Strategic Locations

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Zymeth Irefury 24/Jul/2006 at 07:46 PM
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I was thinking,in ME there were many batles fought.SO what would be the most startegic location in ME to be a base of operations,or the sort and WHY???(ex:which area would be good for waging war?Fortresses?WHY?)Yes  Minas Tirith was strategic(yeah!I’m a big fan of Minas Tirith!HA) but what else?What would a leader do in such a place?hm...

Vugar 24/Jul/2006 at 09:15 PM
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Fortresses are a great advantage to outnumbered defenders, but they can also be a disadvantage should the numbers of the enemy be too great or events in general turn sour. A fortress that lacked an escape route could be surrounded and sieged until the defenders ran out of supplies, morale, men, etc.
Arthaz 24/Jul/2006 at 11:05 PM
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yes, it worked well for gondor and rohan during their respective battles, but as Vugar said, when things got sour, it was a very devastating disadvantage for those behind the walls. the hornburg got blasted and eventually the keep was overrun. in gondor, they did not realize that the enemy had towers and catapults, so in effect, they were just sitting ducks.
Zymeth Irefury 25/Jul/2006 at 01:35 AM
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Let me specify a bit more:Not necessarily fortresses,just an area which would be a really strategic location for,I don’t know,purpose,your thought.(could be a place for war:advantages,disadvantages.)Or you could give an example and why it is so.
Hakatri 25/Jul/2006 at 02:11 AM
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Well, that depends of region. In first age elves keep Morgoth under siege by blocking the north mountain passes and preventing him from advance in Beleriand. In wars against Sauron strategic location would be river passes on Anduin river because most of his troops was on the eastern side of river. Partically imprtant was city of Osgilliath and its bridges across Anduin. 
Lord_Vidύm 25/Jul/2006 at 09:26 AM
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Probably Ithilien was also a good strategic place for thugs. Faramir as long as he remained there was pretty effective with his companions. In addition Helms deep and Moria were pretty strategic. Finally I would say that Cair Andhros was pretty strong fort too. Mordor was a whole strategic place (surrounded by Mountains from everywhere its enemies could enter.
Dark Lord Tom 25/Jul/2006 at 11:22 AM
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Moria, if you know all the secrets.
You could defeat an army with a small group of fighters.
Confuse the enemy, if you aren’t strong, you gotta be smart.
                     
Mordor’s perfect in every aspect...
maybe because i’m a minion of it, and in my days of a minion, i’ve never seen Mordor lose a war. Maybe that is becuas there where no wars....
                    
Fortresses have their advantages and disadvantages, but it’s more for defending, and that’s boring...       
                 
Celebrimbor 25/Jul/2006 at 03:50 PM
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If the perameters of this question allow us to consider locations of the First Age in Beleriand I would have to say that in my opinion the Guarded Plain was a particularly useful and mighty strategic location. For a long time it rendered Nargothrond inaccessible to intruders and in this time its potency was uncompramised and its nature largely inconspicuous.
Azrak Stonefoot 25/Jul/2006 at 04:00 PM
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I would rank my top three from Lord of the Rings as such.

Mordor - Purely a war raising country. Everything from supply line to the battlements and the location is thought of for war.
Minas Tirith - No army ever got through it’s gates. That has to count for something.
Helms Deep - Just look at what a far inferior force did against a large force.

Now this is not taking into consideration the power of the Rings. Obviously the One Ring increases Mordor’s stregnth but Lorien and Rivendell would also but higher up.

Now if you were going to talk about all of Arda you would have to rank Utumno, Angband, Doriath, Gondolin.

Oin 25/Jul/2006 at 05:13 PM
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I disagree - Minas Tirith really isn’t all that strategic. As long as you had a bunch of troops surrounding it, any force in MT is pretty much useless - it doesn’t guard the Anduin or a mountain pass. Its only strategic if you are in a war and its your greatest stronghold - as in the War of the Ring. But by itself, the location isn’t strategic. If there wasn’t a huge fortress there, it would be unimportant.

Pelargir, the great port of the Numenoreans and Gondorians, is probably the most strategic in Gondor: it guards the mouth of the Anduin and the Bay of Belfalas. The old Dwarf-road and the High Pass (the road that goes through Mirkwood, fords over the Anduin, and goes over the pass near Rivendell) is perhaps the most strategic in the North, although Moria was also a key place as well. Tharbad as well would have had major strategic importance, but only because there was a bridge/ford there.

Reikon Suchi-ru 25/Jul/2006 at 05:25 PM
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I’d have to say that Osgiliath is, to me, the most obvious choice for a highly strategic location. It is located on the banks of the River Anduin, which is the chief border between Gondor and Mordor. Whoever controls Osgiliath controls access, or the prohibition thereof, between the these two kingdoms. Had Osgiliath been properly secured prior to the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, the final conflict between Gondor and Mordor would likely have been quite different.
Radagast Rasta 25/Jul/2006 at 08:04 PM
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Well, all the towers and such aside because you can pretty much build a tower any where and call that place formidable. The most strategic location for a place of operations would be inbetween the Blue Mountains and the coast. I guess I am referring to Forlindono. The mountains would make a good natural defense plus good look out positions and a good communication device (kinda like the buring towers with Gondor and Rohan). The mountains protect most of the eastern boarder and the Gulf of Lune protects what south boarder there is. The sea is always a great asset to have. It is a good mode of transportation for troops, supplies ect. The gulf would make a good harbor.The ice bay could make a good port but the ice part might be troublesome. However it does protect the norther boarders. The river Lune is a good way to get in land a bit. Take that into the Hills of Evendim then a short trek across them to Lake Evendim, than on down the Brandywine untill you hit Bree, and from there you can pretty much go where ever. I think that would be perfect place for a stronghold.
Nistades 25/Jul/2006 at 08:31 PM
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To me, I think the brown land would be a nice place because it is just north of mordor and south of mirkwood. This way all the allies can be assembled and, if Gondor’s strength is strong open war on the plains on the brown landscould be a good draw. Mordor’s lands will then be emptied to the north and the forces of gondor can enter to the west of mordor. They’re surrounded (well, at least on the north and west which is where most of the story lies anyway.
Durgil 26/Jul/2006 at 09:05 AM
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Most strategic location would depend upon a time period, races/kingdoms under consideration and what the long term goals were for each of those races/kingdoms.  It cannot be considered in complete isolation of other factors.  At some point in time, Osgiliath might be highly important to Gondor but what important impact does it have upon the Shire or Havens?  During the 2nd Age in the War of Sauron and the Elves, Moria was very important as it could provide a relatively safe route of travel from the West to East (or vice versa) of the Mtns.  It would take at least 2 armies to bottle Moria up to neutralize it.  However, mid-3rd Age during the existance of Angmar, Moria was of much less importance since the action wasn’t taking place within its sphere of influence.  During Angmar’s existance, Mt Gundabad and the High Pass would have been much more influential in events.

