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Skirmish

Gundabad Orcs skirmishing

There could not be much doubt: there was fighting in the tower, the orcs must be at war among themselves, Shagrat and Gorbag had come to blows.

The Return of the King, The Tower of Cirith Ungol


Skirmishes are events in which two or more Orcs fight amongst themselves.

Skirmishes cannot occur among hired units or 'special' Orcs such as traders and captains. Certain more disciplined Orcs such as the Uruk-hai and Black Uruks also skirmish, albeit far more rarely.

Starting a Skirmish Edit

A skirmish begins randomly when one Orc decides he doesn't like the look of a nearby Orc, and moves to attack him. The more Orcs that are in an area, the more likely it is that a skirmish will occur.

An Orc chat line often appears just before the start of a skirmish if the player is close enough, such as sayings like "Get out of my way, maggot!" Other telltale signs of a skirmish include unexplained sounds of Orc bombs exploding and the sounds of Orcs getting hurt.

Continuing a Skirmish Edit

The skirmishing behaviour is transferred between Orcs when a skirmishing Orc targets another Orc. If the Orc who is attacked manages to defeat his attacker, he himself will then seek out other nearby Orcs to skirmish with, and continue the skirmish.

In addition, if an idle Orc sees a skirmish happening nearby, he may want to join in. In these ways skirmishes tend to get bigger - increasingly quickly - in areas with lots of Orcs. Sometimes, this fighting can become so extreme that it results in the deaths of several dozen Orcs.

Ending a Skirmish Edit

Any Orcs involved in a skirmish will continue skirmishing and seeking out new Orcs to attack for as long as they can. If an Orc cannot see someone new to skirmish with, he will gradually 'cool down' for a few seconds, after which the skirmishing behaviour for this Orc will cease.

Thus the entire skirmish ends once all the Orcs involved are either dead, or are too far apart from other Orcs to continue the skirmish.

Disabling a Skirmish Edit

Before Public Beta 22, orc skirmishes could be disabled with the following command:

/gamerule enableOrcSkirmish true|false


Mini-Quests Edit

Since Public Beta 23.3, orcs involved in active quests, will not engage in skirmishes with other orcs.

Gameplay mechanics of the Lord of the Rings Mod

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