Our Sponsor Sideshow Collectibles Send us News
Lord of the Rings Tolkien
Search Tolkien
Lord of The RingsTheOneRing.net - Forged By And For Fans Of JRR Tolkien
Lord of The Rings Serving Middle-Earth Since The First Age

Lord of the Rings Movie News - J.R.R. Tolkien
Do you enjoy the 100% volunteer, not for profit services of TheOneRing.net?
Consider a donation!

  Main Index   Search Posts   Who's Online   Log in
The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Who is the best tactican in LOTR?
First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All

Curious
Half-elven

Jun 22 2007, 5:58pm

Post #26 of 34 (118 views)
Shortcut
Are you kidding? [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
I think assaults on Helm's Deep, Osgiliath & Minas Tirith were tactically well concieved, and were initially successful. They were all finally defeated only by unexpected arrival of relief forces. So Saruman & WitchKing rate high in my book.



What about taking the high ground? Or what about using the advantage in the air? And why were those reinforcements unexpected? How about some scouts on horseback (or wargback), just in case? And why were there so many reserves still in Mordor? How about snipers to take out people like Gandalf and Aragorn? Or how about thousands of bowman, as at Agincourt? How about some pikemen against the cavalry charge, or just some discipline among the orc troops? The frontal assaults on Helm's Deep and Minas Tirith were crippled by overconfidence and lack of intelligence (I mean lack of information, not I.Q.), and showed no imagination at all. And the orcs showed no discipline whatsoever.

As for Ugluk, all he was doing was running as fast as he could. Why didn't he send a small group in a different direction with the hobbit captives, while the larger group acted as a decoy?


Fionnan2
Rivendell

Jun 22 2007, 6:02pm

Post #27 of 34 (109 views)
Shortcut
I couldn't agree more especially about the WK. [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Fionnan


Curious
Half-elven

Jun 22 2007, 6:23pm

Post #28 of 34 (101 views)
Shortcut
Saruman apparently showed up late [In reply to] Can't Post

on the scene where the Rohirrim had just slaughtered the orcs, Merry and Pippin had escaped, and Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli were making camp. There is some question of whether it is Gandalf, but Gandalf says later it was not him.

It's strange that the Three Hunters see Saruman on the field of battle, when Saruman could have seen them through the palantir. And nowhere else does anyone teleport from place to place, as Saruman seems to do in this instance. But Saruman did not show up the night before when he could have done more good.

Whatever powers Saruman had to show up on the field of battle, there is no evidence that he was on the scene in any form at Helm's Deep. Of course he was a bit distracted by the ents at that time.


Curious
Half-elven

Jun 22 2007, 8:41pm

Post #29 of 34 (101 views)
Shortcut
Gandalf is more of a strategist. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll grant you that the Valar who sent him are the real long-term strategists, but Gandalf still thinks in terms of centuries, which is a very long term perspective. Furthermore he has been prohibited from leading armies himself. When he does go into battle he is usually alone, as against the Balrog. He does recommend the assault on the Black Gates, which was a successful diversionary tactic, but that's about it, and even that was more of a strategic decision, as he left the ordering of the troops to Aragorn.


Darkstone
Immortal


Jun 22 2007, 9:22pm

Post #30 of 34 (107 views)
Shortcut
Frodo [In reply to] Can't Post

In the Scouring of the Shire he's always looking for the way to best avoid casualties on both sides. Rule of thumb: The bloodier the battle, the worse the tactics.

As for stratego, I'd go with Sauron. He’s obviously got a great 5th column penetrating all the way to Bree. He’s got tons of spies throughout the West giving him up to date information. He’s turned one of the greatest enemy leaders into his pawn and put an army in the rear of his biggest foe. He’s got everyone isolated and suspicious of each other. He’s got hostile forces astride every line of communication in the West. He’s threatening all points up and down the Anduin so everyone is convinced they’re the ones the hammer is going to fall upon. Sauron has full advantage of where and when to strike. He’s threatening multiple possible objectives. He’s in control. According to Sun-tzu, “The victor creates the conditions for victory before he enters the fray; the vanquished fights first and then tries to work out how to win the battle.” The West is merely reacting to Sauron. By all rights Sauron should smash the West into pulp.

Three meals for the Elven-kings high on the sky flet,
Three for the Dwarf-lords meat ripe off the bone
Three for Mortal Men doomed to diet,
Seven for the Halflings of Hobbiton!
In the Land of the Shire where the Taters fry.
Seven meals to rule them all, seven meals to find them,
Seven meals to bring them all and at the Party bind them
In the Land of the Shire where the Taters fry.


