Saturday, August 20, 2016

Frostgrave Friday in Middle Earth

 Finally got an official game lined up to play Frostgrave for the first time at my FLGS (Pegasus Games!). We would both be learning the rule-set to see if we liked it, so I put together two equal-sized warbands for us to choose from (represented by some minis I already had painted -- mostly Lord of the Rings) and we'd pick spells before we started. Having never really played before I just built warbands based on the minis I had opposite-army representatives for from my Mordheim and LotR range.

500 gold coin Warband: Wizard (free), Apprentice (200 gc), 2 Archers (50 gc each), 4 Thugs (20 gc each), Thief (20 gc), Ranger (100 gc)

I chose Soothsayer for Saruman and my opponent chose Elementalist for Gandalf. We picked our spells from the spell cards I printed out real quick, laid out all the terrain, placed treasures, and got started.

Marked where the treasures are in MS Paint, because that's how classy I am.

Both Wizard thug teams moved up to grab the first treasure for an easy snatch. Saruman successfully cast "Beauty." Mostly because he's a coward and didn't want to be attacked (requires attacker to make a Will save to attack Beautified Wizard).

Go get 'em boys! I'm...uh, washing my hair.
Gandalf's thugs moved up but he had to cast "Leap" on one of his guys to get to the top of the tower where the nearest treasure was at (Leap lets you move a mini 10" regardless of whether they're in combat, carrying treasure, etc). By the end, Gandalf would use Leap to obtain two of the six contested treasures, at one point jumping a dude straight out of combat! Leap is a great spell worth taking in Frostgrave, for sure!
LEAP lets your soldiers get where they need to be.
On the Apprentices turn, Saruman's apprentice totally whiffed his roll to cast telekinesis to move a treasure closer to his thugs. As a general rule, Saruman's apprentice never successfully cast a spell without sacrificing health to boost it. He was, all in all, a pretty crummy student of the magical arts.
The Apprentice whiffing his spells from the start.
On the other hand Gandalf's apprentice rocked the spell-casting, laying down a magical wall right off the bat. Allowing his thugs and thiefs into treasure-grabbing position without worrying about Saruman's goblin archers picking them off.
A magical concrete Warhammer 40K barrier forms out of nowhere!
The rangers and remaining soldiers just moved up to get into the scrum. At one point Saruman's apprentice saw that a Rohan thug would be getting an easy treasure, so he sacrificed 6 health (of 10) to successfully cast Telekinesis on it (after three previous turns of whiffing his spellcasting rolls to grab a separate treasure). He moved the treasure 6" through a doorway towards himself right out of the thug's reach, like a jerk.
There, its a little closer. Now to just successfully cast Telekinesis three more times and we'll be in business!
The Rohan thug does not appreciate the Apprentice's Telekinesis ability.
Saruman's thief thought he'd make a break for the treasure on the high precipice, tired of waiting for the apprentice to pull it down to his grasp through Telekinesis.
Thief eyeballing his route to the precariously-balanced d12.
However, some Rohan thugs had the same idea, and climbed up the side just as the thief reached the top. Unfortunately, the thug won the combat and kicked the thief off the ledge, causing 7 points of damage!
Winning  a combat means you can push an opponent back 1 inch. Or in this case, back 1 inch and down 5 inches.
The Goblin archers tried to take down the Aragorn who was skulking around the ruins, but could never get a damaging shot in. One thing about Frostgrave is that shooting attacks really need to have a good boost to do any damage in a table of ruins. The standard +2 shoot of an Archer just isn't going to cut it. Even Saruman couldn't wound anyone with his Bonedarts that grant +5 shoot! (granted he had to roll to successfully cast them first).
Archers and ranged attacks didn't hurt anything the whole game.
The one spell that did a lot of damage was the Destructive sphere by the Elementalist. When cast, it explodes around the Wizard in a 3-inch radius, pushing back every Orc thug that tried to get into combat. Surprisingly effective spell in close-combat! I didn't get any good pics of those fights though.

The rest of the game consisted of pretty much that. Saruman hiding, Gandalf whooping ass, thugs and orcs dragging off treasure, and Apprentices whiffing spells. The Rangers tried to pull treasures for their part, but in both cases got intercepted by thugs and stuck in comba, while the fleeing thug with treasure got away. Such is the plight of the lone wanderers!
In the end, Saruman's forces were only able to retrieve 2 treasures while Gandalf got 4, making he of the Secret Fire the winner!

We rolled for treasure afterward, and got some good stuff:

160gc, 3 potions, Ring of Will +1

270gc, 3 potions, 2 Grimoires, Ring of Protection +1

We were both convinced this game has a lot of promise and will be building new more carefully-selected warbands for our next game! All in all, Frostgrave is a great game!
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