Help & Advice

Processing Rules and Procedures

This article provides information about the how we run our games.

If you have any questions that are not covered, please do Get in Touch.


Email Receipts

Our email address (which JOverseer sends to) has an out of office auto-responder, so you should get a reply within 30 minutes of sending in orders. If you do not receive confirmation then we have not received your orders.


Processing times

Games are generally processed at 9am UK time on the day after the due date shown on the results pdf. Please ensure that your orders reach us by that time at the very latest. So you will need to send your orders in before then to be sure that you allow time it to reach us – even emails take time to arrive. If you send in turns by email or JOverseer, you will receive a receipt from us, so if you have not received this receipt we have NOT received the orders, in which case please try again. We also suggest that you keep your turn receipts, as this is your proof that we have received your orders.

Emails are taken from the computer at 9am, so any orders sent to us via email after this time may not make the deadline. Every effort will be made to ensure that the results are sent on the day that they are processed – if you don’t get your turn back by around 8pm BST, and have not heard from us that the game has been delayed, then please do get in touch.

Orders received after mid-day (UK time) on the day after the due date shown on the results pdf will incur a fee.


Changes to Orders

If submitting updates to your own orders, please increase the version number.
JOverseer should do this automatically, but you can also do so yourself by saving the order file, altering the file name, then emailing it to us as an attachment. If you don’t do this every time, we can end up receiving a v1 of orders with a more recent time-stamp than a v2, which leaves us wondering which to use.

If submitting changes to someone else’s orders, we must have their permission.
We know this is a team game, and the chances are that if you submit a revision for a teammate, they will be happy for you to do so. But there have been cases where people on a team disagree about plans, leading to players sending unwanted changes to their teammate’s orders. So if you are going on holiday and are happy for your team to make changes to your orders, please drop us an email to let us know. You can even leave instructions that you are always happy for this to happen if you like. The exception to this rule is grudge games, where the team captain always has permission to make changes.

No matter what orders you are making changes to, always send us the order file.
Even if you are only making one small change, we need a new order file with an updated version number, not just an email saying ‘I’d like this character to do a 605 instead of a 620’. This isn’t just us being too lazy to make the changes at our end: every time we make a change manually there is a risk of an error, which no one wants to see happen. If you are submitting changes for a teammate and don’t know what version they have submitted, just send us a version 100.

The deadline for orders to reach us for normal games is 9am UK time, on the morning after the due date shown on the pdf. Versions of orders sent to after that risk not being used. Emails take time to reach us, and games also take time to run – so just because you haven’t had your results doesn’t mean that the game hasn’t begun to be processed, in which case it is too late to change your orders. We’ll always use orders that come in after 9am if we spot them, of course, but don’t rey on this.

With CME and other ‘process when ready’ games, on the other hand, we run them as soon as we notice that orders are in for both sides. So while you can send in updated versions, if you do so after we’ve received orders from your opponent, the game might already be being processed, in which case your updated orders won’t be used. To be on the safe side only send orders when you know you’re happy with them!


Game Costs

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to view our Game Costs.


Funding your Account

Please ensure that your account is always in credit! If your account is not in credit, it is known as in a Low Funds state. Turns will then incur an extra fee, and may be held back until payment is made (turns are still processed, but not sent out). Normally we only hold back the second turn that goes low funds, but we reserve the right to hold back the first low funds turn if we consider it necessary for consistent offenders. Please note that the correct balance is the one on the Front Sheet, not the one on the Result sheet. You should ONLY use the balance shown on your Front Sheet not on your Result sheet.

We only check for payments in once a day, at around 9am UK time. So if you need to send funds to cover your next turn, please make sure you do so a few days before the game is due to process.

When starting a new game, please try to ensure that you have enough funds in your account to cover your setup fee. If you are a returning player with a negative balance, we reserve the right to apply a small administration fee on joining.

If you require a VAT receipt for a payment made to us, please ask.


Ceasing Play and taking over Dropped Positions

If ceasing play, please let us know as soon as possible.

If for some reason you wish to drop a position in any of our games, please inform us and your team-mates as quickly as possible, so that other players in the game do not suffer. It only takes a minute and helps those who want to play on – players dropping without warning or letting us know can cause great damage to the games. Refunds of any remaining credit are available.

If a player misses a turn, we will attempt to contact that player and see if they wish to continue. If a player misses 2 turns in a row then we reserve the right to transfer that position to another player, and drop the former player from the game so that the rest of the team is not penalised.  It only takes a minute for players to contact us, even in very busy periods of their life, and we find that if players miss one turn they are much more likely to miss the second turn, and if they miss the second turn then they are very likely to miss subsequent turns.


Shadow Orders

In order to minimise harm caused to a side by a player who does not send in orders, we allow team-mates to send in orders on their behalf. If you do have not heard from a member of your team within a reasonable length of time, then on request we will forward a copy of the uncommunicative nation’s turn (a reasonable length of time being one week for a two week game and a couple of days for a one week game). The team is then allowed to send in Shadow Orders. These are orders that we will run if the owner of that nation does not get orders in themselves. If, however, the owner of the nation does get orders in, then we will use those in preference to the shadow orders

If you send in shadow orders, please do not do so via JOverseer. You can write the orders in JOverseer as usual. But when you are ready to send, click ‘send orders’ then choose the ‘save as’ option. This will allow you to save a copy of the order file. Then rename the file with ‘shadow’ at the end (i.e. me01v1shadow.099), and email it to us as an attachment.


