Friday, 1 January 2016

Frostgrave: Frost Footing

Happy Hogmanay! 

Now we've got the tradition out of the way, let's roll some dice. 

Welcome to 2016's first Woffboot writeup - Frostgrave, not a new system for us, but at least featuring a new player. New systems inbound shortly, though, so stay tuned...

This is General Kasfunatu's first outing in Felstad. He asked me what he'd need, seeing as I was hosting, and I said pen, paper, d20 and luck. Guess which one he brought most of? 

I could only find a couple of d20, my normal dice bag cunningly stored somewhere; but I had one pen and two bits of A4.

That's right, it was paper. 


A new warband for me, after the death of Necromancer 'Gold' Dolgur at the hands unscrupulous Illusionist Slothslayer. 

It's an all-dwarf pack, led by Enchanter Breoght Beardstar. Two trackers for ranged power, three thieves for treasure stealing and an infantryman for point defence. And an apprentice, because you always need someone to look down on. 

Spellwise, I'd taken a mix of buffs, movement and between-game warband boosters. So I can brew potions and create constructs, although I totally failed to do either for the first game. Forgot to pack any alembics, I guess. Grenade is my only ranged attack spell, so the Enchanter has a crossbow to hand just in case.

Kas opted for Chronomancy, as it's not a thing in other systems we've played together.

Old Father Hat with his Apprentice, two Infantrymen, a Thief, a Treasure Hunter and two Archers

Crumble, Fleet Feet and Petrify were all in his arcane arsenal, with various buffs and out-of-game experience boosters - a good mix, like mine.

I'd had a bit of a rough day (lots of flu at our house) and not as much time to prepare. Previous experience has also taught me that very terrain-heavy set ups are quite tough to navigate on Skype, so I decided to crack out some old DnD floorplans. Twisty alleys and plenty of buildings - it felt right, although slightly lacking thematically.

The lack of extra dimension did not diminish, and probably helped with the fixed camera angle; so it worked well remotely. Maybe next time some salt or baking soda needs to be sprinkled over the tiles to give it that crispy underfoot snow.


All the houses were nominated as 4" high, with their sloping roofs providing difficult terrain. The big tower at the top left was 5" high with a flat roof; market stalls and crates provided plenty of cover to help counter the open lines of sight.


Most of the loot went into the narrow alleys along the left hand side, scattered in the streets or up on high. I chucked a couple out in the market square close to my own side, though, willing to risk the chance of getting shot up for easy gains.

Kas went first, breaking his band into two groups. His Chronomancer would accompany an archer, an infantryman and a treasure hunter into the back streets. The apprentice would take everyone else down the middle, hoping to drive me off or at least snipe me away from the treasure chests.

I went for a long thin line - my Enchanter with two trackers started up on the alley roofs, hoping to nab a chest there and then sit and snipe the opposition. The Apprentice took a thief and the infantryman down the middle against the enemy student, and I stuck two thieves off by themselves to loot the market square.

Enchanter's team has red circles, Chronomancer's has green. Treasure counters in yellow.

The Game

The Chronomancer won initiative almost every phase of every turn, just to give you a heads-up on how much luck Kas brought with him. His teams pelted into the cover of the Thieves' Quarter, grabbing what treasure lay nearest.

My Wizard slithered over the tiles with his trackers, staying hidden for the time being, as he cast Strength on himself. His apprentice advanced, hid behind a cart and gave himself a hernia trying to cast Grenade, while his opposite number managed to cast Forget Spell on him - no Healing for this match! After all that, the two outlying thieves did what they do best and nicked stuff.

End of Turn 1
Thieves in the stalls. Where's the guard when you need it?

After that, it all went south very fast for me. As the Chronomancer and his team dashed for the loot in the middle of the alleys (the Chronomancer very valiantly using both his minions as cover), I managed a perfectly lobbed Grenade spell from my rickety vantage point on the walkways above. It hurt nobody. And neither Tracker managed to hit anything either, which didn't help.

Nearby, my Apprentice got twin sniped by a Bone Dart and a bowman - apparently, the rotting apples on the cart didn't provide the cover he was hoping for, and he was out of the game.

End of Turn 2

We all had treasure chests heading for the baseline now. One of the Chronomancer's infantrymen had climbed onto the roofs to try and chase my sniping team away. The Chronomancer very neatly crumbled the ledge under the green-cloaked Tracker shown above, and we ruled that this meant my Enchanter might take a tumble too - the plank he was standing on was being held up by that wall, after all.

The Tracker was fine, but of course the Enchanter wasn't. As he tried to pick cobblestones out of his teeth post-plummet, the Archer nailed him with a shot and my magic was over for the game!

Elsewhere, as I dragged market plunder homewards, the lone infantryman in the middle charged into combat. He only just made it in, though, and before he could stab anyone the enemy apprentice Petrified him. Before he recovered, the archer he was chasing after walked off, keeping well out of the way as he shot arrows at his would-be killer from afar.

Get back here, you snipey varmint!

The Chronomancer cheerfully snuck about in alleys after that. He repeated his floor-crumbling trick to deal with a second Tracker in exactly the same way as the first - toppling him into the streets where the archer finished them off.

As his apprentice stalked the market, the thieves both managed to leg it with their haul. I was already suspecting this might be a futile effort, though - with the Wizard down, it might be rather a moot point how much gold I snaffled.

Finally, as the Chronomancer's own team started dragging back their loot, my remaining Tracker ditched his chest in the face of the advancing Infantryman. The tiles under his feet proved as crumbly as elsewhere, though, and he made a final undignified exit from ground level. If only the buildings were thatched - much easier to walk on, and better insulation against all the cold.

With this dropping of crate and turning tail, and the petrifaction of the other infantryman: it did mean we did not see any actual melee combat. So looking forward to an actual scrap in the next one. Maybe I should hire someone appropriate...


In the event, I finally managed some decent dice rolls after a pretty poor collection throughout the game. Both Enchanter and Apprentice were okay after all, although two of the minions picked up sprains and bruises enough for them to miss the next match. Kas didn't need to make any recovery rolls, I hadn't hurt a single one of his warband!

Lootwise, I nabbed a Grimoire of Forbidding Word (which I learned from the single level I'd made). As a sigilist's spell, it was going to be an outside chance to use it much, but a powerful hex for messing up enemy spells. I'm looking at you, Crumble and Control Mind. Then a clutch of useful scrolls (Curse, Circle of Protection, Miraculous Cure) and enough money to rent a new Barbarian.

After that, I moved into a Laboratory as my base of operations. That first poor showing had left me low on experience, and I was keen for whatever scraps I could get as a bonus for rooting about in the old lab. Later, I'll be wanting to fix it up with boosts for my construct summoning.

The Chronomancer took refuge in the treasury; immediately installing a pigeon coup and hiring himself a marksman and a barbarian from his ill gotten gains. 

In other loot, a magic crossbow, which was given to the newly recruited marksman, and a grimoire of slow (added to the chronomancer's repetoire) and a grimoire of awareness (saved for later). 

Crumble and Fleet feet were my favoured spells in the game, but the chronomancer opted to add some translations to aid future castings of Forget Spell - it had prevented the apprentice from healing after all.

So it could have been worse! And a very fun game - the floorplan really worked well in terms of the layout. I'd love to have the right buildings to do it in 3D, mind you, so I'll either have to get rich and visit 4Ground or get busy with the card and glue...


  1. Actually the unscrupulous Slothslayer is a seer, not an illusionist.

    ... unless that's what he *wants* you to think.