Here are the locations of some of the objects in the game:
Tuckborough ------------------ Black Flask
East of Buckland ------------- Wooden Staff
Grey Havens & Michel Delving - Blue Potion
Forlond ---------------------- Black Flask
South of Forland ------------- Palantir
Belegost --------------------- Mithril Mail
Bombadils' House ------------- Elven Blade
Barrows Downs ---------------- Elven Blade
North of Barrow Downs -------- Elven Blade
West of Annuminas ------------ Golden Sceptre
South of Ost-in-Edhil -------- Ancient Sword
Rivendell -------------------- Mithril Mail
Lorien ----------------------- Elven Cloak, Glowing Phial, Coil of Rope
North of Grebor -------------- Dwarven Hammer
North of Dol Goldur ---------- Dwarven Ring
South of Mount Gram ---------- Black Flask, Red Arrow, Mithril Mail
If Gandalf goes to Derdingle, 1,000 huorns will go to Hornburg and 1,000 Ents
will go to Isengard. Aragorn can be found at Bree and Merry can be found at
Buckland. Five-hundred trolls can easily handle everyone from Minas Tirith,
Osgiliath and Cair Andros.
Items: Never give anyone an item that person already possesses - they're lost
forever. So if you send Faramir to pick up a blue potion (healing) north of
White Towers, he can no longer take the one in Grey Havens. It takes a bit of
careful planning to get all the right items in the shortest amount of time.
Also, give the right item to the right man and keep in mind that gaining
allies should be given top priority. It's no use fooling around with healing
potions or nice weapons if Dain, Thranduil and other leaders are immobile
because they haven't received their "tokens of war".
The sooner you can mobilise your troops the better your chances will be once
Saruman and Sauron start moving out of their own little backyards (actually,
you can beat them to it).
Battles: Overkill works. If you attack 2000 Orcs with 2000 cavalry (cavalry
is very effective) you'll probably beat all the Orcs and lose less than two
hundred cavalry. If you attack those same Orcs with five hundred cavalry
chances are you'll lose the battle (and thus all your cavalry) and never
inflict serious losses on your opponent. One thing: there's a fine balance
between the exact right battleline and needles losses. If you make a stand
(say, defending Minas Tirith) with lots of leaders and a whole range of
different troops - rangers, infantry, light infantry, knights, tower guards
and cavalry - then 250 trolls will inflict losses in all these categories,
thus causing you to lose several hundred troops each round of combat. If you
attack those same 250 trolls with nothing but (for instance) cavalry there's
a good chance you'll come out with no more than fifty dead, perhaps even none.
The two most valid rules seem to be overkill, and concentration of troop
When defending Minas Tirith, you'll find that sending all cavalry (or all
Elves, or knights, but not the three combined) to nearby Osgiliath will work
quite nicely. Oh and by the way, I never did find out (not yet, that is) what
the gnarled staff and the coil of rope are all about!!
Seeing how The Lord of the Rings is not exactly like any other book and may
indeed be seen by many as the most comprehensive, extraordinary and brilliant
work of fantasy in history some further infomation may be appreciated. First
of all, the guy who did the game concept (he's just one of the names in the
credits but it seems that's just well- mannered modesty) is Mike Singleton and
he's seen by many as the Numero Uno in wargame simulation; he was doing stuff
like that back in '64. C-64, that is. He's the kind of guy who makes you
wonder how it's possible to get hundreds of different pictures onto a few
disks and still leave enough room for such side effects as a program.
From the first versions of War in Middle Earth on the 8 bit computers came
complaints concerning errors in spelling. As you may or may not be aware,
professor Tolkien's consistency in the development of Middle Earth resulted
in immense background "research"; not only bloodlines of every important
character in the book but also a coherent set of Elven runes and indeed large
parts of fantasy languages were developed and subsequently integrated into
his work. I can thus imagine how it would irritate the Tolkien admirer if
through sheer neglect a good deal of this Middle Earth lore were misspelled. I
am happy to say that on the ST version mistakes seem to have been minimised;
the only error I've found yet (but I'm not a fanatic in searching for them)
was Forland spelled Forlond. No big deal even if I do feel that these things
should be done with care.
