Sunday 18 October 2015

The Complex Temple - More Frostgrave

After Petunia Gladiolus' abortive attempt to enter Sandgrave and acquire artefacts, it was her twin sister's turn to try. Peony Gladiolus was certain that she would succeed where her sister had failed. She had recruited the best soldiers she could find, and, like her sister, had a budding apprentice whose skills should be up to the task.

As she approached the old temple, she espied the witch that her sister had warned her about. Curious how both should seek to plunder these ruins at the same time. Perhaps the witch was a rival to House Gladiolus too. She would have to sort that out.

We rolled the Complex Temple scenario. This one requires six pillars on the board that must be 'fought' to gain the treasure they contain. We marked the objective pillars with treasure tokens. Steve's warband was four levels higher than mine, and had the advantage of around 500gc for buying troops, as well as having several magic weapons. Therefore I planned to use my Chronomancer's 'Fleet Foot' and 'Leap' spells to grab the loot and run. If I could avoid fighting too much, I could survive the fight and perhaps close the gap between the two warbands.

As both warbands approached the temple, The apprentice cast a Leap spell on Kurt the Thug and transported him immediately to a likely spot for finding treasure. He quickly found the treasure and started running for home with it. Peony cast Fleet Foot on Young Kurt the Mendacious, her warband's thief, who sprinted towards the treasure too. Meanwhile her thugs formed a shieldwall intent on defending the treasure grabbers.

Gunnhild the Knight was Leapt to the treasure but failed to find it. All too soon she was surrounded by the enemy and cut down. However, while this was happening, a combination of bow-fire and Bone Dart spells was whittling the enemy numbers down to the point where the enemy witch had to cast Fog to give his troops some cover. However, this was not enough. Peony and her troops, though bloodied, ganged up on and picked off piecemeal the scattered enemy. Soon she held the field and half the treasure. Her first foray into Sandgrave had gone well.

Yes, the game was a draw with each of us getting three treasure tokens, but I had successfully taken out three-quarters of Steve's warband. I was happy with that. However, the treasure rolls were not so good. I got two grimoires, a Horn of Destruction, and 300gc. Steve got something like 700gc or so. The grimoires are useless to me right now, although they will be useful later in the campaign if my wizard survives. I would have been happier with more gold so that I could bring my warband's level up to that of Steve's.

Current campaign standings:
Peony Gladiolus (Level 3 Chronomancer) with warband worth 810gc.
Rasgor (Level 7 Witch) with warband worth approx 1000gc.

My plan for the next scenario must be to inch back a little bit of ground. If I get the opportunity to take out his Witch with my Chronomancer then I shall be particularly pleased, but playing for a draw until I have enough gold to match Steve's warband size might not be a bad idea for now.

Saturday 10 October 2015

The Wizard's House: A Frostgrave mini-AAR

We played Frostgrave on Tuesday evening. This was our third game and the start of a mini-campaign. The idea is to play half a dozen games and see how the wizards progress. With that under our belt, we will then have a clue about any changes that need to be made for an extended campaign. I have read much over on the Lead Adventures forum about how the campaign as written does not work well, and how a variety of house rules need to be implemented to make it feasible. Well, now we are about to find out.

Both Steve and I had bought the original Nickstarter from North Star, when the game was first offered up for pre-order. I got the Chronomancer, because I thought the figures were cool, and I love the whole idea of a wizard whose focus is on wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff. Steve got the Witch. I really like the figures, and find the plastic minions interesting to build and paint.

So, Steve had a Witch, an apprentice, a barbarian, two archers, four thugs and a thief. I had a Chronomancer, an apprentice, a templar, two crossbowmen, three thugs and two thieves. We rolled for scenario and got The Wizard's House. This meant that all the treasure was gathered in the centre of the table guarded by animated statues. Here follow's Rasgor the Witch's version of events as he and Petunia Gladiolus entered Sandgrave in search of treasure and magic (our setting is Sandgrave because I have lots of desert terrain in the right scale).

It had taken Rasgor many months to gather the right people from the tribes. It had taken even longer to convince the chief to allow him to go. Especially with one of the Chief’s sons, Doug, who was already one of the finest warriors in the Steppes.

This would be their first true foray into the city of Sandgrave. They had scouted the area for the last few weeks, searching for a suitable place to begin their exploration. Yesterday they had stumbled across these ruins, so after looking them over they had returned today.

Just as they approached the ruins, they had noticed another band arriving from the opposite side. Rasgor had taken Doug, Mirk and Tug to the left, while his apprentice Naseby lead Slight the Thief, Nug and Beck to the right. Cal and Dirk approached the centre of the building. Rasgor called upon the spirit to give Mirk strength and Mirk felt the power flow into him.

Suddenly a crossbowman let fly and Tug dropped his bow as he crumpled to the ground. Doug and Mirk ran forward into cover, while Rasgor send forth a dart and had the satisfaction of seeing the assailant crumple to the floor clutching his throat.

Inside the ruins stood six statues, each with a chest at their feet. One of the opposing force charged forward and grabbed a chest, as he lifted it from the ground the statue began to move towards him. At which point Slight sprinted around the corner only to become entangled in the fight. The statue knocked one to the floor and then the next. As Cal picked up another chest, the statue guarding this came to life. Rasgor cast a Strength spell on her, as Doug, Mirk and Dirk ran to help her. The opposing force seemed to be tied up by the statues themselves.

Nug eventually won an archery duel with a crossbowman on the right hand side, but before he could celebrate a door crashed open to his right and a huge bear lumbered out. Doug had found himself in no man’s land between the two groups, as a wall appeared behind him. He attempted to charge the opposing wizard, but it was as though a glamour were cast on him. He shook his black maned head to clear his head then charged forward again knocking down the wizard before turning on her apprentice cowering in the corner.

The rest of the statues were soon defeated and the bear was soon skinned. Tug, Beck and Slight had all suffered only superficial wounds, they would be stiff and sore for a few days, but a barrel round the fire would soon ease those pains.

The game was a whitewash. My entire warband was put out of the fight. I got no treasure. Worse yet, my templar (my best soldier) actually died in the post-game rolling for wounds. I did, however, gain one level.

Steve gained four levels for his wizard and got all the treasure. I cannot remember exactly how much treasure he got, but I remember him getting a whole bunch of scrolls, a couple of magic weapons and a couple of grimoires as well as lots of gold. In the next game I shall be facing a warband that should be worth nearly double mine, and whose wizard will be higher level.

With Steve's superiority in firepower in mind, I do not want to start with a warband that is worth 80% of a starting warband and thus is so much further behind Steve's warband  that I shall almost certainly be creamed again next time. Therefore, my wizard has retired to her country mansion and I shall start a new warband next time. I lose the level gained, but get to choose a bunch of different spells to see if my Chronomancer can be more effective, and I also start with a full-strength warband. I plan to try to grab some treasure, gain a level if possible, and, most importantly, keep my whole warband alive next time. Unless my dice are on fire, I doubt I can win the next game, so I shall instead try for damage limitation.

One thing I have become aware of since starting playing the game and reading about it on the forum is that Chronomancers are probably the weakest wizards in the game. I wish I had realised that before picking the shiniest figures for my warband! Ah well, I shall just have to play more cunningly. That will include destroying Steve's dice which rolled more 20s (critical hits) than they should have in the last game. He had better not leave them unaccompanied at any point ...