With the holiday season mere moments away from its major event, we decided to get together and throw a festive-inspired Frostgrave game. Sean had the main idea and so he and I tag-teamed with him picking up a centerpiece for the terrain and I would grab some minis to serve as our treasure-seeking foils. The war on Christmas has begun.
We start the setting in a very cramped and ruined area of Felstad where a powerful wizard has set up shop. It is rumored that this wizard has acquired more treasure than anyone and anyone brave enough to find his secluded base may come back handsomely rewarded.
Five brave Wizards took the call and happened upon the quaint base. Seemingly unguarded, it was a mad dash to get to the eccentric old wizard’s shop and see what we could find.
With all five of us playing, we set the following rules: no treasure would be placed on the board. All of it was in the toyshop. To access it, you had to be base-to-base with the shop and use an action to go inside and ransack the place. During the next Soldier Phase, you could activate a figure inside and (with treasure in tow) start base-to-base and take your activation. The game would last 7 rounds and at the end, any figure left on the board with a treasure had a 50/50 chance making it home with the treasure.
Of course it wouldn’t just be a matter of getting in and out. Santa, always watching, was out there and he was seeing that most of us were not being nice at all. Santa would remain relatively passive, creating an army of snowmen constructs and buffing them. When things got really bad, he’d pull out the ace up his red coat sleeve.
I won the placement roll off so I chose a fortified area with a direct shot at the toyshop’s front entrance.
A snow construct remained vigilant against intruders.
Which didn’t take long to show up. Jeremy’s force was also close and gained the attention of a different frozen sentry.
My forces flood out my gate and my wizard, Therelin, summons her favorite undead companion, Mutt, the Zombear.
The last of the Osberts, Osbert, takes a high vantage point and takes shot at the sentry but whiffs.
Undeterred, I send in three warhounds to take care of him only to see one of them drop under the fierce resistance of a being constructed solely of frozen hate.
My hound’s loss was not in vain. I was able to then rush my treasure hunters and thief up to the toyshop and go inside.
Jeremy sent in his own warhound, Snuggles, in and ripped apart another of my hounds. This was getting bloody, fast.
Colton’s warband slowly makes it out after summoning a major demon to the table.
More of Colton’s force shows up but then there is an issue with one of his imps. Sean started to make a move to head in Colton’s direction but a newly summoned imp was there to block the way. Not taking the bait, Sean retreats and lets the imp run over to harass the master that summoned it.
Sean’s constructs get some buffs and start hoofing it over to the shop while his warhound takes down a snowman and my summoned imp.
Reese’s force makes it out into the field and spies the shop entrance. They head out en masse.
Well most of them.
After having placed strategic Wizard Eyes in the central area, Reese’s wizard and apprentice are content with just hanging back and slinging spells. Usually in the form of Elemental Bolts at my exposed soldiers. Lucky for me, few of them find home. I will spend a good chunk of my game trying to rid myself of those Wizard Eyes to utter failure.
Reese’s forces now have me in a fun pincer attack. I send my bear and other warhound to engage.
This forces a pretty big scrum as Reese easily takes down another of my hounds. For all his trouble though, he can’t seem to take down my illusionary wizard. They had seen her many times before and likely didn’t realize she was mere figment and enchantment. I happily kept multiple soldiers tied up for a round or two.
With people inside his hallowed toyshop, shit gets real. Santa summons the major demon, Krampus out to defend his stock.
Knowing I will have 3 soldiers laden down with treasure emerging from the shop shortly, I have the zombear engage Krampus and all his fury. In hindsight, I should have just ran away and let him engage the horde of Reese’s forces. Ah well, zombear’s immediate sacrifice would allow my soldiers to get out of there and Krampus would engage Reese soon enough.
As my soldiers are emerging from the shop, Reese, Jeremy, Colton, and Sean all send soldiers inside to start their plunder. I have my bear engage some of Reese’s stragglers but he falls quickly to some hapless man-at-arms. My animals are just getting slaughtered out there, even with superior numbers. I think secretly, they know we are up to no good and their heart just wasn’t in the fight.
I’m not the only one though. Two snowmen surround and shred Snuggles, dropping him from the field. They turn quickly on my last hound and end him too.
As my soldiers file out of the shop, Reese’s apprentice takes a sniper shot at one of my Treasure Hunters and aces him. The lightning blast just destroys him and he drops his treasure. Osbert has been sneaking around the tops of the tower around my start zone and lines up a shot. The dice finally go my way and his bolt slams into the apprentice even through deep cover. The blow drops the fledgling magic user and I feel a little better for the loss of my other soldier.
With my apprentice and wizard both helping (Leap and Telekinesis spells flying), I am able to still secure the three treasures and get them quickly off the map. Santa has plenty of targets to mess with but I still keep getting the short straw and his ire is directed my way.
Zombear actually holds his own. He holds off Krampus for a couple of rounds and then the snowman brigade starts to join in.
In the fury, Sean sends a large construct over to wait for Reese’s soldiers to pop out of the shop. One does and is promptly engaged and destroyed. The construct picks up the treasure and starts to head off with its prize.
It takes the combined might of Krampus and two snowmen to finally take down the zombear. Then they head over to Sean’s construct, easily wiping out his warhound along the way.
The slow construct can’t go fast enough and Krampus and snowman overrun him and crush him as well.
Jeremy can’t leave well enough alone and decides to pot shot Santa in his tower (a feat he’s been trying all night). The dice finally abide and his arrow strikes home, taking the red wizard down.
We simply have no humanity left in this frozen hell.
This guy right here. Totally on the naughty list.
In the end, I make it off with less than half my force still kicking and three treasures richer. My greedy wizard competitors make it off with 7-8 treasures a piece. All told with complete decimated the big man’s toy shop to the tune of 30 treasures off the board. Sorry kids. There went Christmas.
It was fun to have a wild game like this. Nothing was really balanced and the treasure load gained by some warbands was pretty crazy but Frostgrave being what it is, nothing seemed too over the top. There is still and experience point cap that everyone hit and Reese, Colton, and Jeremy each were on the low end of the power curve relative to levels so hopefully that gives them a boost to catch up.
While I lost a ton of soldiers, they were mainly cheap or summoned animals so the losses won’t truly hurt and my Treasure Hunter was only injured so he’ll be back another day. Having mostly animals in my warband really hurt in this “get as much as you can hold” scenario. Those that got 7 or more treasures off were because they didn’t have any animals (or only had one). I still really like my “wild hunt” style warband and most scenarios don’t have the option for so many treasures on the table so they’ll continue to work out. Poor Santa though. I wonder how he’ll recover? Maybe I’ll have the answer sometime soon… In any case, Merry Christmas!