A word about the sort of game we're looking at. War in Middle Earth is not an
adventure; the whole thing is icon-driven and thus mouse operated. It is also
not exactly a wargame: characters are required to interact with other
characters and depending on the outcome enemy units (Saruman and Sauron and
their allies) may take certain decisions. War in Middle Earth, I dare say, is
more than most adventures, role-playing games or wargames; if I were to give
it a description I would say it's a fairly uncomplicated but extensive
multi-feature fantasy simulation with great detail and equal success in each
aspect. (Attentive readers may correctly perceive a circumlocution of the
more direct phrase "Good stuff - go and buy").
Let's take a look at the forces moving in Middle Earth. In East Emnet Eomer
and a hundred and twenty cavalry make their way to the north of Dol Goldur,
the Sorcerer's Tower of old. In North Ithilien, Faramir and two hundred
rangers trace their steps across the fields and northern border of the lands
of Gondor and head west. Frodo, with Sam and Pippin following him, makes for
Tuckborough, then goes on to Woodhall, and meets Merry in Buckland. Keeping
in mind Gandalf's warning about the feared Nazgul, the riders in black, Frodo
leads his friends through the old forest and suddenly finds himself at the
house of Tom Bombadil. Tom gives some advice to the party and, carefully
entering the dangerous Barrow Downs, Frodo and companions head for Bree. In
the rest of Middle Earth, forces large enough to take or lose a city, a region
or a whole country slumber; some gathered in fortresses, others spread out
over the countryside.
On the side of the good forces, Dain and his thousand Dwarves, Thranduil and
his Sylvan Elves, Denethor in the mighty city of Minas Tirith, Theoden,
Theodred, Bard and many others not yet aware of the imminent danger keep
their watch, semper paratus. And on the side of the forces of evil, fifteen
hundred Orcs are spread over the vast range of the Misty Mountains, a thousand
Orcs guard Dol Goldur, Saruman's Hand Orcs, Uruk-hai and Dunlendings reside
in once-beautiful Isengard, while only the slightest tip of Sauron's potential
forces - already around thirty thousand Orcs and hundreds of deadly Trolls -
are visible in Morannon, Minas Morgul and also near Mount Doom and Barad Dur.
Invisible the many small but deadly dark forces that roam the land - Orcs,
Trolls, wargs, bandits, spiders, and, feared beyond all, the ancient Balrogs.
And all the time the nine dreaded Nazgul search the shire for a token of the
Tired, dirty, and, what's much more for a hobbit, hungry up to the point of
starving, Frodo and his friends collapsed on the blanket of late autumn leaves
spread out over the withered grass. "We made it!" Too much out of breath to
answer Pippin's exclamation, Sam sat down on the field, legs crossed. After a
few minutes, he looked at Frodo and said, "Well, maybe all this running around
in dead people's places is all right for the three of you, but I've had
enough of adventures already. There's nothing I fancy more than a good hot
meal and a seat in front of a fire." Frodo looked at his friend with sympathy.
"Well, Sam Gamgee, only the day before yesterday we escaped those fearful
black riders, and now we have actually killed a wight in the Barrow Downs, and
what's more we've met Tom Bombadil himself, and all you do is complain."
Sam's face slowly showed a pained, guilty expression, though his love for food
and fire were still apparent. "And what's more," said Pippin in a surprisingly
enthusiastic voice, "we've heard magnificent stories. And we've found a lot
of nice things; right now we each have our own Elven blade. Not to forget the
wonderful magic potions we're carrying." "And a fine staff, even if we don't
know what it's good for," concluded Merry. "Well that's all very well but I'd
easily trade both staff and potions for a strong draught of ale and a full
plate of hot food, thank you very much." "Maybe tonight," sighed Frodo, "when
we reach Bree."
