Frostgrave 2nd edition: Playing my first game

Over the bank holiday weekend I was able to setup a wizard/warband and play my first ever game of Frostgrave 2nd edition. I’ve been really excited to delve into this game for a little while now and seeing as I’ve mentioned the game in a few previous posts, thought it would be a good idea to give a brief overview of my thoughts.

What is Frostgrave?

For those who are unfamiliar with this table top game, Frostgrave puts the player in control of a wizard, their apprentice and a band of mercenaries as you seek to capture treasure and complete tasks in a frozen, ruined city. Creating a party and setting up your wizard is a pretty straight forward process with each character type having the same stat line to begin with. However elements of customisation such as choosing your spell roster really do add a feeling of customisation and flair. There are ten wizard types to select from but choosing your starting type only makes casting from that corresponding school of magic easier. You are still expected to take spells from other schools of magic and so it’s possible to tool up your wizard in any number of ways.

Further adding to the customisation, you can use whatever miniatures you want to play as long as you can assign the premade stats. This means a party of Goblins, Drow or even frog people are not out of the question! From a hobby perspective you can really make something unique. (Or just use those fantasy minis you have from D&D)

Speaking of D&D, if you have played a TTRPG before then the mechanics of Frostgrave wont be too alien to you. You roll a D20 and try to match or beat a target number. If you succeed then the spell goes off or the effect you are rolling for takes place. Combat is a little more involved however can be summarised thusly:

Both players roll a D20 and add their fight score. Highest roll & modifiers wins. Subtract the losers armour score from the winning fight roll and that is how much damage the looser takes. All in all quite simple and once you have gone through a couple of turns this becomes quite intuitive.

My First game

As this was an introduction game, we played the basic Frostgrave scenario as described in the rule book. In this game type there are 5 treasure tokens on the board with 1 at the centre and the rest placed 8inches away. Both myself and my opponent where able to secure the tokens closest to our deployment zone however the central treasure was hard fought over. After a couple hours and some VERY clutch moments, I was able to win via killing all of my opponents miniatures. This turned out to be the best option, especially when my opponent summoned a snow leopard & there was no way to outrun it with the treasure in hand.

All in all the game was a ton of fun and despite both wizards being wildly different in build, the game felt balanced with neither of us having anything which felt overpowered. I will say out of the entire experience, selecting the wizards spells was probably the most challenging thing as I simply didn’t fully understand the choices I was making and what the spells where actually capable of. Now I’ve a game under my belt though, this doesn’t seem quite so daunting and so I’d say this element of character creation is one which should get easier as the player gets more familiar with what options are available to them.

Onto the game table! Sadly I don’t have an epic setup at home as we usually game at the F.L.G.S. As such, we had to make do with a 40k battle mat which came free with a white dwarf a few months ago. We house ruled that the terrain pictured was 3D and would block line of sight and this seemed to work very well. For future games, some medieval ruins and a clear snowy battle mat would be excellent. In fact I already have my eyes on some town ruins from Mantic games…

Summary/ TLDR

We had a ton of fun with this game and I can’t wait to play more. The game is cheap to get into and if you play D&D, pathfinder or a similar fantasy TTRPG, you likely already have everything you need to give it a try. I’ve a bunch of miniatures still to paint for this (as shown in the picture) so will be getting a move on with them once I finish my current Grey Knights 40k project. I also really want to get a nice battlefield setup for future expeditions into the frozen city.

If you want a casual skirmish table top game and love fantasy, Frostgrave is a excellent option!

6 thoughts on “Frostgrave 2nd edition: Playing my first game

  1. Looks like fun. I know people play this sometimes as a campaign. I have often wondered if the campaign game suffers from the flaw of many campaign games where once one person builds up a lead this amounts to an insurmountable advantage in future games, which often causes the othe players not to want to finish the campaign?

    I have no idea if this is the case; I’ll be curious to read your observations on this if you have a chance to play more games or a campaign.

    Whatever the case, the game looks fun, I’ve heard good things about it, and Frostgrave seems like a great reason to paint or use some fantasy miniatures that might not get much use in-between D&D games, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m hoping to run some games at my club and possibly a campaign if people take to it. For now though, I can only really confirm that it’s great fun for one shot skirmish games.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Are the classes and races tied together like many early versions of D&D were, as well as other games, or are they independent? For example, I remember when you couldn’t play a dwarf wizard, at least you couldn’t if you didn’t house rule it. I ask because if I were going to do a band I have a little group of dwarves, who I favor, already painted up. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. There is no mention of races in the rule book, just the job of each miniature. You are free to use any minis you have, so long as they represent the role which you assign them. Your dwarves would be perfect!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m really glad to hear you enjoyed your first game of Frostgrave. Now there is no looking back and you’ll have to assemble a table of great terrain to go with it! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

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