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WNxHasoroth
2007-12-13, 04:46 AM
In this epic line up of man versus orc, Roman against pit spawned Uruk, who do you think would win? Assume that you have a full Roman legion (with attendant siege machines etc) versus an equal number of Uruk-Hai and siege machines.

My monies on the Uruks, bred for war, and its stated that a fully trained Rohirrim Horseman will always lose in a one on one sword fight with an Uruk. But considering a fully trained and armored legion of Roman Legionnaire's have been fighting for decades, and drilled to perfection, it begins to look dicey.

Note: Uruk Berserker's are here, but there are no explosive for them to detonate. Assume a ratio of 1 : 100 (1 being a berserker, 100 being normal Uruks)

Turcano
2007-12-13, 04:59 AM
Why are siege engines included in this scenario? Use of siege engines in infantry battles is a classic case of Hollywood Tactics (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HollywoodTactics).

To answer your question, I'd give it to the legion. Discipline beats ferocity nine times out of ten.

Emperor Ing
2007-12-13, 05:02 AM
presuming the Roman Legions arent fighting themselves of course...

I dont know who wins, I actually have the idea that they are ultimately evenly matched.

shadowdemon_lord
2007-12-13, 05:13 AM
An individual legionnaire might get killed by an uruk hai. The phalanx of legionnaire's using shield wall tactics with tower shields and squadrons of archers who know exactly when to fire to inflict the most damage are going to be considerably tougher then a single legionnaire. When you compare a phalanx of legionnaires to the individualistic undisciplined fighting style of the uruk hai it ceases to be a comparison. The uruk hai will charge through archer fire, and upon reaching the legionnaire's will be met with a wall of steel with blades that point out of it. It'd be comparable to the battle of the 300 spartans against the hordes of persia. Except now the spartans have just as many guys as persia.

WNxHasoroth
2007-12-13, 05:24 AM
Ooph was going to add a new post about terrain but you guys already posted haha.

Assume the field of battle looks something like this:



|-------------------------
| X X
|
| X X
|
| X X
|-------------------------

(the battle field is symmetric, two rows of hills on both sides)

With the X's being hills. Assuming that length wise you have a km's worth of distance, and height wise half a km how would that affect the battle?

As for the issue of siege engines, I'm presuming catapults and bolt throwers on each side, too destroy each other. Effectiveness against infantry is up to people who know this stuff.

mainiac
2007-12-13, 06:30 AM
So very stacked in the romans favor as in, given even remotely even numbers (as in 5-1 in the uruk's favor.) and a competant roman general, the day probably goes to rome. Given even numbers and a good general, the romans wouldn't even take heavy casualties. Given one of the great roman generals leading veteren troops loyal to him, like Ceaser after his Gualic campaigns, I'd actually expect the romans to perform miracles and start wondering where to put the spread.

It's the roman shields, they utterly dominate a battlefield. Hold one in your hand at some point and you'll quickly understand. They offer enourmous protection and are even a good offensive weapon when used in the roman style. Throw in the roman armor, co-operation and flexible roman tactics and the uruk's are completely outclassed. And while legionaries can work side to side with other legionaries, uruk's have difficulty doing the same, since they can't swing their overcompensatingly large swords if there's a buddy in the way.

As for the better uruk strength and swordsmanship, all I have to say is "nyah." The various celtic, iberian and german people's produced warriors who were both stronger and more skilled then most roman legionaries. Didn't stop the romans from regularly stomping on them. The romans did lose battles, but typically under exceptional circumstance, like having their auxileries suddenly desert, getting cut off and ambushed all at once. Since you've laid out a fair fight, none of these seem in the cards. So the romans have nothing to worry about, this is the sort of fight their military culture was built from the ground up to handle.

WNxHasoroth
2007-12-13, 06:33 AM
I do mean Saruman's Uruks. The ones marching in Phanlanxes, in crude but effective mass produced plate. The shields are not to be scoffed at either. Please note, I'm using the movie representation.

The Romans do get Cavalry, just so you know, but the Uruks get the full complement of combined arms, pike men, cross bows, etc.

Narmoth
2007-12-13, 07:09 AM
I do mean Saruman's Uruks. The ones marching in Phanlanxes, in crude but effective mass produced plate. The shields are not to be scoffed at either. Please note, I'm using the movie representation.

The Romans do get Cavalry, just so you know, but the Uruks get the full complement of combined arms, pike men, cross bows, etc.

Since the uruks that marched in phalanx in the movie actually were made as a copy of the roman legions, you are then basically asking if humans or orcs would win in one to one combat only that both sides are a bit modified.

Anteros
2007-12-13, 07:46 AM
Having actually studied roman warfare I'd have to say that the Romans would completely destroy the Uruk-Hai. (spelling?) In a situation of 5000 Romans against 25,000 uruk-hai, the Romans would suffer minimal losses.

WNxHasoroth
2007-12-13, 07:51 AM
But whereas Roman Legions comprise of:

-Equites. Heavy armored cavalry with lances. 300 men
-Velites. Light infantry, skirmishers (javelins etc) 1200 men
-Hastai (900 men) and Principes (900 men). Heavy infantry armed with short swords and shields. 1800 men
-Triarri. Veteran Heavy infantry armed with spears. 900 men

Uruk Legions comprise of:

-Pikemen: Anti Cavalry 300 men
-Swordsmen: Long sword and board types. 2480
-Crossbow men: Fire pointy iron sticks 1380
-Berserkers: Don't fight inside the group but as skirmishers of death. 40

Based on that, now who do you think would win? The numbers Im using have been chosen to make it fair on both sides.

Anteros
2007-12-13, 07:59 AM
But whereas Roman Legions comprise of:

-Equites. Heavy armored cavalry with lances. 300 men
-Velites. Light infantry, skirmishers (javelins etc) 1200 men
-Hastai (900 men) and Principes (900 men). Heavy infantry armed with short swords and shields. 1800 men
-Triarri. Veteran Heavy infantry armed with spears. 900 men

Uruk Legions comprise of:

-Pikemen: Anti Cavalry 300 men
-Swordsmen: Long sword and board types. 2480
-Crossbow men: Fire pointy iron sticks 1380
-Berserkers: Don't fight inside the group but as skirmishers of death. 40

Based on that, now who do you think would win? The numbers Im using have been chosen to make it fair on both sides.

People give alot of credit to the shield, but the real reason that Rome dominated was the Roman gladius which was only about a foot long. Armies that used longer swords were forced to space their troops farther apart in order to swing their swords. You cannot form a phalanx with longswords because you will injure the people next to you.
As a result battle lines will end up looking something like this...
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
The Romans have a much easier time making formations, and shield walls. In addition they can support one another much easier, and due to the required space gaps, each Uruk-hai would end up facing around 3 romans at a time.

If the Uruk-Hai were equipped with purely roman equipment they might stand a chance, but as they are not, the legion would easily destroy them.

mainiac
2007-12-13, 08:17 AM
Why do the legions consist of republican era troops?

Well, I won't claim to be an expert on the merits of roman era equipment, but when a roman legionary reenactor let me play around with his shield (wow, that is so not dirty compared to let me play around with his gladius), I was really impressed by the great defense and offense it offered. And it's not like the romans only faced sword fighters. Legions trounced the phalanx who were likewise in close formation.

warty goblin
2007-12-13, 08:21 AM
I like Roman armies as much as the next person, but they are totally overmatched by Uruk-hai.

-Uruks are very good at organizing tactical defenses. When ambushed by the Rohirrim in the book the Uruks, despite having run three days straight, still held formation and fought.

-They are damn fast. In the Lich King vs. Sauron thread I calculated that uruks could travel 70 miles a day. I think Roman Legions max out at about 25.

- They also can live in poor conditions on rotten food without suffering from disease, something Rome cannot do.

- Also if we are talking the movie versions, the Legion is screwed simply because a gladius is a horribly ineffective weapon against plate steel, its point is to wide to get through joints and burst chainmail, and its to light and short to be able to knock the target around inside their armor much.

- And just for the record, a Legion did not fight in a phalanx. They did fight in close formation, but a phalanx is a particular use of spears pioneered by the Greeks, which, at least by the later Republic, was very obsolete.

Ditto
2007-12-13, 08:37 AM
Saying "Uruk > Man, therefore Team of Uruks > Team of Men" is a fallacy. A legion is more than the sum of its parts, and if the Uruks are supposed to beat the Roman legion just because it's based on it - but has not been drilled in its tactics and in any event are not suited to that kind of discipline - then they've got something else coming.

I'm not afraid of a squirrel, but I'd be terrified of a squirrel swarm - I don't care how many friends I have backing me up.

Anteros
2007-12-13, 08:40 AM
I like Roman armies as much as the next person, but they are totally overmatched by Uruk-hai.

-They are damn fast. In the Lich King vs. Sauron thread I calculated that uruks could travel 70 miles a day. I think Roman Legions max out at about 25.

- They also can live in poor conditions on rotten food without suffering from disease, something Rome cannot do.

- Also if we are talking the movie versions, the Legion is screwed simply because a gladius is a horribly ineffective weapon against plate steel, its point is to wide to get through joints and burst chainmail, and its to light and short to be able to knock the target around inside their armor much.

- And just for the record, a Legion did not fight in a phalanx. They did fight in close formation, but a phalanx is a particular use of spears pioneered by the Greeks, which, at least by the later Republic, was very obsolete.

This is completely backwards. First of all, Rome did use a Phalanx, but evolved past its use to more advanced forms relatively early.

As far as marching distance goes, (not that it's even relevant to this discussion) Romans used to march around 20 miles a day, and then build a palisade

The ability to eat rotten food is also not very relevant as we're discussing a battle, not a seige.

As far as your point about the Gladius goes, it sure is a good thing the Romans never fought against any heavily armored opponents right? Cause otherwise that point would seem completely silly.

As far as the tactical defenses point goes...if you really insist stating that the Uruk=Hai were better tactically than the Roman frigging legion I'm afraid I can't take you very seriously.

Satyr
2007-12-13, 09:04 AM
In an open battle where both armies meet on a flat plain, etc. the high standard of Roman equipment and teactical education is a major benefit - a disciplined shield wall can withstand a charging mob of angry orks.

On a tactical level, trhe roman army is superiour.

On a strategical level it's not. The supernatural endurance of the Uruk-Hai allos them to harass the romans day and night and to chose the battle field in their favors. The superiour night vision allows them to attack at darkness, negating most of the tactical advantages of the legions. And the ability to live on frugal dirt is also a geat advantage, because it makes the Uruk less dependant from their tross.

And it's obviously not impossible for some backwater barbarians to annihilate two or three roman legions.

mainiac
2007-12-13, 09:08 AM
-Uruks are very good at organizing tactical defenses. When ambushed by the Rohirrim in the book the Uruks, despite having run three days straight, still held formation and fought.

Also if we are talking the movie versions, the Legion is screwed simply because a gladius is a horribly ineffective weapon against plate steel, its point is to wide to get through joints and burst chainmail, and its to light and short to be able to knock the target around inside their armor much.


The orcs did like three casualties before being completely wiped out. That's not exactly what I call a stellar defense. I'm not sayin' it proves their incompetant, what with the night attack and all, but it sure doesn't prove otherwise.

Well, if your going to talk armor, it should be noted that roman legionaries fought in the best armor available, either platemail or chainmail depending on availabitiy and preference. They're armor was competantly built as well and could stop pretty powerful attacks. There's no way the orcs could wear both platemail and chainmail. That's way too much weight, and even if it was made of mithral it would restrict your movement way too much unless you were on horses.

And in the comparrison of swords, keep in mind the romans chose those swords for a very good reason. Their shields ensured that any fight they were in would be very close combat. A long sword like the orcs use would be at a severe disadvantage because you can't swing it without completely exposing yourself.

mainiac
2007-12-13, 09:19 AM
On a strategical level it's not. The supernatural endurance of the Uruk-Hai allos them to harass the romans day and night and to chose the battle field in their favors. The superiour night vision allows them to attack at darkness, negating most of the tactical advantages of the legions. And the ability to live on frugal dirt is also a geat advantage, because it makes the Uruk less dependant from their tross.

And it's obviously not impossible for some backwater barbarians to annihilate two or three roman legions.

On the strategic level, romans expected to be attacked constantly. They built forts every night while in dangerous territory. They wore armor constantly while marching and building said forts. It would take seconds to respond to a daytime attack, drop your pack and draw your sword. At nighttime it would take minutes, during which time their sentries and walls would keep them safe. It's hard to harass an enemy who's constantly ready for your attacks. Every time you attack, and lose, you have to reorganize. It's also hard to make an ambush when your talking armies instead of squads. Scouts and sentries didn't patrol for the exercise.

Incompetantly lead legions, severely outnumbered legions or legions in very unfortunate conditions did lose to barbarians but that's about it. By the time the empire fell to barbarians, there were no more legions, they were replaced by the limites, comites and feodorati.

Satyr
2007-12-13, 09:32 AM
Incompetantly lead legions, severely outnumbered legions or legions in very unfortunate conditions did lose to barbarians but that's about it. By the time the empire fell to barbarians, there were no more legions, they were replaced by the limites, comites and feodorati.

Does "Propiorem iam albim quam rhemem" tell you anything? Back in Octavian's times, where the Roman Empire was at its zenite, some backwater barbarians annihilated three hole legions. XVII, XVIII and XIX cease to exist. The Roman armies were strong but far from unbeatable.

JoseB
2007-12-13, 09:45 AM
Incompetantly lead legions, severely outnumbered legions or legions in very unfortunate conditions did lose to barbarians but that's about it. By the time the empire fell to barbarians, there were no more legions, they were replaced by the limites, comites and feodorati.


Does "Propiorem iam albim quam rhemem" tell you anything? Back in Octavian's times, where the Roman Empire was at its zenite, some backwater barbarians annihilated three hole legions. XVII, XVIII and XIX cease to exist. The Roman armies were strong but far from unbeatable.

As mainiac said, "in unfortunate conditions". The defeat in Teutoburger wald was in the middle of dense woods, where the legions could not manoeuvre (one of the worst kinds of terrain for legions to fight in, I would say), while lead by Varus, who was apparently not a really good leader.

The other big defeat before that was that of Crassus at the hands of the Parthians, far from home; here incompetent leadership was a (if not "the") big factor.

However, all in all, defeat for the Roman legions tended to be the exception rather than the rule. It tended to require a commander of real genius on the other side (e.g. Hannibal) or really bad luck for a big catastrophe to befall the Roman legion in its prime.

Just my 2 eurocent!

Nerd-o-rama
2007-12-13, 09:49 AM
Seeing as the Uruk-Hai are exactly the kind of troops that Roman legions were used to demolishing (well-armed, physically imposing, but less disciplined and less favoring of formations), I'd have to hand an easy victory to the legions in open terrain like that described. Saruman would get much better results through manipulation, political trickery, or outright bribery.

SmartAlec
2007-12-13, 09:57 AM
Back in Octavian's times, where the Roman Empire was at its zenite, some backwater barbarians annihilated three hole legions.

To be fair, the whole thing was also a gigantic double-cross. These backwater barbarians were led by a traitor with a Roman officer's military background, Arminius, who'd planned out the defeat of the three Legions well before Varus even knew he'd betrayed them.

warty goblin
2007-12-13, 11:15 AM
I never said that Uruks are better at tactical maneurvering than the Legions, I just stated that they don't exactly break and charge like people claim. The Uruks, at least in the books, run a pretty competent army. They also can break shield walls, they broke the Rohirrim at the Fords of Isen, which is described as being basically a foot action.

I think the reason that the Rohirrim took so few loses attacking the orcs was that the orcs were strung out, tired, and not all of them were Uruk-Hai, and ran for it. They also wasted many of their arrows before their fight on hopeless long distance shots. The Uruks themselves maintained order and tried to cut their way through to Fangorn forest in formation.

Now since we are talking an army of only Uruks here, that breaking and running thing isn't a problem.

The armor thing is highly relevant. Yes, the Romans fought heavily armored people, but this was iron age armor, which IIRC tends to be made of chain and scale. Also, fully armored infantry (aka, complete body armor) was not something I think occured very often if at all in that time period. The Uruks in the movies wear what amounts to medival half armor with close basinets and chain protection for the joints. The typical way to kill somebody in armor like that with a sword generally involves either punching the crossguard of your sword through their visor, or stabbing through the chainmail under the armpit. The prefered way involved a charging warhorse and a lance, or a warhammer. As I said, Roman swords aren't designed to do this, and neither are their daggers.

Again, the food and speed issues are also highly relevant. Assuming a competant commander, which the Uruks seem to have, they can easily avoid engaging the slower Roman Legion in the field, until the health factor weighs in. No classical army was free from the risk of disease, although the Roman's superior hygene certainly helped them. Essentially the Uruks could pull a Julius Caesar, and simply march around until their enemies got very sick, then move in and rip them apart. Sure they are less relevant in a pitched battle, but the days and weeks leading to the fight are just as important as the fight itself often times, and discounting them is stupid.

On the tightly massed infantry thing. Yes, the Roman's shorter swords means that they can fit more men into a given area effectively, but it also has some disadvantages. Uruks are stronger than humans IIRC,and can probably win a shoving match against a human without difficulty, and hold two off with a shield as well. Put Uruks deep enough, say as deep as the Romans and give the front ranks large enough shields and they will be able to, if nothing else, hold the Roman line in place,even if they can't use their swords. Uruks also don't need swords to kill, being punched in the face by one wearing an iron gauntlet is lethal, and Romans wear open faced helmets. This still leaves a lot of Uruks not fighting in the main press for a flanking operation, which Hannibal taught us Legions are somewhat vulnerable to.

mainiac
2007-12-13, 12:01 PM
Does "Propiorem iam albim quam rhemem" tell you anything? Back in Octavian's times, where the Roman Empire was at its zenite, some backwater barbarians annihilated three hole legions. XVII, XVIII and XIX cease to exist. The Roman armies were strong but far from unbeatable.

Yes, this was probably the worst defeat against barbarians during the period of the romans legions. It was also exceptionally unusual. To give you an example of the other end of the spectrum I offer the Battle of Wattling Street during the Boudican revolts. The romans were outnumbered 20 to 1 but tore their ennemies to pieces.

Warty, you can't make arguments about strategy if they don't fit into a larger picture. Seeing as the romans could easily best the orcs in the field, they could pretty much march unopposed into any territory they wanted, which would be a pretty damn good counter to the vaunted mobility of the orcs. And if there was anything like say a river the roman navy would quickly come into play. The romans were in fact damn impressive on the logistics front, they could move troops pretty much anywhere in the empire in a month. Looking at strategy in anything but a very abstract sense, these are all important.

And if you want to nitpick the roman equipment, I want to point out how absurd the level of equipment your giving the orcs is. The romans were able to equip their troops so well because they had a very small, proffessional force. Short of magically equiping the orcs, there is no way the orcs could have the sort of equipment you suggest and still use horde tactics.

The roman tactics are not so easily foiled as you suggest as well. This is the force that completely overwhelmed the known world. They fought vast numbers of wily and well equiped opponents. If you can think of it, they faced it from battleaxes to greek fire to elephants. Somewhere in the many hordes of barbarians they tore to pieces there were cores of elite warriors. These warriors would have high steel armor and weapons but still lost out to the romans. If fighting with broadswords and chainmail was better then roman tactics the romans would have copied said tactics because that's what they did when faced with superior techniques.

Cuddly
2007-12-13, 12:02 PM
Why are siege engines included in this scenario? Use of siege engines in infantry battles is a classic case of Hollywood Tactics (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HollywoodTactics).

To answer your question, I'd give it to the legion. Discipline beats ferocity nine times out of ten.

Do you have a real link showing that catapults and stuff weren't used in battle?

TheElfLord
2007-12-13, 12:28 PM
I never said that Uruks are better at tactical maneurvering than the Legions, I just stated that they don't exactly break and charge like people claim. The Uruks, at least in the books, run a pretty competent army. They also can break shield walls, they broke the Rohirrim at the Fords of Isen, which is described as being basically a foot action.

I think the reason that the Rohirrim took so few loses attacking the orcs was that the orcs were strung out, tired, and not all of them were Uruk-Hai, and ran for it. They also wasted many of their arrows before their fight on hopeless long distance shots. The Uruks themselves maintained order and tried to cut their way through to Fangorn forest in formation.


They did win the Second Battle of the Fords of Isen, but due to overwhelming numbers (at least 10 to 1) probably more. Even then, Unfinished Tales tells us that they suffered much heavier casulaties than the humans did. So even when they win, more urks die. And the men of Rohan were no legionares. They were trained as calvary fighting dismounted.

At Fangorn the orcs were not scattered. They had been surrounded on a hillside all together. They had hours to prepare defenses, and the battle was fought at night, which is the orc's prime opperating time. 80 urk s and over 120 other orcs were on the hill, plus an untold number hidden in the forrest waiting to attack. The orcs had some clear advantages and not only managed to lose horribly, but only kill 15 enimies, while they lost over 200.

Someone beat me to mentioning the Battle of Wattling Street, but I think its a prime example of why the Legions would kick butt.


And to the OP: Why use the movies? Why not use the true representation of what we are talking about instead?

warty goblin
2007-12-13, 12:54 PM
Uruk-Hai don't use horde tactics. Orcs may, but Uruks most certainly do not- every depiction of them fighting in the book shows them to be highly organized and employing group tactics, supporting defensive measures. Even in the movies unless totally ambushed they use formations, covering fire and support units. They take mass losses at Helm's Deep because its a direct assault on a heavily fortified position, every army takes losses in a battle like that against a competent defender.

Yes, I realize that the level of equipment the uruks have is semi-insane, but the OP asked for a comparison based on the movies, and so that's what I work with, and in the movies they wear advanced fitted plate armor. Of course uruks also don't have to worry about an economy and mass-produce their equipment, but it is still a bit insane. Attacking it for insanity doesn't stop it from being true however, at least according to this thread.

Back to the stragetic thing: Yes Roman armies are fast, they go 25 miles a day, and relay at least somewhat on a network of roads. Uruks go 70 miles a day off road. Even if they chose to build fortifications, they could travel for twelve hours, go 48 miles, and still have six hours left to fortify. They can outdistance the Romans 2 to 1 and still be defended.

Another point, back to the close order fighting bit: Remember those big shields the Uruks used to get the ram up to the gate at Helm's Deep? Use a five deep line of uruks with those and the shorter cleaver type swords, or just spiked gauntlets. They will certainly be able to hold off their number of legionaries and then some, leaving the others free to flank and do the damage.

The Roman army is great. I'm not dissing Rome, believe me. I love Roman history etc, probably more than is healthy, the first computer game I ever played seriously was Caesar III. I read books on Roman history over breaks. Heck, my last paper for a modern political science class was on Rome, so I'm not just an LOTR fanboy, I'm also a Rome fanboy. In a modern American military vs. Roman military with equivilent equipment I'd hand it to Rome hands down. But here the Romans are out equiped, outmaneuvred, out muscled and barely have a tactical teamwork advantage. Now against the book Uruks and using equivilent equipment levels Rome wins, although it certainly knows its been in a fight, but the movie uruks are pretty insane.

Dervag
2007-12-13, 01:21 PM
Why are siege engines included in this scenario? Use of siege engines in infantry battles is a classic case of Hollywood Tactics (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HollywoodTactics).Actually, the Romans used siege engines in infantry battles on a number of occasions, and had engines specifically designed for this purpose (i.e., the pre-gunpowder equivalent of field artillery).

The reason was simple. Pre-gunpowder siege weapons couldn't cause many casualties to a force of infantry unless those infantry were tightly packed in a formation. In which case a shower of arrows or stones from a siege weapon could kill several, if not a dozen or more. So siege weapons, like normal ranged weapons, were could break up an enemy's formation as individual soldiers tried to dodge.


Having actually studied roman warfare I'd have to say that the Romans would completely destroy the Uruk-Hai. (spelling?) In a situation of 5000 Romans against 25,000 uruk-hai, the Romans would suffer minimal losses.I think that's pushing it a little. The Uruk-hai would be better equipped than typical 'barbarians' the Romans fought, and remarkably resistant to injury, at least in the short term. There might be examples of a Roman legion beating 'barbarians' at five-to-one odds, but I suspect that in those cases most of the barbarians were relatively lightly equipped (little or no armor, little combat training).


Why do the legions consist of republican era troops?I think because it's widely agreed that the legions reached their peak of quality during the Republic after the Marian reforms.


On a strategical level it's not. The supernatural endurance of the Uruk-Hai allos them to harass the romans day and night and to chose the battle field in their favors. The superiour night vision allows them to attack at darkness, negating most of the tactical advantages of the legions.If you attack a legion at night, you're attacking them in a small fortress, because the legions built a fortified earthwork defensive ring around their camp every night. Yes, every night, at least until their discipline faded in the late Imperial period. Even in friendly territory.


Somewhere in the many hordes of barbarians they tore to pieces there were cores of elite warriors. These warriors would have high steel armor and weapons but still lost out to the romans. If fighting with broadswords and chainmail was better then roman tactics the romans would have copied said tactics because that's what they did when faced with superior techniques.You're right, but it's reasonable to argue that fighting with broadword and mail (and perhaps some plate on top of the mail), combined with literally superhuman strength, endurance, and pain resistance, can make for a very formidable opponent. Even by the standards of a legionaire.

Lorn
2007-12-13, 01:22 PM
People give alot of credit to the shield, but the real reason that Rome dominated was the Roman gladius which was only about a foot long. Armies that used longer swords were forced to space their troops farther apart in order to swing their swords. You cannot form a phalanx with longswords because you will injure the people next to you.
Uruks don't need swords - they have REALLY sharp teeth. One tries to tear someone's throat out in the movies, from what I remember. Plus, their shields are pretty sure - and take it from me (don't need proof, I AM proof) with a footlong blade, it's hard to be a suitably long distance that someone cannot in fact simply grab your wrist. And if that someone was a Uruk, you'd lose your hand, then everything else.

Plus, the fact that the Uruks can see in the dark can NOT be underestimated. Night attack, protracted combat, whatever, so long as they're fighting in the dark the Uruks have won.

Plus, the Uruks have fire arrows, which would probably be rather effective against a palisade/shield wall, and would, to be quite honest, be able to break straight through a shield wall. Hard enough to hold off normal humans if they're armoured, if they're stronger and faster it'd be even worse.

EvilElitest
2007-12-13, 01:26 PM
In this epic line up of man versus orc, Roman against pit spawned Uruk, who do you think would win? Assume that you have a full Roman legion (with attendant siege machines etc) versus an equal number of Uruk-Hai and siege machines.

My monies on the Uruks, bred for war, and its stated that a fully trained Rohirrim Horseman will always lose in a one on one sword fight with an Uruk. But considering a fully trained and armored legion of Roman Legionnaire's have been fighting for decades, and drilled to perfection, it begins to look dicey.

Note: Uruk Berserker's are here, but there are no explosive for them to detonate. Assume a ratio of 1 : 100 (1 being a berserker, 100 being normal Uruks)

Movie or book Uruk hai? And what time peroid of rome? And how many of each side. And what emperor of the romans, and what leader of the uruks (sauron or Saurman)?
cool thread
from,
EE

TheElfLord
2007-12-13, 01:41 PM
Plus, the fact that the Uruks can see in the dark can NOT be underestimated. Night attack, protracted combat, whatever, so long as they're fighting in the dark the Uruks have won.



Except for the fact that both the times the Uruk Hai fought at night they lost.

mainiac
2007-12-13, 03:05 PM
Another point, back to the close order fighting bit: Remember those big shields the Uruks used to get the ram up to the gate at Helm's Deep? Use a five deep line of uruks with those and the shorter cleaver type swords, or just spiked gauntlets. They will certainly be able to hold off their number of legionaries and then some, leaving the others free to flank and do the damage.

But here the Romans are out equiped, outmaneuvred, out muscled and barely have a tactical teamwork advantage. Now against the book Uruks and using equivilent equipment levels Rome wins, although it certainly knows its been in a fight, but the movie uruks are pretty insane.

Wow, you display such tactical genius there. I'm sure no one the romans fought ever came up with something like using a shield wall for an envelopment or a double envelopment. Cause if they had the romans would have come up with some sort of response, like a patch work formation which allowed them to turn such a simple and easily spotted strategy into a rout.

Let's break this down:

Battlefield Strategy:
The Romans executed sophisticated strategies. They had the tactical framework in place to quickly respond to new threats and exploit opportunities. The orcs never execute any advanced tactic.

Who is out equiped?
The romans honed their equipment over hundreds of years of constant warfare. When they found better equipment and they started using it. The romans found equipment exactly like what the orcs had among the more elite members of celtic militaries. They didn't use it because their current equipment was better.

Someone suggested fire arrows against a shield wall, no. Fire arrows slow your rate of fire, are less accurate, unreliable and they won't do a thing if the shield is covered in leather, as roman shield were. What you need to take down a shield wall is some sort of throwing spear, like say, the roman pila.

Who's got an advantage in small unit tactics?
The romans refined their small unit tactics through leasons dilligently learned and passed down from generation to generation. Many not obvious practices were used, such as troop rotation and only stabbing to your right, never ahead. The power of the individual soldier skyrocketed as a result. Orcs take a very straightforward approach based around individual merit.

Who actually exists?
What looks like it should be effective and what actually is effective are often very, very different. Roman arms were tried under the heat of battle for hundreds of years and triumphed over everything they faced. Orcs look fierce. Romans regularly fought opponents who looked fierce and new ahead of time they were going to win.

Ganurath
2007-12-13, 03:09 PM
I'd give it to the Uruks. Both sides have shield walls, but the half-orcs have crossbow bolts flying out of their walls, along with berserkers to break the walls of the humans.

Tweekinator
2007-12-13, 03:42 PM
Heresy! Nothing can break a shield wall, least of all an ingeniously designed projectile that was made to hinder shields and make them unwieldy! Nothing, I say!


And the roman legions never used the phalanx or wore plate armor. The closest was their semi-hoplites in 520 BC or so who fought in phalanx formation and the richer ones wore brass breastplates. But that was before they developed the legions, anyways, so it's a moot point.

Renegade Paladin
2007-12-13, 04:03 PM
Uruks don't need swords - they have REALLY sharp teeth. One tries to tear someone's throat out in the movies, from what I remember.
...

