Showing posts with label Disney Infinity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Disney Infinity. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Miniature Games I Wish I'd Developed Further: Disney's Frostlanders

Starting with Field of Glory in 2008, and continuing with the excellent Bolt Action in 2012 Osprey Publishing has published a number of high quality rules for use with miniatures in a wide variety of genre. This multi-genre approach to miniature wargaming is best highlighted in the series of blue spined paperback digest books (Little Blue Books? LBB) they began publishing in 2012. This series started with the Dux Bellorum “Historical” Arthurian rules and has included a number of excellent games like In Her Majesty's Name, A Fistful of Kung Fu, or Black Ops: Tactical Espionage Wargaming.

Building on the success of the LBBs, they released the first edition of the Frostgrave fantasy miniature skirmish game in 2015. A couple of years later, they streamlined and clarified the rules with a second edition.

Like many of Osprey's offerings, Frostgrave has an easy to learn system that is highly flexible and moves quickly. The focus of the rules are on casual fun and not on tournament play. In some ways, this is a similar approach to the one that Games Workshop has with their smaller minigame offshoots of Warhammer 40k and Warhammer Age of Sigmar such as Space Marine Adventures or Blitz Bowl, only cheaper and more ecumenical with regards to which miniatures can be used.

Unlike Games Workshop’s current Brandon Sandersonesque epic fantasy game Age of Sigmar, Frostgrave is firmly entrenched in longstanding and traditional fantasy tropes. Frostgrave shares many thematic elements with Games Workshop's classic Mordheim game, but is much easier to learn is more focused on story than Mordheim was when it was first released. Though it has some advancement rules, again similar to Mordheim, in Frostgrave those advancements are limited to a few characters in your warband which minimizes bookkeeping from session to session. Frostgrave is so easy to learn that it inspired me to begin creating a derivative game that I can use to play with my 7 year old twin daughters History and Mystery. Inspired by James August Walls’s many Google+ posts about gaming with his family, I began designing a mashup of Disney Infinity and Skylanders to play with my twin daughters.

The game never quite got finished and I thought I would take it back up again. We still have a ton of Disney Infinity and Skylanders figures around the house and since both of those games are unsupported by their designers, I’d love to put those wonderful figures to good use. I even designed a couple of potential logos for use in my home game back in the day.

As easy as the rules for Frostgrave are to learn, they do have a couple of "fiddley-bits" that might have made things a little complex for playing with my daughters. For example, in the Frostgrave rules as written it is possible to hit an opponent and not injure them and most rolls in the game are contested rolls. By and large, I am not a fan of contested rolls. I understand their utility in competitive games, but I plan on running this game more like an RPG than a competitive wargame. So I want to move away from having contested rules as much as possible and use a Monte Cook and Numenera inspired mechanic where the players to all the rolling. Additionally, Osprey has not published a fan license that states what we as fans are and are not allowed to do with their rules, so I've decided to use a rules set inspired by the actual Frostgrave rules.

So here are the beginnings of the simple rules I came up with and which I want to get feedback on to expand. I’m happy to change themes later so that these can become the basis for something more, but I’d love to have all of you pitch in on the development with your thoughts.

1) All die rolls are made with a d12.

2) Turns follow the following pattern.
            a) Roll for Initiative.
            b) Hero Phase
            c) Ally Phase
            d) Villain Phase

3) Player Characters are rated in the following areas:

MOVEMENT -- Min (4)/Max(10)

MELEE -- Min(-2)/Max(+4)

RANGED -- Min(-2)/Max(+4)

RESISTANCE -- Min(0)/Max(5)


 HEALTH -- Min(8)/Max(20)

4) Villains are rated in the same statistics, but their numbers are 5 higher for all values 
     other than Health and serve as difficulty numbers the players must roll better than.
5) On a player's turn, the player may move and take 1 action. That action may be an
    attack, a power activation, or another movement action.
6) When a player attacks a Villain, the player rolls 1d12 and adds their relevant statistic
   (melee in hand to hand and ranged for ranged attacks). They then add their statistic to that value. If that value is greater than the Villain's equivalent statistic, the Villain has been hit.
7) On a successful hit, subtract a Villain's Resistance from the total and what remains is the amount of Health lost.
8) If a character is "prone" then it takes half of their movement to get up.
9) To activate a power, the player rolls 1d12 and compares it to the activation score of
     the power. If it is higher than the score, the power is activated.
10) When a Villain attacks a Hero or Ally, the Player rolls a Melee or Ranged test. If the roll is higher than the Villain's value in that area the attack misses.
11) Villain powers activate in the same manner as Player powers. This is one of the few
      rolls the Game Master will make.

I've only done stats for a couple of characters, but I have a feeling that this will be fun. What are your thoughts?

All icons used in this post were made by Lorc. Available on

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

[Disney's Frostlanders] Converting Disney Infinity's Captain America to a Kid Friendly Mini-Game Format

Since the day I first saw +James August Walls's Kid Friendly mashup of Disney Infinity and Skylanders for the Savage Worlds role playing game, I have been inspired to work on more content that I can share with my twin daughters History and Mystery. No longer am I satisfied with sessions of Candyland or Pokemon Jr. Adventure Game, though I very much still enjoy playing those with the girls, now I want to design adventures that will turn them into full fledged game enthusiasts.

