Frostgrave in winter: the first expedition into the ruins

Our campaign kicked off a few weeks ago and the first expedition into the ruins by Bitches’ Brew was a complete disaster. I faced off against a chronomancer who cleverly used an old ork Mordheim gang for their warband. I started off with a gamble trying to summon a medium construct before the game which fizzled horribly despite having a casting number of 11. Fortunately it was an out of game spell, so my wizard’s head didn’t explode. However it pretty much set the tone for the game which went into a downward spiral from there.

I mostly flanked one edge of the table with my apprentice and had my wizard head off to the center to scoop up some treasure.
My opponent got two warhounds which headed off my apprentice and a barbarian that managed to get into a scrum with my wizard. Fortunately my wizard had a man-at-arms and a thug within melee distance to get into the fight.
Unfortunately for my apprentice, the thug accompanying her tried to make a grab for some treasure and left her high and dry.
All the while those precious turns I was locked in melee, my opponent could cast freely. While he wasn’t doing many direct damage spells, leaping a few crossbowmen up to a tower to try and snipe off my soldiers wasn’t pleasant. I managed to take out his barbarian and a thug from the game, but not before his warhounds dragged down my enchanter.
In return he took out my entire warband save for an archer and two thieves that got a haul of treasure off the board (thank god my leap spells worked at least). In the end he cast 8 spells to my 3. I fizzled a lot of 8-10 casting spells too and had a fair share of abysmal rolls.

My opponent was able to only get 3 piles of treasure off including a grimoire and several choice scrolls. I managed to snag a +1 shooting bow. As for my other treasure I eagerly rolled to see what loot I found and rolled… a 1, just a measly 160 gold crowns. Even the gods of fortune were mocking my warband.

The good news thankfully was that my wizard and apprentice survived the encounter with only bruises to their ego. I managed to escape with much of my warband intact except for some scrapes and bruises. However one of my archers and the man-at-arms were far too injured to make another go and would have to sit out the next battle. I decided to hole up in an inn and make it my base of operations as I planned out my next expedition.

While my opponent got almost 4 levels of experience, I only got one. I decided to double down on enchant construct and lower its casting cost by one to a base of 7. I limped away from the battle with a couple of painfully learned lessons. I need to keep one caster well out of combat. While I wasn’t worried too much about losing my wizard, the simple fact that I could not cast anything several turns locked in a fight killed my chance for getting that precious experience from casting spells. Tactically I was fairly solid, as my soldiers were within range from both spell casters for most of the game. But I slipped up when I forgot they could do an intercept move. When my wizard and apprentice were rushed, I could have had another soldier step up to cut off my opponent. Something I need to remember next time.

I never managed to get a decent shot off between my two archers (mostly due to horrible rolls). But they did provide a threat and kept a few soldiers scurrying for cover rather than rushing to treasure. At the very least they also occupied my opponent’s crossbowmen with a few volleys back and forth as they tried to pick each other off. My man-at-arms though performed well. I have to admit having high armored troops helps a lot. While he didn’t have much success landing blows, that few extra points in armor meant my opponent had to really roll high to get any serious damage through. I might see about getting an armor enchant spell to toughen up my soldiers some in the future.