Did you seriously just say that?

Okay class, let's break this down. Using teeth as primary weapons when you have a humanoid body form: You must get your head near to the enemy. The Romans will be behind a shield wall. Therefore, an Uruk attempting to bite a Roman will be stabbed more than enough to kill him stone dead while trying to get through the shield wall. http://www.libriumarcana.com/Uploads/Rogue/Pictures/Smileys/Professor.gif

Nerd-o-rama
2007-12-13, 04:07 PM
I'd give it to the Uruks. Both sides have shield walls, but the half-orcs have crossbow bolts flying out of their walls, along with berserkers to break the walls of the humans.
Because the Germanic tribes that the legions regularly walked over at the height of their power had no projectile weapons or berserkers.

Storm Bringer
2007-12-13, 05:12 PM
Ok.....late republican legions vs. equal number of Pete Jackson uruks....

Both sides deploy without hassle, for arguments sake, neither side has any particular surprises in store (no long flanking moves or gunpowder bombs.) Again, for arguments sake, the Romans are not scared S***less at these black skinned monsters they face (at least no more than of any other opponent). Romans are commanded by a suitable legate/consul with good experience. Orks have a competent orkish general (i.e. not saruman. that would bring magic and such into this, so let's not go their). Both sides have out marched their siege engines (the uruks don't appear to have any that would be useful in a field battle anyway, not in the films), so we'll discount then as well.

Romans in two lines (i.e. the Principes form up with the Hastai), with skirmishers in front, so as to present a solid line to the uruks, with archers behind and cav on the flanks. Main line is deeper than normal, as the uruks are known for their aggressive tactics. Triarri are formed up, as normal, behind the main line to plug gaps. The whole line is on their line of hills (so any attack on would be up hill). None of the Romans have the roman plate mail (slightly too early for that), but all close combat troops have chain-mail.

Uruks deploy a phalanx centre of their line, with sword and shield men on either side to try and stop flanking, with archers behind. They are also on the upper slopes of their hill. They form up on a similar frontage to the Romans, and slightly deeper (they keep no reserve formations, and gamble on a thicker front line and superior orkish strength to break though the Romans

Battle opens with archery on both sides. The Romans use their large shields to weather the fire as best possible. The Orks, particularly the pikes in the centre, can't do this as effectively (need both hands for the pikes. none of the pikerís in the film had shields), so take more casualties in comparison (the movie clearly shows at least some arrows penetrating the plate armour, presumably casting flaws failing. while good, the lack of lower leg armour and significant gaps at the shoulder and neck would allow arrows in to strike mortal wounds). The flanks are in looser formation (to give room to swing those long, axe-like swords of theirs), and are less targeted, so take fewer casualties.

The orks respond by pushing forewords to close into combat, So as to reduce time under fire and to bring their pikes and swords into action. Staying on the hill doesn't help, since that weakens his lines faster than the Romans. And retreating isn't an option for their commander (how many ork generals live past their first defeat?) Their archers stay on the hill, to better make use of the elevation.

Roman skirmishers harass the advancing orks, adding to casualties (Javelin and sling fire was quite effective on armoured troops. The Javelin had the mass to penetrate and the sling's concussive effect worked partially though armour), and further disrupting the formation. Uruks restrain form chasing the skirmishers, since that would further disrupt their lines (who fall back though the roman line, which opens and closes to let them though), and press on, reforming on the move (since their formations were pretty rough anyway, they could take this sort of fire and still present a solid line. They did at helms deep)

At the base of the hill, the roman archers switch to the orkish archers rather than the uruk main line. The uruks take this reprieve to redress their lines and advance into the attack in good order.


The Romans main line throws javelins and counter charges when the uruks are advancing up the hill. Ork swordsmen on the flanks break into a run as well, but the pikes hold brace and take the charge. beskers with double handed swords try to break the incoming lines, but are mostly either dead already (killed in the arrow storm) or taken down by javelins. The few that get close take down few Romans before dieing of multiple stab wounds.

The pikes in the centre blunt the roman charge there (even with all the losses to this point, enough would be left to keep the Romans at bay for the initial charge. the Romans beat pikes frontally on poor terrain, but never on flat ground.). On the flanks, the more open orcish swordsmen lines are nearly overrun as the downhill charge of the close order Romans simply bowls them over. The momentum doesn't carry them all the way though, though, and a neither flank is able to break the ork line at this juncture.

once the lines are stabilised, the orks find that their large swords are nasty, but even with their strength cannot sunder the roman shields (even the dacian flax, a two handed hacking sword, couldn't), instead they stick fast in the shield and the orks get swords thrusts to the armpits/other venerable areas while trying to free their weapons. Also, their lines are looser, meaning they are being forced back by weight of numbers alone (they can't bring as many orks in as close as the Romans can as they then couldn't use their swords effectively). Their great strength helps, but can't stop the close order troops form overwhelming the outnumbered orks in front.

The cavalry, meanwhile, has mauvnered around the main line. Most moves to threaten the orks lines rear, while a number go to attack the archers. the phalanx's manuvers to counter this (turning the rearmost pikes around to face the threat form behind) removes a lot of the pressure on the roman centre, which had been losing a lot of men to the pikes, and they are finally able to close to sword range, where the Romans begin to make pincushions of the pike men struggling to free their swords and use them in a formation far too tight for them (assuming their all using the same make of swords. since the hallmark of the uruks is mass production, I think this is reasonable).the total lack of shields for the pike men doesn't help either.

Now, the uruk line in under heavy pressure all along its length, but just about holding. The roman general orders his Triarri into the weakened centre (now the weakest part of both lines) to force the issue. The fresh troops quickly make the pressure in the orkish centre unbearable, and the line gives way, willingly or not. The orks either flee to be cut down by the horsemen in their rear or are cut down by the persueing main line. The Triarri, however, hold back and turn to deal with the flanks. They, too, must give way. The roman cav deals with the mopping up of the main line, and the orkish archers (and general) make good their retreat while the Romans are still busy.



Now thatís just ONE way it could go. Other factors could come into play (for example, wharg riders, who I think we can agree, would be able to match the roman cav in combat prowess or the roman siege equipment). However, I feel that the Romans better tactical system and training would allow them to prevail over an equal number of uruks.

EvilElitest
2007-12-13, 10:50 PM
An individual legionnaire might get killed by an uruk hai. The phalanx of legionnaire's using shield wall tactics with tower shields and squadrons of archers who know exactly when to fire to inflict the most damage are going to be considerably tougher then a single legionnaire. When you compare a phalanx of legionnaires to the individualistic undisciplined fighting style of the uruk hai it ceases to be a comparison. The uruk hai will charge through archer fire, and upon reaching the legionnaire's will be met with a wall of steel with blades that point out of it. It'd be comparable to the battle of the 300 spartans against the hordes of persia. Except now the spartans have just as many guys as persia.

1. 300 was a god awful movie. And in real life teh Spartans and there 700 support used there defensive postion to really win the fight.
2. If these are movie Uruk-hai, they accually are very well armored, orginized, and stronger than an individual's. They lack the intellegence of teh Romans

If these are movie uruks, the just some info

(this infomation comes from the movies, and a lot of different video games, along with LOTRS weapons and warfare, and LOTRS minitures, which i don't own so i'm being very vauge based on my friends )
All uruks are about 6,3 in height, and build very broadly. They are far stronger than a normal human and can take very nasty hits. But they are rather dumb, with the exception of the genetically greater commanders who direct them

Units
Uruk Swordsmen use those 3 1/2 foot half a foot wide cleavers with hooks on them
These swords are simple, but very heavy. They can hook down calvery, and hew through armor, and very easy to use.

Uruk Warriors use those with those niffy shields, can be used as spikes
Uruk shook troops use small arm shields, much like bucklers for speed
Uruk assulters use cleavers with gauntlets that have two long narrow spikes
All of the above wear helmets that have two small spikes on the front of their faces positioned perfectlly for driving them into a foe's eyes
Uruk-soilders have the same as warriors but no helmet and the are crappy
Uruk veterains use duel cleavers, no helmets

Uruk Pike men use ether 12 foot or 10 foot long iron pikes, along with a 2 1/2 foot cleavers and spiked gauntlets
Sappers don't use weapons, but have spike gauntlets
overseers use whips
Commanders use standard but better quality equipment (like Lurz)
Crossbowmen use extremly heavy crossbows and short swords. There is also a light crossbow unit
Crossbow captains (better fighters)
Uruk captains use 5 foot pike/spear and no helmets, elites
Uruk banner bears use big banners and spiked gauntlets
Uruk chiefs use single swords are armor, no helmets
Bow men use bladed bows with sword and shield as well
Scouts use a single sword and wear leathed, no hook on their sword
raiders are just like warriors, but leather instead of armor
Scout warriors are like Soilders, just leather
Scout crowsbow men use knives and wear leather, but do have 1 small exploding fire rock each
Scout veterans use two unhooked cleavers and wear leather
all scout units are weaker than basic troops, just fasters, while raiders are better or at least more intellegent

Uruk beserkers come in three types, shock, normal, and veterans
All are 6'6 feet tall, super strong, and take a lot of hits to kill
All wear metal helmets and no other armor
Normal wield double spiked cleavers and spiked gauntles but fight as normal
Veterains use five foot long double spiked cleavers two handed
Shock use two handed double spiked cleaver in one hand, and a spiked gauntlet in the other
Warg riders use scimitars and horse bows
They don't die easily
Uruk ninjas use ninja-to and wear ninja garb.
If we are counting magics (from the third age or miniatures)
Uruk shamons use staffs with a heavy orb on top and a spiked end on the bottom
If we count other members of their army who aren't uruks, we have
Lesser orcs
Crossbreeds
trolls (according to video games at least)
evil men


My bets are on the romans:smallbiggrin:


As far as your point about the Gladius goes, it sure is a good thing the Romans never fought against any heavily armored opponents right? Cause otherwise that point would seem completely silly.
The gladius isn't a great weapon for breaking full plate, could still be effective


Well, if your going to talk armor, it should be noted that roman legionaries fought in the best armor available, either platemail or chainmail depending on availabitiy and preference. They're armor was competantly built as well and could stop pretty powerful attacks. There's no way the orcs could wear both platemail and chainmail. That's way too much weight, and even if it was made of mithral it would restrict your movement way too much unless you were on horses.

didn't they use chain or banded mail? I thought only a few used plate

and what romans are they? Caesers? Octavians? end of the republic? What romans are we talking about

I think the reason that the Rohirrim took so few loses attacking the orcs was that the orcs were strung out, tired, and not all of them were Uruk-Hai, and ran for it. They also wasted many of their arrows before their fight on hopeless long distance shots. The Uruks themselves maintained order and tried to cut their way through to Fangorn forest in formation.
edit didn't see this
the riders lost maybe a dozen men and horses, and three men were killed who's horses lived

Warty, you can't make arguments about strategy if they don't fit into a larger picture. Seeing as the romans could easily best the orcs in the field, they could pretty much march unopposed into any territory they wanted, which would be a pretty damn good counter to the vaunted mobility of the orcs.
Bit claim there, but the legions were infamously bad in woods, and what if the Uruks were in a fortress? I still think the romans would win, but it certainly would be an insta win, and the romans need a good commander

And if you want to nitpick the roman equipment, I want to point out how absurd the level of equipment your giving the orcs is.
wait, the fact that in a fantasy setting the live on a massive iron ore place with a really smart wizard who knows how to mine metal getting them stuff bothers you and the fact they are you know, orcs doesn't?:smallconfused:

And to the OP: Why use the movies? Why not use the true representation of what we are talking about instead?
Mordor or isengard? Mordor has a chance, but isengard is screwed if we use books (no plate mail)



In a modern American military vs. Roman military with equivilent equipment I'd hand it to Rome hands down
:smallconfused:


(don't need proof, I AM proof)
dear god, i wish i was allowed to do that

Greatest roman advantage? Uruks are dumb as hell.

edit, didn't see this

Uruk Legions comprise of:

-Pikemen: Anti Cavalry 300 men
-Swordsmen: Long sword and board types. 2480
-Crossbow men: Fire pointy iron sticks 1380
-Berserkers: Don't fight inside the group but as skirmishers of death. 40

what about other video games? just don't count?


Also about the teeth note, i know that uruks have fangs and claws but those would only be useful an unarmed uruk was in basiclly a knife fight with a human, and i don't even think he would need the fangs, just break his neck

However, i still hand this to the romans, because the have greater intellegence (but they can be intimidated, something that is hard to do for the uruks)
from,
EE

Ganurath
2007-12-13, 11:30 PM
Because the Germanic tribes that the legions regularly walked over at the height of their power had no projectile weapons or berserkers.I'm not saying that. I'm saying that the Uruks have those things to supplement their polearm ladden shield wall that matches that of the Romans. Plus, I'm pretty sure crossbows are designed for piercing armor. Oh, there's also the higher strength and tougher build.

warty goblin
2007-12-13, 11:32 PM
Storm Bringer. Your example is a very nice piece of writing and logic, except for a few points, which I'll detail below.

Given that the uruks are far faster on foot than the Romans, I don't see why the Romans would ever get a terain advantage, they'll be fighting uphill, not the other way. Right off the bat you give the Romans a random advantage that they are somewhat unlikely to obtain.

We also know that uruks have metal tower shields, which are easily capable of stopping arrows, and have the coordination to deploy them in an organized manner. Javalins might be able to pierce the shields, but plate I find dubious. Occasionally sure, but it would take a very direct hit with the point pretty much normal to the surface, so pretty unlikely.

Now let'st talk archery. From what I've read, and the experiments I've seen, an arrow can barely punch through chain and padding at 60 feet, let alone plate armor. The English managed to do damage with archers during the Hundred Years War using far more powerful bows than Rome ever had, and by having about 3/4 of their army be archers. Even by the time of Agincourt the archer strategy was wearing thin, if it hadn't been for the mud and French stupidity, the French would have won that battle- the French dismounted men-at-arms reached the English lines coming through around 20,000 arrows a minute (4,000 archers, 5 arrows a minute). Roman bows are less powerful and far less numerous than the English at Agincourt, but the armor they are facing is almost as good. Archery is pretty much not going to be an issue. It will cause loses, but not enough to break lines or do significant amounts of damage.

Uruks use crossbows however, one of the few truly effective weapons at punching through armor, and uruks are strong enough to use very powerful crossbows. A bolt that punches through a shield probably won't have the power to pierce armor, but Roman body armor has some pretty major gaps in it (neck, face, armpits, groin, thigh). Uruk bowfire isn't going to cause lots of loses, but it is going to cause some.

Now let's talk fighting again. Large shields and short swords are only an advantage if you can get in range. There's a reason this style of fighting was less than popular against heavily armored late medival infantry, which is basically what the uruks are- it doesn't work. Its also a very tiring method of fighting, I seem to recall the Roman formation being set up to allow men at the front to rotate out every couple of minutes. Fighting without a shield but in heavy armor seems to be less tiring, given that infantry lines seem to have been able to hold unsupported for fairly long periods of time fighting like this. Uruks are already stronger and tougher than humans, they can simply wear their enemies out. Uruk pikemen supported by swordmen are going to be a real problem. We already know that Romans legions had trouble beating a phalanx in the open, let alone a a phalanx of stronger and better armored warriors. I admit that getting one's sword stuck in a shield is a problem, although less so for a uruk than a human, for the simple reason that they are stronger and have a significant chance of being able to pull the shield out of the legionary's hand, or slam it back into him.

EvilElitest
2007-12-13, 11:41 PM
Nit pick, he Uruks don't have tower shield, just medium shields
from,
EE

Shadowdweller
2007-12-13, 11:44 PM
The closest was their semi-hoplites in 520 BC or so who fought in phalanx formation and the richer ones wore brass breastplates
Which, by the way, was tiny and considered inferior to (the much more expensive) Latin-era chainmail. Roman armor was undeniably more primitive than what was seen later on in medieval times.


Greatest roman advantage? Uruks are dumb as hell.
A myth propagated by the advent of D&D. Tolkien orcs are incredibly fractious, but not at all stupid.

sikyon
2007-12-13, 11:47 PM
I'd give it to romans.

HOWEVER

Urks have far greater speed, and logistical advantage. In the hands of a good commander, Urks would be able to attack supply lines and avoid decisive engagement. Eventually the romans will run out of food, while the Urks will not because they don't really have supply lines. Superior movement means that the engagement described will never occur (romans win that) but instead the romans will be ambushed in poor terrain and overwhelmed.

But Urks are very violent, and it is doubtful they could restrain themselves without a general telling them to. This is a delaying action, and more likely than not Urk dicipline would break down (not fighting being harder than fighting for them).

Executor
2007-12-13, 11:54 PM
Why are siege engines included in this scenario?

Because the Roman legions were the first army to use preparatory artillery fire to weaken enemy postions before a field battle. They wouldn't pull an Eldest and aim their onagers right at the middle of engaged infantry, but they would bombard an enemy position with archery, catapult and ballista fire before sending in their legionaries.

And no, i'm not getting that from Gladiator

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Infantry_Tactics

Turcano
2007-12-14, 12:01 AM
Actually, the Romans used siege engines in infantry battles on a number of occasions, and had engines specifically designed for this purpose (i.e., the pre-gunpowder equivalent of field artillery).

This was only done regularly during the late Empire period, which (as we have established) coincided with the legion's decline. When I derided the use of siege equipment in open battle, I was mainly thinking of onagers, which would be fairly difficult to use effectively (you pretty much have to fire them before the armies engage, or you risk firing on your own men). However, the 60 ballistas that were issued to a legion could come in handy, particularly now that we have more favorable terrain in the picture (I was thinking of a flat battlefield).


And if you want to nitpick the roman equipment, I want to point out how absurd the level of equipment your giving the orcs is. The romans were able to equip their troops so well because they had a very small, proffessional force. Short of magically equiping the orcs, there is no way the orcs could have the sort of equipment you suggest and still use horde tactics.

Not to mention the fact that people are really overselling the quality of the Uruk-Hai equipment. If we're going by the films, their gear is actually quite poor; I don't remember about the armor, but I remember quite clearly that their weapons were cast iron, which sucks unbelievable amounts of ass.

Dervag
2007-12-14, 01:03 AM
Uruks don't need swords - they have REALLY sharp teeth. One tries to tear someone's throat out in the movies, from what I remember. Plus, their shields are pretty sure - and take it from me (don't need proof, I AM proof) with a footlong blade, it's hard to be a suitably long distance that someone cannot in fact simply grab your wrist. And if that someone was a Uruk, you'd lose your hand, then everything else.Armor makes that a tricky tactic (and yes, I mean both biting in combat and trying to seize the wrist of the guy with a sharp stabbing weapon such as a gladius).


Plus, the fact that the Uruks can see in the dark can NOT be underestimated. Night attack, protracted combat, whatever, so long as they're fighting in the dark the Uruks have won.Most likely. Of course, the Romans make a point of being entrenched in a small fortress by the time nightfall comes around, which reduces the Uruks' advantages by allowing the Romans to concentrate illumination on the wall of their fort.


Plus, the Uruks have fire arrows, which would probably be rather effective against a palisade/shield wall, and would, to be quite honest, be able to break straight through a shield wall. Hard enough to hold off normal humans if they're armoured, if they're stronger and faster it'd be even worse.Fire arrows aren't especially effective against solid wood because solid wood tends to conduct heat away from the point of contact with burning material. That's why you generally need kindling to start a fire- you can't just throw a match on a pile of logs and expect it to go up in flames.

But yes, I agree, the Uruk-hais' superhuman physical characteristics would make them real contenders against a Roman legion; discipline and teamwork can only take you so far.


Ok.....late republican legions vs. equal number of Pete Jackson uruks.... [several paragraphs of good after-action report]I like it, except for the persistent Warhammer-style spelling of 'orcs'. In Tolkien, they're "orcs," in Warhammer, they're "orks." Orks have machine guns; orcs do not.


1. 300 was a god awful movie. And in real life teh Spartans and there 700 support used there defensive postion to really win the fight.Moot to the question under consideration. As an analogy it works regardless of the quality of the movie; sneers are not required.


2. If these are movie Uruk-hai, they accually are very well armored, orginized, and stronger than an individual's. They lack the intellegence of teh RomansThe Uruk-hai may be "orginized," but they lack the finely honed battle tactics of the Romans. Over fifty or a hundred years they might evolve such tactics, but they don't have them now. At the time of the War of the Rings, the Uruk-hai are armed with huge chopping swords that are totally unsuitable for formation fighting and close cooperation among teams of soldiers. Or they're armed with pikes that are suitable for formation fighting, but have gaping weaknesses (missile weapons and properly trained close-in attackers with swords), exactly like the pikes that the Macedonian phalanxes took up against Roman legions and lost with, even before the legions reached the peak of their fighting effectiveness with the Marian reforms.


(this infomation comes from the movies, and a lot of different video games, along with LOTRS weapons and warfare, and LOTRS minitures, which i don't own so i'm being very vauge based on my friends )
All uruks are about 6,3 in height, and build very broadly. They are far stronger than a normal human and can take very nasty hits. But they are rather dumb, with the exception of the genetically greater commanders who direct themMore or less what the rest of us were basing our reasoning on; it sounds about right. Their resistance to injury means they'll last a little longer in close combat with a Roman shield wall, but a gladius through the throat or guts is going to incapacitate any humanoid being very quickly, no matter how tough or pain resistant they are.


Uruk beserkers come in three types, shock, normal, and veterans
All are 6'6 feet tall, super strong, and take a lot of hits to kill
All wear metal helmets and no other armorThat, more or less alone, makes them meat on the table for the legions, who have ranged weapons and enough armor and shields to be able to withstand a first wild swing, even from the incredible strength of an Uruk berserker.


My bets are on the romans:smallbiggrin:Ditto.

didn't they use chain or banded mail? I thought only a few used plateBanded mail is really a kind of plate. "Banded mail" is a D&D term designed to distinguish it from the sort of armor medieval knights wear. Historians call it plate.


The riders lost a dozen men...Yes, which is very light casualties against a hundred or so genetically modified 'supersoldiers.'


Bit claim there, but the legions were infamously bad in woods, and what if the Uruks were in a fortress? I still think the romans would win, but it certainly would be an insta win, and the romans need a good commanderRomans were really good at siege engineering; they practically wrote the book on it. Many of the Uruks' advantages would be useless in a fortress where they couldn't use their superior physical strength in close combat against the besiegers.

In a forest, the Uruk-hai would be likely to win. They'd have most of the same advantages the Germans had in the Teutoberger Wald, and some advantages the Germans didn't (like being huge hulking musclemen with the stamina of an ox to the last 'man').


Given that the uruks are far faster on foot than the Romans, I don't see why the Romans would ever get a terain advantage, they'll be fighting uphill, not the other way. Right off the bat you give the Romans a random advantage that they are somewhat unlikely to obtain.Well, the Uruk-hai aren't very smart, and we don't see a lot of evidence of them using scouts very much. So it's likely they'd see the Romans at the same time the Romans saw them, or that the Romans' cavalry would be scouting and would detect the Uruk-hai and get a chance to fall back on the main body in time for that main body to assume defensive positions. The Uruk-hai aren't a lot faster than a legion over short distances; their main advantage is being able to keep up their maximum speed for even longer than the Romans (who could march virtually any infantry in the world into the ground).


Now let'st talk archery. From what I've read, and the experiments I've seen, an arrow can barely punch through chain and padding at 60 feet, let alone plate armor... Archery is pretty much not going to be an issue. It will cause loses, but not enough to break lines or do significant amounts of damage.And yet we know the Uruks took casualties to archers. It's a canonical fact. So we do need to take that into account.


Urks have far greater speed, and logistical advantage. In the hands of a good commander, Urks would be able to attack supply lines and avoid decisive engagement. Eventually the romans will run out of food, while the Urks will not because they don't really have supply lines. Superior movement means that the engagement described will never occur (romans win that) but instead the romans will be ambushed in poor terrain and overwhelmed. The Romans were good at logistics; if nothing else they could always fall back on a riverline and get their supplies in by boat until reinforcements arrived. The Uruk-hais' ability to keep fighting with minimal food supplies will help them, but not that much. The Uruk-hais' better operational mobility (they cover more ground per day) is somewhat more important, but the Romans did manage to fight cavalry armies quite effectively, and the Uruk-hai aren't more mobile than a good cavalry force.


Not to mention the fact that people are really overselling the quality of the Uruk-Hai equipment. If we're going by the films, their gear is actually quite poor; I don't remember about the armor, but I remember quite clearly that their weapons were cast iron, which sucks unbelievable amounts of ass.People see a lot of iron in their armor and weapons and assume "more iron = better gear." After all, we traditionally think of plate armor as being a better defense than chain, which is in turn better than most non metallic armors.

However, you're right that the difference between cast iron (as in the mass-produced Uruk-hai equipment) and wrought iron or steel (as in the Romans' armor and weapons) is going to matter. Cast iron shatters, people. That may help to explain why their armor doesn't always protect them against arrows- as someone else pointed out, cast iron has flaws that can allow a forged steel point to penetrate.

Raiser Blade
2007-12-14, 02:02 AM
Battle opens with archery on both sides. The Romans use their large shields to weather the fire as best possible. The Orks, particularly the pikes in the centre, can't do this as effectively (need both hands for the pikes. none of the pikerís in the film had shields), so take more casualties in comparison (the movie clearly shows at least some arrows penetrating the plate armour, presumably casting flaws failing. while good, the lack of lower leg armour and significant gaps at the shoulder and neck would allow arrows in to strike mortal wounds). The flanks are in looser formation (to give room to swing those long, axe-like swords of theirs), and are less targeted, so take fewer casualties.


Minor nitpick.

For most of the time the uruk were dealing with elven archers. I'm betting they were way more accurate and deadly than anything the romans faced. As such i'm not sure if it's fair to judge off of that point.

(Also the human archers in the movie were also exceptional)

Storm Bringer
2007-12-14, 03:12 AM
right, comments on specific nitpicks:

the battlefield we were 'assigned' at the start of his thread was basically a valley with two lines of roughly equal hills on both sides. the romans don't so much again an advantage as choose to keep it. the orcs commander choose to leave his hill because he was losing more men to the romans fire thant he romans were losing to his fire. with equal numbers (a basic stipulation of the set up),waiting would just weaken the reltive forces in his oppents favour. egro, he chooses to advance, relying on the superior strength, toughtness and stamina of the orks, combined with thier deep formations shoving power, to carry the day.

As to the effectiveness of the uruk armour vs archers, the romans were able to field largish numbers when required, and the effects i was talking about assume mass long range volley fire swamping the area, rather than the short range sniping of helms deep (the elves thier are within aiming range, much shorter than thier max).

as pointed out, the orcish armour is of fairly low-quality, mass produced black Iorn. Now, even so, at the ranges involved, that'd be good enough to stop a LOT of the arrows, but some might get lucky and hit a flaw, and more would land on areas with little of no armour (legs being a noticeable unarmoured area), causing the wounds that even with an orcish biology would slow down and disrupt a formation.

The orcs used tower shields only once, during the attack up the ramp during the siege. Iron shields of that size would seriously hamper the orcs mobility, and would most likey not be issued a standard, instead being kept with the seige gear. certianly, their are historical examples of armies with tower sheilds outrunning them (crecy is the most notable, where the french crossbowmen did not have thier normal pavise sheilds, which were stuck in the rear, and consquently suffered greatly against the longbowmen)

looking back at my post, the one thing that i see as really questionable is the lack of orc reserves in my 'battle'. while i've not seen anything to say they'd bother with them, nor have i seen anything that states they wouldn't use them.

i'l answer the other points when i can. However, i fully aggree that their are a LOT of questionable aussmptions in the battle, and many could well kick the battle in either direction. as i siad, it was ONE way it could go.

Tweekinator
2007-12-14, 11:27 AM
Minor nitpick.

For most of the time the uruk were dealing with elven archers. I'm betting they were way more accurate and deadly than anything the romans faced. As such i'm not sure if it's fair to judge off of that point.

(Also the human archers in the movie were also exceptional)

Don't forget that a one-eyed, feeble old man on a wall at night(and in a light rain? I don't remember) was able to accidentally kill an uruk with an arrow.
Borderline senile geezers with no depth perception don't quite strike me as the "superior" archers.

Ganurath
2007-12-14, 11:34 AM
Don't forget that a one-eyed, feeble old man on a wall at night(and in a light rain? I don't remember) was able to accidentally kill an uruk with an arrow.
Borderline senile geezers with no depth perception don't quite strike me as the "superior" archers.He had the power of plot.

Storm Bringer
2007-12-14, 01:38 PM
Don't forget that a one-eyed, feeble old man on a wall at night(and in a light rain? I don't remember) was able to accidentally kill an uruk with an arrow.
Borderline senile geezers with no depth perception don't quite strike me as the "superior" archers.

he got lucky. that arrow clearly past above the breastplate and hit only the chainmail, so it's not a revelevant case as to wether the uruks breastplates could stop arrow fire.

Midnighter1021
2007-12-14, 01:56 PM
well i am going to put my money on the romans but what about this scenario

The Hun hordes v.s. Rohirrim

Wizzardman
2007-12-14, 02:30 PM
Battlefield Strategy:
The Romans executed sophisticated strategies. They had the tactical framework in place to quickly respond to new threats and exploit opportunities. The orcs never execute any advanced tactic.

How can you tell? Neither Tolkein nor Jackson revealed a 'battlefield map' in the middle of the various battles. Really, all the reader/viewer ever got were a lot of tales about the heroes running around willie-nillie killing everything in sight. We can't really judge how effective orc tactics were from the movies or the books, as both concentrated on the heroes, rather than on strategy.

We did see the orcs preparing for a few cavalry charges, but there were mitigating circumstances. We saw the orcs besieging a few strongholds, but again, mitigating circumstances (ie wizards, heroes, and explosions). Otherwise, there wasn't much else.



Who is out equiped?
The romans honed their equipment over hundreds of years of constant warfare. When they found better equipment and they started using it. The romans found equipment exactly like what the orcs had among the more elite members of celtic militaries. They didn't use it because their current equipment was better.

