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Return of the Shadow: The War of the Ring

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Completed Scenarios' started by Lord Malbeth, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. Arc Terrat

    Arc Terrat Chieftain

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    Just had an idea. What if returning the Ring didn't give a cultural victory, but instead worked as a sort of Armageddon weapon. Like the destruction of the Ring for the Alliance destroys Barad-Dur and all non-human soldiers (orcs, trolls, goblins, etc.) in the enemy's forces. Or the return of the Ring for Mordor gives Sauron the ability to see the whole map, every unit, and gives free upgrades to all Mordor's forces to super powerful units, lowers unit production costs, etc. Make it so the game isn't over, but it's going to get more ... interesting.

    You could even make it so that it ends the war with Mordor, and makes diplomacy with the other civs possible. The alliances end and now jockeying among the remaining players becomes possible, whatever their old alliances were.

    In fact, that could make game play as the Shire, Elves, Dwarves and Bardings more interesting, since even if they don't get to be a major player in the war, they could still try to rise to prominence in the after-war world. Gondor-Arnor would be hugely powerful, but still fighting the other human nations, and the others could still fight and expand, etc.
     
  2. Arc Terrat

    Arc Terrat Chieftain

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    Also, shouldn't more advanced, established and cosmopolitan civs have more knowledge of Middle Earth? There's no reason why the Elves, Gondorians, Arnorians, Dwarves, and Sauron should be so ignorant of this region, they should start with full maps but fog of war, while the Bardings, Shire folk, and Easterlings and Southrons would be more ignorant of the wider world of western Middle Earth, and would have to explore or trade as they could.
     
  3. Arc Terrat

    Arc Terrat Chieftain

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    Last post before I shut up for a while. Played as Arnor, and it occurred to me, why is Halbarad so weak? Aragorn is strong, but for some reason only a regular and only has one move (come on Strider, pick up the pace!), but Halbarad, who was a Ranger, should be pretty tough, shouldn't he? Make him like an uber ranger or something, or a mounted Dunedain, since he led the Grey Company. And I was thinking that the starting units for a lot of civs shouldn't be so weak. Conscripts and regulars simply weren't the sort of warriors that many of these people possessed, they were veterans and elite for the most part.

    Clearly I need to stop playing before my mind melts from all the LotR fun...
     
  4. HectorOfTroy

    HectorOfTroy Chieftain

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    In my opinion, while the game may became more interesting if the return of the Ring to Mt Doom does not finish the game, I think the main focus should remain the quest. So maybe trying to prolonge it (maybe with more Nazgul units or stronger Balrog or Dragons closer to the Misty Mts?) could make returning the ring even harder, and consequently prolonge the game. Also, ending the locked alliances would not seem right to me... After all, there are the Ents which are quite strong and which are not in a locked alliance with anybody.
     
  5. HectorOfTroy

    HectorOfTroy Chieftain

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    My confusion came from the fact that under Illuvatar there is a message saying "(Easiest)". Of course, I realise now that you just renamed the levels :sad: it was obvious
     
  6. HectorOfTroy

    HectorOfTroy Chieftain

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    Began a Mordor Illuvatar game. Played only 5 turns until now. Definitely, the gondorians are much stronger in defending Minas Tirith. At one moment they were walking in front of me a stack of 8 guardians, not carying of the fact that I was attacking Minas Tirith. The orcs are pretty useless against the defenders - lost 4 or 5 in an attack that only made their guardians elite and veterans. Also, the city grew at size 7. So, I am planning to pillage with the Witch-king their wheat store and stay there as much as possible. To make use of the orcs, I am planning an invasion of the southern cities of Gondor, don't really know if it is a good idea or I could make better use of them in protecting the Witch-king...For now, seems pretty challenging to take down Gondor.

    On the city management side, I did my trick with selling the civilisation advance to my allies (also exchanged world maps with this ocasion). This should strengthen them and brought me some considerable money, thought not so much as when I played with Gondor (maybe the sides are not really equilibrated from this point of view?). I rushed barrows in all my southern cities, a courthouse in Minas Morgul. This way, around turn 13 I should have a nice pack of 5+ wights, maybe enough to conquer Minas Tirith? I think is worth mentioning the fact that the first time the Witch-king gained, it started a Golden Age, so my production has now a nice boost and this seems very much in accordance with the scenario too.

    For research, I chose to go for the Grunds, as the one I received from start is very strong. (Did you intentionally modeled them to have attack and defense points, because the civilopedia entry says they have no such abilities?) With their movement of 2, they seem really top units.

