12 July 2018

Frostgrave: Complete Spell List

Frostgrave Complete Spell List - Including Maze of Melcor.

I've been wanting to do this for some time. Here's a complete list of all the spells in Frostgrave. I've added numbering to the sheet, so you can use it for random spell finding.

Just ask google 'random number between 1 and 122' whenever you found a grimoire.

As a Witch player it's bothered me, that i can't find beast crafter grimoires unless we go dungeon crawling. And that the Forgotten Pacts spells was forgotten on the supplement treasure table.

After reading the Maze of Melcor expansion, I see no banlance issues in getting the Pentacle spells not as scrolls. Nightmare was the worst before, but with the new XP rules, it's not a problem.

Click here to download the spell list.

Let me know if the link is broken at some point.

Lastly - buy yourself The Grimoire! It is awesome

11 July 2018

Tutorial: Bone Wheel

The Bone Wheel is a specific piece of terrain for Frostgrave (See it in a scenario here). But I decided to build it and not snow it up, because then it's just a cool piece for many other games.

This little piece will be well placed in Ghost Achipelago jungles, in the wasteland of This Is Not A Test and Omega Zones of Scrappers - all games I collect.

Materials:
  • Halloween skeleton hands
  • Ice cream sticks
  • Cotton string
  • Super glue
Step 1: The top
Found this pair of cheap skeleton hands around halloween (but you can found then year long and cheap on eBay and AliExpress). It was easy to cut of the fingers with with knife and clipper.

Put them in the prefered shape, so that each 'arm' would be the same length. Then dropped super glue on the joining areas. Let it dry, flip over and drop from the other side as well.




Step 2: The pole
Chop up some ice cream sticks and glue them together for a beam. Glue it on a base and add some support at the bottom. There's still some fingers left, cut them up to individual small bones. This way they can be rearranged to twist around the middle beam.

Superglue it all in place.

Step 3: Support the top
Use ice  cream sticks to add some support to the top. The middle beam and top will stay together. I've added four support pieces to the middle and made a 'wheel' on the top as well. The structure will be nice and sturdy. When dry, flip it over and add a wheel to the topside as well.



Step 4: Detailing
Time to add some gruesome details. I've added lots of various skull bits from the bit box. Lots of sacrificed skulls on the base of the bone wheel. And hiding the clumsy joints on the top, with skulls as well.

The last piece of detailing was adding string. I use cotton string from the kitchen, for tying roasts together. It's the perfect size. I've added string to the the middle beam and the top. It does a good job of concealing how the piece looks glued. Giving a much better impression of this being build.



Step 5: Painting
I base coated the entire thing brown. Drybrushed the bone part with a skeleton colour, used another brown on the string and added lots of 'blood for the blood god'. A few pieces of tuft and static grass tops it off.



Wouldn't look out of place in the wasteland. See a tutorial for the fences here.


10 July 2018

Frostgrave - Thaw of the Lich Lord sc. 9

The Bone Wheel. Scenario 9 in the Thaw of the Lich Lord campaign - our warbands are near to their goal and the final fight with the Lich Lord. You can see the first scenarios on my Frostgrave page.

The scenario is a good little fun, especially from a different type of setup, as the warbands are placed diagonally in corners.

The Bone Wheel in the middle is haunted by two banshees, their scream hurting anybody close to them .

This game was played with the Maze of Melcor experience rules and Ulterior Motives. All the treasures are placed at the bone wheel and will move around every turn.

For our alternative objectives given by Ulterior Motives, they both was out of the question. To hard for our warband to try and solve, with Banshees running around - and the treasures all close to the center.

My witch to a safe approach. Enchanting warband member weapons, taking shots at the nearest banshee, keeping in hiding.

My opponent summoner tried the same, but got hit hard be the banshee. He couldn't really wound it and the scream really hurt his soldiers, before we were even near the Bone Wheel.

The battle was quick and brutal. Swarming the centre, grabbing treasure and getting out. Non of our soldiers are hurt after this match, ready for the final battle against the evil Lich.


I started in the lower left corner, my opponent in the upper right.


My opponent was unlucky, that the random movement on the banshee moved it directly towards him.


The bone wheel surrounded by lots of great treasures.



The rangifier is my favourite warband member and he's done a stellar job hunting undead minions of the evil lich.



Sneaking towards the bone wheel. Enchanting weapons and arrows on the way.


