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Downloads Home » Scenarios » Middle Earth in the Second Age version 4.2 for SM

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Middle Earth in the Second Age version 4.2 for SM

Author File Description
File Details
Ruleset: AoW: SM - TS Standard Rules
Map Size: XL
Levels: 2
Single Player?: Yes
Co-Op vs. AI?: Yes
PBEM/Hotseat?: No
Multiplayer Online?: No
# of Wizards: 3
# of players: 2
Skill Level: Advanced
Password Protected: No
"One by one, the free lands of Middle Earth fell to the power of the Ring. But there were some who resisted. A Last Alliance of Men and Elves marched against the armies of Mordor, and on the slopes of Mount Doom, they fought for the freedom of Middle Earth." (Galadriel, in the movie prologue)

These are the events in the prologue of the LORD OF RINGS movie and in the appendices of the LOTR book, and mentioned throughout both of them as well as in THE SILMARILLION. It is 3319 of the Second Age. The Fleets of the Númenórean King Ar-Pharazôn are preparing to assault the Undying Lands while Elendil, Isildur, and Anárion escape to Middle Earth; Gil-galad, Galadriel, and the other Elf heroes form the Last Alliance with Elendil; and Sauron has returned to Barad-dûr to put on the One Ring and take command of the nine Nazgûl.

The SM version of this map (version 4.x) has many changes over the AoW2 version: imported portraits for heroes and wizards, adjusted Race Relations, Nomads for the Haradrim and Easterlings, Ents, Trolls, automatic resurrection of the Nazgul, use of new SM places, some new items, and much improved playability. 4.1 and 4.2 have added some changes and improvements, which are listed in the Designer's Notes of the zip file -- in particular improving the issues with race relations.

Settings: Classic Turns, Exploration On, Allied Victory On. The Númenóreans (Archons) must be a human player, Sauron must be a strong AI. I recommend that the Elves also be a human player -- note that you can have two "players" even on one computer with Classic Turns. The Númenóreans and Elves both win if Sauron is destroyed.
AuthorComments   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
The Hunter Firstly, thanks very much for this scenario. It is clearly a labour of love, and has a nice feel to it, reminiscing about all that Tolkien goodness.

Secondly, a problem developed for me about turn 20 or so (guessing), when all my troops started deserting :-(

This has never really happened like this before, and there didnt seem to be a lot that I could do to change it. Even Isildur and his stack of Paladins deserted.

My race relations with both Humans and Archons were both excellent, and I had never converted a human town to Archon (despite their unforunate tendency to auto-convert if you don't stop them).

Did I do something wrong, is it a bug in SM, or the scenario, or something else?


The Hunter
File Author
The Hunter, thanks for the useful comments. I'm not sure if it is a bug, but certainly race relations can get complicated, and desertion depends on Party Morale which has a few modifiers in addition to Race Relations. In this map, they are especially important. I'm not certain why your stack deserted and I haven't seen this exact problem in my playtesting, but I have some ideas and I changed version 4.1 a little to address them:
1. Are you sure that you had good Race Relations with the archons? By turn 20 or so, it could be that the populations of the Human cities came to outnumber the Archons, which would have caused a big hit in the Archons's Race Relations and perhaps desertion of Archon armies. In Version 4.1, I'm putting in another Control Race Relations that kicks in on turn 16 to couteract that.
2. Also, the Party Morale can be modified by having hostile units in the stack, and apparently Archons and Humans are considered as "hostile" even if the player has good relations with both of them. In version 4.1, I'm adding a note or message that reminds players to be careful of party morale when mixing human and archon units together. A related issue is that Monks are technically "Non-race-specific" not "Human" units even though produced in Human cities -- so the Race Relations modifier doesn't apply to them. Did you have human units (especially Monks) stacked with Isildur?
3. Panicked units hurt party morale badly, and the Nazgul cause lots of them.
4. Not sure, but maybe the Damnation spell hurts morale and leads to desertions. Most of the action is within Sauron's domain, and by turn 20 he will certainly have a Damnation spell in effect unless Galadriel has done a Dysjunction of it. (Galadriel's main role in this map -- as in the books -- should be countering some of Sauron's spells.)
Horza666 Total review to follow.