    Some things I remarqued about units, and I find a little strange, but maybe I do not have the right references to understand them:
    - the orcs can not enter hils;
    - the grunds have attack and defense abilities;
    - I think I have seen the Witch-king produce a wraith in a previous game, though I am not very sure of this...;

    For foreign relations, I contacted the Ents as soon as I could and made an alliance with them against the Elves. A couple of turns later, they attacked Lothlorien. I have seen in my previous game with the Elves that in this city is stationed Lady Galadriel with one of the rings, which gives a +100 defense points, so I thought it was imposible to take it ... well, the Ents did it, with quite a few loses, but they did it. I was really sad, because Lothlorien is my favorite spot from the all LotR world, but I suppose that, if given a choice, the tree elves would prefere ents to anybody else inhabiting it after they are gone... This kind of also secures the position of my city in the Mirkood Marshes ... but having spiders is a long term project.

    The Hardawath send quite some forces against Gondor, I have seen at least 5+ units. Maybe I should do smth to strengthen them even more?

    I would like to secure some elephants and maybe incense (though do not really need it) from the south, hope could use them to build some strong units. If I succed, the production of orcs will be reduced only to the cities that do not have a training hall and have a pretty strong corruption (orcs are cheap and receive an aditional hit point, so are perfect units to produce in this kind of cities), in the far north and south of Mordor.

    Hopefully, I think I secured all the entries in Mordor by placing units on the spots that are passable. Maybe there is somewhere a backdoor of which I do not know, or maybe the lost wizards (should) know to create roads in the mountains? (As I understood, for now the lost wizard units do not work, so I will not worry now about this, I will leave it for the patch :) .) I know that by doing this I am not really respecting the book, but my goal is to survive, right?

    To sum up, it seems almost impossible to take Minas Tirith with orcs (this might account for a previous idea stated in this thread to upgrade them) but I expect that using the wraiths produced by the rushed barrows, together with the Witch-king, the army, the Grund and the Great Spider would crush the walls of Minas Tirith in the next 20 turns. If a strategy like this works, maybe there is no need to upgrade the orcs? We could consider they are good in numbers (modelled by the fact that they are cheap) and on open spaces (this could be related to the fact they do not enter hills) but not for siege. Mordor should use other units to break the defense of cities (I think grunds are exactly for this conceived, although it does mean waiting until researching them is finished).
     
  7. Arc Terrat

    Arc Terrat Chieftain

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    I agree that the Quest should remain the main focus of the game, but it doesn't have to be the end of the game to do that. It is not as if life in Middle Earth just stopped right after the ring was returned, the Elves were still leaving, humans were still fighting wars, Dwarves were still delving mountains, Goblins were still running around, etc. If completing the Quest means that one side gains a huge advantage over the others, like giving Sauron omniscience of the map and free upgrades, or destroys Mordor's power base in Barad-Dur and all the Orcs under Mordor's control, and let's the allies make peace/accept surrender, the game can go on and still have been true to the books and focused on the Ring.

    As for the Alliances, they were a thing of wartime, save between Gondor and Rohan, which had mutual protection agreements before the war. The elves were really NOT involved in the war, they shouldn't even be part of the alliance, Arnor wasn't that involved, nor were the Hobbits save for when Saruman attacked them. The Bardings and Dwarves fought, but only in the north. It does make it into slightly more even teams, but they're not that needed.

    What one could do is make the Elves always at war with Sauron, but indifferent to the other enemies and friendly towards the free peoples, make the Ents furious at Sauron and Saruman, but friendly to the Elves and Shirefolk, etc., keep Gondor, Arnor and Rohan locked in alliance, make the Dwarves and Bardings locked together, and have them all at war with Mordor.
     
  8. Lord Malbeth

    Lord Malbeth Chieftain

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    The problem with this is that the game mechanics just don't allow something like this without seriously altering other aspects of the game. I see where you're going, but, sadly, I don't think I can do it properly. :(

    Yes, but once again, in civ terms, if the Barding allied with the Dwarves and Mordor to attack the Elves, this would completely defeat the purpose of the game. Even more so, what if Gondor negotiated peace with Mordor and just waltzed right in with the ring and won. There wouldn't be point in the game...

    Once again, with only the options of 4 locked alliances and limited flavors, this would very hard to deal with. With more options, it indeed would be more plausible... Sadly.
     
  9. Arc Terrat

    Arc Terrat Chieftain

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    Ahh, I didn't realize the game's underlying mechanics wouldn't allow it. Oh well, no worries then.

    So can I ask why each population needs three food to survive, instead of two? Is it just to make it impossible for cities without resources to expand? I find it quite confining.
     
  10. Arc Terrat

    Arc Terrat Chieftain

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    Also, do the Corsairs and Mordor have invisible units? I keep finding units that can't be seen, or having units kind of flash in and out of appearance. What are they? Or is it just a bug?
     
  11. Lord Malbeth

    Lord Malbeth Chieftain

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    About the food, that was a mistake. I'll fix that. Whoops!...

    Hmm, I don't think the Corsairs have invisible units, but I could be wrong. I want to say this is a bug, but I could be mistaking...
     
  12. Arc Terrat

    Arc Terrat Chieftain

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    Glad to know the food thing will be changed, it's really making it hard to compete because the cities never grow.

