Wednesday, October 21, 2015
The D6 Generation Episode 175: Travel Games & Frostgrave Detailed Review
Sunday, October 18, 2015
My party was the same as last time, with one addition, another thug.
|Necromancer w/ Staff|
Ptolemina, High Priestess of Aridais, the Forbidden City
|Apprentice w/ Staff|
Renyard Strake,ex-Friar and Acolyte of the High Priestess of Aridais, the Forbidden City
Thug Underboss, Big Tom
Thug, Kay Az
Thug, Kaz Ay
Gorman the Wolf
I didn't have any new spells or magic items, due to my rolls last time. But I did advance a level, so I chose to have +1 Fight.
We set up the treasure and did our initial rolls, and the game began.
(As sadly I am writing this a week after the fact, the specifics of the game elude me.)
- My Warhound acquired a name. After rolling two natural 20s and taking out two of my opponent's war band in two consecutive rounds, he is now, "Badaz!"
- Dan's group killed the Genie and found, and recovered the Genie bottle. This gave his wizard an instant 250 xp. Seems excessive to me, but thems the rules.
- I think my opponent and I both were maneuvering better than in the previous games.
- I kept my wizard and apprentice out of harm's way, unlike last game.
- I got a around 300 gold from the encounter.
- Grimoire of Awareness
- Grimoire of Wall
- Dagger +1 Fight
- 1 Level
- My thief was removed from the game, and is out for a game.
- My opponent:
- Some amount of gold (plus the amount for the bottle).
- A magical two handed sword.
- Robes of Arrow Turning
- 3 Levels
- 4 of my opponent's dudes were taken down during the game: 3 were fine, 1 out for a game.
I wish you could sell grimoires. I get the idea behind why you cannot, but it seems silly to me. I now have 3 grimoires that are not spells that I care about and cannot sell. So, useless treasure... ugh...
Well, on to the next game...
Monday, September 28, 2015
|Necromancer w/ Staff|
Ptolemina, High Priestess of Aridais, the Forbidden City
|Apprentice w/ Staff|
Renyard Strake, ex-Friar and Acolyte of the High Priestess of Aridais, the Forbidden City
Thug Underboss, Big Tom
Thug, Kay Az
Gorman the Wolf
|Back Row Left to Right: Thug, Thief|
Middle Row Left to Right: Crossbowman, Man-At-Arms, Apprentice, Thug, Apothecary
Front Row Left to Right: Wizard, War Hound
Scenario: The Living Museum
- Four of the Six Statues came alive. One of them ended up killing Dan's archer who was carrying a treasure - DOH!
- I took out two of Dan's dudes. I believe one was with a Bone Dart and one was with a Crossbow bolt.
- Ptolemina took a crossbow bolt to the throat and came within 2 points of being taken out of action in one shot!
- My guys rushed the treasures and strangely avoided being hurt very much at all, despite being completely exposed.
- Dan ended up with 1 treasure, that netted him like 3 potions and a ton of gold.
- I ended up with 2 treasure, giving me a Fast Act Grimiore and 140 gold.
- I made just enough XP to go up a level.
- If you don't have enough terrain, the game becomes a shooting gallery. Use all the terrain you got!
- Though three of Dan's dudes we taken out of the game, all three ended up surviving. So, although a character can be taken out for the game, the brutality isn't quite what we were fearing - they aren't dead.
- We need to speed up, I guess. The game seemed to move a bit slow, even though I did not think we were really taking all that much time.
- Bone Dart is crazy good.
- The Apothecary is actually worth the points!
- Fog is really good too.
- It was still fun.
Sunday, September 27, 2015
Take a toothpick and press it to on the inside edge of the cut paper. Then, roll the paper up on the toothpick like a spool (see image below). Pinch lightly so it does not unravel and slide the tooth pick out. Take a small dab of white glue and apply it to the inside of the edge and then light press so it sticks together. You can unroll a part of the scroll and glue it farther down the length to give it the look of the scroll unraveling, exposing its arcane symbols and esoteric text. That can be applied with a fine point pen – I do not recommend ballpoint. I really like Uniball pens. The gel ink offers sharp edges and the thinner tip means less to smear for those left-handers like myself.
You can see quite a bit of gaps allowing light to shine through - that's ok; I think of these gaps as room for the model to develop personality. Let's get those gaps filled and see what becomes of our mysterious well.
Normally, I always add a bit of water and a bit of paint to prepare the spackle for application. When the spackle is wet, it is easier to work. Adding a little bit of water, the spackle still holds it shape and has some spring to it; good for vertical fills and connecting two points. Adding more water creates a slurry, good for when you want gravity to work for you and have the spackle settle into low areas. I advise starting with a bit of water, as I almost always do, because you will be wetting your tools and fingers as you go, so the spackle will get wetter as you need it o without turning to soup.
