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So the inevitable happened…. I got challenged by my husband. He has stated that it is LONG overdue to actually play a game instead of just making more things. You see, my handsome husband does not necessarily craft with me but he does game with me. Due to the pandemic and people moving due to jobs, our gaming groups have fallen apart and we have been in search of new things to play and people.

Last summer we even created a death match homebrew game and recruited miniatures and built maps to battle each other. I even wrote about it as one of my very first blog writeups: “Are you Ready to Battle! The silly tale of needing a DnD group”. It only scratched the itch to game slightly.

Picture of D&D Battle Game from July 2020

Then in February the desire to play something again came to learn a new game, Frostgrave. I was long overdue to play as I’ve been carrying around a printed PDF binder of the 1st edition rules since April 2020. It was amazing that Osprey Publishing company actually gave out the core rules for free as a way to help people during the early days of the pandemic. In truth it was a fantastic strategic ploy to sell their 2nd edition rules which released later last year. It was time and I decided to dive in and ordered a hardcover copy of Frostgrave 2nd edition. I absolutely love having a hardcover copy! The colors & illustration are fantastic to say the least.

However when playing the game for the first time I realized a serious flaw of my tabletop collection. Up until this point i’ve been purely focused on 3D printing two dimensional Dungeons and Dragons Maps. To be precise I consider myself an expert on 3D printed dungeon tiles. If you are curious or interested to know more about what is out there let me know in the comments.

While I had a few buildings in my collection I did not have nearly enough verticality in my game for tabletop skirmish and wargames. The battles were won by ranged attackers due to their crazy line of sight and movement felt semi flat. Building bridges, climbing and jumping moments really brought the game to life for us.

As a result I started my quest to make more buildings and vertical scatter. However, I’ve also been working on my 2021 goals of “Mega Projects” which has been a major distraction.

Hence the current situation of being teased by my partner in crime as to why I’m only crafting and not playing. So I have set a date, a deadline as you will of September 25th. But before I get ahead of myself let me start at the beginning.

What is Frostgrave?

Frostgrave is a fantasy tabletop skirmish game of which you choose a wizard from one of ten schools of magic, select spells, and hire a warband to overcome wandering monsters and solve scenarios in order to capture treasure.

Number of Players: 2-8 (Considered best with 2 or 4), optional rules available for solo play
Time to Play: 60-120 minutes
Age: 12+
Play Area: 2 ft x 2 ft (short game), 3 ft x 3 ft (standard game), 4 ft x 4 ft (long game typically for multiple players)
Miniatures: Miniature Agnostic (what ever you have laying around).

Designed by: Joseph McCullough
Publisher: Osprey Games

Information by: Board Game Geek

Story Background

Long ago, the great city of Felstad sat at the centre of a magical empire. Its towering spires, labyrinthine catacombs and immense libraries were the wonder of the age, and potions, scrolls and mystical items of all descriptions poured from its workshops. Then, one cataclysmic night, a mistake was made. In some lofty tower or dark chamber, a foolish wizard unleashed a magic too powerful to control. A storm rose up, an epic blizzard that swallowed the city whole, burying it deep and leaving the empire as nothing more than a vast, frozen wasteland. The empire shattered, and the magic of the world faded. As the centuries came and went, Felstad passed from history to legend and on into myth. Only a few wizards, clinging to the last remnants of magical knowledge, still believed that the lost city had ever actually existed. But their faith was rewarded.
After a thousand years, the fell winter has passed. The snows have receded, and Felstad has been uncovered. Its buildings lie in ruins, overrun by undead creatures and magical constructs, the legacy of the empire’s experiments. It is an evil, dangerous place. To the few hardy souls who inhabit the nearby villages, the city has acquired a new name, ‘Frostgrave’, and it is shunned by all right-thinking people. For those who seek power and riches, however, it is an unparalleled opportunity, a deadly maze concealing secrets of knowledge long forgotten…

Tales of the Frozen City, Osprey Publishing

What Do You Need to Play?

In order to play a game of Frostgrave you will need to select miniatures for your warband as you explore the frozen ruins of Felstad. Miniatures used in this game can be from any brand, manufacturer of your choice but recommended that they are all the same scale or size.

