Middle Earth: Battle For Arda - Official Thread



  • I don't recall your nazgul/black gate point. I go by book canon. I don't recall them fighting in the book.

    so that's what unseen does; doesn't seem like a good keyword, in that it's not intuitively obvious what it means ("grokkable") even if it fits the lore.

    On ai; both are problems; but core strategy is something that might be one day fixed with some decent lookahead protocols; alot of the other stuff just won't be fixed cuz it's too map specific and hard for the ai to assess. not that it really matters which one is the bigger problem for the ai. I'm pretty sure it is possible in principle to make a map enjoyable with mostly ai nations; iirc one of the newer ones is pretty decent at that, as are some of the classic maps.

    You might not have time to spam pure eagles, but they're probably still a good investment, given how the math works out in similar cases on other maps. Mostly though my point was about eagles but about ways in which the victory detection rule might fail. Probably wouldn't apply in human games though, as the ai doesn't know to use siege properly.

    it'll be interesting once you have more human play to get proper map results.

    edit add:

    what does the terrain type "pass" do? it doesn't have its own entry in the table. nor do I see any obvious note nearby that explains what it does.

    snaga skirmishers are marked as being ambushers, but their bonuses appear to be the ones for wilderness.


  • Donators Moderators Admin

    You should really put the link for the down load in the fist post of the thread. Trying to track down how and where to get the newest version is a bit of a challenge.



  • @hepps You can download it from the game. But having the link in the first post certainly won't hurt anyone.


  • Donators Moderators Admin

    @alkexr Ah yes the name change. Now I got it.

    Good to see it back on my screen. 🙂



  • @alkexr
    Thanks for your method of PU calculation I have modified my own, so consider the following;

    Increase the PUs of the following;
    uruk_pikeman
    olog_hai
    wainrider_chieftain
    noldorin_warrior

    Increase the following by 4+ PU
    swan_knight
    kings_company

    Rhun should not have a trebuchet, too advanced. Maybe they should not even have a catapult?

    Consider giving Siege attacks to Wizards, so they can attack Battlements so Woodland Realm and High Elves can take Settlements easier?

    Consider giving Siege attacks to Trolls (Angmar, Orcs) and Olog-hai(Mordor) and Bears(Northmen)
    Could then remove Catapult from Orc list, too advanced for them,
    Perhaps the Balrog could have siege attacks?

    Lorien, could have Wizards, as in Galadriel and other Noldor?

    Free Folk could have Catapults?

    Im liking all the coding and graphical changes, keep up the good work guys!!!



  • @thedog said in Middle Earth: Battle For Arda - Official Thread:

    Rhun should not have a trebuchet, too advanced. Maybe they should not even have a catapult?

    The Easterlings are not barbarians. It's a common misconception that steppe nomads are brainless savages. (The Mongols for example did have trebuchets, and were quite advanced compared to Feudal Europe.) We know almost nothing about Rhûn, but we know that it consisted of many different kingdoms, tribes and hordes of varying levels of development.

    Consider giving Siege attacks to Wizards, so they can attack Battlements so Woodland Realm and High Elves can take Settlements easier?
    Consider giving Siege attacks to Trolls (Angmar, Orcs) and Olog-hai(Mordor) and Bears(Northmen)
    Perhaps the Balrog could have siege attacks?

    A unit can't have multiple targeted attacks. That's a feature the map-maker community suggested multiple times, but it's a lot of work I guess.

    Could then remove Catapult from Orc list, too advanced for them,

    The Goblins of Goblin Town are explicitly mentioned to be very creative when creating advanced machinery and tools for war and torture and other evil purposes.

    Lorien, could have Wizards, as in Galadriel and other Noldor?

    Tolkien used the word "Wizard" only to mean the Istari: Gandalf, Saruman, Radagast and the two Blue Wizards. They are Maiar (gods, basically). But the idea is great, Elven magic-users could be added. I'm not sure though, should they give leadership? Or what abilities should they have?

    Free Folk could have Catapults?

