Monday, August 31, 2015

Wizard's Tower

Wizards.  They love towers.  It's a well-known fact.
Here are a few shots of the Hirst Arts Wizard's Tower coming together.
This thing is HEAVY.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Board Version 2

On average our group has 4 people playing games.  Since we started Frostgrave I didn't have a decent second board to play a fantasy game on.  My first board was of a small village, I figured I'd make this more of a "dungeony" type of board.

We played using this board Thursday night, however it was nowhere near what I would be happy calling finished.  See last post by James to see some action shots.  After the game the next day I added some white around each tile to highlight the stone work.  This helped in my opinion to make the board a little less drab.

I also finished coating the sewer water (which was pointed out to me looked incredibly drinkable - I guess a 1000 years being frozen will be enough time to get rid of every type of pollutant!).  This took about 4-5 coats of Minwax, and I am happy with the look.

 I also wanted to make it a bit easier to get around the culverts.  I added about 4 wooden planks that our soldiers can cross.  This also helped to add some color to the board as well.  I can't wait to get into a fight and push someone in!

Here is a close up of my barbarian daring you to cross.  He sadly suffered a mortal wound the other night to a lowly elf infantryman.  That elf was sliced through 3 of my soldiers before I could take him down!  But I digress.

Lastly I added some staples on the interior walls of the culvert so people can climb out easier if they happen to be in the right spot.  

As I was working on this board last night I came up with a great idea for an even better dungeon board.  I think it will have to wait.  Maybe next summer when the expansion for into the Breeding Pits comes out for Frostgrave!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Campaign Night 1 Results

Night 1 wrapped with four of us playing Mausoleum as expected.  At the end of the night, the results were all over the place:

  • Alex/Elementalist: 500 XP
  • James/Summoner: 270 XP
  • Brendan/Witch: 170 XP
  • Ben/Witch: 70 XP

By the time we finished, everyone had a pretty good handle on how to play, so we'll work on picking bases for next week and get everyone leveled up before game 2.

Here are some highlights from the game Ben and I had.  It was BRUTAL.  The wandering monsters alone were a challenge, to say nothing of Ben's ability to crit six times in one game!

The warband moves into the underground ruins on turn 1, making its way toward the mausoleum's cache of treasure.  The apprentice commands three soldiers to move up.  On the right, the Summoner is dealing with darker things.

The Summoner manages to bring a minor demon onto the table, which proved to be one of the best things she did all night.  Neither she or the apprentice had managed to summon anything prior to the game.

Here we can see Ben's apprentice ordering a treasure hunter and some thugs to secure a treasure that was left near some unoccupied jail cells.

The minor demon finds its way into combat with Ben's wizard!  You'd think this would be a short combat, but the dice were not kind.   The Witch managed to tie the combat, push the demon back an inch and beat feet out of there while a wandering skeleton held up the demon.

The most horrific thing I saw all game was this damned, dirty bear.  How it got down into the catacombs in the first place is beyond me.  All I know is that it was ANGRY.  It's beginning to make its way toward the Summoner and her apprentice here, but with that much magic, surely they can stop it.  

Meanwhile, Ben's apprentice is playing the wandering monster game, too, as a giant worm emerges on the other side of the board.  It ties her up for a couple of turns until she manages to push it back in combat.  After she was able to back away, a nearby archer critted the worm and put it down.

My apprentice wasn't so lucky.  I had baited the bear with a throw-away hound so it wouldn't go after my casters, but Ben managed to crit the hound with an archer just before the creature phase began.  The bear also critted, effectively mauling my apprentice and taking her out of the game.

After that, I was getting low on models.  I was ahead in treasure tokens 2-to-1, but there were some juicy ones across the table (and far from bears!).  I cast Leap with the Summoner and put her near the treasures.  She was at risk of fighting a single skeleton at the time, but that's no big deal, right?  Turns out it was the most highly trained skeleton you ever did see.  It slayed the Summoner in one shot, dealing 20 damage on its crit. I've never seen so many natural 20's in my life.
I saved a little face when my ranger dispatched the feral death-bear in close combat with a crit of his own.  At this point, I was down to 1 model and Ben's wizard had recently mis-cast himself to death, so we called it a night and tallied the loot.  Ben made off with 1 normal treasure token and I got away with 1 normal and 2 of the special mausoleum tokens.  

