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Frostgrave: Fantasy Wargames in the Frozen City

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Amidst the frozen ruins of an ancient city, wizards of different creeds are locked in a ferocious struggle. Each of them must seek to discover the treasures of a fallen empire and master long-forgotten but incredibly powerful magical lore. Each player takes on the role of a wizard from one of ten schools of magic, and builds his band of followers. While the wizard's appren Amidst the frozen ruins of an ancient city, wizards of different creeds are locked in a ferocious struggle. Each of them must seek to discover the treasures of a fallen empire and master long-forgotten but incredibly powerful magical lore. Each player takes on the role of a wizard from one of ten schools of magic, and builds his band of followers. While the wizard's apprentice will usually accompany his master, more than a dozen other henchmen types are available for hire, from lowly thugs to heavily armored knights and stealthy assassins. Wizards can build their magical knowledge by unlocking ancient secrets, with the potential to learn up to 80 spells in total. As players gain power and wealth, they can develop their headquarters on the outskirts of the city, turning one of a dozen different basic locations into bastions of their art, equipping them with alchemical laboratories, mystical forges, astronomical telescopes and other magical resources. While individual games of Frostgrave are quick and can easily be played in an hour or two, it is by connecting these games into an ongoing campaign, that players will find the most enjoyment. The scenarios given in the book are merely the beginning of the limitless, thrilling adventures that can be found amidst the ruins of the lost city.


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Amidst the frozen ruins of an ancient city, wizards of different creeds are locked in a ferocious struggle. Each of them must seek to discover the treasures of a fallen empire and master long-forgotten but incredibly powerful magical lore. Each player takes on the role of a wizard from one of ten schools of magic, and builds his band of followers. While the wizard's appren Amidst the frozen ruins of an ancient city, wizards of different creeds are locked in a ferocious struggle. Each of them must seek to discover the treasures of a fallen empire and master long-forgotten but incredibly powerful magical lore. Each player takes on the role of a wizard from one of ten schools of magic, and builds his band of followers. While the wizard's apprentice will usually accompany his master, more than a dozen other henchmen types are available for hire, from lowly thugs to heavily armored knights and stealthy assassins. Wizards can build their magical knowledge by unlocking ancient secrets, with the potential to learn up to 80 spells in total. As players gain power and wealth, they can develop their headquarters on the outskirts of the city, turning one of a dozen different basic locations into bastions of their art, equipping them with alchemical laboratories, mystical forges, astronomical telescopes and other magical resources. While individual games of Frostgrave are quick and can easily be played in an hour or two, it is by connecting these games into an ongoing campaign, that players will find the most enjoyment. The scenarios given in the book are merely the beginning of the limitless, thrilling adventures that can be found amidst the ruins of the lost city.

30 review for Frostgrave: Fantasy Wargames in the Frozen City

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Been playing this since September when I bought it at border reiver show. Nicely laid out easy to follow. with regard the gaming aspect its a very easy game to learn and lots of fun.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Hicks

