piątek, 27 marca 2020

Free Frostgrave core from Osprey!

Due to Corona pandemic Osprey is giving for free Basic Rulebook for Frostgrave
Its 1st edition - basic book for few month more now
But its worth to have it - especially if its for free - and give this gem of wargaming potential a look.
This is one book that changed skirmish wargaming most in the previous decade.

I will be honest with you.. its worth for the art alone :)

Here is Osprey blog entry

czwartek, 19 marca 2020

Frostgrave Plastic Sprues review and comparison Part 1

Introduction first:
 I really like Frostgrave plastics that North Star and Rendra are releasing. They are affordable and provide loads of options and are mostly compatible. They works well with each other and give you a lot of options.
But Ive decided to do my subjective top listing of the sprues I own.
As to date they are: Soldiers, Cultists, Barbarians, Snakemen, Soldiers II and Wizards.
I don’t have Crewmen, Tribals and Wizards II
I will discuss bodies and posing, arms and available poses, weapons in the set, heads ad extra decor on the sprue.
Disclaimer: FG sprues are not the same size. Standard box com es with 4 identical spries and Wizard box comes with just pair of the sprue but Wizard sprues are much larger larger.
First boxes (Soldiers Cultist and Barbarians) were standardized but then they  sizes started to grow. Gnolls and Soldier II grew 25% and Snakemen sprue grow a little more, Wizards sprues are 1.5 of the standard sprue. Still most of 4 sprue boxes cost 20 pounds but Gnolls and Snakemen costs 22ł (Strangely Soldier II box with sprues identical in size to Gnolls sprue cost 20ł). 2 sprue Wizard box cost 15 pounds each and as the sprues themselves are 50% larger than standard Soldier/Cultist/Barbarian sprue we are getting 3 standard sprues equivalent in them so the pricing is in perfect match with standard sets and Soldier II arebest value for money placticwise :>)

Ok so after this introduction I will review all the sprues I have awarding them points in 5 categories mentioned earlier:  bodies and posing, arms and available poses, weapons in the set, heads ad extra decor on the sprue.

 Part 1
Soldiers and cultists

Soldiers Sprues.
Its your basic Frostgrave sprue, first to be released and was meant to provide most of the basic soldier types (more exotic types were made in metal)

This basic sprue has 5 bodies that are dressed in rugged multi layered clothing for cold weather but they are not to overdressed. 2 have strange loincloths. 4 of the m are standing more or less still facing forward. This is least dynamic set and bodies are  a little stubby (each later set is better proportioned and little taller but thy all work well) but they are boring but universal. - 2
Arms are also quite static, although this sprue includes  my favorites arm stretched axe arm and knifing hand (useful for the thieves - every band going into Felstad needs them) and the lantern, some of the arms  are held in unnatural ways to close to the body, all of the left hands ends in fist and  one right hand is pointing  - 2
We are getting 2 bows, 2 crossbows, 6 one handed weapons (Sword, axe-my favorite, primitive mace, 2 shorter swords and knife) and pair of two handed weapons (awkward held sword and large axe) there are pair of shields and hand held lantern (again one of my favorite bits)  - 5
There are 10 heads in the set some of them in helmets but none of them memorable - 2
We got 2 small pouches, scroll bag, 2 ropes, 2 quivers (one crossbow and one bow- but to short), backpack, burning torch  and a sack -4
Final score 15
Soldiers II Sprue
This is much later and larger sprue - it is recreating most of the options from the soldiers sprue but more streamlined.
Again standard 5 bodies this time dressed mostly in longer coats. Bodies are more slim and better proportioned and they are posed in more dynamic way, 4 are moving and there are both moving side wise  towards viewer  -5
Arms are static but better proportioned,weapons are held more naturally and we got 3 open hands and 3 fisted left arms. No pointing arm. All of the arms have shorter coat sleeve with furry cuffs  -4
We are getting 2 bows and 1 crossbow, 4 one handed weapons (2 fist with knifes to convert to existing arms, pair  of two handed axes (on a bit wimpy) pair of shields identical to soldier sprue and a spear. No weapon is very interesting (but the axes are ok) and very nice lantern  - 3
There are 10 heads in the set (one with extra braid) Few heads are very nice but some are lacking. There is one ethnic head - 3
There are 2 smal pouches, bag, backpack with rolled blanket, 2 ropes, 2 quivers (again smal for a bow provided) burning torch a great cape -5
Final score 20
Cultist sprue
This was second released sprue and if my favorite overall. It is meant to provide cultist but with options for some zombies and skeletons in one set.
5 bodies in most dynamic poses from all of the sets. They are wearing long robes and galligaskins some bodies have extra padded surcoat. Bodies are very dynamic thanks to longer robes/coats they are flowing. 4 bodies are moving and the are both moving side wise  towards viewer, worth mentioning are holes in some of the garments that may not be universal but they easy to fill with green stuff  -5
Arms are well posed and add to the dynamic posing of the set, but due to multi types nature of this set we have limited amount of arms available. 2 pairs of empty arms are meant for undad options and are skeletal or close to skeletal, there is also one skeletal arm with long sword and one shield arm that could work both as undead and cultist arm. There are only 4 cultist left arms (not counting shield arm that could work for cultists, 2 handed weapon is cast with both hands -4 (5 if you want to built some undead)
We are getting One bow and crossbow, 4 hand weapons (2 vicious swords, one axe and one skeletal arm katana), 3 extra fists (2 knives and a chain), one buckler, one shield, one spear and 2 handed mace. All weapons are cool and sword are unique and great - 4
There are 16 heads in this set. we got 7 masked hoods, 2 skull shaped helmets masking half of the face, 3 hooded heads with visible faces and pair of zombie and skeletal heads. -5
On the sprue there ar 2 sets of cultist decor (bones and whatnot) one smal bag with small knife and two small flasks (with a skull and chain) and there are 2 quivers, one for crossbow and one for reflex bow - this time it could work with it more of less) -3
Final score 21 (22)