(This post was edited by Darkstone on Jun 22 2007, 9:32pm)


Curious
Half-elven

Jun 22 2007, 10:49pm

Post #31 of 34 (105 views)
Shortcut
Was Frodo the tactician? [In reply to] Can't Post

He certainly did plead for as little violence as possible, but I thought Merry came up with the trap. But if it was a joint plan, I'm okay with Frodo. Frodo also worked hard to make sure the plan came off as envisioned, taking the inglorious job of making sure the hobbits stuck to the plan and didn't get carried away.

As for Sauron, he had some remarkable blind spots. He seems completely unaware of the Shire for a thousand years. I'm not sure what you mean by a ton of spies in the West. Most of the spies are Saruman's, but I will grant you that Sauron did a great job with Saruman. And he also did a great job with Denethor, although he did not learn much from him.

The problem with Sauron is that he is a micromanager, and his officers and troops are unreliable unless he is in direct mental contact with them. This is even true of the Witch-king when he was up north; only when the Witch-king was closer to Mordor, and Sauron paid him his full attention, did the Witch-king show any kind of real power. Yet because Sauron had to pay attention to the Witch-king, he could not pay attention to the Tower of Cirith Ungol, and so the orcs, as they often did, fought amongst themselves with disastrous results. Saruman too was unreliable when Sauron was not paying attention, since Saruman fancied himself a rival to Sauron. Sauron's Eye is far ranging, but he can't be looking everywhere at once, and that was his downfall.


Darkstone
Immortal


Jun 23 2007, 12:10am

Post #32 of 34 (101 views)
Shortcut
Well [In reply to] Can't Post

He certainly did plead for as little violence as possible, but I thought Merry came up with the trap. But if it was a joint plan, I'm okay with Frodo. Frodo also worked hard to make sure the plan came off as envisioned, taking the inglorious job of making sure the hobbits stuck to the plan and didn't get carried away.

Yes, “Merry laid his plans quickly” but he did it in Farmer Cotton’s household, in conjunction with Cotton, Frodo, and a newly arrived Pippin. I’d think it was a joint venture, and after the past 13 months I’d think Merry would defer to Frodo’s suggestions and approval. Indeed, Frodo takes responsibility.

'I am very sorry, Mr. Gamgee,' said Frodo. 'But now I've come back, I'll do my best to make amends.'

Later:

When the fighting was over, and the later labours were ordered, Merry, Pippin, and Sam joined him, and they rode back with the Cottons. They ate a late midday meal, and then Frodo said with a sigh: 'Well, I suppose it is time now that we dealt with the "Chief".'

As Moltke said, "No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy." But plan or no plan, in the event Frodo made sure that the battles weren't as bloody as they could have been. That's the sign of a great tactician.


As for Sauron, he had some remarkable blind spots. He seems completely unaware of the Shire for a thousand years.

His eye has been fixed on Rivendell.


I'm not sure what you mean by a ton of spies in the West.

”And be careful of what you say, even to your closest friends! The enemy has many spies and many ways of hearing.“

“It commands a wide view all round. Indeed, there are many birds and beasts in this country that could see us, as we stand here, from that hill-top. Not all the birds are to be trusted, and there are other spies more evil than they are.”

“'Well, Sam,' he said at last, 'I do not like this place either; but I cannot think of anywhere better that we could reach before nightfall. At least we are out of sight for the moment, and if we moved we should be much more likely to be seen by spies.’”

“That was seventeen years ago. Soon I became aware that spies of many sorts, even beasts and birds, were gathered round the Shire, and my fear grew. I called for the help of the Dúnedain, and their watch was doubled; and I opened my heart to Aragorn, the heir of Isildur.“

“How that was contrived we cannot guess; but Gollum is cunning, and the spies of the Enemy are many. The dark things that were driven out in the year of the Dragon's fall have returned in greater numbers, and Mirkwood is again an evil place, save where our realm is maintained.”

“Their Captain remained in secret away south of Bree, while two rode ahead through the village, and four more invaded the Shire. But when these were foiled in Bree and at Crickhollow, they returned to their Captain with tidings, and so left the Road unguarded for a while, except by their spies.”

“Soon now his spies on foot and wing will be abroad in the northern lands. Even of the sky above you must beware as you go on your way.“

And this is all before they even get past Rivendell! If Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, and Elrond says he’s got spies, he’s got spies!


The problem with Sauron is that he is a micromanager, and his officers and troops are unreliable unless he is in direct mental contact with them.

Simultaneous with the attack at Osgiliath Sauron’s forces attacked at Cair Andros, Dale, Erebor, Mirkwood, and Lothlorien. A micromanager couldn’t have pulled that off.


Yet because Sauron had to pay attention to the Witch-king, he could not pay attention to the Tower of Cirith Ungol, and so the orcs, as they often did, fought amongst themselves with disastrous results.