That night in Bree the ranger Aragorn met the party and, knowing it was far
from safe to stay in any one place for a longer period of time, the five of
them immediately left for Midgewater Marsh. All the time gathering
information on the whereabouts, movement and destinations of the nine dark
riders, Aragorn tried to keep away as much as he could from the road that
connected Bree to The Last Bridge and, beyond that, to Ford of Bruinen and
finally to fabled Rivendell - their initial destination. The party slept near
Weathertop but once they found out that the Nazgul frequented the place on
their search they decided to leave it alone and travel through the open land.
When they came near the last bridge, observation taught them that all black
riders moved toward the Ford of Bruinen - so they waited until the last of
the black riders, the mighty Nazgul Lord himself, had left in that direction
and then they immediately followed.
Near the last bridge they came in a fight with five wargs but Aragorn's
ancient sword cut right through the first four vicious wolves while Pippin
killed the last one with his Elven blade. Only Sam was slightly wounded in
the fight. Then, on the road through the forest, the company met Glorfindel
and under his elven guidance they evaded both wolves and Trolls on the forest
road when finally, emerging from the treeline and almost in sight of
Rivendell, the company passed the great river near Ford of Bruinen and was
suddenly attacked by all the nine Nazgul at once. If it hadn't been for the
help of Elrond, things would have been for the worst. But as it was, one
mighty attack after another, initiated time and again by valiant charges from
Elrond and Aragorn, felled each foul Nazgul in turn until none of the
wretched creatures were left.
And the party reached Rivendell to rest and recuperate from their wounds and
to hold council in the presence of Elrond and Gandalf. In the meantime, Eomer
had quietly crossed the plains of the Brown Lands, the small bands of
marauding bandits evading the larger force of his horsemen, and had picked up
the long lost ring of Thrain north of Dol Goldur, the former Sorcerer's Tower
on the edge of Mirkwood. He was now in possession of the ring but, before
returning it to their rightful owners, decided to make a double bargain when
he learned that in a ruin near Mount Gundabad a treasure could be found that
belonged to Thranduil's Sylvan elves. Eomer and his cavalry rode north.
Faramir, having crossed Cair Andros and passing through Edoras, Hornburg and
Isen Ford, headed further west in search of more recent treasure.
In Rivendell, the party met Bilbo, the initial ringbearer, and listened to
the old Hobbit's advice. It was a sentimental meeting amongst the hobbits and
even the most mischievous Elf seemed to sense that theirs was a grave and sad
parting. For Frodo, there was mithril mail as a present from Bilbo and long
farewells from all others as the Fellowship prepared to move on. Frodo had
been appointed ringbearer and it was now his duty to try and destroy the
cursed One Ring by bringing it to age-old Mount Doom in the middle of bare and
sinister Mordor itself and there unmake it in the only possible way. He was to
be assisted by Sam, Pippin, Merry and Aragorn as before, but now Legolas,
Gimli and Boromir had joined the party, and they would all travel under the
capable guidance of Gandalf the Grey. And Gandalf knew, like he had known for
a long time, that now was the time for his final work in the greatest
confrontation between good and evil in the worlds of Middle Earth.
Having learned of important treasures throughout the land and realising full
well that the temporary incapacitation of the Nazgul offered a certain degree
of safety, Gandalf decided it practical to split the company in two and
gather some of the items that would increase the chance of success of their
newborn quest. Aragorn and Legolas would, with all possible speed, search for
various valuable items in or near Belegost, Forland, Grey Havens and White
Towers while Gandalf and the others obtained tokens of power near Mount Gram
and Annuminas. Then they would meet each other in Ost-in-Edhil and continue
And so it happened, and while Eomer brought the heirlooms of the Elves and
Dwarves to their respective owners and thus gained their assistance in the
final battles, Faramir and his rangers searched for healing in a small town
near the mouths of the rivers Greyflood and Isen and continued on to
rendez-vous with Gandalf, Aragorn and the others near Ost-in-Edhil where - so
they had learned from Cirdan - an ancient blade had been washed ashore.
