Jeff Hrubiak writres: The newest offering from Sabertooth Games for their The Lord of the Rings Tradeable Miniatures Game is the mighty Balrog. He is the latest Evil figure to come to Middle-earth in the Premium Line (PL) of figures. This is one bad dude! Lucky for the forces of Good, he comes packaged with a very impressive version of Gandalf the Grey. They are hitting retailers shelves sometime this month, December 2004!
The Balrog will tower over the forces of Middle-earth. He stands 9 ½ inches tall on a base of 9 hexes (the standard figure stands on 1 hex!), and has a wing span of 12 inches wide. He is complete with flames coming out of his back and a flaming sword in hand. This guy not only looks great, but he is a one-man-army to be reckoned with for sure! The Balrog weighs in at a point cost of 1500 points. His 8 wounds and toughness of 5 will make this guy hard (but not impossible!) to kill, and his 10 action points (AP) will help him make sure that every one of his 7 attacks hits with deadly precision, and deals a maximum amount of damage to his enemies. With a movement of 12 this guy will get across the map in no time to join the battle. And should he choose, he can join the battle from a distance with his 7 shots at a range of 7 hexes. The Balrog also has a wealth of special abilities (SA) to help the gamer in his conquest of Middle-earth. These include:
Large: This has several benefits over standard figures such as kill zone and line of sight (LOS) advantages.
Fearsome: This forces an enemy to spend an AP to move into this figure’s kill zone as well as spending an AP to stay there (if he dares!).
Flying: This new SA grants several benefits including movement over restrictive terrain and free attacks.
Terrifying: This awesome new SA makes the Balrog immune to free attacks and to being targeted by enemy SAs.
Volley Attack: This new SA allows the Balrog to assign damage to any figure within range and LOS without nominating a specific target.
With such power and prowess there are few in Middle-earth that have the courage and power to battle the Balrog. This is where the forces of Good can utilize their own one-man-army of Gandalf the Grey. This new version also comes in at a 1500 point cost to go head to head with the Balrog. Gandalf has an impressive 10 wounds and a toughness of 5 to help him withstand the awesome onslaught of the Balrog. He has 9 APs that will allow him to take full advantage of his 6 attacks and many special abilities. Gandalf can move 5 hexes per turn, and can attack at a distance from a range of 7 hexes with an impressive 14 shots! Gandalf has also been given a number of special abilities to help him in his efforts to destroy the Balrog. These include:
Initiative: This gives Gandalf an advantage in choosing to attack or defend.
Crack Shot: This allows Gandalf to utilize his 14 ranged shots and then move strategically into position.
Arrow Flurry: This will allow Gandalf to double his ranged shots from 14 to a whopping 28 shots!
Courage: Just like in the story, once Gandalf dies (his wound count goes down to 0), he can live on to fight for another round with this SA. Just enough to finish off the Balrog!
While the game can be played as a one on one, 1500 point battle between the Balrog and Gandalf, these guys can also be incorporated into larger armies of 2000 points or more for massive battles of epic proportions! For more information, check out the Sabertooth Games website.