Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Quest for the Skull Sword

This past weekend was the 12th Annual Tim’s Wargaming Birthday Bash/Winter Wargame Campaign Weekend. This year’s event was a Frostgrave campaign that brought players from as far away as Winnipeg (800Km), Edmonton (525Km), and Calgary (600Km)!

There ended up being six participants in the campaign. Originally I had not planned on playing, but at the last minute Rick phoned to say he'd come down with the flu and so I ended up playing as well as running the campaign (a position I’m not altogether comfortable with – but with such a fantastic group of players it turned out just fine). I had hoped that Amanda and The Girl would play as well, but The Girl decided she'd rather not miss anymore dance classes (of which she had two on Saturday) as she's missed a few due to illness over the past month, so her and Amanda spent the day going to dance classes.... They did meet up with us for supper, though. Maybe next year... 

Rather than doing a straight-up tournament, I wanted to run a bit of a campaign with some sort of narrative and to have the winner of the campaign not necessarily be the person with the most “points” or whatever, but rather someone who accomplished a particular task (or tasks). So the I wanted to have a few scenarios where as many people would get to play as many others as possible, and during those scenarios the players would have to accomplish a certain tasks or acquire a certain object to gain entry into the final scenario where they have another task to perform to “win” the campaign.

I’d planed to kick off the campaign Friday evening, play Game Two in the morning, head to Park Cafe for lunch, play Game Three in the afternoon, head to Amigos Cantina for supper (as is our tradition for the Annual Wargaming Birthday Bash), and play the Final Scenario in the evening.


Below are the Wizards and Warbands everyone started the Campaign with, there were many changes and additions throughout the campaign (which I tried to make note of) but this is what everyone started with….

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

The Boy decided to try out a Sigilist Warband led be a Gnome gnamed Fankeluff Tinkalor and his Apprentice Martella Maxillman. They were joined by a Captain named Stranbroak Barkbanner, a Treasure Hunter named Lebroand the Swift, an Archer named Leo Dupine, a Halfling Pack Mule named Pitor “Pit-Pat” Pileleaf, and Two Thieves named Clem the Cutpurse and Narrovan. Before the first game Frankeluff also assembled a Small Construct. Frankeluff started the campaign with Power Word, Write Scroll, Explosive Rune, Glow, Animate Construct, Shield, Curse, and Forget Spell.

And then I forgot to note down the spells most of the others took… darn it…

Terry drove from Edmonton to play with his Elementalist, Spark, and Apprentice, Ember. He started with four Archers, two Thieves and two Thugs. Being mercenaries, I’m guessing Ember didn’t bother to learn their names and all were simply referred to as “You There”.

Paul, from Winnipeg, also brought an Elementalist (I think). I don’t seem to have noted down any of their names – other than the Captain; Robin Banks. In addition to the Wizard, Apprentice and Captain, the Warband started with Two War Hounds, A Thief, two Thugs, and two Archers.

As I didn’t know I was playing until about an hour before people started showing up (while I was still madly trying to tidy up and organize) I didn’t get to making a new Wizard and Warband until the very last minute and didn’t really think through what I was doing… made some choices that, if I’d had more time to think about, I probably wouldn’t have made… I went with  my new Gold Wizard and crew. I starte with Tim the Enchanter and his Apprentice Zoot. With them were two men-at-arms; Terry and Graham, two Archers; John and Eric, and two Thieves Carol and Cerebus the Aardvark. In the end I chose to take Enchant Weapon, Embed Enchantment, Telekinesis, Animal Companion, Heal, Scatter Shot, Heal and Glow.

John played with his Cheesecake lead by A Witch and her Apprentice. Joining them were Conina the Barbarian, an Archer, a Thief, an Infantrywoman, and a Treasure Hunter.

Finally Cory played an Illustionist named Rimby the Magnificent and his apprentice Felix von Baumgarden. Among their soldiers were two Infantrymen named Gill and Bill, Four thugs and named Mr. Pink, Mr. Orange, Mr. Blue, and Mr. Green, and two Archers whose names I have forgotten….



