Middle Earth: Battle For Arda - Official Thread

  • I’m happy to play a test battle some time if you like.

  • Admin

    @alkexr Oh lol, I misread that. I thought evil had resigned. Guess I'm surprised either side resigned at this point. Seems like good is doing well in the west and center of the map. Gondor is hanging on. The north trio look to be in a tough position but not dead yet.

  • @redrum The north trio will lose at least 1 capital and be almost completely overrun in 2 turns. I don't see a compensation for that, especially since Evil is about 200 TUV ahead (without walls). I would have pushed it further if this was a competitive game, but the objective of the balance testing is mostly done, I think. Evil appears to have some sort of positional advantage inherent to the structure of the map, since at the start of the game they are significantly behind on production and have no TUV advantage.

    But then both @epinikion and you disagree that Good is behind... maybe there is a point in continuing for several turns.

  • I have just finished playtesting this map as Good against the Fast AI as Evil and want to share my thoughts.

    What I'm observing is essentially 4 fronts: The Gondor arena, the Orcs/Saruman arena, the Angmar arena, and the northern trio. Whichever side gets the upper hand the quickest in one of these arenas will usually win the game.

    Northern Trio:
    Rhun can take most of Northmen's valuable territories in a few rounds, partly due to their superior starting army and income, partly due to their superior navy.
    Dwarves can help out, but they would need to send most of their resources to that front, which takes valueable pressure off of Angmar.
    Woodland Realm will get pushed back and slowly overwhelmed by Dol Guldur since their income is comparatively low.
    It seems that a good balance would be to give a small buff to the Northmen. Perhaps their army on the southern side of the River Running could be buffed to keep Rhun busy a turn or two longer. I also like your idea of giving the Northmen a little more production. I also think it wouldn't hurt to increase one or two northern Woodland Realm by one or two points.

    Gondor Arena:
    Gondor's defense felt solid, but not invincible. I made the mistake of leaving 1/2 of my army out in the open to get smashed by Mordor. Fortunately, the AI did not utilize Harad well enough to take advantage of this.
    I think the naval play between Gondor and Harad is a little underwhelming. By the time Harad buys enough boats to establish naval supremacy and transport a large enough force to threaten Gondor, enough time has passed for one of the other fronts to fall. Perhaps Harad can get a slightly larger navy to start out with, that way Gondor has to divert funds early on to counter that threat. Then again, Mordor can help out by sending their Nazgul, but that could undermine their land assault.

    Angmar Arena:
    Not much to comment here. I think giving Angmar 2 dragons to start with is a good idea. It gives them enough projection of power without them being able to overwhelm Arnor early on.

    Saruman/Orcs arena:
    In my game, the AI goofed up with the Orcs, taking Tharbad early on. This allowed Lorien to develop into a serious threat. However, Lorien will be quickly overwhelmed if Saruman and Orcs target them. Perhaps there should be more ents/huorns in Fangorn.
    Only Rohan has proper seige units. Freefolk and High Elves do well enough on the plains, but they can't hope to take over any settlement unless they severely outnumber them. This is impossible to do against the Orcs since they have very cheap and spammable units. Moria can be held almost indefinitely even if Lorien and Freefolk send most of their resources to siege it.

    One other thought. It seems like the game results in a stack contest in and around settlements which gets quite large. Perhaps there should be a roughly~20 unit limit for most territories and roughly ~30 unit limit for settlements/ fortified territories.

    Please note that I'm not as good of a player as most here, particularly on this map, so some issues I see may just be due to my lack of skill. I hope this feedback helps.

  • Admin

    @Goatenstein I'd highly recommend playing the Hard AI rather than Fast AI on this map because it has a lot of complex units with Targeted Attacks which the Fast AI can't handle.

  • Hey, this is a beautiful and fun map. Just coming back to it after a break and all the latest developments. We are only one round in so far. A few queries/comments:

    • is it intended that Gondor can make new oathbreakers?
    • is it better to default to “repair at start of turn” so injured units stay vulnerable for a little bit?
    • will it be tempting to Gondor to focus on naval initially to overwhelm Harad ships rather than allow a slow naval race?
    • are anti air a bit too effective against winged nazgul? Should the nazgul be allowed to ‘dismount’ somehow to avoid being slaughter quickly in the air?
    • are siege units a bit too effective against walls?
    • is it a bit too easy to clumsily lose a siege unit in a minor skirmish against a unit with Flank? (Eg Saruman takes Fire of Orthanc with the army to raid West March and the Fire gets killed in an otherwise one-sided battle)

    That’s all for now!