One of the most pressing issues that Saruman and Sauron have is exactly which Orc is due to be where. You may think that it’s a simple case of smiting and shouting or in Sauron’s case, glowing with menace but it’s really much more complicated than that.
Tattered rag flags are one thing and in Saruman’s case sticking a white hand on a helmet or random armour will do but the actual logistics of getting them somewhere in the order they are meant to is a bit of a headache. This is also an issue when it comes to Mordor’s poor lighting what with it being covered in smog pretty much all the time.
Let’s focus on Saruman’s Orcs of the white hand first. These are specially engineered ones of the fighting Urak Hai. Sauron’s are rubbish I’m afraid as they don’t function well in sunlight. Saruman’s are bred to be able to carry on happily whatever the weather. Therefore, you can see that there can be serious scheduling issues when it comes to invading Gondor or Rohan or anywhere else they fancy conquering for that matter if you don’t have the exact figures and how many are due to be sent out.
Saruman must have had some pretty late nights in Orthanc Tower musing over the how he was going to identify each Orc. 1, 2, 3 seems a bit basic (plus it hardly inspires terror “Waargh! I am Orc 4506!”) but giving ten thousand each a name would require even more time and Saruman doesn’t seem the creative type especially as Orc names are usually all like Grishnak Goblinthrottler or Drung Manbane. Orcs are pretty dense and coming up with their own system would probably see him end up with a similar number theme except the Orcs would give up after they got to “lots and lots”.
Perhaps were being too hard on the Orc’s apart from shouting “Find the Halfling!” and looking grumpy and violent they might have had a bit a few thoughts on the matter. Maybe they had a much better scheme or organising themselves. Probably though the most important point for them was to turn up, look angry and start slaying anything that doesn’t resemble an Orc. Keeping it simple is pretty much a good rule of thumb with these guys.
Orc Captain, “Right then you lot we’ve got to be over at that big castle they’ve got by nightfall”,
9,999 Orcs turn round and say “Which ones?” in unison.
Captain Orc gets up after being knocked over by the force of all those Orc voices and says.
“Ummm, dunno actually”.
If Saruman had access to some Membership management software systems (https://www.satori-membership-management.co.uk/Membership-management-software-systems.aspx) he might have been able to keep track of everyone in his army.