I'm curently involved in a PBEM Co-Op Game playing Ar-Pharazon. It's very tough and challenging so far (around 30 turns played). Me and my ally killed the nazgul several times and slowly began building more units with higher levels.

BUt now my problem starts. The race relations between Archons and Humans got mad and one third of my troops deserted. I even gave most human cites to the elves... maybe the game needs a permanent boost for the race relations.
File Author
Horza666, is it possible that you migrated some of the Human cities to Archons by accident? That would have happened automatically, unless you went into the production menu to change it. Thankfully, this SM bug about automatic migration is fixed in the Shadow Magic version 1.2 patch. I haven't run into any race relations problems myself on any recent version of this map. But I will do another version of this map later and maybe take your advice to make the race relations modifier for Humans stronger.
File Author
A 4.2 version of this map will be posted in a week so, based on comments and additional playtesting. It has more adjustment of race relations, a few new items, and other tweaks.

But first I'd like to make a few comments:
1. Some people have a misconception that they need to have a partner on the Internet to play a map Co-op (i.e both Numenoreans and Elves as Human players.) Not true. With classic turns, you can set more than one Human player, and in fact I did most of my playtesting this way. If you only play the Numenoreans and the Elves are handled by AI, this map is very tough.
2. Monks are technically not Human units and don't benefit from the race relations modifier. If you build Monks, watch their morale carefully.
3. Disregard my previous post that the AoW:SM 1.2 patches fix the migration problem. Acually, even with patch, Human cities owned by an Archon wizard will still try to migrate to Archon. But that is a very bad thing to do on this map and you must always be careful to change it.
File Author
If you liked this map, please try my new map "Middle-Earth in the First Age: Quest of Earendil". It deals with an earlier time of Tolkien's world, from the siege of Gondolin until the end of the First Age. As with this map, I've tried to give a lot of attention to capturing the feel of Tolkien, though using the standard game units not a mod. Again, it has tons of scripted events as well as a lot of playtesting to make it an interesting challenge. Both of them have had many months of work; this is why I have finished only two maps for AoW: SM. However, "Quest of Earendil" is smaller and faster to play than than "Middle-Earth in the Second Age"; more of an RPG-style game than strategic expansion of an empire. Please try it out and give your comments!
petis download also
Lord of the Rings > Great Wars 1.90 FIXED
and compare:)

PetrusOctavianus This is the best Middle Earth map I've played so far. Haven't played the Arda version of this map yet, but I suspect it will be even better.

Compared to Black Roses ME map, this map has two advantages:
1. Not so many units. Too many units often means fighting a war of attrition (fighting one or two of 5-10 enemy stacks at a time instead of a full army vs army).
2. Much better paced. There's action from day one and you feel the pressure from Sauron. In Black Roses' map I felt hamstrung; I couldn't attack anything until some event removes the impassable terrain in front of Gundabad, Dol Goldur and Minas Morgul.
Instead I'm forced to play a waiting game, waiting for Sauron to attack.

But back to Galahas's map:
My only real niggle with this map is Umbar. Instead of razing it Sauron
should use it, as he (or rather his allies the Corsairs) did "historically". Also ships should be spawned (since the AI won't build them) at Umbar every 5 turns or so to put extra pressure on the human player. Umbar was always a thorn in Gondor's eye, since they lost it, and it would be nice if it was reflected in the game.
Lastly I was puzzled by the fact that Harad was a *Goblin* city? Unless Sauron migrated the population from Nomads to Goblins I can't see the reason for this.

[Edited on 11/10/07 @ 05:35 PM]

Dragon_PAW Excellent game. Finally fell to Sauron.

Will give my rating once I pull off a win.

Back at it.

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