From the Mouth of Sauron

Issue:    E-3
Date:     01-07-94

Note:  all authors retain exclusive rights to their material.  
Reprinting is allowed for non-commercial game use only.

       From the Editor

A funny thing happened on the way to my mailbox on Wednesday.  I 
picked up my latest issue of Paper Mayhem and started flipping 
through it - only to find a most interesting inclusion.  Namely, an 
article called "Blood and Glory", by Tom Walton.

Now, what's so interesting about this is that I never submitted that 
article to Paper Mayhem.  Indeed, the only magazine I sent it to was  
Whispers, and I never signed over exclusive rights to GSI.  A bit 
perplexed (and more than a bit annoyed), I decided to call the 
editor of Paper Mayhem and ask just how the article happened to end 
up in his magazine.

Turns out that he thought that Bill Field gave him permission to run 
the article at GenCon.  The editor wasn't aware that I hadn't signed 
over the rights and simply assumed that GSI owned them (which in 
fact was not the case).  Further confusion resulted in the two 
parties crossing wires over what Bill actually meant, and the editor 
ended up 'appropriating' the articles for his own use.

He was a bit panicked over my call, as he had already taken the 
second and third articles in the series and included them in the 
typesetting of future issues of Paper Mayhem.  Pulling them now 
would've created a mess, since he would have had to reformat his 
magazines, essentially undoing hours of hard work.  Because the 
editor was unaware of the illegal nature of his activities (his 
mistake being an honest one), I gave him permission to run the other 
two articles even though I felt they weren't good enough to be 
published in a 'real' magazine - on the condition that he didn't 
hand them off to someone else to print, and that I retained 
exclusive rights to the originals.

Now some of you may ask:  what the hell does this have to do with 
anything?  And why should I care whether the articles end up in  
Paper Mayhem or not?  Well, to answer the second question first, 
it's highly important to anyone who writes professionally, even if 
the article is trash.  The rights to written material mean very much 
to those of us who publish, on occasion, for 'real'.  May not mean 
much to you, but that sort of thing can generate some nasty 

As for the first question, it applies directly to The Mouth.  
Electronic rags are under the same restrictions as paper ones when 
it comes to publication, rights to written materials and so forth - 
even if it's only a newsletter like this one.  In light of this, I
need to clarify a few things:

- all articles submitted remain the exclusive property of the owner.   
The Mouth retains no rights for re-publication except within the 
framework of Middle-Earth PBM itself (i.e., transmission to other 
players for their own use, or reprinting in future issues).

- because the articles belong to the people who wrote them, that 
means that you can't take the article and submit it to a magazine or 
any other forum without the author's express opinion, nor can you 
use their material in any commercial endeavor.

  In other words, you can't submit the article someplace else and 
claim it as your own, or make money off it.  If you just use it for 
the game, you can do anything you like with it.  If you use 
substantial sections of someone's article in an article of your own, 
you need to identify the author (and get his permission, if you plan 
to publish it).  If you simply pass it along unmodified for someone 
else to read, you have to identify the author and source (The Mouth) 
- though frankly, I don't think I or the author will really care in 
this last case.

- you can, of course, contact the author directly and try to get his 
permission for any of these activities.

Just wanted to make certain everyone was clear on this.  It's SOP in 
the publishing industry, but unless you happen to be involved in it 
one way or another the rules might be unclear.

From this point on, a note will appear on the first 'page' of The  
Mouth stating that all authors retain exclusive rights to their own 

A couple of other things before you move on to the good stuff.  No 
one has sent anything in for the controversy/soapbox/devil's 
advocate section yet.  I eagerly await the offerings of those of you 
who like to start, or get involved in, debates.

I'll print personals of any kind under a 'Personals' section.  The 
first appears in this issue.  You can use this for any purpose, 
including trading witty reparte with your enemies (as Whispers 

Remember, you can send in anything you like under a pseudonym if you 
don't want your real name used.

Happy New Year!



For those of you who wanted complete updated files, they're happily
on their way through cyberspace (or perhaps already in your 
mailbox).  This time, I included encounters, dragons, and artifacts.  
The riddles file didn't change from what was sent out prior to 
Christmas, and the nation info files had so few alterations I didn't 
think it worth your time or mine to send them out.


In the previous issue of The Mouth, some suggested combat artifact 
values were listed that were different from those given out in the 
original files.  They were left open for you out there to confirm or 

Well, you did just that.  These values have been well established by 
various sources.  Note that only Kirrauko (142) was incorrect in the 

108	      Craig-olf-ti   	       	    	      + 500
129	      Bow of Thunder and Bone  	    	      + 500
131	      Caranlhach     	       	    	      +1750
142	      Kirrauko	     	       	    	      +1250
176	      Spear of Bladorthin      	    	      +1250

Also, Collowhesta (44) was confirmed by yours truly as having no 
stable secondary power.  Alas that it was so, for I was going to use 
the 'teleport' spell to great effect.  This artifact was removed 
from the list.