...Or because it was worth a lot of money, and weighed too much for a Legionnaire to maintain proper marching speed. Honestly, the primary reasons the Roman Legionnaires did not change out their armor for better equipment was because Roman Scale and Plate Mail were cheaper, more common, and weighed a lot less. Not every Legionnaire could find or afford a stolen Celtic breastplate, and having most of your troops wear similar uniforms is more effective than giving maybe 15 people out of your Legion fancy, expensive armor that weighs a friggin ton and slows them down in the middle of formation wouldn't be worth it.

Orcs, however, is the biggest and the strongest! [cough, cough, hack hack, warhammer reference] Sorry about that. Anyways, orcs are strong enough to be able to wear ridiculous plate mail and still run 70 miles a day, so obviously the extra weight of the armor is not a problem for them, and thus they can afford to wear better armor.

Sorry, dude, but plate armor was invented as a means of stopping sword thrusts. True, the Legionnaires found a way to kill the few plate-armor-wearers they had to fight, but they never had to fight a legion-sized group of superhuman monsters in plate armor. The armor is going to provide at least some advantage. 'Cause if it didn't, they wouldn't have used it so extensively in the later Medieval period.



Who actually exists?
What looks like it should be effective and what actually is effective are often very, very different. Roman arms were tried under the heat of battle for hundreds of years and triumphed over everything they faced. Orcs look fierce. Romans regularly fought opponents who looked fierce and new ahead of time they were going to win.

Congrats. You just tried to invalidate this entire thread. This isn't a "who's better" thread, its a "who would win" thread. Arguing "Romans would win because they're real" is silly.

Renegade Paladin
2007-12-14, 02:47 PM
1. 300 was a god awful movie. And in real life teh Spartans and there 700 support used there defensive postion to really win the fight.
http://www.libriumarcana.com/Uploads/Rogue/Pictures/JPEGs/incorrect4dr.jpg

The Spartans at Thermopylae were killed to the last man. Thermopylae was a Pyrrhic victory for Xerxes, but a victory it was; his advance was not stopped until the naval battle at Salamis.

multilis
2007-12-14, 03:24 PM
Middle ages, they knew all about roman style war and at times could afford the same training of an elite army, yet they didn't copy everything.

Swordman could beat spearman, but spearman was effective against horseman/knights. Plate armour/shield wall was vulnerable to mace/hammer and crossbow. (In turn the mace/hammer was vulnerable to defending archers behind the shield wall).

Square shield was effective but so was a large round shield, both can also be interlocked into a wall, if the army has the discipline, eg defenders in Norman Conquest of England.

In last battle of ROTK, the defenders use a shield wall similar to roman legion, and the attackers hammer at it.

I think answer to question would have to involve the discipline/training and numbers of each side and who they get as leaders. IMO the LOTR had Sauron hosting a large army of non-elite troops, because while elites are several times as good, they are also several times as expensive to produce.

mainiac
2007-12-14, 03:28 PM
Congrats. You just tried to invalidate this entire thread. This isn't a "who's better" thread, its a "who would win" thread. Arguing "Romans would win because they're real" is silly.

My argument isn't "because their real." It's, because the Roman tactics are tested under the heat of battle, intelligently designed under the penalty of death. In case you haven't realized this yet.

THE ROMANS BATTLED TROOPS LIKE THE ORCS AND BEAT THEM, OFTEN.

The cases of the romans loosing to orc like troops are very rare and much fewer then absolute slaughters like the battle of Wattling Street. While supperior orc strength and the like would affect the equation it certainly would not change it.

There is nothing that tests an army like actually seeing it in battle. Things that don't make sense until their done become obvious. Think of how few people saw blitzkreig before WWII. Think of how few understood the power of machine guns before WWI. Think of how few anticipated IED's before the current misadventure in Iraq. Now imagine how much someone who has no clue how effective roman arms are would underestimate their efficiency. Going betwen what seems logical and what history demonstrated, you have to go with history.

When the Guals invaded Italy, the romans got their asses handed to them. They subsequently reformed and created a military which would not lose to the Guals again. The Guals fought very much like the orcs. They had some brillient commands, some excellent troops and the Romans beat them all. Thus all historical evidence says that the romans have very large advantages. You might not understand how uttery essential things like stabbing right and training for rotation are but the romans did because they needed to. They faced every trick in the book and beat it. Their military was proven to win wars.

WalkingTarget
2007-12-14, 03:31 PM
Orcs, however, is the biggest and the strongest! [cough, cough, hack hack, warhammer reference] Sorry about that. Anyways, orcs are strong enough to be able to wear ridiculous plate mail and still run 70 miles a day, so obviously the extra weight of the armor is not a problem for them, and thus they can afford to wear better armor.

Sorry, EE, I'm not actively following you around specifically, it's just that you bring up the points that I have responses to.

In the LotR books (and I grant that Jackson took liberties with this), nobody had what we'd call plate armor. A few people had the occasional set of greaves or a vambrace, but otherwise it's ring or scale mail at the best (I believe the reason for that was that he didn't want his creations running around in armor that outstrips what the Anglo-Saxon culture had developed IRL).

Also, the only instance of long distance running I can remember is the orcs traveling to Isengard with Merry and Pippen. Eomer said to Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli "Forty leagues and five you have measured ere the fourth day," and Fangorn lay a further 10 leagues ahead. So, the Orcs ran 55 leagues = 165 miles in lets say 3 days (so 55 miles a day, compared to 41 or so for Aragorn and company). Still an impressive run, but still less than 70 and they had lighter gear than plate.

If we're firm on sticking with the Jackson version, we have to deal with plate, I suppose, which makes the Uruk-hai that much more impressive (but distances in the films seem to fit the needs of plot rather than what was written or seen in earlier parts of the films anyway).

mainiac
2007-12-14, 03:35 PM
Middle ages, they knew all about roman style war and at times could afford the same training of an elite army, yet they didn't copy everything.


Wrong and Wrong.

The fall of the roman empire resulted in the end of travel and the severe restriction of knowledge. Few people would know about more then their immediate area. The typical soldier wouldn't know what the Roman Empire was except maybe that it was where the Latin language came from.

Soldiers in the Middle Ages were levies, troops raised to fight as a duty to their lord. Even the Eastern Roman Empire (often called Byzantine) could not afford a proffessional army and used a system akin to a militia paid in land. The proffessional soldiers in this day were the Knights and the Men at Arms, who were a definate minority.

multilis
2007-12-14, 03:36 PM
When the Guals invaded Italy, the romans got their asses handed to them. They subsequently reformed and created a military which would not lose to the Guals again.
And in the middle ages they knew roman tactics but didn't always use them, they had learned countermeasures as well, eg mace/hammer (repeated from my post above).

Rome was eventually defeated by german barbarians who also found countermeasures to roman tactics. Yes, discipline of later years was less, so as I state above, imo it is matter of details, the leaders, discipline of each side, numbers, etc that would decide the winner.

mainiac
2007-12-14, 03:57 PM
The mace is a very poor weapon against a roman shield and I'm unfamilier with orcs using warhammers and unsure how effective it would be.

By the time Rome fell it's armies consisted mostly of federated troops, that is to say germans who were more akin to their adversaries then the legions of Ceasar. They're loyalty was attrocious and their endless civil warring brought the empire down from within.

The barbarians that actually overran the empire generally did so under the force of their powerful shock cavalry, predecessors to the knights. The only mounted orcs we see are the warg riders.

warty goblin
2007-12-14, 04:08 PM
I also feel bound to point out that swords do not in fact beat spears as a general rule. It can happen sure, but there is a reason why the most popular weapon throughout history has been the spear- its cheap, easy to use and works very very well in a lot of circumstances.

One more point about armor: I'm not sure that the uruks' armor being penetrated in the movie is particulary relevant, since everybody's armor is consistantly whacked through with just about any kind of weapon. I'm not sure what to conclude from this in relation to this thread, but I don't see "uruk armor sucks" as following terribly well either...

Another point about the forging of uruk armor. Some of it does seem to be cast yes, but there was also a lot of heating and beating it with hammers going on IIRC. It's probably not as good as really well made hand forged stuff, but it's not merely cast iron either.

I'm also not terribly convinced how well Roman shields would hold up to uruk hits. In the Two Towers Extended Edition, one of the berserkers cuts down three or four elves in one swing without apparent difficulty. With that kind of power, there's a decent chance that a sword swing would cut down to the boss, which would make it fairly easy for the uruk to slam the shield (and point of his sword) back into the legionary- and that's a strength contest the uruk is pretty much always going to win. In this position the upward spike of the uruk's sword would be almost perfectly situated to impale the staggered legionary through the armpit or throat as well.

mainiac
2007-12-14, 04:18 PM
Swords don't have all that much power no matter how hard you swing them. A Celtic or German battleaxe would have substantially more force behind their blows and legionaries took hits from them perfectly well. They held their shields in an underhand grip allowing for forearms support if need be which is a very strong possition. If you swung and hit their shield, they could immediately force it forward either deflecting your weapon or knocking your lights out. Then the guy to their left would stab the orc for them. At no point in said scenereo would a legionary have to comprimise their defenses.

Remember what I said about this stuff actually working irl?

mainiac
2007-12-14, 04:24 PM
And to put the so called supperiority of orcish armor in perspective, I want to point at that Polish, Hungarian and Russian knights all had excellent armor. They were mounted too, meaning they could wear more of it then infantry. Mongolian horse archers cut through knights like a knife through warm butter and they did so using shortbows. A shortbow arrow has a lot less force behind it then a good gladius stab.

multilis
2007-12-14, 05:00 PM
The mace is a very poor weapon against a roman shield and I'm unfamilier with orcs using warhammers and unsure how effective it would be.

Mace not effective against Roman shield? Why?

You hold a shield, I hit your shield with a big hammer, lets see how your arm feels. I suggest similar to how it felt in last battle of LOTR where the trolls start hammering on the shield wall. Or how it felt when witch king of LOTR used a mace on Eowyn's shield... even if the shield holds, the arm holding it still suffers.

Swords and spears have trouble cutting through armour/shield, so often one would use blunt force to bruise. That is why maces were used against knights with large shields and full plate armour.

A mace (heavy spiked metal ball on end of a chain or on end of a pole) takes time to swing and hard to redirect, so not as effective as a sword against a nible/lightly armed opponent who can dodge, but shield walls are not about dodging.

EvilElitest
2007-12-14, 05:31 PM
A myth propagated by the advent of D&D. Tolkien orcs are incredibly fractious, but not at all stupid.

Movie uruks are, i know book uruks aren't

Book uruks are quite smart (trust me, me and warty goblin have been arguing for team sauron for ages)
Movie uruks are better equipied but are pretty dumb (with the exception of commanders who are a separate breed, lurgz and friends)
Who commands them by the by, if they don't have the white wizard then they are in trouble

Not to mention the fact that people are really overselling the quality of the Uruk-Hai equipment. If we're going by the films, their gear is actually quite poor; I don't remember about the armor, but I remember quite clearly that their weapons were cast iron, which sucks unbelievable amounts of ass.
Covered in LOTRS weapons and warfare
Uruk use cleavers, three 1/2 foot long, six inch wide metal blades with a spike on the back end for pulling riders off horses
As seen here (http://www.a2armory.com/images/lotr/uruk-hai.jpg)
Yes the quality sucks, but remember this, these weapons were easy to make, easy to mass produce, easy to use, can serve multiple purposes, and can be used effectively by month old orcs with little training
Considering the orc's raw strength, it is no surprise taht they would be able to kill very easily despite the poor quality
As for armor, not perfect, but effective, enough for it for basic protect. However it is only chain in the back, so they are exposed there

Moot to the question under consideration. As an analogy it works regardless of the quality of the movie; sneers are not required.
Not sneers, horror i assure you

The Uruk-hai may be "orginized," but they lack the finely honed battle tactics of the Romans. Over fifty or a hundred years they might evolve such tactics, but they don't have them now
i know but they certainly are a mindless hoard as mentioned above

At the time of the War of the Rings, the Uruk-hai are armed with huge chopping swords that are totally unsuitable for formation fighting and close cooperation among teams of soldiers.
how much would a war cleaver weight I ask you? Held by a massive 6,3 fully armor creature with strength greater than than any normal human (they can use 250 pound long bows now problem). That would break your arm

Or they're armed with pikes that are suitable for formation fighting, but have gaping weaknesses (missile weapons and properly trained close-in attackers with swords), exactly like the pikes that the Macedonian phalanxes took up against Roman legions and lost with, even before the legions reached the peak of their fighting effectiveness with the Marian reforms.
Uruk pikes are made for 1 real purpose. Stoping charges. They aren't really useful for anything else, they can't slash, you can only stab one guy then it is stuck, and they are to big to maneuver easily

More or less what the rest of us were basing our reasoning on; it sounds about right. Their resistance to injury means they'll last a little longer in close combat with a Roman shield wall, but a gladius through the throat or guts is going to incapacitate any humanoid being very quickly, no matter how tough or pain resistant they are.
Run a Uruk-hai through with a sword, make sure he can hack or punch you (spiked gloves) before you push his body away, or he will bring you down with him

That, more or less alone, makes them meat on the table for the legions, who have ranged weapons and enough armor and shields to be able to withstand a first wild swing, even from the incredible strength of an Uruk berserker
True, but you would send them in once any sort of breach was made in the roman line. Sure they would all die, but would bring down a lot with them. Just are teh uruks smart enough to do this

Banded mail is really a kind of plate. "Banded mail" is a D&D term designed to distinguish it from the sort of armor medieval knights wear. Historians call it plate.
meh, it is different than plate though, so banded mail is a more specific term

Yes, which is very light casualties against a hundred or so genetically modified 'supersoldiers.
1. It was only 200 all told, only 80 of those were uruks
2. they had no anti calvery weapons
3. Elite riders
4. Out flanked
5. They were exchaused, they had been running for days on end
6. in fighting
7. Loss of the prisoners and leadership at a critical moment allowed them to be attacked from the rear (hence my point on their intelligence)

Romans were really good at siege engineering; they practically wrote the book on it. Many of the Uruks' advantages would be useless in a fortress where they couldn't use their superior physical strength in close combat against the besiegers.
Battle of helms deep worked out pretty well, but your right it depends on the fortress


Well, the Uruk-hai aren't very smart, and we don't see a lot of evidence of them using scouts very much.
They have whole legions of scouts, as seen in the minatures, video games, books, and even the movie (the dudes wearing leather are scouts)
also warg riders

And yet we know the Uruks took casualties to archers. It's a canonical fact. So we do need to take that into account.
Eleven archers and rohan archers from on top of a fortress. All using long bows or in the elven case, best bows in the world. Yeah.
Also how much did the roman rely on archers?

Also nitpick, Uruks do have tower shield men, the use short cleavers and metal tower sheilds


How can you tell? Neither Tolkein nor Jackson revealed a 'battlefield map' in the middle of the various battles. Really, all the reader/viewer ever got were a lot of tales about the heroes running around willie-nillie killing everything in sight. We can't really judge how effective orc tactics were from the movies or the books, as both concentrated on the heroes, rather than on strategy.
I'm using LOTRS weapons and warfare for my reference

The Spartans at Thermopylae were killed to the last man. Thermopylae was a Pyrrhic victory for Xerxes, but a victory it was; his advance was not stopped until the naval battle at Salamis
no it was a "victory" for Xerxes, the spartian just didn't fight in the open like they did for most of the movie, they stayed in their shield wall. So the academic community should frown on the historical military inaccurates of the movie


THE ROMANS BATTLED TROOPS LIKE THE ORCS AND BEAT THEM, OFTEN.
he is right, they defeated the zombie invasion of 18 B.C.E, the Dragon attack of 26 C.E., the Orcish invasion from beyond the dark portal in 31 C.E. and the Hobgoblin hoard of 56 C.E. Didn't any of you study your history:smallwink:


Sorry, EE, I'm not actively following you around specifically, it's just that you bring up the points that I have responses to.
1. That was not my point the one you quoted
2. NP

In the LotR books (and I grant that Jackson took liberties with this), nobody had what we'd call plate armor. A few people had the occasional set of greaves or a vambrace, but otherwise it's ring or scale mail at the best (I believe the reason for that was that he didn't want his creations running around in armor that outstrips what the Anglo-Saxon culture had developed IRL).
I am aware of this, we are using the movies/video games/minatures as reference. Different rules, but you are correct, in the book the uruks only used chain

If we're firm on sticking with the Jackson version, we have to deal with plate, I suppose, which makes the Uruk-hai that much more impressive (but distances in the films seem to fit the needs of plot rather than what was written or seen in earlier parts of the films anyway).
they use the same map, and i presume the same distance
yes i know the movies are silly but hey
Edit
Hey, i didn't know i was on your sig. Sweet
:smallbiggrin:

from,
EE

mainiac
2007-12-14, 05:32 PM
I would like to point again my roman armies are real argument. The mace worked in movies. The shield worked in real life.

Roman shields were supperior to knights shields at absorbing powerful blows for several reasons. First they were wooden and leather composites, a powerful blow would eat into the shield, trapping the weapon but not transfering too much force to the shield bearer. Second, they were large and rounded, meaing that most of the force of a blow would be wasted. Think about a modern riot shield. They can stand up to the full force of a mob. It's worth pointing out that they have the round tower shield shape of a late republic/early-mid empire roman shield, not the flat ovals, circles or kites of a medival shield or roman shield around the fall of the empire.

The most your going to do by slamming hard into a roman shield wall is knock a legionary out of possition. This opens the legionary to his left to attack but the only person in a possition to exploit this will be yourself and your too busy being stabbed by said guy to make good on said advantage.

Your essentially offering an assortment of medival tactics, but the fact of the matter is that Roman legions are far supperior to anything in the medival world other then knights. Against knights, it would really depend on the terrain, tactics, numbers etc. The roman legions were the best troops until gunpowder started showing up. Period.

multilis
2007-12-14, 05:45 PM
Mongolian horse archers cut through knights like a knife through warm butter and they did so using shortbows
Mongols were lighter/better at dodging, so they could stay out of range and keep striking while opponent had trouble getting to hit back, and if he charges full speed to try and catch mongol he might lose formation and be picked off from behind.

Rohan horsemen used similar tactics vs Uruk Hai in first skirmish of LOTR. Huns used similar tactics against roman legions. Most of the arrows are blocked, but a few get through.


I also feel bound to point out that swords do not in fact beat spears as a general rule. It can happen sure, but there is a reason why the most popular weapon throughout history has been the spear
I disagree in context of roman legion, sword was clearly better than greek elite phalax which was 3 rows of spears in formation that could all hit opponent.

However spear could be upgraded to halbard, which would allow blunt force/axing/hammering of heavy armoured swordman, evening the odds. (Brusing/breaking the arm/body behind the shield/armour).

Spear was popular because it was cheap, and effective against horseman (stick in ground and enemy impales self with speed), macemen (less momentum, so can dodge his blows better than he yours), and swordsman without enough armour/training/formation to deal with it. As well spear was easier weapon to learn, and many were skilled from using it hunting for food.

mainiac
2007-12-14, 05:54 PM
he is right, they defeated the zombie invasion of 18 B.C.E, the Dragon attack of 26 C.E., the Orcish invasion from beyond the dark portal in 31 C.E. and the Hobgoblin hoard of 56 C.E. Didn't any of you study your history:smallwink:



Actually, I said troops like the orcs. Zombies don't fight like the orcs, Guals did.

In the Gual campaigns 120,000 romans defeated guals who might have numbered as high as several millions.

In the Boudican rebellion 10,000 troops put down 200,000 brittons. Before this another roman legion was defeated. The other roman garissons didn't even leave their barracks.

And there are plenty of wars where I don't have any numbers but romans fought far numerically supperior forces of barbarian fighters. Invasion of Iberia. Invasion of Brittain. Dalmatian Invasions. Defending the frontier against the barbarians for 300 years before any long term loss of territory. There were big setbacks but the general rule was clear roman victory.

mainiac
2007-12-14, 06:00 PM
Mongols were lighter/better at dodging, so they could stay out of range and keep striking while opponent had trouble getting to hit back, and if he charges full speed to try and catch mongol he might lose formation and be picked off from behind.

Yes, but that doesn't change the fact that the lowly shortbow was able to penetrate much higher quality armor then the orcs would have. Expecting your armor to stand up to getting attacked all day long, especially when you're exhausted is suicide (and romans excelled at exhausting their opponents).

multilis
2007-12-14, 06:00 PM
The roman legions were the best troops until gunpowder started showing up. Period.
Wrong. Later armies did not forget how roman armies worked. But they did not always use roman tactics because there are counters. Roman armies were effective because they were best counter to the lightly armed/trained foes they usually fought.

Middle ages knight without a horse was equivilant to a legion, same or better armour/shields/training. They also had at times composite shields.

Why do you think the middle ages had all sort of different weapons when they had the same elite training/armour and shields as the romans? IMO because rock/paper/scissors, each style has a counter.

Hacking from mace/axe/halberd/other kinetic weapons using blows from above (so can't use ground to absorb part of blow) was effective, wood and leather and the arm holding them wear out quickly verses heavy blunt force. Sort of like a battering ram verses a city gate (even if leather/wood are used in that gate).

Off topic but even before gunpowder, a crossbow using a metal arrow/bolt and 500+lb of force could pierce plate. (Just as lead bullets more effective than a light metal, heavy arrow pierces better than wood).

Renegade Paladin
2007-12-14, 06:08 PM
Wrong. Later armies did not forget how roman armies worked.
Erm... Yeah, they really did. It's called the Dark Ages for a reason, and it's not because the light was dimmer.

multilis
2007-12-14, 06:15 PM
In the Gual campaigns 120,000 romans defeated guals who might have numbered as high as several millions.

In the Boudican rebellion two legions (20,000) put down 200,000 brittons. The other roman garissons didn't even leave their barracks.
One can find similar examples of how greek phalax or middle ages knight or even elite mongol or hun barbarian horde could defeat 10 times the number of poorly equiped foes.

Elite armies often also cost 10x as much to equip/train/maintain compared to the average peasant turned soldier for a month.

mainiac
2007-12-14, 06:25 PM
Wrong. Later armies did not forget how roman armies worked. But they did not always use roman tactics because there are counters. Roman armies were effective because they were best counter to the lightly armed/trained foes they usually fought.

Middle ages knight without a horse was equivilant to a legion, same or better armour/shields/training. They also had at times composite shields.

Why do you think the middle ages had all sort of different weapons when they had the same elite training/armour and shields as the romans? IMO because rock/paper/scissors, each style has a counter.

Hacking from mace/axe/halberd/other kinetic weapons using blows from above (so can't use ground to absorb part of blow) was effective, wood and leather and the arm holding them wear out quickly verses heavy blunt force. Sort of like a battering ram verses a city gate (even if leather/wood are used in that gate).

Off topic but even before gunpowder, a crossbow using a metal arrow/bolt and 500+lb of force could pierce plate. (Just as lead bullets more effective than a light metal, heavy arrow pierces better than wood).

Legions could beat knights on the ground no problem because of the team tactics they used. Knight culture was very decentralized, feudal lords raising very small numbers of elite warriors under varied regimins. Legions trained, fought, slept, ate, drilled, worked and boxed together. They were a team while knights were not. Knights could not possibly have emulated Legionary tactics while Legionaries could have easily emulated medival tactics.

Imagine if you told a bunch of mercenaries they had to emulate the close air support of the american army. They'd have no clue where to begin. Now imagine you asked american soldiers to emulate the marksmanship and ego's of a bunch of mercenaries.

The romans were very aware that their strategy was vulnerable to their troops wearing out. That's why they rotated their troops. A soldier who's unit was in constant action would have a half hour of rest for every five minutes in the fight. If, by some miracle, a soldier's shield was broken, he could withdraw from the fight and have the rest of his column take up the slack.

A crossbow could pierce thin plate armor but could not pierce a composite shield. Armor can stop bashing and slashing very effectively, because they hit a wide area, but is more vulnerable to piercing. A shield with a wooden base is much more effective against crossbows. It's worth pointing out that crossbows predate the roman legions.

mainiac
2007-12-14, 06:39 PM
One can find similar examples of how greek phalax or middle ages knight or even elite mongol or hun barbarian horde could defeat 10 times the number of poorly equiped foes.

Elite armies often also cost 10x as much to equip/train/maintain compared to the average peasant turned soldier for a month.

Love the figure you pulled out of your ass. But 10 to one fight between poorly equiped peasants versus legions goes to the legions.

And actually, mongolian armies cost nothing to equip and they cut through the actual elite troops, like european knights, with embarrasing ease. The entire mongolian horde in Gengis Khan's day was under 120,000 and they conquered the largest empire ever. It was because mongolian techniques were effective against their foes while european and asian techniques were not effective against mongolians.

Likewise, roman techniques would be effective against orcs and orc techniques would not be effective against romans, with simular results to the mongolian or roman victories.

Some military traditions are efficient and quickly produce very effective techniques. Others prove resistant to change. The romans were one of the more efficient and adaptable military cultures ever. The orcs are based off medival culture, one of the more resistant to change. When the romans lost to the guals, they revamped their military. When the medival europeans lost to the mongolians, they accused each other of dark magics and tried the same tactics again.

EvilElitest
2007-12-14, 06:41 PM
Actually, I said troops like the orcs. Zombies don't fight like the orcs, Guals did.

Forgive me, but the gauls were all 6,3 using full plate/chain mail, wielding cleavers with super human strength along with crossbows, and spiked gauntlets, as well as 6 foot 6 beserkers who wielded five foot cleavers and don't die when you stab them?

Wow, i should read more history, i do recall the goblin invasion of 32 B.C.E
from,
EE

mainiac
2007-12-14, 06:52 PM
Forgive me, but the gauls were all 6,3 using full plate/chain mail, wielding cleavers with super human strength along with crossbows, and spiked gauntlets, as well as 6 foot 6 beserkers who wielded five foot cleavers and don't die when you stab them?

Wow, i should read more history, i do recall the goblin invasion of 32 B.C.E
from,
EE

The guals were not orcs, no, but their fighting style was very simular. Both are cultures based around one on one combat powers. They don't practice team tactics. Their weapons would both be vulnerable to roman training in the same fashion. Cleavers would bite into shields like swords and axes, leaving the guals or orcs wide open to counter attack. Shield walls and turtle formations would turn aside crossbows as surely as they turned away throwing spears and slung stones. Roman pila would tear through the armor of either force, meaning up to two dead orcs apiece before the melee even starts. If there's some auxiliary skirmishers out there, thier spears would start claiming more orcs as well.

While improved orc stamina and strength would count for something, the essential fact is that the roman fighting style is so superior that orcs wouldn't land enough blows for that to matter.

Why does it surprise people that the fighting style that conquered the known world is vastly superior the fighting style invented by a fantasy author?

multilis
2007-12-14, 07:01 PM
As I said before rock, paper scissors, a good leader (eg hannibal) knew the strengths and weaknesses of each style and made use of them. Dark ages did not forget methods of war. The barbarians who fought the romans and conquered rome learned tactics used. If the roman legion was had no counter, the barbarians would have used that style.

The barbarians have available composite shields, and the same metalury as the romans. Some had dedicated wariors who fought regularly in large formations (eg huns/mongols). They didn't kill the weapons makers they captured, and cultures traded, and war was always useful. Elite barbarians have had the same success ratio as elite romans.

Yes there were crossbows (and armour and large shields and discipline/formations) in china, but skills/tech improve with time. Middle ages crossbow was able to pierce high grade knight armour.

The middle ages did see formation war just like roman times. Romans were large army divided into subdivisions such as 100, 1000, similar to kings and their vassals, but they could work and train as a team.

You are thinking mounted knights, horses like in roman times were expensive and bulk of army might be well equiped foot soldiers in middle ages. (Not all knights were mounted).

Storm Bringer
2007-12-14, 07:01 PM
Actaully, what screwed the knights when fighting the mongols (or other archers) was that the horses were mostly unarmoured during the period of knightly warfare, as they simply couldn't breed horses capable of carring both an armoured rider and plate barding. while they could later on, at the zenith of knightly power, the horses armour was mostly limited to the neck for protection against the attacks of other mounted knights.

as to how well a roman shield would have taken a two handed mace blow, two things:

1) a two handed mave takes a lot of space to weild, meaning that any indvidual orc with one would be facing two or three romans who could bear on him.

2) the romans carried thier sheilds, rather than stapping them to the forearms as knights did. this means that less of the force of the blow would get though to the man.

also, on the numbers the romans beat: never take the figures at face value. EVERYONE lied like thier was no tomorrow when reporting the size of the armies, mostly overstating the true figures. you'd say you're army was bigger, to make you seem more powerful. you'd say your foe was MUCH bigger, to make HIM seem more powerful (and you, cos you won). you'd say your losses were tiny to amp up your skill, and that you killing a massive number of the foe, for the same reason.

in the Boudican rebellion, two legions and thier supporting elements (20,000 men, assuming they were at thier paper strength, which is highly unlikey) took on a force of gauls with their familes in tow, stated to be 200,000. we don;t know how many were warriors, but it wasn't all 200,000 (if thier was even that many thier in the first place).


In the Gual campaigns 120,000 romans defeated guals who might have numbered as high as several millions.

oh, come on, use a little critical sense here. even with the higher populations of the time compared to the medieval, several million gauls would be every man, woma,n and child in france and germany. also, the romans armies of this time (This is the republican era, before the conquest of gaul, isn;t it?) were heavily dependant on allied latin cities for manpower, so a large number of those 120,000 would not be legionnaires.

multilis
2007-12-14, 07:10 PM
) a two handed mave takes a lot of space to weild, meaning that any indvidual orc with one would be facing two or three romans who could bear on him.
Rather than swing side to side you often hold weapon up and swing in down on the shield wall, that way he has to lift the shield to protect his head.

Your weapon (mace/halberd) may have a longer reach than the sword, so you can get the first blow.

For example, LOTR was based on middle ages war history, and you read of both the witch king and the trolls in the later battle swinging their maces/hammers downward onto the shields.

(Mace/Halbard may use blunt force but still have spikes/axe blade to shred leather/wood)

mainiac
2007-12-14, 07:11 PM
oh, come on, use a little critical sense here. even with the higher populations of the time compared to the medieval, several million gauls would be every man, woma,n and child in france and germany. also, the romans armies of this time (This is the republican era, before the conquest of gaul, isn;t it?) were heavily dependant on allied latin cities for manpower, so a large number of those 120,000 would not be legionnaires.

