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"LotR - Gondor village question" Topic

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©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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A sea that raged no more Inactive Member20 Sep 2017 5:31 a.m. PST

For those who have knowledge on LotR, I wish to recreate a scenario from Charles Stewart Grant's (1981) Scenarios for Wargamers, namely Bridge Assault, with Mordor Orcs attacking a small river island held by Gondor troops – 2x regular infantry, 2x militia (Garrison troops), a heavy cavalry unit and a few "guns".

The major island has a small village on it, only approached by bridge. In my game the island/river crossing is a day's ride from the border with the enemy. The garrison unit has recently been strengthened by the addition of regular infantry and cavalry.

Given all that, IYO, would the Gondor village on the island have a wall around it? Are Gondor towns and villages more likely to have walls for defence or not? For me, you answer WILL determine how the scenario is gamed.


M C MonkeyDew20 Sep 2017 5:47 a.m. PST

If I lived a day's ride from Mordor I would build a wall around my village if I could! :)


EDIT: Be careful though as that can really change the balance of the scenario. Perhaps a reduction in defending troops.

EDIT 2: You could play it as a ruined and abandoned Gondorian village on an island if the crossings are the main enemy goal. In that case unwalled would be fine as presumably the property values plummeted when Mordor was seen to be back in operation and folks wisely left.

HUBCommish20 Sep 2017 6:12 a.m. PST

Sounds like you could set it on the island of Cair Andros during the War of the Ring. In that case the village would have defensive walls.


Earl of the North20 Sep 2017 6:15 a.m. PST


North Ithilien is totally depopulated due the war of the ring era, with just Rangers operating from secret bases so no villages or fortified towns on the border at all.

Cair Andros and the ruins of Osgiliath are the true front line and both are apparently garrisoned.

The rest of Gondor isn't as well referenced so maybe move your village north westward and set it along the border with Rohan (in the Anorien region, lots of rivers which could hold a small island) in which case fortifying the bridge might be seen as enough and the village could be a stop off for traders travelling to and from Rohan giving it a reason to exist. Still close enough to have a orc raiding force crossing the river and raiding into the area.

In general I'd expect anything bigger than a village to be walled unless it has natural defences.

YogiBearMinis Supporting Member of TMP20 Sep 2017 7:21 a.m. PST

Make it a stockade with lesser defensive factor?

Crazyivanov20 Sep 2017 7:49 a.m. PST

I think you might have answered it yourself. By strengthening the garrison with regular troops, it increases the likeliness of placing up at least a stockade or palisade wall.

That said, if there were an inhabited village to the east of Minas Tirith it should have a wall. I like to imagine most Gondorian habitations outside the big cities and fortresses as Motte-and-Baiyle types and that might help here if you want a more permanent style of fort.

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP20 Sep 2017 10:06 a.m. PST

I'd say a place like Lebenin or Lossarnach, south of Minas Tirith would be a prime target for Orcish raids out of Mordor. While the cities of Linhir and Pelargir could only be taken by large forces once Sauron declares war on the rest of Middle Earth, deep raids would probably occur in the months before Mordor sets its armies loose in order to probe resistance and find crossings for Sauron's armies.

Villages in those areas would probably be built on crossings or islands on the many rivers in this area and would have at least some protection against raids.

They would probably be better defended than areas like Lamedon and the Ringlo Vale which are far away from most threats.

My take is that most defenses in Gondor would be be made of stone, but often were more symbolic than practical except for the more important cities, I'd leave wooden palisades to areas like Rohan or places that were relatively peaceful until recently and are now seeing orc raids for the first time in generations and are raising improvised defenses.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP20 Sep 2017 10:18 a.m. PST

I'd expect a "bandit and raiding party"-level wall and not a "they'll need siege engines"-level wall, if you'll allow the distinction. And I can easily imagine a proper wall now overgrown, or with breaches poorly repaired just because there are fewer people than there were, and too many of them are away at war.

Hmmm. Or a "good" wall for a much larger built up area, and a smaller area enclosed on one or two sides by something much inferior to protect the smaller population? Won't work well with that scenario, but something to keep in mind.

Hafen von Schlockenberg20 Sep 2017 11:44 a.m. PST

It would also depend on the time period you want to game. The chronologies in the appendices provide a wide scope for various scenarios--and various opponents,too,from orcs to Easterlings,Wainriders,Southrons,Corsairs of Umbar (especially with an island in the Anduin),even the northern ancestors of the Rohirrim.

And you can reverse the scenario,and have the forces of Gonder attempting to retake the island from one of the above. There was a great deal of back-and-forth fighting,for thousands of years. And that's just in the Third Age.

If you don't have a copy of the book (for shame!), definitely check out the Earl's linked article.

A sea that raged no more Inactive Member21 Sep 2017 4:40 a.m. PST

Thanks for all your useful replies and links, they are very helpful.

