Thursday, October 22, 2015

Frostgrave multiplayer

Last Tuesday I played in a all-against-everyone three player game of Frostgrave.

Yesternight I got this inspiration for the background of my warband that's based on my Carnival of Chaos models. Double duty, so to say.

But these games we've been playing are pretty much just some practice for the real thing, so I'm saving the actual background story for a possible campaign.

So. There were three warbands. My Summoner and the Sigilist are already old acquaintances (whoa, I didn't need to double check the spelling of that word!), but this time there was also a Necromancer digging up (frost)graves.

Maybe he'll raise a long dead but still a serviceable pun, since I don't seem to be able to.

What became clear early in the game is that the game is a lot more chaotic (in a good way) with three players. Since there is no set turn order, the actual order in which you get to activate your models changes constantly. Though you need to remember your initiative number. I'm not very good at that, so perhaps I'll dedicate one die for that in future games.

I've tried to pinpoint loot tokens in the second picture, as well as give an idea of the deployment sides.

Personally for me one treasure was a stupid easy snatch - if we played it correctly. And I don't see why wouldn't we. The token was exactly within 9" of table edge and I had my wizard and a treasure hunter near that. With group activation Treasure Hunter moved and picked up the token, and wizard cast Leap on Treasure Hunter for him to jump 10" away from table. Hmm. I actually wonder if carrying a treasure halves the leap to 5"? Probably not since moving by spell seems to ignore most things, but it's not explicitly stated.

Sigilist had two fairly easy snatches on their side of the board, Necromancer had one. Four tokens in the general middle area looked like they'd attract most attention, though high up there in the north (depicted with a yellow arrow) was one treasure nobody seemed to really care about. It's was probably hard being that one lone treasure.

I speak mostly from the perspective of my Summoner, how things looked on my side of the board.

Early Necromancer started building walls to block me from getting to blueish treasure counter in south-west. Summoner replied by summoning a heroic imp in front of the zombie and some kind of a soldier. The imp single-handedly butchered the zombie and tied up the soldier for many turns to come.

Combat can be brutal in this game. Necromancer felt that harshly. He empowered some spell, I forget which. Possibly Leap to get to the red loot counter in the middle. That dealt a little bit initial damage. When it's soldier phase my crossbowman takes a shot against the necromancer because he was the only target he could see. Bam. Dead necromancer.

What comes around goes around. While I didn't lose my wizard, a single random arrow from an archer brought my barbarian just to two hit points remaining.

Sigilists threw some dogs and whatnot on my summoner, but he personally dispatched the dog in melee. Good boy. Now play dead.

To me it looked like Sigilist had strongest position in the game at the moment. If I'd start contesting the token on top of the bridgeway, pretty much all of my troops would be involved there and then. I was already playing down one dog, barbarian and treasure hunter and thief. A big brawl between Necromancer and Sigilist apprentices was about to happen behind the bridge where one treasure was located. Winner there was unknown, but at the moment looked like Sigilist would get four treasures plus one question mark, I'd get two and Necromancer would get two plus one question mark.

So I proposed an uneasy alliance with the Necromancer - I'd get south-west token without interference, and I'd let enemy barbarian with token from the bridge pass safely. This way I'd get sooner to the treasure token on the crates and who knows - perhaps even reap the treasure the enemy apprentices were fighting over!

But alas. Sigilist got first to the token on the crates anyway. My wizard had to summon one heroic imp again to block the path enemy treasure hunter was escaping. This time it killed a charging knight.

Sigilist himself went the way of a true hero - escaped the board with only two boxes remaining. He was afraid of Spell Eater and failed casts especially now when he had injured status. I spent a while looking at the FAQ, and turns out Spell Eater actually deals the damage to the one who casts Spell Eater, not to the caster whose spell was removed. Fair enough I guess. You're not actually taking a bite of the enemy caster, but swallowing toxic magical residue. Before he escaped he had cast Draining Word spell on Leap - which both of us, me and the Necromancer, were utilizing.

I started chasing the treasure hunter with everything I had left - mostly that was Possessed thug, my apprentice and a war hound. Wizard was at five hit points, so he wanted to play safe. My archer would have wanted too, but she had to take care of enemy archer or ranger or something that was in perfect sniper position in regards to my Summoner. Archer had never landed a truly successful, not in either of the games I've had her in my warband. This time she went full melee, and look at that. A kill.

Apprentice called Adon tried every trick he had. Well, pretty much he only cast Elemental Bolt and was fairly successful in doing so, despite having difficulty 16 on that spell. Actual attack rolls weren't as good.


My Possessed thug was able to catch the treasure hunter, but he was beaten like the good boy before. Now he played dead, too. I forget who killed my war hound, but suddenly I had to face a situation where there was only my apprentice with half of his hit points remaining in the middle of enemy troops. Apprentice improvised and cast Leap on himself and jumped to the other side of the bride up there in the north. Maybe he'd get the loot token from there instead.

By now the Necromancer apprentice had also died, but so did the Sigilist apprentice, too. After a struggle that lasted for many turns a few shaken and bleeding Necromancer followers picked up the treasure. To me it looked like everyone would be gaining three treasure tokens now. I was okay with this. Sigilist troops started falling back, and I promised fairly safe passage for a sigilist archer in the middle if he'd just get off with his loot token. Mostly I just wanted all ranged weapons off the board so I'd be able to safely bring my apprentice away from opposing table edge!

Very last turns there were only one necromancer archer around and me with two spellcasters who were receiving -2 to all rolls from being injured, and an undamaged archer and crossbow.

The movements of the archer were highly suspicious to me - he was moving north, where also my apprentice was hiding. Not directly towards him, but still...

I tried to encourage the archer to leave table by shooting him with my ranged weaponry, but they failed to cause any damage. The archer didn't even have line of sight - but I started to move her as fast as possible to cover my apprentice.

And indeed the necromancer archer had a higher (no, LOWER!) goal in his mind than just escaping. When this was fairly apparent I decided to risk it and cast Leap with the apprentice, though effective difficulty for his Leap was 15 thanks to Draining Word, being injured and being an apprentice. Leap failed and the insolent bastard dared to shoot an arrow through the apprentice's head(s). My two remaining uninjured warriors were closing in, so I guess the enemy archer's lust for blood had been satisfied and risk/reward told him to escape the board.


In the end everybody did indeed get three treasures. Nobody lost permanently important figures, like apprentices or wizards, and as far as I remember soldier deaths were rare, too.

My rolls for treasures were fairly bad. I got 200 gold, magic crossbow (+1 shoot), scrolls of Miraculous Cure, Heal and Dispel, and a Grimoire of Crumble. Crossbow and scrolls will be useful, though.

My wizard got 230 experience (210 from battle and 20 from Laboratory) I raised Fight stat and made Elemental Bolt easier to cast.

Multiplayer experience was fine, as there is no excessive wait time between player turns. Our Necromancer player had the longest waits after losing both his wizard and apprentice fairly early, but once late game was looming the wizard and apprentice phases for other players didn't take that long. Often wizards seem to be hiding then with no models within 3" to speak of.

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