View Full Version : Competitive Balrog army - So crazy, it might even work!

15-04-2006, 01:04
Allright, so I was chatting about LotR with a flatmate, who was mostly interested in who was the most badass, Sauron or a Balrog. Eventually, the discussion went into the mechanics around point matches and break points, and why the Balrog isn't the hero-to-end-all-heroes, simply because the rest of the army will consist of 20 notoriously incompetent Moria goblins. "Another badass is the Witch-King of Agmar", I mused on, half to myself, "clocking in at 200 points". "Then you can team him up with the Balrog!", was the naive, enthusiastic comment I got from my friend.

So, here's the army list:


Tag Team of Doom

The Balrog (400 points).
Tooled up Witch-King on Fell Beast (200 points).

Total: 600 points.
Models in army: 2.


All notions of "theme" and "sanity" aside, and looking at it purely from a GT format, is it really that outrageous? First of all, the main weakness of the Balrog is that the rest of the army (once you spend 400 points on the big boy) is either very small, or ridicilously easy to kill, so it's relativly easy to simply ignore the Balrog, and kill enough of his lil' buddies in order to make the army break at 25%. However, with only two models, you cannot get the army below 50%!! :D The soft Which-King is an obvious target, but the Balrog only fails a courage test on snake-eyes, and has 10 (!) will, so he ain't going nowhere once the force reaches 50%. Thus, sooner or later, your only chance of success is to somehow kill the Balrog.

So what is the "army" actually capable of? Let's look at the scenarios:

1) The Relief Force. The good player has to get half his force or more off the table. With only two models, it's hard to stop this from happening. The Witch-King has the mobility, but isn't enough of a powerhouse to effectivly stop an entire army. The Balrog on the other hand, is pretty slow, and should be relativly easy to avoid. Using the Witch-King-magic to separate heroes from the rest of the opposing force could be doable, however, and the Balrog could do some damage against a predominately infantry-based army. Still, odds not too good on this one.

2) Take and Hold. As soon as the Balrog gets into position, he basically has to get unlodged for the good guys to win. Considering his huge base, bad-ass lethality, and the fact that you have to pass a courage test to get within 1" of him, means the good force has to kill him or at least push him off in order to get an entire base within the required "zone" at the middle of the table (or at least I think so, don't have the scenario rules handy, but the Balrog covers 2.5" of base, plus an inch to every side, making it a 4.5" bubble of control). The Witch-King is just for laughs here, can use his mobility to get onto the objective fast if the Balrog gets ankward deployment, and generally is in the way. Should be easily winnable, considering the force is essencially unbreakable.

3) Cornered. The good player has to choose between 12" flying Witch-King, or Balrog. Either way, he's sorta screwed. :)

4) Pitched battle. I can't remember the exact victory conditions, but it's near-impossible to break the "army" or kill all the heroes. I don't think the Balrog is capable to kill enough to win it, but at least a draw should be fairly easy.

So, whaddaya think? :D

Disclaimer: Under no circumstances would I even field this, except for kicks and giggles in a friendly game. Furthermore, I'm not saying it's actually good, only that it's not horribly bad. And the idea isn't all that revolutionary, so I'm half-expecting it to have been examined in the past.

15-04-2006, 12:10
This idea is simply so mad it would actually work.

And it isn't all too impossible, there were plenty of Balrogs back in the day's, simply say that you are using some big-baddass general from that time but you are using the rules for Witch king to represent him.

15-04-2006, 12:23
One day in the Bunker we ran a *kicks and giggles* game of a Balrog vs an equal number of points in Goblins.

The Goblins lost 75% of their force, but still *won*.:eek:

I'd consider this army acceptable. I have no idea what would be best suited to taking it out, but I'd be interested in giving it a whirl.:D

15-04-2006, 19:56
You would have to remember that the WK is still only a 1 wound figure.

Tell you what. Lets try it. Make a battle report about it. Write it up. See what happens.


15-04-2006, 20:27
I thought you'd never ask.

