Friday, 20 November 2015

Frostgrave - A study on Wizards

Hi Folks

As my city build progresses and the Frostgrave minis are getting a lick of paint I thought I would turn my attention to the nature of my first warband. It has become apparent from what I have read and heard the choice of Wizard is particularly crucial in this game, so with the trusty use of a spreadsheet I thought I'd investigate some of the various schools on offer.

Its important to note that each Wizards ability to cast a spell is dependent upon the schooling and as such the further away the spell you might want to cast is from your school of magic the harder it is to cast. Equally each of the sell has a base cast number  - the lower the number the easier it is to cast.

As you can see below I put together the following spreadsheet - this firstly shows clearly the aligned (green), the neutral (grey) and the opposed (red) schools of magic for each Wizard class.

Secondly I have listed all the spells and their base chance of success (BCS). I have totalled these rolls and have called them spell points.

 As you can see from the above pictures the totals required for each casters spells are NOT the same - in other words some Wizards have a much easier time casting the full repertoire than others. Indeed it would appear that the Enchanter class has the greatest number of easy spells whereas the Chronomancer has the hardest job.

This first observation suggests that it would be much wiser to select a Wizard from these more expensive classes if you want to cast the most expensive spells without the burden of additional modifiers.

It has been reported that it is good take a mix of offensive, defensive and off table spells. So we need to look at these in more detail.

The Wizard I want to use can throw spells on the offensive, enchant weapons and summon beasties. The classic Wizard of my old RPG games.

This would suggest that I should look at the Summoner, Enchanter or the Elementalist as my first choice...

The Summoner is aligned to the Necromancer, Witch and Elementalist
The Enchanter is aligned to the Witch, Sigilist and Elementalist
The Elementalist is aligned to the Chronomancer, Summoner and Enchanter

From the above it might appear that the Elementalist is the best choice to select from...

I get to throw those lightning bolts with no penalty, the range of 'cheap' spells in the Enchanter's repertoire only suffer a +2 to the BCS (8's now become 10's), and the higher cost Chronomancer's spells are still within reach as the wizard gains experience.

I can see that the Illusionist is directly opposed to the Elementalist - are there spells in this school I really need? Aside from Teleport nothing really grabs me...

So I think I have now settled on my first Wizard....

Wizards start with 8 spells

Three from their school of magic, one from each of the aligned schools, and two from any of the neutral (but different schools)

For my three core spells I will choose

  • Wall (10)
  • Elemental Bolt (12)
  • Elemental Shield  (10)
From the Aligned Schools I am going to choose (+2 added to BCS)

  • Crumble (12)
  • Enchant weapon (10)
  • Summon Demon (14)
and finally from two neutral schools

  • Raise Zombie (12)
  • Blinding Light (14)

If you are interested in my Frostgrave terrain builds head here

heres some pictures the finished boards


  1. A good choice of spells. It is all personal taste of course but Enchant Construct is 10+ easier than summon demon and more useful than enchant weapon. Leap is a spell worth looking at again, I tend to cast it 2 or 3 times each game. Guys carrying treasure move at half speed but leap at full distance and you can leap them off table and over walls. (but you cannot leap them 10 inches into the air and let them plumet to their death by taking falling damage! (I know I looked it up)) Raise zombie is Ok but steal health is better as at the moment you have no healing ability what so ever.

    At the end of the day it is your choice entirely and I am VERY sure others will offer their own choices. Nothing wrong with yours but remember other players are trying to hurt you!

  2. Excellent article and a lot to think about. I'm going to start a campaign and haven't decided on a warband yet, so this is good reading.

  3. Excellent article, except that I went the entirely other direction and let the miniature decide. By which I mean I chose the Witch since the miniature looked like a witch, and then chose spells that suited her style. I of course then went with spells that she would actually be able to cast, but that was my last consideration.

  4. great analysis , my brain is bleeding ... I blame Hogwarts , time to put my stuff back in my shed .. :-)

  5. This is very useful and you've saved me a job! I've only played one test game so far so I can't add anything useful just yet. But I'll sure use your analysis to build my first 'proper' caster and report back. Good work sir!

  6. Excellent article!

    I tend to play by theme rather than purely pointing up a powerful warband. However, it is useful to get a bit more of an idea about the strategy of warband construction. So at least I wont build the worst possible configuration...

  7. I think in a competitive group, these observations and lovely charts would help out very much.

    I've not seen this game as much of a number-cruncher though and more a for-fun event. My Thaumaturge wizard is going to struggle I see. :)

  8. Another boost for the Elementalist is that his direct killing spells (eg Elemental bolt: unlimited range barring line of sight, +8!!! attack on target) pull in a lot of extra experience (40 for killed soldiers, 80 for apprentices and 160 for wizards. That's a lot of quick leveling up.

  9. Another boost for the Elementalist is that his direct killing spells (eg Elemental bolt: unlimited range barring line of sight, +8!!! attack on target) pull in a lot of extra experience (40 for killed soldiers, 80 for apprentices and 160 for wizards. That's a lot of quick leveling up.

  10. I think you miss the point of Illusionist...

    While you don't have direct damage spells, you do have glow. So if you have an entire warband of archer or crossbowmen you can kill thing really fast. So an illusionist list is actually a better assassin list than Elementalist.

    Plus you have utility spells that are cheap like transpose. So you swap someone with a warhound and shoot him with a bunch of arrows. DEAD.

    Not to mention Invisibility largely invalidates most of elementalist spells. You also can take blinding light from Thaumaturge on a 12, which stops you from casting LOS spells. So you throw some life at it and a good roll keeps your mage from casting ALL game. And you can throw life at it since you have access to heal on a 10. Soothsayer can either give you the +1 to Initiative or some like forget spell or mind control.

    I think Elementalist, is strong as a single unit blaster with some hard battle field control, but elementalist have some of the most expensive warbands and also don't really have many ways to buff them which leaves them pretty one dimensional.

  11. Thanks. I'm building three warbands from one deck of spell cards, so was wondering how to start off!