Yeah, the figures exagerated, but it's not an exaggeration that romans legionaries had no problem being outnumbered by barbarians. And even if the romans had only been outnumbered 10-1, taking only 400 casualties against those kinds of numbers is pretty feakin' epic.

mainiac
2007-12-14, 07:17 PM
Rather than swing side to side you often hold weapon up and swing in down on the shield wall, that way he has to lift the shield to protect his head.

Your weapon (mace/halberd) may have a longer reach than the sword, so you can get the first blow.

For example, LOTR was based on middle ages war history, and you read of both the witch king and the trolls in the later battle swinging their maces/hammers downward onto the shields.

No, that way he hits your chin with his shield as you leave yourself wide open to attack. If your stupid enough to have your mouth open (because say your a screaming orc berserker) that'll break your mouthbones if not your neck, meaning your last few seconds on earth with be very confusing and very painful.

Comon people, you can't outthink the romans here. They were professional soldiers who faced troops a lot more familier with this type of warfare then y'all. If you can think of it, the romans faced it. If it worked, the empire wouldn't have lasted so long.

multilis
2007-12-14, 07:19 PM
And even if the romans had only been outnumbered 10-1, taking only 400 casualties against those kinds of numbers is pretty feakin' epic.
Epic like Ghengis Khan, defeat of skilled Cao Cao troops at red wall in China, defeat of skilled romans by Hannibal for years in Itally?

Usually defeats of armies 10 times as big were not a single day but a matter of invader taking out defender piece meal. Gaulic wars under Julius Caeser took 7 years.

Nerd-o-rama
2007-12-14, 07:25 PM
Forgive me, but the gauls were all 6,3 using full plate/chain mail, wielding cleavers with super human strength along with crossbows, and spiked gauntlets, as well as 6 foot 6 beserkers who wielded five foot cleavers and don't die when you stab them?

Wow, i should read more history, i do recall the goblin invasion of 32 B.C.E
from,
EE
Clearly, you've never read Asterix.

Also, I stopped trying in this thread. In case you missed it.

EvilElitest
2007-12-14, 07:26 PM
Clearly, you've never read Asterix.

Also, I stopped trying in this thread. In case you missed it.

1. That point wasn't directed at you
2. I have read them accually, and so
3. Touche


No, that way he hits your chin with his shield as you leave yourself wide open to attack. If your stupid enough to have your mouth open (because say your a screaming orc berserker) that'll break your mouthbones if not your neck, meaning your last few seconds on earth with be very confusing and very painful.
.
You break his jaw, what does he care?
He just hacks you down, swings left and right
from,
EE

from,
EE

mainiac
2007-12-14, 07:32 PM
Epic like Ghengis Khan, defeat of skilled Cao Cao troops at red wall in China, defeat of skilled romans by Hannibal for years in Itally?

Usually defeats of armies 10 times as big were not a single day but a matter of invader taking out defender piece meal. Gaulic wars under Julius Caeser took 7 years.

Hannibal won two big victories against the romans yes. However.

Hannibals troops were very unlike the orcs. Hoplites, cavalry, elephants, skirmishers. Other then elephants, the orcs didn't feature these.

Mediocre roman commanders against one of the better commanders of the ancient era. If these commanders hadn't been overly aggressive, Hannibal would have had a much harder time. This was why he was never willing to press Fabius into a big battle.

The roman troops weren't the legions, they were the mid republic era troops. These same troops proved ineffective against the guals and were replaced during the Marian reforms by the legions.

The Romans had already beaten the carthaginians in the first punic war.

Scipio decisively beat Hannibal in the battle of Zuma, using his own tactics against him. The romans were good at learning from their enemies.

The romans went on to beat the carthaginians in the third punic war for the hat trick.

Now, carthage vs. orcs, that would be an interesting match up!

mainiac
2007-12-14, 07:37 PM
You break his jaw, what does he care?
He just hacks you down, swings left and right
from,
EE

Okay, so the legionary stops the attack with his shield. The legionary is much less staggered then the orc, who had to throw his entire body into the attack. Now either the man to the legionaries left stabs the orc or you're back to square one. Except the orc is drowning in his own blood, but that doesn't matter because we know not being able to inhale does wonders for your fighting ability.

multilis
2007-12-14, 07:46 PM
Gaulic wars on wikipedia or elsewhere... Julius ceaser used divide and conquer, he used gaul and other allies in his armies, he didn't face that many foes per battle, he defeated one squad at a time.

The first invaders that started the war had 90,000 able bodied men (not all elite fighters), while Julius had 5 legions (25,000-30,000? guessing depending on formation and supporting allies).

He got help and also made legions from allies, including Gauls. His allies remembered the battle, tactics useful in war are not forgotten.

Similar sorts of numbers with Ghengis Khan/mongols in battles verse the muslims, except the defenders had better fortifications.

Several famous one day battles in china involved 10x the forces being defeated by better tactics or better training.

If roman legion was so invincible, they could have conquered all of europe and asia. But they weren't, even at its peak, caeser and others feared the german barbarians and desired buffer states.

Woot Spitum
2007-12-14, 07:46 PM
I refuse to slurp the Kool-Aid on the so-called "brilliant" Uruk-Hai tactics, especially if we're talking about the movies. Let's review:

1. The fight against Boromir, Merry, and Pippen: Greatly superior numbers of Uruk-Hai manage to kill one man and capture two hobbits while suffering significant losses. Not impressive.

2. The group of Uruk-Hai that broke off and attacked Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli, once again with greatly superior numbers, is wiped out. Even less imressive.

3. The fight against the Riders of Rohan: Relatively equal numbers, maybe slight numbers advantage for the Uruk-Hai, who despite posessing superior night vision and senses, are ambushed and wiped out. Still not impessing me.

4. The Warg Attack: Group of wargs attack a few trained soldiers who are heavily impeded with carts and unarmed civilians and are beaten off with little trouble. This in spite of being in an extremely advantageous situation. At this point I'm starting to wander if they can do anything right.

5. Helm's Deep: The Uruk-Hai do better here, managing to breach the walls as well as being able to fight on in spite of heavy losses. They manage to wipe out the elves, although their huge advantage in numbers might have something to do with that. They also give a fairly good account for themselves against the barely trained conscripts manning the walls, mostly teenagers and old men. They have at least proved that they aren't totally useless.

6. End of Helm's Deep: The Uruk-Hai, facing inferior numbers of cavalry, manage to set their pikes against the charge. Then the sun comes up. They panic, drop their pikes, and run (so much for their vaunted bravery and dicipline). They still get pretty much wiped out.

Conclusion: The Uruk-Hai would find a way to screw things up even if armed with tanks and assault rifles against an untrained militia armed with pointed sticks. I'm going with the Romans here.

multilis
2007-12-14, 07:54 PM
The Uruk-Hai would find a way to screw things up even if armed with tanks and assault rifles against an untrained militia
The Uruk-Hai in LOTR were modelled as a cheap/non elite army, numbers over skills.

There are times when Roman Legion was also non-elite, and included not so skilled allied barbarians.

Or at times the leader made the difference, Hannibel completely outclassed his Roman foes in Itally.

IMO it depends on the details, the side that is elite will defeat the other if equal numbers. Given same skill of generals, an elite force might be matched by an ok force with 3 times the number in an open field or 9 times the poorly armed green troops.

Nerd-o-rama
2007-12-14, 07:56 PM
Conclusion: The Uruk-Hai would find a way to screw things up even if armed with tanks and assault rifles against an untrained militia armed with pointed sticks. I'm going with the Romans here.
"That's not fair! They've got rocks! All we've got is these machine guns!"

Sorry. Still not pretending I'm contributing.

Raiser Blade
2007-12-14, 08:00 PM
No, that way he hits your chin with his shield as you leave yourself wide open to attack. If your stupid enough to have your mouth open (because say your a screaming orc berserker) that'll break your mouthbones if not your neck, meaning your last few seconds on earth with be very confusing and very painful.


The uruk stand from 6"3 to 6"5 ish? Also he is swinging a rather long and heavy mace. Somehow I doubt a legionaire would be able to reach the uruk's mouth with his shield and still pack enough force to break any bones at all.

Also if he did manage to shatter the uruks jaw the mace would still be coming down and probably would crush the legionaires head and/or spine.

mainiac
2007-12-14, 08:12 PM
If roman legion was so invincible, they could have conquered all of europe and asia. But they weren't, even at its peak, caeser and others feared the german barbarians and desired buffer states.

To the north of britian were the picts. They were fierce warriors living in backwater hills and would have been as hard to keep down as conquer. They didn't have the mines of southern britian. An invasion wouldn't pay off for a long long time.

The german frontier featured fierce warriors living in forests and backwater hills. Same reasons to not fight the picts, plus the forest campaign made strategic encirclement a dangerous possibility. They didn't have the rich farmland of gual. An invasion would take even longer to pay off.

In africa the frontier was a bunch of desert full of nomadic tribes which couldn't be ruled. An invasion never would have paid off.

North of greece you have a situation simular to the german frontier. None of the mines or farmland of Dacia or Greece. Long time to pay off.

To the east are the parthians and later the sassinads and north of them the armenians. These armies were very proffessional and were able to stand up against the romans. The romans fought in this region quite a bit and had armenia as a client state for a while. However these armies were nothing like the orcs in the least.

So, imagine yourself emperor. You've got a senate full of scheming traitors, an army that expects ample compensation upon conquest and a limited budget. If any of your generals achieves great triumph the army and the mob will instantly fall in love with him, creating a dangerous rival. Every day spent away from italy is a day in which more power goes to the beurocrats and your political rivals. Which of these frontiers would you value enough to risk civil war over?

It's not that the romans couldn't expand into any one of these area's, it's that they never considered the payoff big enough. Rome under the Republic had power in enough hands that they could risk defeat. A few emperors after the republic, agressive expansion didn't happen. There were maybe 25,000 romans at the battle of Teutoburg forest. More troops would be doing garrison duty in Britain

Squidmaster
2007-12-14, 08:21 PM
As much as I like Uruk-hai. They are the screwed. Against Boadica 150ish romans beat upwards of 25,000 celts because thay used stratagy and switched in troops when they were tired. As I said earlier, Uruks are screwed

mainiac
2007-12-14, 08:26 PM
The uruk stand from 6"3 to 6"5 ish? Also he is swinging a rather long and heavy mace. Somehow I doubt a legionaire would be able to reach the uruk's mouth with his shield and still pack enough force to break any bones at all.

Also if he did manage to shatter the uruks jaw the mace would still be coming down and probably would crush the legionaires head and/or spine.


Yes, if he could reach over the shield and sorta swing with his wrists he could.

*Sigh*

Why do you people think that no one has thought of using really obvious tactics before? The romans faced maces. They faced spears, swords, crossbows, scythes, axes, bows, slings, logs, elephants and freakin' greased pigs set on fire and directed towards their lines. You CAN NOT think of a frontal attack they did not face. Other then a hoplite, which could force them at a distance if it didn't mind getting pelted by throwing spears, you aren't going to think of a frontal attack they aren't equiped for. Say they could be flanked or something but dear god, please stop suggesting you can batter through a shield wall with nothing more then retard strength.

You Shall Not Pass!

Raiser Blade
2007-12-14, 08:41 PM
Yes, if he could reach over the shield and sorta swing with his wrists he could.


You really think a legionaire could stop that blow with his shield? I meant that the blow would be going through the shield and the arm.

The Uruk are so strong they don't need to reach over a shield.

multilis
2007-12-14, 09:25 PM
It's not that the romans couldn't expand into any one of these area's, it's that they never considered the payoff big enough. Rome under the Republic had power in enough hands that they could risk defeat. A few emperors after the republic, agressive expansion didn't happen. There were maybe 25,000 romans at the battle of Teutoburg forest. More troops would be doing garrison duty in Britain

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Teutoburg_Forest

After the battle, 70,000 romans marched across the rhine for revenge. They won some, then lost some and retreated home. This wasn't a suprise ambush like the first slaughter. Sounds like the barbarians could hold their own.

EvilElitest
2007-12-14, 09:42 PM
Okay, so the legionary stops the attack with his shield. The legionary is much less staggered then the orc, who had to throw his entire body into the attack. Now either the man to the legionaries left stabs the orc or you're back to square one. Except the orc is drowning in his own blood, but that doesn't matter because we know not being able to inhale does wonders for your fighting ability.
Accually the beserkers would only come into breaches in the shield wall, once there they just swing in every direction trying to kill/wound as many romans as they could before going down. Roman soilder breaks his jaw, he cuts him in half. Four more stab him in the side, his sword gets jammed in two of them. One more runs him through with a spear, he shanks him with his spiked gauntlet before going down, allowing a breach in the shield wall

and a few nitpicks

1. Why does everything think that beserkers use maces? They use five foot long, foot with double spiked two handed cleavers with a spiked gauntlet.
2. When the roman conquest of the world halted, that is where their declined started
3. The Uruks are much stronger than any human on the planet, that does count for something

Did i mention i'm on the roman's side here
I'll get to arguing on their side once the Uruks are properly repersented, the Roman's couldn't beat them in a simple tatic
from
EE

Irenaeus
2007-12-14, 09:45 PM
The Spartans at Thermopylae were killed to the last man. This is a minor nitpick, but Herodot, the oldest written source we have to the battle states, that two Lakedaemonians survived, Aristodemos and Pantites. Also, the Thebans, Thespians and an unknown number of Helots stayed, meaning that the number of defenders on the last day could possibly have been over 1500. As far as I know, none of the sources mention if there were any survivors from the other allies.

All of this is in Herodots the History around II:220 or something.

mainiac
2007-12-14, 11:48 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Teutoburg_Forest

After the battle, 70,000 romans marched across the rhine for revenge. They won some, then lost some and retreated home. This wasn't a suprise ambush like the first slaughter. Sounds like the barbarians could hold their own.

The germans fought a series of indecisive engagements with the romans. For two years they avoided a serious defeat in large part by using their knowledge of the terrain to withdraw whenever things got badly. After two years, the romans decided there was no need for more campaigning and withdrew. This is the highlight of barbarian achievement against rome after the Marian reforms and before the decline. Compare to this the conquest of Iberia, Gaul, Britian and Dalmatia. And defeating every invading force for two and a half centuries. If that's holding your own, then I'd hate to getting your ass handed to you.


You really think a legionaire could stop that blow with his shield? I meant that the blow would be going through the shield and the arm.

The Uruk are so strong they don't need to reach over a shield.

Breaking the shield, that's plain silly. We have no accounts of shields breaking in battle being a big problem. What we do have acounts of are weapons getting lodged in shields and being immobalized. Even if the orcs were twice as strong as a human berserker, their weapons aren't that much bigger and are they only swing slightly faster. The actual force behind the blow depends on those things, force and mass, not how much magical strength the attacker has. So you're looking at maybe a %50 increase in how much energy are behind the blows. You think an extra %50 is all it would take to start splitting shields when we have no accounts of that being a problem? You think that extra %50 will be enough to knock legionaries on their ass when they trained constantly to be able to keep possition?

EvilElitest
2007-12-15, 12:04 AM
Breaking the shield, that's plain silly. We have no accounts of shields breaking in battle being a big problem. What we do have acounts of are weapons getting lodged in shields and being immobalized. Even if the orcs were twice as strong as a human berserker, their weapons aren't that much bigger and are they only swing slightly faster. The actual force behind the blow depends on those things, force and mass, not how much magical strength the attacker has. So you're looking at maybe a %50 increase in how much energy are behind the blows. You think an extra %50 is all it would take to start splitting shields when we have no accounts of that being a problem? You think that extra %50 will be enough to knock legionaries on their ass when they trained constantly to be able to keep possition?
1. Arm being broken maybe?
2. The weapon is a two handed five foot long foot wide cleaver with two six inch long inch thing metal spikes on it, along with a foot and a half long handle? Wield by a 6,6 monster with inhuman strength in a battle frenzy? How is that not nasty
3. actually, i think uruks are stronger than that. You know the basic Uruk long bow? Its weight is 250 pounds (for those who don't know, how hard it is to pull the bow string to your ear is equal to lifting 250 pounds.) now uruks can do that with ease (normal Uruks by the way) fast enough to shoot very fast. After an a massive run across a large distance while wearing heavy leather and fighter for a long time by the way. So they are a lot stronger than humans and can take more damage
4. Uruk armor, protects them from basic swips, giving them the time to hit harder at the romans.
I think the Uruks would win in a straight fight IF the Romans had a normal commander, were using basic tatics, and the Uruks has a good commander. However, as i said before the uruks aren't very smart
from
EE

mainiac
2007-12-15, 12:14 AM
It doesn't matter how "nasty" a weapon is. It matters how big it is and how fast it moves. And orc weapons are only a little bigger and (maybe) move a little faster. It's not really a question of strength, the underlying physics of the situation mean that once you can swing a blade fast, adding more strength won't let you swing it all that much faster.

Roman shields held up perfectly well against battleaxes. Since battleaxes are weighted towards the head while cleavers have their mass more or less evenly distributes, this means the axes hit with more energy then cleavers.

And there's also the fact that big powerful swings are the last thing you want to do against roman legionaries. Raising your arms over your head is like hanging a big "stab me" sign on yourself.

EvilElitest
2007-12-15, 12:21 AM
It doesn't matter how "nasty" a weapon is. It matters how big it is and how fast it moves. And orc weapons are only a little bigger and (maybe) move a little faster.

You've never played the game two towers have you? Even in the movie alone as a source, those bastard are really really fast for a dude using a huge sword.


It's not really a question of strength, the underlying physics of the situation mean that once you can swing a blade fast, adding more strength won't let you swing it all that much faster.
They can move pretty damn quickly, and don't die when stabbed. Something at least, i mean they can swing the weapon around like it was a long sword


Roman shields held up perfectly well against battleaxes. Since battleaxes are weighted towards the head while cleavers have their mass more or less evenly distributes, this means the axes hit with more energy then cleavers.

True but two handed cleavers weight more, have spikes, and he can use it faster. Broken bones anyone?
Also, as beserkers would only be employed if the line was already weakend, vertical swings work to




And there's also the fact that big powerful swings are the last thing you want to do against roman legionaries. Raising your arms over your head is like hanging a big "stab me" sign on yourself.
You stab him, he keeps fighting.
from,
EE

Dervag
2007-12-15, 12:46 AM
Yes, if he could reach over the shield and sorta swing with his wrists he could.

*Sigh*

Why do you people think that no one has thought of using really obvious tactics before? The romans faced maces. They faced spears, swords, crossbows, scythes, axes, bows, slings, logs, elephants and freakin' greased pigs set on fire and directed towards their lines. You CAN NOT think of a frontal attack they did not face. Other then a hoplite, which could force them at a distance if it didn't mind getting pelted by throwing spears, you aren't going to think of a frontal attack they aren't equiped for. Say they could be flanked or something but dear god, please stop suggesting you can batter through a shield wall with nothing more then retard strength.

You Shall Not Pass!You've been hammering the same argument for three pages now. It boils down to "The Romans fought guys with big choppy swords and won. Uruk-hai use big choppy swords. Therefore, the Romans will automatically beat Uruk-hai."

This ignores the differences between Gauls and Germans and Dacians on the one hand and the Uruk-hai on the other. The differences are not trivial. The Uruk-hai have a considerable amount of body armor, which makes them harder to kill than the lightly armed troops who made up a majority of the fighters among the Gauls and such. The Uruk-hai have displayed, both on screen and in the books, extraordinary resistance to pain. Which makes them harder to kill in close fighting. They are vastly stronger than virtually any human being. Which means that they are going to be harder for the Romans to keep at bay because they can push back on your shield hard enough to slam you backwards where an average Gaul couldn't.

Now, the Romans still have a pretty good chance despite all this. They have a lot of useful combat tricks and they're very, very experienced at fighting a wide variety of enemies, as you say. Frankly, I think they'd win. But it isn't a trivial question that you can just dismiss by saying that the Romans won the Gallic Wars.

On a side note, you do have to respect any army that has a defined tactic for what to do if the enemy sets a bunch of greased pigs on fire and points them at your lines. Most armies would just go "WTF?" and possibly rout.

mainiac
2007-12-15, 12:49 AM
I have played the two towers actually. Notice that in that game, one powerful sword swing could cause a goblins shield to burst into pieces. I think this speaks volumes on the games physical authenticity. If you're using real physics, the orcs can't put much more force behind their blows.

No, hitting their shield would not break their bones. The shield helps the defender absorb the blow and spread out the energy. Otherwise a stong kick would have more then enough force to break the defenders hand.

Please, please, please, stop saying you can batter through shield walls. It basically equates to distributing the energy of the sword swing over the entire mass of the legionary, his gear and the sword. Even an enourmous weapon only weighs a fraction of the legionary. To repeat.

YOU SHALL NOT PASS

If anyone else want's to argue that bashing against a legionaries shield is a good idea I'll cut to the chase: You are wrong.

EvilElitest
2007-12-15, 12:49 AM
On a side note, you do have to respect any army that has a defined tactic for what to do if the enemy sets a bunch of greased pigs on fire and points them at your lines. Most armies would just go "WTF?" and possibly rout.
It is this kinda planning that make rome what was. I can just imagine a charging army to stopping to stare and just go "WTF?"
from,
EE

Dervag
2007-12-15, 01:36 AM
I have played the two towers actually. Notice that in that game, one powerful sword swing could cause a goblins shield to burst into pieces. I think this speaks volumes on the games physical authenticity. If you're using real physics, the orcs can't put much more force behind their blows.

No, hitting their shield would not break their bones. The shield helps the defender absorb the blow and spread out the energy. Otherwise a stong kick would have more then enough force to break the defenders hand.

Please, please, please, stop saying you can batter through shield walls. It basically equates to distributing the energy of the sword swing over the entire mass of the legionary, his gear and the sword. Even an enourmous weapon only weighs a fraction of the legionary. To repeat.

YOU SHALL NOT PASS

If anyone else want's to argue that bashing against a legionaries shield is a good idea I'll cut to the chase: You are wrong.Of course, if the Uruk-hai start bodyslamming against the Roman wall, that's a different question. On the one hand, those Uruk-hai are dead meat. On the other, they'll take some Romans with them and disrupt the Roman formation.

Raiser Blade
2007-12-15, 01:41 AM
Breaking the shield, that's plain silly. We have no accounts of shields breaking in battle being a big problem. What we do have acounts of are weapons getting lodged in shields and being immobalized. Even if the orcs were twice as strong as a human berserker, their weapons aren't that much bigger and are they only swing slightly faster. The actual force behind the blow depends on those things, force and mass, not how much magical strength the attacker has. So you're looking at maybe a %50 increase in how much energy are behind the blows. You think an extra %50 is all it would take to start splitting shields when we have no accounts of that being a problem? You think that extra %50 will be enough to knock legionaries on their ass when they trained constantly to be able to keep possition?

Not breaking the shield. Literally driving the shield and the roman's arm into his own head with enough force to be lethal or at the least break a few bones.

Talkkno
2007-12-15, 02:04 AM
Not breaking the shield. Literally driving the shield and the roman's arm into his own head with enough force to be lethal or at the least break a few bones.
Unless you have Calcs to back that assertion I'm calling BS.

multilis
2007-12-15, 02:28 AM
if that is holding your own...
I was refering to the germanic barbarians. Not all barbarians are equal, the germanic tribes were also part of the reason Gaul fell to the Romans they were faced with foes on both sides.

After intitial successes with 70,000 men, the romans lost two battles.

"Thereafter, however, Germanicus [Roman Leader] suffered two defeats, and withdrew to his original positions on the Rhine, Lippe and Ems." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Teutoburg_Forest

After that a large battle was forced, the Romans had even more reinforcements and allies helping, the romans won but "Both sides suffered severe losses" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Weser_River

To me this sounds like a Pyrrhic victory (King Pyrrhic won every battle with heavy losses against the Romans but ended up losing the war as it was too expensive). I think it is fair to say that the barbarians did hold their own, considering the numbers the romans were sending.


No, hitting their shield would not break their bones. The shield helps the defender absorb the blow and spread out the energy
LOTR meantions mace->witch king and warhammers->trolls being effective against shields.... because that is true in real life warfare that LOTR was based on.

If the orcs did not have trolls helping them, they may have some of their own use war hammers, clubs or greek fire to help break up the shield wall.

The impact of the brute force is the mass x velocity (longer handle helps on velocity), so mace/hammer tend to be more effective than axe which tends to be more effective than heavy sword inflicting force.

The Roman shield, barbarian large round shield, etc was basically plywood with a brass boss (centre) (strips of wood in alternate directions glued together). eg http://www.fectio.org.uk/articles/makescutum.htm

You really honestly think if I hammer you from above with a spiked mace (became popular in middle ages as counter to armour), long axe, etc that your arm and the shield will survive? People reinacting combat today are told to put inches of padding to REDUCE the damage to their arms and warned to be careful as injury is easy. (Romans did not have padding as good as styrafoam and bubblerap).

In roman times, a hand thrown javalan could pierce the shield and stick into it, disabling the shield. (Spiked mace/axe much more effective against plywood)

Wizzardman
2007-12-15, 02:41 AM
...Well, I think we've narrowed down the Legions Versus Orcs argument to one specific problem:

We're comparing troops that actually existed to troops that don't.

And the problem with this is: how can we determine exactly what tactics would be effective against them, considering the orcs are psychotic superhuman war machines?

True, the Roman Legions were incredibly effective against pretty much everything they ran into. And true, Roman tactics were incredibly effective against the ever popular ChargeTheBastards maneuver. The problem comes up when you start using real world tactics (which are very effective on normal humans) against superhuman monsters--especially orcs, whose exact abilities are pretty vague in the books and the movies.

This would be far less problematic if we were comparing two fantasy groups (Orcs versus Spartans, Orcs vs Fraggles, etc), because in fantasy groups, the most advanced tactic you ever see is the ChargeTheBastards maneuver. Instead, we have to actually compare tactics, and we've never seen the Romans fight opponents that can hack through heavy plate armor like it was cheese, or seen the orcs perform a tactical maneuver any more complex than Charge the Heroes One at a Time. We don't know how effective overlapping shields will be against monsters who can each regularly cleave through individual shields (repeated attacks create a gap in the line?).

So the question is: sure, the Roman Shield Wall is incredibly effective against Gauls, but how effective is it against an army whose strength is never fully defined? The gladius is great for stabbing humans, but how effective is it against creatures that can inexplicably growl at you when they've got a sword poking out of their lung? How effective are real-world tactics against orcy plotarmor?

Turcano
2007-12-15, 02:56 AM
The Roman shield, barbarian large round shield, etc was basically plywood with a brass boss (centre) (strips of wood in alternate directions glued together). eg http://www.fectio.org.uk/articles/makescutum.htm

The shield you described was only used by the velites, who who would have retreated behind the heavy infantry by the time the two sides engaged. The shield used by the heavy infantry was semi-cylindrical, and was very good at deflection.

Also, spears, both thrown and thrusted, were the primary weapon of the legion, not the gladius. (Edit: At least in the early Republic. We really need to pin down a specific era.)

mainiac
2007-12-15, 03:02 AM
Sounds like a Pyrrhic victory to you, sounds like an indecisive battle to me. The fact of the matter is that roman armies usually were supplemented by the auxiliaries who were more poorly equiped and at the time of Weser River, drawn from the local population. Generally, it was the auxiliaries who suffered the bulk of the casualties. Based on what we've got on Weser River, there's nothing to indicate the legionaries took many loses. Much more likely is that the Romans were losing support amoung their German allies, without whom they would be in danger of another Teutenburg.

But to summerize, you think the barbarians were on par with the romans, as long as you ignore every campaign where the romans were victorious. Well, looking at it that way, why not?

You're link is to the oval shield, which was not used until the late empire, when quality had declined. And they did not use plywood, seeing as it wouldn't be invented for more then a millenia. They used wood leather composites with metal guards.

We don't have accounts of romans having their shields break in combat. Sure, they'd suffer some bruising, but forearm bruises don't slow you down all that much. And you can't simply hammer away at a legionaries shield without opening yourself to stabbing every time.

Do a little experiment for me. Stand and raise your hands above your head or move them to the side and then swing them as if swinging a heavy weapon. Really get your body into, feel how much effort it would take. Do a real swing and see how long it takes you to recover. Now hold an imaginary shield in front of you in a roman grip, handle held in the palm which is turned downward. You should face sideways a bit. Now move your shoulder forward to brace against a really really powerful blow. Notice how it takes barely any motion? Notice how your feet are firmly planted, letting you hold you're ground? Raise your hand a little bit and suddenly your defending from an upward attack, isn't that easy? Finally make a quick stab to your right front, notice how you don't have to stop defending your front to do so?

The point of all this is to point out how easy it is for a roman to defend against very powerful attacks. These same attacks leave the orcs very exposed to counter attack. The orcs would take hundreds of blows at least for every blow they dealt.

mainiac
2007-12-15, 03:23 AM
...Well, I think we've narrowed down the Legions Versus Orcs argument to one specific problem:

We're comparing troops that actually existed to troops that don't.

So the question is: sure, the Roman Shield Wall is incredibly effective against Gauls, but how effective is it against an army whose strength is never fully defined? The gladius is great for stabbing humans, but how effective is it against creatures that can inexplicably growl at you when they've got a sword poking out of their lung? How effective are real-world tactics against orcy plotarmor?

The barbarians are a decent comparrison. The same lack of unit cohesion, the same emphasis on individual powers. Sure, strength helps, but a very simple knowledge of physics (e=(1/2)mv^2) tells us that strength doesn't change the situation that much. Great resistance to wounds helps, but historical comparrisons indicate the orcs would get stabbed enough to die.

None of the arguments for the orcs have shown an impressive knowledge of why the romans were such a fearsome force. We haven't even really scratched the surface on that. There's things like the javelins, which in an even fight against unshielded opponents is basically an insta-win when you have throwers of the quality of the romans. There's the things like flexible unit structure which would ensure the romans outmanuvered the orcs. There's the chain of command, which maintains discipline and let's a general respond to shifting conditions of battle. Romans practiced real war while orcs practiced hollywood war.