    All I know is I keep getting attacked by random things, or running into random enemies, who cannot be seen. This has happened with both Mordor's forces and the Corsairs.

    Also, what's the city improvement that annoys other cities? Is it because the Ring was returned to Sauron?
     
  13. Klyden

    Klyden Chieftain

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    What you are most likely running into are Barrow-wights, which are auto produced by the Barrow improvement. Either the Corsair or the Harad have been building these because I got attacked by them as Gondor. I "think" it is the Corsair because I have run into them being dropped off by boats up north.

    I am guessing the gov type may not be locked down quite so tight for the Corsair and they are either despot or can change to despot in order to build the improvement.
     
  14. Lord Malbeth

    Lord Malbeth Chieftain

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    Opps... I'll try to fix that too. That is another mistake of mine. Sorry guys. :blush:
     
  15. Arc Terrat

    Arc Terrat Chieftain

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    Makes sense, I thought it might be the wights, but nothing in the pedia said they were invisible, so I wasn't sure. Glad it's not a bug, at least. I figured barrows were exclusive to Mordor as well, since it's not like I can play as Harad or Umbar, etc.

    Good to know I need units that can see them if that continues...
     
  16. Lord Malbeth

    Lord Malbeth Chieftain

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    Since there are gonna be a lot of changes, and I don't want to miss anything, would you guys be opposed to having to re-download the scenario again, or do you think that I should just try to post a patch to the best of my ability? :)
     
  17. HectorOfTroy

    HectorOfTroy Chieftain

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    I wouldn't mind downloading it again.
     
  18. HectorOfTroy

    HectorOfTroy Chieftain

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    I am glad too for the change in food, it was a really strong limitation.

    About the Barrow-wights, I must confess I was a little dissapointed when I saw they have only 2 hit points as regular... It is true they are pretty strong in attack, but they 'die' quite easily. Or maybe if they had the ability to produce new wights when they gain a battle?

    About annoying the cities, I noticed that too, Osgiliath was hit 2 times by propaganda and I even had my military plans stolen by Gondor when playing as Mordor, all this in the first 15 turns of the game. I tought that should be possible only after having the Den of Spies wonder...?
     
  19. HectorOfTroy

    HectorOfTroy Chieftain

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    Sing, menestrel, sing, about the great deeds from the past...

    'Twas hard times for mighty Mordor and its allies. The Mirkwood town of Dol Guldur had been taken by the Bardings, the savages from north. And than was time for Isengard to loose the lands of East Dunlad. The Ents proved their tracherous character when closed peace with all their enemies. Only by sacrificing its scientific superiority, could Mordor once more convince them to go to war, and this time only against Rohan and the Elves. And not even this was enough for these plants, as they soon agreed with the Hobbits, the halflings, not to trade anymore with Mordor, and than they had the ungratitude to turn against their benefactor. But mighty Mordor will forgive them in future, for it knows they were misled by the Dwarfs.

    But there was still hope. The genius of Mordor generals would shape the future of all soon. For they had devised a bold and deceiful plan to take Gondor. They knew that Gondor's life was in its capital, Minas Tirith and that if this was to fall, all Gondor would fall after it. So they put a siege, allowing no food to go in, and they entrusted this siege to the strongest of them all, the Witch-King. And the Witch-King stayed many a time before the walls of Minas Tirith, and allowed no food or enforcements enter the town. He was helped in his hard task by many Haradwaith spearmen at first, but they were soon killed by the forces the other Gondor towns were sending to help Minas Tirith. But the generals had foreseen this, and they had sent a pack of orcs on safe roads to Pelargir. While they accomplished only to kill a division of an already wounded royal cavalry, they distracted all the forces that were send to help Minas Tirith. This gave the necessary time for all the Mordor forces to group before the walls of Minas Tirith, for what would have been the final battle with Gondor. Because back, in the barrows of Mordor, many wraiths had been beeing summoned, and now they were ready.

    The Witch-King finally had acomplished his task so well, that less than half of the population of Minas Tirith had survived. And now, a huge force was preparing for assault. The first battles were fought by the strongest. And Gondor proved its valour. First the Great Spider fall, and than the sturdy Grond, and the great leader Grishnakh and the Nazgul were heavily wounded. And when all hope seemed lost for Mordor, the greatest of them all was born, the great Wraith-King of Angmar. Inspired by its leadership, the longbowmen send their arrows more precisely over the walls, the wraiths inspired more fear than ever to their enemies and the orcs inflinged deadlier wounds to their already dying enemies. So did mighty Gondor fall.

    So does the story begin, with the born of the great Witch-King of Angmar, that will fight many more battles and will defeat all the enemies of Mordor, 'cause it's just the 15th year from the begining of the Return of the Shadow.
     
  20. Klyden

    Klyden Chieftain

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    I will likely re-download, but game time is going to be in short supply for a bit.
     

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