Lest it be said I spend all my time tracing white primed minis, friend Colton picked up the new Frostgrave book, Perilous Dark and we decided to test our mettle against a new challenge: working together.
We decided not to waste time creating new Wizard Bands so we pulled out our latest groups from our existing campaign. I decided to take “Not-Therelin” and (since co-op play only allows 4 soldiers), I brought along a Bear, a treasure Hunter, a Crossbowmen, and two War Dogs. I figured that the setting kept with normal Frostgrave rules in that if you had a kennel, you could still bring an extra War Dog.
Colton had his Summoner, two Thugs and two Thieves. Before the battle he also summoned and bound a Minor Demon. We settled on the first scenario: Writhing Fumes. This needed a bunch of Vaporous Snakes and a couple of big crossbow mechs… er Constructs.
To set up quickly, I grabbed some Heroscape figures like these two sci fi Deathwalkers to serve as our Ballista Constructs and then a bunch of snake figures for the Vaporous Snakes. We quickly found that I didn’t have near enough snakes so we also had a bunch of these little green imps that would serve as well.
The goal was to get to the opposite corner and breakdown the door. In our path were a bunch of snakes and ballistas. We rushed in the opening of our corner, safely out of range of the Ballistas. There were some snakes coming in so we decided to take them down. I surrounded the first one with my War Dogs and newly summoned Zombear.
So that didn’t work well at all. That stupid little snake ate through both dogs and the zombear. I know. Even the zombear. That little snake thing was on a rampage. We quickly developed a new plan: run!
Well we couldn’t all run. That wouldn’t help so we left one of the Summoner’s thugs to deal with “the rest.” This scenario should have been titled “and the meek shall inherit Felstad.” That thug took some cues from the little snake dude and held off five snakes and their big cousins, even felling one in the process.
After some Bones of the Earth spell shenanigans, our little snake friend was back and decided to get up close and personal with Not-Therelin. Luckily, my Treasure Hunter was on the job and would ruin this guy’s day.
Double Critical! Seriously WTF is that snake’s problem?? Both snake and man go down swinging, hard. Enemy MVP bar was now set super high.
As I stop to collect my breath (and check Colton’s dice), we take stock of the effort so far. Weird frog “snake” had five kills to his name. Our entire double Wizard party had two kills. Things were going well.
A veritable horde of snake jerks were swarming our position with no end in sight. The wizards and remaining soldiers made a run for it down the southern edge of the map, ducking from cover to cover.
The Minor Demon makes his stand and ends up falling to a single big snake. the thug that held back the other tide ended up going down as well. At this point I had a crossbowman left and no time to summon another zombear as speed bump to the green horde.
So I sacrifice my crossbowman to the horde to ensure our fleeting survival.
While the rest of us cower in this broken tower, shielded from most of the mindless horde’s eyes. Without targets, the snakes all start heading to the door. The door we need to break down and run through to complete this scenario. This horde will soon completely block the door and we’ll have no way to fight through that mass.
I try to get up the side of our tower and get the horde’s attention while taking a sniper shot at the Ballistas guarding the door. My Bone Dart does well but Colton’s dice are just too hot when countering me and it does nothing. The Ballistas return fire and one hits me hard, knocking me off my perch and bringing my life to 2 measly points.
Before the green horde can over take me, I cast a desperate Leap spell and take cover behind a collapsed wall and some snowy pines. I have a new plan: I’ll just sit here and wait until the horde gets bored and goes for the door, then I’ll hobble out of here, casting more desperate Leap spells if I need to go from cover-to-cover to avoid the ballistas. Eventually I’ll make it back to the start and run the hell away.
The Horde started heading for the door and so after spending some time licking my wounds, I decided I’d make a break for it. Since Not-Therelin was injured, I could only hobble 6 inches and it would leave me in plain view of those damned ballistas again. I readied my Leap spell. I need a 12 to pull it off. If I miss the roll by 5 or more, I’ll take 1 damage, 10 or more will kill me. Alright, Maximum Effort!
SNAZAFREGGIN RAZZLEFRACKS! Not-Therelin pissed off some magic-bestowing God somewhere and paid the price dearly. It was now up to Colton’s Summoner.
The horde, in their endless migration to the door, started spotting him and his crew in the lonely broken tower. After a few failed Imp rolls to try to set up a distraction, the Summoner was forced to flee and cower around my dead body. We quickly decided there just wasn’t a way to win this one any more and chalked it up to a failure of epic proportions.
So, an auspicious start to the co-op scenarios. We got our asses handed to, proper style. We are not deterred, however, and will soldier on. One thing that is a little odd in this book is a lack of guidance on the scenario aftermath. The scenarios have objectives but I’m not sure if this is the only option for the Wizard Bands or if you can decide to flee and live another day.
I assume those rules are supposed to come from the core book but those all assume a versus mode and fleeing is always an option there. If you flee or just flat out die in these co-op campaigns, do you go on with the results from the failed game (checking for true death or just “mostly” dead wizards and soldiers) or do you repeat the scenario like a video game?
Given the little information on what do in between scenarios we’re assuming we have to try it again (keeping the death results from the after party). We thought this mainly because the next scenario assumes we made it inside. We don’t want no free passes so we’ll give the mission another shot.
As always, the fun of Frostgrave isn’t so much the quality of the results (meaning did you have more good results than bad) but rather the results themselves and what that means in a narrative context. Not-Therelin had a pretty terrible game plan and then went from weak to weaker as her heroism failed and she died like a coward, alone, hiding among the pines. Or did she…