First Blood

We had our initial clash of arms playing Frostgrave in a Warhammer Old World setting. My mate picked Night Goblins with a Summoner while I took the Undead lead by a Necromancer. Wanting to familiarise ourselves with the core rules, we played a simple scenario with six treasures up for grabs. We also chose our spells without the need for additional templates or figures to represent them, so they were mostly direct damage or buffs.

The Night Goblins deployed in a horde in the left corner of the 3×3 table while I split my forces up into a group lead by the wizard and a second with the apprentice. While the Night Goblins initially swarmed over the first treasure pile, I sent my two thugs to search one each and attempt to carry it to safety.

Red, ball shaped creature with massive fangs sitting in front of wooden barrels

A squig hound guarding the loot

The first major skirmish erupted when a group lead by my apprentice clashed with goblin fighters in a house ruin containing more treasure. With an infantryman dispatched through a fireball from afar and a second being cut down by a lowly goblin thug, I lost this fight and any hope of a win.

A timber framed house ruin with goblins and a skeleton fighting inside

The scramble for the ladder

While one of my thugs escaped with a treasure undisturbed off the Eastern board edge, the second was threatened by the slavering squig. I managed to intercept it at the last moment with a man-at-arms, but failed to kill it. Shortly after, the Night Goblin apprentice blew up its own squig with a fireball, presumably to roast it in preparation for the victory banquet.

A stone gargoyle looking down on a fight between a skeleton and a red ball shaped creature

Intercepting the hunting squig

With just yards to go, my second thuggish zombie was brought down by a flurry of arrows, dropping its treasure token.

A zombie standing next to a yellow glass token

The zombie tries to shuffle away with the treasure

The Night Goblins now had control of the table, and my skeleton’s charge against the apprentice failed to wound him. Shortly after it was smashed to pieces, and my surviving Necromancer decided to slink away into the darkness.

Goblins with bows taking aim at a skeleton warrior

The Night Goblins rule the field

With a final treasure score of 5:1 for the Night Goblins and a kill ratio of 6:2, I failed to capitalise on my early gains and positioning. Already being outnumbered, delegating two thugs to treasure carrying duty from the start was probably not a good decision in hindsight, though I very nearly got away with a second treasure while the goblins had secured none thus far. I had expected the main combat to swing my way, but the loss of an infantryman at the last moment through magic and the quick defeat of the second destroyed my main fighting force.

Frostgrave is definitely a very killy system, fittingly reminiscent of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. A high attack roll will not only often win the combat but also directly cause a maximum amount of damage, and it is quite possible to lose soldiers through a single strike or spell. Especially with consistent rolls of 20. Thanks, blue die of death.

A blue twenty sided die showing a twenty result

Natural twenty

Framed picture of a comic book strip showing two dice plotting to kill their owner

Some Dork Tower advice – I am sleeping with my eyes open

Welcome to Mordgrave

This week will see me dusting off my copy of Frostgrave to finally have a game. A mate and I are planning on getting a campaign going, hopefully recruiting along the way.

Rather than setting the story in Felstad, we’ll be drawing on the background of the Old World however, so it is more akin to Mordheim with wizards and various fantasy races. As gangs, I am therefore drawing on my existing Warhammer Fantasy Battle armies without having to paint everything from scratch. For the first gaming session I put together Night Goblins, Dwarfs and Undead, only needing to finish painting a shaman and warrior of their respective armies which had been long overdue anyway.

Goblin in black robes wielding a staff facing off against Dwarf with shield and hammer

Old enemies clash

While there are no different racial characteristics and stats in Frostgrave, I selected the war bands to reflect some of their archetypes. The Dwarfs are fewer in numbers but with better equipment and stats due to their troop types.

Group of six Dwarfs in a medieval city

Enchanter, Apprentice, Marksman, Knight, Man-at-Arms and Thug

For the Night Goblins I am mainly using the Kev Adams sculpts by Knightmare Miniatures, reinforced by some Citadel figures from my Warhammer Fantasy Battle army.

Band of Goblins amidst medieval houses

Witch, Apprentice, Infantryman, Man-at-Arms, War Hound, Archers and Thugs

The Undead are raised from my Warhammer 3rd Edition forces, with zombies representing thugs and skeletons other troop types.

