Army List Notes: Dale

After the Wainriders invaded Rhovanion, the horse-breeding Northmen were dispersed. Some moved north into the area east of the northern half of Mirkwood, and established (or were absorbed into) towns in that area, such as those along Esgaroth, the Long Lake; some amalgamated (probaly with local peoples) into the Kingdom of Dale, from whence this list takes its name. This list also covers the peoples of Dorwinion (about whom virtually nothing is known), which I assume to be the lands around the Celduin, the River Running, and the Carnen, the Redwater, to the east - these peoples were well-supplied with Dwarven arms (RotK, p439).

Climate is naturally rated as Cold, given the northern latitudes these people lived in. Agression is rated as 1, since Dale was attacked by Mordor in the War of the Ring, rather than attacking; the trading towns in any case are unlikely to have been greatly interested in expansive foreign policies. However, Ag 0 is not warrented, to judge from King Bladorthin's order of a stock of finely crafted spears (Hob, p219; the name Bladorthin does not sound right for a King of the Eorlings, so is presumably a King of Dale or Dorwinion), which would unlikley be ordered by a King withoiut some military asperations. Since they were never paid for, he cannot have had too much success in enlarging his realm! The (North)men of the area are mentioned as having driven back the Easterlings from the lands between the Celduin and the Carnen by becoming strong due to dwarven help (RotK, p439).

The WW represents Esgaroth, the Long Lake, large enough that its far shores could only barely be discerned (Hob, p185) if at all. Several rivers flowed into it, and the Celduin flowed out of it over some falls, thus the allowed Rv in the terrain selection. Dale itself was built by a river, in a valley (hence its name), green with wooded slopes (Hob, p196), hence H(S) and Wd; H (G) is also an option, since to the east, the land was more flat (Hob, p183).

The land of Dorwinion was famous for its wines and gardens (Hob, p172), and apples were grown for export around Esgaroth (Hob, p171, 187), hence the allowed O, V and E options. Roads (Rd) led east and west (Hob, p183) from Lake-Town (BUA), while marshes (M) and peat-bogs (RGo) were expanding at the end 3A (Hob, p184).

Generals may be classified either as Sp (Hob p245), or as archers (Hob, p237); an archer C-in-C is assumed to be somewhat heroic, like Bard, enough to inspire his men to similar deeds (Hob, p235), and is accordingly rated as Bw (S). Internal allied contingents are allowed to represent separate towns cooperating together - even the Kingdom of Dale for instance never had jurisdiction over nearby Lake-Town (Hob, p238); and indeed only one sub-general is allowed, since a large army would have draw upon other towns for support.

Townsmen are called spearmen (Hob, p262) and archers (Hob, p234). Some could be armoured (Hob, p185). Archers are Bw, rather than Ps, as they clearly were numerous, sending up an 'arrow-storm' (Hob 235). Spearmen are classified as Sp, since they followed up the enemy despite their commander's wishes (Hob, p267), the best being allowed the option of being (O) if armoured with Dwarven mail. However, since not all men were towns dwellers, but some could be from the surrounding dales or forests, and as some are described as being deployed in rocky ground (an unlikely place for Sp) some spearmen are instead allowed to be regraded as Ax (O). I assume such less-cohesivley formed spearmen would not include any armoured men, who clearly would come from the richest and more urbanised section of society. The option for Bd (I) represents those armed with long swords (Hob, p266) which would be an unlikely armament for Ax or Sp.

At the battle of the Five Armies, some of the braver men were strung out before the enemy as a forlorn hope before fleeing, and these skirmishers are classified as Ps (S). The option to mount some at even this later date is because it is likely that the horse-riding skills of the Northmen-descended portion of the populace (UT, p289) had been entirely abandoned; but only a few are allowed, as they are nowhere directly attested.

Boats were numerous, large, although to judge from their not carrying ponies, not large enough to warrant (S) status (Hob, p193), and were used in war as armoured warriors are mentioned being carried in them (Hob, p185).

Dwarven allies (RotK, p464, 471) represent either those of Erebor or the Iron Hills (or even both together in the one contingent); Sindar allies are those from Mirkwood, which the Lake-men were on friendly terms with. (The Battle of the Five Armies is best represented by a Sindar army with Dale and Khazad allies).

The option to have Kn (F) in the early period before the Dwarves moved to Erebor represents remnant Northmen nobles and mounted retainers that escaped the ravaging of Rhovanion (UT, p296) - they are assumed to have assimilated into the infantry as Dwarven influence extended out from Dale.

The banner of Lake-Town was blue (Hob, p248).

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This page last modified December 21, 1999