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Downloads Home » Scenarios » Middle Earth War (variation 1.0)

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Middle Earth War (variation 1.0)

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Ruleset: AoW2: TWT - TS Standard Rules
Map Size: XL
Levels: 2
Single Player?: Yes
Co-Op vs. AI?: No
PBEM/Hotseat?: Yes
Multiplayer Online?: Yes
# of Wizards: 8
# of players: 8
Skill Level: Any (depends on AI difficulty setting)
Password Protected: Yes
The map has been designed after consultation with other maps of Middle Earth found in a few AOW scenarios, and especially, after some research within books and web-sites dedicated to Tolkien's work. Despite that, the maximum XL size of an AOW map is simply not vast enough to accomodate many details found in the Tolkien books: simplifications, compressions and abstractions had to be made. Also, some landmarks have been added for gameplay reasons: to create special features or to provide a geostrategic framework for the A.I. players. Extensive testing revealed that those computer players (even on an "emperor" level of skill) did bizarre things which spoiled the competitive play-balance: the map was revised many times to channel those A.I. quirks. Some features are compromises within the limits of the AOW editor: for example, since a farsight-stone ("palantir") could not be designed as a special item in the editor, a "reflecting pool" structure was placed next to Saruman's tower at Orthanc to symbolize the palantir. Also, in what concerns this Isengard vale belonging to the wizard Saruman, there was not enough space, even on the XL-map format, to accomodate the rich details provided in the "Two Towers" book: consequently, you will notice that the representation of the Isengard region has been synthetically simulated with some odd feautures. Tolkien cultists and purists might forgive those artificial adaptations and modifications which were made in the spirit of richer gameplay.

In this scenario version, the Halfling wizard starting in the west at the Shire has been replaced by a non-Tolkien Frostling wizardess in the north-east: it's an experiment to accomodate AOW gamers who don't like Halflings! The hero Frodo (and his three little companions) still make an appearance in the scenario following a "hero join" (with three units) special event that will most probably be triggered by the Aragorn player.

Ideally, it would be more conform to Tolkien's story to play with "allied victory" selected from the start. You would then have the alliance of Light (Aragorn, Elrond, Galadriel) against the alliance of Darkness (Sauron, Saruman, a Dark Elf, and the Ice Witch), with the Dwarf-Lord as a neutral bystander who could do as he pleased. The Dwarven hero Gimli begins with the Dwarf wizard, not with the alliance of Light.

There are two ways to win the scenario: the military path (if an alliance destroys the enemy team), or, believe it or not, by destroying the One Ring! Since the editor did not allow for an item to be associated to a victory condition in a way that would conform to Tolkien's story, a credible compromise was made. The One Ring as such does not exist as an item within the game, but if a unit belonging to Aragorn, Elrond or Galadriel succeeds in reaching the watchtower which supervises the pool of lava that is located in the underground bowels of the Mount Doom volcano, in the Mordor region, it is then assumed that the unit is escorting the ring-bearer, who casts the ring into the fire to destroy it. This special event ends the game with a victory for the alliance of Light. The Dark Lord player should be wary of any enemy flying unit attempting to infiltrate Mordor: top priority should be given to the interception of any unit trying to come in for a fast win. Unless the Sauron player is really careless, the game should rather go along the usual military path to victory.

A word of warning. The map is full of strong "independents" set on a "guard area" mode. Their role is to brake any attempt by solitary or weak units to "rush" to capture goodies with impunity. There is nothing more silly than seeing a lone cannon roaming around freely to seize items and structures. Consequently, watch your steps from the very beginning: do not venture weak stacks in unexplored regions. The good news is that you don't have to worry that the greedy A.I. players will be rushing from the start to grasp everything they can. Also, no "independents" have been set on a "wander" or "berserk" or "raid" mode: the only neutral parties that will attack your structures and units are the "avengers" that have been created by the nasty destructiveness of the players themselves.

This scenario is a work in progress. On 07/01/03, the Old Man Willow tree, in the Old Forest, near the Shire's entrance, has been added: it is not available on this 1.0 edition. Another version is also being developed, more conform to Tolkien's story, where the Frostling witch is replaced by a "Gandalf" wizard who starts at the Hobbit shire: it will eventually be published.
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File Author
January 10. A new version 1.1 has been completed and is already posted. This new revision supersedes 1.0. The file has a different extension, so it will not overwrite the previous 1.0 file, but now that 1.1 is out, there is no point in playing the old 1.0 version. The new edition is 99% the same, but some very interesting enhancements have been added: they are listed in the presentation of this 1.1 variation. If you want a Gandalf/Halfling side instead of the variation's IceWitch/Frostling, try the "Tolkien's Middle Earth (v 1.0)" scenario posted today.

[Edited on 01/10/03 @ 04:22 PM]

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