Keith Peterson put my suspicion into words on some items.  It seems 
there are three classes of artifacts:  those with stable secondary 
secondary powers; those with no stable secondary powers; and those 
with a constant random secondary power.  This last class seems to 
always have access to a random lost list, but the exact one varies 
from game to game.  I've included two artifacts as falling into this 
category so far:

16	      Mothras	     	  random lost list
18	      Tablets of     	  random lost list
	      Dark Knowledge


Ancient Barrow:  evidence suggests that the choice REMOVE the runes 
will defeat the guardian and give the character gold and access to 
a lost list spell.

Daeron:  Say "Daeron" = combat; Say "Saeros" = escape unharmed.  
Note that these responses are probably variable as are most others 
for this encounter, so don't expect the same results.

Mumakil (army encounter):  Mumakil will sometimes attack armies they 
encounter without provocation.  Rather surprising, but the sources
are good.

Tom Bombadil:  Tom's location has been confirmed as hex 1409.  He 
doesn't seem to react to characters, so he may be an army encounter 
(though only under special circumstances).  If Tom moves, it hasn't 
been seen.

As Keith Peterson pointed out, I forgot to include the 'spectral 
armies' encounter on my list.  I already threw out the game turn 
where I had this baby prior to compilation of the files, so if 
anyone out there has information (even a list of choices would be 
nice), I'd appreciate hearing about it.


Aivnec:  Act MEEK = injured/killed for all allegiances.  Offer TEN 
thousand gold = combat for all allegiances.  Offer one HUNDRED 
thousand gold = combat for all allegiances.

Bairanax:  Act MEEK = escape unharmed for Dark Servants.

Corlagon:  Act MEEK = escape unharmed for all allegiances.  This is 
confirmed for the Dark Servants, but not, as yet, for the Free 
Peoples or Neutrals.

Culgor:  Offer TEN thousand gold = injured/killed for Free 
Peoples/Neutrals.  Offer one HUNDRED thousand gold = injured/killed 
for Free Peoples/Neutrals.

Daelomin:  Act MEEK = injured/killed for all allegiances.  This has 
been confirmed.

Itangast:  act MEEK for Dark Servants = dragon recruited into army.

Khuzadrepa:  Offer TEN thousand gold = combat for all allegiances.

Lamthanc:  one player reported a character death after doing Act 
HAUGHTY with a Free Peoples.  However, he was a dwarf, which has a 
tendency to bring out the worst in dragons.  Until I hear from 
someone else, I'm going to add an additional note to the dragon file 
giving injury/death as a possible alternate outcome of Act HAUGHTY.

Lomaw:  Act MEEK for Dark Servants = escape unharmed.  This has yet 
to be confirmed by a good second source, so it may be just a lucky 
'roll' for the player who reported it.

Nimanaur:  this dragon was inadvertently left off the list.  Oops.  
State ALLEGIANCE = combat for all allegiances.  Act MEEK = escape 
unharmed for Dark Servants.  Offer TEN thousand gold = 
injured/killed for Free Peoples/Neutrals.  Offer one HUNDRED 
thousand gold = injured/killed for Free Peoples/Neutrals; dragon 
recruited into army for Dark Servants (this last concerning 
recruitment is unconfirmed).

Ruingurth:  Offer TEN thousand gold = escape unharmed for all 
allegiances.  Offer one HUNDRED thousand gold = escape unharmed for 
all allegiances.

Scatha:  a couple of players have said that Dark Servants who Act 
MEEK will recruit this dragon into their armies.  I can't confirm 
this (I think both are working off the same list, so it's hard to 
cross-check), but I'll soon know for certain; one of my own 
characters is currently testing this hypothesis out.  Note:  one 
other player has reported that Act MEEK will result in escape 
unharmed for Dark Servants, not recruitment.

Scorba:  change Act MEEK = escape unharmed for all allegiances.

Turukulon:  DEMAND obedience = injured/killed for Free 

This last turn I won my first battle against an enemy army that 
contained a dragon.  Because I destroyed the enemy in the first 
round of combat, and because complications such as spells, 
artifacts, multiple armies, etc. weren't present, I was able to 
calculate exactly how much damage the dragon did.  The result:  the 
dragon, in this instance Throkmaw, inflicted 45,000 points of mayhem 
upon my army.

This case (winning against a dragon) is rare enough that combat 
values for others of the great wyrms haven't been established (so 
far as I know).  It could be that all dragons are generic, or that 
combat strength varies from dragon to dragon; I don't know.  I also 
don't know if there's a relationship between challenge rank and 
combat strength, although I'd make a tentative guess that dragons 
have a challenge equal to their combat strength divided by 200.

If anyone else out there has done what I did and managed to figure 
out the combat strength of a dragon, I'd like to hear from you.

     Recruitable Dragons

What follows is a list of dragons recruitable by each of the 
allegiances, for those that are curious.  These dragons have been 
confirmed by GSI itself:

Free:  Scorba, Throkmaw.

Neutrals:  Scorba, Throkmaw.

