Prior to the release of Peter Jackson's movie 'The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring', I decided to create some Middle Earth Army Lists for Armati. These were posted in the Files section of the Yahoo Armati group, received some comment, were used by the Phoenix Wargames Club of Glasgow for a club campaign, and then slipped into obscurity.
With the publication of Armati II, and the release of Peter Jackson's second and third 'Lord of the Rings' movies, the subject of Middle Earth lists for Armati came up again. I dusted off my old notes and set about reworking my army lists for the new version of the rules. These lists were eventually put up on the Warflute site and may have been used at one of the U.S. East Coast wargames conventions.
As I now have my own web presence, I thought it only proper to re-post the Army Lists, as published on Warflute, as these are now the definative version.
Armati Army Lists for 'The Lord of the Rings'
From descriptions and notes in The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, The History of Middle Earth Vols 1 - 9, and The Complete Guide to Middle Earth the following army lists have been developed to enable Armati players to fight battles in J. R. R. Tolkein's Middle Earth.
Luke Ueda-Sarson's DBM Lord of the Rings Lists have proved an invaluable resource, and the development of these Armati Lists has been greatly assisted by comments, questions and suggestions from Roy Boss, Dom Skelton, Graham Evans, Vincent Auger, Aiden Roseberry and Stephen Phenow on the Armati Yahoo Group.
Where possible, I have adapted existing Armati Army Lists from the 'Triumph of Cavalry' and 'Age of Chivalry' periods as I feel that these are the closest equivalents in technology and tactical fighting style to the warfare portrayed in Tolkein's books.
Battlefield magic plays a minor part in Middle Earth. Apart from certain magical beings, which require certain special effects, I have seen little need to evolve special 'House Rules' for magic in Middle Earth. This should make it easier for players to adapt existing figures for a Middle Earth army, as well as leaving them on familiar ground with regard to rules.
The armies below are taken from the latter part of the Third Age, up to and including The War of the Ring.
Orcs: Moria, Dol Guldur and Orcs of the Misty Mountains
Core Terrain: 1 RG Bonus Terrain (3 Max): 2 GR; 2 SH; 2 RG
Dol Guldur: 1 W Bonus Terrain (3 Max): 1 GR; 2 SH; 2 RG; 1 W
* Not available in a Dol Guldur Army.
**Only in a Dol Guldur Army.
***Cave Troll Warbands are BP:3, Move: 9". Not available in a Dol Guldur Army.
This list represents the Orc armies of the Misty Mountains, from Moria north to Mount Gundabad, and the Armies of Dol Guldur in Southern Mirkwood
Moria or Misty Mountain Orc Armies were involved in the War of the Dwarves and Orcs (Third Age 2793 - 99). The Orc and Warg Army at the Battle of the Five Armies, fought on and around Erebor (Third Age 2941 - the climax of The Hobbit), was a Misty Mountain Army. During the War of the Ring, Orc armies from Sauron's fortress of Dol Gudur in Southern Mirkwood attacked Lorien and Thranduil's people in Northern Mirkwood. Moria Cave Trolls are described as 'scaled, greenish, and toeless.' Olog-hai were bred by Sauron towards the end of the Third Age and dwelt in Southern Mirkwood and the mountains or Mordor.
Dwarves of Erebor and the Iron Hills
Core Terrain: 1 SH Bonus Terrain (3 Max): 3 GR; 1 SH; 2 W
All Dwarf FT can form Shieldwall.
*Hearth Guard are veterans and have a BP of 5.
**Men of Dale are only available in an Erebor Army. A minimum of 20 points worth of Men of Dale must be purchased if any are taken. Men of Dale FT may form Shield Wall.
Dwarves were doughty warriors. To represent this, I have given the Army an initial BP of 3 and given the Hearth Guard veteran status (+1 unit BP). Dwarvish armies were traditionally well armed and armoured and this is reflected by their enhanced Frontal Fighting and PROT factors.
The Men of Dale had a traditionally close relationship with Erebor. Both before Smaug's occupation and after the restoration of the Kingdom under the Mountain, the Men of Dale formed a significant part in the Erborian Army, as well as holding wide lands around Esgaroth and the Long Lake.
In spite of the insistence of certain figure manufacturers and rules writers, Dwarves did not fight mounted. In The Hobbit, Thorin Oakenshield and his companions rode ponies, but only when they are travelling. Tolkein's Dwarves are drawn directly from the Eddas and so I have adapted the Viking army list to represent the armies of the Iron Hills and of the restored Kingdom under the Mountain.
Elves of Mirkwood
Core Terrain: 1 W Bonus Terrain (5 Max): 2 GR; 1 SH; 1 RG; 3 W
*Beorning Warband is BP3, Move 9".
King Thranduil's realm in Northern Mirkwood was established sometime early in the Second Age. Sindar were Grey Elves, and were counted amongst the Eldar despite the fact they had never been to the Blessed Realm. The Silvan Elves, or avari, were known as Wood Elves, and were not of the Eldar.