Everything depends upon time period, events taking place and who is involved.

CirthErebor 26/Jul/2006 at 01:19 PM
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Minas Tirith, of course, is backed up by Mount Mindolluin, which, while making sure the enemy can’t surround them, cuts off escape from behind. Now, Lothlorien wouldn’t be a bad strategic place, considering that the Lothlorien elves were able to hold up against the orcs for a little while, and besides that it’s closed in in the middle of a gigantic forest. Besides this, Moria. Khazad-Dum, mostly though, but the best place of all: Dwarrowdelf. Thousands and thousands of pillairs stretching on endlessly. And the exit by the bridge of Khazad....you could fire arrows from there across the chasm, after taking the path across the bridge. The Lonely Mountain, maybe....Mordor? Definitely. Isengard? Perhaps. Lure the enemy in, then flood them with the Fords of Isen. Isengard is pretty much just shaped like a big bowl, anyway. The Dale? Nope. You don’t have high ground. Enemies can just sail on in. The Lonely Mountian can fire on you like nobody’s business.

Oin 26/Jul/2006 at 06:14 PM
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CirthErebor: Lorien was not able to defeat the orcs just by using military force - Galadriel and her White Ring also played a large part in the repelling of the three raids launched by Dol Guldur. And the forest is hardly gigantic - compared to Mirkwood, its tiny, and it appears roughly the size of the Old Forest on the Lord of the Rings map.
Durgil 27/Jul/2006 at 08:34 AM
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Quote: Originally posted by CirthErebor on Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Minas Tirith, of course, is backed up by Mount Mindolluin, which, while making sure the enemy canít surround them, cuts off escape from behind. Now, Lothlorien wouldnít be a bad strategic place, considering that the Lothlorien elves were able to hold up against the orcs for a little while, and besides that itís closed in in the middle of a gigantic forest. Besides this, Moria. Khazad-Dum, mostly though, but the best place of all: Dwarrowdelf. Thousands and thousands of pillairs stretching on endlessly. And the exit by the bridge of Khazad....you could fire arrows from there across the chasm, after taking the path across the bridge. The Lonely Mountain, maybe....Mordor? Definitely. Isengard? Perhaps. Lure the enemy in, then flood them with the Fords of Isen. Isengard is pretty much just shaped like a big bowl, anyway. The Dale? Nope. You donít have high ground. Enemies can just sail on in. The Lonely Mountian can fire on you like nobodyís business.


To start with, you are talking tactics, not strategy.  How does anything you mention influence the overall outcome of a war?  There is no point in taking Moria if you can neutralize it - by blockading both the Eastern & Western Gates (assuming you are speaking of mid-2nd Age to mid-3rd Age)

If you can blockage Moria and control the lower portion of the Upper Anduin, you effectively isolate Lorien also!  But speaking of Lorien, the only location that control of that kingdom allows is influence on the lower portion of the Upper Anduin!  Any travel (up or down the river near Lorien) would have to negotiate the Falls of Raous (sp?).  Any sort of a stronghold near the Falls would cut-off traffic along the Lower & Upper Anduin.  The Falls are too far from Lorien to have Lorien as any sort of effective base of operations. 

Lonely Mountain - too far from any sort of strategic influence - the nearest are of influence would be Esgaroth - not hardly on the main route of advance for most military operations.

Isengard is a strategic location IF you are attempting to cut-off communications between Gondor and Arnor.  Other than cutting off access to the north, I hardly see the significance (in a broad war viewpoint) of taking Isengard in late 3rd Age since there was little threat of forces moving from the North to Gondor’s aid - a unit of 100 or less wouldn’t be considered significant - so discount the Grey Company of dunedain in a grand overview.

Key locations would be Bree (crossroad of major north-south and east-west), tharbad (major ford for communication with northern Eriador, southern Mirkwood for eliminating communication with Rhovanion and Pelargir for cutting off gondor from the sea and her sea-coast lands.

Once again, you need to specify a particular time period for any coherent discussion to take place.

Oin 27/Jul/2006 at 01:32 PM
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Durgil: Its Rauros Falls, but I have to ask: you go on about controlling the River, but there is no river-traffic to speak of. Nobody travels on the Anduin (Aragorn hasn’t even travelled most of it), and trade is non-existent as well, at least for the last third of the Third Age as well as during the entire Second Age and the early part of the Fourth Age. The River only becomes important as a barrier in the north between Mirkwood and the Misty Mountains (which Moria does not control) and in the south, between Ithilen and Anorien. So even controlling various points along the River would not mean a whole lot strategically.

Kelthuzzad 27/Jul/2006 at 01:40 PM
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of course it is the mountains and its vicinity ( meaning valleys or crag or river within it.) , you will have self sufficiency and security as well. you will not be assailed easily and you can muster armies secretly and will be able to see the outlying lands by building towers in mountain tops.
Celebrimbor 27/Jul/2006 at 06:29 PM
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One might consider Mithlond, the Grey Havens, to be a most strategic location in that it is the most significant westerly inland deep water port in Middle-earth. Furthermore the integral role it plays in allowing for Elven evacuation makes it both a deeply precious commodity and a possible site for a last stand.
Loin Stealtharm 29/Jul/2006 at 12:58 AM
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I would also go for Moria. With his huge tunnels and secret ways it’s a labyrinth for attackers (if they get in in the first place). They can’t really surround you to starve you to death as the dwarves would always be able to import some food. If the attack is east, you can ask rivendell for some help with food etc.

But if it’s the last stronghold and the attacker has enough forces to guard both east and west gates...

With infinite forces, you can win any battle.

Durgil 29/Jul/2006 at 08:10 AM
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Oin:  Once again I have to say that you need to specify a time period and kingdoms involved.  As far as river traffic is concerned, rivers have ever been major routes of travel, or to use military parlance, "avenues of approach".  Granted they can be barriers also if they do not flow in the direction that you want.

