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In the Commodore 64 manual for War In Middle Earth, the manual said:

Sauron, like the Nazgul, is to be avoided altogether. However, he spends most of his time within the confines of Mordor itself. If he does venture beyond the borders of his foul realm, it will only be for a very short distance. There is no danger, for instance, of encountering him at Minas Tirith.

It was amusing to my brother and me that he not only attacked Minus Tirith in one particular game, he repeatedly did it. Once he was killed he would respawn in Mordor, and then come directly to attack Minas Tirith again. My brother's armies in the city were eventually destroyed and he lost. (Losing Minas Tirith was one game over condition).

What were the conditions that would cause Sauron to do exactly what the manual said he wouldn't do?

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Obviously Sauron himself wrote the manual just to throw you off guard. ;) –  Nicholas1024 Nov 2 '11 at 23:03
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We can't tell you why the game was buggy/the manual was wrong. If you're asking us to assume the the behavior was intended and want to know what conditions trigger it, I suggest making that clear and removing all the extra info. If this is in fact a real question the extra info makes it seem otherwise, although it's amusing. (See Why did they design it that way, anyway?). –  Matthew Read Nov 2 '11 at 23:36
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+1 for playing C64 games and reading the manual :) –  acalypso Nov 3 '11 at 7:47
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Meddle not in the affairs of men... –  espais Nov 3 '11 at 20:25
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I am in the process of making a savegame editor. I have found that both Sauron and Saruman are characters in the game. I have not been able to toggle the features which forced either to become visible and to attack. –  user21618 Mar 16 '12 at 2:04
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1 Answer

I think it's just completely random, or I haven't played enough to figure it out. But from experience there really is no strategy... it just ends up happening after a while.

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I played a game where I had Frodo within a few spaces of Mount Doom. In all that time (in that game) I never encountered Sauron. –  Jack B Nimble Apr 24 '13 at 21:11
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