The scenario was pretty much the same as the Well of Dreams and Sorrows scenario from the Frostgrave book… with one exception. I have found during the couple times I’ve played it, the cagey players would hang back and snipe at other wizards approaching the well and wait unitl the other warbands were retreating or significantly weakened before they would skulk out and get their drink. So in this scenario I said THIS well of Dreams and Sorrows dropped in efficacy with each drink… so the FIRST wizard to drink from it would get 200 experience, the second 100 experience points, and the thirds would only get 50.

We also used the new More Wandering Monster house rules I used in our last game each turn on the Monster Phase, each player rolls a d20. On 1-5 a monster appears on the corner to their left, on a 6-10 a monster appears in the middle of their table edge, on an 11-15 a monster appears on the corner to their right, and on a 16-20 they can breath easy for a moment as no new monsters appear.
We also used the new AI for the monsters appearing on table edges – rather than have them roll for random directions to move (if there isn’t an immediate target within 10”) they will move directly on to the table and head towards the exact opposite table edge (or corner) by the shortest route possible until they do run into a target. If terrain blocks their way the quickest way around isn’t apparent, roll d20 – on a 1-10 they go left, on a 11-20 they go right…


I set up one table with John, Terry and The Boy – as they had all played at least once.

I didn’t take too many pictures of their game as I was busy building my own warband and teaching the rules to Cory and Paul and helping them pick out some spells…

John was the last to drink from the pool (which scored him only 50 experience), but he managed to cast 11 spells, Knocked Ember (Terry’s wizard) out of the game along with two other soldier, and collected four of the treasures for a total of 590 experience points catapulting him to 5th level! He increased his Fight and Health and improved Steal Health, Push, and Healing. He suffered only two casualties during the game: the Infantrywoman (who turned out to be okay) and the Treasure Hunter (who was wounded badly enough to miss a game). Among his Treasure  he collected 580 gold, two Scrolls (Blinding Light and Lnvisibility) and Grimoires of Blinding Light and Illusionary Soldier. After their first expedition to the city the warband occupied an ancient Brewery and bought themselves a Giant Cauldron…

Terry’s Wizard survived as did the four archers and one thief that were also knocked out of the game. One thug and one thief did not make it, they died cold and lonely in the frozen streets of Felstad cursing the day they decided to seek their fortunes there… he only managed to get three spells off in the entire game, but he did get the first drink from the well and took out three soldiers before being knocked out of the game himself. For this he collected 450 experience and four levels – increasing Fight and Health and improving Scattershot and Healing. Among his Treasures he found a Magic Crossbow (+2 damage), Scrolls of Furious Quill and STRIKE DEAD(!), and 80 gold. After patching up their wounds, his warband occupied an old laboratory.

The Boy’s wizard was also knocked out of the game with injuries (but not before he also got a drink from the well!) – his injuries were a bit worse as he LOST AN EYE! (ouch!) Both Theives were wounded as well; Norrovan turned out to be okay, but Clem the Cutpurse was injured enough that he’d miss the next game. The thieves seemed pretty unreliable and were thus dismissed from the warband and replaced with more reliable soldiers. In total Fankelfuff collected 310 experience, improving Fight, Power Word, and Explosive Rune. He collected 300 gold and found a Grimoire of Spell Eater, a magic Sword (+2 damage) and an Orb of Power! Being a Sigilist, he thought it most likely that they’d occupy a Library. Before his next game he hired a Knight named Malcrim, a Man-at-Arms named Rudolph Rednose, and another Treasure Hunter named Dragabol the Storm.

Meanwhile, upstairs Paul, Cory and I eventually got underway….

Tim the Enchanter with Cerebus the Aardvark and two archers, John and Eric, approach the fabled location of the Well of Dreams and Sorrows - a newly summoned Snow Leopard skulks quietly behind.

Zoot the Apprentice with the Men-at-Arms (Terry and Graham) along with the other thief (Carol) search the ruins for treasure.

The Warband of Rimby the Magnificent cautiously approach from the east…

Paul’s thief – who just grabbed a treasure – is attacked by a bear in the first turn and narrowly avoids being mauled!

One of Rimby’s Archers is also attacked by a Minor Demon!

Two turns later the poor thief, who managed to dodge the Bear, and later an Imp, managed to get one move from the table edge before they swarmed him again… joined by a GIANT WORM!!?

