wizard, so don't get too attached to them!
  6. Random encounters - this being my first game, we played without them, but I would suggest to use them if you have the minis - the way they work, they add a bit of uncertainty to the game - if I pick this treasure will a monster spawn somewhere? It might even spawn on my opponents side!
  7. The rulebook is lovely - lots of great pictures, photos and the book being a hardcover it's pretty sturdy - I'm sure this grimoire will last!
That's pretty much it, I really enjoyed it and can't wait for the game release, so I can start playing.

My wizard

The battlefield from my side of table

1 comment:

  1. I heard people say that Frostgrave is the game that replaced Mordheim.
    I checked out the rules and said "No".
    It is cool. The magic system is neat aND there is a wide variety of spells to choose from. You can also be very creative with your warband. The sky is the limit. I like the d20 mechanics opposed to boring old d6s.
    With all this I was bummed that the experience system did not alow henchmen to gain experience. Mordheim allowed your goons to gain experience. It must be an astetic thing. They are goons after all. It is a great game and probably the only game I would play with 28s.
    I was much more impressed with Broken Legions. It allows your henchmen to gain experience. I would definitely play this with 20mm figures. There are tons of options out there.
    I enjoyed the review and your points about the pros and cons.