    When I step into a new fantasy world I want details; details about the world, it's history, it's deities, it's landscape, people and traditions. In short, I want to know the world. No matter what the game, be it tabletop wargame, roleplaying game or boardgame, I want to know the world so that I can completely immerse myself in the game and the place that I'm playing in. Frostgrave doesn't give you much background, but is somehow still able to give me a compelling and fun game in a world of magic When I step into a new fantasy world I want details; details about the world, it's history, it's deities, it's landscape, people and traditions. In short, I want to know the world. No matter what the game, be it tabletop wargame, roleplaying game or boardgame, I want to know the world so that I can completely immerse myself in the game and the place that I'm playing in. Frostgrave doesn't give you much background, but is somehow still able to give me a compelling and fun game in a world of magic and mystery. The Frostgrave rules, weighing in at 136 pages and including everything you need to run small 10-a-side skirmishes, is a full-colour hardback book of good quality that isn't small enough to feel thin on material and not large enough to make you balk at what you've got to learn. In fact, one of the first attractive qualities is the design and the size, as it's neat and concise and the book isn't large enough to beat someone to death with. The artwork is excellent and very atmospheric, and the photographs of the miniatures in action are detailed and well designed. At an RRP of £14.99 it's great value. The game itself uses a 20-sided die and is designed with 28mm miniatures in mind, although you can adjust the scales for different sized miniatures. Of course, using 28mm minis ensures that you don't have to break the bank in figures as you can use miniatures from other well-known fantasy wargames you may have, but even if you need to purchase some there are official Frostgrave miniatures available from North Star Military Figures (www.northstarfigures.com). The game itself is based around a party of adventurers, a Warband, heading into the Frozen City to find magic items, treasure and fame. Your primary character, the Wizard, is the figure you're most focused on as these guys deal out the most damage in a variety of ways - you can choose from ten different schools of magic; Chronomancer, Elementalist, Enchanter, Illusionist, Necromancer, Sigilist, Soothsayer, Summoner, Thaumatuge and Witch, and each has eight spells to choose from. Although you can choose spells from other disciplines some schools of magic can be opposed to others which makes casting more difficult or almost impossible. Your Wizard is supported by nine others including an apprentice who is able to do what the Wizard can do (but not as well) and eight non-magic soldiers ranging from hounds, thugs and archers, to Man-at-Arms, Knights and Templars; there are 15 fighter types to choose from. Each Wizard starts with 500 gold crowns to spend on the extra help and can gain more gold and items as the game progresses. Kills and achievements gain you experience points, and assuming your Wizard survives the game they can progress on to the next game and earn more spells, items, improve their scores and rise in levels up to a maximum of level 20. Each game has targets to reach and these take the form of treasure chests that characters get to, fight for and then run off with. The chests have random items and gold which you can then use to upgrade your character and team, as well as buy new items and supporting characters, although you can only ever field ten at a time. These sequence of scenarios form a campaign - there are ten scenarios in this book alone and on average each scenario is about a page long but can last anything up to an hour, taking into account the simple bookkeeping required, so campaigns are very easy to design. In between scenarios your Warband can retire to their Base, where they can use resources gathered in previous scenarios and restock and recuperate. The die mechanic is very quick, easy and intuitive throughout the game. Want to cast a spell? Roll 1D20 and score higher than the spell's target number. Want to hit someone? Both of you roll 1D20, add your Fight or Shoot skill and whoever rolls the highest wins, and the roll also determines damage. This is all controlled by a Stat-Line, a series of numbers that define a single character. Movement (M) determines how far a character can move. Fight (F) and Shoot (S) are an indication of a character's prowess in man-to-man and ranged combat. Armour (A) is what they are wearing and how much damage they can absorb. Will (W) determines how they can resist certain spells and Health (H) is how much damage they can take before incapacitation or death. Along with a handy bestiary for wandering creatures in the city and some reference pages to make the games easier, you get quite a lot in the book. Is it any good, though? Did I enjoy the game? After our first two games, which were easy to play through as the rules were easy to learn and the rulebook easy to refer to as I bookmarked what I thought we'd need on an ongoing basis, I got pretty well attached to my Wizard Brania, a Witch, and his apprentice Mushroom (don't ask). I also named my Warband members, and the hound we had, a vicious warhound with one eye and a muzzle made of iron - we called him Mr Sprinkles - was a favourite. It was a bit of fun at first, so when a character fell in combat we could cry out their names and go 'Nooooooo!' in slow motion. However, I got to level four with Brania and I was getting attached. He'd got some pretty good kit and the items were stacking up, and the base I had created (an abandoned inn) had a bit of character. We'd played some of the scenarios in the book but we wanted to try something different, so my opposition suggested that he'd like to raid my base. So, I created a map and the agreement was that if he won then he could choose one of the Resources I had in the base, as well as one magic item. If I won, it was a simple defensive action and I got to keep everything. The battle raged and about halfway through Mushroom was killed, and I was kind of bummed about it. The fight raged on and I was in a pickle, and it got so bad that I found myself cornered by both the enemy Wizard and his apprentice - double trouble. I got so badly hurt that I found myself surrendering and asking for terms. Terms? This was a wargame, dammit! There are no terms! And yet my friend went with the flow and we agreed on terms - he got my best soldier and two magic items as well as gold and the resource, and my character lived. It was then that I realised that we'd roleplayed the encounter, and that the characters were more than simple playing pieces you move around the board. I'd become as attached to the Wizard as I sometimes do with my tabletop RPG characters, and I wanted to see him go on. And there's the single best thing with this game; sure, it's a wargame and wargames are usually about domination and victory at all costs, but this skirmish game feels a lot more personal and will appeal to roleplayers such as myself. Hardcore wargamers don't need to fear this aspect because it's a great game and you don't need to include a roleplaying aspect, but it was refreshing for me to be able to play a wargame and incorporate elements of my favourite hobby into it. In fact, the system could work quite well as a miniatures RPG; I have now added a skill roll, which is simply roll 1D20 and beat a target number; easy 5, average 10, difficult 15, impossible 20. That's it - instant roleplaying game. I can get all the background details I need from the short story collection, also by Osprey. Frostgrave – Tales of the Frozen City is a fiction anthology that collects "eleven stories of wizards and adventurers as they venture into the ruins of the Frozen City". Although the rulebook has enough details about the world for a decent skirmish game (and bear in mind you don't have to use the game setting; this works well for any setting) it doesn't have enough background to get a full roleplaying experience out of, but that's not what the game was designed for. This is an excellent game that's fast, furious and a hell of a lot of fun. It enables you to bring whatever you want to the table. Just want to have a big fight? Check. Sling some spells? Check. Swing some swords? Check. Create and have fun with characters? Check. Do a bit of roleplaying? Check. This is a great game that I'm sure I'm going to be playing on a regular basis, and makes for a great introduction for new wargamers wanting to get into the hobby with it's simple, intuitive rules and clear and concise rulebook. Highly recommended.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    Excellent skirmish system For a gamer with a nice selection of models and terrain, all you need to get started are a couple of d20s and this book. Simple but not simplistic, elegant in execution, all with an old school feel. Must have for anybody who loved Mordheim back in the day.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jerry

