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Made in ca
Martial Arts SAS

 adamsouza wrote:
I used to watch Frostgrave battle reports. It never failed to amaze me how little terrain they used, and how much open space and line of sight it allowed for.

Must not have been watching mine!

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Made in us
Napoleonics Obsesser


Yeah, I do not get why you would play Frostgrave without at least 35% table coverage all the way up to 60% table coverage. Wierd.

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Made in us
Fresh-Faced New User

Sadly, there doesn't seem to be much competition for Frostrage at the moment. That may explain it's sorry state.
I've really only enjoyed it with Bad Karma's Rule Changes.
Made in us
Fresh-Faced New User

Grants Pass Oregon

 Ian Sturrock wrote:
Elemental Hammer on a crossbow is devastating.

genius. I wish I thought to use it that way.
Made in us
Foul Dwimmerlaik

Minneapolis, MN

I like Frostgrave quite a bit. But then again I am the type of gamer who really appreciates interacting with a neat story than finely honed mechanical design. I'd play a good abstract boardgame like YINSH if I were looking for that. As long as people refrain from being TFG, it can be an incredible casual game.

However, I dont have a lot of terrain or models to play the game in the sense that most would ideally think of when referring to games like this. I do have a ton of heroscape though. Both in terrain and models.

So as an experiment, I embarked on converting the game to a hex based format. This was pretty easy to do, using a (One hex = 1.5" ) conversion formula.
For example, a model who has a movement of 7" now has a movement of 5 hexes. For half movement, all measures are rounded down. So a move 7 model would move 5 on first action, and 2 on second action. This gets rid of ridiculous things like being shy by half an inch or whatever.
There was one exception, and that was move 8" creatures. I gave them a move of 5 hexes still, but they got a new "fleet" rule that allowed them to round up on second action movement. This even things out and allows faster creatures to still have that distinction.

But in order to avoid doing math at every stage of play, I had to go through the rulebook, spells and ulterior motive cards and convert them. Some spells took a bit of creativity to justify the conversion, like a circle of protection, or fog and wall. But, I think it is a better game now simply by virtue of removing measuring devices and allowing players to calculate spaces easily at a glance. It makes it more tactical and strategic at the same time.

Using Heroscape certainly isn't a cheap option anymore if you were to buy in as a fresh noob. But if you have a lot of materials already available, it works quite remarkably well.

Here are a few images to illustrate my point.

Two different boards:

This one is a very flat board with very little elevation variations. Basically no higher than height 3. Works very well.

This one has a lot of elevation variation, and the slope of the board on one side goes all the way up to height 9, with a lot of elevation variation between the valley and the peak.
This scenario is a campaign prologue. The Gate of Felstad, a scenario we devised. Just a generic set up. Each player places 3 treasures. Deployment is on opposite corners of the left side of the map where the elevation is lowest. No turn limit.

Here are the two warbands used recently. The first is an elementalist, apprentice, knight, templar, archer, 2 thugs, and a war dog.

And this is a witch, apprentice, assassin, archer, infantryman, treasure hunter, thief, thug, wolf animal companion.

I snapped these right after my opponent's thug picked up a treasure and rolled a 17 for an encounter. A frost giant shows up not five spaces away from his mage. Good thing he had elemental shield up.

But even though that frost giant is on his doorstep, my apprentice is about to have to contend with both the knight and a damned werewolf on my six that crawled up from the road entrance last turn. I chose to shoot the knight with a poison dart. The werewolf made my apprentice wounded, and after game wound up with a nasty injury. A lost eye.

Two ice spiders were about to assault my wolf companion, but I moved him far enough away that they both jumped on his apprentice instead. A she tried to sneak up and steal the treasure, she died for her troubles.

It was a mad rush on both our parts to get the hell out of dodge and be glad for the treasure we were able to carry away before the fauna of frostgrave could devour our bands of greedy looters. Any victory today was pyrrhic.

I'm happy with the results of how well this plays in a hex board environment, even if it is not quite as pretty as a fully painted up frostgrave board.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/02/14 20:43:35

Made in us
Fresh-Faced New User

Very cool mash up of Heroscape and Frostgrave, Hellfury. Exalted!

