I have finished another four of the medieval demons produced by Antediluvian Miniatures. This lot is carrying handgonnes, a sort of cannon on a stick that originated as early as the 13th century. In game terms, where appropriate blackpowder weapons might be missing, I’ll use the crossbow rules to represent them.
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.
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.
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.
With just yards to go, my second thuggish zombie was brought down by a flurry of arrows, dropping its treasure token.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Undead are raised from my Warhammer 3rd Edition forces, with zombies representing thugs and skeletons other troop types.
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.
I pledged for the Medieval Demons by Antediluvian Miniatures in 2017 and just made a start by painting up the first group. The sculpts are crisp and the white metal castings are very clean so I highly recommend this range.
Based on drawings of demons in medieval manuscripts, I intend to field these as the retinue of a powerful Daemon Prince of Tzeentch using Saga 2 rules or against actual historical fighters of the era.
With their faces leering from various body parts, colourful skin tons and bird like features, such medieval depictions of the forces of hell must have had a big influence on the Changer of the Ways in Warhammer lore.
I have added a couple of expansions from Knightmare Miniatures’ latest Kickstarter of goblin sculpts by Kev Adams to my collection. The Doom Goblins in particular, which are the only faction I have painted so far, were in need of reinforcements.
I’m also looking forward to the fantasy expansions for Saga 2 which I’d like to use for warband size forces like this. While not clear yet how the system of heroes will work with magic users and monsters, it already makes sense to organise all the troops into units of 4, 8 or 12 respectively. For archers I was still short, so after adding another bow armed figure from the range, I also glued together and painted a plastic Citadel Night Goblin.
I do like the style Brian Nelson gave the Orcs & Goblins back then, though their faces were much more repetitive than previously. This particular multi-part plastic set was one of Citadel’s earliest, and the proportions are all over the place, making it pretty much incompatible with any Night Goblins they released before and after. As a tribute to the evolution of the Night Goblins, I like having one of these guys in the warband though.
With the new sculpts to be delivered soon, I can form another unit of 8 warriors, which should give me a minimum of 4 points of troops to use in Saga. Since archers are often classed as levies, 4 more to increase this group might also be useful, but I’ll see about that once the army lists are out.
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.
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.
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.