Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Ho Ho Ho!

Fr. Niklaus the warrior monk and his faithful mule Rudolfo have travelled to Frostgrave to join me in sending festive greetings.

Thanks for taking the time to view this humble blog and for all your kind comments - compliments of the season to one and all!

Friday, 2 December 2016

Snaarl’s Boys

For centuries the Spotted Ones tribe had lived in fear of the stronger Greyskins, the more savage Black Pack or the cleverer Rat Tails, but this all changed when Snaarl Blackmane became chief. For this he always attributed his success as tribal chieftain to one thing: he never turned anyone away.

The tribe’s fortunes first began to turn when they discovered the strange striped nose whelp, left abandoned in a sewer pipe. On Snaarl’s orders they took him in and raised him as their own, for even as a pup Snaarl could see potential in the small mewling thing. It was not long before ‘Mewl’ had surpassed the old shaman in all matters spiritual. Their enemies soon learned to fear his skills and knowledge of all things poisonous.

Then there were the half-breed barbarians of the upper levels. While strong and ferocious in battle, they were slow and dim-witted when it came to tactics and were being hunted to extinction by the cunning Gnoll tribes. Snaarl changed all that, offering a paw of friendship that ultimately saw them become his shock troops.

He also spared no attention to his rank-and-file tribesmen – be they lowly thugs or favoured Templars – all got their share of the spoils. Even the Hyenas could expect a decent feed after the many wars of expansion that Snaarl launched against his former oppressors.

Soon the Spotted Ones had expanded their territory from the Great Canal to the Skull Gate Fighting Pits, even reaching down into the old laboratories and workshops that had lain undisturbed and forbidden since the time of the Makers. Here they had discovered strange treasures, which they jealously guarded despite being ignorant of their function.

But now a new threat had emerged. Hairless ones, smooth skins and fangless warriors from the Great Above with strange magic and alien smells. Incursions into Snaarl’s territory became more and more frequent. Deep down Snaarl regretted ever delving into the Maker’s secrets, for now these others came in search of such things, and the great chief knew that fighting them would be the only option.

Let his warriors gibber and squeal in anticipation then. The Gnolls of the Spotted Ones tribe are on the hunt once more…

The last bunch of minis for my Gnolls then: a chieftain (Reaper Bones Gnoll warrior) and some ‘Gnoll’ barbarians. I decided to use Reaper Bones Bugbears as to my mind there were no suitable barbarian torsos in the Northstar box set and I wanted a change from painting Gnolls (I’m also tempted to use these as barbarian berserkers if there’s nothing I fancy in the Forgotten Pacts barbarian box set).

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Mother Goosegog Fans the Flames

The witch hacked a cough as another smattering of ash showered her small band. She had wandered lost among the bowels of the slowly collapsing factory for an age, but finally her instincts were telling her that they were heading upwards.


Her soot-stained face was split with a bright, if toothless grin as she pointed to the ceiling.

“Stars! Thank the Goddess!” She turned to her companions: the ranger, the tracker and the thief. “I only hope the others have found their way out too…”

Suddenly the walls shook and the ground rumbled as below them some ancient vat of chemicals exploded. They ducked as chunks of flaming masonry crashed to the floor around them.

“Let’s not outstay our welcome then!”

She raced forward, clambering nimbly over twisted storage tanks and bent pipes.

“We need to be quick, but keep an eye out for anything worth taking too, as-“

She stopped. In the gloom before them, half-lit shapes clanked and stomped past and through patches of burning debris. A figure ceased it’s patrolling and turned towards them. It raised an arm, glowing increasingly red hot, and fired…

With the last game’s debacle well and truly out of the way, the evening was upon me and I had the dining room to myself. Time then to revisit Mother Goosegog and finish off the Dark Alchemy solo campaign!

Treasure was placed as per scenario instructions and fire flingers distributed randomly around them – mainly on the left hand side of the table. Goosegog’s band began by skirting to the right to avoid the Fire Flingers, also being careful of the three fire markers that dotted the area. On the bottom right, a statue marked out the number of turns. Anyone left on the table on turn 10 would be consumed as the whole place went up in flames.

An extra pair of hands was needed, so a zombie was raised. My aim was to get as much treasure as fast as possible, but a slow zombie would suffice for anything nearby.

The semi-warband spread out through the burning ruins, careful to remain out of sight of the fire flingers. Treasure was found and nabbed.

However all of a sudden the flames moved! (Yes, I’d rolled my umpteenth 1 of the day). One flame marker landed annoyingly on one of the treasures – better bypass that one…

The flame flingers clanked about in random directions, keeping mostly out of the way. However it was only a matter of time before one of them spotted someone. The thief was in the firing line and got badly burnt.

The ranger also attracted unwelcome attention and got a good frazzling for his trouble. There was more treasure to be had, so it was inevitable that the fire flingers would take objection.

Undeterred by a few burnt edges, the thief decided to test his tormentor in close combat. The result was another loss, causing the poor chap to be pushed back, wounded.

The ranger also lost in melee and was pushed back by a fire flinger. The clock was ticking and Goosegog (lurking on the fringes of the board) couldn’t afford any more wounded.

Another fire flinger found itself drawing line of sight, this time on the tracker. It fired, injuring the elf despite the protection afforded by the terrain.

The ranger had to be saved, so Goosegog summoned another zombie (his predecessor already having lumbered off with treasure). It shambled into combat, allowing the ranger to make his excuses and leave.

