Bracken and GA scenery

Earlier in the year, to bulk out an order with GW to avoid punitive P&P, I bought some of their new bracken scenery.

Fur sprees of the same pieces, made out of a soft plastic reminiscent of Airfix soldiers ! (Stuart will recognise what I am talking about as will others of a certain age)

Two painted with Foundry Cadverous Green washed with Citadel Biel-Tan, one painted with Foundry Bay Brown and another Storm Green, again washed with Biel Tan.

Copplestone Castings 15mm eldritch statue.

Good to go !

The Cadaverous Green with wash looks very similar to the plastic aquarium pieces I have so should fit right in.

GA: Thoughts

Right well I had the first game and then followed it up with the after game rolls.

Reading through the potential outcomes was very interesting. If you lose your specialists, your Warden or Heritor, a trip to the Mainland is required to replace them. If you want to sell stuff, ditto.

But that’ll cost you 200GC straight off. So you are going to be saving up for that trip, and you’ll have to have even more money/items for when you get there.

Players of frost grave will think so what ? I mean the last couple of FG games I got nearly 200GC easily (one was even 800GC)…which brings me on to the treasures in GA…

There’s only five treasure counters in the standard GA game. One less than FG. One has to be placed centrally, which overcomes one complaint I have heard about FG and players being a bit too beardy.

But what you get is a step down from FG. So my Heritor Vicky, got a grand total of 60GC from her 3 treasures, and the opponent 105GC.

This means that going to the Mainland is going to be some time – probably every 5 games or so.

During that time accidents happen !

Sio you’re going to have to be very careful about using your crew as “meat shields” as the specialists won’t be easily replaceable. Ditto kitting out your crew as you won’t be able to get the fun stuff often.

Similarly, as the ship can only be upgraded back at the Mainland !

Another series of challenges that are very different and makes GA a very different beast to FG.

GA: First Game

As commented in my previous post, playing a game is much better than reading the book.

So I sat down and did the second war band randomly rolling the Heritor’s abilities. By happenstance, the abilities meshed well (Fling; Crushing Blow; Steelheart; and Deathstrike) and it was obvious he was a combat specialist and I chose a model accordingly.

L-R: Heritor; Warden; Archer; Crossbowman; Freebooter; Tombrobber; and 2 Crewmen.

Warning, here follows more pictures of lots of naked land and plastic models on a poorly presented table, warmers of a nervous disposition should sit down and or avert their eyes.

So with two war bands written up, I went for a simple head to head.

I’ll keep this brief as it was a solo effort, and the models/scenery aren’t all that good, but it’ll give the reader an idea of what went on.

With only 8 models in the war band, set up becomes a bit more tactical. If you want the central treasure which gives the most XP, you have to be careful. If you want sheer numbers of treasure, that’s a different tactic.

NB: As per previous updated post, you can have another couple of crew ! See 20.

Ghost Archipelago also is the haunt of Pinja Numas ! (Similar to Ninja Pumas, only smaller, and more furry)

Now I know why the GA Accessory Pack includes that dice.
I used my Heritor’s “Spell Shield” ability in turn one.

Earth wave, used by my “opponent” to shift a treasure closer to their forces, similar to telekinesis but not as good. As others have comment, whilst the casting value of spells is lower in GA, so are the effects.

Brambles – similar to Wall or Fog.
As cast by my Vine Warden.

Random encounters on 12+…oops here’s a Stalker Saurian…

Top of the world Ma !
The opposing Heritor gets to the top and claims the treasure, at the same time as my Savage does on the other pile of rocks.

And is joined by “my” Heritor, Vicky, who trashes the enemy Mercenary.

End of the game – I had 3 treasures including the central treasure, and the opponent had two.

One model down and needing to roll on the recovery chart.

Lets start rolling on the after game XP and treasure charts as well…

What did I learn ?

To be cont’d…

GA: Creating a Warband (Updated)

I often find that reading a game rulebook doesn’t really bring out all the nuances of the game, and that actually playing the game is the best way of assessing it.

So rather than simply leaf through the book and dribble out some thoughts and pictures of pages that have probably been shown elsewhere (and even on you tube), I decided to go ahead and make up some war bands using the Ghost Archipelago rules.

Note – there is NAKED lead, plastic and resin in these photos, so be warned.