Dark Servants:  Aivnec, Culgor, Itangast, Khuzadrepa, Lamthanc, 
Lomaw, Smaug, Throkmaw, Uruial.

The following dragons are thought to be recruitable by other 
players.  However, caution should be exercised in these cases; I've 
yet to find a player who's actually done it for themselves (a prereq 
for the 'reliably confirmed' data).

Neutrals:  Itangast, Lomaw, Uruial.

Dark Servants:  Bairanax, Daelomin, Nimanaur, Scatha.

There are a few others on various lists, but I don't include these 
unless I can cross-check them against a different set of data.  As 
yet, this hasn't happened.

Thanks to Michael Hostetter and Darren Beyer for providing much of 
the confirming information on dragons this time around.

      Other Corrections

The Sinda fleet at 4413 is missing some ships in the original files.  
It should have 6 warships and 6 transports.  Thanks to Brian Mason 
for pointing out this and other snafus.

Along with the first issue of The Mouth went an information file.  
After reviewing a small amount of my own data, I realized that some 
of the information was wildly incorrect concerning population 
loyalties following seizure (although I did point out I couldn't 
confirm the accuracy of the tables).

While the starting loyalties for created/posted camps are correct, 
I couldn't find the pattern that author suggested in any other sort 
of activity.  Captures, threats, and influences didn't follow the 
guidelines given by any stretch of the imagination.  While there did 
indeed seem to be some correlation between command ability, army 
morale, and ending pop center loyalty, this relationship was too 
difficult to discern without a more in-depth analysis (I'll leave 
this up to those of you who may be interested).  Also, it's clearly 
obvious that there's some variation based upon purely random chance 
(looks to be +/- 1-10 points from whatever baseline the program 

In essence, the loyalty tables are almost entirely incorrect and 
shouldn't be used.  They've been removed from the 'info' file.


Game 131

Brian Mason is looking for other players who're in game 131.  If 
you'd like to talk to him, his address is:

         Tactics and Strategy:  The Woodmen
       By Brian Mason

In a recent study of 31 completed me-pbm games, with 93 possible 
winning positions, the Woodmen have yet to place in any game 
(Winners and Losers in Middle-earth, Tom Walton)(Editor's Note: 
this article is currently awaiting publication in Whispers.  It's 
actual status is unknown at this time). Coming up with a winning 
strategy for this nation is a challenge.

How do the Woodmen compare to other nations? At the start of the 
game they rank as follows (Allegiance Comparison Tables, Tom 
Walton)(Editor's Note:  the allegiance comparison tables are 
included in the last article of this issue of The Mouth):

 among all players   among FP

     Total Tax Base      tied for 18th       10th
     Resource Base       tied for 7th        tied for 5th
     Combat Strength     18th                7th
     Character points    16th                5th
     Artifacts           tied for last       tied for last

So, in all possible areas, the Woodmen are weak, and are argueably 
the weakest nation.

Their resource base is rather high because they start with so many 
camps, this contributes to their low tax base. Few of their 
population centers are in places that might produce metals.

Another big problem for the Woodmen is that they have a large 
deficit, and just to get the nation in the black requires increasing 
taxes to 70%. If this is done, only two of the Woodmen population 
centers have fortifications, so if loyalty drops much more, losing 
population centers is a very real danger.

Unfortunately, there are very few ways to cut costs. There are no 
navies to give away, and the very real threat of attack from both 
the Dragon Lord and the Witch-King makes retiring troops a dangerous 
technique to attempt.

In a team game the Woodmen can greatly benefit from cash grants from 
some of their wealthier allies. This can greatly strengthen the 
position. However, even in a team game this is uncertain at best, so 
the following set of strategic plans is intended to be suggested 
moves for the Woodmen with little or no support from allies.

Briefly, the strategy is as follows:

General strategy:

Raise taxes to 70% to get the Woodmen close to breaking even. They 
will need their gold reserve to create characters and camps.

Character strategy:

Create a couple of emissaries which will create camps in mountain 
hexes (hexes 2360, 2407, 2408 in the North and/or 2215, 2116, 2217, 
2118, 2219 in the South) to, hopefully, generate gold, and once the 
reach about 50 in emissary rank, move them to camps and begin
improving population centers. High on the list of population centers 
to improve should be the two Woodmen hidden population centers.

One of the best special advantages of the Woodmen is their abilities 
to have characters with better challenge ranks and the added bonus 
of possibly having stealth. After the initial group of emissaries 
are created and the economy is put on a firm footing many agents 
should be created. This is potentially the area where the Woodmen 
can effect the endgame the most.

