Friday, 30 June 2017

Review: Spellcaster: The Frostgrave Magazine #1

I am a big fan of Frostgrave, and as soon as I saw that Joseph McCullough published a new online magazine for the game, I had to buy it.

My painted Apprentice from Frostgrave. While he is not necessarily pertinent to the review, he is here to denote that the article is related to Frostgrave.  :)

So what is in this magazine?
  • New rules to add firearms to both the original Frostgrave and Ghost Archipelago (3 Pages).
  • A solo adventure to run with your captain, alone (4 Pages).
  • Rules for adding mounts to Frostgrave (3 Pages).
  • A section about making your Knights from specific Knightly Orders (2 Pages).
  • A new Mini-Campaign called Catacombs of the Everbright (3 Pages).

When I saw the contents list, I was extremely excited. The rules for mounts and firearms is specifically what encouraged me to buy this product and these rules did not let me down.

The rules for firearms are very welcome. While firearms are not officially in the Frostgrave world, these rules allow me to use pretty much any fantasy models I want to run the game.

Before this release, I ran my gunners on the table as proxy Crossbowmen. This set of rules is nice because it adds differentiators between the two technologies. Compared to crossbows, black powder weapons are less accurate, pierce armour better, can attract random encounter creatures (because they are loud), and have a chance to misfire (perhaps even damaging their user). The rules present three variants of firearms: the pistol, the musket, and the blunderbuss.

Personally, I would have made guns a little more powerful, but the fact that they are not means that they don't unbalance the game. As an interesting note, it costs more to buy a musket for your Captain or Wizard than it does to hire a Musketeer.

Likewise, the rules for mounts are also extremely welcome. When someone is riding a mount, it provides that model with bonuses and the two models count as one profile. If the rider gets off the mount for some reason or the mount switches sides (due to a Control Animal or Mind Control spell), then there are separate statistics for the mount and rider. These are rules that I wanted to see in Forgotten Pacts, so I am glad that they are in this publication.

The Knightly Orders rules are neat and will add flavour to your warband should you choose to use them. Basically, they make your Knights weaker in one area but give them a bonus in another.

Alone in the Crypt, the solo-mission in this book, is quite neat and would be an enjoyable way to try and advance the Captain up a level. It is a mission where the Captain is your only model from your warband on the table. It is a solo mission for your solo Captain. :)

Finally, this magazine also comes with a Mini-Campaign called the Catacombs of Everbright. This is the same adventure that Osprey Games ran with the help of Death Ray Designs, UrbanMatz and Ash Barker from Guerrilla Miniature Games at Adepticon 2017. The missions are neat and give some new adventures to partake in should one be interested.

I bought this product through DriveThruRPG.com and I am very happy with my purchase.

The magazine itself has a lovely cover, but the artwork does not continue into the magazine. I would imagine that is simply because Osprey Publishing is not involved in this title so it did not receive the same treatment for art. That said, there is some great content in this magazine and I can't wait to use Black Powder Weapons in both Frostgrave and Ghost Archipelago!

To be honest, these magazine should help extend what I can use as forces in Ghost Archipelago as rules for black powder will allow me to use my miniatures from Blood & Plunder in both games.

If you are interested in checking out the Spellcaster Magazine for yourself, head on over to DriveThruRPG and buy yourself a copy. I am glad that I did.

DriveThruRPG.com

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

Must Contain Minis has a sales affiliate relationship with DriveThruRPG and the Wargame Vault. If you make a purchase from either of those sites after using one of the links on this site, a portion of the sales goes to supporting Must Contain Minis. 

Cthulhu Mythos - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com

Wargame Vault

Showcase: Vastaryous from Sword & Sorcery by Ares Games

In this post, we are taking a look at Vastaryous for the Sword and Sorcery Board Game by Ares Games. This figure was one of the Kickstarter add-ons, so I do not know if he will be available on retail markets, but he certainly looks cool!

Vastaryous from the Vastaryous's Lair Kickstarter Add-On from the Sword and Sorcery Kickstarter. Image used with permission from Ullr's Table. 

Robert Morris of Ullr's Table painted this model for one of his clients. He did a great job and his client should be fairly happy with the result. All of the images in today's post are from Ullr's Table and used with Rob's permission.

For those that don't know about the new Sword & Sorcery Board Game, it was just delivered to its Kickstarter backers recently and it should be out for retail release this July. The game is a cooperative Dungeon Crawler with some interesting new concepts. From what I have seen online, the game looks awesome and it has been getting excellent reviews. I personally don't own a copy, but I hope to show off some more Sword & Sorcery miniatures painted by Ullr's Table.

Now lets take a closer look at Vastaryous. This fairly sizable Dragon / Hydra comes with a good amount of detail and looks very menacing. I bet he is going to look fantastic on the table. Even without paint, he looks good.