The links tell me that such a scenario is most likely in the lands of the northwest, which adds impetus to doing the war game.

Re-visiting C.S. Grant's scenario, it is after all a bridge assault so I will concentrate upon that aspect, maybe with some trace of old, decayed walls or an unfinished earth-work (yes, maybe a motte and bailey under construction) but only for aesthetics.

I am also now looking on it as a slightly more remote crossing and trading post sufficiently important to have a militia, but subsequently enhanced by an equal number of regular Gondor infantry, and some cavalry and guns. Clearly, the Threat Level has been raised! But why …?

The Orcs will have 6x Orc warbands, 1x Hunter Orc bowmen, 1x Hunter Warg Riders, Warg Riders, and 3x "guns". Oh, The Mouth of Sauron and Gandalf the Grey also appear …on opposite sides!


Thanks to CoolMiniOrNot and cwchmc

Hafen von Schlockenberg21 Sep 2017 5:44 a.m. PST

"Guns"? Oh,no you di-int!

M C MonkeyDew21 Sep 2017 6:45 a.m. PST

Fear not. "guns" in quotes presumably refers to the listed forces for the book. Don't recall off hand if the book lists forces for multiple eras or just Horse and Musket/moderns.

In a fantasy setting "guns" could be siege engines or monsters or whatever the person putting on the game would like.

YogiBearMinis Supporting Member of TMP21 Sep 2017 7:07 a.m. PST


A sea that raged no more Inactive Member21 Sep 2017 7:11 a.m. PST

Yes indeed, M C MonkeyDew. I couldn't remember what the wretched pieces were called!

Mordor War Catapult and Mordor Siege Bows



A sea that raged no more Inactive Member21 Sep 2017 7:42 a.m. PST


Let battle commence …

M C MonkeyDew21 Sep 2017 9:19 a.m. PST

Looking forward to this. Report please :)

Earl of the North21 Sep 2017 9:33 a.m. PST

Gondorian small town in Divide and Conquer sub mod for Third Age Mod (Medieval 2 Total war).


The major difference for larger towns seem to be the domed buildings and the stone walls.

More detailed map of Eastern Gondor and Mordor


The far west of Gondor seems to be more peaceful since aside from Corsair coastal raids there was little threat locally.

Hafen von Schlockenberg21 Sep 2017 9:36 a.m. PST

Whew! OK,took a breath,calming down now.

Actually, some of that "blasting fire" stuff was used to break the Rammas Echor, as discussed here:

TMP link

So you could consider including a "demolition squad".

Earl of the North21 Sep 2017 9:46 a.m. PST

Assuming by North Western Gondor you are referring to Anorien.

Another map….


This is interesting, seems to be based on a finnish non canon version of LOTR?


Hafen von Schlockenberg21 Sep 2017 10:56 a.m. PST

Nice find there,Earl. I'll have to explore that site.

I would speculate that there would be some smaller islands than Cair Andros that didn't make it into the map,so you could do a small scenario,with a detachment from the main Mordor army. It probably wouldn't be much further upstream,though,as they would avoid having to cross the Nindalf.
From the Chronologies:

March 10: An army from the Morannon takes Cair Andros and passes into Anorien.

March 11: Eastern Rohan is invaded from the north.

Text,page 804: "And as they rode rumour came of war in the North. Lone men,riding wild,brought word of foes assailing their east-borders,of orc-hosts marching in the Wold of Rohan.
"'Ride on!Ride on!' cried Eomer. 'Too late now to turn aside. The fens of Entwash must guard our flank. Haste now we need. Ride on!'"

Where the invaders from "the North" originate from,I'm not sure.The main army from the Morannon? At this point, the Rohirrim were still passing the Fenmarch. That would be quite a march from Cair Andros, even for orcs.

I note that the army "takes" that island, which seems to imply it was garrisoned.

Also,on the 23rd, some of the Gondor-host become "unmanned" with fear, and Aragorn despatches them southwest, to retake Cair Andros. Another good scenario. Though again,no bridges. Now that I think about it, wasn't the only bridge,historically, at Osgiliath? And that was broken.

Earl of the North21 Sep 2017 11:13 a.m. PST

I believe there is a bridge on the border of Rohan/Gondor crossing the Mering stream…..I'd assume that even though its largely a peaceful border, there would be some official presence there if only to make sure the merchants are paying their taxes.

Expand that to a small island and you've a reason why there is a small village built around a border checkpoint. Actually that could be interesting since the militia could be of mixed Rohan/Gondorian descent.

This is making me think of those Gondorians I bought a while ago (20 Spearmen, 40 Swordsmen, 40 Archers and 5 Knights).

A sea that raged no more Inactive Member22 Sep 2017 6:20 a.m. PST

Very interesting and helpful lindeffiron link there EotN. Thanks.

And yes, get your Gondors out along with your Rohans!


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