Army strategy:

The Woodmen armies are weak. Despite this, unless the Witch-King 
commits troops from the West to attack in the East, Mt. Gundabad is 
a winnable Woodmen target. Consider the following set of moves. One 
of the armies at the backup capital force marches to Maethelburg. 
These two weaker armies will be there to defend these two Major 
Towns from the Dragon Lord should he choose an early strike against 
the Woodmen. The other army at Maethelburg recruits 400 heavy 
infantry and moves to Buhr Fram. If the Witch-King has also 
recruited 400 heavy infantry and moved to Buhr Fram, the Witch-King 
will lose and the Woodmen will have about 64% of their troops left, 
more than adequate to move on and take an undefended (or barely 
defended) Mt. Gundabad. If the Witch-King has decided to stay put at 
Mt. Gundabad and recruit an additional 400 troops, then the Woodmen 
also recruit 300 heavy infantry and move onto Mt. Gundabad. Even 
with the fortifications at Mt. Gundabad the Woodmen will win having 
about 51% of their troops left.

Once this task is accomplished, futher advanced planning is not 
advisable as what should be done may depend a great deal on the 
moves of the Dragon Lord as well as the Dwarves and Sinda.

        More Character and Skill Improvement
	     By Tom Walton

This is a follow-up of sorts on the article by David Foreman 
published in the last issue of the Mouth.  I did a little research 
in a few of my games (those I didn't throw the turns out on) and 
came up with the figures below.  The table gives the current rank of 
the character, the bonus of the order (1-5 points for a 'Guard 
Location', 1-10 points for 'Steal Gold', etc.), and the average gain 
the character can expect to make if he/she completes the order.  I 
broke down the numbers into the categories that GSI uses, on the 
assumption that the progression might conform to these ranks.  
Here's the results:

Current Rank   	             1-5       1-7  	 1-10

10-19     	   	     3.7       4.7  	 -
20-29     	   	     3.2       4.2  	 6.4
30-39     	   	     2.9       3.9  	 4.9
40-49     	   	     2.6       3.6  	 4.7
50-59     	   	     2.0       2.9  	 3.6
60-69     	   	     1.7       2.3  	 2.9
70-79     	   	     1.3       2.0  	 2.5
80-89     	   	     1.0       1.3  	 -
90-99     	   	     1.0       1.0  	 -

Unfortunately, I don't have any data on a few of the slots, mainly 
because I dumped the turn sheets from alot of my older games.  One 
thing I should make clear:  whatever algorithm GSI uses its NOT 
based upon the categories I used.  That is, the break points are not 
at 19, 29, etc.

With this, you can calculate how long it'll take to train up a 
character to a reasonable skill level (or how strong enemy 
characters might be).  Note that progression in magery is very slow 
unless you win lots of challenges or have a couple of good 
encounters; this acts to restrict the number of characters capable 
of locating the One Ring (and makes sure that it won't happen early 

I've heard that player-characters can't increase skill ranks beyond 
100.  Since I usually play warlike neutrals, I haven't had an 
opportunity to test this until recently.  In one of my games, 
several characters are very close to this limit and we'll soon see 
if, indeed, you can't get past 100.

      The Lighter Side

Editor's Note:  The following was written by Jeff Holzhauer, who 
plays the Duns in game 119.  He typed up this proclamation and sent 
it to all the other players in his game.  At his request, Brian 
Mason sent it to me for publication.  Here's proof positive that 
stuff sent to The Mouth doesn't need to be particularly useful, 
especially if it's good for a few chuckles:

WE THE PEOPLE of Dunland have undergone a great tril, filled with 
suffering, death, and deprivation. We have been victimized by a foul 
plague which felled men, women, and children; that slew the 
righteous and the wicked; the farmer and townsman; the peasant and 
the lord. We have suffered from poor harvests and floods; freezing 
winters and rainless summers. We have seen many battles: lord 
fighting lord, neighbor turned on each other, even brother against 

We the people of Dunland realize that although the trial has been 
difficult and many have died, we have emerged stronger than ever. We 
understand the flaws of our old ways and have made many 
revolutionary changes. Everyone must work for the common good, not 
for his or her own advancement. No one will starve. Everybody will 
have a job, doing whatever he or she is best at. Leadership will be 
based on ability, not heredity.

We the people of Dunland will rebuild our great nation, and we will
be greater than ever. Because the people need room to expand, to 
place their collective farms and mines, to live their lives of 
happiness and productivity, we have laid claim to our traditional 
lands: south of the Greyflood and Swanfleet, west of the Misty 
Mountains, north of the White Mountains and east of the ocean.

We the people of Dunland understand that we live in a hostile world, 
a world at war, a world of danger and death. Therefore, we are very 
concerned with the possibility of outside forces interfering with 
our revolution. We will not tolerate any nation that engages in 
counter-revolutionary activities. Any attempt to interfere with the 
development of Dunland is counter-revolutionary. The placement of 
any population center within Dunland is counter-revolutionary. Any 
attempt to remove ancient treasures from within Dunland is counter- 
revolutionary. The presence of any characters or armies within the 
borders of Dunland, without express prior approval, is counter- 
revolutionary. We understand that various nations may have a need to 
pass through our territory at one time or another and we are willing 
to approve passage on a case by case basis. Approval must occur 
before the movement, not after.

We the people of Dunland have a "zero-tolerance" policy towards 
nations which engage in counter-revolutionary activities. If we 
discover even one violation, we will thereafter consider the 
counter-revolutionary nation to be an enemy, regardless of which 
side we eventually join.