    Can't wait to play this with my son and best friend....

  5. 5 out of 5

    Shane

    If Warhammer 40K with wizards in a frozen city and magic instead of tech sounds good to you then this is pretty much your game, and this book is your entryway into it. The rules are simple enough to learn quickly but complex enough to allow for some real strategy. There are enough options in creating characters (the wizard characters anyway) that each should be unique enough to satisfy any "I gotta be me" impulses you might have. Replayability is only so-so, but there are a lot of scenarios here If Warhammer 40K with wizards in a frozen city and magic instead of tech sounds good to you then this is pretty much your game, and this book is your entryway into it. The rules are simple enough to learn quickly but complex enough to allow for some real strategy. There are enough options in creating characters (the wizard characters anyway) that each should be unique enough to satisfy any "I gotta be me" impulses you might have. Replayability is only so-so, but there are a lot of scenarios here, and many, many more in other supplements. A real strong point - if you're a fantasy RPG fan you likely already have everything you need to play this game other than this book - a few wizard miniatures, a few other figures, some terrain (or just some books and such to simulate it), a tape measure, some twenty-sided dice. That's about it. GO! Recommended.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kayce Pearson

    Great skirmish system and not too complicated. While not as "hard core" as some war games out there, this one shines as it's easy to learn, doesn't cost half of the national GDP, and gives old warhammer players who can't stomach the new age of sigmar system something to do with a few handfuls of their old armies. Just an FYI, there are a few areas in the system that are not clear and will need players to make up house rule for, like the base sizes of models and other such things. Overall I am ver Great skirmish system and not too complicated. While not as "hard core" as some war games out there, this one shines as it's easy to learn, doesn't cost half of the national GDP, and gives old warhammer players who can't stomach the new age of sigmar system something to do with a few handfuls of their old armies. Just an FYI, there are a few areas in the system that are not clear and will need players to make up house rule for, like the base sizes of models and other such things. Overall I am very happy with the game. If only I could figure out a way of stopping my wife from curb stomping me every game....... :/

  7. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    Seems like a pretty decent ruleset- definitely an interesting alternative to Mordheim. I worry that the game might be a tad too simple, but I think I'd have to get it on the table to find that out for sure.

