"...And so it was that the confounding mushrooms in the young lad's gut compelled him to challenge the great lizard to combat. I'm not sure just how much you understand about lizard folk, but a Lizard-King will rarely turn down a direct challenge to his seat; lest he be stricken from the crown. And do you know what? I'll be a darn Ice-Toads-Arse if that young man didn't slay that snake on the spot. And that's the story of how nearly a decade ago young Jim Morrison inherited his band of lizard kin..."
At the end of this post I mentioned to you sweet folks that I was looking at potentially creating an Elementalist warband for Frost Grave due to the fun I was having raising walls. I thought it would be fun to do something with my lizard minis, so I went to the "primed but forgotten" drawer, picked out some lizard-like things, and put my head down to paint. Somewhere along the line (I'm not quite sure when) I realized that the miniature I had pulled out to represent my wizard was actually a human wearing a giant reptile's skull. Huh...
But I was okay with this. I thought to myself: I can make this work. After all look at this great apprentice Jim's got to rally the dragon-folk. I get a huge kick out of looking through my piles of forgotten pewter to make new warbands come to life.
I pulled from a mix of things already painted, and yet to be. In the ready-to-go column were 3 lizard infantry men. Leather armour, fight +3 & double handed weapons for 50 points! In my opinion these guys are a total steal. The flying pseudo-dragon just behind them is proxying as a wardog.
Ahhhhh... Ephialtes the theif... He has a difficult time raising his shield above his shoulder. May he live forever.
This is Ugly the thief. I took a picture of his backside because I really dig the way his wings came out. This little guy took me a lot longer than he probably should have.
Puff is the most expensive soldier-asset of the warband coming in at 100pts. I debated whether to use him as a ranger or a barbarian, but settled on ranger because of the ranged element. Having a dragon with a ranged attack is just too thematic to pass on.
I'm including this shot just because I think it looks cool. Photographing miniatures is a skill which I've really been focusing on over the last month. I've become disillusioned with the automatic setting on my DSLR and have taken to studying the interplay between ISO, aperture and shutter speed. Shit's deep. That being said, the pictures from this point on (in this post) are garbage because they were taken on my phone in relatively poor lighting.
I know that the specifics of someone else's warband can be quite boring so I'll make this quick: my wizard chose the following spells: Wall(10), Elemental Bolt(12), Call Storm(12), Crumble(12), Telekinesis(10), Imp(12), Write Scroll(16) & Brew Potion(16).
This past Sunday Mr. Matthew from the OldenHammer in Toronto Blog managed to scrounge together 2 (count 'em!) wargame virgins (as in never-played-a-wargame-before) to lend their time for a Frost Grave FFA. Absolute Chaos ensued.
Matthew's huge collection of classic minis from all ranges was more than enough to satiate the newbie's warband needs. After a read through of the rules one player chose to create an Illusionist, and the other a Witch. With Matthew continuing on with his Liche Master (Necromancer) & my Elementalist on the table we were set for a romp.
We decided on playing the mission where the building in the centre poops out skeletons & we fight over 12 treasure tokens. I'm well aware of the Liche Master's Bone-Dart as he sets up, and deploy accordingly.
The Witch dedicates his apprentice and two crossbow-men to the duty of harassing my Lizards. On my first activation of my first turn I throw up a wall in his face. This spell is the number one reason why I love Frost Grave. Ephialtes sneaks up to the base of this Felstadian hovel.
On my opposite flank some Lizard Infantry Superman-punch Illusionist scum into the dirt, successfully securing two treasure tokens early in the battle.
By the end of turn two I've had extreme success on the right flank, and have managed to successfully cast Call Storm. The poor Witch player hasn't been able to roll higher than a 5 all game. He is hemorrhaging soldiers, caught between The Liche Master & Jim Morrison, and has has taken a substantial beating. On the North end of the table the Illusionist has secured two treasure tokens, and blessed one of his lackeys with an invisible form.
After a daring third turn play, the Witch is thwarted via bonedart to the face. Maniacal laughter can be heard all the way on the far side of the battlefield. That's a cool 150 EXP pts.
End of Battle Stats:
The Liche Master captures 2 treasure tokens & personally slays an enemy wizard
The Witch captures 1 treasure token, a crushed arm & a very dead apprentice.
The Illusionist captures 2 treasure tokens
The Elementalist captures 4 treasure tokens
I didn't suffer a single casualty during the entire confrontation! Nobody wanted it with the lizards. After rolling for treasure I ended up with the following loot:
- 180 Gold Coins
- A Ring of Will
- Potion of Invulnerability x2
- Potion of Teleportation x2
- Potion of Toughness
- Potion of Strength
- Grimoire WALL (lol)
The pacing of this game was terrible. Some who read this may groan and chalk it up to the fact that 2 out of 4 of the players were brand new, and the other 2 were playing their second match. With this in mind I still think that a 4 player game simply isn't optimal for this rule set. It works if you have patience, but having played 1v1 & a 4 player FFA I can safely say that 1v1 is infinitely more enjoyable. One of Frost Grave's greatest strengths is the turn mechanic (Wizards, Apprentices, Soldiers) which creates the illusion of flow & reaction. Why ruin that by adding in 2 more full turns?
Some post game discussion was had about potential 2v2s in the future which I think might mitigate some of this issue. There was also talk of balancing and the "Over Powered" Elemental Bolt. Personally I feel like the spell has its place and all of the spells are balanced just fine. However that is a topic for another time. Thanks for reading!