Your orc army strategy

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Postby hubzilla » Wed Aug 07, 2002 6:12 pm

You are in command of the orc armies at Helm's Deep and Minas Tirith. How do you win the battle?<BR><BR>Helm's Deep: Siege, not assault. You trap the Roharrim at Helms Deep (like in the book) with half your army. Send the other 5000 on a foray into Edoras, et al. When the good guys hear about your pillage and plunder, they'll have to attack the numerically superior 5000 orcs at an extreme disadvantage. Send the other 5000 back as a reserve to finish off the now-exposed Roharrim.<BR><BR>Then again, it never does to leave Huorns out of the equation.<BR><BR>Pelennor Fields: Frontal assault wouldn't work with the Gondor army in a strong fortification (like in the book). But I also don't think a prolonged siege would work, with all the unexpected reinforcements from Rohan and the South. You'd need to draw them out of the city with a feint and then bring on your main force. Hopefully, the battle would be over by the time the others arrived.<BR><BR>These are toughies, since it would be hard to anticipate the timely arrival of the reinforcements. Saruman had no way of knowing about the Huorns, nor did Gothmog about Aragorn's sortie. <BR><BR>Could you have won it?
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Postby elf_of_doriath » Wed Aug 07, 2002 7:03 pm

I don't really think it was possible to win at Helms Deep, because of the Huorns. The Rohirrim could last too long under siege, there were stores there.<BR>In the pellinor fields, I think Sauron waited too long to attack them. If he would have attacked before they had time to proporly organize themselves, they would have won, and then they would be ready for assults from Gondors allies. A sudden unexpected use of force would have won the day. Of course, it was impossible to win the war unless there was increased security on Mordor itself. All of the main entrenced should have been swarming with orcs.<BR>Well thats my opinion. Hopefully its not that stupid <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>
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Postby wilko185 » Thu Aug 08, 2002 6:07 pm

<i>In the pellinor fields, I think Sauron waited too long to attack them.</i><BR><BR>Gandalf in fact says Sauron had been pushed into attacking before he was fully ready (by Aragorn showing Sauron Narsil reforged in the palantir). If Sauron had been more patient, he could probably have prepared an army large enough to destroy Gondor, even if Minas Tirith had had the Rohirrhim and Aragorn inside the city walls.<BR><BR><BR><i>You trap the Roharrim at Helms Deep (like in the book) with half your army. Send the other 5000 on a foray into Edoras, et al.</i><BR><BR>There's an interesting chapter (from a military strategy point of view) in UT on the Battles of the Fords of Isen. There Saruman did in fact split his forces in two and sent them down both sides of the river, hoping to crush the forces defending the fords. It is suggested that Saruman made a tactical error in the first battle in devoting too much of his effort to killing Theodred (Theoden's son) rather than wiping out Rohan's army.<BR><BR>At Helm's Deep, Saruman could in theory have left enough forces to just contain Theoden while the rest would be free to pillage Rohan. But Saruman would prefer to finish Theoden and destroy his army as soon as possible, I think. He didn't know what help Gandalf could conjure up for the Rohirrhim given enough time, so wasting time trying to draw Theoden out could have been asking for trouble.
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Postby Wandering but not lost » Fri Aug 09, 2002 1:24 am

I think part of their flaw was pride as well. Sauruman and Sauron most probably did not think they would lose nor expected much of a huge thread from the battles. I think had Sauruman realized the feasability of his loss he would have been much more careful and most definitly sent a small force to raid Rohan. Feeling it was likely he would win, time would not have played a factor. He could raid now or later. In Gondor, I also do not think Sauron expected to lose. I mean, hubris being such a common flaw and theme in the book and all books for that matter, it seems typical that they'd have expected victory. Then again, I cannot be sure of course since I have not read that part in 2 years.
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Postby Eoywen » Sun Aug 18, 2002 1:37 am

the old way works best.<BR>surround helm's deep with a triple thick wall of orcs and a few orcs on patroll for empty and weak spots, while slowly pressing inward until HJelm's deep is conqured!
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Re: Your orc army strategy

Postby Billobob » Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:59 pm

I would have gotten multiple covered battering rams (http://www.totallytortoise.com/tortoise-siege-weapon.html) and broken down the walls. While this was happening I would start diggin under the castle wall to undermine it set up sticks so the tunnel doesn't collapse and leave a trail of wood, once I'm out I'd burn the wood(http://www.castles-of-britain.com/undermining.htm). If neither of these efforts collapsed the walls I would then proceed to to start building catapults with a longer range than a bow and arrow so I could kill them without being in danger. In order to ensure victory iI had not destroyed helms deep by this time I would retreat to the country side away from Fangorn and start raiding Rohan daring my enemies to come out and race me. Of course this would be away from the forest so the Hurons couldn't destroy my army.
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Re: Your orc army strategy

