Middle-earth Armies lists

It is safe to say that J. R. R. Tolkien is personally responsible for the enormous growth in the popularity of fantasy (once upon a time called legend and mythology). He set out to create for himself a world of new mythology, complete with its own languages. He succeeded better than anyone else has done since. It is also safe to say that the vast majority of fantasy worlds that have come along since the Middle-earth cycle are virtual ripoffs of Tolkien’s original thinking. His own mythology partook heavily of the Scandinavian, Germanic and Celtic myths, reworked into a new mold of his own choosing. No one has done it better. That is why you will find orcs, hobbits, elves, dwarves and so forth resident in most if not all fantasy works (and gaming worlds) since The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings became well-read. Sometimes, the authors have the decency to at least rename the critters; but often they don’t even bother to do that. You will find all of Tolkien’s races by the same names in many, many sets of war-gaming and role-playing rules. So, I shall do likewise. But at least I do not place the Middle-earth races in anything other than their “original” setting.

The following has reference to The Art of War war-game rules.

Special rules for this “period” only:
1. Creatures larger than cavalry or chariots will use bases which are appropriately sized. The frontage will be some multiple of the standard base frontages. CVs will also be multiples of the base frontage used. Quadrupeds will use the cavalry CVs, and bipeds will use infantry CVs. For example: a huge troll might be based on a 40mm frontage and depth. This is equal to four 20mm infantry bases, or a total CV = 44 if you count trolls as plate infantry. Man count is the same: in this example the troll base would take 240 hits before being eliminated by missile fire, even though the actual number of trolls would be considerably less than this, probably around a dozen or so.

2. Műmakil – the larger-than-life pachyderms of Tolkien’s mythos – are all cataphract targets when being shot at: their fortified crews are +3 to the needed roll targets. The Műmakil base has a CV=30 per 40mm of frontage and depth. Because of their enormous size, increase their crew "hits" to 180 (3 bowmen or javelinmen 20mm bases per Műmak), and the Műmak "hits" to 240. In all other respects, Műmakil are treated as elephants and use the elephant rules.

3.Trolls & giants: Trolls are regenerative. This is reflected by a saving 1d6 roll: "Trollmen" save on a 6; Cave or Mountain trolls save on a 5,6; Stone trolls save on a 4,5,6. A "save" negates all missile hits and eliminated results in melee combat: it is rolled immediately, and you may not save up "save" rolls or transfer them from one troll base to another. Giants are not allowed saving rolls, but in all fairness are potentially far larger than trolls, and therefore would have bigger combat values and wider, deeper bases: the bigger the giant, the higher his "armor" class should be: at the very least, it should be considered as "light" (even if he is buck-naked), and can go all the way up to "cataphract" for really huge giants ("Time Bandits"-size!).

4. All creatures of a large base size (i.e. 30mm or wider and larger than men or horses) have full CV on the flanks and half CV in the rear (just like elephants or chariots in the basic rules).

5. Cavalry cannot melee attack trolls, dragons, or any other exotic creature (the smell, Oh! the smell!). Within 5" of such, they must make performance tests to remain that close: failure meaning a rout away to a safer distance: if unpursued, recovery is automatic once clear of the offending critters.

6. Only infantry can melee with trolls, Műmakil, giants, dragons and such exotic creatures of unusual size. But they are limited (without a performance test) based on their morale class: select a single figure that will melee, then count around the total group of "ganging-up" figure/bases: "A" class infantry can melee with every second figure in base contact; "B" class can add on every third figure in base contact; "C" class can add on every fourth figure in base contact; "D" class can add on every fifth figure in base contact.

For instance: if a troll was surrounded by five figure/bases, all in base contact, three could add their CVs together if they were "A" class; two only could melee if they were "B" or "C" class; and only one could melee if they were "D" class.
Each turn that the infantry makes a successful morale/performance test, ALL the figure/bases in base contact may add in their combat values. But if the infantry who are mobbing the larger creature suffer elimination in the melee, then every figure in base contact is removed - even those which failed a performance test on that turn, and not merely those adding combat value to the melee.

