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'It is the Dominion of Men, the Age of Peace, but the roots of Evil run deep and always after a defeat and a respite the Shadow again seeks to assume some new form...The inevitable boredom of Men with that which is good, their quick satiety with peace, has already begun to make itself felt in Middle-earth and fostered another Evil, darker than the shadow that clouds the hearts of Men...

The New Shadow has arisen.

This is The Fourth Age: Total War!'

'The Fourth Age: Total War' is a modification for 'Rome: Total War - Barbarian Invasion' (v1.6). Our aim with FA:TW is to accurately portray the lands and peoples of Middle-earth as we think they existed approximately two centuries into the Fourth Age. It is based on the works of Tolkien, and especially on his unfinished and abandoned sequel to 'The Lord of the Rings', entitled 'The New Shadow'. With an aim to staying true to the works and spirit of J.R.R. Tolkien's world of Middle-earth, whilst also aspiring to original creative excellence, 'The Fourth Age: Total War' is a must-have for anyone who loves the setting and peoples of Tolkien's mythic world.

As of July 2007 we have released 'The Fourth Age: Total War - The New Shadow' which is a provincial campaign encompassing roughly half of the full campaign map, in which players can choose to play the Reunited Kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor, the Kingdom of Rohan, the Chiefdom of Dunland, the Chiefdom of Rhûn, the Kingdom of Adûnabâr, or the Empire of Harad. It is the 238th Year of the Fourth Age of the Sun, and over 200 years have passed since the Return of the King, and the downfall of the Dark Lord. The Reunited Kingdom is beset on all sides by foes, and now even her own people are rebelling. The new Kingdom of Adûnabâr has seized Mordor and all its lands to the East of the Anduin. Their alliance with Rohan is faltering, as the Rohirrim are in open war with the Dunlendings. To the East the hordes of the Easterlings are once again moving, and the Haradrim are mustering their forces for yet another invasion. And as if that was not enough, rumours of a dark cult have been spreading through the lands of Gondor…

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Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: Faction Strategy Preview: Kingdom of Adunabar

0 comments by FeánaroTWC on Aug 17th, 2014


In many ways, the Kingdom of Adunabar is a mirror to the Reunited Kingdom. They occupy lands opposite each other at similar latitudes, with the RK standing for the tradition of Elendil and his heirs, while Adunabar has recently embraced the dark influence of the Shadow Cult. It's tempting to see Adunabar as “the Enemy” in the Fourth Age.

And to be honest, there are good reasons for that perception. In addition to the general creepiness of following a Shadow Cult, Adunabar's leaders can employ an entire roster of Cult-influenced soldiers, from low-tier spearmen to elite Knights of the Dark Tree, and everything in between. These units wear their black-hearted allegiances on their sleeves – and if having Mannish Cultic troops isn't enough, the player of Adunabar can embrace his dark side by recruiting Orcs, Uruks, Wargs, and Trolls. 

But, in keeping with FATW's general policy of giving the player options, Adunabar doesn't have to be played that way. Although Adunabar begins play with Cultic temples in most of its settlements, it is possible for a player to turn to the Ways of the West – forsaking the aid of Cultic troops and bestial allies. In their place, Adunabar would be able to recruit a full roster of non-Cultic Dunedanic soldiers unique to its kingdom. These include some specialized, Adunabar-only troops in addition to stalwarts such as the Royal Spearmen and Longbowmen we remember from TNS. 

But why would anyone choose to give up the power of Olog-Hai or the mass of bands of Uruks in order to “go good”? For one, the Shadow Cult is unwelcome in... well, every part of Middle-earth except your own homelands. Turning to the Ways of the West would ease the conquest of Gondor and Arnor, as well as lands owned by factions such as Rohan, Tharbad, and Rhovanion, all of which you are likely to come into conflict with. Ways of the West won't earn you any popularity in Rhun or Harad – but then, neither would the Cult. 

On the other hand, a self-inflicted conversion means you can't use that difference in outlook to cause trouble in your enemies' lands. There's a sneaky kind of satisfaction in sending agents to convert the populace well behind enemy lines, causing heaps of unrest and – ideally – a rebellion that forces your foe to spend resources quelling a Cultic uprising. 

