Wednesday, 20 September 2017

The Ghost Archipelago Nickstarter!

The Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago Nickstarter has now been running for a week-and-a-half, and already it stands at nearly £30,000. If you've never heard of a 'Nickstarter' before, it is basically a pre-order program where if the total order value passes certain thresholds, everyone gets some freebies. It's not a crowd-funding program. Everything for Ghost Archipelago is now either made, or is in the final stages of being made. This is just a chance to get in at the beginning.

The £30,000 mark is significant because it means everyone who placed an order will get a free metal Drichean Warrior figure to go with the free metal Snake-man that was added when the orders hit £20,000.

If you are planning on getting the book anyway, you should really consider ordering through the Nickstarter. For £20 (the cost of the book) you'll also get 5 treasure tokens, a special Crew Sheet, and the two metal figures mentioned above.

If you are wondering why I have waited so long to mention the Nickstarter, it is because my kids started nursery last week. This has created all kinds of chaos, and they have brought home all kinds of fun new germs. My son got Hand, Foot, and Mouth, which I had never even heard of. Ignorance didn't protect me however, and I spent two days with aching feet and hands. We all seem to be getting better at the moment...

Thursday, 7 September 2017

The Witch of Mount Gramos

A new Warriors of Athena campaign!

I have just received Issue 92 of Wargames: Soldiers and Strategy which includes  'The Witch of Mount Gramos' a three-scenario campaign I wrote for Warriors of Athena. If you are not aware of Warriors of Athena, it basically takes my Frostgrave rules and uses them to play solo wargames in the world of Greek Myth. To use this new set of adventures, you'll need both the Frostgrave rulebook and the original set of Warrior Athena rules found in Wargames: Soldiers and Strategy Issue 86.

In this campaign, your ancient hero has to scale the heights of Mount Gramos, battling a giant, a nest full of harpies, and a witch who has offended the gods of Olympus.

The main theme of the issue is Napoleonic, but it also includes articles covering the American Civil War, Ancients, Medieval Japan and more. 

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Scale Leap

My latest addition to my personal Frostgrave collection is a simple skeleton. You just can’t have too many of these guys, and frankly, I don’t have enough of them! It is made with pieces from the Frostgrave Cultist box set, which delightfully includes some undead bits.

A few eagle-eyed readers have noticed that my figures lately have been based on very small bases. In fact, this skeleton is on a 20mm round base. Recently, I decided that I would try to mount most of my minis on these smaller bases. Mostly, I just find the bases more visually appealing. With the industry seemingly pushing for bigger and bigger figures, with larger bases, I’ve come to realize, I like my miniatures to look, well, miniature. Also, I find bases boring, so the less I have to worry about painting and flocking them, the better!

There is a practical reason as well. Smaller bases mean larger tables. Okay, not really, but look at this way. If you compare a 20mm base to a 32mm base, you’ll see how much less space the smaller base takes up on the table. On a small 2’ x 2’ table, the difference between 20 minis based on 20mm bases and 20 minis on 32mm bases can be quite significant. More room to manoeuvre generally makes for better games.

I’m not preaching here. This is purely a personal preference, and I won’t be doing it for all my minis, but I will for most. It does also make them easier to store. So many advantages…

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

A Ranger grabs the Treasure!

I am happy to report that even in my temporary accommodation, I am managing to get a little painting done. Before we moved, I cleaned, assembled, and primed a bunch of miniatures, so I would have some ready to go. Here are the first couple!

I'm really pleased with the ranger. He is actually a mash-up of Frostgrave plastic parts. The body comes from the cultist box, the arms from the soldiers box, and the head from the barbarian box. I'm not sure, but I think the quiver comes from the gnoll box. That was not deliberate, but it does mean I managed to use every box on one figure! What I really like about this figure is that it shows off how versatile the cultist bodies are - a green paint job and it becomes a perfect ranger outfit.

The little treasure token comes from the Russian company Tiny Furniture - as did the back of coins token seen in my Ghost Archipelago demo shots. These are resin pieces and I can honestly say they are of the highest quality. Really enjoyable to paint. I've got a few other pieces that I will hopefully be able to show off in the future.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Back From GenCon!

Originally this post was going to be entitled ‘Home’, but, in truth, I don’t feel like I have a permanent home at the moment. We have sold our house in Oxford (all done and dusted, yeah!), but are still waiting to exchange on our new house. Indications are that it could be awhile. Still, things could be much worse. We have temporarily moved in with my in-laws. They have a large house, so the kids have one bedroom and us adults have another. Our room is big enough that I can put a desk by the window to work. From the window I can actually see a tiny glimpse of the English Channel, and, amusingly, the house we are trying to buy. Still, even if this isn’t ‘home’ exactly, I’m glad to be back.

