People out there who bother to read my posts will have noticed by now that I’m not given to over-praising things. If the glass is half empty I’m likely to moan about short measures.
So I hope you will all be suitably astounded when I say that Mr. McCulloch’s new offering “Frostgrave” is excellent in every way. Got my hands on a set this week and I’m more than delighted with it.
I took part in the “Nickstarter” campaign that Osprey ran in tandem with Nothstar Games and ended up buying a sorcerer and apprentice, a box of 20 fighters, the rule set and a couple of extra monsters, all at very good prices.
Firstly the figures: All very nice, not absolutely knockout, but the wizards are unusual and the fighters, being multi-part kits, are very versatile. There were also quite a few “freebie” bits and pieces like treasure chests and lecterns that all add to the appeal.
Then the rules. As you would hope from an experienced firm like Osprey these are a really high quality effort. The book is a hard-back, so it will stand plenty of thumbing through. And it is absolutely filled with the most superb original art-work. Illustrator Dmitry Burmak is new to me and he has great talent, reading the book filled me with ideas of games to play and pieces to paint. I do hope we see more from this artist.
And the game plays easily straight out of the box. Anyone who has done even a little gaming will have a couple of wizardy-looking figures and half-a-dozen fighter types knocking around. That’s all you need for a first game, so you don’t even have to paint the new figures before getting started. The rules are very well explained and my first game played out easily and enjoyably in about 90 minutes. (And I found some treasure!) Just right for an evening’s entertainment.
So far so, so ordinary you may think. But then the real strength of the game shows up. Using the treasure and experience I had gained my wizard learnt new spells, recruited a couple more bravos... and off we go for the next adventure! This game is all about campaign play, and the book provides enough ideas that this could extend a very long way. And the different options available mean that there is a very large range of different spells can be learnt and specialist allies recruited. Anyone with a little imagination can have great fun creating a totally unique band of adventurers.
There is huge potential here. I can only urge Osprey to do a proper job of supporting this splendid initial set with regular additional books of new scenarios. (And perhaps get together with "Northsar" for some more figures?) Oh, and do keep Mr Burmak busy, I will happily buy another book of his pictures in any format.