Frozen Bones: A Frostgrave Battle Report

Chris Palmer

    No second figure this week, but I’ve got a battle report instead.  I recently purchased a copy of Frostgrave, as it seemed like a it might be a good set of rules to use with my ever growing Bones collection. And, quite coincidentally I had already painted a few of my Bones in a winter theme. So, after reading through the rules, I set up a quick solo game one evening this week to give them a play through.
    I don’t own a lot of appropriate terrain, but I have run a number of Christmas Wars games in the past, so had a bit of  scenery I could press into service along with some generic ruined brick buildings.

An overview of the table. The Illusionist’s forces entered from the near side, and the Necromancer’s from the far side.

      In selecting my forces I thought I would try one with fewer but more elite troops, and another with a quantity of lower cost troops. So, I picked an Illusionist, with his Apprentice, a Templar, a Knight, and a Ranger. And against them a, Necromancer, Apprentice, 2 Infantry, 2 Archers, a Man at Arms and a Thief.
    For the Illusionist picked the following spells: Teleport, Glow, Monstrous Form, Mind Control, Push, Heal, Fast Act, and Grenade.  For the Necromancer I selected: Bone Dart, Raise Zombie, Steal Health, Familiar, Decay, Imp, Awareness, and Telekinesis.  Cutting up, sorting, and selecting all the spell cards took  a bit of time.  Before the game the Necromancer was able to both raise a Zombie, and get a Familiar.

Team Illusionist: The Illusionist, his Gnome Apprentice, Lady Templar, Dwarf  Knight, and Ranger

Team Necromancer: The Necromancer’s Toad Familiar, The Necromancer, his Apprentice, 2 Infantry, 2 Archers, Man-At-Arms, Thief, and Zombie

     To begin, I separated the Illusionist’s forces into two groups the Illusionist himself, the Templar, and the Knight started just inside the cemetery seen in the lower left of the table picture at the top. The Apprentice with the Ranger to protect her, started at the wall just opposite the two-story ruin, by the big pine tree, seen on the right of the table photo.
   I likewise split the Necromancer’s forces. He and his apprentice, along with the Man-At-Arms, and the female Infantry and Archer started by the statue seen in the upper right corner of the table in the photo at the top. While his other Infantry and Archer, along with the Thief and the Zombie started by the blue crystal in the upper left corner of the table in the photo at the top.
     In the first turn the Necromancer’s side won the initiative.  He moved forward to the cover of some ruins, and then cast his Awareness spell to gain a +1 initiative bonus for the rest of the game. His soldiers that stared within 3" advanced as well. The female Infantry then picked up a treasure, the female Archer moved to cover in some ruins, the Man-at-Arms moved towards some other treasure.
    The Illusionist now activated, and he and his Templar and Knight moved into the graveyard. At that point the Illusionist spotted the Necromancer’s female Infantry holding the treasure and did a Mind Control spell on her, rolling a 19.  She failed her Will test and became controlled by the Illusionist. The Templar picked up some treasure, and the Knight moved towards another treasure.
   The Necromancer’s Apprentice then moved forward to the cover of some ruins. Then the Illusionist’s Apprentice and the Ranger advanced to the two-story ruins. The Apprentice then Teleported up to the second floor, and the Ranger climbed up after her.
  During the Soldiers phase, the Necormancer’s other Infantry and Archer along with the Thief all advanced into some nearby ruins, where the Thief picked up another treasure. The Illusionist then moved the Female Infantry he now mind-controlled towards his side of the table. In the Creature Phase, the Zombie lumbered forward.

At the end of turn 1. The Ranger and Apprentice are on the top floor of the 2-story ruins at the bottom of the photo, while the Necromancer’s forces move to their positions.  The mind-controlled female Infantry can be seen carrying her treasure forward near the white rocks at the center left of the photo

Meanwhile, the Illusionist finds himself a good position to cast spells from while the Templar carries some treasure urns to the rear, and the Knight moves toward a treasure chest near the statue.

      During the next turn the Illusionist  moved to where he could get a better view of the battlefield and his Apprentice cast Glow on one of the Necromancer’s Archers.  The Necromancer and his Apprentice attempted to throw Bone Darts at the Illusionist’s Apprentice but she was too protected by the ruins. The Ranger and the Necromancer’s Archers exchanged ineffective fire, as they all were in good cover. The Templar carried her treasure to the back of the cemetery and over the wall. Likewise, the Necromancer’s Thief and Man at Arms carried their treasure to the rear of their positions.  The mind-controlled female Infantry carried her treasure closer to the Illusionist side.  Then miraculously rolled a 20 on her Will check, breaking free of the Mind Control.

As the female Infantry approaches, she breaks the Mind Control.  The Illusionist tries desperately to regain control, but can’t. The Dwarf Knight drops what he was doing and prepares to move against the female Infantry.  Meanwhile, the Necromancer’s other Infantry can be seen sneaking into the cemetery at the center left of the photo.

     On the next turn the Illusionist’s Apprentice took a Bone Dart from both the Necromancer and his Apprentice and died. The Illusionist tried to regain Mind-Control over the female Infantry and failed; so his Knight rushed forward to engage in combat.  Meanwhile the Necromancer’s other infantry had worked around the ruins and entered the cemetery where the Templar moved to stop him.

The Knight and Infantry fight, as the Necromancer’s support moves up.

   The Illusionist moved to help his Templar, and the Knight was able to dispatch the female Infantry. But by then the Necromancer’s Man-At_Arms and Zombie were right there and the Knight, already weakened a little from his fight with the Infantry, now found himself in another combat.  Meanwhile the Necromancer cast an Imp nearby, and this Creature moved toward the Knight as well.  The Necromancer’s apprentice moved to  a position where she could start casting Bone Darts at the Ranger

The Templar and Illusionist battle the other Infantry; as the Dwarf  Knight now finds himself facing the Necromancer’s Man-At-Arms.  A Zombie and Imp move up behind the Knight.

    The Templar and Illusionist killed the Infantry, but the Templar was badly wounded so she and the Illusionist ducked behind a crypt where they were out of sight, and he could cast Heal on her.  In the mean time, the Man-At-Arms killed the Knight, and a combination of an archery hit, an a Bone Dart from the Illusionist’s Apprentice took out the Ranger.
   At the that point the Illusionist and his Templar knew their cause was lost and decided to leave the field of battle to to the Necromancer.

The Illusionist and Templar survey the situation and decide to call it a day.

    The game was a lot of fun. I ended up doing Archery and Spell Casting wrong the first couple of turns, making them much less deadly. Once I figured out the correct way, the action picked up.  I also wasted time messing with treasure.  I  can see in a non-campaign game like this that the gathering of treasure is not as important, because whoever wins the battle can collect the treasure at their leisure.  I’ve read that adding a turn limit might help correct that, which I will have to try in the future.
    I’m also not fully convinced I want to commit to the winter theme.  I can see doing a “Watergrave” variant, with a rising of Atlantis type of setting; and being able to use a lot of the more temperate figures and scenery in my collection. Knowing me though, I’ll probably end up doing both. 🙂

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