A Wildwoods Campaign Prologue
Recently Joe McCullough released the latest expansion for Frostgrave – The Wildwoods – and of course we promptly decided to run a campaign.
With summer at the door and the prospect of yet another heatwave (thank you global warming) we tought mounting a chilly expedition into the Wildwoods whould be a swell idea.
Upping our game
This is a long time project for Frostgrave.
Our campaign project consists of two major elements:
- We want to play the six scenarios from the Wildwoods book. These scenarios will dictate the main story arc of our project.
- Between the different campaign scenarios, we will play some one-off games or, if in the mood, solo games. We like to imagine, that our wizards travel form one scenario location another. In between, they clash repeatedly or (if solo) have to brave the many dangers of the Wildwoods.
As we travel from skirmish to skirmish, we will fill out a hex map and explore, or rather imagine, the vastness of Felstad’s hinterland. Eventually we’ll have to find or come up with some hexcrawl rules.
We will record our travels in diary form, a small homage to the explorers of old, and publish them as a series of posts. For your amusement and delectation.
Icy Dead People
A Wildwoods prologue game
Our first game will pitch the perennial enemies Fizban and Arthrose as they leave the ruins of Felstad and head into the Wildwoods. We didn’t want to start with the 1st of the supplement’s scenarios. Instead, we decided to make up a small one-shot game in order to test some of the new rules.
We swiftly came up with a small scenario, put on our warm hats and braved the “cold”, on the balcony on a way too warm July evening.
Frostgrave has become rather crowded these days. Everyday new upstart mages venture into frozen
Felstad in search for treasure, fame, and arcane wisdom beyond mortal imagination. Damn the democratization of magic! It seems like any village herb witch or petty alchemist can style themselves grand mage of the order of LookhowawesomeIam… ugh…
Frostgrave has become too crowded these days.
Luckily, you encountered a shady trader, in an equally shady tavern, trying to sell you a map of Felstad prior to the big cataclysm. But, you already bought five equally useless maps. Just before you wanted to dismiss the trader, you noticed something peculiar on the map. A small indication at the corner of the map: an arrow pointing at the city’s old hinterland, the so-called Wildwoods, and the inscription “Temple of – scribbles -“.
Intrigued by the opportunity of the new, you decided to mount an expedition into these Wildwoods. Having prepared supply and equipment (and bought better maps), you sent out an vanguard party, while you finish any open business in the city.
As you approached the rendez-vous with the vanguard party, you notice another warband bound for the same direction. You curse as you realize that your opponent heads for the same mountain pass as you, the gate to Felstad’s hinterland and its many treasure.
But as you led the remainder of the warband to the cargo transport, something stirred beneath the ice. The map must have been incomplete: the icy plateau once stood a small bastion. And its former garrison rises again to defend Felstad from intruders.
The Wildwoods have become rather crowded these days…
Both warbands are set up in the corners of the same edge. The opposite edge would be the exit. Each warband deployed their cargo transport and three models at 10″ from the exit edge. Several undead at the back of the warbands would be another incentive to move very fast. The undead creatures would rise from their icy graves at the end of each turn.
The goal of the game is to beat the opponent by leaving the battlefield at the table edges’ center first (above mentioned pass). Both warbands will start in the corners of the opposite table edge.
Their respective cargo transports are deployed closer to the exit edge with a vanguard party of three soldiers. The slippery ice terrain, the relative slowness of cargo transports, the increasing number of undead and the limit of 4 or maybe 5 (4+ on a D6) rounds make this scenario an intense race against time.
Every second move action asked for a 12+ check on a D20. If failed, the figure would slip on the icy ground and hurt itself in the process by losing 1 life points and slide 2″ in a random direction. The game turned out to be worse than an ice skating park. And most hit points were lost this way. As written in the Wildwoods expansion, terrain is now a dangerous game element. Sadly most of Fizban’s men wore the wrong shoes and slipped on the ice. (TN12 is difficult to reach it seems). Thimothé, the Orc thug wasn’t lucky either…
Unfazed, the major bulk of Arhtrose’s warband ran for their cargo. If they were too slow, it’d be doubtful if they could assist the vanguard party in evacuating their transport.
Arthrose’s soldiers marched confidently over slippery ice towards their cargo sled.
A gentlemanly act of sportsmanship
Shielded by the wall spell, Arthrose and his warband were invisible to the undead. Thus they headed for the only opponent they could see: Fizban and his merry men.
Glomb!, Fizban’s Barbarian friend, instead of running towards their cart, decided to make a little detour to beat the “living” crap out of 3 undead soldiers. Bad idea as it turned out. The armored skeleton hit Glomb with a 20+. Removing his Armour of 10 left him pretty much bleeding in the snow. Fizban, being right behind him cast a Heal spell with 1 on the D20. Suffice to say, he wouldn’t risk sacrificing his precious life points to safe his friend.
In an act of unexpected comradry, Fizban’s opponent Arthrose casts his signature spell, Wall, between Glomb! and the undead, thus allowing Fizban to run up to his friend to successfully heal him .
Fizban and Glomb! secretly wished Arthrose and his soldiers to make it safely to the edge of the Wildwoods.
Waking the dead
One of Fizban’s warhounds playing decoy to lure away undead abominations.
A zombie ambushed Fizban’s cargo on its way into the Wildwoods. Time for the Illusionist’s apprentice to step in and cast Transpose on it and his thug. That way his friends could deal with this undead abomination.
Alberto was pretty busy transposing around.
The race is on
In round 3 and 4, the race was on. Both warband were running, or trying their best to do so, for the forest edge and the starting point of the mountain pass. Slowly, but steadily, would our two opponents pull and push their cargoes towards the Wildwoods. Arthrose and his soldiers were a bit more skilled and motivated to do so. Fizban’s men would constantly slip on the treacherous ice shelf.
New horizons ahead
The game ended after round 4. We rolled to see if we’d run another turn, but the dice-gods gifted us with less then 4 on a D6.
Arthrose, happy to have reached the relative safety of the nearby woods before his opponent, is craving a strong, bone warming drink from the distant Ghost Archipelago.
Arthrose and his warband, having reached the Wildwoods (table edge) first, will get a free deployment activation in the beginning of the 1st scenario in the Wildwoods campaign The Tower of Storms. No wizards or soldiers were harmed in the process.
Thus begins the long and perilous journey to the Wildwoods east of Frostgrave. Soon our wizards would emerge on a vast plain of never ending marshes they would need to cross.