Weapon & Armor systems; Tactical Styles in Middle Earth

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Nicholas Palazzo, May 3, 2017.

  1. Ange1e4e5

    Ange1e4e5 Well-Known Member

    Did we decide if Sauron is the one to meet with the Men in Hildorien?

    I’m getting that feeling too, since it’s not mentioned what happens in places that are sacked by Orcs. For example, Glaurung frightened all the Orcs away from the ruins of Nargothrond, and Gondolin was just plain burned to the ground. Orcs never seem to go back to Angband for supplies, mainly to drop off prisoners.
  2. Faelivrin

    Faelivrin Well-Known Member

    What are the supply lines during the Siege? It's said Morgoth had ways for his armies to get around the Noldor, to the north or something. But where are they getting things like food? I wonder if Morgoth just used his power to keep them all alive without adequate food, like he did to Hurin, and like Ulmo did with Tuor in the Rainbow Cleft.

    After the Fifth Battle they had more opportunities for pillaging and hunting meat (both animals and people). I would think that if a Dragon doesn't take over, Orcs do pillage the places they conquer. They wanted to pillage Nargothrond, and I would think they pillaged Gondolin, after it burned. Glamdring and Orcrist got into Troll hands somehow.
  3. Haerangil

    Haerangil Well-Known Member

    The food supply would by best be explained by magic -i think. Pethaps morgoth had secret underground gardens or an articicial warm oasis somewhete hidden in his icy realm. I don't know...

    But i do know that the weapon and equipment of angband should not be primitive and useless. It should be good quality and solidly made.and it should't look crappy and ineffective...
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
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  4. Haerangil

    Haerangil Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
  5. Faelivrin

    Faelivrin Well-Known Member

    Very interesting!

    My question is, when do you more knowledgeable people think that the Noldor, Sindar, Edain, Dwarves, etc. first started using battlefield formations? I would imagine that they didn't have any such thing when they first experienced battle. It's stated in Unfinished Tales that the Numenoreans had a type spear-shaped formation at the time of the Last Alliance. At what time in-between were formations invented? Do you think Orcs ever used formations, or are they too unable to trust each other for that to work?

    I know almost nothing about military tactics. But I do have something to add:
    Ard-galen was a great grassland and on a large scale, it was probably fairly level. However, it was almost-certainly a steppe-tundra, since it was north of the treeline and just at the border of the arctic or subarctic Dor Daedeloth. Steppe-tundras, like arctic and alpine tundras today, had permafrost underneath them, and there was a fair amount of patterned ground. Patterned ground is uneven at small (and maybe medium) scales because of the movement of permafrost and surface-saturating ice during the autumn, winter, and spring. This creates hills (palsas and pingos), polygonal or circular blocks of land lower or higher than the surrounding land, linear and ring-shaped ridges, and wedges of ice which widen cracks and then melt away during the summer. Larger hills may develop terraced sides. Polygonal and circular features might be a few centimeters to hundreds of meters wide. Patterned ground also changes shape somewhat from one season to the next. In spring, some low-lying polygons fill with temporary ponds or bogs. Palsas and pingos may change elevation over the year. Different parts of patterned ground also have different plants growing.

    Ancient horses seem to have done just fine on steppe-tundras, so I don't think it would hinder cavalry. But maybe it would affect the value of different infantry formation types.

    After the Dagor Bragollach, all the plants died and it seems like the soil turned into ash or sand. I'm not sure. But if Anfauglith was sand spread over a shifting permafrost base, I think it may have been pretty treacherous ground to fight on. I also wonder if any parts of Anfauglith had a lava rock or glass surface.

    I don't know what Dor Daedeloth itself was. Maybe "polar desert" but I don't know what that is.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
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  6. Nicholas Palazzo

    Nicholas Palazzo Well-Known Member

    So, in our story, we had the Fëanorians developing formation warfare more or less in secret while they are at Formenos. This was done, in part, to give them something to do, but also to give the audience something other than "Informed Awesomeness" to remember when we see the Fëanorians demolishing the numerically superior orc armies when they first arrive in Beleriand.

    For the rest of the Noldor, I don't think they really start catching on until much later, maybe by the Dagor Bragollach. Simple formations like a wedge have been used since the bronze age, so coming up with formations isn't hard. The tough part is having an organized enough society to have disciplined soldiers who can hold those formations and form them on command. For example, the Celts often used formations on Roman armies, but they would often break up upon contact with the more disciplined legionaries. Also, the Romans were able to change formations on the fly, making them more adaptable on the field. I think that by the time we reach the Nirnaeth, the Noldor will have reached the level of the High Middle Ages, able to execute complex maneuvers with specialized units. This has to do with their longevity as well as their focus.

    Men, when they arrive, will be used primarily as auxiliary skirmishers. Unable to devote as much of their population to soldiery as the elves, their ranks will be made up primarily of non-professional soldiers with minimal training. We likely won't see humans reaching very high levels of battlefield discipline until the second age.

    One of the things we have realized is that there are some specific "dark ages" in Middle Earth's history. Not everyone is affected, but those who are not tend to live in sheltered enclaves. The first dark age takes place after the Nirnaeth. The Noldor kingdoms are scattered, leaving vast expanses of Beleriand populated only by semi-permanent settlements of humans. Numenor and the coastal kingdoms of the elves eventually rise up and form great cultures. Sauron's rise with the power of the rings weakens the elvish kingdoms, though, so a second dark age follows the fall of Numenor. There is another buildup to the Last Alliance, after which the kingdom of Arnor disintegrates, the kingdom of Gondor decays, and the kingdom of Lindon diminishes, forming the third dark age. This lasts more or less until War of the Ring and the Fourth Age.
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  7. Ange1e4e5

    Ange1e4e5 Well-Known Member

    Looks pretty good.
  8. Ange1e4e5

    Ange1e4e5 Well-Known Member

    Suggestion for ambush tactics for Sauron's catch and release program: Tevildo appears first, herding Elves towards Sauron who has traps, or Thurwingwethil will snatch them up.

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