  8. 4 out of 5

    chris small

    Easy to jump in This book is perfect for anyone looking to try out a true tabletop skirmish game. Easy to comprehend but with plenty of crunch. If you still have thing for old GW systems like Mordheim and Necromunda, give this a good look. You won't be disappointed.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Russ

    Wonderful successor to games like Mordheim, Necromunda. Heavier on the magic and campaign rules, lighter on the combat rules. Perfect for a table full of terrain.

  10. 5 out of 5

    gregory d gerhard

    Wtf Expected an outline to read for fun like old d&d, but instead is nothing but rules and facts. No plot or journey at all. Not what I expected, sorry I purchased it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cody

    Fantastic art and design plus a easy, logical system for Mordheim-style skirmish campaigns. Can't want to try out the game!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jerico Johnston

    Great for what it is.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rodrigo Hernández

    Muy buen juego. Reglas sencillas, partidas rápidas y con muchas opciones

  14. 4 out of 5

    Richard Francis

    Great set of easy to learn wargame rules and a lot of fun to play.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nicolas Ronvel

    Frostgrave est un jeu de figurines que j'ai acheté pour en faire un successeur de Mordheim. Un jeu d'escarmouche, rapide à jouer et fun, facile à modifier, et faisant l'emphase sur l'histoire plus que sur les mécaniques de jeu. Tout d'abord, le livre est vraiment beau et ergonomique. La lecture est aisée, la mise en page claire et aérée, et les illustrations de toute beauté. C'est un vrai plus. Ensuite, le système s'avère en effet être très facile d'accès, même si la constitution d'une bande deman Frostgrave est un jeu de figurines que j'ai acheté pour en faire un successeur de Mordheim. Un jeu d'escarmouche, rapide à jouer et fun, facile à modifier, et faisant l'emphase sur l'histoire plus que sur les mécaniques de jeu. Tout d'abord, le livre est vraiment beau et ergonomique. La lecture est aisée, la mise en page claire et aérée, et les illustrations de toute beauté. C'est un vrai plus. Ensuite, le système s'avère en effet être très facile d'accès, même si la constitution d'une bande demandera un peu de réflexion, principalement pour choisir ses sorts. Le reste se fait très aisément. Le système est à base de D20+Mod vs D20+Mod. Pas besoin d'autres dés. L'activation est semi-alternée, et le jeu peut rapidement s'avérer mortel. Un gros morceau du jeu consiste en son mode de campagne, qui permet de faire progresser sa bande de parties en parties. Il s'avère en fait qu'on fait progresser principalement le magicien, le reste pouvant au mieux être équipés d'objets magiques. Le système de campagne reste très basique, et il manque à mon goût un petit processus d'équilibrage, le niveau d'une bande chanceuse pouvant très vite dépasser celui d'une plus malchanceuse. Mais sur les forums, plusieurs propositions pour pallier à ça sont déjà en cours de discussions. L'autre gros morceau concerne les scénarios. Ils sont variés au niveau de leur description, mais ils consistent tous en une chasse au trésor. Le décor peut légèrement varier, le scénario intégrer quelques règles spéciales, mais à chaque fois, chaque bande arrive par un bord de terrain, et doit récupérer les trésors. J'aurais aimé voir des scénarios plus variés, en situation de départ comme en objectifs. Passé cette déception, les scénarios proposent quand même une idée très sympa : les monstres errants. Faciles à mettre en oeuvre, avec un semblant d'IA, ça peut vraiment mettre de l'animation sur la table. Une légère déception pour les scénarios et l'évolution, donc, mais un jeu très ouvert qui ne demande qu'à être approprié, à mon sens. A voir son avenir sur la table de jeu maintenant.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    My rating stands for the overall quality of the game and not for the rulebook itself. As a rulebook goes, I would rate it 4 or 5. This game's main difference or standout feature is how it centers on the wizard. The campaign system offers many ways to upgrade your spellcaster. Each game played offers a few methods to generate XP for your wizard and for each level up you can upgrade a stat or a spell. Without having played a game, it seems like a wizard can potentially gain 2 levels after each game My rating stands for the overall quality of the game and not for the rulebook itself. As a rulebook goes, I would rate it 4 or 5. This game's main difference or standout feature is how it centers on the wizard. The campaign system offers many ways to upgrade your spellcaster. Each game played offers a few methods to generate XP for your wizard and for each level up you can upgrade a stat or a spell. Without having played a game, it seems like a wizard can potentially gain 2 levels after each game. I would guess a campaign of 6 games should provide the chance to evolve a wizard significantly. The combat system appears to be mostly luck based. Many of the tests are opposed rolls of d20+stat where stat is in the range [0-5]. The makes it such the "best" has only a 25% better chance over the "worst". I find that a bit unfortunate as tactics won't be very critical. The magic/spell system is different and uses a target number for casting. Many spells have a 50% success rate and various methods to adjust the outcome. The magic system seems excellent and has a wide variety of interesting spells. The rulebook has 10 scenarios which all seem interesting. They are all based on getting objective markers off the board and each scenario has special rules for the terrain/environment. Pros: * Magic system * Computer game like RPG level ups * Scenarios Cons: * Luck based * Focus on campaign system (one off games might seem boring)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Taddow

