Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Leveled Out - Frostgrave AAR

I played a few games of Frostgrave last year, but the game didn't gather much traction with the usual crew. Kevyn, however, expressed some interest in playing, and picked up the necessary supplies to play. 

We decided to see how the game worked with a lower level wizard (Kevyn's 1st level Thaumaturge) against a higher level wizard (my 13th level Sigilist). We did use a handicap system, however; Kevyn's wizard and apprentice had a +1 to all their spell casting rolls, one additional treasure to place on the table, and at the end of the game would get experience points equal to 10x the difference in our wizard's levels. 

Kevyn deployed his warband, not realizing that he could get an additional soldier in each spellcaster's activation range.

My own warband set up across the table. We decided, since it was Kevyn's first game, to play a standard game - so six treasure tokens (seven including Kevyn's extra) on the table, and a five turn limit, as we were using the Bad Karma rule amendments.

The Apprentice had half of the warband advance with him - a ranger, thief, thug, and warhound. He successfully cast Fleet Feet on the warhound, increasing its movement to 10".

While my Wizard was backed up by the rest of the group - a treasure hunter, knight, infantryman, marksman, and another thug. The Wizard also successfully cast Awareness, giving my warband a +1 to initiative rolls.

Kevyn's warband started towards the center of the table as well, with his Wizard casting Shield on his Man-at-Arms.

My Wizard threw up a Shield on the Knight, and a scrum began on the left side of the table, as Kevyn's Man-at-Arms and Thug engaged my Knight and Infantryman.

My soldiers were able to grab a momentary advantage as the Infantryman damaged and pushed the Man-at-Arms back. Despite being outnumbered, Kevyn's Thug took out my Infantryman before falling to my Knight.

My Treasure Hunter, meanwhile, grabbed one of the treasure tokens and, using his Ring of Teleportation, quickly made his escape. My two Thugs also did their jobs well and grabbed a treasure token each, scoring me three in total for the game.

Kevyn had the opportunity to get a treasure off the table, but my Warhound took down the soldier carrying it. My thief tried going after the enemy Apprentice, but was stopped by an Infantryman.

Kevyn did manage to get a treasure token off the table. My Wizard and his lined up for a duel.

And two Elemental Bolts later, my Wizard and Apprentice were down and out for the count!

And in the last Soldier phase, Kevyn's Man-at-Arms and my Knight tied on their attack rolls (each scoring 21), and so managed to take each other out at the last moment.

Unfortunately for Kevyn, his casualties saw the death of his Infantryman and Man-at-Arms, both of whom were replaced by Thugs. He did manage to secure a Fate Stone, however.

My own warband saw the Knight get badly wounded, so he'll be out for the next game. I did manage to get some more gold and a variety of scrolls and grimoires, but I spent the levels Fayrlock gained to improve his spells.

Despite the difference in levels, Kevyn enjoyed the game and saw that a high shoot roll for a spell like Elemental Bolt can take out a wizard in one hit, especially if the wizard has taken some hits previously. He expressed his interest in playing some more Frostgrave.

The handicap system we used worked well, and I've decided to add it to my ongoing "rules changes" document.


  1. It's not the casting roll that matters for elemental bolt it's the shoot roll and a critical 20 shot will kill anything.

    In my game last weekend I watched two soldiers get criticaled by bone darts and get wiped straight off the map.

    1. Thanks for catching that! It was the shoot roll in the game - I just goofed when writing the post.

  2. Sounds like a good game! Generally, I would say that the wealth level difference between two warbands is a bigger deal than the level difference of the wizards, but it sounds like you've got a good system working for evening things out!

    1. The rules I use for the after-game actions are based on the Bad Karma rules adjustment, and I eagerly suggest that anyone playing Frostgrave check them out! It limits the actions that the player can take in between game.

      For example, your Wizard could oversee base improvements while your Apprentice recruits soldiers. Or both your spellcasters could visit two of the five different vendors, whose inventory is three randomly generated items.

      It stops the rampant growth that a few lucky dice rolls can generate.