Apparently there was a significant amount of traffic between the Upper & Lower Anduin at some point, or why else did Gondor spend time and resources building the Argonath on an unused route of travel?  If the Anduin hadnít been used as a route of travel, what would be the point of the Argonath?  To warn someone not coming that way to beware or that they are entering the realm of Gondor?  I mean, just who would know?  Then there is the path for boat portage to negotiate the Falls of Rauros:

" íSay rather that we will bear our boats by the ancient way to Rauros-foot, and there take to the water again. Do you not know, Boromir, or do you choose to forget the North Stair, and the high seat upon Amon Hen, that were made in the days of the great kings?...í " [LotR, The Great River]

Nor should we forget that just slightly earlier in the passage above, Aragorn stated a fact of terrain regarding the vlae of the Entwash:  " íThe vale of the Entwash is flat and fenny, and fog is a deadly peril for those on foot and laden.  I would not abandon our boats until we must.  The River is at least a path that cannot be missed.í "

These 2 statements strongly indicate that once upon a time, there was some degree of travel between the Upper and Lower Anduin and therefore it (the Anduin) is a terrain feature of importance and control thereof, should be considered.

IF we say Late 3rd Age, then the Anduin is not such an important feature as other possiblites.  Moria was already under his (Sauronís) control (direct or indirect, it doesnít matter).  It would still take months to exert any sort of control beyond the Gates even if some sort of Orkish hemorrhagic fever destroyed every living orc inside the kingdom and Gandalf still killed the Balrog.  Itís hundreds of miles from any Dwarvish settlement - I doubt that the Elves (Lorien, Rivendell or Mirkwood) would even attempt to take control of Moria. 

Osgiliath had fallen, or if it had not, it posed no useful (to the íGood Peoplesí) service except to deny Sauron full access to Ithilien and an easy avenue of approach to the Pellinor.  Control of Pelargir was far more useful to Sauron than Osgiliath as it cut-off support from the sea and the coastal lands of Gondor.  Even Linhir (in Lebennin) was far more valuable in a strategic sense than Osgiliath.  Linhir controlled the only listed ford that separated the Belfalas from coastal Gondor. 

You canít really fault Sauronís grand stretegy for the War of the Ring.  He took Osgiliath, cutting Gondor off from the lands of Ithilien, a land of significant fertility (for farming & such) as well as trying to deny Gondor reconnaissance of his movements east of the Anduin and securing his major route of supply to Harad.  His capture of the Pelargir and removal (for the most part) of support from coastal Gondor set MT up for failure.  He was aware of Sarumanís efforts with Rohan, Gondorís nearest and strongest ally, to overcome the Rohirrim and further isolate Gondor.  The Balrog (and Orcs) totally neutralized Moria and made the Redhorn Pass (the southern-most pass over the mountains) all but impassable, and which in conjunction with Goblin Town and Gundabad (whether working directly or not for Sauron) all but totally isolated northwestern ME except to (probably) a small-sized party - nothing of militrily significant numbers.   In addition, had he succeeded in eliminating Erebor, Esgaroth and Thranduilís involvement, Sauron wouldíve had a northern pass/avenue of approach, into Eriador and assaults upon the Havens. 

Dol Guldur provided a strongpoint in southern Mirkwood and threatened Lorien.  Thranduil, Erebor and Esgaroth were leagues north and would have a long march to come to anyoneís assistance, if they chose to.  A threat from the East all but fixed any assistance from those kingdoms/realms in place, ensuring aid couldnít flow toward Gondor.  

Just at a guess, had unexpected occurances (the rousing of the Ents) and unanticipated risks (Aragorn challenging Sauron via the Palantir and then taking the Paths of the Dead) NOT brought about the stated events, MT would have fallen - isolated at last, from all other kingdoms.  Sauron could then have begun a series of landings along the western coast (Dol Amroth, Edhel Lond at the mouth of the Ringlo, western tip of the White Mtns in Andrast, mouth of the Isen, mouth of the Greyflood at Lond Daer,...) eventually landing in Lindon and the capture of the Havens - preventing any escape of Elves to the West.  All of this even if He hadnít recovered the Ring (maybe Frodo, Sam & Gollum killed one another in some lonely place).  Any last holdouts of the íGood Peoplesí could have been conducted in piecemeal fashion.

In contrast, letís look at the War of the Elves and Sauron (mid-2nd Age circa II-1693).  At this time, you have a fledgling kingdom/colony of Numenor in ME;  you have Numenor (an island state), Moria (or KD) and Lindon under the control/leadership of Gil-galad (a major Elven realm).  Aroung the 1st millenia, Sauron claims Mordor.  Sauron expands his influence/power into the East, South and southeast (of ME).  The Orcs that fled (and survived) the destruction of the 1st Age, base out of Gundabad and harry the northern moutain areas.  Not especially sure when the dragons (that survived the 1st Age) spread but they wouldíve been seeking secure areas to continue also.  Anyone east of the Anduin wouldíve had to encounter Sauronís influence - Sauronís influence being manifest as a cult around Morgoth/Melkor.  That leaves( in western ME) a realm of Elves (in Lindon under Gil-galad), KD (under the control of Durinís Line) and most of Eriador (which was unpopulated except as settlements of Men and some Elves).  The major plyers in the game of íArda dominationí would be Lindon (Sindar and presumably some silvan & noldor Elves), Moria (Dwarves of Durinís Line and refugees of Belegost & Nogrod), Eregion (Noldor Elves) and Numenor (Men).   During 2nd Age, there was a large harvesting of woodlands by the Numenorians, focusing near the River Greyflood (Lond Daer) and up-river. 

At this point in time (start of the War of the Elves and Sauron), the key points of control wouldíve been Tharbad (ford over the river Greyflood/Hoarwell) leading into the north of Eriador, Moria controlling the immediate approaches north on the east and west sides of the Misty Mtns (and a pass over the Mtns), and (although we are not told (at least I canít remember so)) the Old Ford or Bridge of the Dwarves crossing the Anduin east of the mtns.  Fangorn was still ísleepingí and the Ents of little value at this point.  There was no major Mannish settlement of value, especially north of the city of Pelagir, either in the north or south of Eriador.  Any cities of Numenor didnít exist until late in the Age - anything in NW Eriador was no more than colonies.  Lorien had been settled late at the time of the conflict yet was still a militarily signifacant location.

