I'm going to be talking about two new games and a new D&D campaign this week so I'll be diverging a bit from "look what I finished" and spending most of the week on "look what I'm working on".
Today's new game is Frostgrave by Osprey Games. Frostgrave is a game I had recently heard a lot of buzz about and to be quite honest at first I really didn't care. Historically one of the problems I have had with jumping on board in the early days of a new game system is that I hear a lot of enthusiasm from people and then six months later none of my gaming friends have painted their models and I've spent time and money on a bunch of stuff collecting dust in a corner.
That being my issue going in there were two things about Frostgrave that dispelled that concern instantly. First up the game is set in a classic medieval fantasy setting with characters who fit generic fantasy tropes. What this means in practical terms is that anyone who has a collection of; D&D or Warhammer or Mordheim or whatever game make a force out of figures they already own. My second issue is that typically skirmish games that feature a campaign or warband experience mechanic get old very quickly for me, in Frostgrave every campaign is meant to end, so it doesn't go on forever.
The book itself is fantastic. Hardcover, 128 pages with terrific art and miniature photography throughout and a simple intuitive game system that seems to offer reasonable depth without becoming bogged down in endless rules. All this for a price between $25 (US) and $32 (Canadian).
The only requirement for a starting warband in Frostgrave is that it must have a wizard. There are 10 different schools of magic to theme your wizard around but me being me I'm starting off with a Necromancer. You also have the option (which the rules directly and highly recommend) to hire an apprentice for your wizard. There are a lot of neat mechanics around the apprentice, he is statistically similar but slightly inferior to your actual wizard and knows all the same spells but at a slightly lower level of proficiency. One of the mechanics that should strike an immediate chord with campaign players is that after a certain amount of levelling up your apprentice can take over the warband (becoming a wizard themselves) if the actual wizard is ever killed. For my wizard and necromancer I build them from the Games Workshop Empire Wizard two-pack, the only extra piece is that the apprentice has a head lifted from a Bretonian archer. The Empire Wizard pack is GREAT for Frostgrave because a number of the pieces in the package work towards the schools of magic in the game.
The next classification of models in the game are soldiers. Soldiers refer to any figures hired into the warband that are not the wizard or his apprentice. For my first three soldiers I assembled some characters from the Games Workshop Bretonian Men-At-Arms box (more of these figures will be featuring in a different game next month!). They are from left to right; an Infantry Man, a Man-At-Arms and an Apothecary. There are 15 types of soldiers in the basic game book and they represent most of the character options for D&D and other classic fantasy RPGs so you have quite a lot of options for customisation and modelling.
Last but not least I have a Warhound. The warhound is from a dwarf sprue from Mantic Miniatures, I'm actually not sure what unit box it comes in because I got this particular sprue from a Dwarf Kings Hold game box. The warhound is just another type of soldier, but I had the model and was trying as much as possible to keep my warband all plastic so I thought I'd give him a go.
So that's where I'm at so far. The plan is to start painting this stuff (I'll still need to add another model or two) this week and hopefully get done in time to play a game by next Friday (8 days from now).
That's it for Frostgrave until something gets done, up next Batman!