Thursday 27 August 2020

Frostgrave – Brycho’s Celestichord

What if you played Frostgrave on top of a game of whack-a-mole? That was my starting point for the Frostgrave scenario which appears in the new issue of Wargames Illustrated (#393).

I think this scenario is a great example of why the Frozen City is such a great setting for a wargame. Essentially, I (or you) can come up with any crazy thought for what might make a fun scenario, and then create a narrative that uses the strange, broken magic of Frostgrave to justify it. That’s right, a wizard did it! In this case, it’s old Brycho Tarran, the greatest Astromancer that ever lived!

If you are in the UK you should hopefully be able to find the new issue at W.H. Smiths. Otherwise, it can be ordered direct from Wargames Illustrated North Star also gets some copies of each issue in stock, though they don’t seem to have this one at the moment.

Tuesday 25 August 2020

Rangers of Shadow Deep: Menagerie - Print-on-Demand!

The print-on-demand version of Rangers of Shadow Deep: Menagerie is now available on DriveThruRPG!

Monday 24 August 2020

Frostgrave: Perilous Dark – A Double-Winner!

It was a big day for Frostgrave yesterday, as the first-ever ‘virtual’ UK Games Expo came to a close.

First, Frostgrave: Wizards 2 won both the Judge’s Award and the People’s Choice award for Best Miniature Range.  A huge congratulations to Nick at North Star, Phil at Osprey Games, and to the sculptor, Bobby Jackson. These guys all had a lot more to do with this set than I did!

A few minutes after that, Frostgrave: Perilous Dark also ‘pulled-the-double’, and took the Judge’s Award and People’s Choice award for Best Miniature Rules. I admit that I’m very proud of that book, and I think its use stretches beyond Frostgrave. It also didn’t hurt that it’s a book on solo and co-operative wargaming that came along just when such a book was more useful than ever.

It’s been a crazy, confusing, and mixed-up year. I am delighted and proud to have won the awards, but I wish that I (and everyone) could have been at the show celebrating this hobby we all love. I wish I could have shared a few high-fives and maybe even a hug or two with the Osprey Games gang and other friends. Next year, hopefully! (And who knows, maybe Frostgrave: Second Edition will be up for the award!).

Many thanks to the organizers of UK Games Expo. I’m sure it was a major effort to organize the online version and it sounds like a lot of people had a lot of fun because of it! Also, a big thanks to everyone who voted for Frostgrave in the People’s Choice Awards! 

Friday 21 August 2020

Odyssey of the Dragonlords (for 5e)

If you like Dungeonsand Dragons: 5th Edition, and you love Greek myth, then go ahead and buy Odyssey of the Dragonlords. I doubt you will be disappointed.

Odyssey of the Dragonlords is a mega-campaign set in an ‘undiscovered’ continent that can be dropped into any D&D world. It’s a bronze-age place, filled with centaurs, satyrs, minotaurs, etc. It is also a land on the brink of crisis. Essentially, the non-aggression pact between two sets of gods is about to come to an end and all hades is about to break loose!

Each of the players becomes one of the heroes prophesied to save the land, and this is more than a mere narrative tag. Each hero basically has a specific background (whether they know it or not) that ties them into the greater story, and gives them specific objectives during the campaign. It’s a neat, but not overly-intrusive system. The heroes start as low-level adventurers, who are essentially wandering-around, looking for ways to increase their wealth and reputation by fighting monsters in the classic Greek myth style. However, they are slowly drawn deeper and deeper into the looming war of the gods.

Over the course of this long, sprawling campaign, they will make a journey of exploration like Jason and the Argonauts, descend into the shadowy underworld, and eventually battle the gods themselves.  It’s EPIC with a capital everything!

I have no doubt that this book could provide years of gaming, but for those of us who are unlikely to play such a thing, it is also just a great read, filled with numerous cool ideas that could be used in other games and other campaigns. The writing is excellent, the editing is good, and the artwork is lovely. It’s the kind of book that just makes you want to pick up some dice and fight some monsters!

It really is an excellent gaming book that captures the spirit of Greek myth without just rehashing all of the stories we already know. It’s a great addition to a gaming library.

[Disclaimer: Odyssey of the Dragonlords is published by Modiphius who also publish my own Rangers of Shadow Deep: Deluxe Edition. That said, I only reviewed this book because I thought it deserved it.]

Thursday 20 August 2020

Frostgrave: Second Edition - Launch Day!

The day has finally dawned! Frostgrave: Second Edition is now available!

Now, I don't want to create a panic, but there is a rumour (aRu-Mor?) that it is going fast!