 But with no other major realm of influence near his claimed home of Mordor (then), Sauron launched his war against the nearest Elvish (and from his point of view, most dangerous targets - the Elves were Nolor and skilled in the making of itmes and thus wouldíve been considered Sauronís most likely nemesis regardless of the history of the Noldor and their opposition to Morgoth).  Eregion was destroyed and the guild of smiths were no more.  Sauron failed to consider the friendship of the Dwarves with the Noldo of Eregion and was thus foiled in his attempt to erradicate his primary enemies (Elrond, with the attack of the Dwarves from Moria, managed to escape and found Rivendell).   This bought Gil-galad time to assemble his forces and with the reinforcement of Elf-friends from Numenor, to counter Sauronís attempt to overthrow ME (for the time being).  With the downfall of Numenor and the establishment of Numenorian kingdoms in ME, Sauronís bid for domination was delayed and the establishment of Numenorian kingdom in exile was permitted.  Once Erendil established the kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor, Sauron then had to battle his Mannish foes on his home turf - in addition to his normal nemises of the Elves.  Although he [Sauron] failed in his attempt, the booby-trap of the One Ring was established. 

At this point, Iím not sure of where I was going with the discussion except to point out that strategic value is a factor of time and opponents rather than some sort of absolute terrain valus.

Let me highlight the key statement once more:  you need to specify a time period AND the kingdoms involved!

King Gothmog 29/Jul/2006 at 11:56 AM
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That was an amazingly long post.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  I have to say in my personal opinion the best place is the tower of orthanc or minas tirith (post war).  Orthanc you can’t really lose, it is made out of unbreakable black stone.  You can’t do anything to it as long as food holds out.  Minas Tirith is also very good because it has it’s outer wall made of the black stone and it has a mithril gate (made by gimli and co. after the war).  If only the rest of the city was made of something other than an apparently easily breakable white stone (is it marble? I’m trying to figure it out marble would explain it’s color and breakablity however they aren’t so stupid to make a city of marble are they?).  With seven layers of defendible territory each in the other and caves to flee to behind a good general could hold that for decades.
Oin 31/Jul/2006 at 05:37 PM
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Durgil: There was some traffic along the Anduin during the Third Age:

"No road was made by the Men of Gondor in this region, for even in their great days their realm did not reach up Anduin beyond the Emyn Muil; but there is a portage-way somewhere on the western shore, if I can find it. It cannot yet have perished; for light boats used to journey out of Wilderland down to osgiliath, and still did so until a few years ago, when the orcs of Mordor began to multiply.’
     ’Seldom in my life has any boat come out of the North, and the Orcs prowl the east-shore,’ said Boromir."
  (FotR, The Great River)

"On his return Romendacil fortified the west shore of Anduin as far as the inflow of the Limlight, and forbade any stranger to pass down the River beyond the Emyn Muil. He it was that built the pillars of the Argonath at the entrance to Nen Hithoel." (RotK, Appendix A)

The first quote says that Aragorn had knowledge of small boats travelling from upriver down to Osgiliath - none in recent times by the standards of normal men. And even so, these boats wouldn’t have made any significant impact in trade between the North and Gondor, being only light boats. Even as early as the reign of Romendacil (1200s T.A.), traffic along the river was severely limited - no doubt limited only to trade between the Northmen and Gondor. Yet even so, the river held this strategic importance only for a few years: the Kinstrife and the Plague soon ended any importance it might have had. So I would have to remain with my position that the Anduin throughout the Third Age remained largely unimportant as a trading route.

As for as a natural barrier, I think you are overestimating the importance of Moria in the Third Age. It could easily be avoided, was not the center of the Orkish infestation of the Misty Mountains, and the areas around it were unimportant and devoid of habitation. There would be no reason to clear out Moria, unless you were a dwarf and wanted to reclaim your ancient home.

I do, however, completely support your statement that: you need to specify a time period AND the kingdoms involved!

Durgil 01/Aug/2006 at 06:25 AM
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There you go!  You just specified a time period and now your comments make sense.
HADHOD 06/Aug/2006 at 11:45 AM
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I think That a "Joint-fortress" should have been made/ build on the hills of weathertop. This would give the defender a good veiw point of any enemies approaching. Although it would have been difficult to Build a fortress overa lagre expanse of hills like that, I think that it could have been done.
GAND@LF 07/Aug/2006 at 12:32 PM
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a good war could be with the dwarves and elves fighting the urak-hai. because it’ll give dwarves a chance to let the news spread knowing that there kingdom is fighting for gimli instead of gimli fighting for the king of rohan maybe.
Oin 08/Aug/2006 at 04:54 PM
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HADHOD: Well... there was a fortress built on Weathertop, the tower of Amon Sul - which is where one of the seven palantiri was kept - and that certainly was a very strategic location. And as for the hills north of Weathertop, fortifications had been built there:

"As they went forward the hills about them steadily rose. Here and there upon heights and ridges they caught glimpses of ancient walls of stone, and the ruins of towers: they had an ominous look."  (FotR, Flight to the Ford)

They were remnants of the wars between Arnor and Angmar, and had long been abandoned when Strider and the four hobbits passed them on their way to Rivendell.

inafadingcrown 08/Aug/2006 at 09:12 PM
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Concerning Arnor, I think that fortresses should have been built all over, from the Emyn Uial to the Weather Hills and also all over the downs of the (later) Shire. If said fortresses were established, communication would have been a lot easier.

But by means of strategy... the Iron Hills. What an amazing place to build a kingdom as no one could attack you from any direction except the north. Also, the island in the Sea of Rhun - I’m so surprised there was no civilization there worthy of mentioning as they could have controlled a huge amount of land by operating that Sea.