So I’d unpacked the pile of lead, and started snipping at the plastic kit. Here’s the war band, all 8 of them. (L-R) Heritor, Warden, Savage, Archer, Guide, herbalist and two (plastic) crewmen.

Reading the book there are some notable differences from frost grave. Firstly, you have a maximum of 8 in your war band, not ten. You can increase this number just as you can in Frostgrave, by upgrading your ship’s capacity, but the war bands will nearly always be smaller.

Heritors – having never played the game this is a stab in the dark. You can randomly roll for them, but I decided not to for the first war band. Throughout the book, there is artwork of statuesque female red heads. As a redhead, I decided to base my character on this artwork and one of my ex-gf, which helped me determine her abilities. So they were mostly based around intimidation: Steelheart and Burning Eyes popped out at me !

You never upset a red head.

Wardens – the spells are similar to but distinct from the Frostgrave spells, less of a stab in the dark (I”ll reserve that for my enemies)

Now one thing I noticed and I’ll discuss later, was lack of ranged firepower, so whilst I chose a Vine Warden (the equivalent of schools of magic) I ensured I chose a ranged offensive spell.

I also chose another female model for the Warden, once again there is a very balanced gender theme throughout the GA rulebook, and no they’re fully clothed with no chain mail bikinis. The figures produced reflect the artwork in many ways.

The Crew. Well you basically only have 6, and as far as I can see, when recruiting the first set of crew you have a freehand without any gold crowns to spend.

Update: A pointed out in the comments, you can have up to 8 crew, so the war band can comprise of Heritor, Warden, 4 Specialists, AND 4 crew.

So I chose a Savage for the sheer grunt power (think Barbarian), an Archer, and a Guide both of whom have a bow. The later two are again females !. Then the fourth Specialist (the max you can have) was a herbalist. Chosen because he has three equipment slots, and looking at the rules this might prove useful in the short term. Once again a small change from frost grave means that the Heritor only has 4 items slots, and the warden only 3.

Then I took two ordinary crew, and equipped them with hand weapons and shields. This might prove a mistake we shall see. The one thing I did note was that ordinary crew cannot have any ranged weapons – so no bows of X-bows !

Building the war band took longer than a frost grave war band, because the Heritor and Wardens have different abilities/spells, plus there is a bit more balancing you need to think about.

Probably spending time tinkering with my spreadsheet also took more time so I may be more pessimistic about times.

For the test run game I will randomly determine the Heritors abilities just to test that out too..

As you can see I also spent time on Sunday and Monday visiting pet shops for some scenery !

FG: Ghost Archipelago product overview

Frostgrave’s first spin off has arrived: Ghost Archipelago.

Jim:- When you say “gone for it”, do you mean the big £200 pack?

KIY:- Looks at ground, stirs dust with foot, and petulantly says “might have”.

yes, I did, the Level 4 Kickstarter. I have loads of pirates, dinosaurs and jungle scenery plus assorted exotic types. (Frogmella may have to be a name I use)

Delivered yesterday by courier, on time, as promised.

The full lot. Well packed, nice and shiney.

The Accessory pack, cards and a special dice. The cards cover Heritor and Warden abilities. Minor niggle, they should have different backings so you can distinguish them.

The really shiney stuff – the figures.

The large critters (dinosaurs) are resin, with metal add ons.

The figures are well cast and I’ll review them tomorrow now I’ve unpacked them all. IN particular, I’ll look at the plastics and compare them all with the frost grave and other figures most of us already have in our collections.

There are also 5 unique treasure tokens which are already the stand out items for the extra items – very nice pieces that would benefit many many games.

The plastic crewman sprue, very piratical.

A quick read through the rule book shows it is very similar to frost grave itself but has significant changes, not least, there’s less treasure in normal games.

I’ll be giving it a bash tomorrow for a quick play test and photo’ing the figures now I’ve got them out and based them up. This’ll be raw metal, plastic and resin I’m afraid. An hour’s pinning session with Richard this morning and associated travel completely precluded any notions of painting !

There’s quite a lot to say and nearly all of it is positive.

Screw when necessary (AVBCW Supply Dumps)

Well that got your attention !

Armies rely on logistics, supplies and so on. So its only reasonable that scenery should reflect that with supply dumps etc.

Straight from the UK MOD, you read it !

Screw when necessary.


In amongst the stuff that didn’t go into storage was a bag of half painted supply dump stuff – resin scenery pieces whose origin eludes my brain cell.