15-04-2006, 21:06
Well, it took some time to summon up the courage... I needed to expend will to do so. ;)

15-04-2006, 21:07
I'll also try this army out as soon as my friend gets back here from easter with his famaly (if he brings his Ringwraith on Fellbeast that is, can't say no to proxies)

16-04-2006, 23:19
Sounds intriguing, horrible but intriguing.. :D

The Judge
17-04-2006, 22:45
I wouldn't like to play it, certainly.

Go for it ;)

Dr Death
18-04-2006, 19:05
Even as something of a Tolkien purist i have to admit this is worth a go, simply for the hilarity factor. Take and Hold with that army would be like the 40k carnage battle report featuring the bloodthirster they did about 5 years ago in WD. Congratulations on possibly one of the funniest and cleverest ideas on the board.

Dr Death

18-04-2006, 21:39
So now, lets try to come up with a background for it. Lets make it Tournament a-go-go!

18-04-2006, 21:59
One of the last of its kind, the huge creature of Gorgoroth slept there, lying undisturbed as it had done since ages past, a dreamless sleep, awaiting its masters call.
The shadowy sillhuette walked towards the edge, frost growing in its footsteps and instantly melting away aggain from the heat, whispering the name of Gorgoroth time and aggain, its hissing voice piercing through the murmurs of the fire.
The dreamless sleep was disturbed, images sprung from the memory of the beast, images of the hidden elven cities, of the valar, and with those pictures came something else, hate.
The Witch King stood there at the edge, singing the name of Gorgoroth and singing of what his master wanted with this creature.
He sang about ages past and about the darkness that once aggain was to cover the world, he sang about how the true master would return from his land beyond the stars and rule the lands once aggain before taking to the west.
And so, in a blaze of fire, the creature awoke, the Witch King stood there, flames licking his cloak but not setting it aflame, if he still would have had lips, any mortal could have seen him smile as he gazed upon one of the last Balrogs of Gorgoroth.

Rabid Bunny 666
19-04-2006, 09:12
how about the STAG DO FROM HELL!

19-04-2006, 14:39
Will it be a fun "army" to play with and against? I read a couple of reports were the Italian LotR winner used an army with 4 Ringwraiths on Fellbeasts. I think it would just be boring.....

19-04-2006, 16:01
You'd be surprised about the Ringwraith armies. If you play against them, it's like a psychological hump you have to get over. You start by peeing your pants. Then, when you kill one of them, then you feel great, and a feeling of optimism comes over you. Then when 2 and 3 go down, it's just exhilarating.

19-04-2006, 16:17
and you realise that the game migh emediately end all of a sudden and you will loose due to the Witch King being parked atop the objective

19-04-2006, 18:07
Or the game might drag on (like it did for me at the GT), and you remove all the ringwraiths from the objective, and you get a 20-0 win.

19-04-2006, 21:00
However, that won't be the problem with running the Balrog list.

For now, for the first two or perhaps three turns, the Witch King should be able to hold the objective and then, you kamikaze him into battle, burning will left and exchanging him with your piece of concrete (the Balrog) stood atop the objevtive.

The Balrog will now be as immovable as Impassable terrain, only if faced with bad luck and opposing superior numbers will he budge, and then, he can simply walk right back in.

19-04-2006, 22:08
The scenario the army willl probably suffer most from is the Relief force. I really can't see two figures stopping a hero and half of his army walking off the evil deployment zone.

19-04-2006, 22:47
probably, though if you send away the Witch King early game to cause as much damage as possible and then start relying on the enemy routing due to the Balrogs effect, it might work

11-05-2006, 15:54
Wow... What a idea... Hmm...? It would be faster than my idea of troll chieftain, 3-4 mordor trolls & some uruks with rest...

11-05-2006, 19:16
That, unfortunately, won't be allowed in an official tournament. There is a limit of two trolls in every army.

Lord Gordonis
12-05-2006, 08:46
Hey pert why is that you cant take no more than 2 trolls???

12-05-2006, 08:54
I don't know, but apparently Brian knows. It says so in the Rules pack. It also says in the introduction in the "Battle scenarios" in the rule book.

Probably a balancing thing to do with Moria trolls and goblins.