Dodging his nemesis, the thief went after another treasure (the one recently covered by flames but now ripe for the picking after the conflagration spread elsewhere – yes, another 1…) Greed was his downfall however, as the fire flinger rounded a corner and, well, flung flame at him.

The zombie was returned to the grave, slightly crispier than he was before. Most of the warband had by now made it off the board with four out of six treasures.

Turn 6 and the survivors had escaped the flames. Treasure rolls went reasonably well, although the greedy thief did not survive his injuries. That brought the overall death toll to an inexpensive two thieves. Mother Goosegog is now more experienced and has gold and some useful potions to try out.

All in all a most enjoyable game, and indeed mini-campaign. Dark Alchemy is well worth a go if you have a low level warband that you want to boost up a little!

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Thaddeus’ Temple Complex

“I don’t think the gods are very happy with us…”

Halfinch watched as the bodies of his former comrades were consigned to the flames.

“That much is obvious…”

Oddleigh sighed, looking up at the weird light flickering behind the shuttered window of his master’s room, where Thaddeus had shut himself in with his grimoires.

The mood in the Cloven Hoof had been sour ever since the disastrous expedition to the library. Captain Red Sandra had clashed angrily with Thaddeus after he had refused to pay her fee, causing her to storm out of the inn. She later returned, having reached some sort of rapprochement with the wizard, but there was still tension between them.

Nothing seemed to have gone right since that fateful day – potions had turned to sludge, corpses stubbornly remained inanimate and the summoning circle brought forth nothing more than a noxious smell.


Oddleigh started.

“Oh dear, looks like I’m next in line for a scalding…”

He raced out of the yard and up the old stairway to the sleeping quarters. He peered nervously around the door to Thaddeus’ chambers.

“Well come in then boy!”

His master coughed and sunk down into a large wooden-backed chair. His face was pale and hair lank.”

“Are you alright master?”

“Hmm? Oh… Nothing I won’t recover from… I’m led to believe That Woman is making for an old temple to the East. Now she may be an underhanded wench but she does have a nose for treasure. We must follow…”

He stopped, wheezing from the effort of talking.

“Now come in, I have learned a new spell that will deal with her perishing walls. It takes a bit of effort to get to grips with, and – well I won’t lie to you boy, this is going to hurt…”

Time for the second game of the day, and the last one from the main rulebook: the Complex Temple.

My run of rubbish dice rolls continued in the pre-game phase, with my out-of-game spells all failing dismally. Thus I entered the field with not a little trepidation, splitting the warband into three sections, each going for the nearest treasure-bearing pillar.

Giles’ enchantress had made full use of her reveal secret and fool’s gold spells, so there was extra treasure to be tempted by. However, after the previous bruising, I was having none of it – this was to be a straight in and out mission.

On my left, captain, thief and warhound came upon a magical pillar. Halfinch hacked at the inanimate object. I rolled, and so did my opponent (for the pillar).
He rolled a 20.
Down went the thief.

Undeterred I tried again with Red Sandra.
I rolled…
He rolled. ..
Another 20…
This day was just getting better and better…
I’m afraid to say I may have glowered at this point.

Rapidly losing interest, I sent the rest of the warband to their respective pillars. Thankfully no-one else managed to die in combat with completely stationary stone columns and treasure was taken.

At this point I didn’t even trust myself to put Thaddeus into combat with a pillar (thus gaining extra experience) and let the barbarian do the necessary.

No messing them – as soon as treasure was nabbed it was hauled towards the board edge as quickly as possible.

‘Lady’ Catherine however had other plans, and was pressing her warband forward – scooping up treasure effortlessly.

As she came into view of my wizard, she cast a wall spell, cutting Thaddeus and his treasure-carrying barbarian off from the rest of his men. However Thaddeus had an ace up his sleeve…

Digging deep he cast the newly-mastered spell eater spell, causing the offending wall to melt away, thus allowing him and the barbarian to make their escape!

To slow down any pursuit, imps were sent flying at the enemy captain. He slew them with ease, thus building on his already considerable experience (and hence cost - my cunning plan being to bankrupt ‘Lady’ Catherine into defeat).

My crossbowman dealt with the enemy warhound that had been sniffing around my right flank, but the score was evened out after another crossbowman was isolated by a wall and shot.

Sacrificial lamb Fluffy IV was similarly cut off as the poor beast was sent forward to delay the opposition some more.

But at least she bought time for the others to make their escape with three treasures – not too bad a result for such a half-hearted effort on my part.

Giles version of events is considerably more enthusiastic than mine, and can be read here.

It had been some hours since the warband had returned to the Cloven Hoof. They had expected their employer to erupt with rage, especially Red Sandra and Halfinch, but from the summoner there was nothing but a cold glare and a brooding silence for the hapless pair.

Once again he had shut himself in his chambers, before calling for his apprentice a brooding eternity afterwards.

“Have the supplies have arrived boy?” His voice was calm and measured.

“Er, yes master.”

“Good.” There was a pause, then: “I have been thinking about our erstwhile opponent. She is most dangerous.”

“Um, yes, she is…”

To Oddleigh’s surprise, his master chuckled.

“The gods may have forsworn us, but at least they have deigned to give us this…” From out of the shadows he hauled one of the chests discovered in the temple ruins, it’s bulk scraping loudly along the floorboards.

With thin, dextrous fingers he flipped the catch and opened the lid.