Terry and Zoot try to hold off two Ghouls and a pair of Wolves while Graham tried to make off with some Treasure! While Graham did make it off with a Treasure (as did Carol and Cerebus) Terry was taken down by the Ghouls and Zoot was savaged by the wolves.

After the Ghouls and Wolves were done with Terry and Zoot – they ran down John and Eric (wht Archer) who were trying to make off with some treasure of their own!

While Tim the Enchanter managed to get to the pool and drink first, he was not able to make good an escape and was felled by the Elementalists warband. They darkened the skies with arrows and then lit him up with Elemental Blasts…

As it turned out BOTH Tim the Enchanter AND his apprentice Zoot DIED of their wounds… like totally DEAD… So in the morning I found myself making ANOTHER new Wizard and Warband1?

Paul’s wizard did rush out at the last minute and got a drink from the well and managed to collect three treasures – once he found himself the sole survivor on the table – my last two having been savaged by wolves and Felix having scarpered. In the whole game his wizard and apprentice managed to cast two spells (TWO!) – this was largely because he simply  could not roll a number higher than six. I think the two spells that did go off had to have been empowered to the point of wounding the spellcasters. Seriously Cory was begging Paul to try a dice app on his phone because SURELY that would provide a more even distribution of roll results (it didn’t). Even so he managed to gain 270 experience which allowed him to improve his Fight and Health.  Though half his warband were casualties only one was wounded seriously enough to miss a game. Among the treasures he collected were 155 gold, Gloves of Casting and a Magic Dagger (+1 Damage). The merry band found themselves and Inn to occupy, built a Kennel and hired a few more folks to continue their adventuring…

Rimby the Magnificent (Cory) began earning everyone’s enmity with some successful casting of Mind Control – which would become his M.O. for the rest of the campaign. One of his Infantrymen died and three others suffered minor injuries. Rimby gained only 210 experience, improving his Fight and Health. Among his treasures, however, he gained 290 gold a Grimoire of Embed Enchantment, and Scrolls of Explosive Rune and Curse.

The games went a little longer than I’d expected – we wrapped up around 1 am. The general consensus was that this was partly due to the More Wandering Monsters – so I dropped that for the rest of the campaign. Because we were up so late (and a few people had spent most of the day driving to get here) it was decided that instead of starting at 9am as originally planned we would start at 10am…


Game Two actually got going closer to 11am…

I whipped up a new warband….

I’ve never played a Summoner, so I thought I’d have a go at one – from the dark and mysterious lands of Araby came the Summoner Abdul Alhazred and his malevolent apprentice Salazar. With them traveled their grizzled captain Mahmud, a pair of Archers named Dashiell and Davi, and four thugs named Achmed, Ahmad, Abbas and Madhukar. Abdul started the campaign with Summon Demon, Bind Demon, Leap, Scattershot, Steal Health, Control Animal, Telekinesis, and Mind Control.


In this scenario there was a mausoleum in the center of the table – it contained six treasures and a special treasure token. The special token was a map to the resting place of the Skull Sword – the player that retrieved it (and got it off the table) would gain entry into the final scenario of the campaign and 100 experience points. Each player also place a single treasure token somewhere else on the table. The table was seeded with ha half-dozen skeletons and each turn one monster would spawn at one of the random spawn points (all near the mausoleum). The custom wandering monster list was limited to Zombies, Skeletons, Ghouls and Giant Rats.


Paul, Cory and The Boy faced off in the basement. Paul added an infantryman, and Archer and two Treasure Hunters for this game… or maybe it was a second treasure Hunter… I’m having a hard time reading the chicken scratch notes I took during the game… yeah, must have been a second one, as there’s no way he had the cash to hire TWO – plus an archer AND an infantryman…. Cory added a Knight named Sir Max and a Ranger named Dietrich.

Most of Paul’s warband coming out of the corner.

Fankeluff Tinkalor (the Boy) and his warband set up to go straight in the front door.

Rimby the Magnificent’s warband (Cory) trying to sneak in the backdoor.

