The Lidless Eye Army lists
Nearly one quarter of a century ago - when Middle Earth wargaming was less popular than it is now and Peter Jackson was still making cheap horror films - some friends and I at the Warlords used the (then) very popular Wargames Research Group's Ancient Rules (in their 6th incarnation) to play Lord of the Rings Table top games.
W had been playing since the late seventies or more using unlicensed figures as nothing else was available. We adapted a set of non fantasy rules but - for a while - it was quite popular. We produced a set of army lists (what's a Codex…?) to go with the very minor rules adoptions we made and so popular were they that we sold them the length and breadth of the country. Well, a couple of traders took stock from us and flogged them. We sold the first hundred or so by the end of '81 and - with new information in the shape of the Unfinished Tales being published by Allen and Unwin - we did a revised second edition with more lists in and an interpreted map.
I was pretty proud of that map, I can tell you. Before the days of scanners and home computers I spent hours in the Xerox Shop (remember them?) blowing up and reducing down the maps supplied in my hardback versions of the Silmarillion and Unfinished tales until I had produced something that was - to my knowledge at the time - a unique view of Ennorath: the only one I had seen to date that incorporated Beleriand and Middle Earth in the right positions and the correct sizes.
Sure - since then, loads of people have done it, but in 1983…
Anyway, WRG 6th edition has gone the way of all flesh (we have DBM and all sorts of Alphabetti Spaghetti now) and Peter Jackson has decided that Elves were at Helm's Deep and carry double handed, curved scimitars.
But before that we had generated - The Lidless Eye. We sold about 600 of them and covered our cost. They are well out of print and well out of date in all sorts of ways - the original text exists nowhere else than on the typewritten documents that were reduced down to A5 to print them, so the chance of anyone producing a 'proper' electronic copy is pretty much zero. Anyway, copyright being what it is, it's probably best if we just leave it at this: I scanned my one remaining copy and produced it as a PDF.
Recently I have had a couple of requests for copies of the lists and - as I have just the one left - I am loath to part with it so this probably seems the best thing to do.
I am convinced that - although aimed at another time and place, gaming wise - much of the original research we did was pretty darned valid. Certainly more valid than much of the research Mr Jackson did. Or didn't do. You are welcome to download it and make of it what you will but, GW hold the rights to the modern figures - and excellent most of them are too, it has to be said - and New Line Cinema have made some splendidly enjoyable films. That are mostly based on Tolkien.
Enjoy. - Click on the Page front cover or here to down load the pdf but be warned - it is 2000kb or so.
PS - As a foot note,
when GW held the LotR rights to figures the first time around - in the mid eighties
- they offered me, on the strength of these army lists - the job of adapting
Warhammer for LotR. I looked at the idea and eventually pulled the escape lever
when they said that the Orcs still had to be green… And - in the spirit
of that tradition - green Orcs can still be found painted as illustrations for
LotR Orcs on GW publications even to this day. Ah well!