Saturday, 26 March 2011

Favourite Units of Mine No.2

Favourite unit of mine no. 2 is the Isengard Troll, from GW's Lord of the Rings figure range. In both the Strategy Battle Game (SBG) and the War of the Ring game this dude is one bad ass, dealer of pain for the forces of Evil. With strength 6, Defense of 8, 3 attacks and 3 wounds in the SBG, he just rocks and only the toughest Free People Heroes can expect to go toe to toe with him and have a chance of survival and even then the likelihood is that the Free People's Hero will require to call upon his precious store of Might points to see him through.

This odious creature, however, is Grima, son of Galmond, otherwise known as "Wormtongue". And just as he is portrayed in the book and the films, in the game he really is a worm. In SBG, as long as Saruman is in the Evil players force, Grima cannot be shot at or have blows struck against him by the Free Peoples player. Okay, no big deal as Grima is no warrior and even a lowly Rohan peasant would take him out if the occasion arose, having only 1 wound. But fighting is not Grima's forte - no this sleaze ball's ability is the power to drain and debilitate the power of a Free People's Hero. Due to his scheming, any Free People Hero within 6" of the Worm wishing to spend Might points, must expend 2 points rather than the normal 1. As Might points cannot, with a few exceptions, be recovered, and Heroes have a finite supply of these, this ability can spell disaster for the Free People's player. If Saruman can be removed from play, then the Worm can be attacked and slain but Saruman is no push over, and any Evil Player worth their salt will keep him out of trouble until the Worm has made his mischief.

So here is the story of how the Isengard Troll, brought about the demise of Grima Wormtongue (with a little help from his enemies).

A while back, Ruarok and I squared up for some SBG goodness. He had been reading up about Grima's special ability and confidently declared that he would take an Isengard force that would defeat all comers, so of course, I had to meet that challenge and the host of Theoden would ride out to meet this threat. The problem I had, of course, was what to do about Grima. A problem which became even more serious when I saw the Troll lumbering onto the battlefield. We were playing a scenario that whoever held the most objectives on the battlefield when one or both forces reached half strength would win.

As expected, Ruarok, kept Saruman well behind his battlelines, out of all possible danger, while his forces moved forward. The Troll bellowed at the sight of so much Horse Flesh to feed on and moved towards the centre of the battleground. Grima stuck close by the Troll's side thus ensuring that any Free People's Hero wanting to slug it out with the Troll would risk burning up his Might points pretty quickly. The manic cackle from Ruarok every time the Troll moved closer and closer to the Free People's valiant but seemingly doomed warriors seemed to herald victory for the Forces of Evil.

Step forward the Pin-Up Pensioner of the Free Peoples-

Gandalf the White and his noble nag, Shadowfax. Together thay have a movement of 12", far outstripping the movement of most characters and warriors. And Gandalf has the Sorcerous Blast spell. A spell that has a range of 12" and, if cast successfully, could blast a foe off this feet, and if that foe was big enough would possibly lead to it causing injury to anyone in it's flight path. Do you see where this is going Dear Reader?

I knew I had 1 chance to pull it off, as failure, would reveal my plan and Ruarok, would predictably take steps to avoid a repetition.

Gandalf and Shadowfax, moved down the right flank of the Free People's lines and charged forward so that the Troll was between him and Grima. So far, so good, Ruarok hadn't sussed what was coming. When Gandalf moved to within 12" of the Troll, I announced he was casting Sorcerous Blast. As he was outwith 6" of Grima, the Worm's ability would not burn up Gandalf's Might points in the event of me requiring to call upon them. Ruarok could now see his danger, but it was now down to the dice. A 4 was required to cast the spell.... Success!! The wave of magical power knocked the Troll off his feet, roll for distance, a 6! The Troll tumbled helplessly away crushing anything in it's path....Oh that would be Grima then.

The spell did little damage to the Troll itself, such was it's defense, but Grima, having been landed on by the Troll counted as having been struck by a Strength 3 hit. A 4 was required, the die was cast on to the table and the resulting 5 saw the Worm being squashed to a pulp by the behemoth.......

My room still echoes with the roars of laughter that followed.

The Troll subsequently got up and still managed to cause mayhem to the Free Peoples for the rest of the game, which actually in the end, was a draw. But I think I won a moral victory, thanks to the Troll.


  1. Grima Wormtongue was one of my favourite characters because of the might pain it gave to the good side.

  2. It is a very powerful ability for not much point cost.

    Just make sure he doesn't stand next to a Troll!

  3. Like this: "the Pin-Up Pensioner of the Free Peoples" :-D
    Nice painted miniatures, and I really like how you painted Gandalf ;-)

  4. @Peter - Thanks!!

    I'll not win any painting prizes but I'm glad you liked them

  5. Nice painting, I like Grima's eyes.

  6. @Ray - Thanks Ray!

    Grima's eyes are bloodshot due to the lack of sleep from all his plotting and scheming!

  7. Awesome blog man! Keep up the good work! It will pay off!