Frostgrave: A review

The Nickstarter products from the new Frostgrave ruleset arrived a couple of weeks ago. The hardback rulebook published by Osprey contains everything you need to play the game and today we’ll have a look inside.

What is Frostgrave?

Frostgrave is a fantasy skirmish game in which wizards and their hired warbands enter a long-lost frozen city. It’s published by Osprey and combines roleplaying aspects and small-scale skirmish wargaming rules in an interesting fusion. For any specialist games fans out there a lot of people are hailing this as a new Mordheim. Northstar Wargames Emporium have produced a range of models, including their first original plastic kit, to accompany the ruleset.

Presentation

As those who have experienced Osprey’s historical stuff will know Osprey’s presentation of their books is by and large peerless. Thankfully Frostgrave follows the same high standards. Even the outside of the book is fantastic with some great cover art and a really solid hardcover format. Inside the book is stacked with full-page art of the various wizards and plenty of eye-candy combining the new metal wizard miniatures and various medieval plastics. The artwork by Dmitry Burmak deserves special mention, it really helps to bring the frozen city alive. I just hope Osprey give him more work I know I’d love

The Warbands

The warbands consist of a wizard and up to ten hired allies. Most players will choose to have a second magic user alongside their wizard, the apprentice. Your wizard must choose to belong to a particular school and this governs what spells he can access. I liked how you don’t have to only pick one type of spell and can choose spells from several other schools. The rest of your warband consists of normal troops such as thugs and more specialist troops like knights and barbarians.

The rules

The game uses an unusual phase system in which players take it in turn to carry out actions for their wizards before either player plays the rest of their troops. The game’s combat and shooting system is nice and simple although the multiple combat section was more than a little confusing. I felt the rules themselves were very streamlined and well thought out. There was a rather refreshing retro feel to some rules with the book not trying to cover every single occurrence and encourage the players to come up with their own house rules. The 20 sided dice used also encourage the old-style D&D RPG game feeling.

Conclusion

I’ve not played Frostgrave yet but having had a thorough read through I’m really impressed with a well put together rule-set. Like the majority of Osprey’s rule-sets it’s streamlined and allows room for the player’s imagination. It also feels like the author, Nick over at Northstar and Osprey itself have all really invested in the rules. In November the first expansion, Thaw of the Lich King is due so hopefully a really interesting set of rules will only get more interesting. Have a read of them…

You can find out more on the Osprey website:

https://ospreypublishing.com/frostgrave

To get the miniatures, head over to Northstar:

http://www.northstarfigures.com/list.php?man=195&page=1

The Lead Adventure page is also a great source of information on the game:

http://www.lead-adventure.de/index.php?board=92.0

This is Frontline Armchair signing off.

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4 Responses to Frostgrave: A review

  1. Looking forward to having my first game soon!

  2. Nice review! I agree, and the multi combat rules were definitely the most complex section. That said, with a bit of thought they’re easily figured out 🙂

    What do you suppose the chances are of seeing more AI gameplay from the Thaw of the Lich expansion?

    Jimmi
    http://www.jimmiwazere.wordpress.com

    • I hope there’s more solo or co-op style rules for wizards vs monsters. It would allow you to run as basically an old style dungeon bash which would be great fun!
      Thanks for the feedback!
      Frontline Armchair

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