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Made in us
Perfect Shot Dark Angels Predator Pilot

Eastern CT

So, Joe, I've just started playing Frostgrave, and introduced it to a bunch of my friends. I enjoy it quite a bit, but I would like to see some tweaks, particularly towards how XP is earned.

I'm currently playing a Thaumaturge, so not so much with the direct damage dealing spells. My go-to spells have been Blinding Light, Heal, and Shield. I'd like to see the system give XP rewards for soldiers making kills, and for keeping soldiers alive through the game, as that's kind of how the Thaumaturge's team tends to roll.

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Made in us
Napoleonics Obsesser


The new Maze of Malcador (or whatever) supplement will have some rules tweaks according to the author. What the tweaks are is less clear.

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Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut

 Easy E wrote:
The new Maze of Malcador (or whatever) supplement will have some rules tweaks according to the author. What the tweaks are is less clear.

One of them is a reexamination of the XP chart. I imagine it'll incentivise your Wizard being more than just a head-hunter for XP gain. Personally, i'd love to see something like the Captain concept expanded to the entire warband, so they have some progression as well. It would help some of my players use them less as disposable missions, and make for more tactical play. :-p

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Made in nl
Bounding Assault Marine

I have recently started to get into Frostgrave. There are things about it I like, there are things about it I don't like.

One thing I find lacking, is the fact that soldiers never improve their stats. This would be a simple matter to solve. Perhaps every soldier could have his own Experience Point total. Gaining XP for things like taking out opposing warband models, or wandering monsters, and for getting treasure off the board, gain enough XP, gain a level. An easier method with far less bookkeeping is, to have one soldier in the warband increase one Stat as soon as the wizard gains a level. We might play test that last suggestion in our next campaign.

Likewise, I would have liked to see soldier stats without 'automatic modifications' for equipment and the likes. Simply give a stat-line, and an equipment table so I could go about and custom equip my soldiers. Custom build my own Man-at-Arms or Infantryman or Archer. Give each soldier one armor slot, two weapon slots (with one being filled by a shield if taken, or both filled by a single two-handed weapon, for example), and one 'free' slot for special items such as treasure or a magic item.
Slightly related, There is leather armor, and mail armor. Assuming this latter to be chainmail. Why no platemail?

Like a lot of people seem to indicate, the XP table for wizards appears to be slightly off. There is quite an emphasis on playing the murder hobo and building a wizard that hunts down and personally destroys the other warbands. Oddly enough, the game (depending on scenario and such) can be played by rushing the treasure tokens, picking them up, and running off again. The biggest hurdle here would be using rules for wandering monsters through the optional Random Encounters. More involved games I saw, simply had a single treasure counter in the middle of the playing area counting as two treasures worth, and then 4 or 6 treasure counters placed by the players in turn. To "win", the players had to make that mad dash to the middle and meet up.

Balance issues. I haven't had an issue here yet, but then again, I play with close personal friends and none of them ever showed any TFG behaviour. Of course, in any game with as many moving parts as a wargame, balance issues will arise. And sometimes, people complain for complaining's sake. If your warband has no magic weapons, the common sense thing to do is to run, when a wraith randomly appears. You have no chance in hell to defeat it as it is immune to non-magical weapons. Why try?
I will admit not all spells will be created (balanced) equal. A spell that heals a Health point from a friendly miniature in base-to-base contact will never be equal to a spell that deals a point of damage to Health at a range of 24", or even 12" or 6 ". The damage dealer is automatically more powerful, assuming equal casting numbers. By tweaking those, during extensing play testing, and after production through errata, the spells will become more balanced in a way. But to what extent? A ranged spell will only need enough movement from the caster to get within that range. A 'touch' spell needing base-to-base contact always needs enough movement to get in touch. As such I think this is a minor point, at least until I play strangers who do show TFG behaviour.

I think the simplicity is parts of the strength of this game. Compared to Warhammer 40K, for example, where you roll to hit, to wound, to save, to damage, and then still to disgustingly resilient... that's a lot of rolls for a single attemp to take out an enemy model. Rolling off seems awfully random, even with a small Fight stat bonus, but let's face it, in the world of minions and mooks there are few sword masters and Robin Hood-like marksmen. With averagely trained soldiers, something like a slippery patch of ground should introduce that random element more than the differences in sheer skill.

