Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Thaddeus Bites the Worm

“See? Another castle!”

Magog, the newly-hired barbarian was correct – a few miles from the scene of their recent expedition lay another ruined castle, squatting atop strangely churned-up ground.

Thaddeus grunted approvingly and then clicked his fingers. Immediately Fluffy II, the replacement warhound, scampered to his side. The wizard pointed to a nearby disk and the demonic hound leapt onto it, sniffing around the eldritch carvings.

“No teleportation,” Thaddeus mused, strolling up to the disk and picking off a piece of crumbling stone. “Looks like they malfunctioned long ago… Nonetheless I’ll wager there’s still treasure to be had.”

“And enemies to fight…” Magog drew his mighty sword as the sound of voices echoed through the ruins…

With the Keep scenario completed, there’s time for another game!

A quick rearrange of the scenery and as before the warband spreads out along the edge. Once again no pre-game demons were summoned and, despite a new cauldron, no potions were brewed.

So the first thing Thaddeus does is manage a summoning, draining his health to call forth a minor demon.

Both sides move forward. Treasure is taken, which attracts the attention of a strange bio-mechanical demon.

This wandering demon heads straight for Thaddeus. With one demon already in play he cannot bind it to his will, so blocks it’s line of sight with a wall.

Not to be left out, Oddleigh casts an imp spell. Up it pops among Toddlebrew’s men. Sadly, after being shoved into a snowdrift with a push spell it promptly wanders off and plays no further part in the game.

Once again fighting erupts in the centre. Fluffy II bites the dust!

An overall shot of the action. The ground rumbles ominously...

The demon climbs up some steps to grab some treasure, making a perfect target for Toddlebrew’s archers.

Hakim the ranger shins up a pillar to collect another treasure, only to notice strange ripples in the frozen soil. Thus exposed against the white wintry clouds, he is the perfect target for Toddlebrew, who’s push spell exploits the rules of trigonometry to deadly effect. Hakim shoots up into the sky...

...and comes back down again... Splat!

Thaddeus’ men push forward in the centre. Is that the ground vibrating under their feet?

No longer able to see it’s original quarry, the errant demon turns to it’s nearest prey, a crossbowman.

By now most of the treasures are being lugged towards the edge. Suddenly the ground trembles and a giant worm erupts beneath the last unclaimed chest! It rears above a cowering Oddleigh while Goldtooth the treasure hunter frantically drags away his prize.

Undeterred, a pesky archer is defeated by Thaddeus’ infantry.

While the new barbarian earns his pay.

Thaddeus and Oddleigh wound the giant worm with bone darts, leaving a nearby crossbowman, who had so far failed to hit anything, to finish it off with his dagger.

The other crossbowman fares less well.

The barbarian is downed by a treasure hunter, despite reinforcements.

But his comrades take revenge.
Toddlebrew, content with two treasures, now decides to withdraw, allowing Thaddeus to claim the last unclaimed treasure, bringing his haul up to four.

Once again the glittering chests of treasure (not to mention the knowledge gained by dissecting the worm) failed to stave off the feeling of melancholy at the Cloven Hoof. While most of those who fell were being patched up, Hakim the ranger, one of the few remaining original members of the warband, could not survive such a great fall.

Thaddeus closed his latest dusty grimoire - an evil-looking tome bound in human skin - and sniffed.
"I believe it is the way of Hakim's people to have their dead buried with their kin. There is a Southlander cemetery in Ulfenhalle - have his remains bound and sent there. I believe a caravan heads south in a day or-"

Suddenly the door to the inn was flung open and a figure in red armour strode in.

"I hear you're a man short and a hundred gold crowns over, "she declared, tossing a strand of strawberry blonde hair from her face. "My name is Red Sandra and I am here to lead your band - I think you'll find my fee reasonable..."

(Toddlebrew's side of the story can be read at

Tuesday, 28 June 2016


Before I start writing up the next batrep, here's a quick post about some nice scatter scenery I got the other day.

These are a set of 10 Blasted Tree Stumps I bought off Amazon from War World Gaming. They paint up rather nicely!

Keep Calm and Summon Demons

Flecks of snow whipped around the ruined castle, dancing playfully across the fallen stones that once comprised it's mighty walls. Oddleigh watched as a flurry was blown by the keen wind over a stone disk. He blinked as the whirling specks suddenly disappeared.


"Ah, you've noticed..." Thaddeus chuckled. "Teleportation disks I'll wager - I thought a castle like this would have them but I never suspected they'd still work."

He waved his band forward.

"Come, let us see what we can discover!"

With the destiny of Britain and Europe changing overnight, what better time to play at wizards? This time it's 'The 'Keep' scenario.

