Frostgrave, Stargrave, Silver Bayonet, & the Worlds of Joe McCullough


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Frostgrave is one of the most recognisable games in the tabletop miniature wargame hobby. It's also one of the most popular outwith the Games Workshop Empire. On this episode, we're joined by the architect of the frozen city himself - Joe McCullough. We're going to talk about the lay of the land when this miniature agnostic fantasy skirmish game was released back in 2015, and speculate on the key factors behind its success. Joe's no one-trick pony though, and his scope extends well beyond Frostgrave. Stargrave may sound similar in name (and certainly shares a few core mechanics), but this sci-fi skirmish game is much more than just "Frostgrave in space". Then there's Rangers of Shadow Deep - a solo and cooperative game that became a firm favourite during the year of global lockdowns that was 2020. More often than not, Joe has appeared to release games in the right place and at the right time. One notable exception, however, is Oathmark. This mass fantasy battle rank and flank game was undoubtedly subdued by its Spring 2020 release date - a point in time where very few people could actually play it. Joe offers his thoughts on that as well as how the game might recover from this setback going forward. One of the reoccurring themes of this conversation was that of miniature wargame terrain. Frostgrave and Stargrave in particular benefit from their tables being extremely busy. But does this create a barrier for players with no existing terrain collection or no budget? Joe tells us about many players using simple wooden blocks or polystyrene packaging to build their frozen cities and intergalactic outposts, and why it doesn’t need to look “real” to capture the imagination. You can keep up with Joe on his blog The Renaissance Troll where he posts updates on his games, his hobby, his painting, and his thoughts in general. You’ll find the official range of Frostgrave miniatures over at North Star Military Figures, if you want to go down that route, as well as a raft of other games and supplements on DriveThruRPG. We’re also looking for future guests or co-hosts for this podcast and if you’re interested in coming on, we’d love to hear from you. Head on over to the podcast section of the website, fill out the short form, and we can get the ball rolling from there!

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