I don’t really know how their game went down. They later described it as a “blood bath”. Looks like at this point when I ran down to snap a few quick pics, The Boy had kept his wizard and Apprentice and sent in his heavies straight into the mausoleum only to get attacked by the other two warbands from in front and behind!

More of the same

This looks like The Boys Treasure Hunter, man-at-Arms and Thug all in the mausoleum surrounded by members of the other warbands.

The Boy’s warband trying to fight their way out with the Map!

Ultimately Rimby the Magnificent ended up with the map. Along with the map his warband hauled of FIVE of the treasures and cast six spells for 410 experience points (almost doubling the experience he gained from his first adventure, and just passing what John earned in his first adventure…). With all that experience he gained another four levels. Among the treasure they collected Grimoires of Curse and Monstrous Form, Boots of Speed, a magic Sword (+2 damage), Potions of Invisibility, Invulnerability, and Teleportation, and a total of 210 gold. The warband only suffered three casualties – and they got off quite lightly – a few stitches and they were all back and ready for action in the next game…

Paul cast a few more spells (9), but only took one treasure, gaining him only 140 experience points – but that was enough for two more levels. The Treasure included 20 gold and a Magic Bow (+2 Damage) which, I think, he gave to his Captain, Robin Banks. Just about the entire warband ended up as casualties this game. The Apprentice was badly wounded and required 100 gold for healing – which put them in hock. The Captains leg was smashed – permanently reducing he movement. The Thief died of his wounds and and Infantryman was wounded badly enough to sit out the next game. The rest – the Thug, all three archers, a Treasure Hunter and a Dog were knocked out of action during the game – but mostly suffered bumps and bruises and the occasional gash that needed stitching up…

The Boy’s Knight, Man-at-Arms and Treasure Hunter were all wounded, but their injuries were light enough for them to join the next expedition. Fankeluff Tinkalor gained only 190 experience points, but that was just enough for two more levels. The warband gathered 180 gold and a Grimoire of Create Grimoire and Scrolls of Fleet Feet, Banish, and Bind Demon (which they probably thought might come in handy now that there was a Summoner in town!)

Upstairs John, Terry and I searched another mausoleum to find of a map indicating the resting place of the Skull Sword…

Terry added a Templar and a Man-at-Arms to his warband, John added a Barbarian, a Treasure Hunter and a Thief.

Warbands, realizing others have heard of the rumour of the map to the final resting place of the Skull Sword, rush to be the first to the mausoleum!

Abbas strikes down a Skelton while Achmed rushes to grab the first treasure they spot.

The Easterners are the first to the tomb, but a Wizard in red steps in and sends a blast of flaming pebbles in every direction. Most are struck and burned in the inferno, Dado is more seriously injured and Salazar the apprentice to their master is struck down. Mahmud, the wiry old captain, is enraged by the loss of his nephew, the young apprentice, and charges in against the wizard slashing at him in a blind fury.

The Wizard is stuck down, but more soldiers from both sides pour into the crypt and the rubble is soon slick with the blood of all the factions.

The mausoleum cleared out – only Abbas stands against the might of the Red Templar. Meanwhile the women of the Witch clear out the treasures behind them!?

Salazar the apprentice died of his wounds and his remains burnt upon a pyre that night as the frozen ground could not be broken to bury him…. yeah... two games.... three of my spellcasters dead… Were I a soothsayer I’d say these portents look ominous! Mahmud, the Captain, had a close call himself – he regained consciousness, abandoned and thought dead – stripped of his armour and weapons! Davi and Dashiell, the archers, recovered from their injuries, as did Ahmad. Madhukar was not so lucky and later died of his wounds. (most of my others staggered off the board in a near-unconscious state! Among the treasure was 270 gold – most of which was spent hiring a new apprentice – Saladin. There were also a few potions (healing, invisibility) and a grimoire of Fast Act. The Wizard gained 290 experience (10 spells, 3 treasures, 1 soldier KOed) and the Captain gained 40 (surviving a game, taking out a soldier and a spellcaster)