    I played Warhammer Fantasy because a friend of mine enjoyed it and in exchange he played Warhammer 40,000 because I enjoyed that. All was well (despite my Bretonnians never receiving a new army book) until the Warhammer End Times hit. My friend didn't want to play 9th Age or Age of Sigmar and our gaming group's Warhammer Fantasy sessions were no more. Fortunately my friend found a new game to use all of those Fantasy miniatures- Frostgrave! Definitely not the same game as Fantasy, but simple and I played Warhammer Fantasy because a friend of mine enjoyed it and in exchange he played Warhammer 40,000 because I enjoyed that. All was well (despite my Bretonnians never receiving a new army book) until the Warhammer End Times hit. My friend didn't want to play 9th Age or Age of Sigmar and our gaming group's Warhammer Fantasy sessions were no more. Fortunately my friend found a new game to use all of those Fantasy miniatures- Frostgrave! Definitely not the same game as Fantasy, but simple and fun enough to get your wizards and warriors fix in. This is a skirmish game (similar to Mordhiem) that has a cheap buy in, plays fast and can accommodate multiple players. Of course the game isn't perfect (after a few sessions it became apparent that some of the spells have far more utility than others and the extreme numerical range provided by the twenty-sided die makes some of the armor, stats, etc. a moot point) and you could research online to read reviews that critique the system and the issues with the Experience Point systems in campaigns, but overall me and my friends are thoroughly enjoying the game.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tim Brown

    Frostgrave is a fun, quick-playing, simple set of fantasy skirmish rules with a great setting and campaign system. A report of our first game can be found here: Frostgrave - First Game

  19. 5 out of 5

    Robert Brightwell

    I am really looking forward to getting this on the table.

  20. 4 out of 5

    pookie

    Full review here: http://rlyehreviews.blogspot.co.uk/20... Please re-share.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Brian Johnson

    If your thinking about playing the Frostgrave game, this is a good collection of short stories to get you in the mood. Some stories are better than others.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Walt

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ching Yi Chen

  24. 4 out of 5

    Christian Lindke

  25. 4 out of 5

    Leo

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mark

  27. 4 out of 5

    Steven MacLauchlan

  28. 4 out of 5

    nakas

  29. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kaj Clarke

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