Monday, 23 November 2015

Frostgrave – State of Play (and Spoilers)

It is now just three days since the official release of Thaw of the Lich Lord, the first print supplement for Frostgrave: Fantasy Wargames in the Frozen City. I am excited to report that the book has already sold out in Europe, which means you can’t get it directly from Osprey or Amazon at the moment. That said, it should not be too hard to find a wargames dealer that has a copy if you want one. A second print run is inbound and should be here in a few weeks.

The main rulebook is currently on its fourth print run, and, in total, has sold somewhere between 9,000 and 10,000 copies. While that doesn’t put it anywhere near ‘the big boys’, it is a very good number for a wargame. In fact, it makes it Osprey’s third best-selling wargame after Bolt Action and Field of Glory.

Perhaps more amazing, there are now two plastic box sets of figures for the game, and over 30 different blister packs of metal or resin figures (most of which contain two figures each). There is also a printed deck of spell cards.

Not everything has gone perfectly, however. A number of copies of the second print run of the book proved defective, which resulted in the spine cracking and pages falling out. Thankfully, this doesn't seem to have effected too many books, but if you have a book that is falling apart, please contact and let them know.

What does the future hold for Frostgrave? Well, the first half of next year, will see the release of two small, digital-only supplements: Sellsword and Dark Alchemy. For those that are wondering, why Osprey is releasing new material this way – well, that is mostly my fault. As soon as Osprey realized the game was a hit, I was asked to write more material. However, the result of having a full-time job and a full-time baby daughter is that I only have so much writing time. I said there was no way I could work another full supplement into my schedule…however, I could do some smaller ones.  For those, like me, who much prefer print of digital, I can say that the plan is to collect these smaller releases into a print companion in the future.

July next year will see the release of the next print supplement with Into the Breeding Pits, which I've talked a bit about in a previous blog.

The Spoilers

One of the most common requests I have received from fans of Frostgrave is for some kind of ‘captain’ to help lead their warbands. Thankfully, this is something I also wanted for the game. Sellsword presents new rules for hiring captains, a soldier who can choose his own weapons and armour, who can gain experience up to a limit, and who can learn ‘tricks of the trade’. (Not exactly skills, you see, but I’ll leave that discussion for another day). Of course, captains want a bit more than the mere retainer paid to other soldiers… Sellsword will also include three new scenarios, all of which have some sort of magical ‘limitation’ in them, so that wizards have to rely a bit more on their soldiers in those situations.

The focus of Frostgrave has always been about the wizards, and that is not something I want to change. Most soldiers will always be ‘extras’ as far as the rules are concerned. But the idea of a wizard having a trusted swordsman friend is just too good for me to ignore. Hopefully players will find the little bit of added complexity a worthwhile trade off.

I won’t say too much about Dark Alchemy at this point, except that it will focus on potions, scrolls, and grimoires. I have never been completely happy with the rules for these magical treasures, and with a lot more time to think about them and hearing a lot of people voicing various opinions, I think this will be a good opportunity to review and tweak those rules, as well as introducing a lot of fun new magical items!


  1. Keep up the good work Sir....delighted to read about the updates

  2. Interesting...
    Glad it's all going well sir - you've really hit a six with Frostgrave (or should that be rolled a 20?) and it's great to hear that it's being supported and expanded, whilst retaining the game's core wizardly flavour.

  3. Would you, or Osprey I guess, ever accept other people doing work for digital release on Frostgrave? I know on the LAF there are lots of people writing new scenarios and such, things that don't affect the core game. I was thinking of a collected Bestiary with a few new monsters and some themed Random Encounter Tables.

    Read my copy of the Lich Lord this weekend and its a really great product, I have to say, my favourite parts are the little snippets of flavour texts about the odd things around the city, really spark the imagination as well as raise a chuckle.

  4. Great work as always Joe. I would ask that as new scenarios are written, each supplement has a compiled table of all previous scenarios that we can roll on to see what we are playing on next. Thanks.

  5. I'm glad to hear everything is a success. I hope it carries over into your future projects.

    I'm also intrigued to read of Dark Alchemy. Would it be too much to ask for a little something to boost the position of the Sigilist? They seem the poor relations at the moment!

  6. Sounds good! I'm yet to be seduced by it yet. I do have some friends who will be playing it so I guess I may get dragged in somehow :)

  7. Exciting times ahead and I do like the sellsword idea.

  8. Well done fella. Glad it is all going so well. Obviously I am having fun with this game so the better it does the happier I am as it mean more stuff to spend my hard earned on ... so you crack on. I can't believe you are playing the baby daughter card .... sleep is for girls .... now go write something. :)

  9. On behalf of fantasy skirmish gamers everywhere, thank you!

  10. On behalf of fantasy skirmish gamers everywhere, thank you!

  11. Great news!
    Glad to see the game is selling well. Looking forward to seeing the next material!

  12. Still lovign this game... and eargerly waiting for my Litch Lord stuff to arrive

  13. Stefano Scarcella Prandstraller5 March 2016 at 08:26

    Sellsword supplement is excellent. But in my Wargame club, around the wargame shop of Rome Mijonir Games, people demands a little clarification of rules, allowing simple soldiers (like was the case of Conan of Howard) to make career, and so we introduced this little "House Rule", here for your enjoyment:


    A wizard, instead of hiring a professional captain to lead his warband, may promote at no gc cost to the rank of captain one of the soldiers already hired, of any of the categories listed on page 23 of Frostgrave Rulebook.
    Neither a war hound, a familiar, a construct, an animal, a bound or summoned demon, a raised or controlled undead or an illusionary soldier may be promoted to captain.
    If the wizard later wants to hire a professional captain, the promoted captain must be dismissed, because the warband may never have more than one captain at any time.
    The promoted captain retains the stat line and the base equipment listed at page 23 for his base category of soldiers. He does not receive any stat increase, nor any free equipment. He may purchase any additional equipment listed in the Captain Equipment Table at page 2 of Sellsword Supplement. If he does not already have a better weapon and/or armour, he may purchase a hand weapon and/or a leather armour for 5 gc each.
    As any other captain:
    a) he may carry up to 5 items, including any of the standard weapons and armour purchased as above and may be given any type of magic weapon;
    b) he receives the “Group Activation rule;
    c) he may choose two different “Tricks of the trade”;
    d) he may gain experience and levels;
    e) if knocked out of a game, he rolls on the Survival Table for wizards and apprentices;
    f) he gets the right to a “Share of Treasure”.