Terry’s wizard turned out to be okay… as did his apprentice, which he also lost in the game. The Templar had simply been knocked over and couldn’t get up for all his heavy armour, by the time he did right himself, everyone was gone. The Man-at-Arms had run away thinking himself wounded, but it turned out it wasn’t blood running down his leg, but urine. The three archers weren’t so lucky – all three DIED! A Thief was also wounded seriously enough to miss a game. Despite being out of action for most of the game, the Wizard still gained 240 experience and the single Treasure they brought home had 60 gold and an Amulet of resistance. He also got the Map, though… so…

John’s Witch and Apprentice cast 25 spells (TWENTY FIVE!!!). The game was probably 13 or 14 turns… in adition to the 250 experience for casting spells, his Wizard also gained another 250 for the five Treasures they hauled away and 200 for kills… Amongst all that treasure they collected 370 gold, three Potions (Toughness, Speed, Invisibility), a magic Bow (+1 Shooting), a Fate Stone, and a Grimoire of Crumble.

By the time we were all done it was 3pm and we all went for a very late lunch at the Park Café. Upon our return we started



Inspired by a scenario from Hunt for the Golem – Another warband has recovered maps indicating the resting place of the Skull Sword – the warband has gone missing, though, and it is assumed they have been ambushed and slaughtered….

Seven bodies and three treasures are scattered about the table. Upon contacting a body roll d20 – if the map has not been found and the result is 1 or 20 the map has been found! If it’s the last (seventh) body and the map has not been found the map has been found!  Otherwise on an odd result the corpse stands up and attacks (zombie). On an Odd result there is treasure!

We rolled for one wandering monster per turn, which showed up at one of six spawning points distributed about the edge of the table.


Paul, Terry and I set up and played in the basement.

Abdul and his Warband survey the scene of carnage…

Bodies scattered about the ruins!

That’s Terry’s warband on the left.

Abbas checks the first body – it turns out to be TREASURE!

At the end of the first turn a monster appears at one of the spawning points on Paul’s side of the table. It turns out to be FOUR giant rats! The first one charges a nearby archer and nibbles on his shoe… no problem… he might have lost a wound or two, but he’s still in the game. The second one charges in and the Archer kills it – things are looking up. The third charges in and takes down the archer – went for his throat or something?! So the fourth rat charges the next nearest opponent – the Wizard. The rat slips under his robes and takes a chunk out of the inside of his thigh severing his femoral artery (rolls a 20…). Wizard is out for the game.

This is typical of the luck Paul has this entire game. One day I'm sure he will laugh at all this - I’m laughing already (but only because if I didn’t I’d be crying…).

With some precision Leaps Easterners are landed through out the ruins checking on bodies everywhere.

Then and Ice Troll roamed onto the table!

There was a nearly a nasty fight on the tower – one of Terry’s thieves was leapt up there to try and steal away a treasure only to watch Paul’s Thug carrying the treasure Leap off the table. The Thief then found himself alone with Robin Banks – the Captain – with his magic bow of +2 damage. They looked at each other. The Thief said “Well I have no reason to be here… I’m’a go down now” Robin looked at him and said, “yeah, you go ahead and do that…” and turned around to continue sniping at the Troll.

Troll getting a little close!! Time to bug out!

By that time one of mine had actually found that Map and was clear on the opposite side of the table from Terry’s guys and nowhere near any of Paul’s and with Trolls and MURDEROUS RATS running about they were content to more or less let me go with it. Terry already had a map, and given Paul’s luck throughout the weekend so far, he had pretty much had it.

Mahmud and Dashiell eye up that troll and decide Discretion is the better part of valour.

Before all was said and done, however, a Werewolf stormed onto the table and tore across the ruins towards one of Paul’s archers and before he knew it the thing was on him. With a lucky roll he pushed it out of combat and before the beast could charge back in… Robin Banks took it down with a shot from the tower window – rolling a 20. The first one Paul rolled all weekend. I think it was the first roll higher than 12 that I saw Paul roll all weekend (so far!)…

So Paul collected the bounty for the Werewolf and another 200 gold besides – along with scrolls of Reveal Invisible, Beauty, Poison Dart, and Control Undead, and a Grimoire of Possess. Despite not being there the entire game his Wizard gained 180 experience. Unfortunately, the Wizard turned out to be Badly Wounded and needed expensive medical/magical treatment (and the warband was already owing money to the wizard hospital for the Apprentice’s treatments after the last expedition!). A Dog was also seriously wounded, but the two archers recovered quickly.

