I was supposed to play my first official campaign HATE Club game back in Dec last year, but illness and holiday commitments conspired against being able to arrange a suitable date until this month.
This was originally planned as a two player game, but as other people in the campaign had struggled to find time, we ended up making it a three player game – which of course only added to the chaos!
Scenario 1:The Mausoleum is based around all of the warbands trying to make a treasure grab from a central Mausoleum building, while there is a constant stream of new NPC skeleton reinforcements being animated each turn.
Since a good chunk of the experience gains for your Wizard are based around getting your loot off board, a mutual pact of non-aggression and a gentleman’s agreement to evenly split the treasure between the players could work in theory. However, in practice gamers are usually double-dealing backstabbers so peace was never likely to last very long, plus there there is a significant experience point bonus for your Wizard getting his hands dirty and taking out the other player’s warband members so there is an incentive to be aggressive.
Due to a combination of luck and skulking in the first half of the game, I managed to avoid significant casualties as the other players waged bloody war over the most valuable treasure – I merely settled on skirting around the edges nabbing a few minor treasures and then making sure that both my Necromancer and loot were safely off board. In the latter half of the game, I decided to gamble a bit more with my Apprentice and remaining warband members to carry out a desperate dash to assassinate one of my opponent’s Wizard & Apprentice just in time to prize out a bit more treasure from their dying hands.
I would say my initial impressions of Frostgrave aren’t too different this time around – it is a fun, anarchic beer and pretzels kind of game. Since you are resolving most attacks & damage with a single d20 roll the results of most combats will be pretty ‘swingy’ – there are things you can do to try and stack things in your favour, but this certainly isn’t a wargame that should be played competitively. You simply aren’t rolling enough dice to get anything resembling a normal distribution of probabilities. Victory is most likely do to knowing which combinations of spells work well together, knowing exactly when to use them to maximum effect and getting a bit of luck with your casting rolls.
It does make me wonder if the game engine could be adapted for use with Inq28 style games, but most of the flavour comes from the spells and it would be quite a lot of work to retool and port be suitably thematic to 40k, let alone to be vaguely balanced.