That's always seemed more deus ex machina than anything else. Sauron has a huge empire with orcs in fortifications and encampments all through Mordor and up and down the Anduin. If Cirith Ungol is typical of what happens when Sauron isn't watching then all the West has to do is sit back and watch Mordor disintegrate.


Sauron's Eye is far ranging, but he can't be looking everywhere at once, and that was his downfall.

Well, there’s an old Roman saying to the effect that no matter how skilled a leader is, it all comes to naught unless destiny is with him. Sauron failed only because he was meant to fail. After all, how improbable is Frodo and Sam’s journey to Oroduin?

Three meals for the Elven-kings high on the sky flet,
Three for the Dwarf-lords meat ripe off the bone
Three for Mortal Men doomed to diet,
Seven for the Halflings of Hobbiton!
In the Land of the Shire where the Taters fry.
Seven meals to rule them all, seven meals to find them,
Seven meals to bring them all and at the Party bind them
In the Land of the Shire where the Taters fry.


(This post was edited by Darkstone on Jun 23 2007, 12:15am)


orcbane
Gondor


Jun 23 2007, 1:30am

Post #33 of 34 (98 views)
Shortcut
Ugluk don't be a hero [In reply to] Can't Post

Ugluk did succeed in ambushing the fellowship, used forced marches to outrun persuit, was able to form defensive position when surrounded, maintained something like discipline with orcs of three allegiences, made the rondevous with Mauhur, almost, and came within a few yards of breaking out past mounted Rohirrim. For a motley band on foot with no pikes, it wasn't too bad a tactical performance vs cavalry. It also is somewhat realistic in nature. Much of the success of the bigger characters was either unbelievable or due fantastic elements.


Curious
Half-elven

Jun 23 2007, 1:33am

Post #34 of 34 (103 views)
Shortcut
Well, indeed. [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
”And be careful of what you say, even to your closest friends! The enemy has many spies and many ways of hearing.“

“It commands a wide view all round. Indeed, there are many birds and beasts in this country that could see us, as we stand here, from that hill-top. Not all the birds are to be trusted, and there are other spies more evil than they are.”

“'Well, Sam,' he said at last, 'I do not like this place either; but I cannot think of anywhere better that we could reach before nightfall. At least we are out of sight for the moment, and if we moved we should be much more likely to be seen by spies.’”

“That was seventeen years ago. Soon I became aware that spies of many sorts, even beasts and birds, were gathered round the Shire, and my fear grew. I called for the help of the Dúnedain, and their watch was doubled; and I opened my heart to Aragorn, the heir of Isildur.“

“How that was contrived we cannot guess; but Gollum is cunning, and the spies of the Enemy are many. The dark things that were driven out in the year of the Dragon's fall have returned in greater numbers, and Mirkwood is again an evil place, save where our realm is maintained.”

“Their Captain remained in secret away south of Bree, while two rode ahead through the village, and four more invaded the Shire. But when these were foiled in Bree and at Crickhollow, they returned to their Captain with tidings, and so left the Road unguarded for a while, except by their spies.”

“Soon now his spies on foot and wing will be abroad in the northern lands. Even of the sky above you must beware as you go on your way.“



As I said, almost all of those spies around the Shire are really Saruman's, as we learn in "The Hunt for the Ring." When the Nazgul came along they co-opted Saruman's spies, but before that time the pipeline went to Saruman first. However, as I also said, through the palantir Sauron learned what Saruman learned.


Quote

Simultaneous with the attack at Osgiliath Sauron’s forces attacked at Cair Andros, Dale, Erebor, Mirkwood, and Lothlorien. A micromanager couldn’t have pulled that off.



A human micromanager could not pull it off. It is a sign of Sauron's power that he is a micromanager and yet pulled it off. Or nearly pulled it off.


Quote
Sauron has a huge empire with orcs in fortifications and encampments all through Mordor and up and down the Anduin. If Cirith Ungol is typical of what happens when Sauron isn't watching then all the West has to do is sit back and watch Mordor disintegrate.



As you said, Sauron was stretched to his limit to pull off all these attacks at once. Even the greatest micromanager has his limits.


Quote

Well, there’s an old Roman saying to the effect that no matter how skilled a leader is, it all comes to naught unless destiny is with him. Sauron failed only because he was meant to fail. After all, how improbable is Frodo and Sam’s journey to Oroduin?



Maybe, maybe not. There's another thread on this subject.


First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All
 
 

Search for (options) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.3

home | advertising | contact us | back to top | search news | join list | Content Rating

This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. Design and original photography however are copyright © 1999-2012 TheOneRing.net. Binary hosting provided by Nexcess.net

Do not follow this link, or your host will be blocked from this site. This is a spider trap.