Satyr
2007-12-15, 08:24 AM
Actually I think it is not a valid comparision between the germanic tribes and the Uruk: The Celtic and Germanics were no real soldiers or warriors (with the exception of a small estate of 'nobles'), but a group of semi-trained peasnts with weapons at best. The germanic tribemen who annihilated the three roman legions in Kalkriese* were no trained soldiers; the Britons under Boudicca were no trained soldiers; Spartacus' or Eunos' hordes of freed slaves were no trained soldiers.
The Partians were trained soldiers and they were mostly en par with the roman legions.

The Uruks are not simple armed peasants, and they have the ability to march for days and to act more independently from their tross; both are enormous strategical advantages (armies march on their bellies as much as on their feet); I still think that in open battle the orks are inferiour against the more disciplined legionairs, but on a larger scale, when you include strategical movement and ressource management, I think the orks have a very powerful advantage; they can easily outmaneuver and circumvent the Roman colones and attack in the flanks.

But mostly, it's a question of leadership. The orks have notorious poor leaders. That's why they almost always lose, even when the odds are extremely to their advantage; the Roman consuls were not all that competent, but on average their strategical knowledge is far superiour to anything the orks have shown in any parts of the Lord of the Ring.

And an army of sheep lead by a lion will beat an army of lions lead by a sheep.

Ossian
2007-12-15, 09:30 AM
Ah, I'm so biased in this Vs...;) I see the testimony of all those that got their more than fair share of Pax Romana on a daily basis.
Ha, the uruks are strong, and let's say they are not a few in a sea of ordinary orcs. Still, after giving the romans a tough time, they'd lose.

No strategy on their part. Just charge like headless gees and die till, you kill all the enemies. In a field battle, against a properly trained roman general and his lieutenant, with all the troops at the top oif their training and of their sense of belonging to the ideal of Rome, no match for the uruks.

Many so called barbarians, while powerful warriors in one on ones, simply wielded far to large and clumsy weapons to be able to outlast the romance in endurance and stamina. You don't need a 3 foot long blade while all you have to do is jusy make the guy bleed from a 1 inch deep cut in the belly.

Quick swings and thrusts, and constant dayly hard camp training. Perfect equipment. No nonsense. Romans were like the spartans optimized.

The Uruks get a nice column in Piazza del Quirinale, with a nice latin writing embedded around it stating how badass they were before general X under emperor Y defeated and gave the the roman peace.

Roma Victrix, quondam atque futurus....

EvilElitest
2007-12-15, 09:48 AM
Wait, one question? When did orcs ever get plot armor?

About the roman thing, even if the shield isn't broken by a huge sword, the arm will be. The cleavers have hooks on the end that can be used around the edge of the shield and pull them back, they have armor to protect them from badly do aimed javalins and short swords, they don't die after being stabbed. And why has nobody countered the crossbows? This means that uruks have greater ranged and armor pierceing powers
from,
EE

Querzis
2007-12-15, 09:54 AM
In a duel between two evenly matched guy, one Lawfull and one Chaotic, the Chaotic guy usually win. In a wars between two evenly matched army, one Lawfull and one Chaotic, the Lawfull army usually win.

Fury and instinct are great when you are alone, but in a fight between two large group nothing beat discipline...But of course, if they are smart and wise enough, the Chaotic army know this which is why they will try to fight in a forest or a cavern and never try to fight them on the open plain. If they are smart enough, they know the best way to win is to split the Lawfull army as much as they can to fight only duel or in little group but Uruk hai really arent that smart or wise so they are gonna get killed...easely.

Hoggy
2007-12-15, 10:05 AM
And an army of sheep lead by a lion will beat an army of lions lead by a sheep.

I'd like to debate that point. :smalltongue:

Storm Bringer
2007-12-15, 10:27 AM
About the roman thing, even if the shield isn't broken by a huge sword, the arm will be. The cleavers have hooks on the end that can be used around the edge of the shield and pull them back, they have armor to protect them from badly do aimed javalins and short swords, they don't die after being stabbed. And why has nobody countered the crossbows? This means that uruks have greater ranged and armor pierceing powers
from,

mostly the point is that all the force will be absorbed by the sheild, with relativly little being transfered to the solider (who is carrying the shield, not strapping it to his forearm),

The one big counter to crossbows is reload time. Even the hand-cocked models the uruks use in the flim take a long time to reload compared to bows, and hand-cocked crossbows are much less powerful than the heavier, mechanically assisted corssbows.

how well they would do agianst thick chain and study shields, at range, is open to debate.

EvilElitest
2007-12-15, 10:49 AM
mostly the point is that all the force will be absorbed by the sheild, with relativly little being transfered to the solider (who is carrying the shield, not strapping it to his forearm),

The one big counter to crossbows is reload time. Even the hand-cocked models the uruks use in the flim take a long time to reload compared to bows, and hand-cocked crossbows are much less powerful than the heavier, mechanically assisted corssbows.

how well they would do agianst thick chain and study shields, at range, is open to debate.

1. A few study swings against the shield and that is going to be a bretty busted arm
2. The uruks use three different types of crow bows
a) light cross bows (as seen in the games return of the king, Battle for middle earth) shoot quite fast a slower rate than bows but with better force and more range.
B) Normal crossbows (as seen in Two towers, Third age) are in reality a normal heavy crossbow, advanced range, massive force
C) Heavy cross bows (the movie, LOTRS weapons and warfare) are in fact super heavy crossbows with enough power to punch straight through advanced elven armor, and rohan scale mail/wooden shields, complete with super range. Disadvantage is taht they break after a little while
Also extremly heavy composite Longbows, i mean 250 pounds. Those would drive right through chain mail and into your throat.
Even a few short bows as well, though they are crappy
the warriors have their own shield as well, and they can be used as weapons
from,
EE

Storm Bringer
2007-12-15, 10:56 AM
super heavy crossbows with enough power to punch straight through advanced elven armor, and rohan scale mail/wooden shields, complete with super range.

At what range did they penatrate the elven plate (whatever you want to call it)?

SilentNight
2007-12-15, 11:19 AM
I'd have to say the Romans as well. How about Alexander the Great's Pezetairos (spelling?) vs. The riders of Rohan? For those that don't know the Pezetairos were a unit of awl pike wielders.

13_CBS
2007-12-15, 11:21 AM
FYI on the shield part...IIRC, Roman shields were held in the hand, NOT strapped to the arm.

Arang
2007-12-15, 11:47 AM
At what range did they penatrate the elven plate (whatever you want to call it)?

From somewhere towards the front of the Uruk lines up to the top of the wall in Helm's Deep. The thing is that since the Uruks were so much stronger than normal people and they had Saruman, who was a genius, to design the crossbows for them, they could make ludicrously powerful ranged weapons. Unless there was some sort of metal plate or mesh or something of the sort in Roman shields I can definitely see the bolts punching through.

What you have to take into consideration with the Uruks is that they are bred to be the perfect warriors, their weapons were designed by the greatest military mind of that age and that they were absolutely fearlessly and mindlessly determined to do whatever they were told. The thing that made them possible to defeat at all was that Saruman sped up production so much that his product suffered majorly. Each soldier was markedly weaker than the first generations (Lurtz), had only a few specific tasks that they were capable of, and the basic grunts had no great understanding of tactics.

Still, I'd give this to the Romans, because I don't see the Berserkers breaking through the shield walls, and if the Uruks couldn't break the Romans' ranks they would lose to the Roman archers.

Storm Bringer
2007-12-15, 12:09 PM
Right, so they proformed this feat of armour penatration at point blank.

How is the bows proformance at point blank relevent to how well it would proform at it's maxmium range?


....designed by the greatest military mind of that age

yes, since he certianly saw to it that his base was protected, that he didn't antagonise anyone except those on the far side of his pikes, and that his men were up to the task of taking the strongholds of thier foes.



Still, I'd give this to the Romans, because I don't see the Berserkers breaking through the shield walls, and if the Uruks couldn't break the Romans' ranks they would lose to the Roman archers.

this thread is weird. it seems like half the people on each side are taking an active enjoyment in tearing down their own sides arguements.....


I fully belive that a ork Berserkers, if he got the chance, could rip a BIG hole in a roman formation. what i don't see if them getting close enough to the javelin armed troops to get a chance. however, I have never heard of the romans firing on thier own troops, and i am forced to aggree that the Ururk amour, medicore as it was, would portect them agianst long range fire pretty well.

Ossian
2007-12-15, 12:31 PM
It's a battle of armies, and we're forgetting a crucial factor: picking the field. Saruman was a genius, granted, but he was a scholar and a wizard who lived secluded from real world. While it is reasonable to guess that the uruk's weaponry was somehow sturdier than normal, it was still just made to be brutally effective, not better than average. Their blades were tough like rock, but also gross and crude. Saruman had but ordinary foundries to craft them, and plain simple orc smiths. It's already an amazing accomplishment that they were THAT good, considering their leader was a wizard. As a plus, uruk-hai had very little war training, as they were just...young! Better disciplined than most orcs, and bent on distruction, but still they were just orcs.

A legionaire, OTOH, had to go through some 18 years of constant service, training and fighting before he could even quit the military. They were not as powerfully built as orcs, but they compensated that with discipline, detemination, tactics, strategy and training. And they were led by true tactical experts. Some had their dark days, but as an overall we know roman generals of the "Golden AGe" to be good at their jobs, and often leaders by example.

The orcs didn't show any peculiar battle prowess on a large scale. If you don't count their sheer number and the fact that the rohirrim had to fight day AND night against them and the dunlendings, they gave a more than decent, but not amazing performance. All I could read and see them doing was to tirelessly charge head on until either all the rohirrim died or they died. Nothing that a roman general worthy his weight in salt would allow them to do without taking a big advantage from it. They'd be soon outmaneuvered, outflanked and cut down. Their massive blades and powerful builds not a better advantage than the battle axes and massive bodies of the German tribesmen, or any other nation's warriors defeated by the romans.

Perhaps they could have the feeling they have won a battle or two, but in the medium run (not even the long) their losses and their utter lack of cameraderie would be their ruin. I also see them as easily ambushed by a clever tactician, which Saruman probably wasn't.
He DID have an IQ of 200, but he just used his orcs and dunlendings as cannon fodder, ordering charge after charge. Definitley disposable troops.
A field fight, moreover, shouldn't be won by just using better crossbows. Even with the same rate of fire and higher punch than the standard heavy crossbow, I recall no example in history of such things as crossbows giving you an edge, unless you are defending castle walls.


Plus...Roman gave us roads, wine, water sanitation and acqueducts, schooling and public security :smallwink:

Storm Bringer
2007-12-15, 12:34 PM
But APART form that, what have they ever done for us?:smallbiggrin: :smallbiggrin:

Arang
2007-12-15, 01:14 PM
Right, so they proformed this feat of armour penatration at point blank.

How is the bows proformance at point blank relevent to how well it would proform at it's maxmium range?


I didn't say that. I said they shot from somewhere not right next to the wall, over the ladder carriers and charging troops and at the archers standing on the wall.


yes, since he certianly saw to it that his base was protected, that he didn't antagonise anyone except those on the far side of his pikes, and that his men were up to the task of taking the strongholds of thier foes.


I was unclear. Saruman was the best designer of weapons and with the most understanding of modernizing warfare that lived at the time. He was not, however, a great strategist or tactician, which really won't matter much because he's not commanding the Uruks.



I fully belive that a ork Berserkers, if he got the chance, could rip a BIG hole in a roman formation. what i don't see if them getting close enough to the javelin armed troops to get a chance. however, I have never heard of the romans firing on thier own troops, and i am forced to aggree that the Ururk amour, medicore as it was, would portect them agianst long range fire pretty well.

By the looks of it, the Berserker swords would be pretty well caught up by the Roman shields. The Elves had no shields at all, remember? The Berserkers greatly rely on getting some speed up before they start cutting people in half, which is doubly difficult because of the tight Roman formation.

Storm Bringer
2007-12-15, 02:05 PM
I didn't say that. I said they shot from somewhere not right next to the wall, over the ladder carriers and charging troops and at the archers standing on the wall.
indeed you did not, but at least one person on this thread has been equating the ability to penatrate a given armour at point blank with the ability to penatrate it at maximum range. the comment wasn't directed at you, but that was unclear, so i apologies



I was unclear. Saruman was the best designer of weapons and with the most understanding of modernizing warfare that lived at the time. He was not, however, a great strategist or tactician, which really won't matter much because he's not commanding the Uruks.

Ok, I withdraw my sarcasm and offer futher apologies for misunderstanding that part of the post.



By the looks of it, the Berserker swords would be pretty well caught up by the Roman shields. The Elves had no shields at all, remember? The Berserkers greatly rely on getting some speed up before they start cutting people in half, which is doubly difficult because of the tight Roman formation.

the elves didn't have sheilds, true. But whats also true is that the Berserker orcs were able to force entry onto a defended wall with little more than sheer body mass and bloody mindedness.


as a side question to those who are serious LotR buffs: roughly how long passes between gandalf being taken prisioner at Isenguard (i.e. the revelation of Saruman treachery) and the battle of helms deep? i'm curious as to how old the oldest uruks at that battle were, and since Saruman (in the movie at least) didn't really kick off his breeding/arming program until after he'd been told the Ring had been found, those dates would give us an idea as to the level of training the uruks had at thier peak (just before helms deep, ironically)

Dervag
2007-12-15, 03:21 PM
Wait, one question? When did orcs ever get plot armor?Because of the "Oh my god they're incredibly strong and fierce and they don't die when you stab them!" effect. It's not that the plot requires that orcs not die. It's that the plot requires orcs to possess so much strength and toughness that physics and biology start shouting in alarm. Especially in the movies (not so much in the books). I suspect that Tolkien knew more about pre-gunpowder warfare than Jackson does, and that the difference shows.


this thread is weird. it seems like half the people on each side are taking an active enjoyment in tearing down their own sides arguements.....Warning: Blatant, Semi-logical Stereotyping follows!

Yeah. The problem is that this forum is made up of a mix of fantasy fans and military history fans. If you're a dedicated fan of military history, the Romans are going to be your idols. If you're a fantasy fan, the Lord of the Rings trilogy is the gold standard. A lot of people on this site are both fantasy and military history fans. So when the greatest warriors of the Lord of the Rings go up against the Romans, your heart will be torn between the two.

Ossian
2007-12-15, 03:36 PM
Something useful.
Is this Vs thread like H.T.'s Lost Leagion? i.e. the XXX Legio Auxiliaria Fabulosa gets teleported with gear and everything outside the Pelkennor fields or is that more like the said legion stumbles across this new tribe of humans with ugly features and massive strength, led by a Druid of some kind, off the border with [inseret remote province of the Empire] and is ordered to subdue them, all of them, and start collecting taxes immediately afterwards?

Since we are talking about uruk hai it looks more like scenario #1. In this case the Roman lose their best trump card: Rome. Endless (and I mean ENDLESS) supplies of food, weapons, fresh soldiers, horses, gold to be used to bribe the other army' best officers and so on...

EvilElitest
2007-12-15, 04:04 PM
At what range did they penatrate the elven plate (whatever you want to call it)?

300 yards, compared to the elves 350 yards

Also i just checked, the Uruk-hai long bows (range 250 yards) are three hundred poind bows, and these guys use them no problem
from,
EE

mainiac
2007-12-15, 04:07 PM
the elves didn't have sheilds, true. But whats also true is that the Berserker orcs were able to force entry onto a defended wall with little more than sheer body mass and bloody mindedness.

No, what's true is that this is exactly the technique which legionaries were primarily trained against. Their primary advantage in battle was that they were immune to exactly this tactic.

Yes, the orcs are strong, but they couldn't put all that much more force into their attacks then humans. Swinging your weapon is not a raw test of strength. The power of your blow is based around the mass and speed of your weapon.

Crossbow bolts are used to penetrate armor, not shields. Penetrating two inches of wood with a missile is harder then penetrating a quarter inch thick section of metal. With a pilium, which has a lot more mass behind the same surface area, you can occassionally break through a both shield and armor. A crossbow bolt, no matter what the draw, is not going to have nearly enough energy. It comes back to the simple equation of e=(1/2)mv^2. Very little of the energy of a crossbow or bow actually gets transfered to the missile.

Hollywood physics tells us that being massively strong lets you do amazing things. Actual real world physics tells us otherwise.

Rutee
2007-12-15, 04:10 PM
300 yards, compared to the elves 350 yards

Also i just checked, the Uruk-hai long bows (range 250 yards) are three hundred poind bows, and these guys use them no problem
from,
Magnificent liar. Elves don't wear plate at all. Tolkien hated that crap, so NOBODY in LotR wore anything vaguely resembling what we would call plate mail. They wore Chainmail.

I'm going to have to say it depends on a genuine unknown here; Namely, how /much/ stronger an Uruk is, and how well they can ignore wounds. I'm inclined to the legion, since they have demonstrably better tactics and organization in an open field, of course; They also have demonstrated that they can defeat enemies who are their superior in melee combat and who outnumber them.

The main problem I could foresee is if the Uruks just do not go down, and take significantly more resources then can be devoted to dropping them. I don't think I'm communicating what I mean here properly though.. regardless, given that hte Uruk-hai /lose/ to smaller forces, I don't think they're incredibly powerful to the point of being nigh-impossible to kill with grunts...

EvilElitest
2007-12-15, 04:20 PM
Because of the "Oh my god they're incredibly strong and fierce and they don't die when you stab them!" effect.

1. Considering they die like crazy at the end of the first movie, i wouldn't call that plot armor
2. Because they are, some of defineing characteristics of the Uruk-hai. That isn't plot armor, plot armor is when you don't die simple because your essentail to the plot, nothing at all like uruk Hai
3. So inhuman beings having inhuman powe should happen? Strange


It's not that the plot requires that orcs not die. It's that the plot requires orcs to possess so much strength and toughness that physics and biology start shouting in alarm.
Quite frankly, who cares? They aren't humans, can't be held to human standards, like other fantasy creatures. This that should be held to such a standard are things like combat, weapons, tatics ect


Especially in the movies (not so much in the books). I suspect that Tolkien knew more about pre-gunpowder warfare than Jackson does, and that the difference shows.
true, but as no gunpowder is used, irrelevant


Warning: Blatant, Semi-logical Stereotyping follows!

Oh boy


Yeah. The problem is that this forum is made up of a mix of fantasy fans and military history fans. If you're a dedicated fan of military history, the Romans are going to be your idols. If you're a fantasy fan, the Lord of the Rings trilogy is the gold standard. A lot of people on this site are both fantasy and military history fans. So when the greatest warriors of the Lord of the Rings go up against the Romans, your heart will be torn between the two.

I'm both, so i just use logic. Logically, the Uruk are better fighters, however are dumb as hell. The Romans have the abilty to out think their foes, thus giving them victory
from,
EE

EvilElitest
2007-12-15, 04:27 PM
Magnificent liar. Elves don't wear plate at all. Tolkien hated that crap, so NOBODY in LotR wore anything vaguely resembling what we would call plate mail. They wore Chainmail.

Wow, rutee insulting me without even reading the rules of the thread, how mature of you
This is based after the MOVIE, not the books. So you little "OMG, EE is a lying bastard, " attempt doesn't work. If you had even bothered to read the first page, you'd know we are using the movie (and video games i think) as a reference.
In the movie, the Elves use plate (more liked banded mail/plate, but hte point remains) and the uruks use plate in front chain in back
now i want an apoligy please
Really, this is just rude, i mean blatently insulting to point of absurity


I'm going to have to say it depends on a genuine unknown here; Namely, how /much/ stronger an Uruk is, and how well they can ignore wounds.
They can use 300 pound bows without any real problems, so i think maybe twice (or 3x for besekers). However, they do lack brains

As for pain resistance, it is rather hard to tell, in the movie beserkers keep going after being run through (they die but it takes a while)

from
EE

Wizzardman
2007-12-15, 04:34 PM
1. Considering they die like crazy at the end of the first movie, i wouldn't call that plot armor
2. Because they are, some of defineing characteristics of the Uruk-hai. That isn't plot armor, plot armor is when you don't die simple because your essentail to the plot, nothing at all like uruk Hai
3. So inhuman beings having inhuman powe should happen? Strange


No, no, you're misunderstanding what we meant by plot armor. Not plot armor in "the character's aren't allowed to die yet," plot armor in that "the monster is too awesome to die that easily." Its plot armor because you're inhuman monsters are so inhuman as to be able to withstand physically impossible amounts of damage and get back up afterwards.

Orcs have plot armor because it is essential to the plot that they be horribly overpowered killing machines that are tremendously difficult to kill properly. The Romans, unfortunately, get no plot armor or bonuses for being "the heroes/villains", and as such we have difficulty comparing the Roman Legions to the Orcs.

EvilElitest
2007-12-15, 04:47 PM
No, no, you're misunderstanding what we meant by plot armor. Not plot armor in "the character's aren't allowed to die yet," plot armor in that "the monster is too awesome to die that easily." Its plot armor because you're inhuman monsters are so inhuman as to be able to withstand physically impossible amounts of damage and get back up afterwards.

Orcs have plot armor because it is essential to the plot that they be horribly overpowered killing machines that are tremendously difficult to kill properly. The Romans, unfortunately, get no plot armor or bonuses for being "the heroes/villains", and as such we have difficulty comparing the Roman Legions to the Orcs.

Oh, that makes more sense.

I admit the Uruk-hai are absurd, but so are any fantasy monster race when compared to a real life group

I still put my bets on the Romans, because they can adapt
from,
EE

Storm Bringer
2007-12-15, 04:51 PM
well, as to how much damage they can take before dying, it's not actually any more than a human can take: it's just that thier that tolerant of pain they can continue to operate at near full effectivness until their bodies give out.

They are shown to take fatal wounds and carry on moving, but the wounds in question are not instantly fatal. Lurtz getting stabbing in the gut, for example: he won't live, but the thing that will actaully kill him is blood loss, and that takes time. Since he;s effectivly immune to pain (either not feeling it or able to act in spite of it), he can still fight as well as he can with his stumoch muscles out of commission, until his brain runs out of oxygen.

we see plenty of instantly-fatal-for-humans wounds kill orcs just as quickly; The frist shot of the moive version of helms deep, for example. The orc takes a arrow to the throat/upper chest, and promtly keels over.

EvilElitest
2007-12-15, 05:14 PM
well, as to how much damage they can take before dying, it's not actually any more than a human can take: it's just that thier that tolerant of pain they can continue to operate at near full effectivness until their bodies give out.

They are shown to take fatal wounds and carry on moving, but the wounds in question are not instantly fatal. Lurtz getting stabbing in the gut, for example: he won't live, but the thing that will actaully kill him is blood loss, and that takes time. Since he;s effectivly immune to pain (either not feeling it or able to act in spite of it), he can still fight as well as he can with his stumoch muscles out of commission, until his brain runs out of oxygen.

we see plenty of instantly-fatal-for-humans wounds kill orcs just as quickly; The frist shot of the moive version of helms deep, for example. The orc takes a arrow to the throat/upper chest, and promtly keels over.

based on that, i'd say that to insta kill a Uruk, you need to stab them in a place where instant death would occure


Example, cutting a Uruk's head off will kill him instantly
Stabbing one in the eye, throat, or brain will instantly kill them
running one through the stomach, as done with Lugz, won't instantly kill him, he'll keep fighting until he dies of blood loss or takes a greater wound.
cutting off limbs will makes them less effective an will kill them in the long run, but i suppose they will keep fighting on
from,
EE

Rutee
2007-12-15, 05:59 PM
well, as to how much damage they can take before dying, it's not actually any more than a human can take: it's just that thier that tolerant of pain they can continue to operate at near full effectivness until their bodies give out.

They are shown to take fatal wounds and carry on moving, but the wounds in question are not instantly fatal. Lurtz getting stabbing in the gut, for example: he won't live, but the thing that will actaully kill him is blood loss, and that takes time. Since he;s effectivly immune to pain (either not feeling it or able to act in spite of it), he can still fight as well as he can with his stumoch muscles out of commission, until his brain runs out of oxygen.

we see plenty of instantly-fatal-for-humans wounds kill orcs just as quickly; The frist shot of the moive version of helms deep, for example. The orc takes a arrow to the throat/upper chest, and promtly keels over.

Pain tolerance, but not actually more resilient? EG, they have just as many health levels as a human, but they're all Bruised up until Incap?

I'm handing it to the Legion then. I just can't see that overcoming vastly superior tactics that are set up to defeat the Orcs' tactics.

Shadowdweller
2007-12-15, 06:38 PM
Crossbow bolts are used to penetrate armor, not shields. Penetrating two inches of wood with a missile is harder then penetrating a quarter inch thick section of metal. With a pilium, which has a lot more mass behind the same surface area, you can occassionally break through a both shield and armor. A crossbow bolt, no matter what the draw, is not going to have nearly enough energy. It comes back to the simple equation of e=(1/2)mv^2. Very little of the energy of a crossbow or bow actually gets transfered to the missile.

Sorry to burst your bubble and all, but there are accounts of arrows doing exactly that. Even the best Legionnaire armor was sadly lacking in terms of limb coverage...and there are tales of romans being stapled to their shields or to the ground against the Parthians. At least one of the worst Roman defeats is said to have occurred precisely for that reason.

Also, PS: The scutum was something on the order of two centimeters in thickness, not inches :smallyuk:

Woot Spitum
2007-12-15, 06:55 PM
running one through the stomach, as done with Lugz, won't instantly kill him, he'll keep fighting until he dies of blood loss or takes a greater wound.I wouldn't call what that Uruk-Hai did after getting stabbed in the chest by Aragorn fighting. I mean what was he going to do, bleed on him?:smallbiggrin:

mainiac
2007-12-15, 08:32 PM
Sorry to burst your bubble and all, but there are accounts of arrows doing exactly that. Even the best Legionnaire armor was sadly lacking in terms of limb coverage...and there are tales of romans being stapled to their shields or to the ground against the Parthians. At least one of the worst Roman defeats is said to have occurred precisely for that reason.

Also, PS: The scutum was something on the order of two centimeters in thickness, not inches :smallyuk:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scutum_%28shield%29

No, it was five to six centimeters, or two to two and a two fifths inches.

Can you honestly give me one account of an arrow or bolt passing clear through a roman shield for a killing blow? Because this smells a hell of a lot like bull**** to me. A javelin could sometimes do it. Arrows don't have nearly as much mass.

Yes, bathing the romans in arrows parthian style is an effective tactic, but the orcs can't emulate that feat. And the romans weren't exactly helpless against the partians, they did sack their capitol on two different occassions.

Shadowdweller
2007-12-15, 09:10 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scutum_%28shield%29

No, it was five to six centimeters, or two to two and a two fifths inches.

Try reading your own sources before you bother to post this drivel.


The best surviving example, from Dura-Europos in Syria, was 1.06 m (42in) in height, a chord of 0.66 m (26in), with a distance around the curve of 0.86 m (34in), and a thickness of 5 mm to 6 mm.
Hint: That's less than a single centimeter.


Can you honestly give me one account of an arrow or bolt passing clear through a roman shield for a killing blow? Because this smells a hell of a lot like bull**** to me. A javelin could sometimes do it. Arrows don't have nearly as much mass.
I made no claims about killing blows, but the arrows do not need to. A warrior without effective arms or legs can't fight or keep up his shield formation. Large arm or leg wounds very often do mean death from infection or blood loss, if not an immediate one.


Yes, bathing the romans in arrows parthian style is an effective tactic, but the orcs can't emulate that feat.
Unlike, say, how they killed Boromir (particularly in the book). Unlike how they slaughtered the plate-clad Gondorians at the ruins of Osgiliath in the film. :smallsigh:

EvilElitest
2007-12-15, 09:27 PM
I wouldn't call what that Uruk-Hai did after getting stabbed in the chest by Aragorn fighting. I mean what was he going to do, bleed on him?:smallbiggrin:
We all love the black knight

I don't know, he could bite his neck I suppose. If i had been run through with my arm cut off i wouldn't walk into the blade though
from,
EE

Fuzzy_Juan
2007-12-15, 10:52 PM
The romans were trained to fight like the greek hoplits...phalanx formation. Each man does his part, rigid discipline, don't break. When they were able to use their tactic, they were fairly invulnerable to attack. The problem came when circumstances caused the phalanx to break at some point and the fight degenerated into a general melee. Once that happened, their superior armor and weapons gave them a slight edge, but in a general melee individual fighting prowess matters more than teamwork and discipline.

Oruk-Hai are like the barbarians the romans fought, but bigger and much stronger. Undisciplined, wild, and relentless, using speed and strength to shatter enemy lines and disrupt formations into the chaotic battle that would favor their tactics.

Like all battles, so much depends on terrain and circumstances of battle. In a straight up fair fight though, I might think that the romans would inflict up to 10% casualties on the Oruk-Hai while losing significantly less...after that, I imagine the Oruk-Hai would manage to break their lines and it would soon devolve into a chaotic mess with small pockets of troops tryin to battle as fractional units. From that point on it would be a tossup to see if the Romans could have enough of a numerical advantage from the initial charge and losses to outlast the Oruk-Hai...

Everything equal...it is probably 50-50...so, the scene would have to be set somehow...objectives...terrain, morale...etc...

warty goblin
2007-12-15, 11:12 PM
The more I think about this, the more I come to the conclusion that the legions would probably win, assuming standard orc leadership. A good general, much better than the average orc, could most likely make life really really hard on the Romans if they wanted to, but orcs aren't that smart.

One more point regarding arrows however: The English longbow was capable of driving an arrow through an oak church door. Doors tend to be thicker than shields as a rule, since a two inch thick block of oak the size of a legionaries' shield would weigh a serious amount, like enough to be completely unusable in combat, unless you wanted to engage on some on the spot carpentry.

Now shield penetration by arrows might still not have happened during Roman times because, from what I can tell, bows were less powerful at the time. I'm not positive of this, but it is roughly consistant with what I've read. I also believe (somebody correct me if I'm wrong) that archers usually fired from behind the infantry lines, meaning that their arrows would have less power on reaching target,than the English chevron formation which allowed direct fire.

Turcano
2007-12-15, 11:27 PM
The romans were trained to fight like the greek hoplits...phalanx formation. Each man does his part, rigid discipline, don't break. When they were able to use their tactic, they were fairly invulnerable to attack. The problem came when circumstances caused the phalanx to break at some point and the fight degenerated into a general melee. Once that happened, their superior armor and weapons gave them a slight edge, but in a general melee individual fighting prowess matters more than teamwork and discipline.

