I remember these being on super-clearance a few years ago, so maybe the Castle line didn’t do so well? Whatever the case, they’re still quite cheap — around $20 each on Amazon, including shipping (with Prime).
For large, light, and durable prepainted terrain, $20 is a steal. I snapped up one of each, and I liked them so much that I went back and ordered a second keep. Frostgrave wants a lot of terrain, so I’ll take any chance I can get to acquire larger pieces on the cheap.
Remember, the ruins of Frostgrave are crowded and maze-like, so there should be lots of terrain on the table, and there should be few areas where line of sight extends more than a foot or two, if that.
So how do they look out of the package?
Mage Knight Keep
Pretty damned awesome, I’d say! Here’s the front of the keep (the back is identical):
And here’s the side:
You can see the slot in the middle, which is for plugging into the walls (none of which come with the keep). I don’t have any matching walls, so I’ll be using it as a standalone tower — or maybe adding some short ruined walls to either side. I like that the slot is fairly unobtrusive.
Lastly, the roof:
The weird knob on top is the Clix dial, for using the keep as a unit in Mage Knight.
Mage Knight Gatehouse
Stylistically, the gatehouse is a great match for the keep. Here’s the portcullis side:
Unlike the keep, the back isn’t identical to the front:
It actually comes with a little bar to put across the door, which is a neat touch. I almost broke the doors trying to get it on, though, so off it will stay.
Here’s the side, with its wall slot:
And finally, the top, with the same dial setup as the keep:
Comparisons and scale
The gatehouse and keep are about the same width, but the gatehouse is slightly taller (about 1/2″) and much thinner. Here’s a top-down shot to show the most dramatic difference between them:
Being designed for a 28mm skirmish game, it’s no surprise that both keep and gatehouse are perfectly scaled for Frostgrave. Here’s one of the MK minis they came with to put their size in context:
I’ve closed the doors and lowered the portcullis, but it’s worth noting that all of the doors open and the portcullis can be raised and left up if you like. The gatehouse is skinny enough that you can move a mini through it, turning it into a big archway, but the keep is not. (And of course both are hollow.)
There are also walls to connect the Castle elements (paid link), as well as a nifty-looking tower (paid link), but they both command high price — when you can find them at all. I’ll keep an eye out, but I’m not optimistic.
For my money, the Mage Knight Keep (paid link) and Gatehouse (paid link) are both great deals for prepainted terrain. I like the paint job on both, they’ll stand out on the map, they offer elevation (with plenty of room for minis at the top — and remember that by default all Frostgrave buildings can be scaled!), and they fit right into how I picture “my” Frostgrave.
If I was picking one, I’d pick the keep — no question. It takes up more space on the battlefield, and the added functionality of the portcullis on the gatehouse doesn’t seem like it’ll be too important in Frostgrave.