“I believe this may be the solution to our problems…"

His tired and careworn features lifted into a triumphant grin, thrown into sharp relief by the eerie light spilling from the carved wooden box.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Thaddeus and the Luckless Library

Oddleigh shivered as the driving rain bounced of the demon’s huge wings. It stopped and pointed at a nondescript wooden door, half obscured by rubble.


It’s thick voice echoed greasily through the ruins, deep, dark and completely in tune with the thunder that rumbled in the black clouds above them.

“Good, very good.”

Between the folds of his tightened hood, Oddleigh studied his master: he was staring at the demon, oblivious to the downpour, with a mix of reverence and almost paternal pride. Thaddeus turned to the warband and beamed.

“Here we are – one of Felstad’s greatest libraries. Let us enter!”

The summoner practically skipped behind the demon as it moved forward and wrenched the door open. Oddleigh jumped as a peal of thunder, much louder than before, boomed and rattled the stonework. He shuddered, failing to understand his master’s optimism.

As Halfinch the Hobbit thief scampered through the aperture, he caught hold of his cloak.

“Is it me, or doesn’t this bode well…?”

Got a few more games in with Giles over the weekend. First off The Library.

I got off to an encouraging start – using the new summoning rules from Forgotten Pacts Thaddeus managed to summon a major demon pre-game, as well as brewing some choice potions.

Opposite, the Enchantress Lady Catherine led her band into the fray. With her reveal secret spell successfully cast, there was treasure aplenty, including a couple of choice pieces in the centre of the table.

As Thaddeus’ team split up. Leaving the easier pickings on the flanks to the underlings, my big-hitters, led by the demon and my captain, delved further into the musty depths. Would Red Sandra prove her worth this time?

As the central thrust closed in, their way was blocked by some conjured up walls. In order to free up someone from treasure carrying duty, Thaddeus tried to raise a zombie, but alas failed the roll.

Oddleigh did however manage to conjure up another wall to similarly impede the enemy and tried to lead his group around the obstacles.

On the far right flank, Halfinch ran forward to claim an easy treasure. All he had to do was lug it back – no problem.

Thaddeus was keen for his heavy hitters to get at the enemy. Knowing full well how his opponent liked to cower behind walls, he had brought a dispel scroll, looted during a previous game, and cast it, opening up the way a little.

But something was amiss… All this treasure hunting had attracted the attention of a hungry bear, which wandered into the library through the door Thaddeus had just used! Gog the barbarian was duly dispatched to send it packing – a bare behind vs. a bear behind!

Things heated up in the centre – peering around the magic walls, Thaddeus lost bosh infantrymen to enemy bowmen. Oddleigh bone-darted their warhound in reply.

Time to even the score. Thaddeus aimed a bone dart at the enemy captain – an easy target in all that orange – he hit, but buffed up with a massive 15 armour, no damage was done. Meanwhile the barbarian squared up to the bear, only to roll low on the attack and fall beneath it’s claws! Turning about face, one of my crossbowmen attempted to shoot down the bear, but also failed dismally!

I didn’t want to lose another soldier to the bear, so said crossbowman was leapt out of the beast’s line of sight. Suddenly, all magical walls shimmered out of existence – the way was open! Time to take out that OP captain. Luckily Thaddeus had recently learned the blinding light spell and cast it at his target (draining a lot of health to get it to work – another poor dice roll).

The spell struck, leaving the enemy captain floundering. Red Sandra, my own captain, piled in, while by my knight and warhound headed for a supporting archer.

Another crappy roll – warhound went down to the archer’s dagger! Red Sandra struck Orangey, but, now recovered from the blinding light, he countered, wounding her.

The demon clawed an enemy archer into ribbons, allowing it to move on the stricken captain. Could the knight follow suit?

Um, no… Yet another low combat roll saw Sir Pierre bite the dust. I was forced to pull the wounded captain back for some healing spells and rely on my demon.

I was definitely losing heart by now – there’s nothing you can do when you’re rolling low but get the hell out. What treasures I have gained are slowly being dragged to the nearest viable exit.

But what’s this? Suddenly a wall sprang up, barring the exit to my left. A low blow from ‘Lady’ Catherine. (N.B. we both forgot that there’s a 6” limit on casting the wall spell, so technically this shouldn’t have happened).

Another crappy roll and the demon was slain. I was rolling more and more 1’s and resisting the urge to fling my dice out of the window.

Red Sandra went in for another go and… well it’s all getting rather predictable now isn’t it? Another wall blocks another exit – kick a wizard while he's down why don't you? (N.B. by now Giles had cast so many walls that we had to use bits of scenery from unoccupied sections of the board!)

Nothing positive would come of this day, so Thaddeus and Oddleigh led the retreat, trying to discourage pursuit with a wall spell.

As a delaying tactic the warband had managed to evade the bear, which spotted Orangey and went for him instead. However the creature didn’t delay for long.

So, as the rest of the band tried to find an unblocked exit, Orangey’s attention was held by slashing through a couple of conjured up imps. Eventually the survivors managed to make their way out of the library. Four treasures had been taken, but at the cost of several members of the warband – most of which failed their survival rolls – of course.

So what promised to be a fun game quickly degenerated into a crap-fest for me.  Blocking the exits was a sneaky, and it turned out, ‘illegal’ move, but it served only to prolong the game as my worst enemy was by far the dice.

Use of captains was also an experience – I’ve only fielded Red Sandra once before, and she didn’t do much, whereas Giles’ captain has several games under his belt, and turned out to be a real tank – someone to be avoided I think. By the way, Giles' less depressing version of events is on his blog (part 1 and part 2)

Luckily any pain felt was tempered somewhat by the treasure rolls, and I earned enough experience to learn a spell that, though harmful to the caster, would hopefully deal with those irritating walls in the future…

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The End is Gnigh

There is light at the end of the tunnel - I have nearly finished my Gnolls!