There is some very nice details on this miniature, especially considering it is from a Board Game.

After giving him some paint, Vastaryous looks even better!


This miniature looks great. 

There is a lot of detail in this large miniature.
The players had best run! 

I wonder how well the heroes will contend with this guy. 

The Vastaryous miniature looks great and I can hardly wait to get some photos of the heroes from Sword & Sorcery for this site.

I would like to quickly thank Ullr's Table for sending in these pictures for Must Contain Minis to showcase.

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!


Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Runewars Battle Report in a Snowfield

Recently, I played my first game of Runewars by Fantasy Flight Games.

Ardus versus a Golem and bock of Spearmen
At the peak of the action, the Waiqar (Undead) Leader, Ardus, takes on the Daqan (Human) Spearman and Rune Golem simultaneously. Ardus proved to be a melee monster in this game!!! 

Now let's go back to the start of this action. Before this final (and desperate) fight, we had both sides set up the board. The box comes with some area terrain, but chose to use some other terrain instead.
For the mission, we went with the complete and total elimination of the enemy's army.

Below is an image of how the field looked after deployment.

Table Deployment in Runewars the Miniatures Game
My opponent played the Waiqar on the opposite side of the table and I played as the Daqan on the side closest to the camera.

Once you deploy, you use the dials to "program" what each of your units will do for the round. On the left side of the dial is the action and to the right is the bonus or adjustment to make to that action.

Runewars AAR
Above is a picture of the two armies with the action dials behind each unit on the table.

After the actions are "programmed," players go through the action dials in order from low to high. In this game, both sides advanced their forces right off the top with the Daqan Cavalry rushing in perhaps a little too quickly.

Runewars Battle Report
The Daqan Cavalry go deep on the right hand side of the table to just inches from some enemy units. 

Runewars Battle Report
Have they taken on more than they can handle?

On the other side of the table, the Human Leader (Kari) takes a shot with her bow at the Carrion Lancer but fails to damage the creature.

Shooting in Runewars
Kari takes a shot at the Carrion Lancer with her bow but fails to cause any damage.
Back to the other side of the table and the Cavalry charge the enemy.

Who will win this fight?
The Daqan Cavalry now charge in on the Waiqar Archers.

Cavalry charge archers in Runewars
They kill two soldiers and cause some fear. The fear cards drawn have no discernible effect on the unit. 

Using TerraTiles by RAINN Studios for Runewars by Fantasy Flight games
The Daqan Spearmen Charge into the Carrion Lancer. The Carrion Lancer retaliates killing a couple of infantry men. 

Over on the other side of the table, the Daqan Cavalry continue to push hard into the Waiqar Archers.

Runewars AAR FFG
The Cavalry kill four more archers and cause a ton of fear.
Runewars Battle Report
The Archers slide back from the Cavalry. The Golem charges the Reanimates (Undead Soldiers) from the side flank and Kari joins in the fight with the Carrion Lancer.

On the next turn, my Cavalry mopped up the Archers and the Waiqar Hero (Ardus) slams into the rear of the Cavalry.

Runewars AAR
Ardus slams into the rear flank of the Daqan Cavalry.

Runewars the Miniatures Game AAR
Heroes hit very hard in this game. Ardus kills 3 of the four horsemen in just one attack.

AAR
On the other side of the table, Kari hits the Carrion Lancer hard.

After Action Report
The Golem continues his onslaught. 

Terratiles miniature wargame Terrain
The Human Spearmen finish off the Lancer.

At this point, the game is not looking good for the Waiqar. At the same time, I was a little nervous because my Cavalry was near dead.

Daqan Spearmen turn
Predictably, Ardus killed my Calvary. I maneuvered Kari and the Spearmen so that they could engage Ardus in a turn or two.
Kari vs Ardus
Kari fires an arrow at Ardus and Ardus then charges her. The Spearmen are in behind trying to figure out how two charge Ardus with Kari in the way.

Terratiles and Runewars
The spearmen slide over while the Rune Golem eliminates the Reanimates that he was fighting. 

Runewars After Action Report
Kari and Ardus continue to trade blows while the Golem and Spearmen maneuver to charge in on Ardus. 

The Heroes in this game are super strong and durable. The two exchange blows and eventually Ardus defeats Kari. Not to give up, the Spearmen and Golem charge in on Ardus!

Ardus is winning this fight
The Rune Golem charges into the flank of Ardus. 

Ardus is amazing in this game session
Ardus turns to face the Rune Golem and the Spearmen charge into Ardus's new flank.

Battle Report - Runewars
On the next round, Ardus kills the Golem and the Spearmen continue their attack.

Waiqar vs Daqan
Ardus turns and meets his new attackers, but it is too late.

Daqan Victory in Runewars the Miniatures Game
The Humans take him out.

