Monday, 18 January 2016

Frostgrave: Sellsword

Wednesday will be a day of nervous excitement for me, for it is the day that Frostgrave: Sellsword goes up for sale. This mini-supplement for Frostgrave includes rules for hiring Captains, a new type of customizable soldier who gains experience and can learn ‘Tricks of the Trade’. It also contains three new scenarios.

I’m actually more nervous about this release than I was Thaw of the Lich Lord, despite the fact that it is only about a fifth of the length. That is because, unlike Lich Lord, Sellsword presents a more fundamental change to the game. While all of the rules for Captains are optional and wizards don’t necessarily have to hire them, I think it very likely that most players will want to use them. I think they will become ‘part of the game’ in a way that no individual item in Lich Lord is likely to do.

Okay – here is the reason I’m most worried – Captain’s don’t have skills! Not as such anyway.

In most of the discussions I’ve seen about captains in Frostgrave, both before and after Sellsword was announced, people have wondered what skills they would have. I suppose skills have become such an ingrained part of skirmish wargaming that they are almost assumed, but I wanted to try something different. I wanted to try something that would bring a bit more tactical nuance and a bit more decision-making to the game. So, I came up with ‘Tricks of the Trade’. Unlike the skills found in most wargames that are ‘always on’, Tricks of the Trade can only be used once each game. In general they can be used to modify one die roll. Thus a player really has to think about when to use it, and, while they certainly give a captain an advantage, they won’t be applicable all of the time.

This does, unfortunately, add another little level of complexity and record keeping to the game. I struggled with the decision, because I know the game’s inherent simplicity is one of its strong attractions. In the end, I thought it was worth it. Ever since I finished the first version of Frostgrave, I thought there was something missing, that one extra ‘named’ character that represented the poor, non-magical soldiers.

Well, I guess I’ll know if the players agree with me on Wednesday!

20 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I am sure it will be well received. Everything related to Frostgrave has been excellent so far.

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  3. Best of luck sir...now that I have built my ruined city and painted most of the minis we are looking to play the game ! Still think only Thieves/Barbarians should be allowed to climb sheer walls...

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    1. Sounds like you should just house rule that one! I agree the climbing rules could be tightened up.

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    2. I would imagine trackers and rangers would also be used to climbing mountains and buildings if they are scouting out Frostgrave?

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    3. I been using captains for some time now they work well they lead the third phase up to 4 men 6" command bubble and can give orders that create a group action for the men require a roll to see if the order succeeds and how well the order is carried out

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  4. I finished my buildings and ruins yesterday. The Table is ready! Now the first Campaign will start and Sellsword is out Wednesday! Perfect Timing.

    I think everybody will use that, because it's nice to have a Soldier without Magic, but with a Strong feat!

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  5. Cant wait! I presume this'll be a PDF?

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  6. Yeah! Excellent! The first time I played Frostgrave (last saturday), I was realy enthusiastic. I used to play mordheim a lot and adapt the rules a lot also. After my game I say it nearly is perfect but there's missing a named character which is not wizard and gain experience. And you did it!

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  7. It would be really good if captains could give orders to soldiers like an apprentice. That way you could take your wizard and captain instead of apprentice or take all three for maximum flexibility.

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  8. Looking forward to the new addition and thought provoking nuances in warband . Keep going loving this game .

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  9. Looking forward to this ... Thanks for listening ... All the best.

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  10. Looking forward to this one, although I do understand your concerns. I think I can see most gamers in my group liking it, but maybe not all. I guess if that happens we'll agree before each game as to whether or not to field our captain that game.

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  11. Very excited for this, and pleased at the rate of additional content for the game. Here's hoping this one is great!

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  12. Sounds like a fun addition to the game. I look forward to tomorrow

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  13. I think tricks sound like a fantastic alternative to skills. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow.

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  14. I think tricks sound like a fantastic alternative to skills. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow.

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  15. Best of luck. ToT sounds easier to keep track of than numerous skills with varying results.

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  16. I am very pleased to see this, I had been wanting a non magical character since day 1. For reasons having to do with roleplay and warband customization, I'd really hoped an alternate non magical warband leader/apprentice would appear but this will work too.

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