For some reason I've really had a hard time painting these models. Maybe my old-fashioned technique of drybrushing on highlights doesn't suit these plastic box sets, or maybe I'm having an off-month!

Anyway, here are the latest batch of Gnolls - a brace each of treasure hunters, knights and templars.

Seeing as the box set doesn't have much in the way of armoured torsos, I've tried to beef up the knights and templars with various odds and sods from my bits box to make it look as if they've tried to cobble some armour together from whatever they can scavenge.

For example the templars have armoured shoulder pads constructed from split up helmet rims and small shields or bits of planking strapped to their backs. Similarly the knights have shoulder pads made from spiky helmets and broken off pieces of wooden shield.

That's it from the Northstar Gnolls box - chieftain and barbarians courtesy of Reaper coming soon-ish (depending on how much I struggle to get them painted!)

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Gnoll Desperandum

Whilst eagerly awaiting the arrival of the new Barbarian box set from the 'Forgotten Pacts' Nickstarter, it's high time I made a start on the Gnoll set from the previous deal!

Looking at the wandering monster table in 'Into The Breeding Pits', I reckon that the minimum number and soldier type of Gnolls required to cover them is this:-

Hyena x2
Thug x2
Infantryman x2
Man at Arms x2
Treasure Hunter x2
Knight x2
Templar x2
Barbarian x4
Chieftain x1
Shaman x1

This doesn't include archers, trackers, crossbowmen etc.which are not listed in the table. As I don't intend to field a Gnoll warband (yet), I'm going to concentrate on the core elements for now.

I've already got 2 hyenas, so next I've done a pair of thugs, infantrymen and men at arms; made up from the plastic box set.

I've also done a shaman, using an old miniature that Giles very kindly gave me. The top of his staff was broken, so I added a lower arm and hand from a plastic sprue.

As for the rest - I plan to make treasure hunters, knights and templars from the plastics, while the chieftain and barbarians will come courtesy of Reaper. Keep your eyes peeled and your snouts twitching for those!

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Mother Goosegog Races Skeletons

“…we only made it so far, but then got separated ma’am.”

The ranger rubbed a soot-smeared hand over an equally soot-smeared forehead.

Newly-filched potion bottles clinked and glugged as Mother Goosegog rose stiffly from the hunk of masonry she was sitting on.

“Well they haven’t come this way…They must be ahead somewhere.” She squinted into the gloom. “I see fires… torches maybe?”

The javelineer wiped the ichor from his spear and sighed. “I’m still not convinced I fully killed that thing, so I don’t suggest going back missus.”

“Fair point…” Goosegog peered at the cracked pipework. “That one’s big enough for you to fit in; if it leads to the other side of this room then at least some of us could make it out.”

The javelineer nodded and disappeared into the gloom.

“So we go on?” The ranger adjusted his cloak. “Very well, but I can’t help feeling that something is still behind us…”

Time for one more solo game – the Skeletal Run!

Our intrepid heroes (Witch, ranger, tracker and two thieves) moved forward. Flickering flames both ahead and behind them revealed themselves… Burning skeletons!

Notching his bow, the ranger quickly dispatched a skeleton sneaking up behind him.

A fog spell screened the two thieves as they raced along the left-side wall.

The tracker turned another sack of burning bones into a smouldering pile.

But they just kept on coming, forcing the ranger to keep fighting.

The thieves clambered up onto some rubble to dig out a treasure, only to be set upon by two more skeletons. Luckily the thieves prevailed on both counts!

Ranger and tracker closed ranks to allow their employer to claim another treasure.

The ranger grabbed a treasure and made a run for it. Meanwhile one of the thieves made it off the board while his colleague joined in the fray alongside a now wounded tracker.

They won the fight but could not damage the skeleton, opting instead to push it away thus earning themselves some breathing space. The thief acted as rear-guard while the others escaped.

Only to succumb to the burning tide.

Another fun solo game! Once again Goosegog managed to nab all the treasure, but at the cost of one of her warband. The hour was now getting late, so I had to pack up, two-thirds into the campaign. Mother Goosegog and co. will have to wait a while before they can finally attempt to escape the clutches of Dark Alchemy…

Mother Goosegog and the Alchemical Monstrosity

As the last echoes of the explosion died away, the old witch pulled herself out of the rubble. While her eyes adjusted to the flame-lit chamber she cursed herself.

“Stupid woman!” she spat. “Too scared to face the big boys so you go hiding in the tunnels… and then this…”

She surveyed the wreckage: what was once clearly an alchemical factory, now torn apart and smouldering.

“Eurgh, my head…”

She span round by instinct, holding her broomstick in a defensive posture, only to lower it as the javelineer she had recently hired clambered out from under a fallen roof beam.

“Missus, what happened?”

“Something went ‘bang’, that’s what,” she snapped, as behind her two other members of her band began to extricate themselves. “Come, we need to find the others and get out of here.”

With their entrance way blocked by fallen masonry, they headed towards a distant speck of light.

“This way I-“


“Ah. I think we may not be alone…”

So it was the weekend, the kids were in bed, my good lady wife was on a late shift and I had a boot full of Frostgrave stuff from the previous day’s gaming. Also I wanted to improve my Witch warband a bit, so… Dark Alchemy anyone?