My loot for the night was Boots of Speed, a couple of grimoires, and over 300 gc, so I'll be able to replace the infantryman that didn't survive the injury rolls.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Thawing Tower

The ruined tower has some embellishments on it now, including melting snow and the first weeds of Spring.  All ready for campaigning tonight.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Campaign is About to Start

The warbands are converging on Felstad.
The campaign begins Thursday night!

We have decided that we will start by playing The Mausoleum on two 3x3 tables.  (Crom knows I've got the skeletons for it!)

The idea is for it to be a relaxed, seven-game campaign that gets the club accustomed to the game system.  It's looking like we'll have four regular players with a fifth when he can make it.  The plan is for the seventh game to feature all warbands on the same table in a knock-down, drag-out, and, dare I say, no-holds-barred, fight for supremacy.

Stay tuned for tomorrow night's battle reports!

Image result for snowy village

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Wizard's Tower WIP

The mold for Hirst Arts' Wizard's Tower came in last week, so I've been casting a lot of rectangular blocks.  This is a great starter project and the kids have enjoyed messing with it, too.
It's also a great use for all those unloved Duplos.  Ever since we dug my old Batman and Airbender Legos out of the barn, no one seems too interested in the toddler blocks; now they're a squaring tool.

If you're thinking of tackling this project, I recommend looking at mold #40, too.  It's not flashy, and it just makes rectangular blocks in different sizes, but what a great way to quickly knock out block inventory.

The Tales of the Frozen City book showed up last night too and I got the chance to read Matt Ward's short story.  So far it's a great little book.  The Frostgrave rulebook is pretty much all business, so having some extra material to paint a picture of the game world really helps bring it to life.  Just in time to start the campaign later this week, too!

Monday, August 24, 2015


I got to spend a good deal of Sunday afternoon in the basement playing plaster with the kiddos.
They went to town on painting crates and oat bags while I cast more bricks and put some grey on the ruined tower.

That pretty much depleted the 25-lb bag of plaster I had, so it's time to order more.  The plan is to use this in Thursday night's campaign kick-off, so there may be some more updates throughout the week.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Frostgrave - Snatch and Grab AAR

I played another game of Frostgrave tonight against Alex's Elves.  Since this was his first taste of Frostgrave I felt like I should ease him into the game a bit.  However since it was Alex, I decided not to put on the kiddie gloves.  He doesn't deserve them!

The board-  Humans on the bottom, trixy elves up top.  

Turn 1:
Six treasure tokens were scattered about the board as the elven elementalist peered across the thawing city at his opponent and would be thief of his property, the human witch.  Not wasting the initiative, the witch quickly dashed with his cronies toward the first treasure chest that he saw.  As he moved for cover he took the time to enhance his barbarian bodyguard with strength, buffing his already legendary fighting prowess.

Not to be out done, the elven wizard cast telekinesis on a treasure chest closest to the witch's apprentice.  It moved further away from them and closer to the grasps of the elves.  Laughter could be heard both from the mage and from Alex...

The human apprentice attempted to lash out at the nearest elven thug that she saw but instead caused herself to mumble some important words.  This careless act caused a wound to herself.  In frustration she ordered the crossbowoman near her to climb the tower for a better look of the battlefield, however she would be mostly useless the rest of the engagement as the elves stayed out of her range.
The elven counterpart on the other by the market imitated his master and cast telekinesis on a different treasure chest closest to the humans wizard and levitated it closer to the elves.

The humans were slowly watching the booty literally float out of their grasp.  Both sides soldiers maneuvered into position with a few of them unleashing a few shots from arrows here or there, but they were hastily cast and all missed their targets.  

Turn 2:
The witch once again seized the initiative pressing closer to the apprentice.  He even cast bone fragments at the elven upstart, however the house he was hiding behind took the brunt of the blow.  The witch using his spare third arm motioned for the archer next to him to follow suit and fire at the apprentice.  He had better luck with his mundane weapon plucking the elven apprentice in the leg causing minor damage.

The elven elementalist decided that he did not want to have a show down with the witch as his barbarian was too close for comfort.  He quickly ordered his treasure hunter and thug to grab the treasure near the witch and the elven mage quickly scampered up the staircase and fired an elemental bolt at a human thug foolishy standing in front of the witch's apprentice.  The elementalist was dismayed that the human only took minor damage from the blast.

The witch's apprentice started to get nervous seeing the elementalist and two archers quickly approaching her position.  Concentrating this time she raised some fog to cover her advance and hopefully frustrating the archers on the other side.

(Tissue paper for fog.  It was the best we had...)

