Some of the most fascinating Reddit posts ever. The army of Mordor took a wrong turn and goes up against the Roman Empire at its height.. Kronos9898 I believe people are seriously underestimating the Roman legions. First, let us talk about the size of the Roman Army under Trajan. The largest number I can find for the orcs is 250k at Pellanor Fields. This represented the vast bulk of Sauron's strength, if memory serves. The Roman Legions under Trajan are estimated to be around 350-400k. Keep in mind that a large majority of these troops are battle-hardened career soldiers. While there may be initial shock value in the first engagement, the hallmarks of the Romans were adapting their tactics to suit their enemies. The Romans developed sophisticated methods to deal with war elephants, for example. It is unreasonable to assume they would not do the same for Mumakil etc. Keep in mind that Mumakil where effectively routed by a force of 6,000 Rohirrim cavalry. To say that the Romans are not capable of the same with their already established superior number is ludicrous. As to the orcs themselves, they are usually portrayed as generally being inferior to men in their fighting abilities. They have less morale, fighting skills, and arguably worse equipment then then the Romans. They lack the discipline, unit cohesion, and fighting experiences of the Romans. While Mordor would be able to make initial strides with what I would consider specialized shock troops, they would soon be cut off and surrounded as Mordor's basic line infantry falls to legionnaires. Keep in mind the martial mentality of the Romans, these are the people who lost an estimated 50-70k men at the battle of Cannae. To put that in perspective, the Romans took as many causalities in ONE DAY as the United States took in the ENTIRE VIETNAM WAR. Further consider population levels at the time: loosing 60k men when the entire population of Rome was around 400k was an enormous loss. This is also not counting the casualties they had already sustained from Trebia and Trasmine which approximates to around an additional 40k losses. Even after sustaining these horrendous loses against arguably the greatest general in history, the Romans absolutely refused to surrender. They went so far as to outlaw grieving in the city itself. After these setbacks, the Romans adapted their tactics (weird!) and continued fighting for another 10 years before finally claiming victory. This should give a small glimpse into the absolute single-mindedness of the Romans--they will not be intimidated, they will not back down, and they will not cut and run. You will have to kill each and every single one of them to defeat them. Ok, that last sentence was a bit of hyperbole, but you get the point. So before this gets any longer: Unless Mordor can effectively disorganize and completely rout the Roman army in the opening engagement of the battle, they will be outmaneuvered and defeated. Without the prospect of a decisive battle to thoroughly defeat the Romans, this is even worse for Mordor, again they are defeated. While Sauron's presence greatly enhances the capabilities of Mordor, if he does not have the ring, the Romans still win. Albeit with significantly greater casualties. Ninja edit: also people, think about how Mordor has to advance through the fire OF THE ENTIRE ROMAN ARTILLERY CORPS. Think of the beginning of Gladiator, now multiply that by a thousand. Edit: I figured I would hop back in and address some points that people brought up. The reason I left the Nazgul out is due to their small numbers. While yes they would undoubtedly cause hundreds if not thousands of Romans to flee, there are only 9 of them. Their numbers are far too small to affect the outcome of a battle involving perhaps 1 million plus combatants. In fact, in some regards the Witch King is wasted as a combat asset. He is of far more value actually commanding the armies of Mordor than as a combatant. As to the points of the nine attacking the Roman artillery positions, while this sounds good in theory, in application it has major issues. The numbers they are attacking. There is only 9 of them, and while they may be extremely difficult to kill, the felbeasts are not, relatively speaking. You cannot logically say that felbeasts will survive tens of thousands of archers, scorpions, and ballistas shooting at them. Assuming that they survive the fall from the felbeasts, they are now cut off and surrounded by literally the entire Roman army. They will kill dozens, hundreds, hell, maybe thousands, but eventually Pullo will throw a pilum through the back of the Witch King's hood, or he will catch a ballista bolt to the chest. Even if they couldn't be killed, do you understand how large a battlefield this is going to be? One side of the army will have no hope of even seeing the other side, let alone the middle. In the amount of time it will take them to walk around and kill everyone, the battle will be long over. Mumakil: these are honestly the best hope Mordor has of winning, but they still have a number of critical weaknesses that I think the Romans would be all too happy to exploit. The Romans don't need to kill the Mumakil--they just need to panic them. In fact this was one of the primary strategies the Romans employed against actual war elephants. Someone may correct me if I'm wrong, but is not this essentially what the Men of the West do in the battle of the Pelanor fields? The Mumakil are extremely tough, but the riders are vulnerable to a shot from an arrow, balista, or scorpion. The Romans will no doubt seek to exploit this. An extremely good historical point was made below that the use of catapult on the battlefield was not exactly a thing until the Mongolians pioneered it. However, we must consider that the entire Roman army is here, which means all of their siege equipment. When Flavius Flave sees the giant building-size elephants bearing down on them and he has a onager that can hurl massive stones designed to crush city walls, or pots filled with combustible liquids (tell me one of those on the face of an Mumakil would not panic it), is it that hard of a logical leap to make that he might decide to use them on the Mumakil? Even then, I have a hard time imagining a ballista bolt could not pierce the hide of a Mumakil. Remember, necessity is the mother of invention. People seem to not know what I mean when I reference elite shock units. From the historical perspective these where units designed to cause overwhelming casualties and morale "damage" by executing devastating charges into infantry formations. Historical units that fit this classification are: Cataphracts: Cataphract - WikipediaScythed chariot - WikipediaWar elephant - WikipediaMolossus (dog) - WikipediaPilum - WikipediaWar pig - WikipediaAuxilia - Wikipedia I have been gifted internet Aurum! Thank you kind Senators!