Skeletons, zombies and wizards on a cobblestoned street

Necromancer, Apprentice, Men-at-Arms, Infantrymen and Thugs

How these work as gangs in Frostgrave, we’ll find out. A drawback of using “soldiers” from other armies is the lack of figures representing certain character classes like thieves, but with a bit of artistic licence and kit bashing I could add them where needed. In any case I would want to stick with classes to fit a certain fantasy race, and where that is the case, miniatures will also be easier to find.

We Are Legion

I completed the second half of my latest regiment of Skeleton Warriors for Warhammer Fantasy Battle, bringing it to six ranks deep. The figures are again kitbashes using parts from three different generations of plastic Citadel models. For the shields I used some ornamental bosses this time to add further variety.

Fifteen skeletons in three ranks with shields and handweapons

Newly risen skeletal warriors on the charge

Having completed a third regiment to use with Warhammer 8th Edition in addition to the two units in my 3rd Edition army, I thought it would be imposing to bring them all together in one large skeletal horde.

Line of skeletal warriors advancing across rough ground

The dead surge forward under black banners

Skeleton warriors formed in deep ranks

An endless tide of vengeful dead

Close up view of skeleton warriors marching under a black banner hung with skull trophies

The dead reap a grim harvest

There are still some scythe and pole armed skeletons to paint in my Oldhammer collection, so their ranks are set to grow further over time. For the dead shall walk the earth.

View down onto dense ranks and files of skeleton warriors

The skeletal horde sweeps away all life in its path

Bones Brigade

I have a 1,000 points army list for a Necromancer themed Warhammer force using the 8th Edition Vampire Counts book that I am aiming to complete. Rather than painting the Master Necromancer to lead it, I decided to paint up a third regiment of 30 skeletons however that isn’t actually part of the list. Because one can never have enough skeletons. Having just finished the first base of 15, I wanted to record my progress.

I built these some years ago out of a mixture of parts from all three generations of Citadel plastic kits. The majority of parts are from the first set, but I needed to stretch them a bit as I was running out. It does give the unit some nice variety, although in terms of sculpts the originals are my favourites. The second incarnation was too chunky and the weapons too oversized. The newest models are nicely proportioned, but all have a strongly forward leaning combat crouch which is fine to mix things up, but looks strange in a whole regiment of reanimated bone warriors.

Rank and file skeletal warriors marching under a black banner

All shall join the black banner

The plastic banner is very nicely modelled in my opinion, and I stuck with the plain black, no nonsense scheme for it and the shields. The unit champion got the obligatory decapitated head that every leader in the army carries (I believe it is part of the summoning and binding ritual). I did add some blood effect to his sword this time, in a first trial of Army Painter’s Glistening Blood paint. Quite satisfied with the result, which takes one application where previously I would have used two colours and a wash. The musician is a metal sculpt I had left from the previous reorganisation of my undead forces into Oldhammer and Not-so-Oldhammer armies. It was already finished and I just gave the bones a repaint.

Skeletons with swords and shields emerging from a walled graveyard

More undead warriors spill out of the graveyard

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Wrath of the Wight King

My plan for Deadcember 2017 had been to complete a Necromancer themed 1,000 point  army for Warhammer Fantasy Battle by adding two new character models for a Wight King and the Master Necromancer himself. For the former I had recently picked up the excellent Wight Lord by Heresy Miniatures which was a perfect fit for the style of the army. Due to a painting slump I only just managed to complete this now however.

Skeletal figure in armour holding sword and decapitated heads in front of ranks for skeleton warriors

Commanding the dead

There isn’t any unnecessary detail on the sculpt and I like its slim silhouette which is well suited to fit into the entirely infantry based army of skeletons, zombies and haggard ghouls. I might add some blood splatter onto the blade later courtesy of the decapitated heads, but right now I am not very happy with my painting so I didn’t want to risk spoiling the miniature in case it went wrong. In general, I am using very few splashes of colour across the army anyway, with red mostly being reserved for the vampires.

As the Master Necromancer I am planning to use the 4th Edition sculpt of Heinrich Kemmler, to date one of my favourite miniatures of all time.

Curse of the Mummy Collector

Ever since I painted the first two mummies for my Warhammer 3rd Edition Undead army I haven’t been able to rest easy. Knowing there were two more ancient sculpts out there to complete the set, I undertook several gruelling expeditions until they were finally discovered and bound to my necromantic forces.

Two ancient mummies

They are coming to get you

Side view of two walking mummies

The shambling dead

Now four strong, these powerful undead can bring doom to entire regiments of enemies. If they weren’t so slow.

Four mummies advancing side by side

The resurrected