All of those 3 sets are completely interchangeable and works great with each other. You could build anything need for Frostgrave warband from them, and you can even build yourself Wizard and apprentice (althought somehow bland which could be improved by some heads and gadgets from bits box (Ive built me my first Wizard and Apprentice from Cultist set + 2 heads, skull and some green stuff

Here are Cultist Guide and Soldier treasure hunter with Barbarians for scale (heads on treasure  hunter and barbarian are from GB Goths, shield and armored arm are from GW)

sobota, 2 listopada 2019

Its LPL Again

I participate in LPL again this year (my third time) - I love it to be hones even if I have no chances to win it :) I like to built small crews and pose them for cool photos.
So you've seen my Frostgrave entry already
I chose to tie my entries with little Easter egg. Look out for Sinister Chicken!

here is the rest
First round was thematic one - with Victorian horror. I am not particularly inclined towards this genre but I hag Malifaux 2e crew I havent finished and beautiful metal 1st ed McMurning to round it up
Then mentioned Frostgrave one  and My Late Roman Comitatus of Flavius AWitus as third round photo (funny detail - legionaries in the background were in one of my earlier LPL entry)

Then I went intio 4 th round with my Battle Company of  Rohan group (Starring Rohan Battle company with upgraded mounted leader)

This week Is another thematic round - this time Only paint - minis without any scenic details. As I like setting up little scenes the best its not that interesting as thematic round - I used my Slaanesh retinue - Boldly named AWitus Comitatus 40K (as its similar - Leader and 4 retinue men at arms- in composition to my late roman comitatus) to try hypnotizing voters with bold colour choices (although I won 4 previous matches so there is a chance I will be put against some of the real masters there and nothing will help me against just devastatingly better painted miniatures :)

My last year quest was to won half of the matches I participated in - I did it and finished at 13 position overall. - My target this year is to keep that position :)
Now to prepare entries for the remaining 5 rounds  - I have one ready to photograph and 2 almost done. That is leaving me 2 rounds one of which will be thematic round with something American - that will be hard one as I don't have faintest idea what to paint...nor anything american bar some 15mms... Yet!. :O :D

wtorek, 15 października 2019

Frostgrave Archaeology team of Summoner Awixus the Rich

This is my team of adventurers after second game in the campaign. Some Ive shown before as they were part of my LPL entries some are completely new.

This is My team how they entered the not-so-Frozen ( we loosened on winter theme because of no place to store completely new set of terrain)
As you see only 3 henchmen from the original cast survived the dangers of the first scenario Fountain of youth

Previous photos featuring our heroes:
 Start of the team in 2017 LPL round
Second part in 2018 LPL

This year LPL

niedziela, 1 września 2019

Frostgrave treasure tokens

Useful in many games and scenarios but made with Frostgrave in mind.

Main component and time saver here were Rendra cobblestone bases.
Bits are random parts of leftover bits ad one piece from Kinder Surprise toys from 20 years ago.

czwartek, 25 lipca 2019

I played Warcry and lived to tell about it

Its quite cool and very tactical game. Scenarios are constructed in a way that you have to play scenario and some bands could be handicapped.

