I know some of you fine folks can look at some written rules, and instantly understand the game mechanics. Not me. I have to play the thing to understand how it works. And I really want to make sure that in April, I'm not the simpleton who has no grasp of how to play Frostgrave.
Happily, my good friend Graham agreed to learn the game with me. Except I hadn't finished painting my warband. And Graham doesn't have any fantasy miniatures. Damn!
"What if," I asked Graham "we just use some 40k figures?"
"You mean, play a game of Boltgrave?" Graham replied.
"I like it!" I said.
Long ago the great city of Boltstad sat at the centre of the Imperium. Its towering industrial flues, labyrinthine slums, and immense data-libraries were the wonder of the age...
If you change the focus, tweak the lenses, and look left instead of right, you can easily flip from the snowy fantasy ruined city of Frostgrave, to the darkly gothic setting of the 41st millennium. Wizards can become psykers. Fighters and soldiers can become...um...fighters and soldiers. Pistols become very close range (i.e. combat only), exotic heavy weapons become bows or crossbows. Pretty neat if I say so myself!
Don't believe me? Here's my 'Wizard' and her warband, masquerading as a pair of Astropaths and their Adeptus Arbites escort:
Alternatively, if gribbly subversive alien cults are more your thing (and why wouldn't they be with Deathwatch Overkill on the horizon), here's another 'Wizard' and his warband, masquerading as a Genestealer Coven:
|Additional 'Archer' and 'Man-at-arms' not pictured.|
With our justifications made, and our proxies nailed down, we flung ourselves headlong into Boltgrave (the game of psykers and their retinues in the 41st millennium). Heroic things happened, and ancient Eldar treasures were collected.
|A brave Imperial Scout (thief) nimbly clambers over ruins.|
|An Arbites Detective (treasure hunter) and his faithful cyberhound (warhound) investigate a water tank.|
|The cyberhound is sadly torn apart by a Genestealer (Man-at-arms)...the big bully!|
|Long ranged firepower takes down the Detective, allowing a Magus (Wizard) to teleport onto the treasure.|
|"I see you Astropath, shame you can't see me!"|
|A summoned daemon (demon) and Arbites Officer (infantryman) take on another hybrid (archer).|
Our first game completed, we reviewed, discussed and analysed. Speed is good. D20 combat and shooting are both wildly random. Five treasure tokens would be better than six. We'd been playing the activation bit wrong. It was fun.
So far, so good. We gave it another go, this time with some slums guarded by monitor servitors (a haunted village and its wraiths).
|Is there a monitor servitor (wraith) in this shack? Of course there is!|
|"Tell me what you see, robot friend."|
|A pair of hybrids (thugs) lurk in the shadows - doing what they do best.|
Our genre-shifting approach wasn't perfect, but we had fun. Most importantly, I won't embarrass myself by being incompetent, come April. I shall leave that to someone else!