Last weekend at Salute we put on our Frostgrave participation games. Jeff, Steve and Andy worked like troopers all day helping me demo games and talking to members of the public. We were waxing lyrical about Frostgrave, Hirst Arts blocks, MDF terrain, various miniatures both old and new, and even Kings of War for a while.
It was a great success with some very kind comments, especially appreciated was the thanks from the author of Frostgrave himself, Joseph A. McCullough for making his game look so good. I of course thanked him in turn for writing it in the first place!
I also had chance to play with the little blue-tooth camera I acquired recently, a Podo, and many of the photos below were taken with this tiny device that could fit inside the boards. Unfortunately it's focus is not ideal for photos like this.
The Princess Bride has been one of my favourite films right from when I first saw it. I know I didn't see it at the cinema when it was released in 1987 as we didn't go there quite as much as we do now, so it was probably a few years after it was made that I saw it on TV.
But I saw parts of it before then without realising what it was...
You see The Princess Bride was filmed mostly around Derbyshire where I live and the main castle and village that appear in the film were filmed at Haddon Hall not far from where I live. By chance I had a family trip to the hall just a few days before they started filming.
I remember vividly the drain pipes covered with fake vines, the medieval village built in the grounds and the stone bridge over the river that was far too narrow for Princess Buttercup to ride a horse across. This was widened with a hidden wooden section at the side so she could. But mostly I remember when one of the set builders offered to sell my Dad the plaster wall he was building for my dad to use at the bottom of our garden. I doubt it would last long.
The title of the film we'd been told was "The Princess Bride" and with such a sappy title we thought nothing of it. But the film isn't sappy... it's glorious. Full of great actors, a fantastically funny script and plenty of action.
So when I spotted Antediluvian Miniature's Pirate set I knew I had to have them, They would fit in great as models for my Frostgrave games or maybe for use with Osprey's En Garde ruleset.
I just finished painting them and I'd have to say they are some of the best miniatures I have ever painted. Wonderfully characterful with masses of fine detail.
Hammerhead brought another Kings of War big game for us this last weekend. The biggest one yet. This time around 28,500points per side on an even bigger table.
However a number of issues meant we didn't get our usual 6 turns done and instead ended with a slightly unsatisfactory 4. This meant that the game, in my opinion, felt unfinished. We'd still got more to do before we could say a definite conclusion had been reached. Good won, almost, though only really tenuously.
The reasons for not completing were several, the biggest being that 4 players a side was just not enough for the size of game we attempted. The shooting and melee phases dragged on without enough players to handle them.
However also I'd decided to try an odd shape table to see what happened and reaching into the centre proved a little more difficult than normal.
Live and learn! Back to a rectangular table next time and also reduce the size of the armies if we can't get enough players...
Despite this everyone enjoyed the day and were asking straight away when the next will be. However I don't actually have one planned yet! With re-enacting season starting soon my mind is elsewhere. Also I'd like to try the game at a different show, so if anyone can suggest somewhere that will host such a large table please let me know!
Also we're always after new players, so if you think you can help with that please, please, please, let me know!
The table was planned out in advance using the miniature set of tiles that I have, one each for the larger real tiles means that the layouts are always possible. Each board is in reality 2 foot square.
I've been playing a few games of Deadzone recently at the club against Andy. And I decided it was time to finally get some of the Plague models I've not touched since the first Kickstarter painted.
I also recently received the Warpath and Firefight rules from the Kick starter for that. I didn't get any of the models just the rules. Now I have them I have plans to make a Plague army for the Firefight. These are very similar to the Warpath rules but don't require as many models. Effectively they are the next step up from Deadzone. As such I don't actually need to get that many more Plague models.
But first I need to get what I've already got painted. In this case, mortar team, grenade launcher, teraton and swarm.
... or as Father Ted might say. "This Dæmon is small. That Dæmon is far away."
It's odd how it's turned out this way, but the last bit for my Abyssal army for now are the smallest dæmons and largest dæmon in the army.
Imps and Archfied of the Abyss. Though I might have to use him as The Lord of Lies. I'm really torn between the two. Neither is the obvious choice, both subtly different and both the same points (when they both have wings).
Anyway, these will be last Abyssals for the time being... onto other things for a while. There's still plenty of Abyssals to add in later!
We usually only get to play Frostgrave on club nights, where we have just 3 hours to play. The other time we play at shows and there we're really wanting to get members of the public to get some play in rather than ourselves. Neither allows us to play a really big game. So when Tim at Mountain Gremlin Games offered space in his shop for a day it seemed the perfect chance to get a big game of Frostgrave under our belts.
The Walenton Manor scenario in Arcane Locations had piqued my interest as it used a dual table set up. Two floors of a manor with moving staircases. Well I wasn't about to make the terrain for a manor, but I could see that a similar scenario would work with my city and dungeon. Initially I had planned to make staircases and trapdoors as suggested in the original scenario, but I could see those taking up too much space in the dungeon so decided instead to make a set of Portal Stones out of some spare castings I had in my Hirst Arts bits boxes. These I made into pairs with coloured runes engraved in them.
We used the same rules for placing and moving the portals as in the Manor, but allowed them to be placed on levels above the ground on the city board. We decided it would take an action for a model touching a portal to move to the other paired portal. The action would count as a move and so it would be possible to teleport and the cast a spell. We also decided that the dungeon really needed to have the Minotaur in it at the start and gave an additional 50xp to the player that killed it.
There were four of us playing and we used our usual warbands, there's quite a bit of disparity in power in our group with 30 levels between some of the warbands so we teamed up with weakest and strongest versus the middle two. My Ekementalist and Andy's Summonder versus Steve's Witch and Jeff's Thaumaturge.
Things started well and it wasn't long before we had models in the dungeon trying to get their hands on treasure. The mobile nature of the portals made for lots of tactical movement and Steve and Jeff soon found themselves without ways to get out of the dungeon. However myself and Andy found ourselves outnumbered and started losing members of our warband fairly rapidly.
Treasures would be extracted from the dungeon by one player, only to have another kill the model carrying it and then sneak it off the table. At one point my captain had a sneaky little imp carrying one and would have been able to catch him until a portal appeared between him and his goal and about 4 of Steve's Skaven burst out in front of him. The best he could do was to run away.
Towards the end of the game all me and Andy had left was our Wizards whilst Steve and Jeff had the large majority of their warbands. We stood at the top of the tower and tried to elemental bolt the enemy below as they ran off with the treasure, but it wasn't to be as Steve and Jeff's wizards and apprentices blasted us with Strike Dead and Push. In the end we only got three treasures off the table to Steve and Jeff's ten.
We all had had a blast. This was by far the best and most epic game of Frostgrave we've ever had. 6 hours of play time in total. Brilliant, we will have to do something similar again, but what can we follow that with!