Monday, 3 April 2017

Thaddeus the Looter



Thaddeus’ eyes narrowed, watching as the skull-faced figures wearily dropped the shafts of the cart they had been pulling. It's jerry built frame groaned as it leaned awkwardly to one side.

“They’ve stopped – fortuitous for us I think…”

Oddleigh nodded. They had heard rumours of these sinister folk and their necromantic master for some days now, and had finally tracked down one of their supply carts.

“Indeed,” whispered the apprentice. “Do you think they’d mind us having a quick word to see what they’re about?”

Suddenly the figures, who had stationed themselves around the cart, raised their weapons and turned their painted faces away from the Summoner’s hiding place. From the other side of the square, figures raced forward.

Thaddeus sighed.

“Not unless that damned Sigilist gets there first – c’mon!”

With my regular Frostgrave buddy Giles in the process of moving house, I was lucky enough to snag him for a game the other day. We continued the Thaw of the Lich Lord campaign with the Loot the Cart scenario.

The cart, surrounded by four treasure tokens and four cultists determined to protect them, was placed in the centre of the table. Two other treasures are also placed.

Toddlebrew’s men waste no time in getting to their target. Alas the USB stick on which Giles keeps his warband details refused to work, so he had to wing it. His first task is to cast draining word on the bone dart spell.

Thaddeus and his warband spread out along the opposite table edge. He had managed to brew a couple of potions but failed to summon any demons pre-game. This was somewhat balanced out by raising a zombie instead.

As usual, Thaddeus keeps himself in cover, but he opens proceedings by casting beauty upon himself, making it difficult for the opposition to harm them should they step out from behind the ruins.

Oddleigh also beautifies himself and then urges the men forward to claim a nearby treasure. It’s a start, but they’re still some way from the cultists’ cart.

Unlike Toddlebrew’s men, who are nearly on top of it! The Sigilist’s rangers open fire on the cultists as they stoically protect the cart. It’s almost as if they’re waiting for something…

A push spell from Toddlebrew sends a cultist flying towards Sir Pierre the knight. Both have no option but to fight! The crazed follower of death swings his club.

However he knight easily dispatches the crazed minion. A clever move from Toddlebrew – have your opponent deal with the threats while you grab the treasure.

One of the remaining cultists is set upon by an enemy treasure hunter and felled as the other cultists begin to stir. Toddlebrew is doing all he can to keep Thaddeus away from the cart so he can keep the treasure for himself.

Toddlebrew urges the rest of his warband forward as they begin to pull away some of the treasure. A ranger attacks another cultist and soon they are battling it out.

He is assisted by Thaddeus’ crossbowman, who, hiding behind some railings, fires into the combat and strikes down the cultist. Meanwhile the summoner brings forth a minor demon and orders his warband towards the cart.

This leaves them somewhat exposed, and allows an archer to pick off one of my infantrymen who had broken cover to pick up one of the cultists’ treasures that had been pulled towards him via telekinesis.

Franck the treasure hunter swigs down his potion of invisibility, allowing him to approach the cart without being bothered. His fellow treasure hunter Goldtooth and Gog the barbarian follow behind and strike down an enemy soldier.

All this noise attracts a nearby ice toad, which hops onto the stage directly behind Thaddeus’ crew. He dispatches the zombie to deal with it.

The demon screeches forward to attack Toddlebrew’s band, which are now swarming over the cart and heading for the remaining cultist. Franck is grateful for his invisibility potion!

However Gog and Goldtooth reach the last cultist and splatter him to the ground. An enemy knight looks on as they nab the final treasure.

However this action attracts a wraith onto the scene. The shadowy fiend appears on Thaddeus’ left flank, making the summoner the nearest target in sight…

Behind Thaddeus’ lines, the zombie is making a meal of fighting the toad. He manages to push it back, but it still keeps on coming.

Thaddeus is sent flying backwards with a push spell as his crossbowman races forward somewhat reluctantly to occupy the wraith. Meanwhile Uluk the marksman, having done little to earn that status all game, runs along a walkway to get a good line of sight. His new Soulseeker Quiver sure would come in handy right now.

The demon and Fluffy the warhound attack the opposition. The demon is dispatched by a knight and ranger combination.

An outnumbered Fluffy is also sent back to the nether realms by a triumvirate of ranger, warhound and captain. Being so close together, they make a great target for an elemental ball spell. Sadly, while the spell is successfully cast, it does no damage to anyone.

More casualties (although in this case it could be argued that he became a casualty a long time ago) as the zombie succumbs to the ice toad’s powerful jaws.

Yet more death! The crossbowman is unable to resist the soul-sucking touch of the wraith and sinks to the ground a wizened husk.

Suddenly an inhuman howling rends the chilly air! Four ghouls, reinforcements for the slain cultists, appear on the scene. Their nearest target? Oddleigh and his comrades…

Never mind! Oddleigh casts a trusty wall spell to hide his men behind. Unable to see any prey, the ghouls wander around in confusion. Meanwhile the warband are pulling away treasure chests whilst avoiding the slow ice toad.

Sir Pierre knocks back his potion of invulnerability and is leapt into the midst of Toddlebrew’s band. The sigilist is beginning to pull back, so can the knight steal a cheeky treasure from him?

Gog the barbarian races to engage the wraith and protect his master. Swinging his magic sword he efficiently reduces the creature to dust. “I name you Ghost Slayer!” he roars as he brandishes his weapon.

Sir Pierre is not so fortunate, as Toddlebrew enchants his minions’ weapons, negating the knight’s invulnerability. The enchanted soldiers make short work of the gallant warrior.

The sigilist is now making an exit, but Thaddeus decides to encourage them to withdraw quicker by sending Goldtooth and a freshly summoned imp to see them off.

Meanwhile the ghouls continue to mill around the wall. Before they can properly catch the scent of fresh meat it is already fading away.

Another fun game, which proved quite a challenge for me despite the fact that Giles was unsure of his wizard’s capabilities and played accordingly. Luckily the threat of the ghoul reinforcements didn’t amount to anything thanks to the wall spell.

As far as treasure and experience are concerned it was honours even with one ordinary treasure, two cultist treasures (worth an extra 20 gold each) and two cultist kills apiece, although Giles pipped me to the win by the amount of soldiers killed (two of whom had to be replaced as they were either killed or wounded).

Oddleigh watched as the wounded crossbowman limped back towards civilisation after the band returned to the Cloven Hoof. Dispensing of his services was a tough decision maybe, but one that chimed in with the tribesmen's hard-living way of life. Other tribesmen were eager to take his place and take a shot at fame and fortune.

As such, none of the warriors shed any tears for the slain warhound either, knowing full well that their master would simply pay the small amount of gold needed to bring her back into this plane of existence (or something – such matters were beyond their comprehension).

Leaving his apprentice to his thoughts, the summoner eagerly rooted through the mouldering treasure chests they had managed to steal from the noisome cart.

“Ah… what’s this…?”

From among the detritus he pulled out a small black book, it’s cover inlaid with a grinning ivory skull.

“My my…. I never thought I’d see the like... I wonder what this necromancer fellow wants with one of these...?”