Terry only lost an archer, who turned out to be okay as well. His wizard gained another 170 experience – putting him at 8th (or possibly 9th?) level going into the final scenario. Among the two Treasures he dragged off the table he collected 240 gold and Grimoires of Absorb Knowledge and Embed Enchantment.

Neither of my spellcaster died in this game – which was a first for this campaign so far! Neither was even knocked out of action! In fact NONE of my soldiers were taken out at all! Things were looking UP! Abdul gained 410 experience, improving Fight, Health, Summon Demon, and Telekinesis. In addition to the map, they carted off 160 gold, a Banner of Courage, and Grimoires of Brew Potion, Animate construct, and Plague of Insects. Mahmud the captain gained another 30 experience – still not enough to level up. I’m not sure Captains are worth it… I guess in the long run they could be given multiple magical items that might make them a bit better… and he did Take out Terry’s wizard in the previous game with his Coup de Grace… I don’t know… I’m not writing them off just yet… but I’m not totally sold on them.

I think among the bodies we only found one Zombie, which was nice for a change…

Meanwhile, Cory, John and The Boy were searching bodies of the ambushed warband upstairs….

Again I didn’t get many pictures of their game as I was busy enough with my own. They apparently found a lot more zombies than we did.

The Boy had animated another construct and hired a Ranger before the game. During the game both his Captain and Treasure hunter DIED! Only two casualties both dead. He did get 200 experience and collected 80 gold, six Potions (3x Strength, Explosive Cocktail, Invulnerability, Healing), and ANOTHER Orb of Power – are there that many just lying around or did he have some sort of Orb of Power detector?! His Apprentice successfully made a scroll of Animate Construct.

John had replaced his Barbarian and Thief before the game. During the game the Treasure Hunter and Thief were wounded – but recovered to fight on another day. John found the Map, but collected no other treasures! The 220 experience he gained brought him to 15th level!! He also brewed up a potion of strength.

Rimby the Magnificent gained another 180 experience points bringing him to 8th level. His apprentice was knocked out of action during the game, but survived his wounds and would be back for the final round, Mr. Green, however, wasn’t so lucky and late in the night succumbed to his wounds. They collected 130 gold and a Grimoire of Imp and Scrolls of Push and Absorb Knowledge.

At this point it was almost 8 pm and Amigos was too busy to go there for supper so we went to Nosh Eatery – just around the block from Amigos – much to the dismay of Terry- who is a pretty hardcore carnivore…

By the time we were done it was much to late to play the final round so we decided to play it on Sunday – which we had originally planned to spend playing other boardgames….



To play in this scenario a warband had to have collected one of the maps in the two previous scenarios. If there had been less than four with maps I was going to say that of the remaining players whoever had the most experience and had drunk from the fountain in the first scenario would have a vision of the resting place of the Skull Sword.

The scenario was pretty harsh. There was a dozen undead roaming around the graveyard in the center of the table – mostly skeletons, plus a few zombies. All the spawning points were also surrounding the central mausoleum. The mausoleum had only two entrance – the front door and a back corner that had crumbled enough that it could be climbed in. Inside the mausoleum were two Wraith Knights guarding a Sarcophagus. They would no leave the Mausoleum. Once the Wraith Knights were defeated, the lid of the Sarcophagus would have to be removed which required a fight action against the sarcophagus which had a fight of +5 – there would be no wounding – if the Sarcophagus won, the lid stayed on, if the players won, the lid was removed. Once the Sarcophagus lid was removed they’d have to fight a Vampire who carried the Skull Sword.

