Last Thursday was the beginning of a campaign of Frostgrave.
The rules are slightly modified version from the actual rulebook. Some folks at Bad Karma dot net (for some reason the site gives me database error at the moment of writing) had already compiled a set of house rules for their enjoyment, and they had raised some good points about where campaign system was lacking. They were not incorporated as is, but were great inspiration for many rules of this campaign.
So here's a summary of our set of rules:
- Victory condition is Transcendence
- Injured rule is used, but critical hits are not
Actual house rules:
- Rout: If half of the treasure has been carried off the board and 50% of the warband has been put out of game by damage, a player may declare rout in wizard phase. At the start of next round all the remaining models from routing warband are removed from board. If they were carrying a treasure token, the token falls to the ground. If the models were in melee combat, other participants may force combat if they wish. Routing models cannot gain supporting melee bonus from other routing models. Note: the models still escape whether forced into combat or not. This just ensures that routing is not used just to escape freely from melee just to save that injured apprentice or high cost warrior with no threat whatsoever.
- Recovering treasure: Only treasures that are actually carried off the board are considered "recovered" for experience gain purposes. Treasures that are left on board when game ends are recovered by no-one, but every wizard who took part in battle gain 25xp. If a tresure token is being carried by a warband member when game ends, wizard gains only 25 experience from that. This is to encourage treasure hunt instead of head hunt.
- Wizard experience: Wizard gains only half of the listed experience from kills made by spells. In melee combat wizard still gains full experience from kills, since wizard is actually risking something (his life) in melee combat. Wizards gain 25 experience from using non-offensive scrolls.
- In-between the games: You have four options when spending treasures.
1. Purchase one item and/or sell as many items as you want.
2. Recruit new soldiers and/or sell one item.
3. Buy a base upgrade and/or sell one item.
4. Scour the ruins for treasure: If warband was unlucky enough not to get any treasure tokens at all during game, one option can be used to gain one treasure and 25 experience point.
You always get one action. You get two actions if either wizard or apprentice survived the game without being removed from game by damage. If both wizard and apprentice survive, you get three options.
This is to limit what you can do between the games even a little, because it feels a bit goofy that if you got the cash, you can do pretty much anything. This doesn't seem to limit early stages of the campaign at all, but hopefully it will stop instant and absolute power boost if one player gets lucky and gain ridiculous amount of gold in one game.
- Death of a wizard: If wizard dies completely before reaching level ten your new wizard is assumed to find the base of your earlier wizard. You don't lose any items or base upgrades, but you lose your warband and all gold.
This is to keep the threat of death always present, but only few things suck more than losing all of your progress especially in a campaign.
So. I played two games, but I'm writing only the first one here because of reasons.
My wizard was almost the same as it was in test games. Let's still list important statistics for completeness' sake.
Warband World Renown Circus Cruor et Caedis
Ringmaster Jack Saturn, summoner with hand weapon and dagger. Apprentice named Adon is carrying a staff.
Summoner: Leap, Imp, Possess
Necromancer: Spell eater
Elementalist: Elemental ball
Chronomancer: Fleet feet
Leftover gold: 5
Again I've crudely photoshopped the approximate treasure locations into the first picture. Opponent was playing Necromancer who had at least Bone Dart, Leap and Raise Zombie.
Initially I thought treasures from locations 1-4 would be fairly easy snatch for me. The treasure from location #1 was a first turn grab, when wizard cast Fleet Feet on thief, and thief then advanced 9" to the treasure and picked it up. Apprentice cast Leap on the same thief. Simply beautiful.
But no plan survives contact with the enemy. After I had taken the treasure #1, opponent scored a couple of brutal hits against all soldiers I was going to bring to location #4. Namely that was just my crossbowman. But I had had great plans for that crossbowman. Reinforcements redirected their course to the location #2. The yellow star in the picture is inaccurately placed to wrong place. But some kind of enemy soldier has leaped there, but barbarian counter-leaped to block.
I had thief there at location #2 who was supposed to pick up the treasure, but he was shot down to injured status by a stray arrow. Thug had to do the job, then.
From the Necromancer side a flying zombie (well, technically a leaping one) went to pick up treasure from behind the white building on top. Some turns later the zombie jumped off the building, dying again in the process, but at least it got the treasure token to the ground.
Location #3 was a fierce battleground. Kind of fierce, at least. Well actually there was very little fighting being actually done - my apprentice, Adon, had cast Possess on my thug, who managed to kill opposing warrior.
I had earlier cast Imp to harass the two warriors up there, but since the other died to possessed thug and another warrior ran out of sight, the imp had no other target than my own model, the thug who had picked up treasure. Nooo!
Luckily no damage to either side was done by the pesky little demon (or aide, as Jack calls them) and later I patched up my mistake by summoning a new imp to location #4. Which was a new mistake. There was a duel between enemy war hound and my own war hound, and when imp finally activated, my dog was closer. Noooo!
When opponent had carried off two treasures and had lost five members of his warband he decided to declare rout. Situation was fairly bad for the necromancers, because I had fast troops and more of them. It seemed likely I'd be able to swarm the treasure #4.
That campaign evening three games were played, and this was first time our set of house rules had some real impact in the outcome. So let's discuss.
With regular set of rules I would have been the clear winner with four treasures and 200 experience points from them. Opponent would have gotten two treasures and 100 experience points.
With our set I got three treasures and 150 experience from them and opponent got two treasures and 125 experience from them. At least this time the house rules seemed to give more balanced ending.
I really didn't want to, but I had to choose the Inn as my base of operations. No other base made any sense for my little circus.
I'm writing up some kind of a disgusting story about this particular warband. Events that relate to this game being played are just below this post, or here.