The table layout: a ruined castle with the remains of a keep in the centre. Two treasures lie within this keep...

... while four more sit upon the mysterious teleportation disks.

Thaddeus’ warband. The thugs and archers have been paid off and new infantrymen and crossbowmen hired in their place. The newly installed pigeon loft had made these guys a little cheaper, but the new summoning circle and arcane candle had yet to yield results.

The band deploys along the edge. The spellcasters and support at the centre and left flank. The remainder on right flank and filling the gaps.

True to form, Toddlebrew’s warband arrive on the opposite side.

As the crossbowmen climb up to their vantage points, Thaddeus rolls up his sleeves and prepares to cast.

Sir Pierre strides forward, but a push spell sends him reeling back.

Halfinch, having taken a freshly brewed elixir of speed, zips onto a disk and is teleported to his right (luckily not in the midst of the opposition!)

Alas an enemy treasure hunter also lands on the same disk!

In the centre, both sides square up to contest the two treasures.

Thaddeus Daemoncall decides to live up to his name for once and actually does some summoning (barely)! Cue one imp to do his bidding.

The fight in the centre hots up. With a yelp, Fluffy the warhound goes down!

Infantrymen rush to support Halfinch (luckily the one stepping on the disk didn’t move anywhere).

A teleport disk sends the imp right next to a treasure carrying treasure hunter – can it steal the chest?

In the centre, the scrummage over the treasure continues.

Slowly Thaddeus’ men gain the upper hand.

The imp sees off an archer that had rushed in to rescue the heavily laden treasure hunter.

The other treasure hunter is eventually dispatched, allowing Halfinch to claim the treasure.

Another enemy archer arrives and the Squiddy McSquidface's luck runs out.

Fighting in the centre takes it’s toll. Both Gog the barbarian and Hakim the ranger are wounded.

Another imp is summoned and is transported to some juicy treasure behind enemy lines.

The air shimmers and vision blurs as Thaddeus summons a wall to protect the injured Hakim from enemy bowmen, allowing him to pull back and claim a treasure.

However Gog the barbarian is not so lucky.

Within moments the infantrymen arrive to join Goldtooth the treasure hunter in extracting revenge.

With their numbers dwindling, Toddlebrew orders a withdrawal, leaving a fine haul of five treasures for Thaddeus.

The mood in the Cloven Hoof was sombre that night, despite the haul of treasure that had been acquired. Few mourned the loss of  Gog the barbarian - his had been a sullen and brooding presence at best - but the loss of the ever-faithful Fluffy had effected them all, even the newcomers to the band.

Oddleigh had left Thaddeus alone for a while, and was surprised when his master emerged from his room wearing a large grin. He thrust a piece of parchment and some coins into the apprentices hands.

"Boy, take a pigeon and send word for another barbarian, then purchase these ingredients."

"Yes master. May I ask what for?"

"Why, we have a kennel and I intend to fill it!"

Chuckling, he retreated back into his room. As he closed the door, Oddleigh noticed a piece of Fluffy's red fur hanging out of his pocket.

(Toddlebrew's view of the battle can be found at

Sunday, 26 June 2016

The Tower of Pryn Gh'ool

Deep in the heart of the frozen city stands the tower of the great wizard Pryn Gh'ool.

Among magical circles it is whispered that this mighty sorcerer once practiced the dark arts of null magic: anti-magic if you will. Indeed, it is said that even to this day, it is impossible to cast spells in the confines of what remains of this edifice.

This may or may not be true, but one thing is for certain - any wizard worth his or her salt would give his or her eye teeth to discover the secrets of Pryn Gh'ool...

This is the first step towards making the terrain necessary for the 'Silent Tower' scenario, which calls for a tall tower, connected by walkways to two smaller towers (which I have yet to make).

The tower is made out of a Pringles tubes (other tube-bound overly-addictive potato snacks are available). After cutting off the top and gouging out some doorways, windows and holes, I added some 'stonework' by sticking on some small squares of double-sided tape.

A smearing of 'No More Nails' glue added the texture, whilst some bits of foam were (somewhat clumsily) glued to the inside to give the impression of broken stairs and floors. A lump of foam was also stuck in the bottom, partly to help weigh it down. The ladder was simply some bamboo flower sticks stuck together.

More sinister than the Silent Tower, it is said, is the network of tunnels and chambers that run beneath it. Many allege that the great Pryn Gh'ool not only dabbled in null magic, but was also an accomplished beastcrafter. To this day, strange howls can be heard in the dark passages that riddle the hill upon which the Tower of Pryn Gh'ool stands...

