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Frostgrave Miniatures

My Frostgrave setup

My first game of Frostgrave (paid link) is tonight, so over the weekend I spent some time setting up a sample city — “my” Frostgrave. I’ve done proofs of concept before (most of which resulted in buying more terrain), but this is the first version I really like.

I spent a lot of time researching terrain and looking at other folks’ takes on Frostgrave, and I often wished they’d break things down a bit more. This post is my answer to that wish: Along with pictures of the finished city, I’ll share my goals and list everything that went into my version of Frostgrave.

(Here’s a larger version of this top-down view.)

Goals

Here’s what I had in mind when buying and setting up my city of Frostgrave:

  • Don’t paint or build anything. I don’t really enjoy painting minis, and I have no interest in painting or making terrain.
  • Make it look as good as I can. I tried to get the most bang for my buck with every terrain element.
  • It should be crowded. Per the rules, line of sight should never exceed 24″ (and should usually be a lot less). It’s a knife fight in a phone booth, not a battle in an open field. I’ve seen some otherwise gorgeous setups that have lots of wide-open spaces in them, and to me that isn’t Frostgrave.
  • Incorporate elevation. Everything in Frostgrave can be scaled by default, and elevation is fun.
  • Make it feel real. Real ruins are cluttered (and some Frostgrave tables looks too clean and tidy to me), so I added clutter. Real cities are rarely just one color, so my Frostgrave isn’t mono-colored either. A city full of undead servants and crazy wizards, like Frostgrave before the big freeze, would have a death motif, so I added one. It would also be a weird place, so I tried to make it feel weird.
  • Keep it portable. Except for the battle mat, it all fits in a plastic storage box.

The other parts of the equation are miniatures and storage, which I’ve written about on Yore in the lead-up to this post:

My Frostgrave

I took photos of the city from all four sides, and then took a few “in-the-streets”-style shots to round things out. Weird factoid: I don’t own a table large enough for Frostgrave (although our coffee table is close), hence the carpet.

From all four sides

First view (larger version):

Second view (larger version):

Third view (larger version):

Fourth view (larger version):

Street views

Street view one (larger version):

Street view two (larger version):

Street view three (larger version):

Street view four (larger version):

Looking at the photos, I can see a spot or two where I’ve got a sight-line over 24″, but I have plenty of stuff to drop in or move around to eliminate that. I assume it’s easier to police LOS during setup with two people looking at it, too.

Maybe it’ll feel different in play, but just messing around with it I’m happy with how my Frostgrave turned out. It’s crowded and death-y, with lots of elevation, and there’s plenty of variety to the terrain.

Terrain elements

Hold onto your hat! Here’s everything you see in the pictures above:

  • F.A.T. Mat Alpine 3×3 (paid link): Holy shit are there a lot of battle mat options! But this one was my favorite by far. It’s basically a huge mouse pad, complete with a smooth-but-not-slick play surface and a neoprene bottom that makes it roll up smoothly, lay perfectly flat, and stay in one spot. The graphics are great, and I was surprised how big a difference this made over the piece of plain white felt I used in earlier incarnations. It’s worth it.
  • Battlefield in a Box terrain (the irregularly shaped dark grey ruins): These are out of print, but they’re awesome if you can find them. I have Collapsed Corner (paid link), Fallen Angel, and Buried Monument, and I love all three. Collapsed Corner, which is the tallest and most impressive of the three, is the best value.
  • LEN Design Concepts custom pieces (big grey squares, bridge, wide stairs): I was amazed how hard it was to find “hills” that don’t look out of place in a city, but this Etsy seller offers just the thing. I got in touch with him and asked if he could take the mossy green out of the paint job, and wound up buying four risers with fieldstone sides, a bridge, and two small sets of stairs as a custom order. They’re all prepainted, and the risers in particular are great for giving the city a much-needed “crowded streets” feeling. He was awesome to work with, too.
  • Mage Knight Castle Keep (paid link) and Gatehouse (paid link): These are awesome! (Here’s my Yore post about them.) I’ve got two keeps and one gatehouse in my Frostgrave, and they’re one of the best values in prepainted terrain. They’re out of print too, but often available cheaply (at least for now).
  • A big aquarium decoration (paid link): Aquarium stuff is an interesting option for prepainted terrain, but it’s often out of scale, expensive, or both. This huge head is perfect.
  • War Torn Worlds terrain (smaller square ruins, walls, tiny rubble piles): They’re out of business and this stuff is tricky to find, it’s worth the hunt. It’s made of recycled tire rubber, and it’s tough and looks good. I have 8 Ruinopolis sections, a host of walls (curved, ruined, modern, and fieldstone), and a few rubble piles.
  • Legendary Realms terrain (all the little stuff): This is my clutter — little resin bits and bobs scattered all over the place. (Here’s the Yore post about it.) I have large and small trees, graves, skull piles, seated skeletons, lizard god statues, stairs, knight statues, skeletons on slabs, 2″ bubbling pools, and wooden treasure chests. These folks are currently producing terrain, so for once I’m not recommending something out of production.

