Frostgrave Second Edition just released yesterday. Published by Osprey Games, this book takes the widely popular First Edition of Frostgrave and improves upon the layout and rules of the game.
The original rule book to Frostgrave clocked in at 136 pages and is a game that I love. Frostgrave Second Edition comes in at 224 pages. That is 88 pages more in the new edition versus the old. More is good.
Given that I just got the book last night, tonight’s post is just a quick first impressions article and not a full review.
Disclaimer: Osprey Games sent Must Contain Minis the Frostgrave Second Edition Rule book for review purposes. While we accept review products, we are in no other way compensated for the posts on Must Contain Minis and reserve the right to give positive and negative reviews. This article will help give you a better idea of the product to help you determine if you want to buy it.
For those who don’t know, Frostgrave is a miniatures game where warbands (generally 10 miniatures in size) battle it out to collect treasure and take it off the board. The game is scaled for 28mm miniatures and you are encouraged to use any miniatures that you have in your collection. You can use their official lines of figures for Frostgrave if you prefer.
A standard Frostgrave table is 3′ by 3′. For larger (multiplayer) games, you might consider playing on a 4′ by 4′ table. That said, the game can be played on a table as small as 2′ by 2′ table if you want. You are encouraged to use lots of terrain and the general rule of thumb is that it should be hard for your models to see more than a foot on the table – due to line of sight blocking terrain.
The game runs on a D20 system and is a ton of fun.
A Bit of a Rant
Before starting, I just want to quickly rant about something. Today I watched one of my favourite YouTubers, and I admit that there is a pressure or desire to get a review out there as fast as possible when you are excited about a product. Being first also gets you even more views on the internet than those who post later.
In watching him, I had to ask myself – “Did he even read the book?” He made so many small mistakes about the rules. Maybe this hits home to me because I consider Frostgrave one of my core games. Regardless, I wanted to point out a few things from Second Edition that he got wrong in case you watched the video too.
In the review, he stated that you get 500 GC to start. That is not correct. In first edition, you get 500 Gold Crowns to set up your warband. In Frostgrave Second Edition, you get 400 Gold Crowns. This is on page 26 of the rule book.
He also stated that a Wizard can never take spells from an opposed school of magic. While true during the initial set up, your Wizard can learn opposed spells as the game progresses. That said, the Wizard casts those spells at a severe penalty. This is on page 24 of the rule book.
Finally, the YouTuber stated many times that nothing changes and the book just cleans up the rules. In my opinion, this book changes many things and in this article, I discuss some of those changes.
While he got rules wrong, his passion for the system rings through. That is something that I really like, Reviewers with enthusiasm.
We are all human and sometimes reviewers and media influencers get the rules wrong. Take in the enthusiasm from reviewers, but be sure to read the rules too.
There is a lot in the Frostgrave Second Edition rule book.
As with all Osprey Games books, the quality of this rule book is top notch. The layout is great, the artwork is amazing and the rules are even better organized then before.
As this is a first impressions article, I am going to save pictures of the book for a future post where I do a deeper review.
While I have not read through the complete book yet, I noticed a number of changes between first and second edition. I am not going to go through all of them because this is meant to be a short article.
If people tell you that nothing has changed, that is not true. There are lots of tweaks here that I feel make the game better. That said, the core system remains the same at its heart and feel.
Now, let’s go through some of the changes.
The first change that I noticed was in Warband creation. The amount that you start with goes down to 400 Gold Crowns from 500 GC. The soldiers are also sorted out into two separate categories – Standard Soldiers and Specialty Soldiers. You can hire only four of the Specialty Soldiers.
The price for most soldiers also went up. Roughly 25 GC each for most soldier types. The Apothecaries went down in price and Thugs and Thieves are now free. This change makes it so that you are not completely decimated if you lose warband members and don’t have enough money to rehire them.
Another big change is that you no longer get a +1 fight for carrying two melee weapons. How Apothecaries work now is also slightly different from First Edition.
Spells are the next change that I noticed. These changes will make massive changes to how the game plays.
In Frostgrave Second Edition, Joseph A. McCullough better balanced the spells. Reading through the descriptions, I found myself considering Wizards I never thought of before. I even think using an Illusionist would be fun in Second Edition.
Some spells got “nerfed” (Elemental Bolt now has a range limit and is +7 shooting instead of +8 shooting). Other spells now seem more useful. Overall, all of the spells seem like they might be an interesting choice now.
In First Edition, there were a few spells that I considered an “Auto Select” (like Leap and Fog) and spells I wouldn’t touch. I look at the spells in Second Edition and they all seem better thought out for game balance.
A spell that I always thought was missing was a Thaumaturge spell to “Turn” or “Destroy Undead.” Destroy Undead is in the Second Edition. A welcome addition in my mind.
It will be interesting to give the spells a further read to see what all is different. If you played Frostgrave First Edition and get Frostgrave Second Edition, be sure to go through the spells section with a fine-tooth comb. I feel there are a lot of changes here.
Scenarios and Bestiary
There are 10 new scenarios in the Second Edition of Frostgrave versus the First. That gives you a total of 20 scenarios to battle your way through. The Bestiary has also changed and some creatures pick up new skills too. Wolves, for example are now Pack Hunters – which changes how they move.
I still have to read deeper into those sections to see what else has changed, but overall – I am excited!
Wrapping it up….
Thank you for joining me for this First Impressions Article. It ended up being a lot longer than I intended, but there is a lot of good stuff in Frostgrave Second Edition.
The core engine to the game remains the same, but there are a lot of little tweaks and changes that will make the game better. Now, I did not state it earlier, but Osprey Games designed the Second Edition book so that you can use all of the first edition supplements except one. The supplement called The Grimoire you can’t reuse in Second Edition.
Personally, I think it is very good of Osprey Games and Joseph McCullough to make all of the books from First Edition usable in Frostgrave Second Edition. There are 8 of them in total and I own 7 of them, so that makes me pretty happy.
Hopefully you enjoyed this First Impressions Review of Frostgrave Second Edition. I plan to do a deeper review of the game in the future.
Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!