First up was the Alchemical Monstrosity scenario – pitting a partial warband (my Witch, a thief, javelineer and tracker in my case) against the titular monster on a 2’x2’ board. Oh, and some rats…

…one of which duly appeared when I fluffed the first initiative roll…

Goosegog and her compatriots edged forward, taking whatever cover they could find, or using a Fog spell to hide from the monstrosity. Could they survive the encounter and still escape with some treasure?

The tracker hid behind a crumbling wall as the monstrosity scanned the devastation for it’s prey.

Witch and javelineer similarly hid behind a squat obelisk, alerted to danger by a savage squeaking sound.

Another fudged initiative roll and on came another rat.

The javelineer leaped out to skewer the creature, egged on by his employer. One treasure nabbed.

Thief and tracker also splatted a rat and obtained a treasure.

The monster approached - it had to be faced sometime! As Goosegog made a dash for it, flinging a Bone Dart, the javelineer is pinned by the monstrosity! Okay, let’s roll – red dice for the javelineer, blue for the monster…

What’s this? A 20? Critical hit! (Note: upon re-reading the rules after the game, I discovered that the monstrosity is actually immune to critical hits – oops! I cover up this mistake by stating that it had already been Bone-Darted and was already low-ish on health).

The alchemical monstrosity went down! (*cough*)

Thief and tracker, both now treasure-laden, headed for the nearest door; but would it be the right one?


But they weren’t out of the woods yet, as another rat scuttled out of it's hole.

This one fancied witch and chips for tea…

Thankfully Mother Goosegog managed (just about) to kill the rat and everyone made it out of the chamber. All four treasures had been ‘liberated’, but they still had to find their way out…

Monday, 24 October 2016

Thaddeus Hits the Huts

“Must’ve been quite a battle…” Thaddeus looked down at the dead snow leopard and grimaced.

“There are more bodies over here my lord, and blood trails too.”

“Hmm.” The Summoner looked past his apprentice to the jagged tower brooding in the distance. “This place does not feel right – we are fortunate to have arrived after the event I think.”

“So onwards my lord?”

“Indeed. In my visions I saw a place a little further hence. Ancient huts in which there is much treasure, guarded by evil spirits.”

“Um, ‘evil’?”

“Most unpleasant.” Thaddeus chuckled as his hands began to glow. “Luckily I have prepared for all eventualities…”

So onto the second game of the day - the Haunted Houses scenario. Alan had to make a move, so it was just me vs Giles. With Mother Goosegog faring so poorly last time, and Giles’ Lady Catherine easily outstripping her in terms of experience, it was time for Thaddeus Daemoncall to return.

Both warbands made their way warily towards the crumbling huts, soldiers primed against supernatural attacks thanks to liberal doses of the Enchant Weapon spell. In the centre, my treasure hunter was first to enter a hut. He grabbed the treasure; and out of the shadows…. Nothing – phew!

However his digging had attracted the unwelcome attention of a more corporeal kind – two ice spiders looking for an easy meal.

One of Giles’ treasure hunters followed suit, but was not so lucky. A ghostly apparition appeared next to the treasure and attacked!

The remainder of my warband, supported by a summoned imp (my base improvements finally proving their worth) headed left to another hut. All was quiet in this corner, but then… a rumbling sound…

A giant worm erupted from the ground, right behind my spellcasters! Halfinch the thief and Sir Pierre the Knight about faced and raced to protect their masters.

On my right, captain Red Sandra led the men to another hut whilst a summoned zombie shambled after them in an effort to keep up.

Giles’ treasure hunter, his sword given a magical pep talk, easily defeated the wraith.

Gnawing on a freshly summoned imp, the giant worm turned to face Halfinch and Sir Pierre.

One of my crossbowmen reached a high enough point to survey the battlefield and cover his comrades. As an infantryman grabbed another treasure (thankfully not summoning another wraith), he spotted an enemy archer and dropped him.

I now had three out of the six treasures in my possession. My original plan was to secure these and then have my captain lead my heavy hitters in an attack on my opponent, but the arrival of the giant worm changed my priorities somewhat.

Still I could mess with the enemy by dropping an imp in amongst them – pity they had to go an shoot it…

My warband swamped the worm, Red Sandra wounding it with a furious charge, leaving my barbarian to finish it off.

Unsupported, a flanking manoeuvre by Fluffy II (or is it III, I lose count) is put down.

After wandering around for a bit, an ice spider noticed my zombie – rotting meat is better than none… Thankfully the shuffling cadaver had enough wits left to defeat the arachnid.

With the worm dealt with, the heavy hitters could finally advance towards the retreating enemy, who had also obtained three treasures.

The second ice spider attacked my zombie and turned it into dust, only to be shot down by my crossbowman.

Lady Catherine deployed her now trademark Wall spell to stymie my advance and made her escape.

“Come back and face the bare buttocks of wrath!” yelled my barbarian.

So three treasures each and honours even, although Giles gained more experience due to his slaying of a wraith. Sadly Fluffy did not survive the encounter and again my treasure rolls left a lot to be desired, but the gold and trinkets will at least enable me to buy another warhound.

Another fun game with the wandering monsters causing absolute havoc for my warband – who could ask for anything more! Be sure to check out part 1 and part 2 of the battle from Giles’ perspective on his blog.

But what of Mother Goosegog…?

Mother Goosegog and the Silent Tower

“But I don’t understand! Why don’t the wizards all just get together and share the treasure out among themselves?”

“Because young ‘un, they’re stupid!”