Now, get a sponge or some foam. I use the foam that I pulled out of my miniatures carriers. You can also use the foam that is packed in most miniatures when they ship. Grab a cup of water. Wear some clothes you don’t mind getting splashed (just in case) and put down some plastic or paper. With the wet sponge, wipe across the spackle-covered stones with medium pressure. This will smooth the spackle, push it into the lower crevices, and remove it from the upper part of the stone, leaving it exposed. Again, you will wash as much or as little to get your desired look. Keep the sponge wet and continuously clean it out with fresh water so you are not just smearing spackle everywhere. I used medium pressure and I did the entire inside well once, let it dry, went back to that night and wiped it again to get my final look that I liked.
I wanted a look where the mortar has worn away and the only remaining mortar holds the stones, for only a few more years. If I didn't remove enough spackle, I would wash it again for a third time. If I remove too much, I have to add some spackle and then wash again. I like the inside so I repeat the same steps for the outside. This is what it looks like after the outside is done:
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
This piece will be used for the Scenario: The Well of Dreams and Sorrows
Sunday, September 13, 2015
|Some progress on my Necromancer's apprentice. Coming along nicely.|
|Had to use a flash on Harlan to see how it was coming along.|
|The new Master Holt is looking alright. I think I might need to go a little lighter on the overcoat.|
|Seth is coming along nicely.|
All of them still need some clean-up and details, but so far, so bad.
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
I'm judging Frostgrave after having played Warmachine/Hordes almost exclusively for 6 years. But I also come from playing and organizing several Mordheim campaigns. While Warma-Hordes has the fine-detailed rules system that tickles by OCD impulses with delight, Mordheim is the game is the standard that I will compare Frostgrave to the most. Not only this is/was arguably the best game GW ever neglected, it really did pave the way for similar games.
This game pretty much focuses around the wizard and the apprentice, and spells aren't just "this model gains a boost to X for 1 turn". Instead, a majority of spells last the entire game. Some permanently. With 80 different spells to choose from, and each wizard being forced to dabble in other school aside form his own, this makes for some really interesting combinations.
"I'm a monster.....GRRRRR!!" - the 4e gnome
The addition of creatures in the game truly add a new dimension to a game. This makes the game more about playing the scenario then trying to beat the other guy. Sure, sometimes it is just 2 people competing over treasure. But others, it's about running away with as much treasure before you get eaten by a giant ice worm! This makes solo play actually possible, and lends itself to 3+ players at once. This can be a great equalizer in some games, something the Mordheim lacked sometimes.
Lack of Complexity
K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple and Stupid)
Although I've seen simpler games, this one does lend itself towards casual play and is a nice change of pace from the ultra-competitive world of WarmaHordes. And even if this does open itself up to some rules debates, in the end it remembers that it's just a game.
This is what it's all about. Long term campaigns where you increase in strength, find magical treasure, and are forced to evaluate the risk/reward a bit more. Do I risk fighting that giant to get to the treasure, or to I cut my loses and beat cheeks?
Don't get me wrong, I love D&D and the D20 system. But I never really liked D20's for a miniature game. D10's and D8's I can see, maybe even a d12, but the complete randomness of a D20 can really make or break the game. Maybe I'm used to the 2d6 system from Warmahordes. which gives a nice bell-curve on rolls, rather than a completely random chance.
Attack/Damage is one roll
"How's it look?" "It looks clear"
So, let's take for example I have a thug behind a wall (gaining light cover) and is shot at by a crossbowman. The shot has to cross over two more walls and around the corner of a building to hit, giving me a total +5 to my fight roll to avoid the shot. We roll off: I roll 12, adding all my bonuses I get a 19 total (+2 fight, +2 cover, +3 intervening terrain). A nice roll! But the crossbowman rolls an 18, adding his +2 shoot, and totals a 20. He still hits, but just barely, right? Wrong! Damage is calculated using his attack roll, so 20, the he add +2 form the crossbow, so 22 total. Well, my thug just has the clothes on his back (armor 10), so he takes 12 points of damage, which is instant death, even though I rolled a 19 on my opposed roll. This just feels wrong and definitely a spot for improvement or house rules.
It's all about the bling!
All scenarios seem to be about one thing: collecting treasure. Sure, that's why your band is in Frostgrave in the first place, and the situation changes each game, but I can see it getting stale after a while. Spells like Leap, Teleport, and Telekinesis become more important than attack spells like Elemental Bolt. Now, I haven't read all the scenarios from the rulebook yet, so this may not be the case, but I'd still like to see a bit more variety.
