Friday, December 16, 2016

Frostgrave Review

This is probably coming a bit late, and the fact that I've been playing Frostgrave for over a year now probably already tells you that this is going to be a positive review, and it is, but I wanted to take a post or two to share what it is about the game that I really like.


First off, a bit about the game itself. Frostgrave is a fantasy skirmish game, where each player controls a warband of about 10 minis, lead by a wizard. The focus of the game is on collecting treasures from the board, and/or achieving whatever goal is determined by the scenario. It is entirely possible to play in such a way that the warbands never have to actually fight each other. It's not really likely, but it's possible...

As it's a wizard-centric game, only the wizard gains XP. All the rest of your soldiers just continue to hang around as they were, unless you upgrade them with magic items, or replace them with better troop types. The wizard's apprentice is a little different, as she gains in skill as her wizard goes up in power.

One of the things I like about Frostgrave is that while there is a setting and story that goes with the game, it's entirely possible to run your game in basically any fantasy type setting you want. Mordheim? No problem. Heck, it even works with some more fantastical sci-fi settings like Star Wars (jedi instead of wizards) or Doctor Who. Of course you can always play in the frozen city too!

In addition to that, while there is an official range of miniatures for Frostgrave there is absolutely ZERO requirement or even suggestion that you must or even should use them. For those of use with extensive collections of minis, this is a key selling point for anyone who's considering getting in on the game. Heck, it doesn't even have to be that extensive a collection. A single core set of miniatures from one of Reaper's Bones kickstarters is easily enough minis to fill out 2 warbands!

Additionally because the game is designed to be played on a small area (3' x 3' is the recommended size) it doesn't take a huge investment in terrain or space. If you've been following my blog, you've seen the terrain I've built over the last year for a really minimum investment in money (less than $25!).

The rules themselves are very lite, and can be condensed easily to a single page (not counting spells, stat lines, etc.). It isn't a game designed for tournament play, but rather for a more casual campaign. While I have at times enjoyed highly complex rules sets, having something so player friendly makes it so much easier to find people to play with who can actually find time to play. It also helps that the author is pretty active online to answer questions for those situations where something can be interpreted in a couple of different ways.

And speaking of time to play, I've been routinely playing in 6-8 player games (it's designed for 2 players) and even with the added number of people, we still manage to finish a 6-7+ turn game in about 3.5 hours. 2 player games, from what I've seen, usually wrap up in under 2 hours.

All in all, there is a lot to recommend this rules set, which is why I've been playing it for over a year now.

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