Save Middle-earth on the cheap.

During a recent cross-time hunting trip to Fangorn Forest*, I seem to have accidentally murdered Treebeard, Aragorn,† Merry, Pippin, Gimli, Legolas, and Gandalf the White‡. Occuring just after the Three Hunters entered the weald in question, this has set in motion events which will culminate in the conquest of Rohan, the fall of Gondor, and the manual emasculation of Grima Wormtongue.**

I regret this turn of events†† and would like to see the timeline repaired. But, for reasons that need not concern you, I cannot simply stop myself from murdering three-fourths of the fellowship and bombing Fangorn Forest with napalm;‡‡ that will cause a paradox. Nor have I the time or resources to give to defeating Sauron & his pawn myself; Evil Inc is currently occupied in fomenting a war between the gods of Olympus and Asgard. (We’re selling uru and adamant weapons to both sides.) But I can’t bear to think of Éowyn living as a thrall or dying by her own hand, and I suppose most of the people of Gondor, Rohan, and Eriador don’t deserve to see a second darkness spread across the land either. Thus I am providing a small unit of mercs – about five thousand – if yone of y’all wants to go save the day.

The mercs will be outfitted as a United States Marine Corps infantry, substantially similiar to the 1st Marine Regiment.. You’ll be outfitted as the Marines would be for a mission except that you get no aircraft of any sort. Planes & helos won’t fit through the interdimensional portal thingie, and drones wouldn’t be sporting.

Tell me how you’ll save Middle-earth. I suppose you can conquer it yourself if you want to try, though no harm may befall Éoywn.

*Where else am I supposed to get a Ent to stuff and place in my parlor?

†Okay, killing Aragorn was not in fact an accident. Bastard broke Éowyn’s heart; for that, no punishment is sufficent. I didn’t mean to kill the others though. Except Treebeard for reasons explained above. And maybe Pippin.

‡Apparently Mithrandir’s post-resurrection invulnerablity did not extend to rocket-propelled grenades, let alone flame-throwers.

**After the Golden Hall falls, Grima is fated to try to force Éowyn daughter of Éomund to wed him; as you can imagine that is is the last mistake he is destined to make. I would detail what happens to his, ah, equipment afterwards but frankly you don’t want to know.

††Okay, not what happened to Grima and Aragorn.

‡‡Stop looking at me like that. The Ents were going extinct anyway!

***The Elves can go pound sand as far as I’m concerned. And the Dwarves are as doomed as the Ents. I will not feel guilty.

Time-traveling bastard. You killed Aragorn for an act which he had yet to commit! :wink:

(Though, now, obviously, he can’t do it now…)

It seems to me that the plan is basically unchanged: Frodo and Sam are still on their way to Orodruin, and all the rest of them did was basically to hold down the fort until they made it, and distract Sauron. Five thousand modern-equipped mercs should be plenty to defend Helm’s Deep and Minas Tirith (and they’ll be fast enough with modern ground vehicles to do both), and to make a final distraction assault on the Black Gate.

I seem to recall that enough fire would destroy the ring, such as that of a mighty dragon of old. Do your marines possess any chemical or nuclear weapons with these capabilities? If not, send a satellite with a nuclear payload through a portal into orbit and, well, you get the idea. It’s the only way to be sure.

Please provide a plausible explanation why I should give a crap about whether drones are “sporting.”

Tell ya what: Knock the infantry back to three thousand, throw in [del]twenty-five[/del] fifty drones, and three dozen Special Forces Marines that I can deploy as Delta Force teams. I’ll accept that I can’t launch GPS and communications satellites, but I can keep enough drones in the air to allow line-of-sight radio transmissions (plus maybe a few for ordnance delivery).

I also want a couple of suitcase nukes (to take out Orthanc and Orodruin).


P.S. BTW, are you going to want the Shire scoured?

Yeah, assuming the ammo and fuel holds out, I have nothing to add to this.

A significant challenge. I note you make no mention of the whereabouts of the Ring, Frodo, or Bilbo.

Assuming I have some lead time to prepare, I want the battalion intelligence guys to obtain multiple copies of all of Tolkien’s works. This should include any and all maps, which should be combined into a composite and distributed to all squad leaders.

Resupply is going to be a problem. Marines tend to like noisy toys, but noisy toys burn lots of ammo.

No mention of whether I have any tanks/APCs/Humvees/artillery. If I’ve got at least one tank, the rest is easy…locate the ring, secure same. Place ring and attached hobbit in tank. Drive to Mount Doom, drop ring and attached hobbit into lava. Sing Marine Corps Hymn.

If I don’t have vehicles, I’ll probably send a smallish force…say 500 marines to Helmsdeep and that other city that got attacked. Have them dig in, set up kill zones, deploy mines, etc. Orcs ain’t bullet proof, and automatic weapons will render their seige engines comically impotent.

Rest of the force will march on Mt. Doom, with hobbit and Ring. A sniper will drop Sauron as soon as the guy shows his head. Orcs will likely flee, those that don’t will be killed, ring and hobbit still get dropped in lava. Marine Hymn still sung. But the deployment will take longer.

I’d go in, grab the ring from Frodo, then return to this world. As the ring is tied to the fate of Middle Earth, presumably its removal will remove its power. And presumably it has no power in this world, so it will be nothing but a gold band.

What could possibly go wrong?