The banshee was able to move to the top of a ruined inn, staying in range of the bone wheel. The scream from the banshee hurt all three soldiers, all failing their will save.


A brutal cluster fight in the middle of the board. To my luck I got out with most treasures, as the other warband was badly hurt when the finally put down the banshee.


7 July 2018

Tutorial: Forrest

Decided to save some money on trees and make them myself - at least mostly. Here's a few words on how to make some sturdy trees, that won't drop their foliage.

For some neat photos of the finished result and a comparison with 4ground trees - jump to the bottom of the article.

Materials
  • Cheap china model trees
  • Old foam mattress
  • Cheap acrylic paint
  • Blender
  • Hot glue gun
  • Spray glue
  • Matt varnish
  • Cheap spray paint
  • Basing materials
Step 1 - making foliage
I bought an old blender in a thrift store and found some old foam mattress at the recycle station. Rip the mattress into fist sized clumps, throw them into the blender with some green acrylic paint and a bit of water. Make a mess! Dry it out on a news paper.

Or you can find some super cheap foliage on AliExpress. 

Step 2 - fix the trees
The cheap model trees comes with a bit of foliage, often too little and badly glued. Spray glue the entire tree, lots of glue is good. Roll in a pile of your foliage. I also added some saw dust, spice mix (herpes de provence) and birch tree seeds. Give it a good squeeze with your fist. 

Let it all dry and then give it a good layer of spray glue again. 

Step 3 - spray paint
Spray paint the trees. I spray painted the tree trunks and bases first with a brown. Then using some different greens, I spray painted the tree tops. 


Step 4 - attach to bases
I used wire, wrapping it around the trees and making some roots. But if you're doing this, I suggest you add some masking tape as well. I didn't, but it would make it work better.

Use a hot glue gun to add the trees to a base. Use a lot, to make sure they stay in place. Add sand to the bases afterwards, again use a lot of wood glue. Keep those trees tied down.

I made one with a super glue / wood glue combo as well. It'll work, but not as easy as hot glue.



Step 5 - basing
Use whatever basing materials you want. I went with lots of different shades of static grass. Attached with wood glue mixed with brown acrylic paint.

Then I added small twigs as branches, flowers, shrub, ivy. Lastly I added drops of superglue here and there, covered the entire base in birch tree seeds. Give if a gentle push and shake off the excess 'dry leaves'. 



Step 6 - varnish
Give the trees a thick layer of matt varnish spray to finish it off. This will help even further keeping the foliage and basing materials in place. I used a lot. Heavy coat. 

Comparison with 4Ground
I was ordering some other stuff from 4Ground and decided to grab a few trees as well. 4Ground makes some great terrain, so to check out the quality of the trees and save some time - I ordered some. 

The trees are really fine and the foliage is well glued. But it's not as thick and well glued as my own. After basing the 4Ground trees like the ones I had done, I gave them a heavy coat of matt varnish as well. 

Left to right: 4Ground willow tree, upgraded China tree, 4Ground Pine, upgraded china tree.



Finished forest
22 trees in my collection now. 14 homemade trees, five 4Ground pines and three 4Ground willows. Used in a The Walking Dead scenario here.



5 July 2018

US Army Squad and Humvees

I got the Mantic Games US Soldiers in a cheap deal, thinking they could work well for a lot of games. The models are originally from the Mars Attacks game. 

The 10 model squad is quite nice and all the models are unique, but I still opted to do some conversions. These are build to work as a standard doctrine squad, with an attached Medic. 

1 Squad Leader (Staff Sergeeant) and two fireteams. 

Fireteam Alpha:
Team Leader, AR
Grenadier, AR with greande launcher
Automatic Rifleman, SAW
Anti-Armor Specialist, Javelin, AR

Fireteam Bravo:
Team Leader, AR 
Grenadier, AR with grenade launche
Automatic Rifleman, SAW
Designated Marskman, M14, AR

I plan on using these as NPCs in The Walking Dead or a small team in Last Days

The Humvees for these guys are my first completely 3d-printed models. I found the vehicles on Thingeverse, and they're actually scalled for Team Yankee. But they still have good detailing after being streched. 

Conversions
Added an Anvil Industries bergen to make the medic. Gave the Javelin armed soldier an AR (from Project Z survivors) and made a dedicated marksman. Made it from a Bolt Actions US Infantry gun and a thin plastic rod as a scope. 