The other day, I posted the beginnings of a Frostgrave inspired rules set that I plan on playing with the girls. The rules are simple, and different from Frostgrave, and I think that they will make for a good basis for game play. Over the next few weeks, when I'm not posting about other things, reading for my qualifying exams, or working, I'll be posting articles in the Disney's Frostlanders series. Initially, these articles will feature character conversions for my kid friendly miniatures rules and James' simplified Savage Worlds rules.

One key thing to keep in mind for these conversions is that they are going to be conversions of the characters in the game and not in other source material. I sort of broke this rule with the Captain America that I published yesterday, giving him leadership powers that fit the comic character, but these adaptation articles will tend to avoid that trap. I'm not trying to make the "perfect" conversion of the characters, I'm trying to make a fun to play conversion of how the character plays in the emulated video game.

For today's conversion, I'd like to focus on the Disney Infinity 2.0 version of Captain America.

This version of Captain America has upgrades in three main areas Melee, Ranged, and Health/Speed.


Captain America has no special movement powers, so his movement will be at the default level for each game system.

StatisticFrostLandersSavage Skylanders


Watching the video, it looks like Captain America is a highly skilled combatant in Disney Infinity and so in the Frostlanders system I will be giving him a Melee Attack value that is close to the maximum of +4 (keeping in mind that "powers" can add to damage later for other characters). There are few characters more skilled in combat than Cap, but I am going to leave room for the possibility and for there to be room for players of Cap to have the character "grow" with experience. Keeping these things in mind, I'm giving Captain America a +3 in Melee in Disney's Frostlanders. In +James August Walls ' Savage Skylander Skirmish, it looks like he uses "Agility" as the Melee and Ranged Stat and has given Merida a d12 in that Stat. I'm going to be a little more critical in my assessment, and give Cap a d10 Melee stat. This gives us the following.

StatisticFrostLandersSavage Skylanders
+3d10/Parry: 7


Given how skilled Captain America is with throwing his shield, and how well that is represented in the video, we will need to give him a decent ranged attack. He's no Hawkeye, and thus no Merida, and I'd like to leave him room for character growth later, so I'll give him a +2 in FrostLanders and a d8 in Savage Skylanders.

StatisticFrostLandersSavage Skylanders


Captain America is wearing what looks like leather armor and is bearing a shield. In FrostGrave, leather armor adds +1 to Toughness and a Shield adds another +1 but Caps shield is special so we'll give him an additional +1 for a total of 8 Armor. Given our lower damage swing, d12 based damage instead of d20 in FrostGrave, this is a pretty good value. In Savage Worlds a Toughness of 8 is pretty substantial, more so in this adaptation since our simplified version of the game will default to the Melee stat with a bonus for weapon/strength. The "Hulk" in our simplified system would have a power reflecting higher strength and not a stat. Cap's shield will add to damage (1d6), so he'd be able to hurt someone with a similar Toughness. We'll give him 8 in both systems, especially since most ranged attacks will be 1d6 added to the Ranged attack value. We aren't going to be as granular as even James' simplified system. All Energy Blasts/Ranged Attacks will do (Ranged Stat) + 1d6 damage. Cap's tough, but hurtable.

StatisticFrostLandersSavage Skylanders

We are given no evidence that Captain America has above normal Willpower in Disney Infinity, but he does seem brave. We'll give him a +1 and a d8 Spirit in Savage Skylanders.

StatisticFrostLandersSavage Skylanders


He should also have a mid-range Health value somewhere between 12 and 16. Cap is a tough combatant, but he's no Hulk. Vigor is used to test for recovering from being Shaken in Savage Worlds and Captain America doesn't appear to get stunned very easily. James gave Stitch and Baymax d8 Vigor ratings and I think those are fine, this seems even more accurate after the recent change to the Shaken rules in official Savage Worlds products.

StatisticFrostLandersSavage Skylanders


I've listed the "Parry" Statistic under Melee since that attribute only matters in Savage Skylanders. Captain America has a 7.


This is where things get a little interesting. Captain America seems to have a couple of key powers in the Disney Infinity game. He has the ability to "charge" his attack, he has a regular ranged attack, and he has an area shield "explosion" attack.

We will represent these in the following way.

Shield -- Damage +1d6 (d10+1d6 Damage)
Powerful Shield Attack -- Subtract 2 to hit and add 2 to damage.
Ranged Attack -- (d8+d6 Damage)
Shield Explosion -- Attack every creature in 6" Circle with a +2/1d8 Melee Attack (d8+d6 Damage)

I think that pretty much covers this adaptation of Captain America based solely on the video. I've added a couple of other powers to my skirmish game "non-Infinity" Cap, but that one lacks the Shield Explosion power.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

LEGO Dimensions: New Scooby Doo Set Trailer

By everything that I've seen LEGO Dimensions is a combination of everything I love about Skylanders and Disney Infinity, but with LEGOs. That sounds like a family funday fantasy to me and the new Scooby Doo playset trailer, which includes gameplay footage, only adds to my desire to buy this new game. Now that my twin daughters History and Mystery are 7 years old, I've begun playing a video and table top games with them. This last weekend, we played Minecraft and Mice & Mystics. I'm also planning on using +James August Walls' mash up of Disney Infinity and Skylanders using the Savage Worlds rules as a way to introduce miniatures gaming to the girls.

The more LEGO Dimensions offerings I see, the more certain I am that these characters will be added to my miniatures and roleplaying sessions with the twins.