Monday, 25 September 2017

Fee Fi Fo Fum…

Last Saturday Giles and I represented the Hereford WargamesClub at the Herefordshire Boardgamers charity games day; putting on a game of Frostgrave for anyone who wanted to give the game a try.

We both knocked up an entry level warband, with Giles going for an enchanter, whilst I randomly selected a witch (one Polda Nils and his lovely assistant Daybee Magii). My witch warband consisted of a knight, two archers, a thief and four thugs. In addition to our bands, Giles brought along a selection of wandering monsters which we could roll for on a D20 if required.

I decided on the Worm Hunt scenario from the main rulebook, but replaced the worm with a giant (mainly as an excuse to field my giant model). We brought enough scenery that we could comfortably carry from the carpark to the venue – a mix of scratchbuilt stuff and some of Giles’ Warhammer scenery to showcase the various options available to a newbie wargamer when it comes to terrain.

In the first game, Giles and I played against each other, but were prepared to step aside of any of the casual observers during the day decided to have a try. Both warbands deployed and advanced, with my wizard and archers forming a firing line atop a ruin, temporarily joined by a treasure-collecting thug.

This attracted the attention of an ice spider, which scuttled on the table edge to my left, perilously close to a couple of my thugs that were moving towards a treasure chest on a nearby ruin adorned with dragons.

In the centre, Giles’ purple-clad enchanter urged his band forward towards the treasure, only for his templar to be brought down by combined bone dart and arrow fire.

Alas the sound of battle attracted a wandering greater demon, which flew into the field directly behind my warband! My thug managed to push it away, despite being treasure-laden, allowing my apprentice to leap him off the board to safety.

In the centre my knight clobbered an enemy archer. With my firing line established I decided to whittle down any chance of my opposite number replying in kind.

The enchanter was nabbing more than his fair share of treasure by judicious use of the telekinesis spell, so I sent my fastest soldier, the thief, forward to disrupt his plans by attacking his apprentice.

Meanwhile the thugs on my left finally reached the treasure on the dragon ruin, only for it to pop out of existence – damn fool’s gold!

They vented their frustrations on the ice spider, which had been wandering around aimlessly while everyone tried to keep out of it’s line of sight.

By now all of the treasure had been claimed – Giles had four while I a paltry two. Time for the giant to stomp onto the field! After rolling to decide what free table edge to come in on, the giant lumbered towards it’s nearest target, a treasure-carrying thug from the enchanter’s warband (who’s apprentice was still locked in a struggle with my thief).

Meanwhile the wandering demon behind my lines lurched up to attack my firing line, wounding one of the archers. Hopefully they would be able to defeat it before it got to my wizard!

The giant squished an enemy warhound as both sides came to terms with this new threat. The area became a swirling melee as the enchanter’s apprentice was reinforced in his battle with my thief while the giant swatted it’s way through the soldiers.

My thief was vanquished, but so was anyone who had the misfortune to be targeted by the giant. The enchanter decided to cut his losses and began to withdraw with his treasures. But one was dropped by a squashed thug. Could I claim it from under the giant’s nose and even the score?

The giant blatted the enemy apprentice and then turned towards my knight and the enemy treasure hunter, who were by now locked in combat. He stopped and scratched his head in puzzlement as both combatants promptly killed the other!

By now the errant demon had clawed it’s way past my archers and was slavering after my wizard. He raised his staff but was unable to withstand the creature’s attack!

Now wizardless, the two thugs that had worked their way along the flank from the dragon ruin came up with a plan. After drawing lots, one of them distracted the giant so that the other could run up and grab the last treasure.

But it was not to be! The retreating enchanter cast one last spell and blocked off the treasure with a wall spell. The final chest was out of reach and the giant quickly dispatched the thug. Thus the game ended with a win for Giles – three treasure to my two, though the real winner was the giant, who would dine well that evening!

Time for lunch and a quick wander around to check out what other people were playing. Next to us was an X-Wing game that drew many admiring onlookers, whilst in the main room, much intrigue was in evidence at a Game of Thrones game. Check out Giles’ blog for a more in-depth look at the proceedings.

On to game two, where we badgered an innocent passer-by into trying out the game. He took over Giles’ enchanter while I played again with my witch.

Both warbands advanced and took some early treasures, which brought on the giant much sooner than the last game.

Alas the enchanter was a little absent-minded this time around, picking up a treasure which was in fact the fool’s gold he had cast beforehand!

On my left flank, his warhound menaced my archer that was covering that side of the field from a ruin. A lucky shot through the doorway felled the hound. My other archer took up residence in the high tower to my right, giving him unrivalled views over the area.

An enemy thug in the giant’s path wisely made himself scarce, leaving my apprentice to be the next on the monster’s to-eat list. The poor girl desperately swung her weapon and… I rolled a 20! A critical hit! It wasn’t enough to kill the giant, but it bought me some time.

I sent the nearest thug to assist the apprentice. Dodging the giant’s blows he lunged… Another 20!!! This comfortably felled the giant, which now only posed a threat if it’s corpse landed on anyone when it fell.

In the centre, the enchanter watched as his templar moved up to protect him from my advancing knight. As they slugged it out, both fighters became wounded, but it was the knight who fell first, despite being reinforced by my thief.

On my left, things were relatively quiet, but this changed when an armoured skeleton wandered into the fray. A fog spell kept my troops out of sight, but the wounded enemy templar found himself facing the creature after a push spell sent him flying into it’s path.

A push spell, I might add, cast by his boss (being in essence a shooting attack, we randomised the target, as the templar and thief were in combat). This left the wizard to face the thief alone.

Another push spell from the enchanter’s apprentice saw the skeleton scudding through the fog to attack one of my archers, who had left his position on my left to protect his master. My wizard also cast another fog spell just in case.

Despite taking wounds from enemy archers, my warband was now closing in on their opponent. The thief earned much kudos by slaying the enchanter, before teaming up with a thug to steal a treasure from their opposite number.

They didn’t have it all their own way however, as the opposing warband fought back, downing a thug and wounding my apprentice with point-blank shooting.

They even nearly managed to kill my wizard, who, having avoided the armoured skeleton, was taking cover when he got hit by an arrow. Luckily his (recently healed) apprentice was on hand to provide cover with a fog spell.

With the last stolen treasure off the board the game was over – 4-2 to me but more importantly fun and enjoyment on both sides (I think we made at least one convert,). Unfortunately we couldn’t stay longer, as more people trickled in while we were packing up, but it was an interesting experience hosting my first demo/participation game in a public setting. Well done to the organisers of the day and here’s to the next one!

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