The elven apprentice stayed true to his game plan and quickly cast telekinesis again to continue to move the treasure away from the witch's retinue who was getting dangerously close to his prize.  Once again to the growing frustration of me the witch, the treasure was moved closer to the approaching elves.

Soon the elves quickly ran to and secured any treasure they could find while a lonely human thug gave chase to try and slow down the escaping treasure.  However unbeknownst to the human, an elven infantryman stepped around the corner to protect his comrades.  The marketplace was about to get bloody.

On the other side of the town, the humans raced up the street under the cover of the fog to get close to the treasure chest that they could spot.  One quick thief even picked up his treasure and began looking for the closest way out of this part of town.

Turn 3:
The human witch was certainly impetuous as he wrestled the initiative from the elves.  He continued his slow advance toward the marketplace.  He could tell that the elven apprentice was hurting.  He wanted him dead!  Once again he cast bone dart at the apprentice, but his rage to kill the elf was too great and took damage from his own spell as he improperly cast it.  Again he motioned to his archer by his side to finish him off.  The arrow was true however the apprentice did not accept this second arrow into his body as defeat.  The witch was not happy...

The Elementalist advanced toward the human apprentice and wanted to demonstrate his magical might by casting a powerful demon by his side.  However the portal to another realm was too great and he took damage for his troubles.

The witch's apprentice quickly noticed how outnumbered she and her small group was and needed to contain the threat of the wizard and two archers.  The eagle eyed archers began jockeying for position to take her down with their arrows.  The fog she had created would only be a minor inconvenience.  She once again cast fog laying out a large section of area that the elves could not see through.  But she knew she was only buying precious little time.

Back at the marketplace, the elven apprentice could feel himself blacking out soon from the loss of blood.  He would have to do something drastic and heroic if he was to help prevent the witch from getting to the treasure.  The young elf dashed from behind the old potion shop charging at the small band of humans.  When he got as close as he could he stopped and attempted to bring forth an unholy demon from another realm to smite his enemies.  Unfortunately for the apprentice, he was just that.  A young elf training in the arts of magic.  The spell was too much for him and the outburst of raw magic caused him to succumb to his last wound.

Back in the upper end of town, the fog was becoming too much for the elven archer to deal with.  They had to run as fast as they could to get on the other side of the cursed fog to help their fellow warriors.  While they were repositioning, the humans were grabbing treasure and running away.  The thief on the west end of town quietly and most importantly, unnoticed by the elves inched out of sight and back to the rally point with some undisclosed treasure.  

Back in the market, with the eleven apprentice gone, the elves tried to run away with whatever treasure they could find.  The elven infantryman attempted to hack apart the human thug but only caused minor wounds to him.  If he didn't kill the human fast, the archer and wizard would be upon him too soon.

Turn 4:
The witched again seized the initiative from the elves.  (They apparently weren't that swift after all!) He saw an elven thug slithering away with his treasure and quickly and efficiently shot a bone dart through the back of his chest killing him outright.  He ordered the archer to engage the remaining elven infantryman, but it took the archer's entire energy to engage the elf.

In the upper end, the elven elementalist was not suffering the fog well.  He burst through the mist startling the humans on the other side who had just picked up treasure.  With a mighty shout he attempted to bring forth the demon that would send the humans running.  But his ability to cast it was lacking.  He glanced around him at what he could see and felt that his soldiers were losing this fight.  It was up to him alone to turn the tide.  Sacrificing his own health he brought forth an imp into this realm to hopefully kill the humans.

The human apprentice could do nothing but watch as space and time ripped itself apart as this otherworldy creature appeared.  She attempted to cast something, anything to stop it.  However she was not properly prepared by this horrible demonic beast and she injured herself attempting to control the magical winds at her disposal.  Luckily for her the witch's barbarian bodyguard jumped into the fray.  He knew a demon could bleed, just as well as the dead elf that had attempted to kill him earlier.  He charged the elementalist and imp, but could he get there in time?

The elven archers were now fed up with the fog.  The closest archer to the humans took out his dagger and charged a second thief attempting to get away with treasure.  The elf's rage was so great that his tiny elven knife critically damaged the poor thief.  Not even his mother would recognize him now.  The elf wondered if his heroics would be enough to change the course of the skirmish?

Finally at the marketplace, the elven infantryman was the last person to hold the flank for his elementalist pay master.  He tried his best, but the weight of the archer charging into combat was too much for his skill.  Being outnumbered two to one, he succumbed the blows against him.