We the people of Dunland are very concerned with the security of our 
nation and our revolution. We would be very pleased to receive 
recognition from other nations. We would like to receive from each 
nation a statement that said nation recognizes the existence of 
Dunland and pledges not to engage in counter-revolutionary 
activities. We must have received such pledges from the majority of 
nations on a side before we will consider joining that side.

We the people of Dunland would rather be stout allies than 
implacable enemies. We would appreciate any help provided by other 
nations and will look favorably upon any nation that aids us. We 
would like information on the world outside of Dunland. Information 
on starting forces as well as current activities. Information on 
artifacts and encounters which might help or hinder the revolution. 
We would appreciate assistance in the rebuilding of our nation, 
specifically, donations of material, land, or population centers. We 
would appreciate gifts of ancient artifacts which might help us 
protect the revolution.

We the people of Dunland will not shirk our duties or allies. Once 
we have determined which nations support Dunland and the revolution 
we will fight beside our brothers with eagerness and ferocity. Our 
armies will throw themselves upon the enemy and destroy them; our 
mages will work great magics upon them; our diplomats will seduce 
their own people from them; and our spies will move amongst them 
like the wind, leaving only death behind. We will aid our brother 
nations with gold and material; with information and advice; with
ancient artifacts and a modern military. We shall be victorious.

Enion and Eribhen
Peoples Executive Committee

Unity        Honor        Strength

     The Council Debate
       By Brian Mason

For long years the scattered Hillmen and what remained of the 
Dunedain of Rhudaur had maintained a uneasy alliance among 
themselves, seeking to maintain their scattered fiefdoms. The Great 
Plague had changed all that. While quarantine had necessitated the 
isolation of the people, the devastation which it wrought, along 
with the death of many a clan leader with blood-feuds with the 
opposition had led to an opportunity which had not existed since the 
formation of Rhudaur almost eight-hundred years ago: the possibility 
of reunification.

While not all agreed with the plans and motivations of the various 
clan leaders, the all had agreed on one item: to hold a debate in 
open council, and for all the peoples represented to follow the 
decision of the council. For better or worse, the had decided to 
become united, and for better or worse to follow the policies 
established in this council debate.

Elections were held at each of the population centers, and each sent 
a representative to the debate. These eight men assembled in a 
secret location and after long discussion amongst themselves, two 
were chosen to argue the two predominant sides.

The camp was cool. One of the last frosty mornings of the spring 
greeted the eight travelers as the arose. Though they had talked 
much among themselves over the past week, today on the morning of 
their debate the clustered around two separate fires. The larger 
group, five men, in drab grey and green clothing, sat upon their 
knees and warmed their hands over the hot and aromatic pine, 
crackling in the air. The tallest among them was silent, as they 
others spoke among themselves words of encouragement and union in 
the cool dawn. Finally, one
addressed the seeming leader of this group.

"Strong and noble he is, Broggha, but he lacks your knowledge. Of 
the eight, five are Hillmen and were the vote held now your view 
would be the one."

Broggha considered his words. He knew that Seammu spoke for all 
those around him. They were with him, and would follow his lead, but 
even he was unsure at this late date.

"Well I know that, Seammu my friend. But even my mind is unclear, 
and though I believe what I believe, I will hear and decide on my 
own, and even then may decide to follow the words and advice of 
Arfanhil and yield to his plan. A fool is he who will follow a path 
to the abyss when another is clear."

Around the other campfire the mood was not so serene.

"Arfanhil, you are a fool! To agree to this debate, to agree to side 
with the majority opinion when we are outnumbered five to three, to 
possibly go into battle alongside the Black Captain is madness and 
betrays all for which we have stood."

"Patience, Marendil my brother. Broggha is a brave man, hale and 
wise. He will not throw his lot one way or the other easily. I know 
him, and he will hear what I will say, and I will hear him."

Finally, the two groups assembled. By toss of lots it was decided 
that Broggha would speak first. The aged lord of the land upon which 
they camped introduced him, speaking of his glories in battle, of 
his wisdom, and rattled on in such a rambling manner that eventually 
Broggha was compelled to raise his hand and begin his speech.

"My many friends. We come here, young survivors of a deadly plague; 
strong, eager, ambitious. We come here to join together, to bring 
the many blood-feuds to an end, to decide upon a course of action 
which is best for all of our peoples.

"We are pledged to each other and to the people whom we represent to 
do only what is best for us all. Some argued that we should welcome 
envoys, ambassadors, heralds from the many lands around. To hear 
what they should say, and to barter our loyalty upon the open 
market. This we will not do!"

His fist slammed upon the podium, his eyes were ablaze as he was 
swept into the fury of his words.