    I guess they could... I just couldn't really visualize how the hobbits decide to start buidling catapults



  • @alkexr
    The Free Folk also include humans, men from Bree, so they could man the Catapults, the Edain, Men of the West, or the Rangers of the North could have taught them to build them.

    For me most factions should have units that can help take settlements.

    The Noldor
    Noldor ‘royalty’like Galadriel and Fëanor who made the Silmaril, could be Magicians to differentiate them from Wizards. That way they could have lesser powers than the Istari.

    The Noldor elves would have their 1st and 2nd age weaponry that the Orcs would fear and so the noldor_warrior could cause terror.

    Galadriel would have many Noldor followers with her in Lorien so I think Lorien could also have noldor_warrior.

    A case can be made for giving terror causing or leadership to noldor_warrior as they would be revered for living thousands of years by humans and elves alike.


  • Donators Moderators Admin

    @alkexr I like the way you re-engineered the unit classes and terrain effects. It is a much cleaner system than the previous version.


  • Moderators

    @alkexr said in Middle Earth: Battle For Arda - Official Thread:

    The Mongols for example did have trebuchets, and were quite advanced compared to Feudal Europe.

    Well, they had trebuchets because the more advanced civilizations they subjected provided them.


  • Admin

    hey alkexr,

    my first evaluation of balance is: evil is way to strong

    1. no problem to take early rihan and arnor city
    2. no problem to take early osgiliath.

    so the momentum is clearly on evils side. easy to balance tuv early with better momentum and growing income. i guess you should do something for the good side:
    a) give some more units around osgiliath to gondor and some more units to rohan
    b) make few good units stronger.

    a or b or even c. di somethng for the good 🙂

    epi



  • Hi, is dale going to be a nation??? or is it going to be under northmen? i understand that it adds some strategic aspect, but its still pretty wierd.
    Also, has anybody found a way to stop rhun if its invaiding mirkwood? no way you can defend elevenkings halls + dains halls + erebor + esgaroth + dale...and rhun is perfectly capable creating a strong offensive army that will tame them out one by one...or at least the smaller ones without erebor and maybe one other, but i feel that like this (with a smaller army guarding teritories east of erebor) rhun can efectively cripple mirkwood dwarwes and northmen

    unless i just played the good poorly...



  • @dr-stein said in Middle Earth: Battle For Arda - Official Thread:

    Hi, is dale going to be a nation??? or is it going to be under northmen? i understand that it adds some strategic aspect, but its still pretty wierd.

    The inhabitants of Dale are Northmen. Dale was a sovereign realm, but then so were Lindon, the Shire, Dunland, Fangorn, the Dwarves of Ered Luin, the Goblins of Goblin Town, the Orcs of Gundabad, the Dwarves of Ered Mithrin, the Dragons of Ered Mithrin, the Lands of the Eotheod, the Lands of the Beornings, Lake Town, the Realm of Vidugavia, the Kingdom of Rhovanion, the Balcoth, Dorwinion, the Dwarves of the Iron Hills, Nurn, Khand and Umbar (that I can list off the top of my head). None of them is given a separate player.

    Also, has anybody found a way to stop rhun if its invaiding mirkwood? no way you can defend elevenkings halls + dains halls + erebor + esgaroth + dale...and rhun is perfectly capable creating a strong offensive army that will tame them out one by one...or at least the smaller ones without erebor and maybe one other, but i feel that like this (with a smaller army guarding teritories east of erebor) rhun can efectively cripple mirkwood dwarwes and northmen
    unless i just played the good poorly...

    Depends. If Angmar focuses on the Dwarves (like the AI tends to), then the North is going to have a hard time. In any case, Rhun is very strong on the offense, and on plains - try to fight them in the forest as much as possible, coordinate the 3 players, and don't leave your stacks on the frontline where Rhun can attack them - keep them behind for counterattacks, to force Rhun into defense.

    But then I don't know if it's possible to hold out against a well-played Rhun. Balance testing has just begun.



  • While killable fortifications are helpful vs the ai (because the ai doesn't build to counter them); they seem rather weak vs a thoughtful player; they're too easy to work around, often very vulnerable to strafing, and getting to reuse your siege to take out the fortifications in several different places is great.


