Thursday 29 July 2021

Playing Frostgrave!


Chris' knight proved how strong the giant was by getting stomped flat. The archer decided to run.

A few weekends back, I had a couple of friends down for a bit of dice-rolling action in the Frozen City! This not only represented the first time that I had played a wargame with another human being in over a year, it was also the first time that I had played Frostgrave: Second Edition primarily for fun!

We all created new wizards and warbands for the occasion. I brought Scarfollean the illusionist. Pete brought an Enchanter, while Chris showed up with his Bretonnian themed thaumaturge. Since there were three of us, I set up a hexagonal table, using masking tape to mark out the boundaries. That way we could set up in alternating angles, ensuring that we were all equidistant from the centre of the table and one another.

The spider is just marking the deployment zone, luckily for Pete's warband!

The game also gave me a chance to test out a few mechanics that I’m planning to use in Frostgrave: Fireheart, a future supplement.

The first game featured several teleportation discs scattered around the table. Whenever a figure stepped on one, there was a chance that they would be teleported to one of the other circles. This was especially important since many of the treasure tokens were sitting on top of them!

Pete's warband cautiously advances.
The game got off to a cautious start, with no one really wanting to make the first move and expose themselves, but the teleportation discs ensured that didn’t last. My man-at-arms ended up on the complete opposite side of the table and went into hiding to avoid the other two warbands. Meanwhile, a large chunk of Chris’ Bretonnians were transported right into the centre.

In fact, things seemed to be going really well for Chris until a frost giant showed up in his deployment zone. A pair of his archers nobly dived off a tower to escape its wrath. From here on, it became a comical game of dodge the giant, as the lumbering brute managed to teleport all over the table, eventually threatening each warband in turn.

My woman-at-arms teaches Pete's thug a lesson about wandering off alone.

When the dust finally settled, everyone had made it out with at least a couple of treasures, and the giant was left ruling the battlefield!

After a lunch break at the local pub, we were back at the table for Game 2!

In this game, a giant turbine was placed in the middle of the table. At end of each turn, there was a chance of it randomly activating. If it did, it would spin around randomly, and when it stopped, it would turn on. This would push all the figures in front of it away, while sucking in all those from behind (and not nice things would happen to anyone who got sucked in…) So, of course, most of the treasure tokens were sitting just next to the turbine.

Pete's treasure hunter face-plants after diving off a tower with treasure.
Scarfollean really found his stride in this game. I used transpose to great effect, grabbing treasure, and switching the treasure carrier with another member of the warband. Also, Fool’s Gold came in real handy to snatch treasure from other warbands.

Meanwhile, Chris found the perfect firing spot for this archers, and poor Pete’s wizard went down early to a rain of arrows. Unfortunately, things then took a turn for the worse for Chris as a series of monsters all showed up behind his warband, forcing him to beat a hasty retreat off a different table edge.

Chris' Bretonnians accidently secure the centre in Game 1.
In the end, only a couple of figures were sucked into the turbine, much to the disappointment of the players. (That’s when you know you’ve got a good scenario, when the players are kind of disappointed when their own figures don’t get mauled). My tricky Illusionist won the day in that game, making off with four treasures, and advancing to Level 5.

It was a great day of gaming, laughing, and shooting the breeze, and hopefully there will be lots more days like it in the future!

Thanks to Pete for all of the photographs!

The frost giant continuing its rampage around the table!

Wednesday 28 July 2021

Daleks in Stargrave!


I just received the new issue of Wargames Illustrated (Issue 404), which has my article on using daleks in Stargrave! Along with the basic rules, I've also included two scenarios, one solo and one competitive, so players can bring in these alien menaces no matter your situation. 

You can find Wargames Illustrated at better new stands in the UK, or you can order it from North Star no matter where you are in the world!

Thursday 22 July 2021

Fireteam Alpha


I've been continuing work on my 'Starhawk Down' project, and have just finished my first fireteam of colonial marines. They are a rough and tumble lot. None are wearing the exact same armour, and it's all been pretty heavily battered, but that just shows these are veterans.

I also finished up another junk-modelling building, which you can see behind them.  Again, this is a low-detail, get it done quickly, piece. I want a decent table full of these buildings, so I really don't want to spend too much time on them.

Next up, the opposition! 

Friday 16 July 2021

Blaster Volume 3 - Featuring Shadowgrave II

Volume 3 of Baster has just been released in both PDF and print-on-demand from DriveThruRPG.