7. Nazgűl cause a morale check upon all enemy units within 40" at the start of any battle. Failure means the unit(s) within a charge move of the Nazgűl rout; other units within 40" but outside of charge range will stop moving and will not make any attacks. If already fighting/shooting, the unit does so at -1 to the dice rolls (or, if the enemy is the attacker in melee, then they +1 to their rolls). Once a unit tests good in the presence of a Nazgűl, their morale is OK for the rest of that battle.

8. Wolfriders cause enemy cavalry to make a morale check upon the first turn of melee contact: failure means rout. Once a successful test is made, morale is good for the rest of that battle.

9. Special morale checks may be required for particular items or characters coming into contact with the enemy: for example, Strider wielding Andúril at Helm’s Deep caused great fear to come upon his foes, and at the gate of the Hornburg his speech also caused them to become fearful. Gandalf wielded tremendous power by his mere presence at the climax of the same battle. All enemy figures must make a morale test each time they come into contact: and any units within 40" must make a morale test the first time. Failure of those units within 40" but not physical contact means they will stop all movement and will not attack. Those already in combat are busy and will not be affected until such time as they can “see” the character causing the fearful reaction. Those units which test good are OK for the rest of this battle.
(These kinds of single-character morale effects should probably be limited to "storybook" battle scenarios and not assigned a points cost: ergo, they should not show up in player-created scenarios that have nothing to do with TLOTR specifically, but are located in Middle-earth elsewhere.)

10. Battle magic is deemed to be only that portion of magic points on the advantaged side. All equal points cancel each other out, i.e. the wielders of magic are in constant balance countering each other. For example, if the Witch King and Gandalf face each other down at Minas Tirith, then there is likely no magic spell casting. But if Gandalf is alone, then he will have X-number of spells:

Flamethrower: Each single missile costs 20 points, and does instant death in a straight line 20mm wide by 120mm deep: up to 1d6 figure/bases within this corridor are eliminated: i.e. 60 to 360 "hits" (any unused "hits" merely cause "overkill" on the fried targets). If the target base is wider than 20mm, hits from fire only eliminate the part of the base in contact. (This is particularly applied to big creatures like Műmakil, which take far more than 60 hits per base and are far wider than 20mm.)

Miasma: Each unit so affected – within 40" of the caster – will cease all movement and revert to zero CV while the caster concentrates upon that unit: as soon as he does anything else, the unit will recover with a successful morale test. Cost per spell (and unit affected) is 100 points.

Wind: Only summoned once, the direction chosen by the caster. All units downwind are reduced to minimum range with their missiles, and at -1 to the dice rolls. Melee combat is unaffected. Morale tests are required on all downwind enemy units being charged or attacked in melee combat by units attacking “out of the wind”, i.e. with the wind before them as they attack on the first turn of contact. Cost is 200 points.

Rain of pests: Once per battle, a rain of critters upon the enemy occurs 1d6 turns into the battle. Effect is to cause a morale test upon all enemy units so deluged (the pests are their race’s most detested, feared or hated animal, usually playing upon an aversion of “pollution” or contagion). Cost is 250 points.

The magic allowed to an army is up to ten percent of it’s army point size: example, 1,000 point army is allowed to put 100 points into magic. Only the magic points in excess of the enemy’s total may actually be used to “buy” spells. The points “spent” on magic are written down before the game, then revealed once the armies are deployed. Then the side with a magic points advantage – if any – takes those points of advantage and “buys” their wizard(s) some spells. The wizard(s) must be placed on the gaming table in plain view, and the spells assigned to each (if there is more than one) must be clearly written down. Any magic points left over less than 20 are discarded.

Army Lists
The following armies lists are the closest historical equivalent that suit my own fancy (however, they are according to the way Tolkien described the arms and tactics used.

For anyone interested in the current edition of The Art of War, Tactical Warfare in Miniature for Pre-gunpowder Armies (which these armies lists are designed to be used with), you can take a look at a descriptive page by clicking HERE
Art of War Cover

Orcish armies of the north (Mount Gundabad)
Use the German Armies 100 B.C. to 100 A.D. the western tribes. list. Or alternatively Viking Raider Armies 900 to 1150. Any cavalry are Wolfriders.