  • Admin

    So after a PBF game with @alkexr here are my thoughts.

    Summary

    • Map feels like it has lots of flavor, unit sets are diverse, and territory effects are meaningful
    • Air, multi-HP, mountain, and high movement units are OP
    • Sea units are UP and feel not very well integrated
    • Evil significantly stronger than Good

    General

    • Air units are overpowered across the board. This is because they are both too strong for their cost but also because the kamikaze air rules give them even more flexibility than air units on regular maps.
    • Sea units are way underpowered and pretty much get crushed by air units. They need to either have significantly more defense or be cheaper otherwise they just instant die.
    • Multi-HP air units are crazy overpowered (dragons, winged nazguls, eagles) especially if you can get a decent stack of them as their is really no counter and no way to block them from strafing enemy units. They also instant heal at the end of the player's turn so no chance to attack weaken multi-HP units.
    • Some nations not having any siege makes it almost impossible for them to conquer cities with fortifications.
    • Most mountain units are too cheap. Being able to move on mountains is a very large advantage on the map.
    • Movement overall seems to be too high and too cheap. This applies to both land and air units. Being able to move 4 on land or 4-6-8 on air is a ton for the size of this map. Unless you have a close objective near a city, its way more effective to build high movement units as they pressure a much larger portion of the map.
    • Feels like there are too many starting units on the map. End up with giant stacks of units on turn 1. This combined with the high movement makes the map feel very tactical and not very strategic. Mostly about creating a doom stack and marching it around.
    • Evil is significantly favored over Good as they have significantly better units sets, momentum, and easily get a TUV lead even in round 1. Only thing Good has going is they start with more production and can maybe keep a production lead for a few turns but this is mostly irrelevant because Evil is getting better bang for their buck on unit production anyways.
    • Mordor and DolGuldur unit colors are way too similar.
    • Would be nice to tone some of the territory colors down a bit. This would make the map a bit easier on the eyes as well as make units pop out more.
    • Gondors units are very hard to see.

    Saruman

    • Start out with a large stack threatening to take Hornburg early and mountains around them provide a lot of defense against Rohan.
    • Dunlending wildman - OP as they are cheap but can dominate the mountains
    • Crebain - OP as they are a cheap air unit with 6 movement, great for attacking ships and in mountains

    Angmar

    • Most overpowered unit set in the game. Great starting terrain with lots of mountains and very fortified cities. Can pressure lots of different areas and level fortifications in cities.
    • Dragons, dragons, dragons are probably the most OP unit in the game right now. They literally do everything with 3 HP and siege attack. There really is no counter to them and they allow unbelievable TUV trades each turn. It only gets worse if Angmar continues to build 1 each turn.
    • Snaga skirmisher and Orc marauder are an OP combo as they are relatively cheap, can both enter mountains, and have decent stats when combined. Adding a Nazgul and Dragons just makes it insane.

    Morder

    • Start out too strong compared to Gondor. Can pretty much just walk through Osgiliath and push around Minas Tirith to conquer either a lot of Gondor or Rohan.
    • Winged Nazguls are OP as multi-HP air units with good stats and 6 movement.

    Arnor

    • Really tough position with Angmar being much stronger. Essentially just try to hold onto their cities and minimize bad TUV trades with Dragons.
    • Mostly just builds fodder units to try to stack its cities. Walls are useless against Dragons. Not much going for them.

    Gondor

    • Too weak vs Mordor. No air units. Mostly just masses tower guards to try and hold off Mordor.

    Northmen

    • Spread out with different options depending on what Angmar and Rhun do.
    • Raiders are OP with 4 movement and strong attack especially on plains.

    Lorien

    • Really weak compared to orcs. Need to essentially huddle in their cities and build up. No way to defend Cerin Amroth if Orcs focus on it.
    • Kind of unique unit set that is strong in the forest.

