Wednesday, 23 August 2017

“I Aten’t Dead!”

No posts for nearly a month? Tut tut JP…
Well, blame the summer holidays, traditionally a time when wargames and blogging about such things tends to go quiet.

While I have nothing of value to write about personally, there have been some interesting things happening in the world of Frostgrave that are worthy of a mention.

Ghost Archipelago

The Ghost Archipelago has returned. A vast island chain, covered in the ruins of ancient civilizations, the Archipelago appears every few centuries, far out in the southern ocean. At such times, pirates, adventurers, wizards, and legendary heroes all descend upon the islands in the hopes of finding lost treasures and powerful artefacts. A few, drawn by the blood of their ancestors, search for the fabled Crystal Pool, whose waters grant abilities far beyond those of normal men. It is only the bravest, however, who venture into the islands, for they are filled with numerous deadly threats. Cannibal tribes, sorcerous snake-men, and poisonous water-beasts all inhabit the island ruins, guarding their treasure hordes and setting traps for the unwary.
 In this new wargame, set in the world of Frostgrave, players take on the role of Heritors, mighty warriors whose ancestors drank from the Crystal Pool. These Heritors lead their small, handpicked teams of spellcasters, rogues, and treasure hunters into the ever-shifting labyrinth of the Ghost Archipelago. Using the same rules system as Frostgrave, this standalone wargame focuses on heroes who draw on the power in their blood to perform nigh-impossible feats of strength and agility. This game also includes 30 spells drawn from five schools of magic, a host of soldier types, challenging scenarios, treasure tables, and a full bestiary of the most common creatures that inhabit the Lost Isles.

Yes, the latest in the Felstat stable of games and expansions is coming soon, and it’s a bit more piratey than previous offerings. Author Joe McCullough has already previewed the game at Gen Con 2017 and a couple of advance playtests have appeared on YouTube.

My gaming buddy Giles seems keen to dip his toes in the warmer waters, having a plentiful supply of painted pirates at his disposal. However I’m not so interested at present.

This is mainly because my storage capacity is already at breaking point with my snowy-themed Frostgrave collection, and I’m loathe to fill up precious space with miniatures and terrain of a completely different vibe.

I’m also content with the Frostgrave rules as they are written and, as I understand it, the Ghost Archipelago rules, while based on Frostgrave, are subtly different. I don’t want to confuse things (and, more likely, myself) by muddying the waters. That’s not to say that I won’t try the rules out if someone in my gaming circle buys them, but any warband of mine will have to put up with boiling under their furs!

The Triple Sprue Challenge

One interesting upshot of the release of Ghost Archipelago is the Triple Sprue Challenge, a competition currently being held by Osprey Publishing.

The rules are simple. Using one sprue from each of the Frostgrave humanoid boxes – Soldiers, Cultists, and Barbarians (sorry Gnoll-lovers) – you must create three figures: a Wizard, an Apprentice, and a Captain. You cannot delve into your bits-box for pieces from other ranges – only components from the three sprues (and some modelling putty and wire rods for spears, staffs etc. if you like) can be used.
To enter, please either email photos of your unpainted creations to or share your images on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook with the hashtags #Frostgrave and #TripleSprueChallenge. All entries must be received by 30th September. We'll put together a gallery of entries at the end for everyone to enjoy.
The judges will be an elite panel of Osprey Games staff, who will be looking for clever use of the components, interesting combinations of parts, and, above all, the coolness factor. One talented winner will receive the Grand Prize: a copy of the forthcoming Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago rulebook, the Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago Accessory Pack and a box of the plastic Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago Crewmen! Three runners-up will each receive a copy of the Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago rulebook (updated from a 20% discount voucher for the rulebook).

Now I love kitbashing figures from different plastic sprues, indeed I have a handful of soldiers primed and ready to paint, but again I’m not getting involved in this. This is because I don’t have the requisite soldier and cultist sprues needed to qualify (I have a shedload of barbarian sprues, and Gnolls, though they don’t count).

Sounds like a great competition though, and I’m eager to see what creations other people come up with!

Local Stuff

Unlike me, Giles has been putting on, and blogging about, a few Frostgrave games recently and they’ve been good fun to read. If you aren’t a follower of his blog, go and take a look!

I also hear tell of a Thaw of the Liche Lord campaign kicking off at the Hereford Wargames Club. I’m pleased that there are a handful of gamers in the club who I have managed to infect with Frostgrave-itis.

Once the kids are back at school and things are back to normal I hope to get a few more games in myself. Speaking of which, I’ve been invited to set up a Frostgrave table at the next all-dayer at the HerefordshireBoard Gamers Club on Saturday 23rd September – should be fun!

Other than that, I have the aforementioned soldiers to paint up, and a rather fruitful visit to a souvenir shop while on holiday to work on...