"What I say, I say for both our peoples, Hillmen and Dunedain alike. 
We are proud, we will do what is best for us, and we will not be 

"Some among us would have you believe that we are a young realm," he 
glanced towards the three Dunedain present, "less than two score of 
scores in age, but that is only the time since we were two peoples. 
We Hillmen first cleansed the woods, we carved out this land and 
here we have dwelt for ages upon ages. We were here before the tall 
men on their tall ships came out of the sea. We were here before the 
Witch-King carved out his realm to our North. We were here before 
the Lord of Imladris built his home. Our people will outlive them 

"Two score of scores ago we welcomed the tall men. One of them, son 
of the King of Arnor, we took as our leader. For some years we 
profited, but then his line failed, and the leadership faltered, and
we disintegrated into what we have become. Almost five score years 
ago now the Witch-King succored us, and we marched to battle with 
him. The King of Arthedain, Argeleb I was slain at the hands of our 
warriors, and we were victorious!"

"But the spoils of war were denied us. Promises were made, promises 
of the rich lands to our south and west, and these promises were 
broken.  Two and a half score years later the Witch-King once again 
attempted to succor us to his need, and this time we refused. I need 
not tell you of our loss when we refused him, but those among us of 
the tall men know well of the loss of one of their citadels: Eldanar 
to the north."

"Once again, the undying one, the Witch-King, marches to war. We 
fought with him once and were denied the fruits of our labors. 
Later, we stood to one side and our people were punished. Today we 
are ready like we never were before. We can march with him and take 
what we will, we can march against him and take what we will, or we 
can stand to one side once more.

"The path for us then is to wait. Wait until the choice is clearer, 
wait until the outcome is certain, wait and then decide upon whose 
side we will fight. For the sake of our people: our men, women and 
children: wait."

Broggha stood tall. His eyes gleamed, and he walked to his stool and 
sat upon it, waiting upon the words of Arfanhil.

Arfanhil waited, longer than deemed sufficient, and slowly rose and 
walked to the lectern. Both young and old he seemed, youth in his 
limbs, yet deep and sorrowful were his eyes. He began to speak, in 
deep sonorous tones.

"Well spoken, friend Broggha, well spoken. It is not my desire to 
come after words so well said, but follow you I must. I have come 
before all of you to argue another viewpoint. One more dangerous, 
less certain, and if looked at objectively, less safe than the plan 
of Broggha."

"Guilt. I have come to speak of you of guilt. This guilt comes in 
many forms and guises, and of them I will speak to you. I am, and my 
brothers, Marendil and Valadan, riddled with guilt over the deeds of 
our people one hundred years past. Over the death of the great king, 
Argeleb I, and the death of so many fine warriors. And what guilt 
should a Hillman feel? You live off the land, kill only when you 
must, and use all which you kill. What of these dead, at what cost, 
and for what reward?"

"Honor. Let me speak to you of honor. We marched with that foul 
sorcerer to the North and he betrayed us. He is without honor. We 
can march with Cardolan and Arthedain and as three realms reunited 
as Arnor we can reclaim the honor we lost in the war of 1356.

"Revenge. Let us talk of revenge. Of the bodies of our soldiers,
dead; dead for naught in the war of 1356, of our women and children, 
slaughtered in the war of 1409 when we refused to march to war with 
the Witch-King, of our realm:  fragmented, ravaged, raped."

"Guilt. Honor. Revenge. All of these are just cause. Yet, what 
should we do? If it is the right course of action, should we wait, 
as Broggha argues or should we march to war now? Should we be 
certain of victory, or does victory not matter so long as the cause 
just? Of these things we now must decide."

For a long while, no one said anything, but was husbanding each 
their own thoughts. Most of the Hillmen eyes were on Broggha, for in 
him they trusted, and where he led they would follow.

Broggha slowly raised himself and began to speak.

"Courage is required in a War. It has been said that even more 
courage is required when you must relinquish a position you have 
long held and adopt the view of your opposition. This I will do. Let 
us be undivided in this."

Broggha walked over to Arfanhil and grasped his hand.

"Words you have spoken. Wise words, which I will now take to heart. 
Wise words, which I should be heeded by all. Wise words, which I 
will now follow though the darkness fall."

"Arfanhil, I call you Prince of Rhudaur. Let all Arda remember the 
truth of your words and let all Rhudaur remember the moment when we 
stood tall and rejected the yoke of subjugation. Though we may fall, 
let us fall proud."

Allegiance Comparison Tables
        By Tom Walton

These tables were originally created about 7 months ago and then 
recently updated to reflect changes made by GSI in starting army 
strengths.  I put them together to see how balanced the game was, 
both regionally and overall, and to see how much difference a 
neutral made when it declared for one side or the other.

Explanatory notes follow.  If you can't make out my system here, 
drop me a line and I'll explain whatever seems confusing.

Eriador is that section of the mapwest of the Misty Mountains (the 
long mountain chain running north-south down the center of the map).

Mirkwood is that section of the map east of the Misty Mountains and 
west of the Rhovanion.

Mordor is that section of the map south and east of the Mirkwood 

Tax Base is the total tax base of the nation/region/allegiance at a 
tax rate of 100%.

