Monday, 9 October 2017

Frostgrave: The Wizard vs The Warden

This comparative post compares Wizards, from the Original Frostgrave, to Wardens, of the new Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago. This analysis is at the figurative level with observations straight out of the rule books. It does not represent an actual battle. No Wizards or Wardens were hurt in the making of this post.  :)

Warning... This post contains light spoilers to both Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago and the Novel Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago: Tales of the Lost Isles. The article is also meant for people already familiar with Frostgrave, but I will explain things so others can also follow along.

This is my Apprentice from Frostgrave.

Special thanks goes out to Osprey Games for sending Must Contain Minis an Advanced Copy of Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago and the Novel Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago: Tales of the Lost Isles.

The novel I have slowly been reading through and enjoying. Some authors I like better than others, but that all comes down to personal taste. In one of the stories, a Warden casts a spell with no apparent effect, minutes later a lightening strike comes down and kills a man. At the end of the story, it was clear this lightning strike was intentional. At the time, I thought that there wouldn't be specific rules to recreate this situation, but I was wrong.

When I read the Ghost Archipelago rule book I came across a spell called Lightening Strike. It captures the essence of the above description perfectly. With this spell, you choose a target (within 20" and line-of-sight) and at the end of the targets next round, a +6 lighting blast comes down and strikes that character. When I read this spell description, I thought - "my goodness, they got it." That description captures perfectly the effects of the lightening spell in the novel!

Now that Lightening Strike spell is cool, but there is a comparative spell in the original Frostgrave.

In comparison to the original Frostgrave, the Lightening Strike spell matches up well to Elemental Bolt. Both have the same casting value, but Elemental Bolt works immediately, is a +8 attack spell, and a limitless range (within line of site). 

It is clear to me when I compared the two spells, that the Original Frostgrave spell is much superior to the new one in Ghost Archipelago. I then went through the rest of the spells to see if this trend is uniform between the two books. For the most part, it is. The Wizard Frostgrave spells are simpler to work out and are more powerful than Warden spells in Ghost Archipelago.

Many of the spells in Frostgrave have counter parts in Ghost Archipelago (GA). Generally, the spells in Frostgrave are more powerful. Below is a small list of some more spell comparisons.
  • Envenom from GA vs Poison Dart in the Original (FO). Both spells have the same effect and cause the victim to lose and action per round. The delivery method, however, is different. Poison Dart is a ranged attack with an infinite range (within line of site) while Envenom is cast on a weapon and the next attack from that weapon that causes damage also delivers the poison. 
  • Earthen Wall from GA is similar to Wall in FO. Both construct a temporary obstical but Wall (from FO) produces a larger obstacle and has a slight chance to disappearing each round. Earthen Wall (GA) creates a wall that doesn't disappear but can be destroyed by an opponent succeeding in a Fight roll against it. Earthen Wall is easier to cast, but not as powerful as Wall.
  • Projectile in GA is similar to Bone Dart in FO. Bone Dart is easier to cast and has a stronger shoot modifier. Projectile (if it succeeds) causes the same amount of damage as Bone Dart.
  • Cloud Cover in GA is similar to Call Storm. In this case though, Cloud Cover could be arguably more powerful than the counter part spell in FO. Cloud Cover limits the range of line of site while Call Storm creates a universal shooting penalty. Thinking about it, Cloud Cover can be more powerful if you are far away from the target (it reduces line of site) while Call Storm is better if you are within range (it produces a hit penalty to ranged attacks). 
  • Wind Walk (GA) is like Leap (FO) in that they both create extra movement. Wind Walk, however, affects only the caster and has a shorter range.
  • Mist (GA) is like Fog (FO), but Fog obscures the battlefield better by blocking line of site. Mist does not block like of site but instead provides a +3 fight bonus to avoiding a ranged attack from any attack that goes through the spell.   

As you can see from the small sampling above, many of the spells have similar effects between the two books, but the spells in the Original Frostgrave seem more powerful. I find that the difference in spell effects instantly means that the Frostgrave Wizard more powerful than the Warden in most cases.

As an interesting note, the spell effects in GA add more conditions and complications to the spells (such as Lightning Strike hitting its target at the end of the target's turn). These new conditions make the spells different (and perhaps more strategic) than those in Frostgrave and should lead to more advanced game play where players use their Wardens as support characters rather than as the main power force in a warband.

Statistics wise, the Warden is more powerful than an Apprentice, but not as powerful as a Wizard.

From this quick analysis, I believe that the Original Frostgrave Wizard is much more powerful than the Warden. Even the Apprentice might be more powerful than a Warden simply because the Original Frostgrave Spell effects seem more powerful than the Warden's.

The next obvious question is who is more powerful - The Heritor or the Wizard?   :)

Hopefully everyone enjoyed this quick article about the Warden versus the Wizard.

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!


If you haven't already, be sure to check out my other articles about Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago. We currently have one article about the crews in Ghost Archipelago and another about the use of boats in the game.

Disclosure: Osprey Publishing provided Must Contain Minis with Advance Copies of Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago and the Novel Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago: Tales of the Lost Isles.  

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