This isn't how the legion system works at all. In the legion system, skirmishers would throw javelins at the enemy as they closed in and then retreat behind the heavy infantry. The heavy infantry would form three to seven lines, with the least experienced troops in front and the most experienced troops in the back. The heavy infantry would attack with pila just before the ranks closed, and then attacked with spears (in the early Republic) or swords. As the battle progresses, the front line swaps places with the line behind at regular intervals, allowing the first line to recuperate before entering the fray again. Only the last line, which wouldn't even enter combat except in extreme circumstances, fought like the hoplites.

EvilElitest
2007-12-15, 11:35 PM
here is my current option on the matter


The Uruk hai win in a straight field fight if and only if the Romans have no idea of the force they are facing and have a typical commander


however, if the romans are given time to create a tactic against the Uruk-hai, or this is a champaign (multiple battles over a course of time) then i'd give it to the romans, their ability to create military tactics and to think creativity in terms of military is not to be underestimated, and compared to Uruk's lumbering intelligence, they are like gods. Remember, Military tactics Is the Roman philosophy.
from,
EE

Dervag
2007-12-16, 01:16 AM
No, what's true is that this is exactly the technique which legionaries were primarily trained against. Their primary advantage in battle was that they were immune to exactly this tactic.Highly resistant, yes; immune, no. Again, there are ways in which the Uruk-hais' extraordinary mass and strength and pain resistance will make them more effective than 'ordinary barbarians' with a similar fighting style. If it comes to a shoving match, Uruk-hai tend to win. Uruk-hai will take more gladius stabs or pila to stop than human warriors, on average. This is all based on the canonical observations of how strong and tough they are- if they fought an equal number of Gauls or Germans they'd probably walk all over them. So you can't generalize from the Romans' ability to beat Gauls and Germans easily that they could also beat Uruk-hai easily, although it seems very likely to me that they could nonetheless beat Uruk-hai. Just not easily.


Hollywood physics tells us that being massively strong lets you do amazing things. Actual real world physics tells us otherwise.Let me see if I understand your argument.

Let us take two men, both armed with identical hammering tools. They could be six-pound sledgehammers, or they could be big swords, or whatever. The quality and usefulness of the tools as hammers is less important than the fact that they are identical.

Now, let us take two men. One is massively muscled, with a broad frame and a great height. The other is skinny and underfed.

Now, let both men swing with their respective tools at identical shields in the hands of identical legionnaires.

If I understand what you're telling me correctly, your claim is that it makes no difference, and that both legionnaires will experience roughly the same amount of backwards impulse. So that it makes no difference how strong the strong guy is; he's no more effective in this way than a weak or average guy would be.

I have trouble believing that; can you cite a source?


1. Considering they die like crazy at the end of the first movie, i wouldn't call that plot armor
2. Because they are, some of defineing characteristics of the Uruk-hai. That isn't plot armor, plot armor is when you don't die simple because your essentail to the plot, nothing at all like uruk Hai
3. So inhuman beings having inhuman powe should happen? Strange

Quite frankly, who cares? They aren't humans, can't be held to human standards, like other fantasy creatures. This that should be held to such a standard are things like combat, weapons, tatics ectI think you missed my point. My point is that Uruk-hai are extremely strong and tough. So strong and tough, according to the fictional context in which they are described, that it's hard to believe such beings could exist in a realistic world. As such, they may be able to do what no realistic people could do, such as batter down a Roman shield line by brute force in a frontal attack.


true, but as no gunpowder is used, irrelevantDid you decide to respond to the opposite of my statement because it would be more fun or something?

I said "I suspect that Tolkien knew more about pre-gunpowder warfare than Jackson does." And you said that this was irrelevant because no gunpowder is used. I honestly cannot understand what process of thought, reasoning, or logic you might have used to deem my statement irrelevant when gunpowder is off the playing field. As far as I can tell, the absence of gunpowder from the scenario would make my arguments more relevant, not less. In other words, it makes more sense, not less, that we should be looking more closely at the book Uruk-hai than the movie Uruk-hai (or the tabletop game Uruk-hai based on the movie), because Tolkein knew more about what warriors fighting with those weapons would be like than Jackson did. So where Jackson just tried to make them look really cool and tough, Tolkien could actually write his books with a good base of knowledge on how tough they could plausibly be.


I'm both, so i just use logic. Logically, the Uruk are better fighters, however are dumb as hell. The Romans have the abilty to out think their foes, thus giving them victoryThat is a very simplistic piece of 'logic'; I suspect you are ignoring some very important factors on both the Uruk-hai side and the Roman side in order to come to this conclusion so easily.


Wow, rutee insulting me without even reading the rules of the thread, how mature of you
This is based after the MOVIE, not the books. So you little "OMG, EE is a lying bastard, " attempt doesn't work. If you had even bothered to read the first page, you'd know we are using the movie (and video games i think) as a reference.
In the movie, the Elves use plate (more liked banded mail/plate, but hte point remains) and the uruks use plate in front chain in back
now i want an apoligy please
Really, this is just rude, i mean blatently insulting to point of absurityFor the reason I just pointed out, the books are a better and more authoritative source than the movie, because the books come from someone who knows more about real fighting in swords and armor than the people who made the movies and games do.

Also, the word "magnificent" is often used to take away the insulting nature of a word such as "liar" (which was used here) or "bastard" (which was not, and you know it). As in the deathless phrase spoken by Gen. George Patton:

"Rommel, you magnificent bastard, I read your book!"

spoken by Patton after defeating Rommel in battle, expressing admiration for how well Rommel had fought. Emphasis added.

This is, however, a high-level application of vocabulary, so I don't blame you for missing or ignoring it.

mainiac
2007-12-16, 02:38 AM
Try reading your own sources before you bother to post this drivel.


Hint: That's less than a single centimeter.


Hey, compared to the vast amount of innaccurate stuff being posted here, my drivel ain't all that bad.

And even if a straight on blow could penetrate, that doesn't mean your still going to get a lot of kills and that doesn't mean that glancing blows will go through. Resistance to glancing blows by missiles is a big advantage to the curved shield.


Dervag, I'm not saying there's no difference, but the relationship between your strength and how much angular momentum you can put into a swing is not linear.

Let's pretend here that orcs and gauls are both swinging axes the same size. It takes the gauls half a second to swing in an arc, while the orcs make the swing in .4 seconds. The orcs need a lot more strength to make their swing, they're doing the more work and doing it over a shorter period of time. It's a lot more work for a %25 increase in actual hitting power. This is the reason you'd opt for a bigger weapon in the first place, higher mass and lower speeds means you can put more momentum into your attacks.

Dervag
2007-12-16, 10:33 AM
The flip side is that increased strength allows you to carry a somewhat more massive weapon and use it as effectively and at the same speed as a weaker person would use a lighter weapon. And increased mass does affect angular momentum.

And, again, there's the issue of what happens if individual Uruk-hai just shove as hard as they can into the shield wall by shield bash or bodyslamming. That's at least going to knock back or bowl over individual Romans. The Roman formation as a whole can probably deal with this, but not easily.

EvilElitest
2007-12-16, 10:56 AM
I think you missed my point. My point is that Uruk-hai are extremely strong and tough. So strong and tough, according to the fictional context in which they are described, that it's hard to believe such beings could exist in a realistic world. As such, they may be able to do what no realistic people could do, such as batter down a Roman shield line by brute force in a frontal attack.

That does make more sense (I already admitted that when sombody else explained that to me, so yes that does.


Did you decide to respond to the opposite of my statement because it would be more fun or something?
no, because i am aware that hte book makes more sense, but we have already stated we are using the movie as referenced, which is what i've been basing all of my points on. In the book the Uruk hai didn't use plate, they most likely didn't use cleavers (short broad bladed swords sounds like more like a broad sword to me) didn't have all the different legion type, and didn't use the same tatics. They were also less dumb


I said "I suspect that Tolkien knew more about pre-gunpowder warfare than Jackson does." And you said that this was irrelevant because no gunpowder is used. I honestly cannot understand what process of thought, reasoning, or logic you might have used to deem my statement irrelevant when gunpowder is off the playing field.
I was under the impression that you were making an argument on the Uruk's gunpowder and how it relates between the book and movie. Now i'm aware that hte book is a better written source and makes more sense logically, but i'm under the impressino we are using the movie as a source, no matter how illogical it is


As far as I can tell, the absence of gunpowder from the scenario would make my arguments more relevant, not less. In other words, it makes more sense, not less, that we should be looking more closely at the book Uruk-hai than the movie Uruk-hai (or the tabletop game Uruk-hai based on the movie), because Tolkein knew more about what warriors fighting with those weapons would be like than Jackson did. So where Jackson just tried to make them look really cool and tough, Tolkien could actually write his books with a good base of knowledge on how tough they could plausibly be.

1. What roleplaying game? or are you talking about hte minatures i am currently stealing from my neeigbor to make this argument?
2. Yes, it does make more sense for the book uruk-hai, but we have been using the movie as reference. I suspect that it is because the Movie uruks use that sheild wall in a manner based off the Romans, but what do i know
3. Accually, in LOTRS weapons and Warfar most of Jackson's adaptations concerning Uruk-hai tatics and weapons are in fact justified.

That is a very simplistic piece of 'logic'; I suspect you are ignoring some very important factors on both the Uruk-hai side and the Roman side in order to come to this conclusion so easily.
but i've alredy stated my points, so i was simplifying it

For the reason I just pointed out, the books are a better and more authoritative source than the movie, because the books come from someone who knows more about real fighting in swords and armor than the people who made the movies and games do.

While that is true, the books are better than the movies, i think source wise it would be harder to use the books because we don't know their tatics and weapons as well. Also while the movies were absurd, they were 'that' unrealistic


Also, the word "magnificent" is often used to take away the insulting nature of a word such as "liar" (which was used here) or "bastard" (which was not, and you know it). As in the deathless phrase spoken by Gen. George Patton:

"Rommel, you magnificent bastard, I read your book!"

spoken by Patton after defeating Rommel in battle, expressing admiration for how well Rommel had fought. Emphasis added.

No it was a flame, i had already gotton a few similer ones on other threads even more insulting and crude, so it was defentily a flame.


This is, however, a high-level application of vocabulary, so I don't blame you for missing or ignoring it.
Insulting aren't we. i was already aware of that use of magnificent, however i know that wasn't the context it was used based on other posts of similer nature but with different wording. I am quite able to understand vocabulary, so i would apprechiate it if you didn't resort to crude insults

On the subject at hand, the idea that it takes a gaul .2 second and a uruk .4 seconds doesn't add up, if we use the movies as reference, they moved those cleavers very fast, remeber the duel with aragorn? So in fact, they might be using more heavy weapons at the same speed. Also, just to point our a minor fact, those cleavers have a hook on the end that can be used to go around the shield and pull the guy out. Might cause some problems

Also, the Uruk-hai have superior range, doesn't that count for something?
from,
EE


from,
EE

Bago!!!
2007-12-16, 07:22 PM
Romans. I say Romans all the way.

This here is a battle between brute force vs. brains and experiance. My money is on the brains and experiance. There is a reason why they were one of the most effective fighting force. They adapted their tactics to fit the situation. Heck that whole charge tactic could very well work against them if the romans pull off this one tactic that is pretty neat. Atleast I think they did something like this... anyway.

Romans--------Enemy
>>>---------------* * * * * * *
>>>---------------* * * * * * *
>>>---------------* * * * * * *
>>>---------------* * * * * * *
>>>---------------* * * * * * *

Now how this tactic works is basically to force the orcs into the little spaces inbetween the >s of troops. Now why would this be effective? Well if the *s are charging, are they are setting themselves up. Once one * finishes his attack, the one in the back is gonna bump into his friend, and the one before that and the one before that, while being stabbed into the sides. Does this make sense to anyone? I dunno if I am getting it down the way I see it happening in my head.

PlasticSoldier
2007-12-16, 08:44 PM
I know what tactic your talking about but I don't think it would work, because the Uruk-Hai can easily beat romans in a pushing match also the guys in the wedge can also be attacked from multiple sides.


I personally believe that if the Uruk-Hai would win if they had a commander who wasn't a complete idiot.

warty goblin
2007-12-16, 08:53 PM
Hey, compared to the vast amount of innaccurate stuff being posted here, my drivel ain't all that bad.

And even if a straight on blow could penetrate, that doesn't mean your still going to get a lot of kills and that doesn't mean that glancing blows will go through. Resistance to glancing blows by missiles is a big advantage to the curved shield.


Dervag, I'm not saying there's no difference, but the relationship between your strength and how much angular momentum you can put into a swing is not linear.

Let's pretend here that orcs and gauls are both swinging axes the same size. It takes the gauls half a second to swing in an arc, while the orcs make the swing in .4 seconds. The orcs need a lot more strength to make their swing, they're doing the more work and doing it over a shorter period of time. It's a lot more work for a %25 increase in actual hitting power. This is the reason you'd opt for a bigger weapon in the first place, higher mass and lower speeds means you can put more momentum into your attacks.

Yes and no, it depends whether we are talking about angular momentum or kinetic energy. Of the two, I think kinetic energy is more helpful here. Now let's see if I remember my physics:

1) Kinetic energy goes up as the square of the increase in velocity * 1/2 the mass. Uruk's greater muscle will allow them to swing a heavier weapon faster, giving much better kinetic energy transfer. If the uruks swing just as fast as the Roman's with a weapon twice the weight, they'll impart twice as much energy to the target than the Roman would (actually, a bit more since their weapons are longer and so provide more torque, but that's uglier math than I want to do for a thread I already conceded). But if they swing those weapons twice as fast, which is not much of a reach, that means they will be delivering 8 times the kinetic energy of a legionaries' blow.

Now the legionaries have good shields, but no piece of wood is going to take that kind of punishment. And as I said before, once the sword is stuck in the shield,the uruk is at an advantage, since it has a large piece of sharp metal pretty close to its enemy and some control of the enemy' shield, while still leaving its own free to bash with. Given the way that you describe a legionary holding their shield, there's also a not negligable chance that the legionary will get their arm cut open as well by the descending blade.

Before somebody calls shenangans consider the following:
1) The record for cuting plywood, which is tougher to cut, with an ordinary sword is 13 inches.
2) Uruks are far stronger and use far choppier weapons than humans. 13 inches shouldn't be that hard to do.
3) A Scutum is only four feet tall and gripped in the center, meaning that the legionary's elbow will easily be within 13 inches of the rim of their shield. It'll be very very hard for them to raise their shield to stab from under it if they have a uruk sword in their elbow and the uruk is hammering the blade up and down, particularly given that they'll have to be avoiding having their face gouged open by that upward curving point on the uruk's weapon.

EvilElitest
2007-12-16, 10:00 PM
Now the legionaries have good shields, but no piece of wood is going to take that kind of punishment. And as I said before, once the sword is stuck in the shield,the uruk is at an advantage, since it has a large piece of sharp metal pretty close to its enemy and some control of the enemy' shield, while still leaving its own free to bash with.

Just to add on, remember that Uruk-hai, depending on their function have other weapons. Warrior have shields and their shield have spikes, spikes position taht you can stab without droping you guard
Shock toop Uruks have arm shields what they can smash with
swords men have heavy gauntlets
assult have spiked gauntlets
Veterans have a second sword
Also cleavers have spikes on the end that would be useful for hooking around a shield


If I were the Uruk-hai commander. I am aware i'm changing my forces numbers but i'm using sub books, video games, stolen minatures, and teh DVD as reference

I am also aware that the Uruk-hai commanders lack my meta gamming knowlage and are infamously stupid

I would get on top of the hill and make a shield wall. In the front would be the Uruk hai Shield men (metal tower shield with short spiked cleaver) in front. While they lack range they have freaking huge shields and can be quite tightly packed. There will only be one rank of them, behind them will be the Uruk-hai warrior with normal hooked clavers and spiked shield keeping up the shield wall. Through their ranks will be the great pike men (the 15-20 foot pikes) that will jab through the ranks. After the pikes are broken, pike men will take out their short swords and move back
Bow men and cross bow men will be on the top of the hill, lauching down. Crossbow raiders have those niffty fire rocks (Two towers) that they will throw into the legion once combat starts.
Protecting the flanks will be the normal pike men (10-15 foot pikes) and warg riders, who will try to take out the calvery
Behind the warrior will be the shock troops Uruks who will move in if their is a breach in the Uruk line. With their greater strength, small shield and better fighting strength, i am hoping that they will be able to hold off roman advances until more warriors come in.
Uruk-hai Soilders (less armor, no helmet, sword and shield) will act as a brace for the shield wall and the second rank should the warriors break. The are crappy toops but all they have to do is hold off the romans until the warriors reform
Assult uruks (sword, spiked gauntlets) will try to punch through any weakening roman position, followed by veterans and raiders, hoping to break through. Should any small breach be made, normal breserkers rush in to cause trouble. Should they keep the breach open, vetern beserkers will follow. If the romans break, or have a large breach, uruk hai swords men will swarm them. Should the roman break, pull back and try to regroup, Shock beserkers will attack to try to cause chaos while swordsmen swarm them.
Warg riders will attack should they see a rout, while scouts will try to flank them. Under commanders and captains will try to keep order
From,
EE
Edit
re reading this, i could destroy it, but it would be annoying

Storm Bringer
2007-12-17, 02:41 AM
Well, the real question is why would the romans attack the hilltop position in the first place? The orks, being extremely young, biologically inclined to fighting and part of a highly aggressive culture, have the sort of mindset that could ignore the disadvantages of fighting up hill and charge anyway, but the romans would need a good reason to attack, or else the roman commander wouldn't bother. they have the professional culture that can withstand the inglorious retreat in the face of the enemy, and no real reason to want to attack such a well defended postion.

Anteros
2007-12-17, 05:51 AM
Well, the real question is why would the romans attack the hilltop position in the first place? The orks, being extremely young, biologically inclined to fighting and part of a highly aggressive culture, have the sort of mindset that could ignore the disadvantages of fighting up hill and charge anyway, but the romans would need a good reason to attack, or else the roman commander wouldn't bother. they have the professional culture that can withstand the inglorious retreat in the face of the enemy, and no real reason to want to attack such a well defended postion.


Because apparently all Uruk-Hai generals are genius tacticians and all Romans are complete fools. At least that's the assumption being made alot on this thread.

Of course the real answer to this is that despite the fact that Tolkien was a very smart and very detailed author...he did not have the military knowledge that a great Roman general who had trained his entire life for combat had. Thus the Uruk-Hai...while certainly possessing some tactical finess, are not written in such a way that their tactics can compare with Romes.

In addition to this, the Uruks have strength...the Romans have discipline. Strength wins individual confrontations, but discipline wins wars.

Shadowdweller
2007-12-17, 06:08 AM
Because apparently all Uruk-Hai generals are genius tacticians and all Romans are complete fools. At least that's the assumption being made alot on this thread.

Wrong. The idiot assumption being consistently made here is that all Roman generals are genius tacticians, and that all Uruk-Hai generals are complete fools. Despite the latter being a race whose proclivities necessitate effectively training for war from birth.


3) A Scutum is only four feet tall and gripped in the center, meaning that the legionary's elbow will easily be within 13 inches of the rim of their shield. It'll be very very hard for them to raise their shield to stab from under it if they have a uruk sword in their elbow and the uruk is hammering the blade up and down, particularly given that they'll have to be avoiding having their face gouged open by that upward curving point on the uruk's weapon.
Scutums generally had metal rims to avoid these sorts of circumstances. Although maintaining shield integrity over the course of multiple weapon blows was probably more of a concern than having a weapon cut through thirteen inches of shield.

Storm Bringer
2007-12-17, 06:25 AM
Wrong. The idiot assumption being consistently made here is that all Roman generals are genius tacticians, and that all Uruk-Hai generals are complete fools. Despite the latter being a race whose proclivities necessitate effectively training for war from birth.
.

to be fair, the oldest uruk-hai (in the movies, at least) is....what? 6 months? if that? It's not that big a period of time to learn the generaling business.

Dervag
2007-12-17, 08:42 AM
I was under the impression that you were making an argument on the Uruk's gunpowder and how it relates between the book and movie. Now i'm aware that hte book is a better written source and makes more sense logically, but i'm under the impressino we are using the movie as a source, no matter how illogical it isMy argument had nothing to do with gunpowder. I only said "pre-gunpowder" because I was trying to encompass the entire era of people fighting with swords and armor and bows and catapults and stuff but not with guns or explosives. The word "gunpowder" is not the center of the argument, and should not be treated as such.

My point is that when the movie says one thing about what the Uruk-hai had to fight with, and the book says another, we should believe the book, not the movie. The movie is supposed to be based on the book, after all.


1. What roleplaying game? or are you talking about hte minatures i am currently stealing from my neeigbor to make this argument?I'm talking about the miniatures, or about any RPGs based on the Lord of the Rings, or in fact anything based on the Lord of the Rings trilogy that talks about Uruk-hai but isn't the books themselves. As far as I'm concerned, if any of those newer things disagree with the books, then the books win, because they are the original canon source and they were written by someone who was, if nothing else, intimately familiar with the stories about pre-gunpowder warfare. Such a person would probably have fewer delusions about what is and is not possible in a sword fight than would, say, Peter Jackson.


No it was a flame, i had already gotton a few similer ones on other threads even more insulting and crude, so it was defentily a flame.Let me get this straight. You're saying that because you heard something more insulting than this on another thread, then this less insulting thing on this thread must be "defentily a flame".

Wouldn't the same logic apply to every post you ever read? If any post less offensive than some other post you've read is a flame, then all posts are flames.


Insulting aren't we. i was already aware of that use of magnificent, however i know that wasn't the context it was used based on other posts of similer nature but with different wording. I am quite able to understand vocabulary, so i would apprechiate it if you didn't resort to crude insultsIf that was an insult, it certainly wasn't crude. I didn't notice it, and I'm the one who made it in the first place.

You see, when I say "high-order application of vocabulary," I mean something that only a person with unusually large vocabulary and a deep love for the details of English usage and style would be familiar with. Such a person is unusual. It is not an insult to be called "not unusual." Or at least, that's what I thought.

On a side note, I don't understand how you were able to deduce from context that this post was a flame using some other post written somewhere else as evidence.


Wrong. The idiot assumption being consistently made here is that all Roman generals are genius tacticians, and that all Uruk-Hai generals are complete fools. Despite the latter being a race whose proclivities necessitate effectively training for war from birth.This assumption isn't as idiotic as you might think. First of all, the Roman generals weren't all geniuses, but their battle tactics mostly came from a very large play book that was written by genius generals. Roman legion commanders benefited from all the clever tactics that their predecessors had developed, and kept adding new tricks to the book for as long as the legions endured as a fighting force.

So while the Roman general might not be a genius, a new enemy who had never fought Romans before would tend to think he was a genius, because the Romans would be using all those clever battle tactics that they had inherited as part of their institutional memory from earlier generations.

Likewise, while the Uruk-hai commanders may have been training "all their lives," those lives aren't very long and they have no institutional memory to draw on. Moreover, in their experience all their enemies can be overcome by brute force and aggressiveness. So while they may be very good at figuring out where to aim their hammer, they haven't been forced to find solutions to problems a hammer can't cope with. And brute hammering isn't going to cut it alone against the Romans; even the Uruk-hai need an edge. And without a long institutional memory of tactical tricks, or detailed knowledge of Roman fighting styles, they're not going to get that edge. It'll be a fight for the record books for the Romans, but I think they'll win.

EvilElitest
2007-12-17, 09:23 AM
Because apparently all Uruk-Hai generals are genius tacticians and all Romans are complete fools. At least that's the assumption being made alot on this thread.

Of course the real answer to this is that despite the fact that Tolkien was a very smart and very detailed author...he did not have the military knowledge that a great Roman general who had trained his entire life for combat had. Thus the Uruk-Hai...while certainly possessing some tactical finess, are not written in such a way that their tactics can compare with Romes.

In addition to this, the Uruks have strength...the Romans have discipline. Strength wins individual confrontations, but discipline wins wars.

dear gods, what part of "this is not what i'd expect Uruk-hai to do" don't you get. My point is taht Uruk hai could win IF and only IF they were effective tatictions, which they are not. I made that up simple because i wanted to show that if they were orginizied and had good tatics, they could be a very effective miltary force, however they aren't as smart as the Romans who will most likely adept to defeat there not brillent tatics (i never claimed my was brillent)
Dear gods, i'm on your bloody side

from,
EE

EvilElitest
2007-12-17, 11:48 AM
Alright, sorry for the double post but i'm covering a lot of points

1. My example was not suppose to be a winning tatic for the Uruk-hai, it was just an exampe of a dangerous tatic they could use if they were so inclinded. However, i am under the impression that the Uruk-hai aren't that smart (in the movies at least). The impression i got from the movie was that Saurman made up the plan for the attack on Helm's deep and the Uruk-hai just carried it out. The fact they carried it out well proves that they can handle complected plans, however i don't think they could come up with on.
2. The romans acted in the most basic manner possible because i just wanted to demostrate what Roman's could do to an enemy who doesn't plan first. My point all along is that if the Roman's take advantage of their greater miltary tatics, then will win. If they don't, then the better Uruk-hai troops will crush them.
3. Uruk-hai don't adept well, remember when Gandalf charges them. They still out numbered the allies

a lot, but they simple broke and ran into the massive forest. They can't adept to situations well, Roman's can


Well, the real question is why would the romans attack the hilltop position in the first place
They wouldn't thus proving my point

If the Roman just act in a basic manner and rely on their normal tatics against Orginized Uruk-hai, they will be slaughtered. However they won't do this unless their commander isn't very smart or very overconfident. Romans can adept, Uruks can't adept well unless somebody is telling htem what to do


The orks, being extremely young, biologically inclined to fighting and part of a highly aggressive culture, have the sort of mindset that could ignore the disadvantages of fighting up hill and charge anyway,
Not if their boss told them not to. They listen to what ever authority they have. My situation is irrelevant as they don't have a boss but they can preform good strategies if an authority tells them to

but the romans would need a good reason to attack, or else the roman commander wouldn't bother. they have the professional culture that can withstand the inglorious retreat in the face of the enemy, and no real reason to want to attack such a well defended postion.
Nether side gets reinforcements or siege weapons rights? So the Uruk-hai can just shoot crowsbows at them. Though admittatly, the Romans would most likely just come up with a better plan


Of course the real answer to this is that despite the fact that Tolkien was a very smart and very detailed author...he did not have the military knowledge that a great Roman general who had trained his entire life for combat had. Thus the Uruk-Hai...while certainly possessing some tactical finess, are not written in such a way that their tactics can compare with Romes.

Tolkien was a pretty good tatiction in his book accually, most of the miltary tatics are rather realistic. We are using Peter Jackson's Uruk-hai however

Wrong. The idiot assumption being consistently made here is that all Roman generals are genius tacticians, and that all Uruk-Hai generals are complete fools. Despite the latter being a race whose proclivities necessitate effectively training for war from birth
while i know not every Roman commander was great (who is commanding them by the way?) did the Uruk-hai have a commander? Lugz was killed pior to helm's deep.


My point is that when the movie says one thing about what the Uruk-hai had to fight with, and the book says another, we should believe the book, not the movie. The movie is supposed to be based on the book, after all.
But it has been establish from page 1 that we are basing this after movie uruk hai. I didn't make that rule, i just follow it, talk to the OP if you want to use books. If we are using the movies(as well as all source material taht goes along with that) i'm basing my arguments on that. I'll change everything if we go to book Uruk-hai


I'm talking about the miniatures, or about any RPGs based on the Lord of the Rings, or in fact anything based on the Lord of the Rings trilogy that talks about Uruk-hai but isn't the books themselves. As far as I'm concerned, if any of those newer things disagree with the books, then the books win, because they are the original canon source and they were written by someone who was, if nothing else, intimately familiar with the stories about pre-gunpowder warfare. Such a person would probably have fewer delusions about what is and is not possibe
shrug, a moot point as it has been establish we are working with the movie uruk-hai. Though in Jackson's defense, the Uruk hai were not THAT unrealistic (if you ignore the super strength, pain endurence, night vision, discipline and what not)

Let me get this straight. You're saying that because you heard something more insulting than this on another thread, then this less insulting thing on this thread must be "defentily a flame".

Wouldn't the same logic apply to every post you ever read? If any post less offensive than some other post you've read is a flame, then all posts are flames
Let me get this straight, you taking something somebody else said and trying to interpet it in a manner that is totally unrealiated. The person accused me of being a lier, something the same poster had done in a similer manner on other threads. Now the "lie" in question was that Uruk-hai don't were plate armor, something that is true in the books but has been established in the first few posts that we are using hte movie as a reference. Now unless you have something personal at stake here, will you drop this point because frankly, it doesn't concern you in the least. I have personally had enough of personal attack in that manner, and i am making it quite clear i won't tolerate
this sort of behavior.
If that was an insult, it certainly wasn't crude. I didn't notice it, and I'm the one who made it in the first place.

You see, when I say "high-order application of vocabulary," I mean something that only a person with unusually large vocabulary and a deep love for the details of English usage and style would be familiar with. Such a person is unusual. It is not an insult to be called "not unusual." Or at least, that's what I thought.
I found it so, but i'm willing to drop it, though i am confused how you find being called a blatent liar on a subject where it is painfully clear i am not is not insulting
from,
EE

Storm Bringer
2007-12-17, 01:20 PM
Nether side gets reinforcements or siege weapons rights? So the Uruk-hai can just shoot crowsbows at them. Though admittatly, the Romans would most likely just come up with a better plan

my point was that the romans wouldn't bother attacking (or even entering range of) such a position, unless they had something to gain by doing so (or something to lose by not doing so). I'll accept the 'it's just an exercise' as a valid reason, though, so we'll skip over that.



while i know not every Roman commander was great (who is commanding them by the way?) did the Uruk-hai have a commander? Lugz was killed pior to helm's deep.


it's not been specified so far. my example used 'standard' generals for both (one of the older uruk-hai vs a roman legate or other offical). I'd stay away form putting 'known' commanders in the lead, as the debate is about wether the uruk-hai were better soilders than the romans, not wether Cesear was a better general than Saruman.