You misremember. Dragon-fire was enough to melt some of the lesser Rings (four of the Dwarf-Rings) but there was no longer any dragon left that could have melted any Ring, nor could even Ancalagon the Black, named specifically by Gandalf, have melted the One. No doubt for arcane reasons, only the Fire that forged the One could unmake it.

Reference the OP, logistics are the make or break. Give your mighty Marines unlimited fuel and ammo and they have the beating of unlimited numbers of spear-carriers. Give them anything like real-world problems in that department - a fortiori if you set 'em down with what they could carry - and they’re scrod.

As long as you’re shipping Aragorn and Eowyn, it seems counter-productive to kill him off for the crime of having a very long-standing arrangement with another woman. Aside from the part about Eowyn being attracted to Aragorn at least partly because she saw him as a ticket out of Edoras, it’s hardly a sound basis for a relationship if her strongest case is founded on being * OMG just as good as a man!* with a sword and re-e-e-e-allly having the hots for him on the strength of twenty-four hours’ acquaintance.

Personally, I’d be concerned that my technological edge wouldn’t last - Saruman and Sauron are budding industrialists, may be capable of reverse-engineering at least some weapons if captured, and have formidable numerical advantages. Further, as noted above, bullets and fuel run out. For these reasons, I’d be reluctant to risk my marines on an escort run or feint to Mordor.

My chief advantage isn’t technological, it’s historical - I come from a world that fought WW2. So: I use my marines to organize and implement a fighting retreat and evacuation in front of Sauron’s forces. Think Russian scorched-earth tactics - I let Sauron march as far as he likes, but I burn every village and every farm before I pull back. (I’d probably also stage a fighting retreat in at least some places, where the terrain would permit me to inflict high casaulties with only limited expenditures of modern weapons/fuel, and then withdraw safely). If local governments cooperate, great. If not, well - I have marines.

Orcs don’t farm, and they do need food. Once Sauron’s stretched his logistical tail to the breaking point, I start cutting off and destroying his hungry, demoralized forces. If orc psychology permits, I may even encourage mutinies and defections among units I’m not yet ready to engage, promising good treatment to troops that surrender, or even fire upon their fellows. If not, then they get the same treatment the Germans did - no food, little warmth (once winter comes), but all the bullets they can eat.

I’d like to point out that you’ve taken your forces through the portall without asking for any sort of map. But that’s your problem.

What’s your point?

No nukes. Those things are expensive and in case things go south with this whole Aesir/Olympian thing I may need some for myself. Certainly I don’t intend to pit my forces against Herakles or Thor.

Because you don’t have an army of mercs of your own, obviously. Or a continua device. It is not my fault that you have not acquired these.

No nukes, like I said. That would be too easy. Plus I’ll be recording the entire affair via repeater-scope so I can sell the record as a holo-novel. This operation is not going to fund itself.

I will permit you communication drones but nothing capable of delivering ordnance. Let us do this as men rather than with fire.

Of course not. That would lead to ravishings of Hobbit maidens and I am not that sort of villain.

Boring. Over too quickly. Even the wussies in the Federation aren’t gonna buy that holonovel. Not allowed.

You are mighty trusting of your tank crew.

I don’t see how this second paragraph gets me any latinum.

No help to Frodo and Sam, other than not killing them your ownselves!

My thought exactly. I’m not sure whether Edoras is worth defending frankly. You may wish to send someone in to extract Eowyn.

I ain’t shipping nobody. I never said that Aragorn was worthy of Eowyn, merely that the crime of breaking Eowyn’s heart is punishable by death.

I stand corrected on the dragon issue, which is especially galling as I read that chapter last week…
If it is not possible for our forces to destroy the ring from afar, I fear all is lost. Unless our commander is of the stature of Faramir, he will seize the ring and rule Middle-Earth, making even the mechanistic fantasies of Saruman look like a pastoral whimsy.

Nuke Mordor from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

I’m surprised no-one suggested that earlier in the thread…

I am the tank crew. I’m also more than a little irate, since I’m somehow commanding marines, which means some sonovabitch musta drugged me and cut my hair. I figure Pissed Off Oak driving a tank is a match for pretty much anything.

You’re mighty trusting of YOURSELF, then.

While I agree that, practically speaking, dropping the Ring with Frodo attached into the fires of Mount Doom is a good plan, the problem is that it’s murder. You’re opening yourself to being corrupted by the Ring. Especially since you’ve presumably already murdered both Sam & Gollum. (Admittedly killing Gollum is probably euthanasia.) I doubt you can drive a tank all the way to the chamber of fire; you’ll have do carry or drag Frodo part of the way, and it’s at its strongest there. You’ll have put it on long before Frodo’s dead.

Seems to me that involving yourself with Frodo’s half of the quest is a huge error. You just have to figure out how to replicate Aragorn’s signal feats during the war: saving Minas Tirith and providing that crucial distraction. Also at some point you may want to make out with Arwen or at least Legolas.

Nah…that stuff only applies to mortals and apparently non-dpsing angels. I am neither. Did I mention that my [del]minions[/del] employer recently presented me with a sledge hammer? That’s the second time they’ve done that. They think it was in recognition of certain “impact litigation” I’ve done, but you and I both know why mortals feel compelled to present me with hammers…

I hate to tell you this, Oak, but the Thunderer uses His Hammer in no small part to sanctify weddings and give blessings of human, animal, and agricultural fertility. Somebody’s trying to marry you off.