SIMULATION OF BATTLES IN TOLKIEN'S MIDDLE EARTH/1

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Paco Palomares

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Feb 1, 2001, 5:49:07 PM2/1/01
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ELEMENTS FOR THE SIMULATION OF BATTLES IN TOLKIEN'S MIDDLE EARTH/1

First that we must do it is to differentiate two classes from games
military: the strategists and the tactical ones. The strategic games (a)
simulate wars and the tactical (b) simulates battles . In a war many factors
aside from the military man take part (economic, political, etc.), whereas a
battle is decided by factors the military purely (troops, equipment, moral,
control, etc.). The A simulates an ample geographic space, detail channels
of communication, centers of population, types of land, etc. The B simulates
a small space, with land uniforms and few details more, since it is tried to
represent only the battlefield . The material of game of A is accustomed to
to be a map-board and hundreds of cards of cardboard that represent so much
the military units as supplying points, control of communication channels,
etc. The material of game of B can be identical to the one of A, but
considering that B allows us to simulate on greater scale, and than if in A
a card represents a unit of 100 soldiers, in B can represent 10, or even 1.
By this B more it is adapted to introduce in the game miniatures that
represent the soldiers, doing of the game an amazing visual spectacle. Since
we have the opportunity to have excellent miniatures in the market, the
simulation with miniatures is the most attractive option for wargamers of
the Middle Earth.
But the problem, in principle, is not the miniatures. Four things make lack
to play this type of games, 1º description of the historical battles, 2º
description of the intervening troops, 3º the miniatures that represent the
troops and 4º rules to solve the battle. The description of the battles
provides us Tolkien with chilling detail, the description of the troops
abundantly is detailed in " General Military Tables " of the modules of ICE,
and the miniatures provide us MITHRIL, among others. Now the problem, the
battle rules comes. As well as there are many systems of game of medieval
rol, also are many regulations of battles with miniatures. Of that we can
use are two groups: medival-fantastic and military the old one. First they
develop its battles in an own fantastic universe and have great influence of
the rol, allow the magic use and of monsters, they have great acceptance
between young players. The seconds try to simulate historical battles of our
world, from the origin of history to the invention of the powder, and of
course have capacity the magic neither the monsters, their players usually
are of age the more outpost since they are the old games the more.
Of the medieval-fantastic ones I am going to emphasize two, FANTASY WARRIORS
and WARHAMMER FANTASY BATTLES, both uses own miniatures (GRENADIER and
CITADEL) and is simultaneously bestiary regulation and of an own world. The
races of these worlds agree basically with those of the middle Earth (with
many matizaciones) and are easily adaptable for our intentions (if it does
not matter to us that the orcs are green). My suggestion is that of these
games it is necessary to take only the part from the regulation to solve the
combats, and to separate the descriptions from creatures, troops and magic,
to elborar we same lists of agreed armies with the world of Tolkien.
Of military the old one I will indicate three that in fact they are one: the
famous regulation of WARGAME RESEARCH GROUP (7ª editing), and I say three
because this regulation has been simplified in two levels: DE BELLIS
ANTIQUITATIS (very basic level) and DE BELLIS MULTITUDINIS (basic level).
These regulations are writings to as much simulate battles between Romans
and Carthaginians, like Babylonian, Muslims and crossed asirios and.
Personally they are my favourites, by my opinion of which the world of
Tolkien is not fantastic (or at least not as much as the one of the
medieval-fantastic games), so we can assimilate most of middle Earth armies
to historical armies of our world (p.ej. the gondorian to the Roman,
rohirrim to normand), introducing small modifications.
There are two systems more than I want to comment. First they are written
rules specifically to simulate battles in the Third Age of the middle Earth,
written by S. Johnson, K. White, G. Highley and K. Minear and published by
DECALSET in 1976 when not yet there were game of rol of the middle Earth nor
Mithril miniatures. It is an excellent game but a little ambiguous in the
description of troops, although it introduces very interesting elements as
ready complete of sorceries for Gandalf and Lord of Morgul and a new concept
in the regulations of fantastic battles: " the fight of wills ". He is so
old (20 years) that does not take advantage of everything what until today
it has been written on the middle Earth. I do not know if there are new
editings, since I have obtained it through Joan Parés, of Central de Jocs,
and with the printing of being " a peculiarity ".
Finally, the regulation that would have to become the middle Earth official:
WAR LAW of ROLEMASTER. Like the Middle Earth Role Playing is a
simplification of CHARACTER LAW, SPELL LAW and ARMS LAW, of ROLEMASTER, why
not to create a specific regulation for the middle Earth from WAR LAW? thus
we could take advantage of the abundant information that to us the modules
provide on the armies and that normally are not used in the games. I do not
know if it is between the plans of ICE to create that game, at the moment we
have the WL in English and with a new version on the verge of leaving, that
will be published in Spain by Joc Internacional as soon as this happens. The
WL has the advantage on the rest of games that the work of adaptation to the
middle Earth would be reduced very many, and is not little the work, I say
it by experience.

(c) 1996 Paco "Isildur" Palomares
Sociedad Tolkien Española
¡'
--
Paco Palomares
pote...@wanadoo.es ICQ 9083482
http://perso.wanadoo.es/potemkin/isildur.htm


Lewis Benzie

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Feb 4, 2001, 9:31:19 PM2/4/01
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DBA FANATICUS has abrilliant convertion of the the Three ages of Tolkiens
world Armies put into DBA/M terms, cant remember which.


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