"Gandalf?" "Yes, Aragorn, I know. We must decide on which way to pass the
mountains." "Why not south?" asked the seasoned ranger. Gandalf slowly shook
his head. "Because of Saruman. He has been perverted by Sauron and wants the
ring for himself. We cannot risk it. We must cross these mountains." Aragorn
did not argue. "Where? The passes are probably snowed in." "I know. We shall
try to enter Moria through Hollin Gate."
Once more Aragorn said nothing, but his mien clearly reflected his worry. No
sane man could hope to enter Moria and leave the place unscathed. But then
Gandalf was no ordinary man. When they had travelled across the fields for
several days (not completely alone as Gandalf had picked up signs of Gollum
following the party) they arrived at Hollin Gate. Gandalf spoke the ancient
elven words and opened the passage through the mountains, but immediately the
party was challenged by a fierce creature that seemed to consist mainly of
flames. An ancient Balrog attacked them, and Gandalf instructed his friends
to leave him and continue their quest. In the ensuing fight, the Balrog was
hurt badly, and Gandalf was struck a mortal wound.
The individual members of the company tried to get together and enter Moria
as fast as possible, but Gimli, Legolas and Aragorn were separated from the
others by the presence of the burning creature following them. Although
Sauron's servant was badly hurt, they were still no match for the ancient evil
- at least, that is what Aragorn judged. After two hours of pursuit, Gimli
suddenly turned around, charged across a small glade and attacked the Balrog
with his hammer. By the time Aragorn and Legolas were aware of the assault,
the fight was over.
Gimli sat, totally unhurt, with before his feet nothing but a black, burnt
patch of grass where the Balrog had been dealt the mortal blow. Half stunned,
all Gimli could say was "And that's for Gandalf." Aragorn just stood there,
too tired and too awed to speak. Legolas seemed unmoved, but the inflection in
his voice betrayed both the sadness for Gandalf's defeat as well as admiration
for Gimli's heroic revenge. "My dwarven friend, you have great valor. If we
could all match you the dark lord would never stand a chance." Legolas paused.
"But now we must leave; there is no more time." "And we must go south,"
whispered Aragorn, "for now I must bring the Red Arrow to Edoras as fast as I
can. And we must hope that our friends will survive Moria."
Faramir and his rangers were the last to enter the tunnel, just before the
age-old doors swung shut again. By the light of torches, the company - Boromir
leading the hobbits and rangers - slowly moved through the stone dungeons.
Much further north, Dain (who had found the old dwarven hammer north of
Erebor) and a thousand Dwarves were on their way to Mt. Gundabad to destroy
the Orcs there. More to the south, Eomer, Thranduil and many Elves were going
to Goblin town to do the same. With the consent of his allies, Eomer meant to
deal out a death blow to all the enemies inhabiting the Misty Mountains, thus
ridding this part of Middle Earth of Sauron's troops. And after the Misty
Mountains, he intended to seek out the enemy in old Dol Goldur.
Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas passed through the gap of Rohan south of Isengard
and continued on toward Edoras where they hoped to meet Theoden. Boromir, the
hobbits and Faramir with his rangers were totally outnumbered by the five
hundred Orcs at Dol Amroth, but with a great charge they managed to decimate
their opponents before the final attacks started. Faramir was slightly
wounded, several dozen rangers lay dead on the rocks, Boromir was severely
hurt, but all the orcs were killed. The party continued on, left Moria and
started toward Lothlorien. Dain's company reached Mt. Gundabad and ran the
Orcs over in a single charge, not one Dwarf was killed. Eomer and Thranduil's
company attacked the Goblin town but the enemy was dug in and had to be
searched out; several dozen Elves and nine cavalry died in the progress of
annihilating the last of Sauron's servants in the Misty Mountain range. Both
Dain and Eomer started their journey towards Lorien.