    Orcs

    • Great position in the mountains and excellent unit set.
    • Stabber and Shooter are OP combo of cheap fodder units
    • Scout are OP mountain unit that has 4 movement
    • Trolls are OP mountain unit that is pretty cheap for 2 HP
    • Bats are OP air unit that is cheap and has 6 attack

    Rhun

    • Starts with a large stack of high movement units. Pretty much gonna cause havoc for dwarves/northmen/woodland.
    • 3-4 move units just seem too strong/cheap across the board.

    HighElves

    • Eagles are OP as a 2 HP 8 movement air unit
    • Rest of their unit set is pretty weak as it doesn't really have cheap units and 6-7 PU units are all mediocre
    • No siege

    Woodland

    • Very weak. Just huddles in its cities and tries to defend. Good units in the forest.
    • No siege

    Harad

    • Just can opens for Mordor.
    • Oilphants seem OP as very strong 3 HP land units

    DolGuldur

    • Pressures Woodland
    • Bats are OP air unit that is cheap and has 6 attack

    Freefolk

    • Mostly support Arnor and try to pressure into Saruman
    • No siege
    • Mostly cheap units that fair pretty well especially the 3-4 move units.

    Dwarves

    • Kind of all over the place. Mostly try to pressure Orcs or Angmar in the mountains.
    • Expensive unit set with low movement.
    • Ravens are probably their best unit even though they are probably the worst air unit overall

    Rohan

    • Tough position against a stronger Saruman.
    • Some strong high movement units but not much space to use them
    • End up having to spam cheaper units to try to build up a stack to slow down Saruman

  • Moderators

    @redrum said in Middle Earth: Battle For Arda - Official Thread:

    • Would be nice to tone some of the territory colors down a bit. This would make the map a bit easier on the eyes as well as make units pop out more.

    I suggest using blends for this (I can post the code, if wanted), keeping them off default, but giving that option (by putting them on).


  • Admin

    Yes, dimming down the player/territory colors would probably do this map good. As long as there are the distinct territory border color outlines, I think it would work.

    @alkexr If you will fiddle with the colors, maybe you should just pick out and dim the strongest ones (player color and the player's units) that stand the most out. And only dim to a degree that then matches the layers/colors that you didn't pick.


  • Donators Moderators Admin

    @alkexr I think @redrum had some good observations. Most importantly is that if the volume of units were reduced at the beginning of the game it might help to slow a bit of the onslaught and give Good some breathing room. Evil can pretty much decimate everything that stands against it with all its multi-hit units at game start. Most of the valuable units for Good are either rendered impotent by the sheer numbers of opponents on turn one or out right destroyed.



  • My thoughts after the game against @redrum.

    General observations

    • Game is more dynamic than I expected, and stacks are smaller. So leader units are much less interesting than I thought.
    • Multi-hit air units are OP: fast, cheap, not really vulnerable to AA, can feed on stacks without punishment.
    • Sea units are too exposed to air units.
    • Multi-hit land units (esp. trolls, olog-hai, spiders) are too expensive. They can't ever really be used, because any counterattack will take them down very TUV efficiently.
    • Fast units are consistently underpriced
    • Catapults / trebuchets are a waste of PUs, except maybe vs fortresses. The only thing it is useful for is to threaten settlements, but I want my units to do more work than just that. Except maybe to suicide them to take down the walls, so that the next player can charge/trample in.
    • Chokepoints around Osgiliath and Gap of Rohan are not interesting. Opposing forces are built up and wait.

    Strategy

    Gondor, Rohan and Lorien are surrounded by strong Evil players, they are out-TUV-ed nearly two to one. Idea is obvious: if these factions are crushed, then game is over.

    Southern theater
    Assuming Mordor alone would break through at Osgiliath, the task for Harad was a naval invasion around Edhellond to grab weakly defended production or divert Gondor forces to help Mordor advance further. Except that the naval invasion was not viable and Mordor couldn't break through at Osgiliath. Until the oliphants arrived, that is.

