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.
    0_1542597473391_large.tsvg

    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!



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

    is it intended that Gondor can make new oathbreakers?

    There is a map option named Unlimited Unique Units which governs if oathbreakers, wizards, nazgul, winged nazgul and balrogs are purchaseable. (Game notes incorrectly states that it's off by default.)

    is it better to default to “repair at start of turn” so injured units stay vulnerable for a little bit?

    I don't know. I think generally there isn't a lot of difference.

    will it be tempting to Gondor to focus on naval initially to overwhelm Harad ships rather than allow a slow naval race?

    In my experience it's very tempting for Gondor to try to not die. If it comes to Gondor launching attacks against Harad, then the game is long over already. Naval defense isn't worth it, because Haradrim naval invasions are a mild annoyance at worst (this needs to change though).

    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?

    Well, that's kind of the point of anti air. Winged nazgul aren't meant to be all-powerful. But Gondor needs to invest big in rangers to have any chance at shooting them down.

    are siege units a bit too effective against walls?

    Not really. I remember concluding after having played around with the battle calculator that siege units are not all that much more cost-effective for sieges than other units. They are somewhat stronger, but that's made up for by not being useful for anything else.

    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)

    There is no point in putting a siege unit on the frontline. Keep it behind until you attack the walls, they have enough movement. And there is especially no point in bringing it to a non-siege battle, because it's a suicide unit.



  • @alkexr ok got it; will turn off unlimited uniques.

    Btw are eagles unique? I think High Elves will be tempted to spam the eagles.

    Btw the game notes and unit comments are confusing about non-sea naval units. “Placement restriction” doesn’t fully convey “can’t go to sea”. At least it confused my father in law.

    Is the battle calculator fully correct? It seems to give generous results to siege units vs walls. Like if you have a 50% shot it seems to assume a definite kill. Or am I mistaken?



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

    Btw are eagles unique? I think High Elves will be tempted to spam the eagles.

    Balrogs and Wizards are Maiar - they were created before the world, and you couldn't possibly get more. There were only ever 9 nazgul, with no way of making more. Oathbreakers broke an oath, you can't just force your recruits to break an oath, curse them with forgotten magic, wait for them to die and then call on them a thousand years later.

    As for eagles, ents, dragons etc., there were plenty of them, at least enough that the pool of potential new recruits wouldn't really deplete.

    If eagle spam is too tempting (which I agree it is), that only means that they are too cheap.

    Btw the game notes and unit comments are confusing about non-sea naval units. “Placement restriction” doesn’t fully convey “can’t go to sea”. At least it confused my father in law.

    It's in the game notes:

    Sea-going naval units (dromunds and black ships) can enter both seas and major rivers, while rivercraft can only enter (and be placed on) the latter. The Belegaer, the ocean is entirely impassable to units.

    I don't have complete control over how placement / movement restrictions are displayed in the tooltips, but I can add a line for sure.

    Is the battle calculator fully correct? It seems to give generous results to siege units vs walls. Like if you have a 50% shot it seems to assume a definite kill. Or am I mistaken?

    Siege attack hits destroy units instantly, even if they have multiple hitpoints. I think that's where the confusion comes from.



  • BTW, I love all the units and the map is beautiful but I was just amused when I imagined Saruman’s halforc playing snooker. See what I mean?


  • Donators Moderators Admin

    @mattbarnes LMFAO!!! I hadn't even seen it til you mentioned it!

    Just for fun... a new unit... the snooker siege unit. 🙂

    Snooker siege unit.png


  • Donators Moderators Admin

    @Hepps It is an effective unit... depending on your angle of attack! 😉



  • Ah, I still seem to be able to make wizards for Saruman (and dragons for angmar etc) with Unlimited Uniques set to off. Is this wrong or have I done something awry?



  • @mattbarnes I can't replicate it, I can't produce wizard as Saruman. Can you send a savegame?

    There were plenty of dragons living around the Withered Heath and Forodwaith, albiet not as big as Smaug. They even fought a war against the Dwarves of the Ered Mithrin, so their numbers don't appear to have had a hard cap.



  • @Hepps that’s a great new unit. Will it be “relentless” ... because it has a lot of balls?!



  • @mattbarnes And it will have legs as support attachments.


  • Moderators

    I'm curious what is the assumed dynamics by which you can produce Ents? Weren't they unable to reproduce? If realistically you should not be able to do it, and it is just for gameplay/fun, can a list be made of all major lore-inconsistent game items (at default options), if any? I want to point out I don't know much about the scenario.

    Also, the notes say that "Unlimited Unique Units" is default off. But actually it is default on.

    I'm not really a player of this game, but I would suggest the default options to maximize adherence to the lore (this would be my preference).

    This map makes me wish that there would be a time setting for the board tooltips to appear and that the customized ones would actually show up on the board and in all cases (this might be a bug).

    By the way, traditionally the "Experimental" is just the section for all those maps we are not so proud to show up. I don't see why this is not in Quality, already.


Log in to reply