I like the background. While some think it is limited in scope ("just the city?") I think it is a strength too. Don't like the city? Build a table that resembles an ancient city park, with a building (ruin) left and right, lots of trees and bushes and high hills to break line of sight. Or don't play the game as if it is set in the city. Of course, the city isn't the entirety of the background. The ten schools of magic are part of it too. The additional 5 schools from the expansions likewise. The monsters and types of hirelings, ever expanding as well, are part of the background. The art is very telling too.

The book is the game (with or wiithout expansions). There is a dedicated line of miniatures, but they are not mandatory. If you have other miniatures, that's fine too. Compare that to some of the draconic rules for tournaments from various Warhammer games. Of course, I have a second box of plastic Frostgrave Soldiers on the way... And some Soldiers II... and Barbarians. Savig up for next month, for cultists and gnolls.

I like the support. Plenty of expansions, miniatures, articles, youtube instructions and battle reports. Not everybody likes the game, but it is clear a lot of people do. And I am one of them.

And then there was Ghost Archipelago...

Made in us
Dakka Veteran

Central Valley, California

Just picked up the basic rule book. I want to run a campaign for 3 friends who got back in touch. I"d play their adversaries, they run warbands. Is this remotely possible? Please share your experiences.

Rolling 1's for over four decades

Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut

Myrtle Creek, OR


Yes, you could do that. In fact, the way my regular opponent and I play (there are a total of four of us but really only he and I play semi-regular) I'd almost wish we had a OPFOR band for one of us to run at any time.

We virtually ignore on another because we're, IRL, nice guys and don't want to jam over the other guy during a campaign. Having a That Guy warband that we'd both have to face would be a nice way to be confrontational without being confrotational, maybe.
Made in nl
Bounding Assault Marine


I do believe adding a third player as a sort of game master, controlling any randomly appearing monsters, could improve the game. It adds even more to the RPG feeling people already described when they saw the campaign options for leveling up their wizards.
Currently, without a game master, the monsters respond according to a set of mechanical rules. This might mean a disproportionate number of them, based on measurement alone, runs off towards one specific warband, not necessarily the strongest, just the closest. A game master might intervene and decide to send a majority at the stronger warband, creating a form of balance in a campaign that a 'cold' set of rules would unlikely reach, without becoming more complicated. It may require some experience and insight, but it may pay off. Also, instead of having every random monster be totally random, a game master may prepare a scenario, and adjust the random tables beforehand. Only undead monsters from a crypt building, only gnolls and barbarians from the edge of the board as they, too, invade the city. Options, options, options.


The most basic scenario requires six treasure tokens. Most such games turn out to be a mad dash for three of those, and haul them off the board, while the opponent does the same. During a one-off game this isn't a problem, as winning is defined as having more treasure tokens than the opponent. I see your point about a bunch of non-TFG players just wanting to have fun, and not wanting to totally screwdriver eachother over. Perhaps this can be mitigated by not having an even number of treasure tokens, but an odd one, with one being in the exact middle of the table. In the basic scenario, this 'forces' the warbands to close in on eachother.
Also, a game master like described above might help too. With a slightly higher number of monsters as 'speed bumps' and guardians of the treasure, two or more warbands never have to clash, but they would have an abundance of opponents to fight. And the game master might decide to throw tougher (random) monsters at a warband that is better equipped or has a higher level wizard.

@ any reader

I have the Malcor expansion and the Ghost Archipelago book on the way, expecting them in the snailmail any day now. I wonder what the changes/additions to the Frostgrave rules are with regards to the cold city, and what the differences will be between the cold city and the island versions. I know, lots have been spoiled on the internet already, but I like to read for myself. in so much as I didn't see it already. I know about those inheritors as opposed to wizards, snake-men instead of gnolls, abilities instead of spells. I'll just have to wait and see. Any day now.

Made in us
Napoleonics Obsesser


Malcor does have a treasure system overhaul that puts a big central treasure and a few smaller treasures around it. This promotes some action for the central treasure.

Malcor also has some rules for balancing warbands that involves monsters.

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