Arthur Weasley 09/Aug/2006 at 04:48 AM
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Hmmmm.  If I had to pick one strategic location during the late Third Age I would have to say Isengard.  Easy access to the northern dales and the Shire. Protected and guarded the Fords of Isen.  Right at the "butt end" of the Misty Mountains.  Access to Rohan and eastern routes.  Mordor, of course, has appeal with two natural Mountain ranges surrounding it.  But Isengard would be the key to possess all of Northwestern Middle Earth IMO.
earendils_star 10/Aug/2006 at 03:06 AM
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Ermmmm.... well definitely not Helm’s Deep! I’d have to say either Minas Tirith, because it can only be attacked from one direction and has good places to catapult things off (heehee). Also, if Rivendell was a fortress, it would be a good location because it borders a few different regions. Or maybe Moria...
Durin of Moria 31/Aug/2006 at 05:06 PM
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I think is all the lands east of Anduin that does not belong to Sauron. They are the main key to keep Mordor’s army inside Mordor. But in the late Third age, Gondor care not much of the defenses of Ithilien which is directly west of Mordor. If Ithilien have high defenses, The battle of the Penelor Field might not have happen. Perhaps by then, Rohan’s army could have destroyed Mordor’s Orcs( only Mordor’s and not its ally) and Theoden might not have died.
Qtpie 31/Aug/2006 at 05:19 PM
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I have to disagree that Gondor did not care for the defense of Ithilien. Ithilien was kind of a no man’s land, where forces from both sides perished. The Men of Gondor also had to defend Osigiliath and their soldiers were running thin in certain places. I’m pretty sure that Gondor would have reinforced Ithilien if they had the resources and manpower. I think either way that the Battle of Pelennor Fields would have happened. Sauron sent a large army to conquer the much smaller forces of Gondor. They would have just kept marching on to Gondor destroying anything in their way. Theoden would have died too because the Lord of the Nazgul was the Orc’s Supreme Commander.
magnum 31/Aug/2006 at 09:19 PM
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Like DarthEnalan and some others have said, I think Isengard is a very strategic place.  It’s very close to the gap of Rohan, if there is need for it to be guarded.  Also, as in the case of the battle where Theodred was slain, troops can be sent down both sides of the Isen, if the fords are taken.  Theres also the fact the even the ents could barely dent the tower of Orthanc.

cister 06/Sep/2006 at 06:07 AM
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indeed, Orthanc could be a very good position but its also a jail. The fort at the port of Umbar could be strategicly a good position two, becouse you v’got a sea, a river, who are protecting you from land attacks, if you have an army right there, and a big fleet, a good wall ( i don’t know what kind of defences that there are there) then it would be a good outpost for everyone
Master Curunir 07/Sep/2006 at 08:46 AM
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The Mines of Moria (muhahaha) is deffintly the best strategic place in middle earth it has only two main entrences and one has a really norrow brigh the other has a small gate that can only be opend by a freind who can speak the password the brigh is fantastic for stoppig large enemy units crossing at one time as they would have to go in singel file getting shot one by one and also there are mant chambers in moria that can be sealed of and protected. if not moria then my other choice whould be isengard and the great fortress of othanc indestructable and accesable to many other lacations.    
Oin 07/Sep/2006 at 07:12 PM
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cister: To my knowledge, the only prisoner held at Orthanc was Gandalf. It hardly qualifies as a prison. And where is it said that Umbar was located at the mouth of a river? To the best of my knowledge it was located on a peninsula on the coast of Harad - but nowhere near a river.
Obsidian 07/Sep/2006 at 10:13 PM
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The best strategic location is obviously Moria, which could house an entire Kingdom. It only has 2 entrances which are very well guarded/difficult to enter, and there are also many hidden passageways to launch a surprise attack. For second, I would go for Erebor, also for same reasons. It was the only refuge for the dwarves and men when dark forces invaded Dale and Esgaroth and razed them to the ground. For third I would go Orthanc, simply because it is indestructible.
cister 09/Sep/2006 at 08:27 AM
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you can check on a map of middle-earth that umbar is located on a peninsula on the coastof harad but in the east there’s a small river, but about moria curunir and raptorvator are so NOT wrong but there’s only one little problem: (that you have with many other fortresses to) an enemy army only needs to besiege two gates, and the ones who are besieged will die of hungry, unless there comes some reinforcements (what’s possible because you can hold very much food)

cister 09/Sep/2006 at 08:29 AM
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’oin: the only prisoner was gandalf’ i meaned that the one who is besieged in orthanc is ’a prisoner’
Oin 11/Sep/2006 at 11:53 AM
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cister: So you were talking about Saruman, who was essentially under house arrest from the ents after the destruction if Isengard? It was only used for a short time for such a purpose, and even then Saruman was released freely thanks to Treebeard - for nearly all of its history it was not a prison.
Celebrin 11/Sep/2006 at 01:26 PM
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Moria indeed is the best place for a war to be waged upon. The narrow bridge at the main entrance only allows one person at time to pass swiftly across, and even then the archers or axe throwers (because dwarves don’t shoot bows) on the walls, will pick them off one by one. Moria is nearly impossible to conquer, and if the enemy is found to be coming to the rear gate, the dwarves could close the gates and they will not be found from the outside.
Oin 12/Sep/2006 at 05:18 PM
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Nolofinwe: Dwarves certainly shot bows. In the Hobbit, most of the dwarves are armed with bows and arrows, although they fail to hit the deer they see in Mirkwood. I don’t know where the misconception that they don’t shoot bows and arrows comes from, although I suspect PJ is the culprit.
Qtpie 12/Sep/2006 at 07:35 PM
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I would vote that Gondolin was the best strategic location to wage a war. Firstly it is very well hidden and you can’t reach it unless you are an elf. Secondly, if you do manage to get in to Gondolin then you will have to trek through the vast flat plain leaving you vulnerable to the eyes of the Gondolin elves. Then you will have to attack the city itself which was superbly defended by some of the most powerful elves in Middle-Earth. There were also the high peaks where Thorondor dwelled and watched Gondolin. You can’t really reach it by water or land and maybe the air. I think Gondolin was a very strategic location to wage a war, but once your cover had been busted then you can only hope to win the fight or die in the city. For you will have no way out of GOndolin if your enemy surrounds the plains. My second vote would be for Moria.
Feanos 14/Sep/2006 at 07:53 AM
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I would have to say that Khazad-Dum would be an excellent place of strategy. It was large, and given enough man power(or dwarf power lol) it would be well defended, seeing as it had defenses such as the bridge of Khazad-Dum and its many halls and doors of stone. it is a very defensive structure but can be used for a last ditch break out as well. Thats my reasoning for saying Khazad-dum is the most strategic. (Or at least one of them)
Obsidian 14/Sep/2006 at 10:13 PM
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Yes, if that big old balrog had not driven the dwarves out, Moria would not become empty and the goblins will not have made it their home. If not for the balrog, Moria/Khazad-Dum and the dwarves are unconquerable. In the days of Beleriand and Thangorodrim, Moria had already existed since the beginning and was a great dwarven city. After the wars and the destruction of Beleriand, Moria was the only great dwarven city left standing and thus became the cheif city of the dwarves.