For the moment though, you can still order it in the UK from North Star.

Or, in the USA from Badger Games or Brigade Games.

I hope it lives up to everyone's expectations.

Thursday 13 August 2020

Undead Decorating

Despite moving into my current house nearly three years ago, I have never finished decorating my small office. In truth, I’ve never been much of a decorator, but I thought it was high-time I got a bit of ‘inspirational’ artwork upon the wall. I have started this with my all-time favourite Dragon Magazine cover. (You can see a clearer shot of the artwork here.)

Luckily, I found a copy of the magazine in good condition on ebay for under £5, and ordered up a cheap frame for it as well. I admit, I had some qualms about cutting up a nice copy of a thirty-year-old magazine, but I did it anyway.

I’m actually glad to have the ‘cover’ as opposed to just the artwork, as its connection to Dungeons & Dragons and to the greater hobby gaming genre is part of the appeal to me, and thankfully, most of the text is non-obtrusive.

I don’t know why, specifically, this piece speaks to me, but it always has. The posing on the two figures is just fantastic - the menace as the creature looms over her - the hopelessness of seeing her sword and arrows sticking ineffectually in its armour. And yet… she’s got one arrow left… she’s still got a chance.

Here the cover blurb from inside the magazine:

Daniel Horne said the scene on his cover painting “takes place on a frozen tundra. The sun is setting, the hoar frost is glittering like thousands of pieces of broken glass.” A ranger in the service of the High King has just been attack by the undead remains of one of her old opponents – a frost giant who has waited a long time for this moment of revenge. Having lost her sword and used up her normal arrows, the ranger has a single elven arrow left – from which comes the painting's name: “Saving the Best for Last”.

So, perhaps she has a slightly better chance than I first realized. It all sounds very Rangers of Shadow Deep doesn’t it? Well, all the parts had to come from somewhere.

Anyway, it makes me smile to see it on the wall, which I guess is the point of decorating!

Friday 7 August 2020

Rangers of Shadow Deep: Menagerie PDF

Menagerie, the latest mini-supplement for Rangers of ShadowDeep, is now available as a PDF from DriveThruRPG.

It includes 9 new animal companions that rangers can recruit to join their adventures, as well as a two-scenario mission set inside the Shadow Deep.

As usual, a print-on-demand version will hopefully be following in a couple of weeks, as I have to wait for the files to be approved and then a sample printed and shipped to me for approval.

For those that are in the midst of The Rescue mission, the mission in Menagerie can be slotted in with only minor modifications.

Tuesday 4 August 2020

Ranger Warband


I have completed work on my Rangers of Shadow Deep warband! Unlike the warbands I have built for most games, this one isn’t designed to be a single force that I used all together. Instead, it’s the group form which I draw my rangers and companions for a given mission. In Rangers, the number of figures you need for a given mission depends on the specific mission and on the number of players, so it’s not a fixed group.

Really, I just painted up a bunch of figures I really liked! Most of the figures are from the official Rangers of Shadow Deep line. The only exceptions are the woman with the shield and the monk, which are both Reaper Miniatures and the falcon which is a Frostgrave model.

I’ve also got them organized into my Rangers travel case. Along with the figures I’ve got a 6” ruler, a pair of d20s and even a miniature deck of cards (from a Christmas cracker! They do have a use!)

All of these figures got my highest level of painting, so they are probably the most pleasing set of miniatures I own.

Monday 3 August 2020

Revenge and Friends!

I am slowly continuing work on my Silent Death project. These are three metal minis that I acquired late last year. The blue fighter is a Revenge, the scariest torpedo fighter in the game. I love its classic, ‘space fighter’ lines.

(Later on, the name for this figure would be changed to Samurai, which is how you’ll find it for sale now).

It’s being pursued by a pair of Eppings, representing the red team. I painted up a couple of Eppings for the blue team not too long ago.

I’ve got to say, when painting these little fighters, it’s the decals that make all the difference. I’ve only gotten into decals in the last few years, but they are a paint-job multiplier on these fighters.

Always save your decals! These are a mixture of Battletech, Games Workshop, and a few that I think come from Robotech models.

Thinking about Silent Death, I’ve decided my goal for the project will be to focus on the first edition of the game. This consisted of the main rule box, two expansion books, and one expansion box. I have all of the rules for these, so it’s just a matter of getting the fighters.

The rules changes between the first and second editions were extremely minimal, and personally, I think most of the expansions for the second edition tend to detract from the game as much as add to it. I’m going to use some of the fighter redesigns from the second edition, but stick to first edition rules. At least for now.  I think it is good to have an achievable goal with such projects.