Thranduil's realm enjoyed peace for much of the Second and Third Ages, despite occasional attacks by giant spiders, Orcs and a war with the Dwarves (of Erebor?). Thranduil led the Elvish forces at the Battle of the Five Armies and successfully repulsed attacks on Northern Mirkwood by the Army of Dol Guldur dueing the War of the Ring.
I have rated the Sindar Cavalry as Light Horse as the Sindar, even during the Firts Age, rarely fielded Heavy Cavalry.
Men of Dale
Core Terrain: 1 SH Bonus Terrain (3 Max): 3 GR; 1 SH; 2 RG
All FT may form Shieldwall.
*Erebor Dwarf Allies: Can form Shieldwall. If any taken, all must be taken.
Dale was a kingdom with its capital nestled beneath the gates of the Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor. Destroyed by the dragon Smaug, it was re-established by King Bard following the death of Smaug and the Battle of the Five Armies. While closely allied with Erebor, Dale also held sway over a wide area of land south of Erebor to Esgaroth, the Long Lake, and the River Running and eastward into the plains of Rhûn to the River Carnen. During the War of the Ring, Dale was hard pressed by Easterlings stirred up by Sauron.
While related to the Northmen who were the ancestors of the Riders of Rohan, the Men of Dale had lost most of their cavalry lands, and cavalry traditions, to the Wainriders in the middle Third Age.
I have based the Dale army on that of the Pre-Feudal Scots.
Core Terrain: 1 GR Bonus Terrain (2 Max): 2 GR; 1 SH; 1 RG
The riders of the Riddermark of Rohan have a very Anglo-Saxon culture in The Lord of the Rings and use many Anglo-Saxon words (reflecting Tolkein's own area of expertise). The only problem with this is that the Anglo-Saxons did not make much use of cavalry in warfare. From a clue in The History of Middle Earth, I have instead opted to adapt the Lombard Armati list. The Lombards originated near the ancient Anglo-Saxons and, in the course of their wanderings, adopted the use of the horse in warfare.
The eored was a cavalry unit of several hundred men.
The 'Old Men' and 'Boys' are levies that the Kings of Rohan called upon to defend their holdings when the main body of the army mounted for war. All Rohirrim could, and did, fight dismounted on occasion; witness the defence of the Fords of Isen and the Battle of Helm's Deep. Erkenbrand's surviving Westfolders arrived at Helm's Deep, with Gandalf, on foot, having passed along narrow trails through the mountains. They would probably be a mixture of 'Old Men' and dismounted Westfold eoreds.The Banner of Rohan was a galloping white horse on a green field.
Core Terrain: 1 GR Bonus Terrain (3 Max): 2 GR; 1 SH; 1 RG
*Hill Troll Warbands are BP 3, Move 9".
**BP 4; Move 6".
***If Mûmakil are taken, then at least two Harad Heavy Units must be taken.
The Olog-hai were trolls, bred by Sauron towards the end of the Third Age. Hardier and better disciplined than the Hill Trolls of Gorgoroth, or the Cave Trolls of the northern Orc armies, I have classified them as Foot. The Easterlings were described as being tall, bearded and wielding great axes.
Sauron's army during the War of the Ring was a polyglot force of Orcs, Haradrim and Easterlings, usually under the command of the Lord of the Nazgûl, the Witch-King of Angmar. Other commanders mentioned include Gothmog, Lieutenant of Morgûl (perhaps an Orc), and the Mouth of Sauron at the Battle of the Black Gate.
The badge of Mordor was the Red Eye on a black field.
Core Terrain: 1 GR Bonus Terrain (2 Max): 2 GR; 1 SH; 1 RG; 1 W
The Haradrim, from the desert lands of Near and Far Harad, appear in the Lord of the Rings as almost fairy tale Arabs and I have tried to keep this flavour with borrowings from the Andalusian Arab and Saracen Armati Lists.
The original Corsairs of Umbar were Black Numenorians who were corrupted by Sauron. After being dispersed by the Kings of Gondor, they were eventually succeeded by the supporters of the Usurper Castamir, who fled from Gondor to Umbar following Castamir's defeat and death. Eventually, King Telumehtar of Gondor retook Umbar but it was soon lost to the Haradrim. From then, until its fall to King Elessor in the Fourth Age, Umbar became just one of the Kingdoms of Harad.
I have rated the Corsairs as better class Heavy Cavalry as Umbar was a rich and powerful city. The Variangs of Khand seem to be a people who specialized in the use of a two handed weapon like an axe. Mûmakil (sing. mûmak) are the Oliphaunts of Hobbit-Lore, elephant-like creatures (though larger), used to anchor the Haradrim battle line. I personally doubt that the Mûmakil were as large as depicted in the film The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, but they were certainly impressive.
Harad was a fairly constant enemy of Gondor throughout much of the Third Age, with the frontier between the two states constantly shifting.
The Haradrim are described as bearing red banners and the Haradrim Chieftain at the Battle of the Plennor Fields had as a banner a black serpent on a scarlet field.
Core Terrain: 1 GR Bonus Terrain (3 Max): 3 GR; 1 SH; 1 W
*BP 4; Move 6"
In Third Age 2953 Saruman took Isengard for his own and fortified it. He then began gathering Orcs and Dunlendings and harassing Rohan and Fangorn. He was to hold Isengard for the next 66 years until his downfall in the War of the Ring. Believing he was following his own policies, Saruman was in fact duped by Sauron and used to divide the forces of the West.