    Saruman theater
    Saruman was to take Tharbad to set up a defensive position, after taking Hornburg. But then I observed that if Rohan re-takes Hornburg, there is no way to prevent Rohan from overrunning Saruman. I needed every last scrap of PUs to hold the ground. So much so that I even had to buy a wizard (to get more defense out of the 3 unit production) and I couldn't place 2 movement units in Isengard (they would have arrived a turn too late). Situation was dire.

    Misty Mountains theater
    I assumed that Lorien would not be able to resist pressure by the Orcs. So the plan was to focus on Lorien, even if that meant a lot of breathing room for Rivendell and with that the option of spamming eagles. The result was the fall of Cerin Amroth, which then came under too much pressure to mount an offensive further into Lorien.

    Angmar theater
    The plan was (after taking exposed Dwarven town on turn one) to overwhelm Arnor and hopefully make a miai threat against Fornost and Amon Sul, while allowing the High Elves and the Northmen to do whatever and not losing Gundabad. But superior numbers won and the offensive collapsed in 2-3 turns, and holding on to Gundabad drained considerable resources even though the Dwarves didn't even try.

    Northern theater
    I have observed previously that the Dwarves can defend the Halls of Gror so very TUV-efficiently that an attack in that direction by Rhun achieves nothing. So I moved Rhun to the Mirkwood to... well, fight; while also canopening on the South. By this I have taken off a lot of pressure from the Dwarves who failed to capitalize on this.

    Things that shouldn't have happened

    • Turn 1 by Saruman was a huge mistake, exposing half of his army through a canopener. But it wasn't gg, because
    • Lorien left 40% chance for the Orcs to fix the mistake
    • Defense of Cair Andros by Mordor was exposed to a hit-and-run
    • Orcs failed to save 3 trolls which they could have
    • Dragon hit-and-run in Fornost: ~130 TUV swing
    • Dwarves spamming ravens instead of threatening Gundabad
    • Harad building ships
    • Orcs losing a smaller stack by not noticing the swan-boat

    Units balance

    Angmar Orc marauders and snaga skirmishers are thrash. They have almost no defense on plains. Dunadan guards are super efficient against them. The lack of any defensive ability made it impossible to maintain the attack against Arnor. So much so that I decided to just spam dragons, not because they are op, but because everything else is thrash. Coincidentally, dragons are op. (BTW, due to a bug they don't have 3x2 armor, which they are intended to have. Oh well.)

    Arnor Dunadan guards and men-at-arms are efficient against Angmar. Bowmen do nothing against dragons.

    Freefolk Seems good. Hobbit archers are too weak.

    High Elves Eagles are too fast.

    Dwarves Why ravens? They have 2 attack both in the Mirkwood and in Gundabad. Dwarven axemen have 6 attack + 3 shield in Gundabad.

    Lorien Siege Ents have good pressure against Saruman (Hornburg). Very efficient in forest.

    Woodland Realm Good in forest.

    Northmen Raiders are op af.

    Dol Guldur Spiders are too expensive for anything but doomstack protection. Snaga + warg scout is an op combo. Bats not useful, too many Elves have too many bows.

    Rhun Chariots and easterling cavalry feels strong, almost able to compete with raiders.

    Orcs Goblin stabber + shooter feels strong. Orc marauders, trolls underwhelming. Balrog not very strong if there are no terrorizable targets. Warg scout op. Bats not useful.

    Saruman Uruk warriors are okay, uruk pikes are good, halforcs are really strong (had no time to buy them), dunlending wildmen are effective for specific tasks. Warg rider not useful.

    Rohan Charging cavalry has formidable pressure. Bowmen good vs crebain.

    Gondor Tower guard op.

    Mordor Snaga + marauder are thrash. Some 70 units defending in river+settlement against tower guards had a whopping 50 defense. Olog-hai, spiders hard to use. Winged nazgul op. Uruk warriors weak-ish but okay. Uruk pikes good.

    Harad Oliphants. Well, oliphants. 4 of them broke through what a 70-unit Mordor army couldn't. (Not entirely alone, but still.)