The treasure in the marketplace was now firmly in the hands of the humans.  They were preparing to dash down the street and flank the elementalist.  The elf had no choice but to issue a hasty retreat.  He would live to see another day and reclaim the treasure that should have been his.

We decided to end the game here as it was looking bad for Alex.  He said he would go one more round if he won initiative, but he didn't.  In fact he didn't win the initiative all night!

I think Alex so desperately wanted to summon a greater demon that he just focused too much on that and not enough casting offensive elementalist spells.  If he was able to blast one or two guys with elemental bolt instead of attempting to cast summon demon, I think the game would have been much different.  Especially since one of those failures killed his apprentice.

In the end I think Alex enjoyed the game and I believe before we start up a campign he will have scoured the spell lists and will have a nigh unstoppable wizard.  After all, casting magic has always been his thing!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Making Weathertop

The next big Frostgrave project is a Hirst Arts' Ruined Tower.  If you check out the finished version at, it's got a few wraiths and a couple of hobbits hanging out on it, so yeah, it's Weathertop.

Here are a couple shots from last night's foundation-laying. HisrtArts provides a nice set of building plans, and I'm regretting that I didn't check to see if the printer was set to 'Fit' or 'Actual Size' because the tiles were a little bigger than the plan.

But hey, this is just my first crack at it, and I've got PLENTY of plaster to make another one whenever.  It's looking fine anyway, and I'm psyched to keep picking away at it.

The printed floorplan

The first round of blocks, placed using tacky glue.  The base material is a Life cereal box.  The fam wasn't too thrilled about this, since the box was over half full.  Guess what I had for breakfast.  And second breakfast.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Frostgrave: Week 9 and 99.9% completed!

My goal was to finish by the board by the end of week 9 as the rule book will have been out by this point and I would want to get a game in on the new board.  The deadline has now come and gone and I can say I am very happy with the way the board looks.  I say that I am only 99.9% completed, but this is because I am debating on whether or not to add another coat of snow to the rooftops.

The Little Things:  I wanted to add some small scenery items around the board to make it feel like a lived in city.  The first thing I did was to create a little outdoor market stalls for fresh fruit, vegetables, bread, fish etc.  Everything had been well preserved when the the city frosted over...

Do You Want to Build a Snowman?:  Ok, tired line, however I figured a few thugs may have gotten board and built one for target practice or something.

Are We There Yet? Just so we are clear, we are playing in the frozen city of Felstad.  And to my gaming group: see I can attach things right side up!

Random Large Tree:  In Whiterun there was a tree that you could go adventuring for and restore it back to life.  The tree was located in the city so I thought I would create one.  This one is a bit less vibrant and covered in snow.

Lastly the entire game board from a birds eye perspective.

Even though I have not yet played on this board, I figure I would stage a few shots from a models perspective.  I did get to play my first game of Frostgrave last night, however it was an away game at James' place.  I'm sure pictures of the skirmish will appear soon.

Food fight at the market!

My wizard was out chopping wood when he heard a scuffle going on!

Get that necromancer!

Barbarian locking down the gate!

Thanks for checking this out.  It was fun to put together and I hope fun to game on in the future!

Frostgrave AAR

The first attempt at Frostgrave was a big success.  We played a straight-up fight on about a 4'x4' board to see who could control the most of six treasure tokens.

The game played nice and smoothly, even for our first shot at it, so once we have a stronger handle on rules and spells it'll be even better.

We took a few shots as we went, some of which I'll include below to give you an idea of some of the fun situations we ran into.

A thief sneaks into the temple to steal the mystical loc-nar.  He easily secured this first treasure for the warband.

Brendan's warband closes in on some treasure.

James' apprentice manages to summon a demon - she gets an imp and empowers the spell with her own health to bump it up to a minor demon. Good thing, too - it managed to put down a thug later in the game.

Soldiers rally around the wizard so they can get a leg up in activating on the following turn.

A couple of Brendan's thugs manage to take a warhound out of commission in close combat.

And then his jacked barbarian takes out the man-at-arms while another thug roundhouse kicks an infantryman.  It's not looking good for our heroes.

Another unruly thug comes after the apprentice, but...

...the archer comes to her rescue!  He stabs the thug with a dagger and crits for 20 damage.
After that smack, Brendan was kind enough to re-position the thug halfway across town, as you can see above.

My only thug, Chubbs, was one move away from getting this beautiful Foundry warchest off the table and securing some more loot for the warband.  Then he heard something behind him...