It seems there are some significant changes that are now a part of the Middle Earth Strategy game for Lords of the Ring and the Hobbit. This is good as I have always wanted to see this game played a lot more. Lets take a look at some of the changes.

via the Warhammer Community

In the first of our more detailed looks into the Middle-earth Strategy Battle Game, Jay Clare runs us through some of the changes to the model profiles that have taken place, and the effect this will have on your games:

Jay Clare: Every single profile in the new edition of the Strategy Battle Game has been looked at, evaluated and re-worked in the new style, and this has meant quite a few changes to different Heroes and Warriors across the game, as well as updating what a profile contains. Let’s have a quick look at some of these:
Every profile now has a list of Keywords underneath their name. These will denote a number of things including their race, faction, whether they are Infantry or Cavalry, and whether they are a Hero or Warrior to name a few.

These Keywords are used for working out which models are affected by specific rules, as many will now state the Keywords a model will require to be affected by said rules.

Amdûr, Lord of Blades has the Herald of Victory special rule, which will affect all models with the Easterling Keyword.

Sometimes two Keywords will be shown together, like in Gil-galad’s High King of the Elves special rule. When this is the case, models must have both the shown Keywords to be affected.
If a model is a Hero, they will also have a Heroic Tier. This will determine how high in the ranks of the army the Hero will be, as well as how many followers they can lead in their warband (more on this in a future article).
All special rules are now classed as Active or Passive, and this determines which can be used at all times (Passive), and which require the model to be able to move to use (Active). This will be shown either in the model’s profile or in the Special Rules section of the Rules Manual if the rule is commonly used.

As mentioned earlier, every profile in the Strategy Battle Game has been looked at, evaluated and, if necessary, altered. This has resulted in some profiles remaining largely the same, some being changed slightly, some being completely rewritten, and some profiles being combined where the character had multiple profiles without really needed them. Here are some examples:

Warriors of Rohan have always been a very stable profile – one that we feel really captures who they are and what they do. Their characteristics fit them perfectly and we felt that they fit well into the new edition as they are, so no changes were made.

Warriors of Minas Tirith also have a profile that fits them really well, however, we felt they needed a small something to make them seen more regularly on the tabletop. Because of this, we have added the Shieldwall special rule to their profile, a rule first seen on the Iron Hills Dwarves, allowing them to boost their Defence whilst they remain in formation.

One of the most terrifying creatures in Middle-earth, the Balrog often struggled to make an impact in Matched Play games – until now! Whilst its characteristics have remained the same, the Balrog has had a series of special rules added to its profile. Now the Balrog can utilise its flaming lash in battle, declare a Heroic Combat each turn for free, ignore the effects of any flame-based attacks against it, and halve the number of wounds it would suffer from an ability that would slay it outright. On top of this, the Balrog has had a points reduction. These are significant changes designed to make this mighty creature the truly terrifying monster that it should be!

Some characters used to have multiple different profiles, which sometimes were confusing and unnecessary. Elrond, for example, used to have four different profiles! In this edition we have decided, for those characters that we felt needed it, to combine those profiles into one, taking the bits from each that we felt were most relevant to the character. Elrond now has a single profile and can be fielded with or without armour, has always got the Wrath of Bruinen Magical Power and the Foresight of the Eldar, and has gained Hadhafang and the Lord of the West special rule (though we will keep those under our hats for now!).

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