Would the Orcs have been able to overrun the keep if they didn
Yes, due to overwhelming numbers
26.7% (47)
26.7% (47)
No, the defensive would
73.3% (129)
73.3% (129)
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Poll: Helm's Deep battle, minus the bomb

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theriddlen:

thaluikhain:
Nothing to stop the uruk-hai uses trebuchets...they did not look like the jokes they had in the movie, real trebuchets would fire identical round stone blocks about as big as a person that would follow nice predictable paths so you could aim them.

AFAIK, IRL trebuchets were (contrary to popular belief, as is often the case with things that look cool) not that good of a weapon. In theory, yes, they could be accurate and they could propel big projectiles over large distances. However, probably because of technical limitations, those things did not perform great. The accuracy was quite random, it was hard to hit roughly the same spot twice, they were unreliable, extremely expensive and generally impractical. Real trebuchets were mostly rich rulers' toys, used to boost the army's morale, scare the opponents, and most importantly, make Mr. Important's willy feel large. Actual damage to the structure wasn't too impressive.

You can keep firing them once an hour or so indefinitely, though. Might take you a week or two, but sieges aren't supposed to be quick.

Okay, without going into actual war tactics, siege tactics, Lord of the Rings lore, book-vs-movie discussion, and all that other fancy stuff that would turn this into a nightmare (but a fun nightmare) and focusing SOLELY on what was shown happening at Helm's Deep during the fight and before the riders showed up, here's my take:

Yes, the Uruks would have. Here is the evidence that I give to support this:

The elves, for all their archery glory and renowned fighting ability, were getting slaughtered. If Aragorn, Leagolas, and Gimili had not been on that wall, I'm certain the elves would have been overrun long before the bomb went off. I've watched that battle countless times, and every time I see the elves losing. Recall when that one beserker managed to get on the wall. He swung his blade left, then right, and took down about four or five elves in a matter of seconds. Also, if you look at the actors in the background, you will never see an elf winning a fight (as in, impaling an Uruk or kicking them off the ladder). They are either struggling to hold off the Uruk, or losing.

Several elves get pulled off the wall and thrown to their deaths by Uruks climbing the ladder. One of the scenes that has always stuck with me is a computer animated scene. An Uruk reaches up--from the ladder, mind you--grabs an elf by the ankle, and pulls him off the wall. Why was that elf standing so close to the edge? It's different for the poor elf who got picked up and tossed over the wall, but this guy was begging for it. Not exactly the smartest choice if you ask me.

When Haldir dies, he looks around before he falls. He sees a lot more bodies of his people than he does of the Uruks. The elves are piled along the wall, and it's meant to show that Haldir fears they have lost.

There are NO elves when the war is done. Okay, there's one, and his final count was forty-two, but he doesn't count. I'm sure some elves survived, but they were so few in number that we didn't see them at the end of the battle. The Uruks basically wiped them out. And elves are better warriors than farmers.

The Uruks breach the gate. Again. Remember, Gimili and Aragorn have to go outside so the King has time to shore up the gate. However, if you look at the gate while Gamdling (is that how you spell it?) is yelling for everyone to retreat, we see the gate is smashed open again. This has nothing to do with the retreat. The gate just happened to give while they were retreating. Meaning it would have given even if they had stood and fought. Considering that the Uruks can now storm the courtyard, instead of coming up ladders one at a time, it would have been a slaughter.

There was a way out of the caves, but it would have done little good. The Uruks would have smashed down the door to the caves eventually. Once inside, they would have overrun the remaining defenders and gone after the people who had escaped. As we saw, Uruks can run for an INSANE distance without rest. They would have easily chased down women and children and wounded soldiers and ended them.

So no. If Gandalf, the trees (it wasn't the Ents, remember, but the trees themselves), or Eomer hadn't shown up and Helm's Deep was left on its own, it would have fallen and the White Hand would have claimed victory.

madwarper:
What do you mean "Elves"? There was only ONE Elf at Helm's Deep, Legolas.

Thank you! I had this argument with my friend the other day and he bet me $15 bucks that I was wrong. Easy money. Book version > Movie version

OT: Uruks would have one as they could have taken the gate and the defenders would have tired out without getting enough rest due to the number disparity. Although if the ents still made their timely arrival it's a moot point. Heh. Moot. Get it?

Oh...as an aside, why were the women hiding in the caves? Eowyn says the at least some women in Rohan fight, and she was hiding in the caves with the rest. You had (male) kids called out to fight, throwing rocks down off the wall, breasts wouldn't prevent you from doing that.

I don't profess to know too much about Orc military doctrine, or the exact spread of magical death available to them. However, the direct assault may have been their only chance, either way.

We know their army isn't stupid. Any army would have scouts watching every direction. They would have known the riders were coming. And as the movie clearly depicted, (Ignoring the failure of the pikes to do what pikes do and slaughter horses) being pressed from both sides generally causes the forces to be slaughtered. Being attacked from both sides never goes well with a military force. Perhaps the hope was to overrun Helms Deep, and use it as a bottleneck to catch the riders. Blow open the wall and fill it with pikes, or scale the walls and rain death down from them, either way, the cavalry would have been murdered with ease. To turn and face the Riders wouldn't have turned out well, as the forces of Helms deep would simply sally out of the castle into the new rear of their formation.

I couldn't say if removing the bomb would change things or not, but either way, an assault on the keep needed to happen right there, right away.