Warbands Consist of:

  1. A Wizard (representing a school of magic)
  2. An Apprentice (optional but highly encouraged)
  3. Eight hired soldiers/mercenaries to fight by your side.

You will have a limited budget when starting so selecting a warband is definitely a balance. Stay Tuned for a post which discusses the process of making a warband.

Also in order to explore ruins of a magical empire you need well, ruins. Terrain is the second thing you need. The book suggests enough terrain that a ranged attacker does not have longer than a 12 inch/ 1 foot line of sight. More is better apparently.

You will also need a singular 20 sided dice per player and 6 treasure markers.

Last but not least is that there are multiple scenarios you can play which can require unique terrain, monsters or locations but not needed to play your first game. This is what we did for our first game and just made a standard game without a scenario.

My Challenge

I have officially set a date of September 25th to build my first ever preplanned battle board, choose and paint warbands, paint my treasure markers, and monsters needed for a day of epic playing with the handsome husband.

So what does that really mean?

I have a long to do list:

  • I need to design, print, and paint 9 square feet ( 3×3 ft) of tabletop terrain,
  • At least 2 warbands need to be printed and painted (wizard, apprentice, and 8 soldiers): 20 total models
  • Need to gather and paint an unknown amount of wandering monsters & summons
  • Paint 6 treasure tokens

This is anything but easy for me and to be honest i’m super intimidated. I absolutely hate playing games that aren’t painted and really like Frostgrave the game. My goal is that if the game is epic enough we will play with significantly higher frequency. Of course we don’t need everything to be perfect but I’m a perfectionist.

The Project

This is probably the largest project i’ve ever attempted to undertake and the number of miniatures alone I am aiming to complete will smash through my entire 2021 painting hobby goal for the year in less than 2 months. Overall, I’m absolutely intimidated by the prospect and really want to create some incredibly fun terrain pieces to go with. Better graveyards, rivers?, should I finish my castle project?, what about bridges?

All of the planning, discussion, and mentality of my battle map will be featured next Friday. My starting point is actually based off of the Memorial District in the Elder Scrolls Franchise of the Imperial City if you are looking for a tease. I will be posting every Friday until game day revolving this project.

Future posts will include how to play the game, building and designing your warband, and so much more.


Have a question about the game? Anything you are curious yourself? Do you play? Don’t hesitate to comment down below and follow along in my journey.

As always Happy Crafting,

Carrie aka Crazmadsci the Crazy Mad Scientist.

Frostgrave Series

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15 thoughts on “Frostgrave: Beginnings

    1. The game is definitely a lot of fun and has gained in popularity a lot during the pandemic. They did also release a version called “Stargrave” which is essentially the Sci-Fi version. There is a solo game similar also by the same writer called “Rangers of ShadowDeep” which is based more on a ranger type class and less spells but they can learn spells. I own the Rangers of ShadowDeep and depending on how this write up series goes and how people do it Rangers would be my next series.

      I am planning on doing a write up of how the game is played, its combat system, and more in this post series so stay tuned! Next week will definitely be a post about my battlemat plan and the week following how to build a warband and hire mercenaries.

      If you have questions or want to know something specific don’t hesitate to ask.

  1. This sounds really fun. I’m glad you’ve set a goal to game with your hard work. I know you will enjoy that. Kudos to handsome hubby for the challenge! Keep writing. I am enjoying your journey.

  2. For a long time we planned on playing Ghost Archipelago but have not gotten around to it. We bought the books and minis but just did not prioritize it. Frostgrave and Rangers of Shadow Deep did not catch our imagination as much as the GA setting.

    But recently I have gotten drawn into all three and have been trying to make more time to get stuff ready to play them as well as our Middle Earth Strategy Battle Games Battle Companies campaign. Games Workshop really came up with a mouthful when they created that game title.

    I look forward to seeing your Frostgrave project develop!

    It sounds like you and I share the same perfectionist tendencies and you make such great things.

    1. Yeah, I’m definitely a perfectionist for sure and sometimes it hurts me from actually playing a game. I considered Ghost Archipelago as I recently acquired some amazing pirate sculpts but I’ve been sitting on Frostgrave for over a year. It’s time. We are going to use the modified rules to play co-op instead of skirmish though.

      I also have the Rangers of Shadowdeep book. That might be the next big project is this one goes well.

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