Last Monday Doug and I had a first game of Ghost Archipelago.
Both Doug and I had played Frostgrave in the past and had really enjoyed it, so we had been looking forward to trying out this new campaign set in warmer climes. We played on a 3' x 3' gaming area made up of nineSally 4th Terra-Former 12" square terrain tiles. For this game we went with a fairly straightforward set up with 3 beach tiles and six plain tiles. Terra-Former are supplied as kits which are easy to put together, robust and feature rare earth magnets in every side to hold them firmly together and prevent drifting during play.
As this was a first try out of the rules we rolled up our Heritors abilities on the random generation table. First thoughts were that the skills were not as powerful as Wizards in standard Frostgrave, but maybe this is not such a bad thing!
The Frostgrave Plastic Crew box set was a lot of fun to put together. I used one of the metal heritor miniatures, but made the second from plastic parts using a body from the barbarian set with armor and a cloak combind with the eastern head dress and sword option from the crew box.
I used the new Female Earth Warden as my groups Warden and a standard Frostgrave Apprentice Elementalist for Doug's Warden.
We played the 'standard' pick up scenario. Placing an objective token in the centre of the table and then each placing two additional tokens. We played the optional wandering monster rule, where when you recover a treasure you roll a D20 and on a 15+ you get a random encounter. The encounters that we rolled included a Monarch Saurian, Blood Bats and a group of Gorrilas. Rather than carrying a big collection of miniatures around, before the game I'd rolled on the tables for 6 encounters and just packed the miniatures for them. When needed, we rolled a D6 against this collection to see what the actual encounter was.
The first encounter rolled was the Monarch Saurian, probably the most dangerous encounter in Ghost Archipelago. It's presence made us very anxious and certainly influenced movement options. However due to terrain placment it never got a line of sight on a miniature and wandered about harmlesly. WHich is more than could be said of the Gorillas, nut we will get to them later!
Here, one of my crewmen has claimed an objective. Unfortunately I had not read the rules in enough detail before diving in and assembling and painting miniatures. In your group you will normally have 10 miniatures. The heritor and warden and eight crew. Four of the crew can be specialists, at least four have to be standard crew. The standard crew can be equiped with hand weapon, hand weapon and shield or two handed weapon. My though when assembling my miniatures was why would you not take a shield and get that +1 boost to your armor, after all, it's a very dangerous world out there. As a consequence I built two crew with hand weapon and shield and two with two handed weapon for each group. This was a mistake as it is only figures carrying only a hand weapon and no shield whose movement is not halved when they are carrying treasure. That makes the standard sword armed crewman very handy.
The way the crew talked about it afterwards you would have thought they had been attacked by a flying dinosaur! I had not painted any blood bats yet, so this is standing in as a proxie. It slowed my crew down, but when a second crew mate stepped in to help out, it was soon seen off.
The group of Gorrilas were a tougher proposistion. I underestimated there strength. At this point one of my standard crewmen who was trying to exit the board with some treasure is attacked by the brutish pair. He did not live to tell the tale.
My Heritor stepped in to help him out but she is also taken down by them. The last crewman manages to disengage and make a bid for freedom.
When it was time to call it a night we had not quiet got the treasure off the table, because everyone was encumbered and could only move at a maximum of 4 1/2" a turn (using both actions for movement), however we judged that given another turn I'd have recovered 3 and Doug 2, but at the loss of my Heritor, so we settled for the reult being a very close run thing, a lot of fun and worthy of lots more gaming time.