In readiness for the Breeding Pits expansion book (I've gone into the 'Gnicktarter' at level 2) I took a few spare chunks of grey packing foam to make some rocky dungeon walls.

A very quick and easy job, which began with tearing them into strips, picking out holes in the smooth sides, undercoating black and then drybrushing with tester pot paint.

Coming soon, not one but two game reports (in which two original members of the Thaddeus' warband will die...)

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Going Clubbing!

The other evening, folks at the Hereford Wargames Club kindly allowed me to put on an introductory game of Frostgrave.

Deciding to keep things simple, I pre-generated a couple of wizards (necromancer and elementalist) and cobbled together two warbands. I decided to start off with a standard game – no backstory or campaign (so no post-game rolling), just straight into the action.

I played the necromancer whilst my opponent Alan took the elementalist. A quick precis of the rules and away we went!

Both bands split into three. After successfully summoning a zombie out-of-game, theoretically I’d enjoy superiority in numbers. However I made a big mistake in concentrating my bands in the centre and right flank, leaving only my archers to cover the left.

The treasure immediately in front of me was easily taken, so I leaped my zombie to the right flank in order to support my approaching thief, who was after another treasure that lay amongst the ruins. Sadly one of the enemy archers one-shotted this chap (Alan getting a natural 20 critical hit on his first roll!).

To protect the rest of my band on this flank I cast a fog spell, only to have the elementalist’s Templar stride through it to send my zombie back into the grave.

On my left my opponent was grabbing plenty of treasure, but soon scurried out of the way when one of my archers caught the elementalist apprentice out in the open. The poor girl was quickly dispatched.

In the centre my thugs were also getting into gear, taking out an enemy thug while one of my band grabbed the right-flank treasure. Sadly this attracted the attention of a wandering medium construct, which staggered onto the field right next to my advancing apprentice!

The little chap was no match for this bronze statue, causing my necromancer to come to his rescue by leaping him out of harm’s way. A combination of melee and arrows eventually felled the construct.

The elementalist warband had by now taken all of the treasure on the left, leaving us in contention for the remaining treasure on the right, which my thief had nabbed. However, wounded and laden, he had to haul the loot up onto a nearby wall, where he was taken out by an archer.

As I moved my thugs in to collect the fallen prize, the opposing Templar, warhound and archer did likewise. My own archers had climbed onto the central building, but were unable to take out the elementalist who quickly appreciated the value of the wall spell (after failing to elemental bolt his way to victory).

My wizard managed to summon another zombie, but repeatedly failed to leap it into action, leaving the creature to shuffle forward as best it could. Nursing his wounds at the rear, my apprentice also tried to leap the zombie forward, but his experience with the construct must’ve left him shaken for he failed every spell – his health dwindling each time until he collapsed to the ground and could spellcast no more.

Soon my thugs had managed to gang up on the Templar and batter him out of action, before seeing off the warhound too.

Free from distractions one of them climbed the wall to finally claim the last hotly-contested treasure, whilst another took out the pesky archer that had been the author of many of my necromancer’s troubles.

And so the game ended, with Alan’s elementalists winning the game with four treasures to my two.

It was great fun, with both of us sighing with exasperation as our wizards consistently fluffed their spells, and me grimacing as the wandering construct suddenly appeared behind my apprentice (at least he lasted longer than his opposite number!)

Alan quickly got to grips with the rules, and the game also drew the interest of a few onlookers. I think I’ve converted at least one club member into the Frostgrave club!

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Brunhilde and the Beast (and Barry)

In the guttering torchlight, Barry regarded his employer as she waved her hands over tomb entrance. The Sisterhood had taught her well, he mused, as the heavy slab cracked noisily into pieces before crumbling into nothing.

“Come,” she barked. “Ready your crossbow. Lord Shrieve has been dead for centuries, but who knows what else dwells down here.”

Barry fumbled for his weapon as the Mistress strode through the dark maw. She was a Human, and a battle-nun to boot, whilst he was a Dwarf hireling of many decades experience; but even so he couldn’t help feeling a stirring of… something… Maybe it was the way her nostrils flared before she dispatched her foes or how parts of her swelled when she tightened her leather bodice and… He shook his head; thinking such things would not be appropriate.

A short flight of steps later and they were in the main chamber. Oversized beetles scuttled away as Brunhilde’s torch illuminated nooks and crannies that not seen light for aeons.

“There – there is the tomb.”

Heedless of the cobwebs that brushed her impressive frame, she moved forward.

“Mistress wait-!”

But alas it was too late.

The thin wire strung across the floor barely caught the light, but it was enough for Barry to make out in the gloom. Brunhilde, headstrong as she was, did not even register it before it snapped with a ‘twang’.
With a pained screech the stone trapdoor beneath her fell open, sending her down into the depths below.