Even if surrounded by innumerable enemies, the dwarves can seal the entrances. They are good with stone work.

Endril 15/Sep/2006 at 07:44 AM
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I think one of the strategic places of Middle Earth was indeed Minas Tirith but I will not talk to much about it. Also another stratetgic place is Mordor, it’s great advantage being the defences. The thick walls and the terrain that surrounded Mordor were the best protection aginst attacks. Allso the orcs atationed inside are good defenders too. The mountains arround Mordor are a very good defence.
Earendin 15/Sep/2006 at 08:39 AM
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One very strategic location is Moria(If you kill the goblins).Moria has only two entrances and the enemy can be lost in Moria if he doesn’t know the way.I don’t think the goblins would have claimed it if it wasn’t for the Balrog.Also you can make quite a living from her metals and gold and most importantly you can equip your army with mithril or if there isn’t enough make an armor for yourself.The wealth of Moria was not in gold and jewels but mithril(Gandalf,Fellowship of the Ring,A Journey in the Dark)
Angmar Warlock 16/Sep/2006 at 06:49 AM
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All this talk of fortresses is wrong in my opinion.  The key to defeating a fortress is just to surround it and starve the defenders out.  dont be foolish enough to attack it because we all know what happens.  To my mind therefore the closest thing to a fortress with many exits underground to bring in supplies is mount gundoband.  Easy to defend, you can live of the underground resources and sneak out to attack your enemy where hes not expecting it.
cister 16/Sep/2006 at 07:17 AM
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hmm... yes angmar warlock, your tactic is completely understandable, but then the fortress of umbar would be a very good strategic position two, it lies at the sea!, so the enemy must have a large fleet and many supplies, because harad is a very warm desert, if the besiegers would assault, and ram the gates, the haradrim could use their mumakil elephants to destroy all what’s coming in 
Angmar Warlock 16/Sep/2006 at 11:59 AM
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Ive now had more time to think about this question and have had further thoughts.  for a strategic location my first response holds true.  But for a strategic area then im afraid Mordor is the champion.

First of all the threat to mordor is in the west.  There are only 2 ways in from the west/north- as we all know the pass of cirith ungol and passed the black gates into udun.  A more deefensive minded fortress located at the top of cirith ungol would prevent any army from getting up the steps. As it was :

"Sam understood, almost with a shock, that this fortress had been built not to keep enemies out of Mordor, but to keep them in.  It was indeed one of the works of Gondor, long ago, aqn eastern outpost of the defences of ithilien" - The return of the king - the tower of Cirith Ungol pg 880.

This fortress could serve a purpose but defensively it was weak. why not just build a wall across the passage and guard it - like the black gate.

The defensive capability of the black gate does not need to be explained.  It then also appears to me from the map that "udun" is a plateu within the mountains and therefore the mordor side of it was also be fortified with another such gate (isenmouth).

 

On the provisioning side, although mordor was a barren wasteland the sea of nurnen would provide all the water required by armies, and the land around it would be fertile enough to feed armies. 

The only real threat to mordor as a region, is therefore from the east - geographically there is an extension of the ash mountains down towards the sea of nurnen that would also make an excellent defensive barrier, so you would only have to fortify along the two rivers leading to the sea.  To all intents and purposes it is the most defensive location ever imagined.  An island fortress is good, but loose control of the seas and you loose the war - which incidentally nearly happened to the british in WW2.

Mordor also allows for the strategic basing of armies to march forth and conquer!!!

 

I know this is an exceptionally long speel but on a final note it looks to me (from the map) that there is possibly a pass of some description in the south west corner - leading into south gondor.

king_dain 16/Sep/2006 at 08:18 PM
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i think that the leaders like the king of rohan were stragical and realized he wouldnt stand a chance at his throne and city that he would havet to rely on something he relied on before helms deep wich has a defensive strategial defensive positon and sauruman relized that and thats why he had the bombs made
Beregond Abell 17/Sep/2006 at 10:43 AM
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Well the Gondorians were very smart in building Minas Tirith, Osgiliath and Minas Ithil. They controled the river and the pass into Mordor. But when Minas Ithil fell then Osgiliath was a good location becouse the enemy could not cross the the river with out having the city of Osgiliath. Then Minas Tirith was the last location of Gondor’s. It still stopped the Shadow from crossing into the country behind Minas Tirith.
Endril 18/Sep/2006 at 07:39 AM
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Beregond:  I will talk now a bit about Minas Tirith. I leked mostly the defensive sistems and especially the sistem of walls and gated. The citadel had seven walls and each had a gate. The gates were not on the same line so the enemy would have some trouble before getting to the other level.

Still I wonder were the other people except soldiers lived in Minas Tirith? In the villages near the citadel?
Feanos 20/Sep/2006 at 06:48 AM
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Legolas:In answer to you question, I’m almost positive that the villagers live within the seven layers of the city, such as each level has a different purpose. and I know there is a quote somewhere about Beregond’s son that says they all "lived" in the city, but had evacuated recently, due to the coming onslaught. I due say, Minis Tirith is quite the fortress and strategic location. but I must agree with angmar that mordor is actually the best strategic location given it is controlled well.
Beregond Abell 24/Sep/2006 at 11:06 AM
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Legolas: Like Feanos said they lived in the Seven levels of the city. Also in the country side, in the Pelenor fields, farmers. In the city there was other things besides war buildings. There was houses in the city of stone. it was a beautiful city. But I think that Mordor has a great defence as well.
Kaulargorn 25/Sep/2006 at 03:43 PM
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During the third age Osgilliath Osgilliath is definitely the most strategic place cause there is no other appropriate pass for the army of Mordor through Anduin.Secondly come the Issen pass which makes the communication of Rohan and western middle Earth possible.The pass of Moria is a very strategic place too.At last, the grey heavens are of great importance cause without it elves are trapped in middle Earth

KingODuckingham 25/Sep/2006 at 07:59 PM
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I agree with Angmar...we farsighted Istari know what’s best! lol. Mordor is the greatest strategic place ever, which is no doubt why Sauron chose it. Mountains round to fence your enemies out, a huge inner lake and fertile lands to the south, easy access to domination of the Southern and Eastern lands, and within striking distance of almost any point in 2nd and 3rd Age ME.
bukkworm 03/Oct/2006 at 12:13 PM
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Shut up kingoduckingham because the Istari dont know best.(I mean look at Saruman!)