Postby Chariot Rider » Sun Jan 17, 2016 4:33 pm

The way to win at helms deep is a good old fashioned siege. Just plopp your army of thousands in front of Rohan, cut off supply routes and see who lasts longer. The Rohirum would starve before you did so you can sit back, eat maggoty bread for probably more than 3 stinking days, and wait until they all die, surrender, or come out to fight you. Saruman has the time, and resources to wait. The only other problem is that Isenguard would be taken by the ents and Gandalf would bring the riders of Rohan so that might change your plans. But with the knowledge Saruman had at the time I think the best tactic would be a siege.
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Re: Your orc army strategy

Postby Billobob » Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:35 pm

The major problem with that strategy is that -like you said- the Ents and Huorns would come full force against Saruman and if he got between the Ents and Helm's deep while waiting the Rohirrim out his army would be demolished.
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Re: Your orc army strategy

Postby here2fore » Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:38 am

Saruman, of course, did not have perfect intelligence. But he had to deal with the fact that Sauron expected results. Thus, Saruman is constrained to not only leave his stronghold undefended, but plan for a quick victory over Rohan.

How could have Saruman done better, tactics-wise? His strategy was set. Nice touch with the explosives. Well, he could have done better by using those explosives earlier in the assault. But as we see in both the book and movie, that blasting power was held back. Perhaps that was a problem of logistics. But had the orc army employed this early on, Helms Deep would have fallen too soon for Gandalf & company to come to the rescue. So timidity or lack of logistical support doomed the orc assault, in hindsight.

Big picture-wise, Saruman and Sauron could have coordinated a LOT better than they did. All Saruman had to do was button up Helms Deep and move most his orcs toward Minas Tirith. True, the Hurons would have broken the siege and laid waste to Isengard, but it wouldn't be a total cluster for S & S, as Minas Tirith would have fallen quickly in the two-pronged assault. Aragorn and the Dead would not have arrived, either, or in time.

Then, too, Sauron completely screwed up. For all his legions, he did not spare a couple of orcs to guard the only entrance to Mount Doom. As unlikely as he thought that the enemy would brazenly destroy him in such a manner, Sauron had enough resources to spare some orcs, or even a troll, to defend his weakest point. Even if he thought that some upstart like Aragorn, or worse Gandalf, claimed the Ring, surely Sauron knew he could run away to the East to fight another day. As superstitious as was Middle Earth, surely Sauron had to have considered the import of "Mount Doom," or recalled that his mentor and superior Melkor/Morgoth also perished after the slaying of a great dragon.
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Re: Your orc army strategy

Postby Billobob » Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:31 am

here2fore wrote:Saruman, of course, did not have perfect intelligence. But he had to deal with the fact that Sauron expected results. Thus, Saruman is constrained to not only leave his stronghold undefended, but plan for a quick victory over Rohan.

How could have Saruman done better, tactics-wise? His strategy was set. Nice touch with the explosives. Well, he could have done better by using those explosives earlier in the assault. But as we see in both the book and movie, that blasting power was held back. Perhaps that was a problem of logistics. But had the orc army employed this early on, Helms Deep would have fallen too soon for Gandalf & company to come to the rescue. So timidity or lack of logistical support doomed the orc assault, in hindsight.

Big picture-wise, Saruman and Sauron could have coordinated a LOT better than they did. All Saruman had to do was button up Helms Deep and move most his orcs toward Minas Tirith. True, the Hurons would have broken the siege and laid waste to Isengard, but it wouldn't be a total cluster for S & S, as Minas Tirith would have fallen quickly in the two-pronged assault. Aragorn and the Dead would not have arrived, either, or in time.
Nice point on the explosives. But in the books it does say that Isengard and Mordor were kind of competitors, since Gimli (I think he's the one who says this) says something to the effect of "if only our countries weren't in between them (meaning Mordor and Isengard) then they could fight each other. Many different times through the book it does show that Saruman was trying to become the Lord of the Rings so to speak. So it's doubtful they would have been able to coordinate at Gondor.

Then, too, Sauron completely screwed up. For all his legions, he did not spare a couple of orcs to guard the only entrance to Mount Doom. As unlikely as he thought that the enemy would brazenly destroy him in such a manner, Sauron had enough resources to spare some orcs, or even a troll, to defend his weakest point. Even if he thought that some upstart like Aragorn, or worse Gandalf, claimed the Ring, surely Sauron knew he could run away to the East to fight another day. As superstitious as was Middle Earth, surely Sauron had to have considered the import of "Mount Doom," or recalled that his mentor and superior Melkor/Morgoth also perished after the slaying of a great dragon.
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