Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Frostgrave setup for £10


I’m back again with a little post about a frugal gaming project that got me painting again. Frostgrave is a little game published by Osprey that has crept onto my radar largely due to Instagram. When I saw the hardcover rules on Amazon UK for £10, I snapped them up. The title is a little deceptive, as I only spent this £10 for the rules, already owning everything else I have used… Although I did pay for the supplies and figures long ago.

At first I thought I could use my (never opened) Reaper Bones Kickstarter package for miniatures, as it is a small skirmish game that only requires 6-10 figures for a starting faction. The requirements are basic fantasy so will work with just about any figure range. “Hey, use figures I already own, that’s cheap!” I thought. Then I started thinking about terrain. The Bolt action plastic hamlet looked perfect.

But after much planning and deliberation, I realised that getting into 28mm was just going to be expensive and a storage hassle… Not exactly news, but I resolved to stick to my 15mm guns instead. The Bones went onto eBay and I dug through my unpainted figure supply. Copplestone castings 15mm range still outshines all others in my mind, so I immediately tested an idea for snow basing on the ones I already had painted. The method is incredibly simple, it’s just the same texturing paste (acrylic artist medium) I use for basing, only unpainted.


All these terrain pieces were made out of cork tile scrap cut into bricks and superglued together. I also used a couple of old 28mm 40k resin ruined walls I had lying around. Coffee grounds were glued to the MDF bases as ground texture. Once painted, a little winter static grass and clump foliage was applied to add interest, then the acrylic medium was applied with an old brush to create the snow effect. Crucially, I didn’t have to buy anything to make this stuff, as I already had all of it on hand.














Of interest is the fast painting method I used. Each piece was base-coated in burnt-umber craft paint. Then the stone areas were roughly drybrushed with space wolf grey. A light drybrushing of pale grey, then a little white finished the job.
The brown base coat really adds a natural feel, plus has the added bonus of making the ground easy to paint with just a light drybrushing of mid brown. I found it really interesting that departing from accepted wisdom (which would have been a black, dark grey, light grey progression) not only got me there faster, but had a better outcome.

The base board is my old 16” framed square with a Zuzzy mat in it. I dry brushed a bunch of light grey and white all over it to look snowy. It is quite possible this will be too small, but hey, I already had it so it was free. It's perfect for Open Combat (another yet-untried set of rules I have in PDF form) so won't be a total waste if it doesn't work out for Frostgrave.

I’ll possibly order some barbarian archers at some stage, as I do lack ranged troops. Nevertheless, my collection has plenty of other figures to paint up in the meantime, certainly enough to test the game and see if it’s worth continuing with. If not, no biggie… It was only a tenner after all! I'd promise to come back with a play-test, but honestly I don't know when that will occur. Maybe soon, maybe not :)

The rules are interesting. While the theme of the game is loosely like Mordheim, it is mechanically very different in just about all areas. The meat of the game is actually spell interaction as far as I can tell, and it has a much more modern feel with it's activation sequence and opposed d20 roll system. I should add that while I was a huge Necromunda fan, I never enjoyed Mordheim at all, which is further testament to my interest in Frostgrave.

Til' next time!

34 comments:

  1. Magnificent. Its certainly quite popular at the moment.

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    Replies
    1. Cheers Simon! I think it's popularity is a good example of how a tightly focussed product is more accessible to the public at large, as opposed to generic "toolkit" systems. Also, you only have to buy one nicely produced book.

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  2. Holy crap, I kinda hate you. I wish I could "knock together" stuff like this. I suppose I should try at some point,. that chunky block style doesn't actually look hard, though it's more fantasy than sci-fi in nature.

    One thing, were ALL the grey parts base coated with dark brown? Because it really doesn't show through, they actually look bluish in hue. You did say heavily drybrushed, admittedly.

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    Replies
    1. Yep, the whole thing basecoated in Burnt umber. Space wolf "grey" has a strong blue feel though, and covers very well. There is brown showing in the cracks and crevices, but it just looks like natural shading. I was as surprised as you!

      The trick to fast builds like these is not to plan. I literally just carved the bases, then hacked up a bunch of bricks, then started glueing them together. Ruins are about the easiest thing to model!

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  3. Marvelous stuff. Thanks for showing your work and detailing the construction.

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    Replies
    1. Cheers Dave! I think it's easy to get overwhelmed by product marketing in our hobby. You really don't need to spend a lot of money to enjoy miniature gaming if you embrace a little creativity.

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  4. Very nice; good approach to snow!

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    Replies
    1. Cheers Barks! I have used glass powder based products in the past to good effect, but this is much safer and easier to deal with.

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  5. Super nice modeling technique as always, Jacker. Looks great. If I didn't have tinnitus, I would be able to hear the strong wind whistling through the ruins, the shouts and cries of battle, the clanging of swords, and the thunk of battle axes!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Jay, high praise from a master modeller such as yourself!

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    2. Jay... maybe this will cut through your tinnitus ;)

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  6. Great looking terrain and at a price I like!

    Tony

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    Replies
    1. Cheers Tony, I do love a nice bit of free scenery!

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  7. Hi SJ- it's nice to see you are still knocking out the good stuff! I love your 'casual' approach to terrain building, because it throws up such great results!

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  8. Got to paint up some 28mm figures for a club Frostgrave game, but very inspiring terrain work for the .15mm I plan to do at home. Thanks, as ever!

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  9. Smashing terrain and well painted miniatures, nice to see. Frostgrave is a really nicely produced book makes you want to get stuck in, am putting together a warband as I type.... sort of :-)

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  10. Brilliance!!!! Fantastic work, and love the price point!

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  11. Great looking scenery - and it's hard to argue with the price.

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  12. Great looking scenery - and it's hard to argue with the price.

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  13. Looks great. I tried making some of my own and found the cork absorbed the super-glue and so didn't stick. I used some contact adhesive instead which worked fine. Structures are a bit fragile though and I would like to have transport them. (I normally use plasticard for nearly everything as with solvent-based gluing they are rock solid.) How

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