Anyway I think it would be a dwarf city. I mean think about it. Lots of tunnels and drarves and dwarves know them inside out. Before you mention Moria it wasnt just goblins, they had Durins Bane(a balrog) so it would have been easier for the goblins.

Oin 03/Oct/2006 at 07:39 PM
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bukkworm: Welcome to the Plaza! Please do not copy and paste another member’s name from their title bar and put it in a post. It is considered spamming as it contains extra coding. Also, please be respectful of all other members - don’t tell them to shut up. Thanks!
Durin of Moria 18/Oct/2006 at 12:37 AM
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Khazad-dum is also a strategic place. It is amist mountains and that protects it.
Earendin 21/Oct/2006 at 01:22 AM
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Minas Tirith, as Beregond mentioned, was built in a very Strategical position and with always in mind of best ways to defend it.The design of Minas Tirith to be built in levels was a very smart thing to do since if one level was overrun by enemies the soldiers could retreat to the second one and defend it.
Endril 21/Oct/2006 at 04:45 AM
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Durin: Moria was a strategic place because it was hidden, but if the orcs for example would attack in great numbers, then the dwarfes would probably have no where to run, and untill they would reach the exits, many of them would be killed inside the mines that were not quite a place to fight.
Arathyn 24/Oct/2006 at 06:10 PM
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Earendin, you make an interesting point about Minas Tirith. What is interesting though is that through history most static defensive positions have been breached at least once, (Constantinople, Jerusalem, Rome, etc.) The same is true in Middle Earth: Minas Tirith, Helm’s Deep, etc. were all breached.

Essentially, if you throw enough man/orc-power at something, you’ll be able to breach it eventually. That just makes it hard to have a truly strategic position.
Oin 24/Oct/2006 at 07:31 PM
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Arathyn: I think the words of General George S. Patton upon reaching the Siegfried Line in 1945 can best sum up your points: "Fixed fortifications are monuments to the stupidity of man". Yet at the same time, Orthanc was never breached ever, even when Isengard was, and the Hornburg never fell either - just because the outermost walls were breached doesn’t mean the fortress fell.
Earendin 25/Oct/2006 at 05:22 AM
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Arathyn:I do not doupt it but I don’t agree with your last statement which says that whatever castle, stronghold or anything else can be captured with numbers.This is not true as happened with Minas Tirith:The Orcs breached only the first level and even when they did they didn’t capture it because technically the city was separated at seven levels.

Arathyn 25/Oct/2006 at 12:48 PM
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But note that I mentioned the element of time.

Time + manpower = victory

If I have an unlimited number of troops and an unlimited amount of time then I would be able to defeat any stronghold. Earendin, you mention that the orcs only captured the first level. This is true, I will grant you that. But they were also disrupted in their attack by an outside force. Had they been allowed to continue attacking as they were before then there is no doubt in my mind that they would have been victorious in defeating each of the seven walls of the city. It was only through the fortunate and timely intervention of the Rohirrim that they were prevented from accomplishing this.

So, outside forces will oftentimes prevent the outcome from being a victory. Often times a fortress is able to withstand attack because the attackers do not have enough time or troops to finish the task.

Therefore, my point is not that there has ever been an example of a fortress being breached, but simply the fact that under ideal circumstances, any fortress can be breached. Do you see the difference?
Earendin 27/Oct/2006 at 12:24 AM
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I suppose you are right Arathyn.But I think that in a real battle in which the numbers of the attackers and the defenders are not unlimited a strong castle would be very handy for the defenders.But technically what you say is correct and I agree with you.
Arathyn 27/Oct/2006 at 12:51 PM
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Earendin, you are also right: when resources are limited, having a strong defensive position helps tremendously. I believe that the general rule is that you need 3 attackers to every 1 defender (this changes depending on the situation, but in general its true).

Look at the Battle of Normandy for example. The Allies needed a TON of manpower in order to punch a hole in the German defenses. This is of course similar to Minas Tirith and Helms Deeps.
KingODuckingham 27/Oct/2006 at 04:03 PM
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I was pondering more strategic locations, and realized the incredible importance of the Lonely Mountain. Gandalf talks of this in Unfinished Tales, telling of how he organized the adventure related to us in The Hobbit because he knew that if there was not a dwarven fortress in between Sauron’s forces and the North, that there could be "fire and ash in Eriador" and "no Queen of Gondor" because Rivendell would have been ravaged. In essence, Erebor is the key to the entire north. And having that secret exit (before Smaug blocked it up) doesn’t exactly hurt its tactical strength.
Carandol Eredion 28/Oct/2006 at 02:34 AM
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I’m surprised that not many people have mentioned the Gap of Rohan, which has great importance as being the only easy route to get an army over the Misty Mountains. I suppose this was more important in the Second Age, with no Gondor or Rohan to hold the Gap, which explains Gil-Galad’s concern in the letter he writes to Tar-Meneldur (UT). Indeed, it was this route which Sauron used (without any evidence of any problems) to get his army into Eriador in SA1695.

On the other hand, Isengard was definitely the key to this area, enabling any possession of the other crucial point, the Fords, to be completely negated by sending troops (as indeed Saruman did) down the east bank of the Isen.
Arathyn 29/Oct/2006 at 02:38 AM
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Very good point. I had failed to remember that, but now that you mention Rohan there are a couple of points that should be made.

1) It was very strategic...and very open. There were not many things that made a good natural defense.

2) Because of the wide open nature of the Gap of Rohan, it was incredibly hard to defend against a persistent force.