I played Untamed beasts and had to decide which of my models carries a treasure chest. 

My opponent had to kill him and take the treasure. But I had to nominate a model at the start of 2 nd turn when reinforcements arrived and the scenario had only 3 turns.
So to catch potential campy treasure keeper my opponents would have to plan accordingly and wait. He decided to smash my starting guys and had very small chance to get the treasure guy. Anyway again he went for carnage and killed my leader unnecessarily and I won easily.
Its hard to not want to kill everybody with bunch of bloodthirsty chaos cultists :P

First turn brawl in the centre 

I've killed his leader and 3 lesser guys and grunt and i lost my beast herder leader and some grunts.
Most definitely MVP was big wildcat thingy with 8 of movement and ability to be forced by beastmaster for and extra attack and survived the game.

Kitty attack

If I understand it correctly there is one building miniatures decision in the starter box. You can built Iron golem standard bearer with an iron gong or Preceptor (?) with huge hammer.
Gong or hammer - tough choice to made...

I cant say anything about the terrain as we used pre painted Garden of Morr shop had on hand.

Golem leader fall

The cards for creating the missions can have big impact or almost non existent. We had a card that asked for drafting another pair of cards and using both from which one was +1 to movement for everyone (meh) but the second one gave the both bands extra die for activation rolls (we rolled 7 dice each turn - and this was huge - my opponent managed to use pair of quadruple results in one turn- that would let him win the scenario most probably but he went for max carnage of Ogre model.)

They were bragging about 30 millions of combinations of cards during creation of battlefields but lets be honest - those options are quite cosmetic sometimes.

Most important thing is that you have to split your forces between 3 detachments Dagger, shield and hammer (each one need at least 1 model and no more than 1/3 or 50% and biggest one (shield?) need minimum 33%)
But you dont know how they will deploy and If they will deploy turn one or turn 2+ from reserves - this is dictated by card drawn after splinting.

You can see hammer, dagger and shield icons and deployment zones. They are symmetrical on all cards I saw. Here - Dagger and Hammer deploy in second turn.
This is major factor creating friction and fog of war on the battlefield and its the tool for making games different.

Abilities card example
Second factor is roll for initiative/abilities - they can change course of the game allowing extra attacks, more devastating attacks, extra movement and even one heals - but its hardly useful IMHO in such low turn games. Those again are quite few and will be repetitive but combination of dice rolls should make game unpredictable.

Overall great game. I loved it. And preordered a copy.

Just don't expect to play deep campaign with it.
It will be perfect for pick up games though (and probably tournaments and such which interest me less). Its less time consuming and tough decision game as Underworlds but its much easier to get into and don’t need great investment in cards ( you only need your model cards and your faction and shared activated abilities so one box of a miniatures and you are playing the game.
It won't be for everyone but I will have great time with it.

środa, 24 lipca 2019

Burrows and Badgers test game and some rules presentation

So I've been recently tempted by beautiful miniatures and great tournament report to try Burrows and Badgers - a game of anthropomorphic animals.
I was a bit skeptic at first but pretty and well painted miniature ca lure me to many traps  (and I liked Mouseguard :)
Before I order any miniatures I've decided to try the game with proxies.
So I raised a small Skaven Warband that served me well in Underoworlds + one added mice  works great in B&B assuming that Skritch (who is The greatest Yess Yess remember?) will be larger kind of rat.  I  added one mice with a bow to fill the roster (random skaven from Mordheim I've bought pre painted  many years ago and never bothered to do anything with him - Fun fact Skritch will be my Assassin adept in Mordheim too so that small dude after rebasing and repainting/rebuild will find a way to Mordhaim again)
So we have Team Rat consisting of Leader Brown Rat with Halberd (pole arm) heavy armor and Feint skill, Black (smaller kind) rat with halberd, pair of rats with double hand weapons, rat with weapon and shield and one mouse with a bow.
At the other side of the table Team Prox mustered..
Mollog is a Massive Badger with Two handed sword and Zweihander skill (Tough and powerful killing machine)and the bad case of tinea, His sidekick is Otterbestman (larger beast the size of my Leader brown rat) with twohander and heavy armor, pair of GoblinMice have only bows and bat is armed with hand weapon, band is complemented by this rabid Shrew (those teeth counts as two handed weapons. two hand weapons

The Scenario was Recover the Paychest (I have older version of rules so the name could change in the Osprey book - I will buy it for sure as the rules improved). Both team had to dig for hidden chest with treasure of some unit destroyed in the previous war hidden somewhere along the  huts on the center line..

