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Frostgrave Miniatures

Pathfinder Pawns for Frostgrave: soldiers of the Inner Sea

I’m still raiding my Inner Sea Pawn Box (paid link) for Frostgrave (paid link) miniatures, and since yesterday was all about the wizards and apprentices I figured I’d circle back and share some soldiers.

“Soldier” is Frostgrave’s generic term for hireling, covering everything from thugs to thieves to knights to apothecaries to war hounds. The first thing I came across was a themed group of Norse-looking folks:

It might be hard to see in my photo, but one thing I like about Pathfinder Pawns is that every pawn has a unique identifier. In this case, it’s “IS” (for Inner Sea”) and a number; the number denotes its position in the big list on the back of the box. And when there are multiple copies of the same pawn, the field around that number is a different color on each of them.

Here are enough medieval-knight types for a second themed group:

After pulling these two groups, I realized I was quickly going to find myself punching the entire box — there are a lot of Frostgrave soldier-appropriate pawns in this box! Offhand, except for the war hound, I saw options for every type of soldier. (I’m not sure there are more themed groups with enough pawns for a warband, but I’m not positive about that.)

Here are a host of pawns that didn’t share a theme, but which nicely map to several soldier types:

And just to round things out, some cool one-offs to cover more expensive troops:

Again, that’s nowhere near all of the soldier options in the box — I just stopped punching out pawns at that point.

Looking through all of these soldiers, I realized that it’ll even be handy to reference the pawns’ names (listed at the bottom of every pawn): I can note them on the character sheet, both so I don’t forget which is which and so my opponent and I can tell our pawns apart. Neat!

I think the Inner Sea box (paid link) can easily provide more than enough wizard, apprentice, and soldier options for several players — and that’s assuming everyone wants a correspondence between pawn and unit, as in “archers should have a bow, knights should look knight-y.” Just in this box alone, the roster is deep.

Categories
Frostgrave Miniatures

Pathfinder Pawns for Frostgrave: wizards from the Inner Sea box

After picking up Frostgrave (paid link) and liking what I saw, my next purchase for the game was a box of Pathfinder Pawns (paid link) — specifically, the Inner Sea Pawn Box (paid link).

From poking around online, I had the impression that Pathfinder Pawns would be a cheap, versatile, and attractive option for Frostgrave. You get a ton of them in the big boxes — somewhere around 250+ in the Inner Sea box, for example — and I figured there’d be a ton of possible wizards and soldiers in the more character-centric boxes, like Inner Sea.

I spent about three minutes flipping through the sprues and punching out all of the pawns that screamed “wizard” to me, and came up with a bunch right off the bat.

Here are 10 wizard/apprentice pairs that suggested themselves:

And here are another 11 I couldn’t immediately pair up, but which also seemed all wizardy:

When I was lining them up for the photos, my daughter Lark walked over and said, “Are they all wizards, Daddy?” Success!

The artwork is great, they’re double-sided, and the chipboard is nice and thick. There are exactly enough medium bases in the box for two Frostgrave warbands (20), plus a bunch of large-size bases. I also dig that the characters are super-diverse, with lots of options for women, men, different skin colors, and lots of distinct personal styles on display.

In the time it took me to find these, I saw what looked to be dozens of excellent soldier options, too. I may circle back to those in another post.

I’ve got a couple more Pathfinder Pawns boxes on the way, but I’m already happy with how the Inner Sea box (paid link) is working out as a source of Frostgrave minis.

Categories
Frostgrave Miniatures

Frostgrave: campaign-oriented fantasy skirmish wargaming

I got Frostgrave (paid link) and its first, and currently only, supplement, Thaw of the Lich Lord (paid link) in the mail yesterday, and so far it’s everything I was hoping it would be.

What I dig about Frostgrave

Frostgrave is a fantasy skirmish wargame set in a city recently released from the grip of a magical winter — formerly Felstad, now known as Frostgrave — and its core conceits are right up my alley. Here they are, along with some of the many other things I like about it:

  • You play a wizard, with a character sheet and everything, who leads your warband.
  • The warbands are small: 1 wizard plus a maximum of 9 other figures, 1 of which can be an apprentice. That’s super-manageable if, like me, you don’t like painting or fussing with large armies.
  • The play area is small, too, at 3′ on a side.[1] That’s an easy amount of space to find just about anywhere.
  • You don’t need official miniatures (though they’re available if you like), so you can slap together a warband from whatever stuff you already have on hand. Sure, you can always do this, but Frostgrave goes out of its way to encourage this approach. This was the single selling point that pushed me over the line and made me order the book.
  • The default objective is treasure, which is scattered around the map. The winner, unless a scenario says otherwise, is the player who gets the most treasure.
  • And finally, it’s geared for campaign play: You can establish a base on the outskirts of Frostgrave, level up, learn new spells, etc.

There’s a roleplaying flavor to Frostgrave — hell, the whole concept of recruiting a bunch of mooks to go steal treasure from a monster-haunted city is straight out of old-school D&D. I roleplay a lot more than I wargame, so that aspect of Frostgrave appeals to me.

The backstory fits on half a page, and the rulebook is pleasantly short — about 130 pages, and those are 8×10 pages to boot. Joseph McCullough‘s writing is clear, warm, and inviting[2], and the layout is just as clean and useful.

The very first rule in the book, which addresses situations where no exact rule exists, really sets the tone:

In these cases, use your best judgement and try to come to a mutual agreement with your opponent. If you can’t agree, each player should roll a die and go with the interpretation of whichever player rolls highest. You can discuss the situation further after the game and decide how you will handle the situation next time.

I love the art style, too. All of the art is by the same artist, Dmitry Burmak.

And of course there are plenty of photos of miniatures, terrain, and scenes in Frostgrave.

Short, sweet, and casual-friendly

Everything from the hook, to the premise, to the simple-but-not-simplistic rules, to the production values, to the brevity of the book points towards me enjoying Frostgrave. I’ve been playing wargames since I was a kid, but I’m not hardcore — I’m a lot closer to the casual end of the spectrum.

Hell, my first purchase after the rulebook (once I realized all of my D&D miniatures, which I’d planned to use, were hopelessly buried in our storage unit) was a bunch of Pathfinder Pawns (paid link) to use in lieu of actual minis. Which, again, Frostgrave totally encourages.

I like shorter games with manageable armies, and without a lot of worrying about time-consuming details like whether your mini’s weapon matches her description. I also like an interesting premise, and Frostgrave (paid link) has that, too. I’m excited to finish reading it, punch out some pawns, pull together some terrain, and find an opponent.

[1] Of course you can play on a larger or smaller field of battle, and the book mentions this option. It mentions lots of options, all throughout; it’s a relaxed, conversational sort of rulebook. I dig that.

[2] Thats a weird trio of adjectives to describe wargame rules, right? But it fits!