Resource Base is the total resource output available to the 
nation/region/allegiance assuming a 'Warm' climate.  The numbers 
were computed by dividing the percentage production of each 
population center by 20%.  For example, a town produces 60% of a 
hex's available resources; divide by 20%, and the town's resource 
base is 3.  A city, which only produces 20% of a hex's available 
resources, has a resource base of 1.  The town, on the average, will 
produce three times what a city does in the same hex.
	 Some nations have an actual resource base lower than that given 
on the tables, because of the climate which predominates in the 
region.  Angmar (the nation of the Witch-King), for example, has a 
poor climate year-round, so it's production will be much lower in 
comparison to that of Dunland (which has a good climate year-round) 
- even though they have close to the same resource base.

Army Strengths don't include training, weapons, or morale, so actual 
combat figures will be around 40-50% of the totals given.  Army 
defense does include modifiers for armor.  Where defense differed 
from attack by more than a thousand points or so, the numbers are 
given separately.
	 Note that the effects of weapons, training, and so forth 
effectively reduce the combat strengths of Mordor's armies by about 
10% in comparison to their regional enemies.  The Witch-King and 
Dragon Lord have combat strengths 15-20% lower in comparison to 
their enemies even when things otherwise seem equal.

Character Points simply lists all the points each 
nation/region/allegiance has available.  Stealth is added in at it's 
full value if the character who has it also has agent skill; if not, 
it's added in at half its value.  Note that this information may be 
somewhat misleading, as triple and quadruple-classed characters 
aren't as useful as they may appear to be.

Artifacts lists the total skill bonuses for each 

Combat lists the strength of the combat weapons available to each 

When making comparisons between allegiances, characters, artifacts 
and weapons were left out of the computations.  These items are much 
more mobile than armies, and are in a sense 'transferable' between 

Both the Dwarves and Sinda are listed as 'Mirkwood' nations even 
though both have pop centers and forces in two or more regions.  
This is because the primary population centers and army forces, as 
well as their capitols, are located in Mirkwood.  It should be noted 
that the Sinda and Dwarves often intervene in Mordor, which tips the 
balance of power in this region in favor of the Free Peoples.

Free Peoples
Nation    	   Tax	     RB	  Combat    CP	 Art  	   	Com

Woodmen   	   27,500    34	  32,000    358	 0,0,0,0   	0

Northmen  	   50,000    25	  35,000    290	 0,0,0,0   	0

Eothraim  	   37,500    30	  72,000/   310	 0,0,0,0   	1,000
(Mordor)  	   	     	  86,000

Arthedain 	   47,500    36	  35,000/   330	 60,0,0,0  	0
(Eriador) 	   	     	  44,000

Cardolan  	   50,000    25	  27,000    290	 0,0,0,0   	0
N. Gondor 	   112,500   50	  64,000/   480	 50,0,0,0  	500
(Mordor)  	   	     	  82,000

S. Gondor 	   75,000    35	  62,000/   400	 0,20,0,0  	1,000
(Mordor)  	   	     	  71,000

Dwarves   	   52,500    34	  60,000/   340	 55,0,0,0  	3,750
(Mirkwood)	   	     	  75,000

S. Elves  	   57,500    17	  22,000/   650	 0,40,0,35 	1,500
(Mirkwood)	   	     	  13,000

N. Elves  	   47,500    21	  16,000    1010 25,0,0,105	4,250

Dark Servants

Nation    	   Tax	     RB	  Combat    CP	 Art  	   	Com

Witch-King	   45,000    27	  42,000/   645	 60,0,30,30	4,750
(Eriador) 	   	     	  40,000

Drag. Lord	   30,000    18	  32,000    655	 0,0,0,110 	3,750
Dog Lord  	   15,000    24	  38,000/   505	 45,15,0,30	3,500
(Mordor)  	   	     	  42,000

Cl. Lord  	   27,500    19	  42,000    370	 25,0,0,0  	1,500

B. Sorc.  	   17,500    23	  26,000    405	 10,0,0,15 	500
Ice King  	   12,500    25	  34,000    400	 0,0,0,50  	500

Q. Avenger	   20,000    22	  23,000    450	 0,0,0,0   	1,750

Fire King 	   15,000    24	  35,000/   355	 10,0,0,0  	1,500
(Mordor)  	   	     	  29,000

L. Rider  	   15,000    24	  41,000/   410	 0,60,0,20 	1,000
(Mordor)  	   	     	  52,000

Dark Lts  	   25,000    20	  35,000/   640	 30,40,30,30	1,250
(Mordor)  	   	     	  32,000


Nation    	   Tax	     RB	  Combat    CP	 Art  	   	Com

Corsairs  	   60,000    16	  29,000/   530	 0,0,0,0   	0
(Mordor)  	   	     	  26,000

Harad     	   82,500    37	  30,000    290	 0,0,0,0   	0

Dunland   	   37,500    30	  43,000    370	 0,0,0,0   	1,500

Rhudaur   	   37,500    25	  50,000/   290	 20,0,0,0  	0
(Eriador) 	   	     	  46,000