The Daqan win this hard fought battle. Near the end, when I had three units left to my opponent's one, I thought the game was mine. The degree to which victory changed during the last rounds of the game surprised me. Ardus is truly a monster in hand-to-hand combat. He bested Kari, killed my Golem, and eliminated my Cavalry. He took out every unit in my army except for the Spearmen.

Overall, this was a fun battle and I like how the rules work. For those wondering, the terrain I used for this game are TerraTiles by RAINN Studios. The Blue Rune Star in the middle of the board looks great for Runewars, but is a Kickstarter exclusive - it is not in the retail version of the box.

Special thanks goes out to Asmodee for sending me Runewars. I plan to publish one more Battle Report of the game before posting my review.

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!


Discloser: Asmodee provided Must Contain Minis with an Copy of Runewars for Review Purposes.

Must Contain Minis is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Review: Ulterior Motives for Frostgrave

A while ago, Osprey Games sent Must Contain Minis an advanced copy of Ulterior Motives. For those that don't know, Ulterior Motives is a card based expansion for Frostgrave that adds extra player objectives.

A Review of Ulterior Motives
Must Contain Minis Reviews Frostgrave: Ulterior Motives.

As one can see, Ulterior motives comes in a nice little package. Compared to the books, it is actually quite small.

Ulterior Motives vs Frostgrave Core Rule Book
Ulterior Motives is quite a bit smaller than the books, but is a welcome addition to the Frostgrave lineup. 

Pricewise, this is the most expensive expansion for Frostgrave to date. It comes in at $35 Canadian ($26 American) while the core rule book runs for $28.95 Canadian ($24.95 American). With that price difference, one has to wonder what comes in the box. The box comes with 40 objective cards to expand the game. Each card has plenty of text outlining new goals for players to achieve. Is it worth the $35? I think that is up to each individual player to figure out on their own - but I am a fan.

To use Ulterior Motives, each player draws a card and that card will describe what the player needs to do to gain extra treasure and/or experience (in addition to carrying treasures off the board). Below are two sample cards.

Sample Frostgrave Ulterior Motives Card
A "Secret" objective where the opponent does not know what you have to complete. Red Herrings are added as elements to keep your opponent guessing as to what are your true motives.

Sample Ulterior Motives Card for Frostgrave
A "revealed" objective card where both players know what goal you are working towards.

As one can see, there is no artwork on these cards. Instead, there is a good amount of text geared towards the game. Some of the cards are revealed to the other players while some of them are kept secret.

The ones that are kept secret have something called "Red Herrings." These Red Herrings are objects placed on the table to help obscure what hidden mission a player is trying to accomplish. To use many of the cards in this product, one needs specific pieces of terrain. The items needed include: an Arcane Disc (flat stone about 2" in diameter), a Gateway, a Pit, a Runic Stone (like a monolith or gravestone), a Sarcophagus, a Statue, a Trapdoor, and a Zombie

North Star Military Figures makes terrain specific to this expansion, but one could easily make their own objective markers or use proxy pieces from other companies.

Overall, I like this expansion. It adds an extra level of complexity and uncertainty to the game in that players are not trying to achieve the same objectives. In fact, I like the idea of separate objectives so much that I did a homemade version of Ulterior Motives for the Frostgrave demo games I ran at Hotlead and Broadsword.

Something I find interesting is that one of the instruction cards states that Ulterior Motives is just a starting point and it encourages players to create their own cards.

Quality wise, the product is excellent. It comes in a great little box and the cards look good. There have been a few complaints on the web that the boarders on the cards printed unevenly, and one can even see a sampling of that problem on the first sample card in this article, "Rest in Peace." To me, this issue is not a concern - but others hold a different opinion.


Who I would Recommend Ulterior Motives to...


I would recommend Ulterior Motives for anyone that has played Frostgrave for a while and wants to expand on the game. Ulterior Motives is the type of product that breathes new life into missions that one has already played. It takes Frostgrave and turns it into a game about more than just collecting treasure and carrying it off the map. Ulterior Motives could be used for the base game and most of the campaign books too, which makes it a highly useful expansion.

My feeling is that this product is right for Veteran and Experienced players. Beginners would likely enjoy it too, but I recommend that they work through some of the other Frostgrave campaigns before moving into this expansion.

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!



Discloser: Osprey Publishing provided Must Contain Minis with an Advanced Copy of Frostgrave: Ulterior Motives for Review Purposes.

Must Contain Minis is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Thoughts on Blood & Plunder Kickstarter (No Peace Beyond the Line)

Blood and Plunder is a Historical Based Pirate game set in the Caribbean during the 17th Century. The game looks gorgeous and it shines through in both Firelock Games' website and their Kickstarter page for their newest campaign (No Peace Beyond the Line).

Logo from the Blood and Plunder Kickstarter Page. Used with permission from Firelock Games. 

