No, this won’t be a new series, it’s just a cheap alliteration. I still have stories that need be told from my adventures at Gen Con and I wanted to focus in on my Frostgrave experience in particular. The best event I participated at the ‘Con was the Frostgrave free-for-all hosted by the game’s designer Joseph McCullough. The host was nice, the game was great and everything was well run.
I decided not to bring my own warband because I didn’t have it painted up in time and I’m glad because it gave me the chance to see a pre-made warband complete with painted minis.
My crew was a ragtag team of wild, barbarian-type soldiers led by an Elementalist wizard.
The board was a 4′ x 4′ table decked out with tons of scenery. The nature of the game was simple: find as much treasure as possible and get off the map. This was a nice alternative to just “clash with your enemies and kill everyone” that drive most games. Our hosts said that people usually just go after each other anyway but my friend and I (who were mostly new to the game) were playing with a couple of veteran players and we ended up really going for the scenario goals, which made the game quite fun.
In the middle of it all stood a large treasure worth twice as much as normal and guarded by two large demons.
I wasn’t really paying attention to the other players as I started making my way towards the center treasure. Along the way, I piss off this lowly monster after being told they are “really weak and just ‘speed bumps’ to get in our way.”
Well, the “speed bump” takes a lot for me to bring down and in the mean time, the two vet players start making big plays to get that central treasure. One player threw his thief all the way up to the top, just inches away from the main treasure. Meanwhile, the second veteran mind controls the adventurous thief and uses a lot of lifeforce from his main wizard to make sure the spell holds. This concept is basically burning hit points to increase the spell result.
Seeing all this transpire, I decide I need to make my move so my wizard climbs into view and uses a telekinesis spell to pull the treasure to my side and have my soldiers rush in to recover it.
On the next turn, my soldier grabs the treasure and starts to make her way off the map. I’m not home free so I have my apprentice cast “Leap” on the soldier to get her off the map. Unfortunately, she fails pretty horribly, rolling a 3 while needing a target 12. I decide we really need this so she makes the heroic sacrifice of using the rest of her life force to make sure the spell succeeds and leaps the soldier off the map. She then succumbs to the effort and dies on the battlefield. This was pretty amusing to the hosts as this is not typically done if doing a campaign as the sacrifice is extremely risky but I think I would have done it anyway just for the sheer story potential.
Later on, after most of the treasure had been taken off the map by the players, I sent my Tracker out on a solo mission to kill as many of my friends team as he could. As my friend was preoccupied with battling another wizard, my Tracker stole into position, hiding behind some terrain. Here is where the crazy four-player game really shined as my friend knew he was there but the distraction of the other wizard caused him to temporarily forget. When his own wizard had to retreat a little, I made my move and ran out to engage. The ensuing battle dropped the wizard and my Tracker came home a legend.
At the end of the game, my team had collected the most treasure off the board and got a fair share of magical items and weapons. My apprentice proved her mettle and ended up surviving her sacrifice. My friend’s wizard didn’t fair as well. My Tracker didn’t end up killing him after all but crippled his arm.
The experience was fantastic and even though my friend has the rules and enough minis to play the game on our own, we talked another friend into getting into the game and now all of us are set to get this game going. We’ve even set up a “painting bootcamp” for our friend as this is his first venture into tabletop wargaming.
We’ll practice on some of the soldiers I just built up the other night. I look forward to more epic tales and a big thanks to Joe McCullough and the event host for creating such a fun experience.