Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Frostgrave: The Silent Tower at Dice Saloon

I finally managed to eke out some time to continue my Frostgrave campaign with Kelvin last night, this time progressing to the third scenario in the book, the Silent Tower. As my usual gaming venue has been turned over to my son's engineering project, we decided to take the game down to the Dice Saloon in Brighton. We found there was more than enough scenery to populate the table top and recreate the ghostly ruins of Frostgrave.

The battlefield from my perspective - fog bank on the right.


We created the Silent Tower, which acts as a sort of anti-magic zone in this scenario, using three towers connected by walkways [see below]. There was only one door, in the middle tower, allowing access from the ground. My soothsayer Ragnar fluffed both his zombie and fool's gold spells, so there was no illusory chest to start the game with this time. An extra chest, stuffed with booty, sat at the top of the tower. This would allow three rolls on the treasure table for whoever recovered it.

The Three Towers!
My band was up to full capacity this time, with a trio of dogs, both my men at arms, two rangers, a newly recruited dwarf with a crossbow, and my wizard and apprentice. Kelvin, who had taken the time to add a kennel to his HQ, was able to field his squigg/dog for free, getting eleven members for his party.

I split my band into three, allowing the dogs to operate as an independent pack, while Ragnar led the men at arms and his apprentice Nordgrint moved with the two rangers for protection. My strategy was to let the dogs create havoc, as per usual, but this time I had three shooters. I had found myself suffering in previous encounters from Kelvin's orc archers, so wanted to try the tactic for myself.

This turned out to be a good move, since my bow-armed rangers and the crossbow wreaked merry havoc with the goblins, resulting in the death of the goblin apprentice and dispatching two summoned zombies, which the apprentice had raised to protect himself with. One of the rangers was also able to recover a chest as a direct consequence (more on that below).

On my right, the early use of a fog potion allowed me to screen my wizard and the dogs from any shooting from the orcs, plus it meant some of the goblin witch's spells were countered. The dogs could rush through the fog without being impeded, but they were less effective this time. The orc barbarian took two of them down in short order, and a passing wolf killed the third. I'm in two minds whether it is worth getting any more, as two of the dogs made their survival rolls, so I'll still have them in my band, although one is too badly hurt to make the next battle.

The key to this battle was control / access to the central tower - there were two treasure chests, one on the main tower and a second on one of the ancillary towers. I realised I  needed to get my band into a good strategic position early on to control access to the tower, ideally using my shooters. Kelvin got one goblin into the tower ahead of me, and the maniac managed to seize one chest before throwing himself off the tower with it, to escape my soldiers climbing up the tower after him! The goblin took a lot of damage, but survived, only to be hacked down soon after by my dwarvish warrior Skeggi Boozehound. I tried repeating the same trick with my man at arms, Grimgur, but he only succeeded in breaking his neck on the way down...

Nordgrint keeps a low profile!


At this stage of the game it was time to race to safety. My wizard Ragnar, who had one chest, was followed by his apprentice Nordgrint, who had picked up the super bonus chest the hapless Grimgur had jumped from the tower with. A ranger was escaping with a third. Kelvin's orcs came in pursuit, shooting arrows all the way. The ranger and Ragnar escaped off the field, but Nordgrint was pounced on by a wandering minor demon, who managed to put him down, before wandering off again. Nordgrint recovered, but lost a potion in the process.

The last opportunity to grab a chest came from the other side of the field, where the goblins had abandoned a chest when their apprentice was slain by an crossbow bolt. Gosted, one of my rangers, grabbed it and ran to safety while a zombie summoned by Ragnar was keeping the goblin witch busy.

The game ended with three chests in my possession, yielding 210 gold, plus two grimoires with illusionary soldier and reveal death spells. I also picked up potions of strength and speed, and scrolls of decay, explosive, rune, miraculous cure, planar tear and two scrolls of telekinesis. Not a bad haul, but it addresses one issue I have with my soothsayer, in that he lacks many of the offensive spells that the opposition has - for example, grenade and mud, both of which seem highly useful.

Ragnar takes cover to avoid orc archers on his way to safety.


My band took quite a beating in the process, but given my aggressive posture on this one, I was expecting it. One dog is dead, plus Grimgur broke his neck jumping off a tower. A second dog is hors de combat, as is poor Skeggi, who I think got hit by a grenade spell. That takes me down to six for my next expedition into Frostgrave, unless I can grab some more recruits. I'm currently left with Ragnar and Nordgrint, one dog, Gosted and Lumbard the rangers, and Brekin Sharp Eye, my dwarven crossbow sniper. But having said all that, it is really time for my spell users to step up to the plate!

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