Painted Result
I went for a classic woodland camouflage look on the uniforms. Army Green base coat with a spray, then added dots of black, brown and lighter green. 

The entire 10 man squad. 


 Alpha team.


Fireteam Bravo.


Squad Leader and embedded Medic.


Bergen backpack from Anvil Industries. ARs from Project Z male survors sprue, added to the arnti-armor guy and the dedicated marskman.


For Last Days the starting gang would be: 

Leader, Trained, Military Assault Rifle, Knife
Survivalist, Selfish, SAW
Soldier, Military Assault Rifle, Knife
SWAT, Military Assault Rifle, Knife




Scale Comparison
The Mars Attacks soldiers are visibly smaller than the 32mm scaled Walking Dead models. I added a thin Renadra 25mm round base under the soldier bases. It adds a little height, making them better looking next to TWD miniatures. 


1 July 2018

Review: Last Days Zombie Apocalypse

When I learned of Last Days Zombie Apocalypse, in some part of the internet, I knew I had to pre-order it. Without having read or seen anything but the front page I expected it to be good. 


My mind was hyping for three reason from that front cover:


1. Osprey Games, hardback rulebook.

Osprey have already put out three great hardback rulebooks. Frostgrave (that I've played alot), Ghost Achipelago and Scrappers. I own all three books and I love the format of self-contained systems. The artwork, photographs and editing is good. These books are high quality products. 


2. Ash Barker, Guerrilla Miniature Games.

I've only seen three videoes from Ash Barker. One to familiarize myself with the Frostgrave rules after my first game, one to get the Scrappers rules after reading them and one for Last Days. But I know that Ash plays a lot of different games, and has some linked 'Let's Play' link in almost all Facebook game groups I'm active on. 

I figured he had to know something about what makes a fun game. 

3. Zombies


I love the post apocalyptic and zombie genres. Killer robots, nuclear wasteland, zombies, whatever - the apocalypse is a cool setting.


Pre-ordered the book when I could and just got it in through the door. Schools out, beer's cold, time to see if I'm over-hyped or if this is a good product. 

Time to write my first game review. I'll go through the different parts of the book, refer to my solo first play through and write a summary. Enjoy. 



Foreword
... in the book that is. The foreword deserves a mention. The book is a 109 pages including index, 22 full art pages and so on. 87 pages with text. The foreword is three pages. 

Nearly 3,5 percent of the book is foreword. And it's a good read and well worth the space. Explaining both the inspiration and story behind the game, but more importantly some skirmish game design philosophy. Points set up from the authors huge experience with a lot of different game systems.
  1. Memorable Moments (the surprises in the game, the movie scene moments).
  2. Crackerjacks (rewards, treasure, something to gain)
  3. Ever-Afters (the campaign, the on-going story)
And designing the game, making sure that if an element is to be in the rules, it must do at least one of the above or not be in the game. That's interesting. This book is actually a 'kill your darlings' rewrite of the original, following the above. 

Considering point two for my self inflicted hype - I was ready to read the remainder of the book.



Layout
There's two different points to talking about layout of a rulebook. 'How good does it look?' and 'how well is the game organized'. 

How good does it look?
Amazing. It's just like I've come to expect a book from Osprey Games in this format. The font size is good to read and there's sufficient text on the pages. The reason I don't like the 'small blue books' from Osprey Games is the small font and crazy amount of data squashed into the pages. I've had several of these some rule systems and given them away - because I couldn't enjoy the book as an experience. 

Last Days has an easy to follow index, big red chapter titles and medium sub titles. The editor have made good use of all the photos and graphics, taking up space, to avoid new chapters or rules starting mid-page. A clever choice. 

The book has a lot of photos, all taken by the author and with his huge collection of models and terrain. Showing many different environments and possible scenarios fitting for the setting - without re-using photos opportunities. Comparing to Scrappers and Frostgrave (with excellent photos), but reusing more terrain and models.

Artwork
There's 22 (if this math teacher can count) full page pieces of artwork. Lovely pieces, all telling a great story and showing characters. Characters not taking from zombie movies (that this book is heavily inspired by), but that would fit right in. A lof of these guys and girls I want to build from the different Warlord Games sprues I have lying around. 