Lack of customization
We're all unique individuals, just like everyone else
In Mordheim, there are 2 basic model types: Heroes and Henchmen, In that game, one can customize anyone, even your henchmen. You can equip a regular footman with a sword and shield, or a halberd, or a crossbow. You can add armor, special weapons, etc. Your regular troops also gained experience and could improve throughout the campaign, or even become heroes themselves. This is sadly missing from Frostgrave. That crossbowman who's shot pierces the eye of the enemy wizard, does he get something special for his efforts? Nope. The crossbowman's own wizard doesn't even get extra XP. I'd rather see soldiers without equipment, with just a base stat line, perhaps some special ability, and then a list of armor and weapons you can buy for them, rather than bunch of cloned soldiers. An advancement system would be nice, too. Perhaps even adding the chance to learn a bit of magic themselves.
I think Frostgrave can be a great game. Right now, it's just a good game. With some tweaks and/or house rules, I think it can rival Mordheim for a place in gaming history. But I'm one to put my money where my mouth is. Next time: some suggested house rules (I do love rules)!
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
No pics of the Construct... I did some surgery on it. It still needs some work though, and it is in a different spot than the other models.
More updates to come!
Sunday, September 6, 2015
First, I decided on a few minis that I didn't mind messing with...scratch that, I scrounged for a few minis I could use for something remotely like what I was looking for in my warband. These are the stock photos of the minis I will be altering and what I want to do with each:
|Battleguard Golem from the Bones line of Reaper miniatures. I want to remove his sword and re-position his right arm to look more menacing.|
Friar Stone from the Bones line of Reaper miniatures. His staff has a chunk missing out of it, so I am going to try and fill that in. Then I am going to try and find something to give him and more necromatic look, maybe a skull of some sort.
|Harlan Phineas Versh, Illumnated Hunter from the Warmachine line from Privateer Press. I am going to try and use some pieces off an old dwarven crossbow to make him a crossbowman.|
Seth Alkot, Monster Hunter from the Iron Kingdoms line from Privateer Press. Same as with Harlan, I am going to try and use some pieces off an old dwarven crossbow to make him a crossbowman, or a marksman.
Master Holt from the Warmachine line from Privateer Press. Ok, I am going to try and make a Man-At-Arms out of Master Holt using different arms and some sort of hand weapon and shield.
Those are the plans at least...
Wish me luck!
Progress update soon!
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
We played the following 350 point warbands:
|Summoner w/ Sword||Thaumaturge w/ Staff|
|Apprentice w/ Sword||Apprentice w/ Staff|
|Summoner's Spells||Thaumaturge Spells|
|Summon Demon||12||Touch||Sum||Blinding Light||10||LOS||Tha|
|Bone Dart||10||LOS||Nec||Combat Awareness||14||Touch||Soo|
|Monstrous Form||12||Self||Ill||Enchant Weapon||12||LOS||Nec|
We played the Mausoleum Scenario. We used Warmachine, Hordes and Reaper Bones models for our warbands.
- Designing the Wizard and his warband.
- The variety of spells.
- The simplicity of the basic mechanics.
- The ability to affect a large portion of the table with your mage's spells as most are Line of Sight.
- Odd tactical depth to the "group activation" mechanic in it. Roll initiative, winner's Wizard and up to 3 soldiers within 3 inches of him move/perform first action, then they perform their second action. Then your opponent's Wizard does the same. Then you apprentice and up to 3 soldiers within 3 inches of him move/action, then their actions. Then your opponent's apprentice ... Then any soldiers of yours that haven't activated, then your opponent's soldiers. Then creatures (yours, your opponent's, the "wild" creatures).
- BIG ACTIONS are possible. For instance, my Templar (a soldier) killed Dan's apprentice AND his archer in one round (we totally played that wrong btw. A soldier can only get two action IF one is movement-oops!).
- Interesting scenarios.
- It is ALL about the Mages. The soldiers are basically there to execute your plans, though they can get magic items and whatnot. This is not all bad, but it is much more of Mage and Apprentice and a bunch of dudes rather than a warband.
- My opponent (his first game too) disliked the extreme randomness of the D20. Didn't bother me, a little chaos is in my blood.
- It felt like it needed a time limit, or turn limit, but for the life of me, I couldn't find one. I actually think with more dudes the game would go faster, as counter-intuitive as that sounds. We played a 350 point game - warbands of 4 and 5 dudes. With more bodies on the table, you would get the treasure moving off the board quicker (which is really the object of most games). Plus, the only other thing that really slowed the game was picking spells, which would get quicker over time, of course.
- The ruleset could be clearer on most things.
- There needs to be quickstart guide and a qick reference chart.
Those are my initial thoughts...