Thursday, 21 May 2015

Thursday, Bloody Thursday

So, it's a Thursday. Thursday, for some reason, we tend to go a little off-reservation, and much hilarity ensues. Today, Joe and I had a game of Frostgrave, with the intent of putting together a battle report to answer some of the questions about the system and the gameplay.

Joe's report can be found on his blog, and sums up the hijinks. We only played a basic scenario - two warbands meet, have a conflict of interest, and get down to fightin' - and it went just four turns, but it was the first game we had with actual copies of the rulebook to hand (which somehow made everything better).

While my warband has taken to the field before, this is the first time in which they fought with the full campaign rules in effect. Joe's listed the results of his post-game checks, and I thought I'd do the same.

Road House!
Like 1989's Road House, beer and the Boxer Rebellion, I LOVE random tables. Love, love, love 'em! And Frostgrave is a dream come true in that regard.

First things first, I rolled to see if the Thug that Joe's Knight pounded into the ground would be able to recover. I rolled a 19, and he was in fine fettle. The luck of the dice had continued from the scenario into the campaign elements! In fairness, the game isn't that lethal when it comes to models surviving a scenario - they can go down hard and fast during a game, but they have a pretty decent chance of sticking around.

Next, I calculated the infamous Lo Shen's experience gains. While only the Wizard gains experience, the effects can be felt throughout the warband. Lo Shen had a pretty active game, taking an enemy soldier out of action and casting several spells - he earned a total of 280 experience points, taking me up to level 2 with 80 points left over (so only 20 needed next game to hit level 3). This is a pretty swift - but not implausible - advance for a wizard, especially when his warband carries the field pretty dramatically. Each level gained allows you to improve a stat, improve a spell, or learn a new spell. I held off spending these levels until I saw what I'd looted during the battle...

Treasure is a feast for the lover of random tables. While captured treasure tokens grant 50 experience points, each one also permits a roll on the Treasure Table. Having captured 4 treasure tokens, I rolled results of:

  • 20 gold crowns and a grimoire.
  • 40 gold crowns and a magic weapon/armour.
  • 80 gold crowns and a grimoire.
  • d20 x 20 gold crowns.

Each of these results led to another roll (yay!). The two grimoires yielded the Banish and Draining Word spells, the magic weapon turned out to be a staff that deals +2 damage, and a 15 on the money haul netted me 300gc. All told, I came out with a perfect weapon for Lo Shen, one perfect new spell (Banish) that I spent a level to learn, and a ton of cash.

As Draining Word is a Sigilist spell, it is opposed to Lo Shen's Summoner school, and thus would be really hard to cast (+6 difficulty), so I left it in my vault for now, and spent my second level on reducing the difficulty of casting Bone Dart. I did toy with improving Summon Demon to increase my chances of bringing a Major Demon into play (the Imp I summoned was probably the MVP, killing a War Hound and Joe's Apprentice, but I think he got really lucky...), but with the tons of cash I managed to scrounge, I had other options...

While I have yet to spend the 440gc I nabbed, I'm definitely going to acquire a base in the ruins and will probably equip it with a Summoning Circle while I have the cash going spare, in order to improve my demon summoning options. The temptation to replace some of my weaker minions with tougher soldiers is tempting, but I think improving my Wizard is the sensible move at this stage.

All in all, I'm keen to go back into the ruins. The nice thing is that Joe, my most likely opponent, isn't horribly set back by his defeat this game - like Lo Shen, his Wizard has improved and acquired some useful bits and pieces, so the next clash will be a whole new challenge!

The victors! Lo Shen (front row, centre) stands with his triumphant warband behind their loot. The injured Thug takes a well-earned rest, and the man-of-the-match Imp (bottom left) prepares to be banished back to the nether realms.

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