Mother Goosegog winced, her shoulder throbbing from where the necromancer’s bone dart had struck. She turned to her wide-eyed apprentice  and forced a smile.

“Never mind eh? This tower is supposed to be a centre of null energy. If the sickness is magical then it’s worth looking at, but usually no self-respecting wizard would go near such a thing, so we should be left alone to-“

She stopped at the sound of raised voices in the distance.

“Never mind,” she sighed, “fetch the others…”

After obtaining the necessary permits from She Who Must Be Obeyed, a day’s gaming was in order. With Giles bringing out his new-ish level 10 Enchanter warband, and club member Alan coming along with an untested (also Enchanter) bunch, I decided to give my Witch warband another airing (it being more sporting to field her level 2 gang as opposed to my usual level 24 Summoner band.)

As we were at Giles’, we used his Mordhiem scenery, with my Pringles tube Silent Towers lurking in the middle of it all. Mother Goosegog, having hired an extra tracker, also boosted her small band with a snow leopard, ice toad and a raised zombie.

Having rolled for table sides, I found myself facing Giles’ band in opposite me, with Alan’s too close for comfort on my left. Most of my warband thus took cover in a coaching inn in the centre of my deployment zone, with my dwarf crossbowman clambering up to get a better field of fire.

My right flank was  not threatened, so my ranger and a thief, watched over by my apprentice, headed there in search of treasure.

Alan’s band moved towards my right, going for a treasure chest that I also had my eyes on. By way of discouragement my snow leopard raced forward, supported, courtesy of a Leap spell, by my slow but deadly ice toad.

As my slow leopard went down fighting, my zombie also shambled forward for a bit of zombie-on-zombie action. My embattled left flank was by now screened with a wall of fog, but this wasn’t enough to screen my crossbowman, who was badly wounded by one of Alan’s archers. With only one action per turn, the dwarf was now practically useless, considering that to move into cover, reload and then fire now took three whole turns.

Meanwhile the rest of Alan’s band lightly probed on Giles’ flank, leaving him relatively free to advance on the tower.

Fighting on my left continued to rage, buying Alan enough time to snag the coveted treasure. With my snow leopard dead, ice toad wounded and zombie soon to crumble into dust, any thoughts of a strong advance on this flank where swiftly disabused.

However fortune is known to favour the brave, so thief, knight and tracker moved into the fray. Could my knight, complete with a recently purchased magical weapon, cleave his way through to the treasure?

Giles’ warband continued towards the tower, nabbing any treasure within easy reach whilst screening themselves from any harm with Wall spells.

Gile’s captain was the first to reach the top of the tower! With most of my warband tussling with Alan’s (staying alive thanks to a freakish run of critical hit 20s) I was in no position to stop him.

Knight and thief continued to carve their way through Alan’s band, but the treasure was slipping away…

Finally I felt safe enough to advance to the tower. The treasure (worth a whopping 3 rolls on the treasure table) was firmly in Giles ‘possession, but I could still get experience from climbing up the tower. Therefore my Witch, accompanied by her tracker bodyguard, reached the base of the tower whilst one of my thieves distracted the opposition on the walkway.

Mother Goosegog climbed the outside of the tower rather than bump into any enemies descending inside. Surprisingly spry for her age, she got to the top and admired the view (with the exception of the gaudily dressed captain hauling away the fabled treasure!)

The fight on my left slowly died away, as did the combatants. Thus the warbands sloped away, some in triumph, others (well, mine to be exact) in defeat. Giles’ batrep – part 1 and part 2 – can be read on his blog.

Mother Goosegog only managed a single treasure, easily taken from the right flank by my ranger. Alas the treasure roll result was pretty meagre. Alan took two treasure while Giles, wisely leaving us to squabble amongst ourselves, nabbed four, including the one on the top of the tower – in total a whopping 6 rolls on the treasure table!

Luckily all of my band survived except the snow leopard, though I ‘sacked’ the ice toad – my plan of leaping him into action and using his triple damage attack failing dismally. In retrospect I should have made a move on the tower sooner, relying on Fog spells to screen me from harm, but hey ho, next time maybe!

Despite the poor returns, it was a great game, with plenty of thrills and spills – but the fun wasn’t over yet…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

The Specialists

The sky had grown ominously dark by the time Azlok the Black’s body finally stopped twitching. Franck’s muscles relaxed as he stepped back from the corpse.

“He’s dead,” he muttered with grim satisfaction.

“Finally!” Meertal the javelineer moved forward to retrieve his spear, but the tunnel fighter stopped him.

“No, leave it in just in case.”

“We should burn the body,” said an older man in apothecary’s robes, looking up from his grisly work of extracting a bone dart from a prone figure. “I don’t trust necromancers to stay dead.”

“Hah!” Another figure snorted from the shadows. “Never thought I’d hear a sawbones say that!” He moved towards the body, fishing a tinderbox from a pouch. “Leave it to me…”

“Hmph, well you owe me a new javelin then!”

The trap expert grinned, poking the corpse with his toe. “Tell the boss to take it out of my wages.” He bent over his former employer. “Maybe I’ll leave a little surprise here too, in case you do manage to get up again…”

Franck wiped the dark blood from his cutlass and studied his surroundings. “So what now? We need to get out of here that’s for sure – I don’t like being out in the open like this…”

The prone figure besides the apothecary coughed and pushed himself up into a sitting position. “Yes we must leave,” he muttered in the thick accent of the steppe tribes. His keen gaze swept across the bruised horizon, where one of his crows was noisily wheeling around as if battling an invisible opponent. “Azlok’s essence still lingers here.”