The first to reach Lorien was none other than Gandalf'; not killed by his
opponent's foul blow but rather transformed into a more pure and strong form.
Now, Gandalf the Grey had become Gandalf' the White. And after speaking to
the lady Galadriel, Gandalf' left for Edoras. Boromir's company reached Lorien
and was also welcomed by the beautiful Elf queen, and Frodo received gifts
from the lady of light. Faramir and his rangers decided to stay in Lorien and
help defend the fabled city should the need arise. Boromir, Frodo, Sam, Pippin
and Meriadoc left for Minas Tirith. Aragorn and company had reached Edoras,
and when the Red Arrow was presented to Theoden King the latter gave orders
to rally all cavalry in his lands and promised Aragorn that Saruman would soon
pay for his betrayal.
And Aragorn went to Minas Tirith to offer the Sceptre, token of the power of
the King of Numenor, to Denethor in order to mobilise as soon as possible the
complete strength of Gondor. The battle for Isengard was short; forewarned as
Theoden was his thousands of cavalry took the initiative and attacked, rather
than awaiting a certain siege and offensive in Hornburg. Theoden King led the
troops that simply ran over Saruman's Hand Orcs, Uruk-Hai and Dunlendings.
Although Saruman had more forces than the initial few thousand, they were
dealt with easily.
Soon Orthanc was empty, save for some royal infantry left behind to guard the
white tower. And Theoden and the hordes of Rohan moved off toward Minas Tirith
to assist Aragorn, Gandalf and all the others in the decisive battles.
Crossing the lands where small bands of Orcs, Goblins and bandits were
searching for the ring-bearer, Boromir led the hobbits (and Gollem who had
persuaded Frodo to be allowed to join the company) south. But soon, in a
desperate fight and chase, Pippin and Merry were cut off from the others.
Boromir, Frodo, Sam and Gollum killed all twenty Orcs but Boromir was again
They did not find Merry or Pippin again and had no choice but to continue
south, towards Minas Tirith. Already, Frodo could feel the increasing weight
of the ring bearing down upon him. Pippin and Merry got lost in the ancient
woods of Fangorn and there they met one of the oldest inhabitants of Middle
Earth, Treebeard. They looked at him in awe and listened carefully to his slow
dark voice giving them advise on their journey. The next day, they travelled
further south and met the entire company of Theoden. And Dain, Thranduil,
Faramir and Eomer greeted each other in Lothlorien and readied themselves to
overthrow the Orcs in Dol Goldur.
Already, troops were gathering in Minas Tirith. Aragorn had offered the
Sceptre to Denethor and what Gandalf had not been able to achieve the old
token of war now did for him; they received the reluctant help of the
stewart. Now all troops gathered under the leadership of Gandalf the White
behind the time-worn but still mighty battlements of the walls of Minas
Tirith. Denethor was there, with his infantry, his light infantry and the
elite tower guards. Imrahil was coming forth from Dol Amroth with his company
of valiant knights. Hirluin, Dervorin and other leaders travelled the lands
of Gondor to assist in the final battles.
Pippin and Merry accompanied Theoden, Theodred, Erkenbrand, Dernhelm, Elfhelm
and some seven thousand cavalry on their way to venerable Minas Tirith.
Boromir had been left by Frodo, Sam and Gollum because Frodo knew that not
the fabled city but threatening Mount Doom was his ultimate destination.