    Map balance

    • Saruman can't defend both against Rohan and Freefolk.
    • Angmar is overwhelmed (after the initial momentum is gone). The only reason they can do anything is because dragons are op.
    • Gondor front not interesting.
    • Harad is very far away, supply lines are very long.
    • Surprisingly, Lorien can fend for themselves.
    • Orcs can't cope with everything thrown at them.
    • The only place Evil can push is Osgiliath. (Rhun + DG could only push because the Northmen lifted the pressure. I think.) That crushes Rohan, though, which is very near to gg.
    • The only possible answer Good has to that is to crush Angmar. And then we have a boring North vs South game, where it takes 5 turns for Harad to reach the front.
    • Fronts around Angmar and Orcs are interesting. Mirkwood front is still fun. The Saruman-Rohan front is probably the least interesting.


  • Points where I disagree with @redrum. Would be worthwhile to sort them out.

    Air units are overpowered across the board. This is because they are both too strong for their cost but also because the kamikaze air rules give them even more flexibility than air units on regular maps.

    1-hit air units are not that strong IMO. I think this difference in perception arises because Good has way more units with AA.

    Most mountain units are too cheap. Being able to move on mountains is a very large advantage on the map.

    Didn't notice this. It felt convenient, at most. But I can imagine this being painful for Good vs. e.g. Orcs.

    Feels like there are too many starting units on the map. End up with giant stacks of units on turn 1. This combined with the high movement makes the map feel very tactical and not very strategic. Mostly about creating a doom stack and marching it around.

    Hmm.

    Evil is getting better bang for their buck on unit production

    There are a few OP units, but I didn't notice this.

    Would be nice to tone some of the territory colors down a bit. This would make the map a bit easier on the eyes as well as make units pop out more.

    I like the vivid colors... but I see the popular demand.

    Angmar
    Most overpowered unit set in the game.

    The dragons, yes. The rest, no.

    Snaga skirmisher and Orc marauder are an OP combo as they are relatively cheap, can both enter mountains, and have decent stats when combined.

    I literally felt pain when planning my moves with Angmar. (Maybe I shouldn't have banged my head in the wall.) Attacking was okay, although I needed more units for taking territories than I would have liked. But setting up any sort of defense was a nightmare. So I fell back on doomstacks.

    Mordor
    Start out too strong compared to Gondor. Can pretty much just walk through Osgiliath

    Gondor counterattack-pressure was too strong. Mordor would never have gotten through Osgiliath alone. Yes, Mordor could have attacked and wiped the Gondor army, but the same was true in reverse.

    Lorien
    Really weak compared to orcs. Need to essentially huddle in their cities and build up. No way to defend Cerin Amroth if Orcs focus on it.

    I decided to focus on Lorien, which was a strategic tradeoff. And even though the Orcs focused here, Lorien didn't lose too much and it wasn't obvious how to push further. If the Orcs focus on Rivendell, Lorien can actually swarm the mountains and significantly reduce the Orcs (and threaten Saruman, too).

    Orcs
    Trolls are OP mountain unit that is pretty cheap for 2 HP

    Couldn't use them for anything, because they are too expensive to expose them to counterattacks. Not sure though, did you feel a lot of pressure to avoid their attacks?

    Bats are OP air unit that is cheap and has 6 attack

    Not so op against bows. At least it didn't feel that good. Again, did you feel a lot of pressure?

    Woodland
    Very weak. Just huddles in its cities and tries to defend. Good units in the forest.

    This is true, but not a problem. Evil is significantly behind in production, they need to be able to push forward on some places before the front balances out, otherwise they are just going to slowly be outproduced. In fact, when planning balance, I counted Rhosgobel for DG.

    DolGuldur
    Bats are OP air unit that is cheap and has 6 attack

    Bats have 4 attack in forest and can be countered with Elves / woodmen.

    Dwarves
    Ravens are probably their best unit even though they are probably the worst air unit overall

    Dwarven units get really good bonuses in mountains and caves, and their 3 shield axemen are especially good against Angmar snagas. Ravens just don't put enough pressure on important places like Gundabad. I was afraid that Angmar wouldn't be able to maintain pressure against Arnor if the Dwarves threatened Gundabad.