Not that I didn’t absolutely love GenCon! It was a fantastic show. I got to meet all kinds of interesting people; spoke to a lot of fans about Frostgrave and Ghost Archipelago; ran some demos, and even got a little time to wander around and have a look at some other parts of the show. It’s definitely a place I could go and game and have fun for 4 days!

One of the highlights of the show was playing a game of Frostgrave with Jim from the GeekDad blog and two of his friends who had never played the game before. (In fact, I’m not sure they had ever played a wargame before). It was a terrific game with lots of drama, on some fantastic terrain, but I’ll hold off saying too much about it until after Jim has put up his battle report.

The really cool part was that Jim gave me the mausoleum he had built for the game as a keepsake. Not only is it a great piece of terrain, but it’s got some little green lights in it to give it that extra ‘spook’ factor! Jim actually did a video on building it which you can watch here.

I also managed to do a little bit of shopping, although I was very constrained by my small luggage. I picked up a couple of the new BattleTech books. They are mostly fluff books, which is perfect for me since I play about one game a decade. I find the BattleTech line difficult to keep up with as news is often hard to come by – also the books can be hard to obtain the UK, so I figured I’d better grab them while I had the chance.

 In their display cabinet they were showing off some of the new plastic mechs that will be part of the new starter kit coming out…someday. Traditionally, I have not been a huge fan of their mech designs, but these new ones look great, and I’ll be picking up the new box if I can.

My other purchase was a pair of small figures cases from Chessex. At $12.95 each these hard plastic cases are a real steal. Fourteen pockets make them ideal for carrying a Frostgrave or Ghost Archipelago warband with a couple extra spaces for treasure tokens and dice. Oh, I also bought a new d20 which caused some real damage in the Frostgrave game!

Well, now back to work. Actually, I suppose GenCon was work, but it was so much fun, it didn’t really feel like it.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Gen Con - Still Rolling

The first two days of GenCon have been wonderful and intense. I am, unfortunately, suffering from the double blows of jet-lag and a cold, and my voice is dropping in and out, but it's been wonderful none-the-less. Thanks to everyone who has come by the stand to talk to me about Frostgrave or have a look at Ghost Archipelago. It's a great opportunity for me to be able to talk face-to-face with fans of the game and to hear what they like and don't like about it. In fact, many of the little tweaks to the system that are found in Ghost Archipelago come from the feedback I've gotten at conventions and online.

In bad news, the Ghost Archipelago has claimed its first victim. At some point during the day, the sample copy of the rulebook fell over and crushed Portock, snapping off his axe head. This is the major downside to using resin sample casts as opposed to the metals that are coming! Bar very delicate drilling, I don't actually know how to fix this, and I probably won't bother.

In other news, I have a Frostgrave show-down tonight with one of the bloggers from Geek Dad and a couple of his friends. I thought the occasion called for a new d20. I saw this red-sparkly one on the Chessex stand and couldn't resist. It just looks like the kind of die you should make spell rolls with. Now, I know what you are probably thinking: 'hey, he's the writer of the game, he doesn't need the advantage of a new die, one that still has its full compliment of luck'. Maybe, but my track record for convention games is rather poor - plus, I just realized that I left my warhound at home, so I'll be going in a man (dog) down! 

I'll let you know how the game goes. There are rumours of pizza being involved, so even if it goes poorly, I suspect the night will be a win!

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago Demo

I wanted to share a shot of the complete Ghost Archipelago demo that I am running at GenCon. Not a bad set-up for the small table available. The really cool wooden platform terrain is from Death Ray Designs (although I can't find it on their website at the moment). The set includes some much bigger pieces that I didn't have room for, and you can set each platform at one of three different heights. The mat underneath is from Cigar Box Battles. It's actually a mat they made specifically for some Frostgrave scenarios set underground, but it actually works well as a watery base.

The first day went poorly for Vasha. I can't say I'm hugely surprised; he's the more subtle, and thus harder to play, Heritor, especially in a demo. That said, people seem a bit shy about having him throw knives, which is something he's really good at! He make my favourite move of the day when he leapt up onto a box and kicked the Wind Warden into the water!

Big Red has been having a better time. She showed just how deadly she can be, once inflicting a massive 16 points of damage on a Fight Roll of 17! That poor little archer was not recovered...

All-and-all, it has gone well today. Thanks to everyone who has come by to take a look at Ghost Archipelago or just talk about Frostgrave. It's always good to hear that people are enjoying the game.

I've only seem a bit of the rest of the convention. After waking up at 2:30 this morning (thanks, jet-lag) and then spending ten hours in the dealer hall, I am completely shot. Which is too bad, if I wanted to, I could go see They Might Be Giants, who are playing at GenCon, and still have plenty of time to make it back for the Pathfinder games that are starting at 2am!