Saruman's Army is drawn from that of Dunland and that of the Moria Orcs of the Misty Mountains. Half-Orcs are beings of man-height with sallow skin and squinty eyes. They appear to be Saruman's own creation and, as such, he may have given them better equipment than his Orc soldiers. There is no evidence that they were better fighters.
Saruman's badge was a white hand, possibly on black.
Core Terrain: 1 GR Bonus Terrain (3 max): 3 GR; 1 SH; 1 RG; 1 W
*BP 4; Move 6"
Dunland Javelin-armed SI may support Dunland Mounted as per Section 7.8.5.
The Dunlendings of Dunland are described as a primitive people. They hated the Rohirrim, who had driven them out of the Vales of the White Mountains and from the Western Plains of Rohan. Their two greatest attacks on Rohan were in Third Age 2758, when they were led by Wulf, and during the War of the Ring when they were roused by Saruman.
I have based the Dunlending Army on that of the Early Franks. The Dunlendings are discribed as being tall, swarthy and dark haired. While a 'primitive' people, the Dunlendings were also renowned horse thieves. All that prime Rohirrim horse-flesh could end up as mounts for a small noble class.
Core Terrain: 1 W Bonus Terrain (4 max): 3 GR; 1 SH; 2 W
* Noldor Spearman are BP 5, can Wheel and Move, and form Shieldwall.
** Noldor Heavy Cavalry are BP 4 Veterans.
Neither Noldor nor Sindar Heavy Cavalry are subject to Obligatory Charges.
The Elves of Lorien were known as the Galadrim, the Tree People.
Founded in the Second Age by Galadriel, and modelled after Doriath, Lorien was peopled mainly by Silvan Elves. Galadrial was a Noldor Queen, daughter of Finarfin and sister to High King Finrod, who had remained in Middle Earth after the end of the First Age. Given her status and lineage, it is likely that those Noldor still remaining in Middle Earth, east of the Misty Mountains, would have gravitated to her court in Lothlorien.
The Noldor are described as ferocious warriors in battle. Even at the end of the Third Age, there were still a few who had visited the Undying Lands in the West, and who had come back to Middle Earth (Galadriel was one), or who had been born during the War of the Jewels (such as Elrond). Immensely ancient, immensely experienced, it seems appropriate to classify them as Veterans, and to allow Noldor FT to Wheel and Move, and to form Shieldwall.
Core Terrain: 1 GR Bonus Terrain (3 max): 3 GR; 1 SH; 2 RG
*BP 4; Move 6".
** BP 3; Move 9".
The Easterlings consisted of a number of Tribes and Nations living east of the Sea of Rhûn. Under Sauron's influence, to a lesser or greater extent, they were drawn Westward in a series of invasions or migrations over a period of two thousand years.
The two handed axemen, who also appear in the Mordor list, were apparently untypical of the Easterlings in general. From the Hill of Amon Hen, Frodo saw a vision of the Easterlings, 'swordsmen, spearmen, bowmen on horses, chariots of chieftains, and laden wains.' The Easterlings are described as marching in 'serried ranks', and also rushing to the attack. If considered as a confederation of tribes, each with a slightly different culture and fighting style, then the use of 'fast' and 'heavy' warbands alongside more formed foot seems plausible. Tolkein suggests that the Easterlings, like the Dunlendings, were a more primitive group of peoples then the Dunedain of the West, and their apparent conservatism would be reflected in their war equipment
Even though "the East" is described as being "plain-like", none of the Easterlings appear to be anything like steppe nomads. Therefore, I have loosely based the Easterlings on the Picts.
Core Terrain: 1 GR Bonus Terrain (3 max): 2 GR; 1 SH; 1 RG or 1 W
*At least 26 points of Rohan Cavalry must be taken if any are taken.
This is a suggested Gondor Army List for the War of the Ring Period, including King Elessar's campaigns against Harad and the Easterlings that took place in the century following the war. The list is based loosely on that of the Late Roman (Western Empire).
The Core consists of the forces available in and around the city of Minas Tirith. The Bonus consists of the detachments sent to the city prior to the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, Third Age 3019. It is likely that for King Elessar's expeditions, he would draw on similar troops from the various communities of Gondor.
The Ithilien Rangers were commanded by Faramir, brother of Boromir, during the War of the Ring. Whilst being famed archers, the Rangers were also able to inflict heavy losses on Sauron's troops marching through Ithilien by ambush in the close, forest country, therefore I have rated them as LI.
Prince Imrahil and many of the nobility of Dol Amroth were of mixed Dunedan and Elvish ancestry. From Tolkein's description of their arrival at Minas Tirith, and their equipment, and of their deeds during the Battle of the Pelennor Fields and the Battle before the Gate of Mordor, I feel that the Knights of Dol Amroth should be classified as Knights.
The Banner of the Stewards of Gondor was a plain white standard, that of Gondor was a white tree on a black field. Dol Amroth's banner was a silver swan-ship on a blue field.