In the moives, the commander appears to be the nameless uruk who climbs up on the rock and starts them doing the whole war-chant thing. he's not armed or armoured any different than his co-orcs, and he is only shown issuing a grand total of two orders ("chant" and "charge!"). presumably, he issues more off screen. most of the tactics used by the orcs at helms deep appear to involve orc taken aside and trained specially for them (the tesudo and ram attack on the gate, the gunpowder charges, the catapult fired scaling ladders, etc). It's not clear how much control is exercised over the line uruks (who appear to just mill around, press forward and hack things).



3. Uruk-hai don't adept well, remember when Gandalf charges them. They still out numbered the allies a lot, but they simple broke and ran into the massive forest.
no, they formed a pike line in good time, breaced against the oncoming charge , then a HUGE ray of sunlight hits them right in their ever sensative eyes, and they appear to all raise thier pikes moments before the charge hits (i presume they were supposed to be trying to shield thier eyes, but it sure looks like they decided to just let the rohimmrim kill them). It's only once the Riders are in amoungst their fromation, killing at will, that they break and run (as almost every force in history has when it's formation is broken).

EvilElitest
2007-12-17, 01:27 PM
my point was that the romans wouldn't bother attacking (or even entering range of) such a position, unless they had something to gain by doing so (or something to lose by not doing so). I'll accept the 'it's just an exercise' as a valid reason, though, so we'll skip over that.

True. Just out of curosity, what would YOU do if you commanded the legions against this tatic?



it's not been specified so far. my example used 'standard' generals for both (one of the older uruk-hai vs a roman legate or other offical). I'd stay away form putting 'known' commanders in the lead, as the debate is about wether the uruk-hai were better soilders than the romans, not wether Cesear was a better general than Saruman.

In the moives, the commander appears to be the nameless uruk who climbs up on the rock and starts them doing the whole war-chant thing. he's not armed or armoured any different than his co-orcs, and he is only shown issuing a grand total of two orders ("chant" and "charge!"). presumably, he issues more off screen. most of the tactics used by the orcs at helms deep appear to involve orc taken aside and trained specially for them (the tesudo and ram attack on the gate, the gunpowder charges, the catapult fired scaling ladders, etc). It's not clear how much control is exercised over the line uruks (who appear to just mill around, press forward and hack things).

It seems that Saurman made a pretty good strategy, and just trained his commanders on how act it out for him. The Book LOTRS weapons and warfare states that each unit was trained for one job and just did that


no, they formed a pike line in good time, breaced against the oncoming charge , then a HUGE ray of sunlight hits them right in their ever sensative eyes, and they appear to all raise thier pikes moments before the charge hits (i presume they were supposed to be trying to shield thier eyes, but it sure looks like they decided to just let the rohimmrim kill them).
I think they just panicked after the ray of light



It's only once the Riders are in amoungst their fromation, killing at will, that they break and run (as almost every force in history has when it's formation is broken).
But they had the numbers, space, and time to regroup, however they just ran into the forest.

Speaking of which, remember when the king charged out of the tower? Wouldn't they expect that one?
from,
EE

Lostintransit
2007-12-17, 01:33 PM
Cory Blimey, this is quite heated!

Having followed the discussions on both sides with interest, I have to say that no one has yet to lay down any other guidelines, apart from the OP's.

So far the rules for this War/Scrum/Fight are:

1- Full roman legion, time period unspecified, inc any Seige weapons & Cav

2- Equal number of Uruk Hai (Modern Movie versions), inc 1 Berserker every 100 Uruk's & Full quota of equipment (Pikes, swords, shields etc, NO explosives however)

3- The battlefield is symetircal, with a wide open plain between two sets of low hills. (as shown below)

------------------------ (End of battlefield) -------------------------------
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (Low Hills) XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

<---------------------------- 1 Km -------------------------------------->

(Open Plain)



XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (Low Hills) XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
------------------------- (End of battlefield) ------------------------------

4- The distance between the Hills is 1/2 a KM and the length of the battlefield is 1 KM long

5- At a later point the OP had put a list of the following to determine if it would be a fair fight:

Roman Legions comprise of:

-Equites. Heavy armored cavalry with lances. 300 men
-Velites. Light infantry, skirmishers (javelins etc) 1200 men
-Hastai (900 men) and Principes (900 men). Heavy infantry armed with short swords and shields. 1800 men
-Triarri. Veteran Heavy infantry armed with spears. 900 men

Uruk Legions comprise of:

-Pikemen: Anti Cavalry 300 men
-Swordsmen: Long sword and board types. 2480
-Crossbow men: Fire pointy iron sticks 1380
-Berserkers: Don't fight inside the group but as skirmishers

Now even with this information it still leaves a few points to be determined:
A- Who is leading each side?
B- What weather conditions for the fight?
C- Are the above sides correct in their amount of men/uruk?
D- Has food been an issue? Have both sides had surplies?
E- Is it day or night?
F- I'm sure there are more....

Once these things have been determined we can actually get down to answering the question in full, because reading the posts what seems to be said is that 1 on 1 Uruks will win, or even both will die, but in a unit on unit, no one is picking the same sort of people fighting (We have had berserks vs a whole unit, single uruks vs a whole unit, unit vs unit, orc unit vs unit (Where did they sneak on from!) & uruk vs man) as you can see a bit hap-hazard!

The main strengths that i can see are as follows:

Uruks - Extremely strong, resistant to pain, organised yet savage.
Romans - Extremely well trained, large combat experince, group fighting tactics.

Hope this helps!

Regards

EvilElitest
2007-12-17, 01:35 PM
Uruk Legions comprise of:

-Pikemen: Anti Cavalry 300 men
-Swordsmen: Long sword and board types. 2480
-Crossbow men: Fire pointy iron sticks 1380
-Berserkers: Don't fight inside the group but as skirmishers

What about my list of forces?
from,
EE

SmartAlec
2007-12-17, 01:47 PM
-Equites. Heavy armored cavalry with lances. 300 men
-Velites. Light infantry, skirmishers (javelins etc) 1200 men
-Hastai (900 men) and Principes (900 men). Heavy infantry armed with short swords and shields. 1800 men
-Triarri. Veteran Heavy infantry armed with spears. 900 men

That's a traditional Republican Roman citizen-army, but the Hastatii/Principes/Triarii system of citizen soldiers was abandoned in 107 BC in favour of a professional standardised army. If we're going to go with the kind of army used when Rome was at its' military zenith, you'd be looking at:

- approx. 5000 'legionaries' - Principes with professional training, essentially, each with heavy armour, shield, sword and two javelins each.
- approx. 1000 Auxiliaries broken up into skirmishers, light cavalry, light infantry and various engineering/support personnel.
- approx. 800 officers/administrative personnel/noncombatants.

This kind of legion is the professional, scary kind of Roman legion you think of when you think of Rome conquering the world.

Storm Bringer
2007-12-17, 02:18 PM
True. Just out of curosity, what would YOU do if you commanded the legions against this tatic?

Well, aussuming I was unable to avoid battle on those terms (i.e. i couldn't just march off and fight on different ground, of my choosing), I'd probely try and goad the orks into an attack, a la William the B***ard at hastings.

Since the main line of uruks is a phalanx, I would not even try to break it on the sort of open ground we're fighting on. my best hope would be to temp some of the orks into a downhill charge (for example, by begining a attack, then having it 'fail' and fall back due to the fire of the orc crossbows.) If i'm lucky, the orc general would order a pusuit and advance, in which case i've got him off his hill, and moved his flanks that much closer to me and farther form his rear elements. If I'm really lucky, the orcs would disobey orders and case anyway, but with the lack of order that impromtu attacks have, which would give me a chance to take out some of his main line.

however, if i couldn't tempt him off his hill, I'd have to resort to a unsutble battering attack at one of the flanks with a fiar part of my forces.

I won't even try and attack the center, it's just a non starter without serious atry support to open gaps in the line.

however, ideally, i would not attack such a strong position so well thought out, instead marching off round one of his flanks and forcing him to get off his hill. Or away along my line of advance, whatever.


A- Who is leading each side?
B- What weather conditions for the fight?
C- Are the above sides correct in their amount of men/uruk?
D- Has food been an issue? Have both sides had surplies?
E- Is it day or night?
F- I'm sure there are more....

A: it's safest (i think at least) if the leaders are kept to 'generic' uruk and roman generals, as the arguement is about the warriors skill, not the generals.

B: warm spring day, I'd assume. nice and dry undefoot, temp not to high or low to cause problems, and a clear sky. removes wether form the calcs.

c: it's less 'one legion of romans plus aux.' vs 'equal number of uruks' as it is 'two equal forces of an abitatry size'. the EXACT numbers don't matter, just that each force is the same size for all intents and purposes.

d: Both sides are assumed to not only be well fed but in perfect health, at 100% of paper strength and with no men sick/wounded/on detached duty. completly unrealistic, but it's one less thing to worry about.

e: Day, as it's a stand up fight rather than a sneak attack by one side or the other.

EvilElitest
2007-12-17, 03:00 PM
Well, aussuming I was unable to avoid battle on those terms (i.e. i couldn't just march off and fight on different ground, of my choosing), I'd probely try and goad the orks into an attack, a la William the B***ard at hastings.

1. No, your not allowed to cheat using logical tatics like that. They are to smart:smallbiggrin:
2. worked there, makes sense


Since the main line of uruks is a phalanx, I would not even try to break it on the sort of open ground we're fighting on.
I know what your talking about but isn't a phalanx with spears, or do swords work as well?


my best hope would be to temp some of the orks into a downhill charge (for example, by begining a attack, then having it 'fail' and fall back due to the fire of the orc crossbows.) If i'm lucky, the orc general would order a pusuit and advance, in which case i've got him off his hill, and moved his flanks that much closer to me and farther form his rear elements. If I'm really lucky, the orcs would disobey orders and case anyway, but with the lack of order that impromtu attacks have, which would give me a chance to take out some of his main line.
am I commanding the Uruks or is a Uruk general who has just been given my battle plan doing it? If the formor, i wouldn't fall for that (i did a reserch project on Hastings) but if the latter i could defently see that happening. Most the Uruks would do so in an orginized manner, but the Beserkers, raiders, and Warg riders would most likely get ahead of the collum



however, if i couldn't tempt him off his hill, I'd have to resort to a unsutble battering attack at one of the flanks with a fiar part of my forces.

Pike men at the flanks, just to let you know. however if you can get past the spear wall they only have short cleavers, though their is a swordsmen reserve



I won't even try and attack the center, it's just a non starter without serious atry support to open gaps in the line.

smart


however, ideally, i would not attack such a strong position so well thought out, instead marching off round one of his flanks and forcing him to get off his hill. Or away along my line of advance, whatever.


I could see that working


A: it's safest (i think at least) if the leaders are kept to 'generic' uruk and roman generals, as the arguement is about the warriors skill, not the generals.

B: warm spring day, I'd assume. nice and dry undefoot, temp not to high or low to cause problems, and a clear sky. removes wether form the calcs.

c: it's less 'one legion of romans plus aux.' vs 'equal number of uruks' as it is 'two equal forces of an abitatry size'. the EXACT numbers don't matter, just that each force is the same size for all intents and purposes.

d: Both sides are assumed to not only be well fed but in perfect health, at 100% of paper strength and with no men sick/wounded/on detached duty. completly unrealistic, but it's one less thing to worry about.

e: Day, as it's a stand up fight rather than a sneak attack by one side or the other.

A- Does the Generic Uruk have access to Saurman's battle tatics? And the roman acces to miltary studies at Rome (AKA he studied miltary history)
B- makes sense
C- I think we really need to get the Uruk forces set, i've already named many units that aren't normally mentioned as they are from video games (which ahve been stated to count)
D- The irony here is, i think that is how the Uruks were at helm's deep
e- Also the Uruks get a massive advantage at night (night vision)
F- If we could Video games/minatures as cannon, do the uruks get shamons?
from,
EE

Storm Bringer
2007-12-17, 03:39 PM
I know what your talking about but isn't a phalanx with spears, or do swords work as well?

it;s a close order body of men with a large number of pikes sticking out the front. it's a phalanx for all intents and purposes.


Pike men at the flanks, just to let you know. however if you can get past the spear wall they only have short cleavers, though their is a swordsmen reserve

the point is that the flank is only supported by pikemen on one side, the other being covered by whatever light infantry you have the the warg riders. not easy to beat, but easier than trying the center. Yes, you could rush reinforcments to the the attacked area, but then i might try an attack on the other flank, or even the center if thats where the troops are coming form. Or just threaten too, in order to pin reserves to those areas.


Am I commanding the Uruks or is a Uruk general who has just been given my battle plan doing it?

I was working on the basis that the two armies met while in the field persuing other objectives, and the orcs fell back on a hill. The Uruk general on the site set everythingup, possibly via tactics work out in advance or possibly on the fly.

But if I'm thier in person, no reason for you not to be thier in person as well.:smallbiggrin: :smallbiggrin:


I wouldn't fall for that (I did a research project on Hastings) but if the latter i could defently see that happening

at hastings, the frist retreat-persuit event was unplanned by either side. the normans broke and ran, the saxons in that area followed, and William was able to bring his men under control before harold could, letting him cut down the isolated saxons. the second time, however, was a deliberate ploy.

the trick to it is to make the rout look real . since the "objective" of both sides here is to defeat the other side, as in 'kill as many as possible' the general faced with the apprant rout of his foes is basically must choose between exploiting a failure of the foe so as to win the battle, and letting go a chance to win that may not be offered agian. These sort of chances don't show up often, and a general who doesn't exploit his oppentent blunders and weakness isn't going to be a very good on.


Does the Generic Uruk have access to Saurman's battle tatics? And the roman acces to miltary studies at Rome (AKA he studied miltary history)
I'd say that both generals have realistic and solid ideas about thier own troops capabilites and weakness. The orc in charge is no dumber or smarter than his roman counterpart: he knows what his men can do, and what his men can't do



C- I think we really need to get the Uruk forces set, i've already named many units that aren't normally mentioned as they are from video games (which ahve been stated to count)

if you want to use them, that's fine. thier no need to abitarily say that the uruk havn't got X or Y, and thus rule out perfectly valid tactics, any more than with the romans.



D- The irony here is, i think that is how the Uruks were at helm's deep

not really, we just don't see the part of the army that wasn't at 100%. We know that Saurman sent aproximatly 10,000 orcs to helms deep. we know still had a unknown number still in at Isenguard, which in the event were not enough to save it form the Ents. we don't know how many uruk-hai Saurman made in total. thier may have been another thousand or more uruk hai still in the birthing pits/training areas, laided up with wounds (assuming the orcs let the losers of barracks fights live), training the next 10,000 uruks, etc. The force that went to helms deep was fresh out of base, so would be at near-full strength. But so would a roman army less than a week after muster.

shamens...... as priest who can inspire even more mindless coruage form the uruks, yes. as spellcasters, no. magic would give the uruks insta-win, if only because the romans would be so afriad of it ("HE'S GLOWING GREEN! RUN!".) in all honesty, we're already streching it a bit when the romans see six foot four armour plated killing machines marching towards them and baying for blood, but don't run.

EvilElitest
2007-12-17, 04:12 PM
it;s a close order body of men with a large number of pikes sticking out the front. it's a phalanx for all intents and purposes.


Ok, that helps.


the point is that the flank is only supported by pikemen on one side, the other being covered by whatever light infantry you have the the warg riders. not easy to beat, but easier than trying the center. Yes, you could rush reinforcments to the the attacked area, but then i might try an attack on the other flank, or even the center if thats where the troops are coming form. Or just threaten too, in order to pin reserves to those areas.

yet again, am I commanding or is it just a Uruk general? If the latter, then i would bet they would simple charge if you confused them two much. But your outnumbered on both your flanking attacks if you divide your forces



I was working on the basis that the two armies met while in the field persuing other objectives, and the orcs fell back on a hill. The Uruk general on the site set everythingup, possibly via tactics work out in advance or possibly on the fly.

But if I'm thier in person, no reason for you not to be thier in person as well.:smallbiggrin: :smallbiggrin:

I like that plan
I don't know how you want to look, but i'm a bald 20 year old in the middle of the forces wearing a red robe. I an accually a level 30 wizard, however in order to talk the Uruk into obeying me i used up all my spells to create a massive amount of magic mouths who played Mozart's Requim, thus giving me the Uruk undying loyalty. uruks love classical music you see, Lurgz served Saurman after hearing the ghost song in Don Govoni. Goblins like rap however, and mordor orcs are fans of rock, but all are fans of the beatles


at hastings, the frist retreat-persuit event was unplanned by either side. the normans broke and ran, the saxons in that area followed, and William was able to bring his men under control before harold could, letting him cut down the isolated saxons. the second time, however, was a deliberate ploy.

But for once, the Uruk-hai lack of smarts is an advantage, they won't go against the commander's orders unless they are really really really stressed or they get blood lust the latter would only occur if they had already killed lot of people are there was not sign of that stopping (a ruthless general could take advantage of that)


the trick to it is to make the rout look real . since the "objective" of both sides here is to defeat the other side, as in 'kill as many as possible' the general faced with the apprant rout of his foes is basically must choose between exploiting a failure of the foe so as to win the battle, and letting go a chance to win that may not be offered agian. These sort of chances don't show up often, and a general who doesn't exploit his oppentent blunders and weakness isn't going to be a very good on.

well, if you were able to make the route look real, i admit if tend to get cocky when seeing what seems to be luck, i'd send all of my raiders and scout force (the formor are slightly less armor elite units, the latter light weight speed units) along with my warg riders (if they haven't found you calvery) out to finish the route, along with one or two beserkers. All but the riders are foot troops, but very fast, however as they are less armored i'd think you could pull a nice little wipe out. Also the raiders are my best archers. However, i know i don't have calvery, i'd mostly rely on crossbow troops and archer, who would move in front of all but the front rank then open fire en mass.


I'd say that both generals have realistic and solid ideas about thier own troops capabilites and weakness. The orc in charge is no dumber or smarter than his roman counterpart: he knows what his men can do, and what his men can't do

hmmmm, then a uruk general isn't as bad as i thought


if you want to use them, that's fine. thier no need to abitarily say that the uruk havn't got X or Y, and thus rule out perfectly valid tactics, any more than with the romans.

alright, just no siege weapons and no bombs


not really, we just don't see the part of the army that wasn't at 100%. We know that Saurman sent aproximatly 10,000 orcs to helms deep. we know still had a unknown number still in at Isenguard, which in the event were not enough to save it form the Ents. we don't know how many uruk-hai Saurman made in total. thier may have been another thousand or more uruk hai still in the birthing pits/training areas, laided up with wounds (assuming the orcs let the losers of barracks fights live), training the next 10,000 uruks, etc. The force that went to helms deep was fresh out of base, so would be at near-full strength. But so would a roman army less than a week after muster.

Also, according to hte books he had half orc/goblinmen/men orc troops along with the men of isengard and the men of dunlend. in the movie lesser orcs and goblins are with him as well but we are not counting them right?



shamens...... as priest who can inspire even more mindless coruage form the uruks, yes. as spellcasters, no. magic would give the uruks insta-win, if only because the romans would be so afriad of it ("HE'S GLOWING GREEN! RUN!".)
heh, i could see that. alright, so no spell, just dudes who can do niffty chants that make the Uruks stronger and braver. Also banner bearers can rally them together



in all honesty, we're already streching it a bit when the romans see six foot four armour plated killing machines marching towards them and baying for blood, but don't run.

Is that a factor or not?
from,
EE

Storm Bringer
2007-12-17, 04:51 PM
I like that plan
I don't know how you want to look, but i'm a bald 20 year old in the middle of the forces wearing a red robe. I an accually a level 30 wizard, however in order to talk the Uruk into obeying me i used up all my spells to create a massive amount of magic mouths who played Mozart's Requim, thus giving me the Uruk undying loyalty. uruks love classical music you see, Lurgz served Saurman after hearing the ghost song in Don Govoni. Goblins like rap however, and mordor orcs are fans of rock, but all are fans of the beatles

and the dwaves mine to trance, the elves are all foik fans and gondor is the home of middle earths heavy metal scene? (http://farm1.static.flickr.com/43/87366880_1b05bf99e2.jpg):smallbiggrin:

and for referenace, I look like Russel Crowe at the start of galdaitor.:smallcool:

EvilElitest
2007-12-17, 05:04 PM
and the dwaves mine to trance, the elves are all foik fans and gondor is the home of middle earths heavy metal scene? (http://farm1.static.flickr.com/43/87366880_1b05bf99e2.jpg):smallbiggrin:

So it is gondor hard rock vs. Mordor classic rock? I'm for mordor. Also do the elves like Lenord Cohen?


and for referenace, I look like Russel Crowe at the start of galdaitor.:smallcool:

Oh, you might win the battle right there, that guy made 3:10 to Yuma almost barly watchable
from,
EE

mainiac
2007-12-17, 10:05 PM
Wrong. The idiot assumption being consistently made here is that all Roman generals are genius tacticians, and that all Uruk-Hai generals are complete fools. Despite the latter being a race whose proclivities necessitate effectively training for war from birth.

Because as we all know, Spartan generals were the epitome of moderation in battle. They never held their enemies in contempt. Romans on the other hand, when faced with an opponent they were supperior to would generally throw tactics to the wind.

Faced with an orc like enemy standing in ridgid formation, 5 out of 6 roman generals would have their legionaries stand back and let the auxiliaries pelt the enemy for a while. An unshielded opponent is easy prey for pilium and most of the orcs were depicted as unshielded.

What would happen once the orcs react is going to vary a lot based around the general, era and strategic picture, but other then the really daring generals, they're not going to go charging up a hill or anything when this is a perfect situation for the auxies.

EvilElitest
2007-12-17, 10:17 PM
Because as we all know, Spartan generals were the epitome of moderation in battle. They never held their enemies in contempt. Romans on the other hand, when faced with an opponent they were supperior to would generally throw tactics to the wind.

I smell the sarcasom but i don't see the funny. WHERE IS THE FUNNY!!!! I know your hiding it somewhere


Faced with an orc like enemy standing in ridgid formation, 5 out of 6 roman generals would have their legionaries stand back and let the auxiliaries pelt the enemy for a while. An unshielded opponent is easy prey for pilium and most of the orcs were depicted as unshielded.


As the roman's lack siege weapons, the uruks have advantage of range. True the romans have brains but
from,
EE

mainiac
2007-12-18, 12:00 AM
I'm not going to try to explain how the auxilaries fought archers or others with ranged weapons. Does it help to say that they did?

Storm Bringer
2007-12-18, 02:44 AM
I'm not going to try to explain how the auxilaries fought archers or others with ranged weapons. Does it help to say that they did?

yes, but a uruk crossbow has better range and penatrive power than a roman compisite bow. In a striaght duel, the roman archers would lose.


So it is gondor hard rock vs. Mordor classic rock? I'm for mordor

you can't kill the metal. the metal will live on. (http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=aC6CPwu0I44)

mainiac
2007-12-18, 03:02 AM
It's not the bows you should be worried about...

Yes, enigmatic is my new strategy. :smallwink:

Storm Bringer
2007-12-18, 07:53 AM
then, pray, tell, what wonder weapon have you got to let the romans force an uruk attack (i.e. get EE off his hill)? scorpions? onangers? a really good taunt?

Dervag
2007-12-18, 09:23 AM
Alright, sorry for the double post but i'm covering a lot of pointsYou could just write your second post and paste it in your first post. That's what I do.


If the Roman just act in a basic manner and rely on their normal tatics against Orginized Uruk-hai, they will be slaughtered. However they won't do this unless their commander isn't very smart or very overconfident. Romans can adept, Uruks can't adept well unless somebody is telling htem what to doSo in other words, if the Uruk-hai are led by a genius who can figure out the Romans' weaknesses the first time he sees them, and if the Romans are led by a fool who cannot "adept" to what the Uruk-hai are doing even though the legions know well-defined tactics to counter most of the things the Uruk-hai could possibly do, then the Uruk-hai will probably win.

OK, I'll buy that. Of course, most armies can lose a battle when they are led by a fool and their enemies are led by a genius.


Nether side gets reinforcements or siege weapons rights? So the Uruk-hai can just shoot crowsbows at them. Though admittatly, the Romans would most likely just come up with a better planI thought that the Romans got their siege engines in the original post.


Tolkien was a pretty good tatiction in his book accually, most of the miltary tatics are rather realistic. We are using Peter Jackson's Uruk-hai howeverAre we? When was that established? The original post doesn't say that.


...something the same poster had done in a similer manner on other threads... will you drop this point because frankly, it doesn't concern you in the least. I have personally had enough of personal attack in that manner, and i am making it quite clear i won't tolerateI was just trying to figure out your reasoning. You didn't say before that it was the same person writing those other posts, so I didn't know that. I'm going to guess that you were in a hurry and didn't bother to mention it.

Now your reasoning makes sense, so I'm not going to pester you about it any more.


What about my list of forces?
from,
EEDid you list numbers of Uruk-hai in each force along with that list of forces? I can't remember. And if not, then it really is a fair compromise to say that the Uruk-hai have equal numbers to the Romans in the Uruk-hai specialties that most closely match the corresponding Roman specialties.

But if so, then I instead say:
"Yeah, what about EvilElitist's list of forces?"


I know what your talking about but isn't a phalanx with spears, or do swords work as well?It's a legitimate term, I think. There might be a better word for a block of men in formation with shields and swords, but I don't know what it is.


A- Does the Generic Uruk have access to Saurman's battle tatics? And the roman acces to miltary studies at Rome (AKA he studied miltary history)If the answer is "yes" to one, it should be "yes" to both. And since I can't imagine a legion being led by an uneducated commander because of the way Romans picked their generals, the answer should be "yes" to both, I think.


in all honesty, we're already streching it a bit when the romans see six foot four armour plated killing machines marching towards them and baying for blood, but don't run.I dunno. That was kind of par for the course for them.


I smell the sarcasom but i don't see the funny. WHERE IS THE FUNNY!!!! I know your hiding it somewhereOoh! Ooh! I see it! I see it!

As the roman's lack siege weapons, the uruks have advantage of range. True the romans have brains but from, EE[/QUOTE]I'm not sure what "but from EE" means...:smallconfused: but aside from that, I thought the original poster specified that both sides have siege engines.

EvilElitest
2007-12-18, 10:21 AM
you can't kill the metal. the metal will live on. (http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=aC6CPwu0I44)

touche but mozart beats them all.


then, pray, tell, what wonder weapon have you got to let the romans force an uruk attack (i.e. get EE off his hill)? scorpions? onangers? a really good taunt?
1. Meh, siege weapons make everything goes to hell (Uruks have bombs, how the hell does that work?) If to go by the video games, then the Uruks get bomb+ catapult powers. Don't ask me why they don't have guns
2. Well if you start claiming 300 is a good movie, then you might get my guys off the hill


You could just write your second post and paste it in your first post. That's what I do.
faulty connection at the time, it would do more harm than good, i'd just screw up my old post

So in other words, if the Uruk-hai are led by a genius who can figure out the Romans' weaknesses the first time he sees them, and if the Romans are led by a fool who cannot "adept" to what the Uruk-hai are doing even though the legions know well-defined tactics to counter most of the things the Uruk-hai could possibly do, then the Uruk-hai will probably win.
1. Thank you for summing up excatly what i just said. I ever need an echo, i'll let you know
2. the roman general doesn't have to be stupid, just overconfident or make a mistake. Basically, somebody who just sticks to a very normal roman tatics, has no understanding of his foe (i mean monsters and plate armor?) and sticks to very basic tatics.
3. I detect sarcasm, but yet again, i can't find the funny

I thought that the Romans got their siege engines in the original post
this is reference to the hill situation, nether sides get siege weapons because they would not often be used like that.


Are we? When was that established? The original post doesn't say that.
scroll down, OP says the Uruk who use the phalex, which are the movie ones. By the third page, it is pretty clear we are only using the movie

I was just trying to figure out your reasoning. You didn't say before that it was the same person writing those other posts, so I didn't know that. I'm going to guess that you were in a hurry and didn't bother to mention it.

Now your reasoning makes sense, so I'm not going to pester you about it any more.
thank you

Did you list numbers of Uruk-hai in each force along with that list of forces? I can't remember. And if not, then it really is a fair compromise to say that the Uruk-hai have equal numbers to the Romans in the Uruk-hai specialties that most closely match the corresponding Roman specialties.


types, i listed them on page two

Units
Uruk Swordsmen use those 3 1/2 foot half a foot wide cleavers with hooks on them
These swords are simple, but very heavy. They can hook down calvery, and hew through armor, and very easy to use.

Uruk Warriors use those with those niffy shields, can be used as spikes
Uruk shook troops use small arm shields, much like bucklers for speed
Uruk assulters use cleavers with gauntlets that have two long narrow spikes
All of the above wear helmets that have two small spikes on the front of their faces positioned perfectlly for driving them into a foe's eyes
Uruk-soilders have the same as warriors but no helmet and the are crappy
Uruk-shield men use short cleavers and tower shields
Uruk veterains use duel cleavers, no helmets

Uruk Pike men use ether 12 foot or 10 foot long iron pikes, along with a 2 1/2 foot cleavers and spiked gauntlets
Sappers don't use weapons, but have spike gauntlets
overseers use whips
Commanders use standard but better quality equipment (like Lurz)
Crossbowmen use extremly heavy crossbows and short swords. There is also a light crossbow unit
Crossbow captains (better fighters)
Uruk captains use 5 foot pike/spear and no helmets, elites
Uruk banner bears use big banners and spiked gauntlets
Uruk chiefs use single swords are armor, no helmets
Bow men use bladed bows with sword and shield as well
Scouts use a single sword and wear leathed, no hook on their sword
raiders are just like warriors, but leather instead of armor
Scout warriors are like Soilders, just leather
Scout crowsbow men use knives and wear leather, but do have 1 small exploding fire rock each
Scout veterans use two unhooked cleavers and wear leather
all scout units are weaker than basic troops, just fasters, while raiders are better or at least more intellegent

Uruk beserkers come in three types, shock, normal, and veterans
All are 6'6 feet tall, super strong, and take a lot of hits to kill
All wear metal helmets and no other armor
Normal wield double spiked cleavers and spiked gauntles but fight as normal
Veterains use five foot long double spiked cleavers two handed
Shock use two handed double spiked cleaver in one hand, and a spiked gauntlet in the other
Warg riders use scimitars and horse bows
They don't die easily
Uruk ninjas use ninja-to and wear ninja garb.
If we are counting magics (from the third age or miniatures)
Uruk shamons use staffs with a heavy orb on top and a spiked end on the bottom
If we count other members of their army who aren't uruks, we have
Lesser orcs
Crossbreeds
trolls (according to video games at least)
evil men

And what about them, i'm saying that if we use all hte sources based after the movie, the uruks get a lot more units

If the answer is "yes" to one, it should be "yes" to both. And since I can't imagine a legion being led by an uneducated commander because of the way Romans picked their generals, the answer should be "yes" to both, I think.
alright, so the uruk-hai can be exptected to be more orginized

I dunno. That was kind of par for the course for them.