  • Admin

    @alkexr So I think we agree on most things but a couple of things that seems that we don't:

    1. I actually felt stacks were too large and it wasn't very dynamic. Almost all fronts are create a single giant stack and march towards your enemy or sit in a city. Leader units are just very expensive and most races start with enough of them cause they support so many units.

    2. Most multi-HP land units aren't too expensive IMO. If you make them any cheaper then you'll end up with a similar problem that we have with multi-HP air units where you build a big stack and strafe enemies. I considered building bears as northmen but raiders are OP so did that instead.

    3. Lorien is ok I think as they should be able to handle Orcs. Gondor/Rohan getting crushed is the biggest issue outside of multi-HP air units.

    4. Angmar threater - I don't think there is really any way for Dwarves to actually take Gundabad if Angmar makes sure to move/buy a few units in it. It just starts with so many walls and trebuchets takes too long to get to there. Only chance is building catapults with Northmen to take out a few of the walls but Angmar can just block Langwell. Dwarve units are just so slow and their cities are far away from everything. Plus they can always move a dragon or 2 back if absolutely necessary. Dragons can also usually reach the territories adjacent to Gundabad so that Dwarves can't really stack next to it (West Grey Mountains for example).

    5. Northern threater - Dwarves are too far away and slow to capitalize on anything. Given the current balance I think trying to build up a giant stack of ravens is their best bet. Dains halls also only has 3 unit production. I'd be interested in what you think they can achieve.

    6. The hit-and-run on Fornost was probably a mistake by Good though my worry was if I backed off then I might never we able to retake it. Also if the dragons don't do that then they probably take out 50-75 TUV outside it anyways.

    7. Orc marauders and snaga skirmishers do suck on defense on plains but are a strong attack combo especially in mountains/hills. I actually think its an OP combo.

    8. Dwarves - axemen and their other units are too slow. They also only have 3 unit production anywhere near Gundabad (really feel like I'm either missing something or you are over estimating how much they can pressure it). The idea with ravens was to build a stack to force Angmar and Orcs into their cities by controlling everything outside of them. I was hoping to use Northmen and Woodland to handle Mirkwood. I felt like the last turn I had with dwarves was pretty successful in making TUV trades with ravens.

    9. Bats - Bats are very good IMO. Not so much in the forest or for taking cities. But outside of that they have good range and strong attack for the cost. This makes them not that useful for Dol Guldur's situation and Orcs just have a lot of other OP units but I think you could use them more effectively as Orcs. They are also good against air with 3 air att/def. Ravens and crebains have only 1 air att/def.

    EDIT: Couple of points to your response that I didn't see til after I posted mine:

    • Good does have more AA units but outside of forests, most air units still do fairly well against them. I think AA is just really weak across the board. An example is you can take 2 bats against an eleven archer in plains and have a slightly positive tuv. That just seems wrong to me given archers are like the best AA unit and are a defensive unit. I was glad every turn that orcs didn't build or have many bats. I think you could do a strategy where you take Cerin Amroth then mass bats to pressure everything around the cities they control.
    • Mountains were painful against Orcs, Angmar, and Saruman. All have strong mountain units that are hard to compete with as Good.
    • If you remove the OP multi-HP evil units (dragon, winged nazgul, oliphant) then unit sets are probably much more even. Those are definitely the biggest problem. Mountain units are probably the other one that evil feels like they have a advantage at besides around the dwarves.
    • Angmar just doesn't do well on plains and their units are much more attack then defense focused. I felt pain when trying to plan defense against them especially in mountains/hills.
    • Mordor's unit set favors attack over defense which is why I backed off to apply counter attack pressure with Gonder. But once you have Harad or Rhun units to help defend or can open then gondor is dead.
    • Trolls felt strong on mountains and had to work around them for a while. But yeah you mostly use them for mountains or in a big stack. Can't really use them for trading as they are too expensive to lose.

    I'd encourage you to load up the game on turn 2-3 as dwarves and try playing their turns to pressure Gundabad more. I don't really see it but maybe I'm missing something.