With Frostgrave: The Wildwoods - the newest supplement for our fantasy skirmish wargame - out next week, we're handing over to author Joseph A. McCullough to share the inspiration behind the new book and a few teasers of what you can expect...

Welcome to The Wildwoods, the latest volume in the ever-expanding Frostgrave library. This book takes the wizards where they’ve rarely gone before – into the wilderness beyond the Frozen City! It’s no longer just about fighting monsters and collecting treasure; now the wizards must contend with the dangers of the wilds, making sure they have enough supplies to keep their warbands pushing on through blinding snowstorms, across partially frozen rivers, and over treacherous mountain slopes.

I have always been a huge fan of adventure stories that included an element of journey and exploration. From the ancient stories of Jason and the Argonauts and Sinbad the Sailor to the more modern tales of Treasure Island and the quest of the Fellowship across Middle-earth, I love the danger that comes from being cast adrift in the wilderness. In these stories, many of the things we take for granted, such as food and shelter, become critical to survival. There are no shops or hotels in the wilds! These stories mix the threat of sudden death from monster attacks or deadly terrain with the fear of a slow, lingering demise due to lack of food or exposure to the elements.

A photo of fully painted miniature figures of a reindeer-like humanoid and a warrior dressed in furs, against a snowy mountainous backdrop.

It is kind of surprising that it has taken me so long to write about adventures outside of the Frozen City. In fact, the first person to take a Frostgrave story outside the ruins of Felstad was Matthew Ward, in his excellent dark fantasy novel, Frostgrave: Oathgold. I didn’t really touch upon the subject until the supplement, Blood Legacy, which talks about the Fire Giants who rule small kingdoms to the north of the Frozen City and includes one short campaign set in the wilderness. That campaign gave me a taste of the possibilities and started my imagination down a new path that has led here, to The Wildwoods!

In this book you’ll find a large chapter called ‘Rules of the Wild’, which covers several different aspects of adventuring in the wilderness. When you journey outside the city, it is important to know the dominant terrain type of the area you are crossing, as each presents specific dangers. It’s also important to keep track of your supplies to make sure you have enough food and spell components to get there and back again. You might even want to bring some form of transport, such as a sled or wagon to help carry those supplies. Then there is the ever-present threat of the weather, itself a deadly proposition in these frozen climes.

An illustration showing a group of adventurers outside a stone building in a snowy forest, surrounded by a mob of approaching petrified humanoid figures

Now, it would hardly be a Frostgrave book without some new scenarios to help you test out these rules. This book includes a six-scenario campaign that takes the wizards to the northeast of the Frozen City, through all kinds of varied terrain, for a final showdown in the ruins of a tower, on an island, in the middle of partially frozen lake! Along the way, the wizards will encounter a host of dangerous creatures. Some of these will be familiar to long-time players, such as the rangifer and the foulhorn, but many will be new, including the walrus-like prontolis, the demonic ravenous, and the mighty, if generally peaceful, mammuts.

Thankfully, the book also provides a bit of help for the wizards in the form of new soldiers geared to wilderness travel. What wizard venturing into the wilds wouldn’t hire a guide to help lead the way? Or a trapper to help secure food? Along with that, there is also a host of new treasures to be found (or purchased), including many that are especially useful away from the boomtowns that pass for civilization in this part of the world. I’ll leave the rest for you to explore...

Frostgrave: The Wildwoods is out next week. Pre-order today.

And watch this space for a sneak peek inside the book coming soon

A footer banner for Frostgrave with various awards crests for the series against a frosty background: the UKGE 2020 Judges' Award for Best Miniatures Range, Wargames Illustrated Best Range 2020, the UKGE 2020 People's Choice Award for Best Miniatures Range