Saturday, December 12, 2015

Frostgrave

So I've been thinking about miniature skirmish wargaming a lot, and realized that there's no real reason to get into The Hobbit (or LotR) Strategy Battle Game. Because for that game you're supposed to only use Games Workshop miniatures, and my hearts just not in getting another person addicted to that drug along with me. Plus the game really doesn't play all that smoothly for beginners. Finally everyone's already got a bunch of the Reaper Bones minis (Kickstarters), and they're unlikely to want to start getting into overpriced minis from GW (even if they look rad as hell).

Then I realized while I really do want to start playing a miniature skirmish game like Hobbit or Mordheim (again, GW), I want to play one where people can paint, convert, and use their own Reaper Bones minis from the various Kickstarters we've all been into the last few years. So I went in search of something fantasy, skirmishy, but not GW nor miniature-specific.

Then I found the answer at my Friendly Local Game Store:






Check out the awesome back-of-the-book description:

Amidst the frozen ruins of an ancient city, wizards battle in the hopes of discovering the treasures of a fallen empire. In the fantasy skirmish wargame Frostgrave, each player takes on the role of a wizard from one of ten schools of magic, and builds his band of followers. The wizard's apprentice usually accompanies his master, and more than a dozen other henchman types are available for hire, from lowly thugs to heavily armored knights and stealthy thieves. Wizards can expand their magical knowledge by unlocking ancient secrets and may learn up to 80 different spells.

While individual games of Frostgrave are quick and can easily be played in an hour or two, it is by connecting them into an ongoing campaign that players will find the most enjoyment. The scenarios given in the book are merely the beginning of the limitless adventures that can be found amidst the ruins of the Frozen City.

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I've been reading the rules and so far they look really fun. Everyone's got a Wizard hero (Chronomancer, Necromancer, Enchanter, etc), and you can hire extra mercenaries of various classes (thugs, thieves, wardogs, etc -- whatever minis you got) to go into the accursed city with you to hunt down treasure and Lore, much like Mordheim. But unlike Mordheim, treasure is actually treasure, and not chunks of mutating "Wyrdstone" or some other over-the-top Grim-dark I.P. from Games Workshop.  So you can find gold and magic swords and stuff (it has loads of post-battle random charts to roll on for each 'treasure' you find).

You encounter other Wizard warbands in the ruins (other players) and you fight each-other or monsters that live in the ruins (NPCs). It all looks pretty cool, and seems like a smooth and playable game (and uses d20s instead of d6s! FINALLY a mini game that's not all about rolling 6's). And while the publisher does make miniatures you can use for the game if you don't have any, they specifically suggest that you can use any minis you like (as long as all players use the same scale minis, i.e. usually 28mm minis). With such mini flexibility it allows for Necromancers to raise zombies mid-fight, or Summoners to summon demons, or you to hire circus bears to fight for you. Lots of options. It really looks like the perfect answer to the question: "What the hell am I going to do with all these Reaper Bones minis?"

Now we all have a reason to paint them, AND I have a reason to start building frozen city terrain. So anyone out there interested in painting up a Wizard and some Reaper dudes to go hunt down treasure in the ruins of Frostgrave?

Game on!


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