I had long debated exactly what the powers of the Skull Sword should be. I wanted it to be something extremely powerful that would be a big draw – something that wizards would want to get above all other things. I had thought of bonuses to fight and giving the bearer the automatic ability to Control Undead and/or Raise Zombies and/or Steal Health. I worried about making it TOO powerful, but then realized – it was something gained at the very end of a one-off campaign and none of these warbands would likely every be used again, so, ultimately it didn’t really matter. I did also wanted to make it badass enough that the first person to get it would be hard to defeat – but not impossible – to counter anyone who wanted to cherry pick and wait for someone else to go in and bet pummeled by the Wraiths and Vampire and then just steal the sword from a weakened warband as they tried to get away with it… Eventually I settled on +2 fight and +2 to Control Undead and Raise Zombie. In the end there were no Necromancers, nor anyone else with those spells, so it was effectively just a magic sword with +2 Fight that could be picked up and wielded immediately (unlike other which have to be carted off and discovered after the game).

Treasures were placed, but they were effectively ignored as the “Winner” of the campaign was to be the one who ended up with the Skull Sword.


I really had no real strong desire to play in the final scenario – I’d rather run the monsters in the scenario - so I said Adbul sold his map to Frankleuff Tinkalor to The Boy could play. Then John phoned to say he wasn’t going to be able to play after all which opened up a space for Paul – who hadn’t collected a map – but had drank from the Pool of Dreams and Sorrows and thus had a vision of the Skull Sword’s resting place…

The board set up. Lots of undead milling about. The AI for them was they would just mill about until someone walked within 10”, then they would attack the closest.

The Sarcophagus in the Mausoleum and it two Wraith Knight guards.

Ember approaches the gates of the graveyard with caution.

Paul’s Wizard and Soldiers enter approach the Graveyard. 

I set up the table without too much thought beyond the stuff in the middle. When I plopped down the rest of the stuff around the edges I put the tower fully in one of the deployment zones, which Paul was able to use to great advantage – he deployed his Apprentice and two Archers up there and sniped at anyone they could see that broke cover through out the game.

The Boy’s Warband. Well… most of them. The wizard is hiding behind the freshly animated Large Construct. There are, I think two Men-at-Arms there with a Knight, a Treasure Hunter, the Halfling Pack Mule and a Medium Construct he animated previously named “The Geological Portrait of Elistar IV”… His Apprentice and Ranger where hiding elsewhere.

The warband of Rimby the Magnificent spread out between the warbands of Ember the Elementalist and Finkeluff Tinkalor the Sigilist.

The Boy’s warband charged in and started smashing undead. Rimby the Magnificent and Ember the Elementalist were a bit more cautious in their approach; Pauls’ guys sat back and sniped.

I had suggested they might want to work together a bit,  but wizards, being the highly suspicious untrusting fellows that they are, had their warbands trading blows by the end of the first turn.

Felix von Baumgarden – the Illusionist’s Apprentice – successfully controlled the mind of one of Ember’s Archers. This effectively wiped out nearly half the warband – as the archer took down three of his own warband before finally being knocked out by one of his own – and kept them tied up fighting each other.

While The Illusionist’s and Elementalist’s warbands were fighting it out and Paul’s were sitting back and watching, The Boy’s Sigilist lead the charge into the Mausoleum – running all the way around to the front door – on the opposite side of the building (so he wouldn’t be sniped at by the Illusionist while trying to climb in the back way.

The medium construct was left behind to keep part of Rimby’s warband busy while the rest were storming the Mausoleum.

It was a long game, but it seemed like everyone was having fun…

Paul’s warband slowly sneaking in behind The Boys’ while Terry and Cory’s warband’s battle heated up.

Eventually the battle between Rimby the Magnificent and Ember the Elementalist’s warband became a bit of a grudge match and they seemed determined to simply wipe each other out while the others looted the tomb!

Ember ran into the midst of the Illusionists Warband and blasted them all with Scatter Shot!

Meanwhile Paul’s apprentice had blasted one of the Wraith Knights with an Elemental Blast. Then The Boy’s warband stormed in and took down the other Wraith Knight!

Paul’s warband concentrated outside the mausoleum. They took down The Boy’s Large Construct and I thought they were stacking for a breach with Crumble (as The Boy had left Explosive Runes on the door to keep anyone from following him in.

The grudge match between Rimby and Ember rages on.

The Boy’s soldiers eventually got the lid off the Sarcophagus and up rose the vampire wielding the Skull Sword!

They took him down in ONE ROUND – leaving the Skull Sword there to be claimed by the warband of Fankeluff Tinkalor the Sigilist.