“Well I vote we head to the nearest inn – we need to find a new boss fast,” Meertal spat. “We’ll never work again if word of this gets out…”

“Perhaps it should,” The trap expert sniggered. “Teach any bloody wizard not to try and turn us into revenants.”

“What about the dog?” Meertal nodded towards a cleft in the rock, where two beady eyes were watching them intently.

“Oh, he knows what side his bread’s buttered on.” Franck flourished a piece of dried meat and tossed it. A small but muscular bulldog crept out of it’s hiding place, snaffled up the meat and then ambled over to the tunnel fighter, tail wagging.

“C’mon then, let us away,” grunted the trap expert, lighting a piece of rag and casually dropping it onto the corpse. “Hey boss, I resign,” he chuckled as greasy flames engulfed the unmoving figure.

Some more specialist troops, mainly from the Liche Lord and Breeding Pits expansions. The tunnel fighter, trap expert, javelineer and crow master are mainly from the cultist sprue, with bits from other sprues (Fireforge Mongols etc.) added into the mix. The warhound is from a Mantic dwarf sprue while I nabbed the apothecary off the Lead Adventure Forum. Now I just need a crow!

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

The Living Museum: Three Enter, One Leaves…

A while back I volunteered to put on a Frostgrave game at our local wargames club. Luckily there were a couple of victims members foolish willing enough to give it a go.

So off I went last night and duly set up a table, deciding that it might be interesting to run the Living Museum scenario, rather than just a standard game. I dug out the Necromancer and Elementalist warbands had I pre-generated for the last club game, but also decided to spice things up a bit by taking to the field myself with a scratch warband, headed by my new Heresy Witch.

Yep, this was to be my first three player game!

In between teaching the guys the ropes and playing the game, I didn’t have a lot of time or inclination to take lots of notes or photos, so apologies for what is a very sketchy batrep.

I spent all my gold on some higher quality soldiers, which meant I had a couple of slots left to fill. Happily I successfully cast Animal Companion pre-game, which added a bear to my warband. Alas my Animate Construct spell failed, so I was a ‘man’ short. Moreover I also managed the Familiar spell, giving my Witch some extra health.

We rolled to choose entry sides, and I set up opposite the Necromancer, with the Elementalist coming in on my left. The Necromancer got the first initiative, immediately Bone-Darting my Witch, who I had placed in direct line of sight – d’oh! While the shot hit home, it wasn’t enough to wound/kill my Witch, who replied in kind (missing the mark alas) before ducking out of sight to heal herself.

All three warbands converged on the statues in the centre of the table; the Elementalist making good use of Elemental Bolt to singe the Necromancer’s men with fireballs while his archers climbed up to a higher vantage point.

Following suit, my ranger and crossbowman also went up a storey. Shooting over the ruins, my ranger engaged in a duel with the Elementalist archers for pretty much the rest of the game. I leapt my bear into the midst of the Elementalist’s warband, hoping to slow him down and thus secure my flank, but the poor beast was quickly struck down by his thugs.

My thieves raced into the centre alongside a Leapt knight while my warhound padded around my right to outflank the Necromancer’s band. Meanwhile my Witch summoned a bank of Fog to screen her and her apprentice from any more nasty surprises, which had the unfortunate effect of cutting off the advancing thieves and knight from any magical help.

The other two wizards had also got soldiers into the centre and soon treasure chest were being pulled out from underneath the statues, which duly jerked into life…

Luckily for me, most of them were activating near my opponents’ warbands allowing my soldiers to either make a run for it through the fog, or flee the scene courtesy of Leap spells from my re-positioned apprentice.

With five out of six statues animated, the centre was becoming a massive slug-fest between them and the other two warbands. Fighting also erupted on the fringes of the table, with my warhound stalking the Necromancer apprentice but ultimately being put down.

The Elementalist apprentice, who, like mine, was hanging back to support his comrades, was unfortunate to find a wandering ghoul suddenly appearing at his rear – this creature quickly charged in, only to be seen off by a pair of thugs that raced to protect their master’s trainee.

Any look of smugness on my part at this occurrence quickly disappeared when a pair of wandering wolves turned up sniffing behind my apprentice! They headed straight towards my knight who, battered after fighting statues, had been leaped out of harm’s way with some treasure and was heading home. Luckily he managed to defeat both of these howling beasts.

By now the hour was getting late and I was happy with the three treasures I had obtained (plus the Elementalist's band were starting to probe my left flank and were getting too close for comfort). The Elementalist and Necromancer still had plenty to play for however, and continued to battle for supremacy. One by one they battered each other down until both the Necromancer and his apprentice were dead.

The Elementalist’s apprentice also bit the snow, and he himself was taken down by a (very) lucky shot from my dwarf crossbowman – my final parting shot.

So I snagged three treasures, the remnants of the Necromancer’s band got two, and we allowed the Elementalist to claim the final, as of yet unclaimed, treasure chest. His Templar had done a sterling effort and went down fighting against the statues after all.

A very enjoyable game (for me anyway, and the other guys seemed to like it too). Three players on a 3’x3’ table is utter mayhem and having all the treasures in the middle forced us all into confrontation. Very few fighters emerged without a scratch and I was running out of wounded tokens. Magic for the most part was cast successfully and it was interesting to see spells that I’ve no experience of being used (the Necromancer’s use of Fast Act early on gave him an initial advantage). The result was carnage of the most enjoyable kind!

