Middle Earth: Battle For Arda - Official Thread
Four alliance update: Played Arkenstone Pact vs Hard AI and Voice Oath vs Hard AI. Currently playing Second Darkness vs Hard AI. Overall, the game is balanced, challenging, and fun. Battle fronts are in continuous flux and shifting often. So far for us, it takes about 20 rounds for one alliance to gain the upper hand.
Where available, the players and AI produce many Rangers and can control large swaths of land with stacks of Rangers, moving as needed from one front to another without hindrance due to mountains — very strong advantage.
Proposed balance adjustments: 1) Nerf Eagle movement to 4 or increase cost. 2) Increase ranger cost by 1. The High Elves - Freefolk snowball is just too strong. 3) Consider decreasing uruk_warrior price by 1.
Or implement all 3.
Have been playing with all three settings: eagle range nerf, ranger +1 cost, and uruk_warrior -1 cost, and it feels much more balanced to us. It really doesn't change the feel much early on, as it doesn't change starting units or unit balance by much (eagles excepted). What these changes do, is make it harder to snowball and encourages more unit diversity.
Four alliance update: We've played all four alliances to winning result now. The games are very interesting and the whole map has undulating battlefronts. So far, Voice Oath seems strongest due to protected rear territories, and Second Darkness seems weakest due to fewer defensive options.
Here are a couple of suggestions to consider -- these go along with others that have been made to balance the overall game and strengthen Evil: For Angmar and Dul Guldor, there are few cheap defensive units available to enhance stacking to control key territories and pinch points. This limits strategic options, including attrition battles, strategic retreats, and capital hold-out strategies.
I suggest making the barrow wights cheaper and giving them a movement of 0 or 1. This would create a very unique unit, a very special feel when playing Angmar, and aligns with Middle Earth lore regarding Angmar being a haunted, ruinous realm. I also think it would be interesting to give Dul Guldor "Lesser Spider" instead of the Shelob-like (Mordor-like) Spider unit that it currently has. The lesser spiders could be cheap, defensive units that prefer wilderness or forest to keep with the lore of Middle Earth, specifically The Hobbit.
Strategy question (standard 2 alliances): does Saruman normally bag Tharbad early then redeploy against Rohan, holding Tharbad to the degree necessary to be a bottlestop against the Freefolk? Do the Freefolk simply mass against Tharbad or are other strategies common?
And do Gondor/Harad naturally have a naval arms race ticking-along in parallel to the Gondor/Mordor face-off?
@mattbarnes I haven't seen Saruman take Tharbad, usually they need everything they have vs Rohan. I'm curious how this strategy has worked out for you or your opponent.
I've seen Goblins take Tharbad early and then fortify it (freefolk don't have siege so they can hold ok) however this means less pressure on lorien and high elves. It put goblins into a long-term defensive position but that was ok.
I've seen freefolk mostly go all-in on south (crossing at Tharbad and flooding goblins/saruman), or north to help contain Angmar and then flood over to the other side of the misty mountains. Going south seemed to work better tbh, but if for some reason wood elves or the northmen are doing poorly sending some units across can help counter.
I've not seen a Gondor/Harad naval arms race though I'm sure it could happen. Harad doesn't really have the income for more than a turn or two of ship production anyways if they want to remain a land threat. It's more that Harad can go full land and work with Mordor for an osgiliath crossing or a fords crossing, while using what ships they have to distract gondor units. Or, spend a bit on ships for a turn or two, then gondor has to pick what they want to defend by sea, then harad can land elsewhere. Gondor's sea front is just too large for them to effectively defend by sea. But really the most effective non-lore strat for gondor has been just to send some of their starting units through dunharrow to help rohan.
The games are not yet complete but I've attached for info. We had played an older version of this map some time ago, so errors were made in early turns of these games as familiarity returned to us. Nevertheless, Saruman to Tharbad and Harad navy were features of both openings (I am Good in one and Evil in the other). MM2.tsvg MM1.tsvg
This Map seems to be unopenable in the latest TripleA version. I've raised a Report through other channels.
@mattbarnes I see a github issue https://github.com/triplea-game/triplea/issues/8076 about this. The problem is that the new edition now will look for valid game xml files in other places than map/games/*.xml. And there is an xml file in this map that it thinks is a game file and is trying to load it and failing at it. So the game engine needs to be fixed but if that xml file can be removed from the game zip, then it would also "fix" it.
I've started working on the next major update. Watch this video dev diary for some of the upcoming changes.
@alkexr Cool. Sounds like a lot of thought is going into the new version.
Making these videos is certainly a challenge. Uncomfortable and embarassing at times... but I think I'm going to stick to them. It's a very useful skill to learn nowadays.
Everything you see here is WIP.
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Is there any way to make terrain affects only one side? For example I want mountain territories to give +2 defense to all units but I don't want occupiers to benefit from them when they capture this area.
@Schulz Yes... but it likely means you will have to make all units nation specific and then tailor the terrain effects to match your desired effects.
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@Hepps Actually I was just trying to mimic territory effect for capitals like giving +1 or +2 extra defense for all defenders in this area.
Is there anything in the codes that might provide this kind of bonuses for the only original owners like capital bonuses? Otherwise seems like all units will have to be specific.
@Schulz Yes... So each terrain (capital city in this instance) would need to be individual terrains specific to the nation nation in question...
ie. Berlin Capital terrain... then the modifiers would be set up to only give a defensive bonus to German Infantry (or which ever German units you want to receive said bonus).
You would then need to repeat this for all nations setting up their own nation specific terrain and nation specific units
I absolutely love this map. I don't fully understand why you want to develop it further but maybe you will make it better and better?
Why is it listed as "good quality" whereas the other Middle Earth map is "high quality"? I think Battle For Arda is the more sophisticated of the two.
The latest incarnation is great. I particularly like Rafts being buildable on all rivers, as it makes for more dynamic action, to somewhat bypass the bottlenecks.
In one recent game, Good won, with an Eagle-steamroller. I would not like to weaken the eagle unit, but should it be maybe be capped in number?
PS minor typo: Fornost has a "3" on its image, whereas it actually allows 5 units to be produced.
@alkexr Please consider making a version with four teams. The four team version is our favorite in my home -- we play it over and over again. Lots of varying strategies and synergies. From my previous posts, the four teams are:
Second Darkness: Dol Guldor, Mordor, Angmar, Orcs
Arkenstone Pact: Dwarves, Woodland Realm, Northmen, Freefolk
Voice Oath: Saruman, Rohan, Ruhn, Harad
Last Alliance: High Elves, Lorien, Arnor, Gondor
I glanced at your dev video. I've never considered the current map to limit gameplay in any way. If you can keep it in the update as an alternative map that can still be played, that would be great.
There appear to be two major gameplay problems people have commented on previously. Rangers are too powerful and Angmar is too weak. Therefore, I suggest making Rangers cost 7. For Angmar to have an option to hold out against an all out coordinated assault, barrow wights could cost 5, but only have a movement of 1.
@mattbarnes Both the eagle problem and Fornost are on my radar, thanks!
@daneffuller If I were to add it as a map option (like FFA), it wouldn't display the alliances on the stats panel, so I think the best way to go is a separate map XML. But I'm not even sure I'm needed for this. I mean, I believe you can also upload mods of existing maps as a stand-alone downloadable "map", though I'm not entirely sure how. I think that would be the best option - that way you could freely mess with the balance, and I wouldn't have to do the work of maintaining it
If you can keep it in the update as an alternative map that can still be played, that would be great.
It's unlikely you're alone with this, and I suppose it costs nothing, so why not.
As for the Angmar issue, I think I have a much more radical solution in mind