Things chittered and skittered as Brunhilde screamed.

“Mistress!” Barry started for the hole, feeling for his backpack and the rope therein, but stopped dead as somewhere behind him, something chuckled.

He froze. “Lord Shrieve I presume?”

“The very same…” replied a deep aristocratic voice.

Barry turned to face the thing that was once Lord Shrieve as it stepped out of the shadows. Slowly and deliberately he reached into his pouch for a crossbow bolt.

“Maybe you’ll be quick enough to reach me before I can get off a shot,” he said, trying to keep his voice steady. “Although I’ll wager you’ve been down here for some time and that your joints are a little stiff…”

“Perhaps…” came the reply.

“Well then maybe-“

Suddenly the pale ragged form was before him, fangs grinning and crazed milk-white eyes boring into his.

“Or maybe not…”

The vampire snatched the crossbow from his unresisting hands and tossed it aside. “You know I usually find Dwarf blood a little too gamey. But I am so very hungry…”

“I-indeed.” Barry stammered. “Tell me, are have you ever heard of ‘g’sditch’? It’s a Dwarfish word – there’s no direct translation into common tongue, but it generally means ‘to deny one’s enemy simply out of spite’.”

Lord Shrieve frowned. “And I need to know this why exactly?”

“Because I dedicate what I am about to do to Goglik, Dwarf god of g’sditch. Good-day.”

He shoved the vampire back and, raising an imaginary hat, stepped backwards into the hole.

“You’ll have to fight the vermin for me you bastard!” may not be the finest last words ever uttered, but for the Dwarf gods they may just be enough to ensure a warrior's entry into the Great Halls of Feasting.

Three minis I bought second-hand. The dwarf and vampire are Reaper, but I have no idea where Brunhilde (who came ready-painted and just needed a little rework) comes from.

Monday, 13 June 2016

A Little Adventure

The sailors leapt nimbly from little vessel as it bumped against the jetty; tying ropes, dropping anchor, heaving to and other such nautical things.

Prester shivered and pulled his robes about him. Although the journey from the Small Isles to the mainland was short, it had been freezing cold and the sea had been choppy at best. Indeed, for an apprentice more used to the sedentary life of Littleton, it had been positively tempestuous.

He stared goggle-eyed as dockhands came forward to assist the sailors – huge lumbering fellows when compared to his fellow islanders. They stared back, equally surprised – it was common knowledge that everything - Humans, Dwarves, Elves - grew a little smaller on the Small Isles, hence the name, but neither islander nor mainlander appreciated the difference until they got up close.

Prester turned to his fellow passengers who in the main looked just as nervous as he felt. Apprentices who, like him, sought better opportunities in the frozen north than the overcrowded hiring fairs at home, thieves eager to put their slight statures to good use, thugs and fighters keen to show that shorter people were just as tough as anyone in Frostgrave.

The apprentice carefully scanned the loiterers around the quayside as the Little Islanders were ushered along the gangplank like field mice being chased into the cat’s basket.

‘Don’t show ‘em fear boy,’ growled one of the passengers, elbowing past him before striding confidently along the pier. It was the taciturn ‘man in black’, as Prester had dubbed him, making his first utterance since they began the voyage. Now he was off, crossbow in hand, melting into the crowd ahead.

‘Don’t show them fear… very well…” Prester tucked his scrolls more firmly under his arm and, jutting out his chin, marched past the others. “I want a job!” he declared.

L-R Midlam, Reaper, Midlam, CP Models, Midlam, Fireforge
Continuing to fill the ranks of generic warband members are these figures from Midlam Miniatures, including some in nice Frostgravy winter gear. They’re a little smaller than some, but, as the comparison photo shows, not uncomfortably so – at least for me.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Ruined Keep

The snow crunched under Red Sandra's boots as she carefully made her way through a gap in the tumbled masonry that once comprised the castle walls. Small shapes skittered into the shadows as she crept into the shattered keep. The treasure was here somewhere... but where...?

Some more Frostgrave terrain in the form of this second-hand Ruined Keep set from Target Games. It’s a nice box of resin kit which required no assembly apart from gluing on the top half of the arch. 

My only gripe is that one side of this top piece is completely featureless, meaning I had to add a bit of texture by dabbing on some glue and then rubbing it onto the patio to pick up some bits (having got this set out during half-term and thus having no modelling tools on me.)

The kit has a nice amount of detail, and drybrushes well (using my usual triumvirate of tester pots). I particularly like the ruined spiral staircases and the treasure chest hidden amongst the rubble.