East.     	   57,500    32	  50,000/   330	 0,0,0,0   	1,250
(Mordor)  	   	     	  48,000
Nation Totals by Region and Allegiance

Allegiance	   Tax	     RB	  Combat    CP	      Art  	  Com

Free Peoples

(Eriador) 	   145,000   82	  78,000/   1,630      85,0,0,105 4,250

(Mirkwood)	   137,500   85	  114,000/  1,348      55,40,0,35 5,250
(Mordor)  	   275,000   140  233,000/  1,480      50,20,0,0  2,500

Total     	   557,500   307  425,000/  4,458      190,60,0,  12,000
	      	   	     	  481,000   	       140
Dark Servants

(Eriador) 	   45,000    27	  42,000/   645	      60,0,30,30  4,750

(Mirkwood)	   30,000    18	  32,000    655	      0,0,0,110	  3,750

(Mordor)  	   147,500   180  274,000/  3,535     120,115,30, 11,500
	      	   	     	  280,000   	      145

Total     	   222,500   225  348,000/  4,835     180,115,60, 20,000
	      	   	     	  354,000   	      285

(Eriador) 	   75,000    55	  93,000/   660	      20,0,0,0	  1,500

(Mordor)  	   200,000   85	  109,000/  1,140      0,0,0,0	  1,250

Total     	   275,000   140  202,000/  1,800      20,0,0,0	  2,750

Relative Strength Comparisons

Dark Servants vs
Free Peoples

Region    	   	Tax  	  RB   	    Combat
Eriador   	   	.31  	  .33  	    .54 /  .48
Mirkwood  	   	.21  	  .21  	    .29 /  .28
Mordor    	   	.54  	 1.29 	   1.18 / 1.02
Total     	   	.40  	  .73  	    .82 /  .74

	      	   	Tax  	  RB   	    Combat

In Eriador	   	.31  	  .33  	    .54 /  .48
w/Rhudaur 	   	.57  	  .63  	   1.18 / 1.01
w/Dunland 	   	.57  	  .70  	   1.09 /  .98
w/both    	   	.83  	 1.00      1.73 / 1.51
	      	   	Tax  	  RB   	    Combat

In Mordor 	   	.54  	  1.29 	    1.18 / 1.02
w/Corsairs	   	.75  	  1.40 	    1.30 / 1.11
w/Harad   	   	.84  	  1.54 	    1.30 / 1.13
w/Easterlings  	        .75  	  1.51 	    1.39 / 1.20
w/Corsairs &   
Haradwaith	   	1.05 	  1.63 	    1.43 / 1.23
w/Corsairs &
Easterlings	   	.98  	  1.78 	    1.52 / 1.29
w/ Haradwaith &
Easterlings	   	1.04 	  1.78 	    1.52 / 1.31
w/all three	   	1.26 	  1.89 	    1.64 / 1.40

Neutrals vs Free Peoples
(In Eriador)
	      	   	Tax  	  RB   	    Combat

Dunland   	   	.26  	  .45  	    .55 / .49
Rhudaur   	   	.26  	  .37  	    .64 / .53

Neutrals vs Dark Servants
(in Eriador)
	      	   	Tax  	  RB   	    Combat

Dunland   	   	.83  	  1.37 	    1.00
Rhudaur   	   	.83  	  1.11 	    1.16 / 1.14

Neutrals vs Free Peoples
(in Mordor)
	      	   	Tax  	  RB   	    Combat
Corsairs  	   	.21  	  .11  	    .12 / .09
Haradwaith	   	.30  	  .26  	    .13 / .11
Easterlings	   	.21  	  .23  	    .21 / .18

Neutrals vs Dark Servants
(in Mordor)
	      	   	Tax  	  RB   	    Combat

Corsairs  	   	.41  	  .09  	    .11 / .09
Haradwaith	   	.59  	  .20  	    .11 / .11
Easterlings	   	.39  	  .18  	    .18 / .17

Neutrals vs Free Peopls
(Middle Earth)
	      	   	Tax  	  RB   	    Combat

Corsairs  	   	.11  	  .05  	    .07 / .05
Haradwaith	   	.15  	  .12  	    .07 / .06
Dunland   	   	.07  	  .10  	    .10 / .09
Rhudaur   	   	.07  	  .08  	    .12 / .10
Easterlings	   	.10  	  .10  	    .12 / .10

Neutrals vs Dark Servants
(Middle Earth)
	      	   	Tax  	  RB   	    Combat

Corsairs  	   	.27  	  .07  	    .08 / .07
Haradwaith	   	.37  	  .16  	    .09 / .09
Dunland   	   	.17  	  .13  	    .12 / .12
Rhudaur   	   	.17  	  .11  	    .14 / .13
Easterlings	   	.26  	  .14  	    .14 / .14

Many interesting things can be learned by looking at relative 
strength values.  For example, Harad has 59% of the economic power
possessed by all eight of the Dark Servants in Mordor; the 
Easterlings, on the other hand, enjoy enormous combat strength in 
relation to their neighbors no matter which side they join; and so 

Comments on this article would be most appreciated.