The game started slowly but my shieldrat could feel cold glimpse of inevitable since turn 1!

Every model rushed forward, the sneaky bat managed to search rightmost hut but to no avail (that happened to by only attempt made during the game as things escalated quickly)

Combat was started by Otter and shieldrat, but they were mainly inefficient (due to armor and shield).  It is quite nice interaction of shields - which give bonus to defense roll so its easier to awoid the damage and heavy armor -which grants tough 2 skill ( that means each time character takes damage it is lowered by 2 points).
Then the BadgerTroll joined the fray and BUM, one swing of that giant double handed club and the shieldrat was smashed into the cobblestones..

Combat itself is also  very elegant.
Its opposed roll of Strike die ( D10+2 for the Badger) vs  Block skill (D4 on my rat +2 bonus from a shield)   Most definitely not a fair combat..
 What could save the rat was a Miracle - when you rol natural maximum on any dice test the test get +7 luck bonus.. That gives larger chance for a bonus to smaller animals with lover types of dice - cool heroic narrative can be made here.
But my rat rolled 1 on his D4 so the end test result was 1 (+2 for a shield but -1 for multi model combat as  he was in base to base with Otterbeastman  and then -1 for wound penalty as he was lightly wounded by the Otter earlier).
The furry (well fungy) monster rolled 9+2 for zweihander 1 to 11 = 10 points of damage and then + 3 for his uncanny strength...  That was 13 damage..
Each critter have 16 damages with 4th, 8th, 12th and 15th point taken result in penalty to every roll made after suffering them.. Rat  had 4 damage from Otter charge so he went down with one strike of the Badger..(was squished like that Frog Mollog model is carrying.. :(
The rest of my team was furious about poor critter demise and prepared next turn charges!
Then some arrows were exchanged and my humble bow mouse put an arrow into the Badger wounding him lightly..
- Game uses alternate activation method so I was shooting BadgerTroll after he killed my shieldrat.
Then Goblinmice hit my bowmouse with some light hits in response.
Then my leader and his henchmen charged into the fray but failed to do serious damage to the Otter.
The turn ended with the bat failing in searching the building and mu last rat catching him off guard and wounding.

Next turn my leader managed to put halberd inside the dent of Otters heavy armor and put him down but just after my two smaller rats wounded him lightly each but not before himself being wounded by stubborn Otter.. The giant Badger swung his mace but my rat rolled 4 so he scored +7 luck bonus and dodged the mighty blow. Then shrew charged but failed to wound my Halberd rat. Bat ineffectually fought the Ratty and in response was slightly hit again accumulating more than 8 damage and putting him on -2 disadvantage to any tests.
But Unfortunately Badger won the initiative and swing again at my leader.. and again it was 1 for me..
To 10 - bastard got Lucky bonus so final test was 1 to 19.. 18 +2 damage OUCH!
Skritch has fallen, and then was stomped into the dirt..
rest of the combats were non decisive but the bat got one more wound and some arrows hit the target.

Then things went further south. Dual wielding rat run forward to kill finish one of the BowMice/Goblins (and avoid the Badger) but managed only to wound him.
Halberd rat miraculously survived two Troll attacks with rolling 4 and getting +7 but finally meet his demise. Fortunately my band morale was strong and I did not run away then because..
Then Mollog team made a mistake. Instead of atacking bat run away to search another terrain for a paychest (and don't be slaughtered - what could inevitably happen this turn) provoking disengagement strike. It was risky buy not that risky.. 50/50 chance and he was hit and hit to death..

Unintentionally the bat move freed my dual wielding rat to activate and charge seriously wounded bow-mouse-goblin.. He did and he scored the second kill that round and the final kill of the game.. Now the Prox team too was at 50% down and needed to test for morale.
It had the advantage.
Morale is a roll off too.
Suffering team leader fortitude (d8 for Otter) vs the team forcing the roll leader Presence.. (as my leader was down my second  highest presence was only d6).
So the rats had to test D10 ( Badger presence) vs d6 ( rat fortitude) and prevailed..
But Badger-troll D8 was a failure against Rats d6 presence..

My guess is that after two kills straight in a row, just few seconds apart
.. my murdery rat had to strike fear even in badgers.
via Gfycat

Flurry of  whiskers and knives was just to much.. and Team prox fled the battle field leaving the Paychest to the Team Rat.. Yaay!

I liked the rules very much. There was some numbers but they were quite easy to chew. Simple additions and subtractions. Game flown very well and was quite exciting. Will play again for sure. And I want to try the campaign.

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