Just take another look at that front cover. It's so full of stories. ... You just know that balled 'tough guy' wasn't for real. Standing with he back to a glass window. Goodbye mister, you're about to be grabbed, eaten or shot.



Well Organized?
We can all recall a couple of rulebooks that was a mess. Flipping back and forth, cannot find the rules, to many small boxes not marked in the index and so on. My worst example of this being Deadzone first edition - that book was a mess.

Last Days is completely straight forward. Go right on through it. The few times (upon first read through) you might want to flip, there's page references directly in the rules. Other than that, the book is made, so you can start reading, work out characters as you read, play a game - continue into a campaign. 

I don't think it can be made more streamlined than this. 

'Needed to play' → 'make survivors' →  'set up board' → 'how to play' (→ 'skill descriptions') → 'end of game' → 'campaigning'.

That's my hype point number 1 cleared as well.



Gangs and refuge
This part is all about zombie movie references and styles. An it hits the nail on the head - into the zombies skull. The game comes with three leader types Selfless Everyday Hero, Selfish Thug and Trained Professional.

Instantly bringing the thoughts to (for me, being to young for the orignal Romero) Tommy from Kadavermarch (Danish book), Negan of The Walking Dead and the officer of the soldiers in 28 Days Later.


Next up is recruiting survivors, fitting your leaders personality or being neutral. All based on fiction stereotypes. All the types would build of for zombie games anyway - but this saves a lot of time. There's no micro managing small gear, extra gadgets or rolling skills. Super simple start.


And the group needs a refuge. Again taking from fiction - the group will hold up in anything from a mall to a prison (... not much 'anything from').



Rules
There's five specific thing I want to mentioned about how the game plays.

Action Points
Players alternate taking actions with their models. The only way to go in a skirmish game, keep people in the game at all time. Each character (and zombie) have Action Point (AP). These are use for doing stuff. But it's an interesting take on the normal 'model may take two actions'.

By spending 1 AP a model may move 1". And that's the interesting point with AP over 'two actions'. Many games use 'this item gives -1 movement' or 'this halves movement'.

But in this system carrying a big gun not only prevents movement, it'll also prevent being picking up supplies, climbing, staying in overwatch etc. Action Points are good to have!

Lucky 7's
The characters have the usual skills for a game like this. But most tests in the game is made by rolling a d6, adding your stat and trying to beat 7. Making for a situations where you can end in impossible or certain dice rolls.

I've fired a few guns in my life and there is such a thing as an impossible shot and situations where I wouldn't miss.

I like this. And there's a reason this game doesn't need the '1 is always a fail, 6 is always a success'.

Noise!
Every character creates noise. A lot of noise. You run, shoot, bark (dogs always makes noise - is so funny), fight - you generate noise. The more noise, the higher a chance for zombies (potentially a lot of zombies) will enter the game. Zombies will eat the nearest thing they can see (or move towards the noisiest thing they can't see).

Ammo
Everytime you shoot, there's a higher chance they game will run out. You don't know when, the more you shoot, the higher the chance. And this will make for some more zombie movie moments - that gun will go out of ammo (or jam if you prefer) at some convenient time. And that character is already carrying loot, that doesn't leave a lot of AP for movement.

The Zombies
The stars of the show. Zombies are about as dangerous in combat and an unarmed human. But they have a chance to scare the survivors, making them unable to escape and keep the fighting (avoiding bites etc). Making room for more zombies and suddenly be in a very dangerous position.

You won't kill as many zombies in this game as The Walking Dead or Zombicide - these guys feel a bit more dangerous. And the survivors will die quickly.



Campaign
Skirmish games begs for campaigning and for this Last Days seems to shine. After scenarios character might get new skills, new gear, improve the refuge or find new survivors. But they'll also take damage, get wounds, amputated limbs and get attacked by zombies at their home.

It's clearly a dangerous game. The survivors will die. It's not a matter of 'if', but 'when'. Levels are experience point expensive and will get harder to get all the time.

I've not played the game more than once. But from my experience with other games, Last Days seems balanced. There'll be no super soldiers in this game - they will get eaten, captured or left behind before that. So new players will have a much better chance in campaigns. Even the optional rules for ending the campaign is brutal.



And this whole dying part brings us to the end.



Final thoughts
Last days is clearly a labor of love for the zombie genre - there's no doubt about it. Everything in this game screams zombie movie. From the character creation to the way the game plays - it's meant to be a tribute to the great zombie movies. ... and zombie movies almost always end the same way.