Now this is a Kickstarter Campaign that I have been looking forward to for a while. The lowest pledge with miniatures is the Crew Pledge at $75. This pledge comes with one box of 25 models from one of four sets that the pledger can choose, an extra model and the new book. The best value pledge (at a lower price) seems to be the Captain Pledge at $110. This comes with all of the items from the $75 pledge plus a Piragua (a small dug-out sail boat), a deck of cards for the game and a legendary figure miniature.

For me, the Captain Pledge is the way to go, but I have a buddy asking to go in on the Duelling Captain's Pledge together to save some money. The Duelling Captain's Pledge comes with two of everything except the new book. That would work for our needs.

The difficult part (once we decide which pledge to give), is deciding which box set of figures to select and whether to upgrade the ships. Below is a scale comparison of the ships. This is from Firelock Games' Facebook Page.

A scale comparison of the available Blood & Plunder ships. Image taken from Firelock Games' Facebook Page with permission from Firelock Games. 

Originally, I was a little sad that the Piragua is the base ship that comes with this Kickstarter. I was hoping for something the size of a Sloop or Brigantine. After looking at the above image though, I notice it is almost the size of a Sloop. It can actually hold 25 men!

An image of a Piragua from the newest Kickstarter Page. Image used with permission from Firelock Games.

This newest campaign seems aimed towards those that already own Blood & Plunder rather than new comers to the game. The reason that I say this is that none of the pledge levels come with a basic rulebook. The basic rulebook can be added as an add-on though and I would suggest that people check it out to see if it makes sense to order it through the Kickstarter. One could order it now through Firelock Games' website (or your favourite retailer) to get it today, or one could order it through the Kickstarter for a small discount and save some on shipping and VAT fees.

That said, there are some cool pledge levels here and lots of cool stuff for both the newcomer and veteran. If budget were no issue, I would love to go in with an Admiral Pledge and getting everything. I think this would be a really fun game to take to the local historical club and host some games. Imagine how impressive it would be to field a Fluyt and Galleon on a table to draw people to the game. :)

I really like the Fluyt. It is bigger than it looks and clocks in at near the same size as the Frigate - perhaps even a little larger. The Frigate was the largest ship from the last campaign and sports more cannons, but if I get the Dutch, I really want to get the Fluyt with them.

The European Land Forces and the Pirates and Privateers Starter Boxes also interest me. I think in the end, I will be purchasing the Pirates and Privateers Starter Box with a Piragua as my Captain Pledge. I also plan to add-on one Long Boat from the existing line to go with my Sloop and some Canoas.

With the Pledge level above and the French Bundle that I already own, I will have a horde of small boats to take against a larger opponent or two small forces for demo games.

My buddy is looking to get the Dutch or the Native Caribbeans, but will be taking just the smaller Piragua rather than buying a Flyut.

How about you, have you pledged into the newest Blood & Plunder Kickstarter?

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!



Thursday, 22 June 2017

Unboxing Blood & Plunder - French Bundle

A while ago at a convention, I came across the prettiest game that I have seen in a while. This game was Blood & Plunder by Firelock Games. After playing, I reached out to Firelock Games and they sent me a Blood & Plunder French Nation Bundle.

Blood & Plunder French Nation Starter Set
Above is part of the French Nation Bundle. It also came with a Sloop Sailing Ship. 
The Bundle comes with 25 French Nation Miniatures, a Sloop Sailing Ship, and a deck of French Nation Playing Cards. They also sent along a rule book for me to read through.

The minis within all look very nice. Below is how they came out of the box - without any of the flashing removed.

The French Captain / Commander.
8 Flibustiers. These guys are good at shooting and love to get in close for a fight.

8 Milice des Cara├»bes. These are your standard infantry with plug style bayonet. 

4 Marins. These sailors love to get in on a close quarters battle. 

4 Boucaniers. These are the French Sharpshooters.
Also in the Bundle is a Sloop.

The Sloop comes with a card, Mast, Rigging Materials and Cannons.

The ship looks great even before it is painted.

Lots of space on this boat and this is the smallest ship that Firelock Games makes at this point.

I am really looking forward to seeing how good this ship will look once it gets painted. I still haven't decided whether I am going to give these to a commission painter or do them myself. Right now, I am leaning towards a commission painter as I really want these models to look gorgeous as it is gorgeous minis that drew me to this game!

A picture of a French crew at the Blood & Plunder Demo game at Broadsword. These ships and models look great all painted.

In addition to the Bundle, Firelock Games sent me a copy of the rulebook and this book is well produced.

The cover of the Rule book.

The back of the book.

I would like to thank Firelock Games for sending along this French Starter Bundle. It is excellent and I am really enjoying looking at what is in their newest Kickstarter campaign.

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

Discloser: Firelock Games provided Must Contain Minis with the above products for Review Purposes.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...