Over the last few weeks, all three of the major English-language wargaming magazines have carried reviews of Frostgrave, and, well, they are really good...
The first one I saw was in Wargames Illustrated, which I believe has the highest circulation of any wargaming magazine on the market. I wasn't too surprised to get a good review there as I did make a special trip up to Nottingham in order to play the game with the editor. Still, WI had this to say:
'I think Joe McCullough and the folks at Osprey Games should be justifiably proud of their achievement and I urge those of us who remember the AD&D adventures of our youth, who have ever read a fantasy novel or seen a fantasy movie to seek out a copy of this tome and sally forth on the road to adventure!'
Next came Miniature Wargames, which I believe is the longest-running wargaming magazine out there. Their reviewer said:
'For me, Frostgrave has a real flavour of the old school, fun, tabletop adventuring that was prevalent when I first got into D&D over three decades ago...Recommended - especially for the money (I think fifteen quid for a hardback set of good rules is a bargain).'
Then today, I got the new issue of Wargames: Soldiers and Strategy, which features a three-page review of Frostgrave, and it is probably the best of the three! This is probably my favourite passage:
'Frostgrave enables you to recreate this spirit on the tabletop. It allows you to play a game that has the narrative feel of an adventure by J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert E. Howard, Fritz Leiber, or George R. R. Martin, rather than play a medieval wargame with spells and monsters added on. The simplicity of the rules system also contributes to the atmosphere of heroic fantasy. Frostgrave is one of those games where the rules allow a game to be played, rather than the game being an enactment of a rules system. This is absolutely vital in a genre such as fantasy, where we are trying to have rip-roaring adventures, rather than creating historical verisimilitude.'
It is certainly flattering to have my game mentioned in the same breath as some of my favourite authors! More to the point, it does appear that the reviewers understand the intent of the game, and it definitely sounds like I managed to tap into a bit of their childish enthusiasm!
After writing the last blog, I saw a negative comment about the game online, and it got me down. (Enough that I've instituted a 'no more checking forums before bed' policy!). I've heard that to be an author, you have to have thick-skin. You don't (I don't) - but, if you don't, you'd better be able to get back up when you get knocked down! I'm back up. These reviews help. Really though, I just need to flip through the book again,to remember - hey, I'm proud of this game.
And many thanks to the guys who commented on the last blog - that helped as well!