The gauls wore plate armor and were 6'4 monsters complete with fangs and claws. Wow, i never knew

Ooh! Ooh! I see it! I see it!
it is lost on me
from
EE

Storm Bringer
2007-12-18, 12:36 PM
touche but mozart beats them all.


1. Meh, siege weapons make everything goes to hell (Uruks have bombs, how the hell does that work?) If to go by the video games, then the Uruks get bomb+ catapult powers. Don't ask me why they don't have guns


Because it takes more skill to make a gun barrel than it does to make a bomb. i mean, one is meant NOT to shatter when the gunpowder is lit, and the the other IS ment to.

Plus, the idea of a line of uruk musketmen going though the matchlock drill is just bloody rediculous.





2. the roman general doesn't have to be stupid, just overconfident or make a mistake. Basically, somebody who just sticks to a very normal roman tatics, has no understanding of his foe (i mean monsters and plate armor?) and sticks to very basic tatics.
And to be fair, the romans did get thier fair share of political generals.



The gauls wore plate armor and were 6'4 monsters complete with fangs and claws. Wow, i never knew
EE
Well now you know. And knowing is half the battle!

but seriously, the point he was making is that the average gaul was (or is recorded as) taller and stornger than average roman, and the gauls were known for thier ability to get worked up in to blood-lusts a goblin fanatic would have been proud of. fighting troops in equivilent armour who were indvidually tougher was nothing new to the romans.

however, troops who were capable of marching with arrows sticking out of limbs while keeping formation, who could out-shove full cohorts in a pushing match and who were knew to eat the bodies of thier fallen enemies is another thing entirly.

Dervag
2007-12-18, 01:17 PM
1. Thank you for summing up excatly what i just said. I ever need an echo, i'll let you knowI don't think you understood why I summed it up that way.

It isn't a very strong or relevant conclusion to draw that army A can beat army B if army A is led by a fool and army B is led by a genius. This is sort of like saying I can beat someone up if they are tied to a chair. If they're tied to a chair they could be the Olympic karate gold medalist and it won't matter; I'll still be able to hit them whenever I please and they can't stop me.

Lots of armies could beat the Romans if they had a genius leader and the Roman commander was a fool. That doesn't prove much about the relative quality of the armies.

I was hoping this conclusion would be obvious; apparently it was not obvious enough.


3. I detect sarcasm, but yet again, i can't find the funnyI'm not sure that's my fault.


this is reference to the hill situation, nether sides get siege weapons because they would not often be used like that.On the contrary, the Romans routinely used siege weapons during field battles, and this would be a nearly ideal example of why (their opponent is standing on a ridge line with a bunch of very good archers, and the Romans don't want to have to attack them uphill).


types, i listed them on page twoThe catch is that many of those "types" aren't going to be found on every battlefield. Or that they're variations on a small number of themes, so that what ends up being really important is the number of Uruk-hai swordsmen, not the number of Uruk-hai swordsmen and the number of Uruk-hai swordsmen with extra-spiky armor and the number of Uruk-hai swordsmen with extra feature A and the number of Uruk-hai swordsmen with extra feature B. Those other kinds of Uruk-hai aren't going to have much impact on the outcome of the battle unless they have some extremely potent weapon such as a bazooka.

And if the Uruk-hai have such weapons, then I'd expect us to have seen those weapons in the movies. Which we didn't. The only kind of special weapon (aside from two-handed swords, pikes, crossbows, and the sword/shield combo) that we saw Uruk-hai use were those big bombs, and those aren't going to be very useful in a field battle.

We could make a similar exhaustive list of "types" for the Roman army, and it would be just about as long. But at some point it's a waste of time to list all those extra types because there's only, say, 1 member of that type for every 10 or 50 or 100 normal guys and that type isn't special enough to change the outcome of the battle.

So I don't see why we need to count the Uruk standard-bearers or the Roman standard-bearers, for example. We can just assume that each side has a few, but that neither side has so many that it gives them a serious disadvantage because a large fraction of their army has nothing to fight with but a huge flag.


alright, so the uruk-hai can be exptected to be more orginizedMore organized than they would be without a qualified general, yes. More organized than the Romans, definitely not.


And to be fair, the romans did get thier fair share of political generals.And their fair share of general politicals, which probably did more damage to them than the political generals did.

But if we're going to assume a competent Uruk-hai general we should assume a competent Roman general. Or we could assume the best Uruk-hai general possible and square him up against Caesar. Or we could assume the stupidest, most foolish Uruk-hai general possible and square him up against Quinctilius Varus. The point is that the competence of incompetence of the Roman and Uruk-hai generals should cancel out, not that they both have to be at one particular level of competence.


but seriously, the point he was making is that the average gaul was (or is recorded as) taller and stornger than average roman, and the gauls were known for thier ability to get worked up in to blood-lusts a goblin fanatic would have been proud of. fighting troops in equivilent armour who were indvidually tougher was nothing new to the romans.Exactly my point.

The Uruk-hai are individually physically tougher than any other enemy the Romans have faced. But that just makes them excellent examples of a type the Romans have lots of experience fighting. They may be so excellent that the Romans have trouble beating them, but all the standard stereotyped Roman tactics will work about as well against Uruk-hai as any other tactics they could devise, because their default tactics were already optimized to beat Uruk-hai-type enemies.

Shadowdweller
2007-12-18, 07:24 PM
And since I can't imagine a legion being led by an uneducated commander because of the way Romans picked their generals, the answer should be "yes" to both, I think.

The Roman army was infamous for legalized bribery (purchasing of position, and avoidance of unpleasant postings or tasks) as well as rampant cronyism. There were in fact a number of mutinies over the issue. Back in the pre-Marius reform days (when Republican Rome had only a non-standing army composed of propertied citizens), rank was not even consistent from campaign to campaign.

mainiac
2007-12-18, 07:39 PM
The Roman army was infamous for legalized bribery (purchasing of position, and avoidance of unpleasant postings or tasks) as well as rampant cronyism. There were in fact a number of mutinies over the issue. Back in the pre-Marius reform days (when Republican Rome had only a non-standing army composed of propertied citizens), rank was not even consistent from campaign to campaign.

Since this discussion is Roman "Legions" it would tend to indicate post Marian.

And you think the orcs would have a better process then the romans? In orc society, the fiercest warrior, not the smartest in the leader. Rome did decide politically, true, but the politicains would pick competant generals over incompetants, all other things being equal. Pluralistic societies are actually better at recognizing and promoting brillient leadership. Autocratic systems are almost always more corrupt, meaning talent has a harder time rising in the face of the establishment. Strongman governments often refuse to aknowledge success or failure depending on the politics of the leader. Any orc army would be very autocratic and very strongman centered.

Woot Spitum
2007-12-18, 08:12 PM
The Roman army was infamous for legalized bribery (purchasing of position, and avoidance of unpleasant postings or tasks) as well as rampant cronyism. There were in fact a number of mutinies over the issue. Back in the pre-Marius reform days (when Republican Rome had only a non-standing army composed of propertied citizens), rank was not even consistent from campaign to campaign.Yes, but the Uruk-Hai consistently lost battles they should have won. Every time we see them in the movies, they have superior equipment and greatly superior numbers, and they always are bigger and stronger than anyone they face in battle. And yet it doesn't matter. They still lose every time. They frequently make terrible tactical decisions, decisions that lose battles. Better a political general than a brain-dead one.

Shadowdweller
2007-12-18, 08:14 PM
Since this discussion is Roman "Legions" it would tend to indicate post Marian.
I can see how one might think that. If they had absolutely no clue what the word "legion" meant, quite letting alone historical usage thereof. (Although Marius DID introduce another well-known fighting unit: The cohort)


And you think the orcs would have a better process then the romans? In orc society, the fiercest warrior, not the smartest in the leader. Rome did decide politically, true, but the politicains would pick competant generals over incompetants, all other things being equal.
Probably not. But then again, there really isn't anything at all about the nature of orcish society in either books or film. Or than that they're cruel-hearted, destructive, and fight amongst themselves a lot.


Pluralistic societies are actually better at recognizing and promoting brillient leadership.
Pity the Roman republic wasn't very pluralistic. As in being more or less an oligarchy. EDIT: Actually, I take that back. For an oligarchy, and compared to many later governments the Roman republic was fairly pluralistic.

Shadowdweller
2007-12-18, 08:24 PM
Yes, but the Uruk-Hai consistently lost battles they should have won.
Such as...?

I seem to recall them fighting a lot of demigods, immortals, undead warriors (orcs and most likely Uruks, anyway, if not Uruk-Hai), giant sized trees, etc.


Every time we see them in the movies, they have superior equipment and greatly superior numbers, and they always are bigger and stronger than anyone they face in battle. And yet it doesn't matter. They still lose every time. They frequently make terrible tactical decisions, decisions that lose battles. Better a political general than a brain-dead one.
Plot-Armor is pretty thick. Even so: Superior equipment? How do you figure that? As for numbers: We see them besieging fortresses quite a bit...which have quite a mitigating effect.

To be fair, orcs/goblins are described in The Hobbit as being lazy. And the innate cantankerousness likely equates to poor discipline. Both of which are fairly big flaws from a military standpoint.

mainiac
2007-12-19, 01:41 AM
I can see how one might think that. If they had absolutely no clue what the word "legion" meant, quite letting alone historical usage thereof. (Although Marius DID introduce another well-known fighting unit: The cohort)


Probably not. But then again, there really isn't anything at all about the nature of orcish society in either books or film. Or than that they're cruel-hearted, destructive, and fight amongst themselves a lot.


Pity the Roman republic wasn't very pluralistic. As in being more or less an oligarchy. EDIT: Actually, I take that back. For an oligarchy, and compared to many later governments the Roman republic was fairly pluralistic.

Yeah, don't know what I was saying there about the legion. Brainfart. But we've mostly been discussng post Marian, the era where there was a pretty good officer pool at most times.

While the romans sure weren't a paragon of plurocracy or the orcs absolute personality cliques, I think it's pretty self evident how roman government would be better able to put good generals in charge then the infighting orcs. Plus orcs don't have any formal study of tactics so the upper limit of roman ability is much higher.

WNxHasoroth
2007-12-19, 03:12 AM
I think theres a difference between a tall naked Gaulish guy with a two handed axe then a dark, sinister, 6'4 plat armored beasty, armed with the nastiest shield and short blade you've ever and bedecked with fangs and claws. Very minor difference, but a difference non the less.

Dervag
2007-12-19, 01:27 PM
The Roman army was infamous for legalized bribery (purchasing of position, and avoidance of unpleasant postings or tasks) as well as rampant cronyism. There were in fact a number of mutinies over the issue. Back in the pre-Marius reform days (when Republican Rome had only a non-standing army composed of propertied citizens), rank was not even consistent from campaign to campaign.I know. But elite Romans were educated, even if they purchased their ranks. So even a Roman commander who bought his position would tend to have some idea of how the legions should fight. The division between military and civilian life wasn't as sharp among Roman aristocrats as in modern industrial societies.

The fact that you bought your position, or were posted to it by a patron, doesn't mean you don't have at least some idea of how to do your job.

Moreover, the fact that the Romans won way more battles than they lost indicates that either all those cronyist commanders knew their trade well enough to win battles, or that the legions were adept at doing the right thing in spite of the folly of those commanders.

EvilElitest
2007-12-19, 05:53 PM
Because it takes more skill to make a gun barrel than it does to make a bomb. i mean, one is meant NOT to shatter when the gunpowder is lit, and the the other IS ment to.

Plus, the idea of a line of uruk musketmen going though the matchlock drill is just bloody rediculous.


True, so they both get seige weapons, but bear in mind the uruks gets bombs and catapults (yes they use them together, don't ask). So i find the bombs a bit of an unfair advantage.




And to be fair, the romans did get thier fair share of political generals.

horray


Well now you know. And knowing is half the battle!


thank you cubscount storm bringer, i'll remember that in case i ever go to france and get attacked by Uruk-hai


but seriously, the point he was making is that the average gaul was (or is recorded as) taller and stornger than average roman, and the gauls were known for thier ability to get worked up in to blood-lusts a goblin fanatic would have been proud of. fighting troops in equivilent armour who were indvidually tougher was nothing new to the romans.

Wait, but plate armor and other trained forces is another matter



however, troops who were capable of marching with arrows sticking out of limbs while keeping formation, who could out-shove full cohorts in a pushing match and who were knew to eat the bodies of thier fallen enemies is another thing entirly.
What about the Steroid men battle of 14 BCE?



It isn't a very strong or relevant conclusion to draw that army A can beat army B if army A is led by a fool and army B is led by a genius. This is sort of like saying I can beat someone up if they are tied to a chair. If they're tied to a chair they could be the Olympic karate gold medalist and it won't matter; I'll still be able to hit them whenever I please and they can't stop me.
that certainly is a simplification there, my point was taht if the Romans stick to basic tatics and underestimate they will lose to the Uruks, howerever the Uruk-hai aren't as smart as the romans


Lots of armies could beat the Romans if they had a genius leader and the Roman commander was a fool. That doesn't prove much about the relative quality of the armies.


But the roman guy in that situation wasn't doing anything out right retarded, he was wasn't doing anything brillent and underestimating his enemy's abilities a lot. Not smart and rather foolish but not anything like Picket's charge


I was hoping this conclusion would be obvious; apparently it was not obvious enough.
funny, i thought the same of my situation


On the contrary, the Romans routinely used siege weapons during field battles, and this would be a nearly ideal example of why (their opponent is standing on a ridge line with a bunch of very good archers, and the Romans don't want to have to attack them uphill).


But then the Uruk hai get bomb throwing catapults, and that just isn't cool



The catch is that many of those "types" aren't going to be found on every battlefield.
But they were all present at the battle of helm's deep, the biggest battle taht Saurman's uruk-hai partook in.



Or that they're variations on a small number of themes, so that what ends up being really important is the number of Uruk-hai swordsmen, not the number of Uruk-hai swordsmen and the number of Uruk-hai swordsmen with extra-spiky armor and the number of Uruk-hai swordsmen with extra feature A and the number of Uruk-hai swordsmen with extra feature B. Those other kinds of Uruk-hai aren't going to have much impact on the outcome of the battle unless they have some extremely potent weapon such as a bazooka

1. I accually already put all of those types to use in my plan
2. No they are activlly different units. The Uruk-hai shock troop may only have one different armor feature, but he is a better fighter. A slight varation would be the heavy armor uruk (better armor) the forged blade uruk (sharper blade) the heavy armor and forged blade uruk, the fire arrow uruk ect. All of those units have CRs you might say, not just different weapons


And if the Uruk-hai have such weapons, then I'd expect us to have seen those weapons in the movies. Which we didn't. The only kind of special weapon (aside from two-handed swords, pikes, crossbows, and the sword/shield combo) that we saw Uruk-hai use were those big bombs, and those aren't going to be very useful in a field battle
1. most of those are from the games, movies, minatures ect, which i have asked quite a few times if they were ok to use and no body has said otherwise.
2. Building off of that, in the game the Uruk-hai can shoot lesser bombs as well, the really big ones are used to break up the wall. They also have sucied bombers

We could make a similar exhaustive list of "types" for the Roman army, and it would be just about as long. But at some point it's a waste of time to list all those extra types because there's only, say, 1 member of that type for every 10 or 50 or 100 normal guys and that type isn't special enough to change the outcome of the battle.
1. I've already put all of those units to use in my plan
2. They are not differently equipted dudes, they are better trained are seperatly trained units.


So I don't see why we need to count the Uruk standard-bearers or the Roman standard-bearers, for example. We can just assume that each side has a few, but that neither side has so many that it gives them a serious disadvantage because a large fraction of their army has nothing to fight with but a huge flag
The uruk-hai are better while around their banner if we base this on the Video games, moral and all that

Uruk-hai as any other tactics they could devise, because their default tactics were already optimized to beat Uruk-hai-type enemies.
1. When did the roman's fight plate armor?
2. When did they fight giant monsters (remember, even the gauls weren't all 6'4
3. when did they fight pain resistance dudes
4. when did they fight orginized standarized miltary who had plate and were monsters?
5. When did they fight crossbows?


And you think the orcs would have a better process then the romans? In orc society, the fiercest warrior, not the smartest in the leader.
Not in uruk-hai culture, the highest Uruks is the one who can be expected to carry out orders the best. Lugz was the highest uruk because of that. Considering he failed, that really says something


To be fair, orcs/goblins are described in The Hobbit as being lazy. And the innate cantankerousness likely equates to poor discipline. Both of which are fairly big flaws from a military standpoint
true, but uruks are not

Plus orcs don't have any formal study of tactics so the upper limit of roman ability is much higher.
the uruks have a very simple method. One guy comes up with the plans, a bunch of commander figure out how to carry the plans out and they lose to a walking tree


I know. But elite Romans were educated, even if they purchased their ranks. So even a Roman commander who bought his position would tend to have some idea of how the legions should fight. The division between military and civilian life wasn't as sharp among Roman aristocrats as in modern industrial societies
Wait, weren't he Roman nobles infamous for being hedonistic?
from,
EE

Storm Bringer
2007-12-19, 06:12 PM
thank you cubscount storm bringer, i'll remember that in case i ever go to france and get attacked by Uruk-hai

you're welcome


Wait, but plate armor and other trained forces is another matter
not really. i can name dozens of battles when roman infantry fought oppenents who were just as professional and well trained as they were, and still won.



1. I accually already put all of those types to use in my plan
2. No they are activlly different units. The Uruk-hai shock troop may only have one different armor feature, but he is a better fighter. A slight varation would be the heavy armor uruk (better armor) the forged blade uruk (sharper blade) the heavy armor and forged blade uruk, the fire arrow uruk ect. All of those units have CRs you might say, not just different weapons

yes, but the fact that 30 or so dudes have a neat trick isn't much cop on a field of 30,000 men.



The uruk-hai are better while around their banner if we base this on the Video games, moral and all that

more so than the romans, who place such vaule on thier aquilla that a standard bearer was able to make his legion advance by starting off and knowing that the rest of the legion would follow rather than see it lost to the Foe?



1. When did the roman's fight plate armor?
2. When did they fight giant monsters (remember, even the gauls weren't all 6'4
3. when did they fight pain resistance dudes
4. when did they fight orginized standarized miltary who had plate and were monsters?
5. When did they fight crossbows?

1) in every civil war

2) oh....lets see. carthage, the greek sucessor states.....pretty much everyone who used elephants

3) Gauls. some of those drinks they took had more than just alcohol in them.....

4) Hardly a fair question. but I'd go civil war agian, since the romans used elephants on occsion

5) the crossbow was known to the greeks, is reliably dated to the campgains of alexander the great, and was used by some late roman forces.



Not in uruk-hai culture, the highest Uruks is the one who can be expected to carry out orders the best. Lugz was the highest uruk because of that. Considering he failed, that really says something

yes, but he failed to stop the main characters. it's not like he had a chance to begin with.

EvilElitest
2007-12-19, 08:54 PM
you're welcome

It really helps, i almost got mauled by a uruk-hai just the other day



not really. i can name dozens of battles when roman infantry fought oppenents who were just as professional and well trained as they were, and still won.
nothing even close to these guys


yes, but the fact that 30 or so dudes have a neat trick isn't much cop on a field of 30,000 men.
30? Try hundres, in some case thousands of these units.



more so than the romans, who place such vaule on thier aquilla that a standard bearer was able to make his legion advance by starting off and knowing that the rest of the legion would follow rather than see it lost to the Foe?

Well if we use the games as a reference, then it adds a percentage bonus on all stats.
If we ignore that rule than it is the same as the Romans


1) in every civil war

2) oh....lets see. carthage, the greek sucessor states.....pretty much everyone who used elephants

3) Gauls. some of those drinks they took had more than just alcohol in them.....

4) Hardly a fair question. but I'd go civil war agian, since the romans used elephants on occsion

5) the crossbow was known to the greeks, is reliably dated to the campgains of alexander the great, and was used by some late roman forces.

1. plate mail not banded mail.
2. In all due respect sire, Elephants don't make good swordsmen.
2. But was every single gaul like that. And in this case, some gauls are not dying of ODing before getting to the combat
4. Uruk-hai are a lot of monsters with swords (do the romans get elephants)
5. Uruks use the Europeon crossbow which isa lot more powerful than the roman ones.



yes, but he failed to stop the main characters. it's not like he had a chance to begin with.

Yeah, he really didn't stand a chance. To his credit he did kill one

How woudl teh story change if he killed aragorn i wonder
from,
EE

Oslecamo
2007-12-19, 09:07 PM
What if the uruk-hai have a nifty undead necromancer wizard leading them. Flying in a giant beast of doom who drains away the hope of mens?

Also the urk-hai are tough. Really tough. They hit harder than any human and can take more punishment.

EvilElitest
2007-12-19, 09:15 PM
What if the uruk-hai have a nifty undead necromancer wizard leading them. Flying in a giant beast of doom who drains away the hope of mens?

No your mistaken, we aren't talking about the Uruk-hai of mordor, the Uruk-hai of Saurian is who we are talking about



Also the urk-hai are tough. Really tough. They hit harder than any human and can take more punishment.
Puts things into perspective, to bad they aren't that smart
from,
EE

Oslecamo
2007-12-19, 10:09 PM
No your mistaken, we aren't talking about the Uruk-hai of mordor, the Uruk-hai of Saurian is who we are talking about


Puts things into perspective, to bad they aren't that smart
from,
EE

Well, both in the books and movies Uruk-Hais are actually quite smart. I would put them as smart as regular human beings actually.

They knew how to walk in formation. They managed to coordinate several attacks at multiple fronts. They hided the batering ram untill it got to the gate. They used the infamous turtle formation also. They know how to use crossbows and heavy machinery.

The mental diference is in their lack of ethics. They don't care very much about life. They like, no, love to spread destruction and pain. They kill with a smile. They're also not very patient. They get easily enraged, but if there's an orc leader around he can keep them in check, just like human leaders do.

None of this however implies they are stupid. Their attack on Helm's deep was actually quite well coordinated. Please show me something in the movies or books that could pass by stupidity bigger than that of a regular human.

EvilElitest
2007-12-19, 10:13 PM
None of this however implies they are stupid. Their attack on Helm's deep was actually quite well coordinated. Please show me something in the movies or books that could pass by stupidity bigger than that of a regular human

Amon hen attack? Lurgz walking into the blade? They can only carry out one task at a time (in the movie according to LOTRS weapons and warfare at least the younger ones).

But your right, they aren't so much stupid but they certianly aren't up to the romans. They are very inflexible however.
from,
EE

Dervag
2007-12-19, 11:13 PM
thank you cubscount storm bringer, i'll remember that in case i ever go to france and get attacked by Uruk-haiI'm not sure what a cubscount is, but is there really much point in fretting about it?


that certainly is a simplification there, my point was taht if the Romans stick to basic tatics and underestimate they will lose to the Uruks, howerever the Uruk-hai aren't as smart as the romansActually, the Romans' basic tactics are probably their best bet against the Uruk-hai, because their basic tactics are set up to fight the same general type of enemy that the Uruk-hai are. The Uruk-hai are better at it than, say, the Gauls, but they fight in essentially the same way. So while there might be some specific tricks the Romans could come up with to improve their effectiveness against Uruk-hai, just going with their vanilla tactics will be pretty effective.


But the roman guy in that situation wasn't doing anything out right retarded, he was wasn't doing anything brillent and underestimating his enemy's abilities a lot. Not smart and rather foolish but not anything like Picket's chargeI'm not sure I see what your point here is.


But then the Uruk hai get bomb throwing catapults, and that just isn't coolWell, the Romans are used to bringing their siege engines along on campaign. We're not sure if the Uruk-hai are. The only place we've seen them use the engines was at Helm's Deep when they knew they were going to have to besiege a fortress. Since Uruk-hai normally move fast and travel with only the gear they can carry, the odds that they have draft animals hauling catapults everywhere with them are low.

In the book they didn't even have bombapults, which suggests that canonical Uruk-hai probably don't haul them around everywhere.


But they were all present at the battle of helm's deep, the biggest battle taht Saurman's uruk-hai partook in.So?

Look, the Romans had a tactic for fighting war elephants that involved greasing up a pig, pointing it at the enemy lines, and then setting it on fire. It would run around and squeal and freak out the elephants. In their biggest battles against elephant-armed enemies, they did this several times.

Does that mean we need to factor in the Romans' Greased Pig Commandoes in our estimate of the Romans' strength? I think not. The fact that all these little subtypes exist is not very important to the overall outcome of the battle. The fact that there are, say, 2000 Uruk-hai swordsmen is more important than the fact that one in 20 of them is a highly trained dual-wielder and that 10 of them are standard bearers and 5 of them are this and 15 of them are that. Ultimately, all those little subtypes get lost in the overall shuffle.


1. most of those are from the games, movies, minatures ect, which i have asked quite a few times if they were ok to use and no body has said otherwise.They're fine; they just don't matter one way or the other. Again, the Romans had lots of subtypes too. They have their own standard bearers, several different weapons mixes in their line infantry units, and so on. It averages out when you look at a large army.


The uruk-hai are better while around their banner if we base this on the Video games, moral and all thatPractically all armies of that era had standard bearers. This was by no means unique to the Uruk-hai.


Wait, weren't he Roman nobles infamous for being hedonistic?
from,
EEOh, they could party pretty hard (though that didn't really get out of hand until the late Imperial period). But during the period when the legions were at their peak, most Roman patricians were educated by tutors in subjects like history. The Romans considered war an important part of history. Likewise, many Roman patricians learned to fight with swords, to ride horses, and other warlike skills. The guys who got appointed to command legions were people who wanted to command legions- the outdoorsy types. Even if they didn't have what we would regard as a career military background, the standard education for that class of that era would give them a basic grounding that usually stopped them from being completely useless.

EvilElitest
2007-12-20, 10:25 AM
I'm not sure what a cubscount is, but is there really much point in fretting about it?

Wait, that wasn't directed towards you. It was a joke about his warning me of the dangers of how there were Uruk-hai who fought against the, well never mind



Actually, the Romans' basic tactics are probably their best bet against the Uruk-hai, because their basic tactics are set up to fight the same general type of enemy that the Uruk-hai are. The Uruk-hai are better at it than, say, the Gauls, but they fight in essentially the same way.
I though the Gauls were more of a hoard, the Uruk-hai are clearly an army, using far more advanced armor and bettr tatics. The gauls didn't have a trained shield wall formation (not in the sense that hte Uruk-hai did) nor did they have a standarizied miltary with plenty of units all of whom are trained with different task. Or bombs, or super humans for that matter.



So while there might be some specific tricks the Romans could come up with to improve their effectiveness against Uruk-hai, just going with their vanilla tactics will be pretty effective.
So how would you get me off the hill? Though i like mr. Russel Crow lookalike's plans better


I'm not sure I see what your point here is.
because that tatics i'm using doesn't rely on the other team doing something ungodly stupid (other than you know, attacking the hill, but that is debatable)


Well, the Romans are used to bringing their siege engines along on campaign. We're not sure if the Uruk-hai are. The only place we've seen them use the engines was at Helm's Deep when they knew they were going to have to besiege a fortress. Since Uruk-hai normally move fast and travel with only the gear they can carry, the odds that they have draft animals hauling catapults everywhere with them are low.
Correction, uruk-hai raiders and scout parties don't carry siege weapons, any large miltary force does



In the book they didn't even have bombapults, which suggests that canonical Uruk-hai probably don't haul them around everywhere.

In the books they don't have plate armor ether your point? We are using move uruk-hai no matter how horribly unrealistic they are. Yes i know it doesn't make sense but


So?
So if were are talking about 30 thousand Uruk-hai (a larger force than the one at helm's deep, though it doesn't seem like 10,thousand) and we are in this position, and we


Look, the Romans had a tactic for fighting war elephants that involved greasing up a pig, pointing it at the enemy lines, and then setting it on fire. It would run around and squeal and freak out the elephants. In their biggest battles against elephant-armed enemies, they did this several times.

If the Uruks used elephaunts i would imagine it would make sense


Does that mean we need to factor in the Romans' Greased Pig Commandoes in our estimate of the Romans' strength? I think not. The fact that all these little subtypes exist is not very important to the overall outcome of the battle. The fact that there are, say, 2000 Uruk-hai swordsmen is more important than the fact that one in 20 of them is a highly trained dual-wielder and that 10 of them are standard bearers and 5 of them are this and 15 of them are that. Ultimately, all those little subtypes get lost in the overall shuffle.
1. They are relevant when you put them to use, as i already have
2. Who said there were only a few. For duel wielders and assult uruks, they are way to F***ing many for my liking, more like a few thousand.



They're fine; they just don't matter one way or the other. Again, the Romans had lots of subtypes too. They have their own standard bearers, several different weapons mixes in their line infantry units, and so on. It averages out when you look at a large army.

And as uruk-hai are all trained for different roles, it makes a big difference, while romans could cover multiple roles


Practically all armies of that era had standard bearers. This was by no means unique to the Uruk-hai.

I know, i'm just asking if the Uruk-hai get a stat bonus from their standards (as they do in the games)


Oh, they could party pretty hard (though that didn't really get out of hand until the late Imperial period). But during the period when the legions were at their peak, most Roman patricians were educated by tutors in subjects like history. The Romans considered war an important part of history. Likewise, many Roman patricians learned to fight with swords, to ride horses, and other warlike skills. The guys who got appointed to command legions were people who wanted to command legions- the outdoorsy types. Even if they didn't have what we would regard as a career military background, the standard education for that class of that era would give them a basic grounding that usually stopped them from being completely useless.
Alright, makes sense
from,
EE