Here in Atlanta, Georgia, there are twelve of us who are playing in a Frostgrave campaign. Frostgrave is a skirmish wargame—low cost of entry (Core Rulebook is only $16 on Amazon), only 10 miniatures needed, a couple of D20 dice, and you’re ready to play. The game takes place in the lost (and frozen) city of Felstad… aka Frostgrave. Players create a warband consisting of a Wizard, an Apprentice, and eight Soldiers. You take your warband into the city to recover treasure, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. You’ll be going up against another opponent who also wants that treasure, plus there are random monsters, traps, and all sorts of surprises. There are 10 scenarios in the Core Rulebook… and our group is playing one scenario per month. Most of us are busy, so the only real rule is to get a game in once a month. Below is an account of the second scenario (of ten) in the campaign.
For more information on Frostgrave, I’ll include some additional links at the end of this battle report. I won’t go deep into the rules of Frostgrave, but you can get a basic explanation in the 1st Battle Report (link below).
The Silent Tower
The third scenario is played on a 3′ x 3′ area of terrain. There are no specifics about what scatter terrain should be added other than a requirement for a 10″ tall tower in the center that has two smaller towers, one on its left and one on its right. My opponent, Kevin, and I used a bunch of my 4″ x 4″ foam blocks to create a 3D patch of the frozen city that provided a good mix of hiding places and perches.
Before the scenario started, each of us placed two normal treasures on the map. The rules require these treasure to be no closer than 9″ from a player’s side of the field. This does mean it’s not hard to rush in and grab a treasure or two and sneak it off the board… unless your opponent (me) has the Telekinesis spell and can move treasures in his direction… heh heh. A single special treasure (worth THREE rolls on a treasure table versus one for normal treasures) goes at the top of the tower, with the tower and its two small neighbors resting in a null-magic field. No spells can be cast when in contact with it… magic items don’t work, and spells can’t be cast at anyone standing or touching the towers. A bonus 50XP is awarded to any wizard that stands on top of one of the towers, but you’re putting your wizard in serious jeopardy if you do as he/she can no longer cast spells, their main offensive capability.
Once the treasures were placed, we placed our warbands. Kevin is playing an Illusionist, and he brought his eight soldier and wizard and apprentice to the table. I was a bit ahead in manpower because one of my early game purchases (after Scenario 1) was the Inn which allowed me to add one additional warband member PLUS the kennel which allowed me to add a warhound. So… 12 members strong to Kevin’s 10.
Both of us figured out quickly that it was best to rush in and try to get two normal treasures each, but I used Telekinesis to move one of the treasures on Kevin’s side of the field closer to my side. My apprentice failed the same spell cast, so I was only able to move the treasure 6″ in my direction… not enough to keep Kevin from swarming it with three different soldiers protected by his apprentice. I fired an arrow at his apprentice, a real long-shot, but hit! I did 9 points of damage against his 10hp apprentice. BOOM! Almost taken out of the game. I had a crossbowman go far to the right to try and flank some of Kevin’s soldiers, but he rolled a 20 (auto-hit) and with his +2 Fire bonus, it was enough to break the AC 10 and deal 12 points of damage to my 11HP crossbowman. Out of the game (but not necessarily dead… that comes after the game when you roll for true fate for all soldiers and spellcasters knocked out of the game).
My one sneaky tactic is here—last game, I purchased a Ring of Teleportation, intending to give it to my wizard as a fast way to escape an ambush. But, the night before this game, I was examining the rules and realized that there was nothing preventing a warband member from teleporting ABOVE the tower and falling down onto it… the only real issue was fall damage. To get close enough to make the teleport would require an extreme angle, putting the person wearing the ring at risk of appearing 4″ or higher above the tower which would inflict major damage. The range on the ring is 8″ so it occurred to me that a Barbarian (I have 2) with its 14HP could probably survive the drop. I used the one free slot my Barbarian had to give it the ring and got the Barbarian in position and teleported up. Using the ruler, I realized he would only be 3″ above the tower, not enough to generate damage. Down he dropped and on his next turn he picked up the treasure and dropped it… on my side, of course. I had a warhound (my fastest soldier) at the base of the tower, but that was a bad decision… warhounds cannot carry treasure. It sat there for a round before I could get my apprentice to use Telekinesis successfully to move it away from the tower. At this point, Kevin had three soldiers all within about 8 inches of this special treasure, but I had placed a fog to block their view. He could have chosen to run through the fog and engage my soldiers but decided against it… thankfully.
Kevin didn’t lose any of his soldiers when the game ended (all five treasures carried off the field), but I had lost the crossbowman to one of his archers AND I lost an archer to an Ice Spider that randomly appeared. (Random creatures appear on a roll of 16-20 after a treasure is touched. I picked up a treasure, rolled a 16, so it was my unlucky roll that spawned the spider that killed the archer. Argh.)
End of Game Result Rolls
Jim: Fortunately, with the special treasure, I had FOUR treasure rolls to make and Kevin, THREE. (I originally had the special treasure and two normal treasures, but I gave Kevin one of the normals because it was such a fun game and I didn’t think it was fair for me to have FIVE rolls to his two.
XP: The max XP you can earn in a game is 300XP. This was a FAST game, with very few spells cast (10XP for success, 5XP for failure)—only 5 spells cast successfully and 3 failed = 65XP. With the three treasures (each 50XP), that only gave me 215XP. Fortunately I have an OUT OF GAME spell that can be cast called Absorb Knowledge that awards 50XP on success. I made that roll (all OUT OF GAME and treasure rolls are made in front of your opponent) so I was up to 265XP. Not 300XP. It takes 100XP to go up a level, so I only gained two levels this game. For each level, you can choose some upgrades such as lower the cost (by 1) to cast a spell, learn a new spell, or raise a stat. I chose to raise my wizards HP by 1 and reduce the cost of a spell by 1.
End of Game Treasure: At the end of each game, players roll on some random charts to find their treasures. For my four treasure rolls, I found the following:
- 450 gold
- 60 gold + magic item
- 20 gold + magic item
- 40 gold + magic item
My rolls awarded me a large amount of gold and three magic items—WOO HOO. Again, rolling on the treasure charts in front of Kevin, I really had some great rolls… Gloves of Casting, Robes of Arrow Turning, and Ring of Will. I sold the Ring of Will (at half price or 150 gold) and I also rolled another OUT OF GAME roll to create a Grimoire (successfully) that gave me another 250 gold. I ended up with 995 gold… and haven’t yet decided what to spend it on, although I’m leaning towards a magic weapon for a barbarian AND an upgrade to my base.
My wizard is now Level 8 (up from 6) and his warband is 10 strong—I have 1 Apprentice, 2 Barbarians, 3 Archers, 1 Crossbowman, 1 Thug, 1 Thief, and a Warhound. I need to replace the dead Crossbowman as I have room for one additional soldier.
Next month’s scenario: The Library
Six treasures are placed (3 by each player) around the game field that consists of a large library surrounded by four walls. Each wall has a single door, and warbands can exit any door except for their opponent’s starting door. The bookshelves are supposed to create a maze-like layout that will force close combat and reduce line of sight and spellcasting at distances. Should be fun!
Introducing My Kids to Frostgrave: https://geekdad.com/2017/01/frostgrave-february/
Basic Rules video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrW3P_T41DM
Core Rulebook: https://amzn.to/2CiFhAE