It contains the second part of my Shadowgrave series, which brings rules for the Cthulhu Mythos to Frostgrave, Ghost Archipelago, and Rangers of Shadow Deep. This part looks at Mythos magic, including a new list of spells. There is also a host of new mythos creatures to challenge your heroes, and a scenario for each of the three games! 

That said, my contribution is not the main feature of the book. That goes to Sludge War by Sean Sutter. This is a full set of rules for fighting battles in a muddy, black powder, fantasy world. It's grim, but it will have you reaching for your bits box to see what cool figures you can assemble for it!

There's more though - the book also contains expansions for Gaslands, Gamma Wolves, and This is Not a Test! So, check it out!

Wednesday 14 July 2021

Stargrave Award Nomination

Stargrave has been short-listed for 'Best Miniature Rules' at this year's UK Games Expo to be held at the end of the month in Birmingham. This award was won by Frostgrave in 2016 and Frostgrave: Perilous Dark in 2020.

Meanwhile, the Stargrave Miniature have also been short-listed for 'Best Miniature Line'.

I believe anyone can vote for these awards as long as they create an UK Games Expo account. 

Cast your votes here.

Tuesday 13 July 2021

Hail Hydra!


Hydra is a generic villainous organization in Marvel comics, most notable for their cool logo and questionable uniform choices. I came across a picture of them the other day and wondered if I could construct a Hydra soldier out of the plastic bits I had laying around. Well, I think the answer is a definite yes.

The body and right arm are from the Stargrave Crew set. The left arm is from the Stargrave Troopers. The head comes from the Frostgrave Knights.

I gave the figure a pretty quick paint job - I mean, he's listed in the credits as 'Hydra Soldier #1', so he doesn't really rate my top work. It is fun, sometimes, to paint in really bright, comic style colours.

I didn't make this figure for any specific project, and perhaps this is as far as I will take it... still, it's good to know I can whip up some generic bad-guys if I have to!

Wednesday 7 July 2021

Assembling the Convoy

One of these days, I would like to assemble all of the pieces necessary to play a science-fiction version of Blackhawk Down. I've been working on my Stargrave colonial marines, and I just started making some rough-looking terrain. 

But the part of the project that is most exciting to me is assembling a convoy of marine vehicles. For awhile I have been searching for a good science-fiction equivalent of the Humvee. After studying a lot of options, I eventually went with the Games Workshop Achilles Ridgerunner. It's got a lot of pluses. First, it's plastic, which is my preferred vehicle material. It's open-backed, which gives some fun modeling possibilities, but most importantly, it looks tough. It looks like it can weather a lot of harsh terrain and small-arms fire and keep on rolling! 

For the most part, I followed the assembly instructions exactly as in the box - though there are a couple of different options given. The only real conversion work I did was on the figure riding in the back. I used the legs and left arm provided, because they are designed to fit in the space, but then I used a GW Cadian torso, before personalizing it with a Stargrave head and right arms. It's amazing how this little change pulls the whole model away from its intended GW setting.

There is nothing special about the painting. I don't hugely enjoy painting vehicles, so tend to go with a quick approach with a lot of dry brushing. I also like to put on some decals, as these really enhance the look without much effort.

Of course, one vehicle does not a convoy make. I hope to add a couple more of these guys and a couple of trucks as well. But this is a long-term project, so I'll pick them up as and when I feel like making them.

Now I need to start thinking about the opposition...

Monday 5 July 2021

Old School Recycling

This weekend, I got the itch to make a little old school wargaming terrain for my Stargrave figures to fight over. Now, don't get me wrong, I love a table filled with beautiful, commercially produced or 3D printed terrain, but I also find something charming about the rough-hewn look of hand-made stuff.

More importantly, there is something greatly satisfying about using your own hands to create something out of nothing. Okay, not quite nothing, but mostly out of stuff pulled out of the bin.

The house is made out of corrugated cardboard, held together with dress pins and white glue. I used masking tape to cover the exposed edges. Then I brushed over the whole thing with plaster and, once that was dry, with watered down glue to help hold the plaster in place. Then I just primed it, dry-brushed it, varnished it, and called it done!

The little tank/silo was even easier. I cut a bit of cardboard for a base, taped the edges, and then glued a small can to it. I added a bit of sand around the edges. Then I primed it up, gave it some rough paint and a varnish. I didn't actually aim for the two pieces to be the exact same height, it just worked out that way.

I'm pleased enough with this little set that I might do some more. I like the idea of a town where every house has it's own tank next to it. Maybe it holds water, or silage, or alien grubs, who knows.