A fresh-faced frolic into Frostgrave

So recently, my girlfriend and I decided to make a fearless foray into the frozen fracas that is Frostgrave (okay, I’ll stop). Two days ago, I played my first two games of Frostgrave. I had only had a small amount of time to skim over the quick rules summary, and barely knew what I was doing. As such, I went into both games looking to see them as a learning experience more than anything. Well, that, and to break out some of my old Lizardmen models that had been busy collecting dust since Warhammer Fantasy stopped being a thing.

For my list, I ran the following:

NOT-LIZARDMEN WARBAND:

Soothsayer

Apprentice- staff, dagger

Archer

Archer

Infantryman

Infantryman

Tracker

Thief

For spells, I went with the following:

Spells:

Soothsayer: Mind Control, Wizard’s Eye, Awareness

Thaumaturge: Heal

Chronomancer: Petrify

Illusionist: Teleport

Necromancer: Bone Dart

Sigilist: Push

My girlfriend and I went to our LGS, where one of the resident Frostgrave players agreed to show us the ropes by murdering me in a demo game. He was running a Summoner with an Apprentice, 2 Warhounds, 1 Brute, 1 Infantryman, 1 Treasure Hunter, 1 Archer, 1 Tracker (if memory serves), with models taken from a variety of board games. For the mission, we went with a standard mission where we had to capture the treasure chests scattered across the board.

The highlights:

My Wizard directs his reptilian minions onwards

-My Wizard’s casting rolls were atrocious, and my warband’s fighting rolls were pretty dismal as well. My Apprentice, on the other hand, managed to reliably cast a few spells here and there, but that failed to save me at all.

-Almost from the get go, my warband found itself getting swarmed by summoned Hounds and summoned Imps. My Wizard was badly injured early on, and then injured himself further when he failed to cast Teleport to escape (by a big margin). He died by I think around turn 3, and any Imps I managed to kill were promptly re-summoned. Things only got worse when he summoned and controlled a demon, which just murdered anything it came across (including, hilariously, one Imp that randomly decided to attack it, only to get its face bitten off).

-Being the idiot that I am, I had placed quite a few of the treasures on my side on elevated positions. This was before I learned how badly vertical distances slow you down, as my Archers, Tracker and Thief spent most of the game making a long climb to get to some of the Treasures, before trying to book it off of said elevated positions, falling, and taking damage in the process. Only one of my plucky lizards escaped in this fashion.

In the end, I was tabled, with my entire warband massacred to a Lizard. In exchange I had managed to kill a warhound, the Brute, an Infantryman and the Apprentice, and one of my Archers managed to escape the table with a treasure.

The last model in my force, a plucky Thief, surrounded by an Imp, a Brute and a Warhound. He lasted a surprising number of rounds before finally going down.

Almost immediately after, my girlfriend and I tried a game of our own. My girlfriend was running a Necromancer with Apprentice, 4 Warhounds, 2 Trackers and 2 Infantry, using minis from Descent.

The enemy Necromancer, and her spider-hounds.
The Apprentice, a weird-looking Tracker, and more spiders.
My deployment

In that game, I did much better, and actually managed to get a good casting of Wizard’s Eye off that put the enemy warband in a really bad position. However, the Necromancer team in turn made heavy use of Telekinesis to drag treasures closer to them.

The treasures, being dragged away by my oncoming Lizards.
The Necromancer raises a Zombie. Due to the lack of models, my girlfriend instead raided one of my Saurus to represent a zombie. Ted, you traitor!

The game store closed at that point, so we had to end at turn 2.

My thoughts, based on this initial foray into Frostgrave:

-Soothsayer is a fiddly magic school that is clearly better employed by someone with more experience than me. That being said, Awareness was extremely handy when I got it off

-I need to remember to not take too many high-value spells, and consider what spells my Apprentice will be able to cast

-Warhounds are good– they are cheap, fast, and annoying, and I should seriously consider taking some

-Summoners are ANNOYING. I was swamped by summoned Imps early in the first game, and my opponent was pretty mcuh in control from start to finish thanks to pinning my warband down with summonables. He told me that Summoner is by no means broken, however, and that he has had difficulty vs Enchanters and Illusionists.

-I really like how dynamic the turn sequence is, and how quick the combat system is. The 3-part activation sequence is also really interesting, and opens up so many options: do I activate stuff with the Wizard/Apprentice, or let it operate on its own in the Soldier phase?

Anyway, those are my observations from my first two games. I might try Soothsayer again next time, or dabble in Enchanter or Elementalist. My first two games of Frostgrave, though brief and unlucky, were thoroughly enjoyable, and I now want to experiment further with my lizards to see what works and what doesn’t. I just now need to figure out what suitably reptillian models I am going to use to represent Warhounds…

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