Playing Multiple Positions

The number of positions you can play in any particular game can be found in the game details – usually one, two or three. And at the start of a game, no player can run more than that number – please do not use a pseudonym to attempt to do so. However, if a player drops out, then we will often consider allowing an existing player on that team to take over their position, so that the game will not become unbalanced. Since this system is clearly open to abuse, we reserve the right to judge each case on an individual basis.



Aliases, unless you have specifically been given permission, are not allowed. Some players have used this to enable themselves to play more than one nation under assumed names. We leave it to your own honour and sense of fair play to police this. But if we catch you we will penalise you.


Special Service Turns

If you do not submit orders, and we do not receive any shadow orders from your team, you will receive a Special Service turn, where the computer creates very basic orders on your behalf.  There is no charge for special service turns.


GM Players

We run Middle-earth primarily out of a sense of love for the gaming hobby. We’re all keen gamers, and so play in many of the games. But an individual GM will never referee a game they are playing in, or have any access to the game turns or database. If you do not wish to play in a game with a GM player, please let us know when asking to join a game.


Bank Holidays

Turns will be run every week day except for Christmas and Boxing Day, so please take this into account when sending in turns, else you may miss a deadline. We do, however, sometimes take a week off around the Christmas/New Year period, and will inform you of how you will be affected each year.


Emailing Us

When emailing us, please use the email address, and include ME in the subject line.



In a perfect world, errors would not be made. But we are only human, and acknowledge that on occasion, mistakes will be made. If you think that there has been an error in your turn, please do not panic, as we can sort out nearly any problem or mistake that may have occurred. Simply contact us as quickly as possible (if you leave it too late then we might be unable to fix the error and you will lose out). Please give all the relevant information, including who you think it will impact upon, and we will do our best to resolve the matter. If it’s our error, we’ll fix it and contact the appropriate parties with the amendment to the turn.

For example:

Subject: ME Potential Edit for game 82/6

Re: Game 82 nation 6

Dear GM

Unfortunately, last turn you input Vagaig doing an 850 (Move Army) instead of 860 (Force March) and he stopped short of moving to Morannon 3221. This means that the Dark Lieutenants will no longer be facing my army @3220. I have checked my orders and found that the DS @3221 need to be informed.


The method we use to perform an edit is to take a back-up (the game information before it was processed), input the corrected orders on the back-up disk, and re-run the Process program. We then will inform all the appropriate parties with the updated information. We don’t send out the new turn, as it will have information on it that would not otherwise have been known – such as Locate Artefact attempts that failed first time, but succeeded second time around, etc – but do inform all parties of all relevant information changed.

In the case of the above example, then, we would do the following:

Firstly, we check the turn sheet to make sure the player is not mistaken (some apparent edits are due to a mis-reading of the rules, an error behalf the player when writing his turn, etc.). Then we perform the edit using the above process. If the move is now successful, the results then go out to the Dog Lord and the Dark Lieutenants explaining that they can now see a Large Army under Vagaig at 3221, and that there is no longer a Free People icon @3220. A similar report will be sent to the owner of the North Gondor. All nations who can see 3220 and 3221 will be informed as well to the extent that they would be aware of the change, in this case that an army icon has moved.

Random elements

Random factors in the Process program – such which army moves first – mean that we cannot always emulate the exact situation which occurred the first time when running a corrected process. But everything is set to exactly the way it was when the game originally processed before the process is run, except that the correct orders are in.

Market errors

These are about the only errors that we are unable to easily correct. We are physically unable to modify the price or availability of items on the market. And so work around this should a 315/325 (310/320) order not be input correctly. In the case of a 325/320 error we simply remove the items from your stores and give you the gold equivalent. But in 310/315 cases we have to use a slightly more obscure method…We re-run the edit as explained above, and see what the price changes in market are. We then contact the players informing them of the new cost of items on the market (buy/sell price), and inform them that if there is a player that is selling the item next turn that they need to clearly indicate that this is so. Then, at the start of the next turn, we give the difference in gold to the nation, and allow the order to go through.

Alternatively, our latest method is to find out the difference in price between the original process results (run with the error), and the Reprocessed version (with the correct Market orders input), then refund the difference to the players who have purchased that commodity so that if they were to have sold the goods next turn they would have the same amount of money. The loss of money made from selling from their stockpile is compensated somewhat by the effective increase in Market sell limit.

This effectively allows us to correct errors in such circumstances, allows the players to manipulate the market to get extra funds out of it, and deals with 99% of the problem. It’s not perfect I know, and we’re still working on this so if you have any useful ideas then please contact us.

Oh, and if the above makes little sense, please do not worry – in the unlikely event of such an edit affecting you, we will go through it all with you.


Sample Email Order Format

We recommend that where possible, you use our dedicated game-play software JOverseer to send in your orders. However, if you do need to send in orders in the body of an email, please make them as clear as possible. Below is an example of what for us is the ideal email turn format, and we would ask that you do your best to emulate this as closely as possible. 


Subject: ME29/24

ME 29 Player: 24 Security Code: 1234 Due Date: 15th July 2002

Fred Bloggs A/c: 109999        Turn Number: 15


Alfred (alfre) @1234 (Com,Age,Emi)

810 MovChar 1235

900 FindArt 86


Beattie (beatt) @ 2345 (Com)

947 NatTran 1234 le 100

948 TranCar 2345 4321 go 10,000

And so on. Basically, please do your best to set out your orders as clearly as possible, with characters in alphabetical order (we won’t fix it afterwards if a player error occurs here and we don’t notice it) and without the orders either too close together, or too spread out.