I’ve had a lot of fun writing about Frostgrave over the past few weeks, and I can’t wait to actually play it!

Hopefully this breakdown was helpful to you. Thanks for reading!

Categories
Frostgrave Miniatures

Battlefield in a Box Fallen Angel and Buried Monument terrain

I’ve been picking up prepainted terrain for Frostgrave (paid link), and have had good success with Mage Knight Castle pieces and War Torn Worlds ruins and walls. Like those two lines, the segment of the Battlefield in a Box series that’s a good fit for Frostgrave is out of print, but I was able to snag a couple of pieces on Ebay.

Both looked like they’d block LOS and take up a good amount of space — important traits for Frostgrave terrain! — and from what I’d seen online they seemed to be painted up pretty well. Let’s take a peek.

Buried Monument

Of the two I picked up, Buried Monument has the smaller footprint, but it’s more consistently taller than the other (Fallen Angel). (Larger versions: one and two.)

I like the mix of cover, accessible elevation, and atmosphere that this piece brings to the table. It’s sturdy plastic, it sits flat, and the paint job is solid.

Fallen Angel

Fallen Angel is larger than Buried Monument, but it doesn’t entirely block LOS in as many places. It’s got a splash of color — that tile floor — and I like the angel detail. Of the two, it’s the more involved piece. (Larger versions: one and two.)

Another cool thing about that angel? A variation on the same statue appears on one side of Buried Monument, too! That really ties them together as being part of the same ruined city. Neat.

Buddies

Here they are together, in a top-down view:

And from the side, with a 28mm miniature for scale (larger version):

I’m happy with both of these pieces, and I’d love to find the rest of the “Gothic” portion of the Battlefield in a Box line, especially Ruined Fountain and Blasted Terrace.

I’ve spotted a couple more online, but at well above MSRP (fair enough, since they’re out of print). I’ll keep looking, though, because these definitely fit the aesthetics of “my” Frostgrave.

Categories
Frostgrave Miniatures

War Torn Worlds prepainted terrain for Frostgrave

In getting into Frostgrave (paid link) — which I first wrote about here on Yore just a few days ago — I’m basically going from zero to Frostgrave — I don’t have stuff from other games to pilfer to use for this one.

I’m not a minis — or terrain — painter by nature, so along with buying Pathfinder Pawns to use as minis, I also want prepainted terrain.

Which shouldn’t be a problem, right? There has to be tons of prepainted terrain out there . . . right? Not really!

Most of the good options I found are either not ideal for Frostgrave (Dwarven Forge) or are out of print (Battlefield in a Box, which does have tons of non-fantasy stuff, War Torn Worlds, and Terraclips). War Torn Worlds actually appears to be out of business, despite a functional website — their email address bounces, and their phone number is out of service.

So I haunted Ebay and spent a bunch of time poking around in dusty corners online, and I was able to turn up a sizable stash of War Torn Worlds stuff at Wondertrail and a smaller stash at Noble Knight.[1] Wondertrail’s inventory looked suspiciously well-stocked, so I called them to ask what they actually had on hand. They were lovely to work with, and I ordered most of their stock (and Noble Knight’s).

War Torn Worlds ruins

It looks just how I expected: like it’s been sitting in a dusty back corner of a brick-and-mortar hobby store’s inventory for several years. Which is fine by me!

Only the bags were dusty. The terrain inside — which is made primarily of recycled tire rubber — is brand new. The main thing I ordered were sections of Ruinopolis, WTW’s line of modular ruins tiles. They come in three finishes that I’m aware of, and gray and “brownstone” both looked like a good fit for Frostgrave.

Here’s brownstone:

And here’s gray:

Gray says “fantasy ruins” a bit more loudly, but beggars can’t be choosers — and in any case, when I look out my window the buildings I see don’t all match. To my eye, the gray and brown tiles go just fine together.

I also bought most of their walls, which include large cutstone, small battle-scarred cutstone, and small battle-scarred modern (WTW calls these “flex ruins”):

I figured that in a game with spells like Grenade — not to mention Frostgrave’s weird denizens and phenomena — battle-scarred walls, even modern ones, wouldn’t look out of place.

They look pretty sharp up close, too.

All in all, I’m thrilled with the War Torn Worlds line. I can’t wait to see how it looks on my battle mat (a square of white felt, at least to start with), and mingled with my other terrain.

In addition to looking good, it’s also light and durable. That’ll make it easy to transport and forgiving of bumps, which I like.

It’s a real shame that it’s not more readily available, and — assuming I’m right — that War Torn Worlds went out of business. Reasonably priced prepainted terrain is a boon to folks like me who can’t be arsed to paint things, but who still enjoy miniatures games.

[1] I also found some good Battlefield deals, which haven’t arrived yet, and one or two other things. I’ll probably wind up posting about them here sometime down the road.