Boromir now went back to his father, Denethor steward of Gondor. Helped by
Celeborn himself, Eomer, Faramir, Thranduil, Dain and all their cavalry,
rangers, Elves and Dwarves crushed the orcs in Dol Goldur and travelled
southeast to reach Minas Tirith in time. And then, as an expected but not
less feared, sudden and awesome sign, as if their leader had smelled the
impending danger on a whiff of the western winds, Sauron's troops began to
move at last. And all over Mordor rose immense clouds of dust that hid yet
betrayed the presence of thousands and thousands of Orcs, Goblins, Trolls and
Half-Trolls, wainriders, Balchoth, corsairs, Westrons, Easterlings, the Harad
and the Umbar, Morgoth and Shelob. And Sauron. "And I say no hobbit in his
right wits would even think of crossing those mountains.
Look at that colour; it's just not natural," Sam complained when he
established that Frodo was actually going to travel on into murderous Mordor
itself. "Well, you can see why they're called the ash mountains, Sam. And I
still say we have to go. I can't hold on much longer, it's becoming too heavy
now." "I...I could try to..." Sam stammered as he saw Frodo's cold eyes
guessing his intent, seeing things much darker than Sam Gamgee could possibly
ever even grasp. "NO! No one takes the ring from me!" "Smeagol take ring?
Smeagol take precious to safety, yes, not to nasty hot mountain or evil land
of Mordor. Smeagol take ring now?" "I say no! If I have to take it, I take it
Slowly, with the pleading but cunning glances from Gollum and the worried
eyes of Sam studying him, Frodo relaxed. "I'm sorry, Sam. It's just..." "I
know." He took up his pack and tried to sound cheerful. "Well, if we're going
to pass through, we might as well do it before some patrol finds us." And the
three of them went through the old, old tracks near Cirith Ungol and tried to
evade the countless Orcs literally pouring from the mountains. The siege of
Minas Tirith was a fact. But rather than follow Denethor's suggestion of
staying safely behind the wall, knowing that each attack would cause
unnecessary losses, Gandalf and Aragorn planned a more offensive strategy.
Within the walls of nearby Osgiliath, all the cavalry held its base for
sudden charges. Apart from them, large troups of Elves and Dwarves took short
trips into the surrounding land to find and take by surprise the many
isolated troups of Orcs and other evil allies that had not yet reached Minas
Tirith. In the magnificent city itself, Gandalf resisted one assault after
another, killing Orcs and Trolls until the fields were black with their
blood, leading Imrahil and his knights into charge after frantic charge,
assisted by the infantry and the tower guards. Among the forces of good, many
died, and even more were wounded. But while the greatest strength of Mordor
relentlessly pushed through the plains and gathered outside Minas Tirith, the
Dwarves and Elves returned, both strongly reinforced by their comrades coming
down from Dol Goldur and from further up north, and finally Erkenbrand and all
cavalry returned to Minas Tirith to take the last stand.
And when all the remaining cavalry and infantry had barricaded themselves
within the strength of the fortress, even the full power of Sauron could not
break them and all attempts to breach the walls were futile. Then, when all
the fields in front of Minas Tirith were littered with the rotting bodies of
their precious friends and their foul opponents, Gandalf, bitter for so much
bloodshed but determined to finish the war forever, ordered all troops on a
forced march to Mordor. While Gollum, Sam and Frodo made slow and tedious
progress through the wastes of Mordor, already in sight of Mount Doom, the
Dark Lord turned his attention to his last hope - the One Ring.
But just as he started to feel that he might have been tricked within his
very own land, his mind was absorbed by the turning tide at the gates of
Morannon. There, his good counterpart led a large force of all his ancient
enemies - Dwarves, Elves, rangers and uncorrupted humans - against his
personal guard. And the forces of good passed into the burned wastes of
Mordor. When Gandalf and Sauron came eye to eye in the dark tower of Barad
Dur, all those below, both the forces of good as well as the servants of evil,
heard a thundering crack, and as the maker of the One Ring realised that his
utter defeat was guaranteed by Frodo's fullfillment of the quest, he led out a
great howl of anguish. Now, the defeat of Sauron was a fact. SO ENDS THE WAR
IN MIDDLE EARTH.