Orcish armies of the Misty Mountains
The same – dark ages Germanic – with up to 25% Uruk-hai. Uruk-hai units are drawn from the Viking list. Ten percent of Uruk-hai may be berserkers (PI, fight in open order, get a charge bonus of +50% on the first combat turn, fanatic “B” class, never use missiles). Uruk-hai can trot indefinitely, but are always in open order while trotting.

Armies of Dol Guldur, Isengard and Mordor
The same, a lot of orcs/goblins.
You can upgrade this core army to Western Germanic Armies 500 A.D. to 650 A. D. includes early Franks, Suevi, Alemani and Teutons.
Up to 50% may be Uruk-hai (Vikings).
Up to 5% may be trolls (PI on at least 30mm frontages CV=24) open order only, treat like BIG berserkers in every way.
Up to 40% are suborned men (Dunlendings, Balchoth, Haradrim, Variags, etc.). They use their own armies lists according to closest historical type, agreed upon before the game/campaign: for instance, Celtic/Gallic Armies 400 B.C. to 50 B.C. make excellent Dunlendings; also Saxon Armies in England 450 to 850 A.D. would work well for Dunlendings; while Steppes Armies in the east and west 500 A.D. to 1200 A.D. includes Onogars, Bulgars, Turks, Khazars, Avars, Pechenegs, Magyars, Cumans, Kipchaks and so on. are Variags and Easterlings. Balchoth can be treated as Dunlendings. Haradrim are easily represented by the early Arab JIHAD Armies 650 to 800 A.D. (but without allowing the Jihad fanatic morale). Abbasid and Umayyad Armies 850 to 1000 A.D. also work well, but the infantry should always outnumber the cavalry, by as much as 5 to 1 maximum.

Dwarven armies of anywhere and time
Use Vikings without the bow. (If you must, substitute crossbow: although I think the Professor would grimace at the presence of crossbows in Middle-earth: too much like infernal machinery! He said that he always wanted to be a skilled archer, a dream never realized in his lifetime; so I cannot imagine him settling with any satisfaction for skill with a device/crossbow.) All missile fire is hand missile. Anglo-Saxon Armies 1014 to 1066 work too. Dwarves can trot indefinitely and all morale that is “D” class is for performance tests only and not morale for casualties or seeing friendlies run – i.e. no rout checks at less than “C” class. 10% of Dwarves can fight like berserkers (see orcish armies above).

Elvish armies of anywhere and time
Use English Armies in France and Spain during the Hundred Years War 1340 to 1450 A.D. "D" class morale is treated as performance checks only, i.e. like Dwarves, the lowest morale check for casualties or seeing friendlies running away is "C" class. A case could be made for upgrading all bow one class, since Elves are supposed to be the best archers in Middle-earth, and should not be inferior to Variags or others using Bow 4 as their main weapon.
(Silmarillion note: Armies of the Noldor should use Imperial Roman "Byzantine" Armies 900 A.D. to 1080 A.D., but with Bow 4 and 5 in place of any listed Bow 3 and 4. The cavalry can outnumber infantry as per the Byzantine list: but at any time the cavalry can dismount and fight on foot. Sindaran Elves - Grey-elves and Green-elves - use the English Armies in France and Spain during the Hundred Years War 1340 to 1450 A.D. list, but Green-elves of Ossiriand are limited to a maximum of 10% total nonbowmen troops, and may not have cavalry of any description.)

Armies of Gondor
Before the War of the Ring, Gondor is like Byzantium, guarding the west. Use Imperial Roman "Byzantine" Armies 900 A.D. to 1080 A.D. But infantry seems to be the dominant arm: therefore the cavalry should not outnumber the infantry. During the War of the Ring, degenerate Gondor uses Italian City State and Provincial Armies 1000 to 1300 A.D. Dol Amroth alone uses Crusader Armies 1150 to 1291 A.D. And when combined with Gondor Dol Amroth contingents may make up 25% of the total.

Armies of Rohan
The Riddermark is the home of cavalry. Use Goth Led Armies 200 A.D. to 500 A.D. or Lombard/Italian Armies 570 to 700 A.D. or Frankish Armies 750 to 1000 A.D. Morale classes are as given, with the proviso that during the War of the Ring any “D” class is for performance tests only, not checking for routing.

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