3) Since it was the door to Eriador to the North, or to Gondor in the south, it is vitally important that the Gap of Rohan be defended at all costs. The Rohirrim have a tough job, but one which they are well suited to.
Endril 30/Oct/2006 at 02:15 AM
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Thinking about strategic places have you ever thought that an entire army could camp in Fangorn, shure ents would allow them to stay there. No one would enter Fangorn and the army could launc a surprise attack at any time. The only condition is that the ents would agree with that camping.
Earendin 30/Oct/2006 at 04:43 AM
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Legolas Fireblade:Fangorn would be a Strategic location for a while but if someone wanted to destroy or conquer it, it wouldn’t be able to defend itself for a long time.The attackers can start a fire and make it spread in order to burn the whole forest for example.
Arathyn 31/Oct/2006 at 11:17 PM
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I agree with Earendin, the Fangorn, in the long run, would not prove to be very strategic. The Ents would be finicky allies, and there are no strong points to speak of. The strategy would simply be to run around and hope not to be found.
Deagol77 01/Nov/2006 at 12:10 PM
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I think Moria would be the best stronghold if all the orcs were cleared out. To the west, you have the watcher to kill your enemies, plus the secret door through which only elves could get through, who are not enemies of the dwarves. To the east, you have the Bridge of Khazad-Dum to protect you. Also to the east is Lothlorien which enemies cannnot pass. Moria is therefore the best stronghold in all the lands of Middle Earth.
Earendin 02/Nov/2006 at 12:01 PM
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Deagol 77:Khazad-Dum would indeed be a good strategic location if it was cleared by the Orcs but do not forget that the watcher also kills your soldiers/peasants/travelers/merchants and the elven door no longer exists and cannot be remaken.Also from the East there is the danger of the Goblins and the Goblins may even come from under the ground so straight to Khazad-Dum.So I don’t think it is the best kingdom and strongest stronghold in Middle Earth.Me and Arathyn have discussed this title of the best stronghold that in conclusion, doesn’t exist.There is no unbeatable and best stronghold in Middle Earth or anywhere else.

likuku 04/Nov/2006 at 03:19 AM
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I think that Bara-Dur is the best stronhold and it in good strategic place too because if any army would want to attack Bara-Dur first you have to get trough Black gates or go trough Minas Morgul and then in Plateau ofGogoth to Bara-Dur and if you are survived this all then you have to destroy Bara-Dur!! I can sayshuerly that if you want to do this you would have, I think, some 100 thousends mens with heavy armors or even more.

But the most strategic land would definetly be Mordor because to Mordor all around are mountains and these mountains is better protection than 20000 mens. 

Elrond Half-Elven 06/Nov/2006 at 01:06 AM
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Mordor by far is the most stretegic region but the next best i would say would be isengard if it is guarded well and there arent ents coming after you

Deagol77 06/Nov/2006 at 12:47 PM
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B.Took: Even if you had ents coming after you in Isengard, they wouldn’t be able to destroy Orthanc, therefore even ents could not destroy the true fortress of Isengard.
Qtpie 06/Nov/2006 at 08:10 PM
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Deagol77: Brandobras Took is technically right because Orthanc isn’t actually considered to be a fortress, but merely just a tower. So Took can say that Isengard is a good strategic location if there weren’t any Ents on your tail. Isengard was the fortress.
Elrond Half-Elven 09/Nov/2006 at 01:06 AM
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Deagol 77: and still essentially the tower of orthanc could be destroyed because it states in TT that they had made little dings in the tower so that could be a way to say that after thousands of years of being beat on the tower could probably become weak enough to be breached or fall but that is highly unlikely

TŠragolloion : thats correct when i said region i said isengard because the tower is actually orthanc i think but i could be wrong

Oin 14/Nov/2006 at 05:43 PM
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Elrond Half-Elven: Ents are far stronger than trolls. And when angry, they are probably the the strongest of all the races in Middle-Earth in terms of raw physical strength. There were dozens of furious ents and they were all beating the black rock of Orthanc with all of their fury and strength for some time. And all they made were scratches and chips. I’d say Orthanc, like the walls of Minas Turith which are made of the same material, were essentially indestructible.
Qtpie 14/Nov/2006 at 08:26 PM
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To back up Oin I have a quote:

"Maybe you have heard of Trolls? They are mighty strong. But the Trolls are only counterfeits, made by the Enemy in the Great Darkness, in mockery of Ents, as Orcs were of Elves. We are far stronger than Trolls. We are made of the bones of the earth. We can split stones like the roots of trees, only quicker, far quicker, if our minds are roused! Treebeard

This is a personal quote from Treebeard himself saying that he is stronger than the Trolls and some of the stuff the Ents can do when they are angry. And here’s the quote of the Ents furious destruction of Isengard that Oin mentions:

They roared and boomed and trumpeted, until stones begain to crack and fall at the mere noise of them....Round and round the rock of Orthanc the Ents went striding and storming like a howling gale, breaking pillars, hurling avalanches of boulders down the shafts, tossing up huge slabs of stone into the air like leaves." Flotsam and Jetsam
Master Eruedraith 16/Nov/2006 at 07:20 AM
Minstrel of Lothlorien Points: 2401 Posts: 1214 Joined: 04/Sep/2008
i have to say that helms deep was the best, because one. It had large strong doors, it had very large walls. It had had a high tower for archers, it had a path through the mountain to get out, not to mension, if the wall wasn’t blown up then the rohirum would have had a better chance at winning. And they still won after all of that.
Deagol77 16/Nov/2006 at 04:48 PM
Banned Points: 338 Posts: 64 Joined: 31/Oct/2006
What about Mirkwood Forest? If you could support your troops and then  trick your enemies into following you, they would have no where to go and you could slowly pick them all off. Of course, this is only if your troops knew the forest well enough to not get lost as well.
Qtpie 16/Nov/2006 at 07:24 PM
Commander of Mordor Points: 22280 Posts: 12880 Joined: 17/Nov/2005
Mirkwood Forest is quite dangerous to everyone, friend or foe. After Sauron settled down in Dol Guldur, a darkness passed over Mirkwood and evil creatures began appearing there. So when your troops are going through the forest they will have to be quite cautious as the evil in Mirkwood is quite a menace and danger to the troops. To add you also have enemies to deal with that you led into the forest.
Deagol77 22/Nov/2006 at 02:02 PM
Banned Points: 338 Posts: 64 Joined: 31/Oct/2006
Good point, Taragolloion. About my post earlier on ents not being able to destroy Orthanc. Orthanc could actually be used as a much better fortress than all of Isengard If you had food and troops in there, nothing could destroy the tower. If ents attacked, you could set them on fire. Also, it says in the book that as the ents were trying to destroy Orthanc, they hurt themselves more than the tower. If men or orcs attacked, you could shoot arrows at them from the tower, if they managed to punch through Isengard’s walls.
Qtpie 22/Nov/2006 at 06:34 PM
Commander of Mordor Points: 22280 Posts: 12880 Joined: 17/Nov/2005
Yes, Orthanc was quite impregnable and formidable. Saruman can stay protected in there, if he had a good stock of provisions and men to defend the tower. Indeed Orthanc would be a better fortress than Isengard since there is no one that can break the walls of Orthanc.

’For Isengard may be ruined, yet he is still safe in Orthanc.’ The Two Towers: The Palantir