This is not a bad thing. The author state this in the very beginning of the book. The story is not about making a thriving new civilization from the ashes (like The Walking Dead) - it's about surviving just one more day.

And having fun while doing it. The author is pointing out, multiple times through the book - that it's supposed to be fun, good game, great stories. It might not be to everyone's taste, to have an author doing the (doing a comment on my own book, in a paranthesis) - but I  think it's okay.

That's pretty much my first review done. And a review is supposed to end with some kind of score. I don't know have to score a game like this. So I made a test.

I've watched a 50 minute video 'Let's Play' and read the book once. Could I play a game against myself now? Or is it more complicated.

It's not. Last Days Zombie Apocalypse is simple. One read through and you're ready to play. The questions you'll have are easily answered in the book.

This is a great product.


If you like this review or have some relevant feedback, please share it with me. It was a fun write, so I'll do some more - so feedback is most welcome.

Also please considering dropping a like on my Facebook blogpage. You can check out my Walking Dead collection (used in the test game) here and my modern terrain collection here.












15 June 2018

Frostgrave: Thaw of the Lich Lord - The Cauldron

Finished playing Thaw of the Lich Lord scenario 8 - The Cauldron. We didn't have a cauldron model, so we used a well instead. This was a very intense battle, as there was a lot at stake in the fight. My Witch is already good at raising zombies and has the Amulet of the Ghoul King.

If I was to get a hold of the magic cauldron as well, the spell would become even more powerful. My opponent, a summoner was not interested in that result.

Before starting the battle we made some extra rules with the cauldron.

From the end of turn 6, we roll a 50:50 dice to see if the game ends (we always do).
The player with most soldiers in contact with the cauldron would claim it.
Models in combat wouldn't count towards this.

We're in for a cluster of mayhem in the middle of the field. Besides playing for the cauldron we also use Ulterior Motives. In the end my opponent managed to stop me from getting the cauldron.

Scenario 7 is here and terrain hub is here.

We set up on a 3'x4' table, with a squared walled space in the middle - as per scenario instructions.


The five Death Cultists guarding the cauldron from the start of the game.


Quickly the cultist went searching in the ruins for something to kill.


My witch used the first couple of rounds making as many enchanted weapons as possible. Hoping the extra Fight would make quick work of the cultists and coming zombies.


The demon summoner, a treasure hunter, imp and templar entering the battlefield.


Another treasure hunter skulking around for treasure.


A shot taking through my home made wedding cake pillars, with a Laser Model Store building in the back.


My Demon Hunter spend a good part of this fight in cover, taking sniper shots with his crossbow. He didn't do much damage though.


My elven ranger and crossbowman har climbed a house. The got a good elevated position, but still the terrain blocked many of their shots.


An infantryman picking up a treasure. Right after this he was 'leaped' out, then handed the treasure off to a summoned zombie - that could then walk out with the treasure. Such a neat little trick.


My witch have had the summoned bear for countless battles. This game should be the first where he would fall, chopping down by worthless cultists. Despite being absolutely terrible soldiers, the turned out to be hard to kill.


A men-at-arms and a treasure hunter working for the summoner.



It wasn't part of my opponents plan to let his archer get tied up by a cultist. The five models really did play a great part in this game.


My knight, carrying a Vampire Sword tried to make it to the cauldron and tip it over. But he couldn't slay the zombies fast enough, and more kept climbing out to eat him.


My apprentice after he has cast leap on the infantryman. The little sprite is a counter for the 'familiar' spell.


Knight and infantryman.


The summoners apprentice with an allied minor demon.


An enemy man-at-arms making it to the centre of the board. The battle for the cauldron is about to begin.



A dwarven crossbowman, taking up a sniper position at the top of a ruined inn. Neatly guarding a treasure while shooting at my soldiers.



My crossbowman opposite the dwarf. Both shooting towards the centre of the board.


My dwarf treasure hunter got stuck between two enemies, while a wandering frost spider is closing in. I managed to leap him out, just in time - he was in bad shape.


Towards the end of the fight, my witch was badly wounded. He used a lot of health empowering spells, to have them succeed.


My opponents ulterior motive was to smash open an old sarcophagus. A wraith the rose, angry and ready to take revenge. The battle ended before the wraith made it into combat however.