Then Paul made his move – he ran his dog in to set off the Explosive Rune – miraculously, the dog survived!

His warband then made an airborne assault via the Leap spell – blocking all escape from the mausoleum.

The boy had a couple of bad rolls and Fankeluff Tinkalor, despite having a fight of +7 with the Skull Sword was taken out – along with the Men-at-Arms – leaving the Skull Sword once again available for the taking. Malcram, the Sigilist’s Knight was taken down and…

Ember and Rimby seemed to have called a truce once the vampire went down so easily and the Skull Sword had been claimed. Ember the Elementalist maneuvered himself to use telekinesis to slip the Sword from Paul’s grasp!

Before anyone could grab it a Ghoul crawled out from one of the crypts and took down Ember’s wizard and effectively kept anyone from grabbing it for a few turns.

There was some VICIOUS fighting around the entry to that Mausoleum – and as it would happen – all of the wandering monsters that appeared over the next few turns showed up at locations I, II, and III entering directly into combat with the beleaguered soldiers and spellcasters of the various warbands – and took out a few of them!

Eventually Robin Banks – Paul’s Captain – snatched it up and made good his escape!

And so it was that Paul, who had up until this point had the most atrocious luck, actually walked away with the Skull Sword and won the day!

Yes, I had a Skull Sword I game away as the prize for the weekend.

He's starting a bit of a collection - he took home the Sword for Ikusa two years ago...

I also had a dagger to give out - the Dagger of Backstabbing! I had everyone vote on who they thought was the most treacherous player and it was pretty much unanimously decided that would be Cory – mostly for his VERY effective use of Mind Control!

After all that we finally got to go out for our meal at Amigos!

Well I had a great weekend, and I hope everyone else did as well – though I think everyone was pretty much DONE by the end of it. I could have slept for a day….

It was great to see Paul, Cory and Terry again and throw dice with them (thank you all for making the drive out!) . It was interesting to see how they all played the game – different styles of play and spells used than I’m used to seeing in the campaigns I’ve run with my family and the local guys.

WHEW!  That was quite a post! Did anyone actually read through the whole thing!? I don’t blame you if you started to glaze over and just ended up looking at the pretty pictures!

If that wasn't enough, though, Terry has already posted a report on his own blog:

Miniature Hayem: Weekend Frenzy of Frostgrave

Hopefully Paul will post a few of his pictures on his blog at some point:

Wargaming and Other Distractions

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Im not really sure… I’ve been so focused on this over the last month, I’m not really sure where to go from here… I’ll probably have a post about what exactly I’m thinking about for the rest of the year – or at least the next little bit… 


  1. Well, I had a great time, so thanks again!

    Think about A Song of Blade and Heroes for ToonCon...

    1. Cheers! So glad you were able to make it out! Too bad you couldn't have been there for the final - the Warrior Wymin would have been a force to reckon with!

      I'll definitely be going to ToonCon - along with the whole family this year. I'll definitely run... something... I just don't know what at the moment.

  2. Thanks again for hosting this Tim, apart from the long drive, the company was great & its always good to meet with gaming buddies & have some laughs over horrid dice rolls whilst drinking a beer. Looking forward to next year!

    1. Thanks Terry! Glad you were able to make it and had a good time!

  3. A truly epic weekend, by the looks of it! And a belated happy birthday, sir!

  4. Wow, epic day! What a great way to celebrate a birthday. Thanks for the report. Loved the suspense at the end of the last game!

    1. The last game was a bit of a nail-biter! Thanks!

  5. Gosh, that was a long post, I had to read it in two sittings, sounds like great fun all looks good, terrain and figures, oh and happy birthday!
    Best Iain

    1. Thanks Iain! I had to write it in a few sittings...

  6. One of the highlights of my year, thank you, Tim!
    My favourite moment:
    watching one of John's barbarian ladies and a wandering monster roll 20's on eachother.

    1. So glad you had a great time - and glad you could make it!

      While it's fun to imagine them hitting each other and simultaneously exploding into a pink mist, given that those knocked out of action don't often actually DIE, what probably happened was something more like they charged at each other with a ferocious war cry, but then both slipped on ice and violently bashed heads together knocking each other out cold...