So in the run up to 4th November when we are having one of our AVBCW Big Games, I thought I’d drag it out and paint it up.

Placed on 40mm round bases, I raised the resin pieces by using some card chopped off of a recent order. This means they don’t blend in/get lost in the flock.

Three of the normal pieces, made up of multiple items glued to the same base. Includes Lewis Guns and SMLEs.

Great big pile of ammo boxes !

No, I haven’t written “Screw when necessary” on the sides. 🙂

I have enough for 10 items of scenery, and also found some with German helmets, and British WW1 Pith helmets, so they’ll be good for BoB stuff – to follow.

Nullmen and shiney Magical discs

The Sellsword campaign in the Frostgrave Folio requires some Nullmen in the third scenario. Whilst I’d hoped Jim and I would do the first two i feared that we might get to the third soon. But there are no Nullmen figures commercially available !

So I bought some Copplestone Castings grey aliens – there’s no mention of how tall the Nullmen are for Frostgrave so they fitted the bill and were relatively cheap.

One person on LAF has sculpted a couple of Nullmen and is thinking of casting them up, so those will be added to this lot as and when !

meanwhile I have also been doing up some magic circles for “The Keep” scenario, this time in shiney gold !

Ice Wyrm & Templar

Remember when I painted figures ?

One Ice Wyrm, and one Templar.
I’m still at it.

This Ice Warm is by Alternative Armies, and is a resin 15mm model. Very light weight perfectly cast.

However as you can see from the previous photo it is big enough to go maw to toe with a 28mm figure.

It’s on a 50mm diameter round base (GW).

the Templar being an old Marauder Fighter.

Very easy to paint.

FG: The Stars are even Wronger !

Well as I commented in the last post things had started to go pear shaped. No problem, that often happens and all I had to do was fight back.

The demon was beaten off by the Ghoul, so Klotilda did the dirty work and defeated the Ghoul.

But what’s this ?

Having been injured, KIY himself got shot and zapped to the point of death !

Wizard down.

Now that cramped my style a hell of a lot.

And then the same happened to Klotilda my apprentice the next turn.

Followed by the marksman going down.

And then a treasure hunter carrying…treasure…

Followed by a thief.

Then the Apothecary as the second treasure hunter dealt with the latest Imp.

Who was then zapped after slaying the Imp…

…by Doozlebat who had Leapt to the top of the tower to collect some treasure.

At least Barry the Bear went down to one of my Treasure hunters !

So, I escaped with only TWO treasures.
– the war hound died
– a treasure hunter died
– the marksman was badly injured and will miss the next game
– Klotilda was badly injured and soaked up 75Gc to fix

…and so I made a net loss of 17 GC overall after medical bills and replacing the dead.

Not my best of days.

As Jim commented his strategic plan was to “roll high”…which he did with virtually every turn featuring him rolling at least one natural roll of 19.

I managed to increase only two levels, thanks to casting Absorb Knowledge, which seemed to be this nugget of wisdom: “Roll high”.
My dice rolling sucked big time.

Oh well, onwards and upwards to the next game.

FG: The Stars are Wrong

Started going through the Sell Sword scenarios with Jim on Saturday, first one was the Stars are Wrong.

Six pillars set up.

Magical beams zap between them if people roll 1-4 on initiative.

We also chose a school of magic each that would not work:
– Enchantment
– Elementalism

So not elemental bolt for me, no magic weapons for Jim
No telekinesis for either of us.

But for the first turn that didn’t matter as Jim won initiative by a long way (which became familiar), and with a leap, his captain was on the treasure.

So I threw in my first Imp.

Above which was reciprocated.

KIY studiously avoided getting in between pillars.

Just as well, because in the second turn…we both rolled low and two magical spouts fired between pillars, one of them catching no less than 4 of Doozlebat’s war band.

Resulting in one death and two injured minions.

At this point I was feeling ok.

Even though the Imp had seen off my captain pushing him back and injuring my war hound.

Undettered, Doozlebat’s minions finished off the Imp I had summoned.

Picking up a treasure Dioozlebat’s minions triggered a Ghoul, which turned up behind me and promptly charged into combat with Klotilda my apprentice. Good job the demon she had summoned was on hand to help out (NOT).

Unfortunately, Doozlebat himself bone darted John Wayne my zombie, at which point things all started to go a bit pear shaped…

To be cont’d…