Monday, 10 October 2016

The Ghosts of Chronos - A Scenario

Possibly an over-complicated scenario this, but one I've been mulling around in my head for a while. Wizards and Witches, dare you face...

The Ghosts of Chronos

A rare and ancient text has led you to the ruins of the home of Chronos the Great: a pioneering wizard thought by some to have been the father of Chronomancy.
You can be sure that many great treasures lie within this once sumptuous estate, but be warned, for it is said that Chronos’ tinkering wore thin the fabric of time, and the grounds are riddled with ghosts from the past, and the future…

Set up

Set up the table as normal, but bear in mind that you will be removing and replacing areas of terrain, so you might want to use items that are easy to move (e.g. based on CDs etc.). 

Special Rules

Chronos’ treasures are steeped in chronomantic energy and are very unstable. Approaching one risks triggering a time warp, shifting the surrounding area into a time pocket belonging to a different era.
Any warband member within 1” of a treasure triggers a time warp, opening up a pocket of time in a circle approximately 5” in diameter, centred around the treasure. Roll on the time warp table and replace any terrain within this area as necessary. The treasure stays roughly where it was.
Once a treasure is carried out of this 5” pocket, the time warp collapses. Any terrain effects are removed and replaced by the original terrain (more or less). Otherwise the new terrain remains in play.
Any random creatures generated by this triggering are placed next to the treasure. They act as normal random creatures within the time pocket, but will disappear if their movement takes them out of it.
Treasures generated by Fool’s Gold and Reveal Secret do not trigger time warps.
Once a time warp is triggered, the relevant treasure cannot trigger another one.
Unless stated differently, line of sight can be drawn into and out of time pockets as per usual if terrain allows.
Spellcasters from the Chronomancy school may re-roll on the time warp table once per game (second result stands). 

Time Warp Table

Time Pocket
Game Effects
Time of the great blizzard
The area is plunged back a millennia to the time of the great blizzard.
All figures within are subjected to an intense, will-sapping cold.
Replace all terrain within 5” of the treasure with a blank white disk.
All figures within the time pocket must immediately lose 2 health.
For each subsequent turn inside the pocket, they must lose 2 health and make will successful test against a 10 before being able to activate.
Players cannot draw line of sight in or out of circle.
Primordial swamp
The area is sent back to a time when history has barely begun.
Things crawl out of the mire…
Replace all terrain within 5” of the treasure with a large swamp.
Terrain classed as difficult.
Roll d20 to determine what lurks in the swamp. 1-15: giant toad (treat as ice toad), 16-20: swamp worm (treat as giant worm).
The Recent future
The figure triggering the time warp sees a glimpse of his/her future.
Pre-warned is pre-armed…
No effect to terrain.
Play continues and the treasure that triggered this event can be treated as normal.
However the triggering figure counts as having a scroll of Fast Act (does not count towards items carried).
Ancient Forest
The area is sent back to a time when all this was trees.
Replace all terrain within 5” of the treasure with a forested area.
Make a random creature roll and select the nearest animal(s).
Terrain classed as difficult.
Any figure within classed as in light cover if being shot at from within the area, or heavy cover if being shot at from outside the area.
The Distant Future
The area has been hurled forward in time to an era devastated by war.
The blasted desert heat is intense…
Replace all terrain within 5” of the treasure with a rocky desert.
All figures within the time pocket must deduct 1 health for each turn they remain in the pocket.
Roll d20 to determine what lurks among the rocks. 1-10: Sand spider (treat as ice spider), 11-18: wasteland raider (treat as marksman), 19-20 giant worm.
The Time of Chronos
The area has been sent back to the time when Chronos himself dwelt here in his sumptuous mansion.
Wary of temporal ghosts, his treasure is guarded…
Replace all terrain within 5” of the treasure with dungeon/treasure room furniture.
Roll d20 to determine who guards the treasure. 1-5: infantryman x 2, 6-10: Man-at-arms x2, 11-15: Knight, 16-20: Templar.
If the guards are defeated any player in this pocket may use an action to snatch d20 gold (counts as an item).
Ice Age
The area is sent back to a prehistoric ice age.
Replace all terrain within 5” of the treasure with frozen tundra.
Roll d20 to determine what is hunting in the area. 1-5: snow leopard, 6-10: bear, 11-15: wild boar, 16-20: apemen (treat as white gorilla x2).
Back to the Past
Instead of entering a pocket, the figure triggering the time warp is sent a short distance back in time.
They find themselves back at their base, just after their warband has left on this expedition!
They have enough time to rest and re-equip before re-joining the fray.
No effect to terrain.
Remove the figure from the table. Restore his/her health to the pre-game level and swap item(s) from vault if required.
Return the figure to their starting table edge at the start of the next turn.
Henceforth the treasure that triggered this event can be treated as normal.
The Apocalypse is Nigh!
The area is thrust forward in time to a period of terrible, soul shattering apocalypse.
Everything is dark, everything is dead…
No effect to terrain.
Make a random creature roll and select the nearest undead creature(s).
No-one may draw line of sight into the area.
All figures within the time pocket must make an immediate will test against a 15 before being able to activate.
The beginning/end of time
The figure triggering the time warp travels to the very beginning/end of time itself…
No effect to terrain.
Remove figure from the game and treat as permanently dead.
Henceforth the treasure at that triggered this event can be treated as normal.

Treasure & Experience

Treasure and experience calculated as normal, but in addition:-
20 experience for each time a spellcaster in your warband triggers a different time warp.