A Weakgeek:

Combustion Kevin:
I don't know WHAT Saruman was thinking attack a fortress with friggin' pikemen!

I always wondered this. I mean I know they were kinda known for their cavalry, but its a siege for godssakes! Unless you're planning to pole vault over the walls, leave that 4m stick home!

It WOULD make Total War games twice as awesome, though. :D

thaluikhain:
Oh...as an aside, why were the women hiding in the caves? Eowyn says the at least some women in Rohan fight, and she was hiding in the caves with the rest. You had (male) kids called out to fight, throwing rocks down off the wall, breasts wouldn't prevent you from doing that.

gender roles mostly, but probably with eye towards the future.

if all your women survive with only a handfull of men, you can rebuild your population quicker than when both men and women died in equal measure.

CAPTCHA: I am captcha
SHIT, it's sentient, fire from orbit and run for the hills!

Chefsbrian:
We know their army isn't stupid. Any army would have scouts watching every direction. They would have known the riders were coming. And as the movie clearly depicted, (Ignoring the failure of the pikes to do what pikes do and slaughter horses) being pressed from both sides generally causes the forces to be slaughtered. Being attacked from both sides never goes well with a military force. Perhaps the hope was to overrun Helms Deep, and use it as a bottleneck to catch the riders. Blow open the wall and fill it with pikes, or scale the walls and rain death down from them, either way, the cavalry would have been murdered with ease. To turn and face the Riders wouldn't have turned out well, as the forces of Helms deep would simply sally out of the castle into the new rear of their formation.

Not true...a formation being hit on both sides is bad, yes, but not so much for an army, that'd be something you needed to worry about when besieging someone (the Battle of Alessia comes to mind).

Combustion Kevin:
if all your women survive with only a handfull of men, you can rebuild your population quicker than when both men and women died in equal measure.

Only if your society supports polygamy, which generally isn't the case and there was no evidence of it in LotR.

And, disarming half your potential force and having them wait to get slaughtered/rescued doesn't do much for your nation's long term survival either.

Bomb would have not changed much as all is decided by the raiders coming. now lets assume raiders are not coming and its just Helms deep vs orcs, in which case orcs win by sueprior number and strenght. a human cant fight for 12 hours straight. an orc can double that.

crazyarms33:

madwarper:
What do you mean "Elves"? There was only ONE Elf at Helm's Deep, Legolas.

Thank you! I had this argument with my friend the other day and he bet me $15 bucks that I was wrong. Easy money. Book version > Movie version

OT: Uruks would have one as they could have taken the gate and the defenders would have tired out without getting enough rest due to the number disparity. Although if the ents still made their timely arrival it's a moot point. Heh. Moot. Get it?

Well, technically, Orcs are fallen elves (in fact Tolkien invented the word "Orc" (before similar creatures were called "Ogres")) so there were plenty of elves in Helms Deep.

To be honest I think the whole Uruk-Hai attack plan needed re thinking, commiting to a large scale assault seems to be a flawed plan alltogether, the Uruk-Hai would of been able to plan a full scale siege and been able to succeed in this very easily due to their pure numbers and the speed at which they were being made any losses they encountered due to food shortage would of been negated by the fact that they would still probably of been gaining orcs rather than losing them and the orcs they did lose would of been able to of been used as a food source in themselves the humans however would lack the stanima and lack or morales that the orcs held in their favour, they would of been unable to gain troops due to the position of Helms deep and so would of been starved out quite rapidly if you look closely their food storages would of been un sustainable for a decent length of time and so they would of been starved out quite quickly.
Also the orcs proved in the movie and book that they were extremly efficient workers and were able to dig out massive areas of land, so this follows that if they were able to manufacture bombs then they would be able to commit to siege warfare using the techniques used by civilisations far before bombs were created, digging siege tunnels below the walls and then collapsing them and that would render the defences virtually useless if repeated enough.
The Uruk-Hai would of been able to set up an effective rear guard with pikes barricades and arrows at the top of the ridge and down the valley that the Rohirrim came from and due to their lack of foot soldiers would of been able to hold them off long enough for them to capture the stronghold.
I think in my opinion that the Uruk-Hais downfall would of more been their lack of leadership and strategy i mean saruman was basically a traitor and Sauron was a massive eye/spirit unable to engage in the most simple forms of comunication this is reflected in the almost fall of Minas Tirith where the stupidity of the steward Denethor,Both sides had the resources to with stand an attack or siege and both sides suffered massive loses when led by idiots i suppose it all comes down to not what you have but how you use it.

If I were the urak force attacking helms deep, here is how you win with bomb... Pretty LOL but it works.

Plant bomb at Front Gate (enough Uraks can die to eventually get it up there).

Bomb explodes gate and Probably bridge as well, Uraks go home or to reinforce saurons army attacking Gondor and leave a small battle force to keep an eye on things in case they try to use mountain pass.

Theoden and human/elf all trapped and starve to death cause of their own walls blocking escape and bridge is completely destroyed. If they escape all their crops and buildings have most likely been smashed down.

If no bomb, then probably still would of scaled the wall. Those big ladders with multiple orks on it would of probably been used on the first wave and simply weened the enemy down. even with elves and most of the people here I think far over-rate elven skill, uraks still would of triamphed.

MiskWisk:

You could have lost a lot of men?

>_>

I know your secret now!

I have no idea what you're talking about... I treat my cannon-fodder/soldiers/minions/slaves very well...

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