But playing as a non-Cultic Adunabar also allows the player to explore the mindset of a proud, Dunedanic ruling family that sees itself as the “true” heirs of the great Numenorean kings of the Second Age. Ar-Pharazon the Golden brought Sauron to submission through the might of his Dunedain alone. Playing as Adunabar allows you to exercise a similar strength of arms and claim all the lands of Middle-earth. 

Of course, having a claim is one thing – enforcing it is another. Adunabar owns a great deal of territory at game start, but that territory is located in the center of the map, surrounded by factions who are at war with you – or soon to be. 

Like the Reunited Kingdom, Adunabar's strongest presence is in the south. The mountain-ringed fastness of Mordor is mostly easy to defend, but its east is exposed to invasion from the men of Rhun and Khand. Protecting the fertile lands around the Sea of Nurn is crucial, and requires constant vigilance – and preferably an army stationed in the area to hold off any Easterling aggression. Diplomacy may stave off threats from this direction for a while, but once the various eastern factions have finished squabbling for supremacy among themselves, expect a strong victor to come calling. To avoid this scenario, you may need to involve yourself in the politics of these barbaric chiefdoms sooner than you'd like, by attacking emerging threats before they become too strong. Extend eastward too far too soon, however, and you leave your heartlands vulnerable...

Meanwhile, your western forces will be clashing with the Reunited Kingdom around Osgiliath. Expect no peace from Rohan while the war with your rivals continues – and expect that war to drag on to its bitter conclusion. (That conclusion being, preferably, the reduction of the Reunited Kingdom to an ironically-named footnote of history in the annals of Middle-earth – which will earn you some rich, fertile lands and valuable trading ports along the Sea, as well as another defensible region protected by mountains.)

To the north of Mordor, there are unclaimed lands in Rhovanion, but the faction of the same name is interested in claiming them for itself. Wait too long to expand in this direction, and they – or another faction, such as the Beornings or Rohan – will claim them. While that may not seem like a problem, in the long term it means you'll be defending your mountain ranges for decades while your other armies advance in different directions. 

And to the south of Ithilien, the tiny Principality of Harondor is all that stands between you and the Empire of Harad. Harad, of course, will be entangled in wars of its own, and its hatred of the Reunited Kingdom will mean that you two may make good allies in the early years. But once the Empire has dealt with the thorn in its side that is Harondor, it may view your kingdom as the next big threat in the area. Do you capture ports and send fleets down the coast, or hold off the waves of Southrons at the Poros until you can spare the men for a proper assault? 

If a potentially 4-front war (!!!) isn't enough, Adunabar's holdings in the North open up other possibilities for conflict. When the civil war broke out within the Reunited Kingdom, many lords in the eastern and southern parts of Arnor declared for Adunabar. This puts you in charge of lands stretching from the Misty Mountains down the Greyflood toward Tharbad, and ensures warfare in the North between your forces and those of the RK. But other peoples also live nearby – the Elves and Dwarves, the Shire-folk, and the men of Tharbad, as well as numerous Orc-dens in the lonely foothills and mountain sides. Across the Misty Mountains themselves, the Beornings and the men of Dale have settlements nearby, separated from your lands only by a few narrow passes. Though wars in the North will be on a smaller scale than wars in the South thanks to a lower population, they will be no less lively, and full of just as many opportunities for backstabbing and betrayal. 

A quick review of the above will reveal that Adunabar has very good odds of bordering almost every faction in the game within a very short period of time. That gives you lots of opportunities for expansion, but also plenty of danger that you - as one of the largest factions, with the added liability of religious and diplomatic baggage - will end up a target for many of your opportunistic neighbors. (Good thing you've got one of the finest military traditions in Middle-earth to draw upon.)

So, while Adunabar may see itself as a rightful inheritor and ruler of Middle-earth, the reality is that any claim to such inheritance will be hard-fought, and require a combination of ruthless expansion and patient defense. There are simply too many possibilities even in the very early game for me to sketch out a one-size-fits-all strategy here; you'll need to decide where to defend, and where to attack – and when – in order to see your Cultic legions (or Dunedanic royalists) raise the banner of the star in every corner of the world of Men.

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FATW - The New Shadow v2.6 (Full Build)

FATW - The New Shadow v2.6 (Full Build)

Jan 11, 2014 Full Version 56 comments

The full build of "Fourth Age: Total War - The New Shadow" (as released in 2008) including the 2.6 patch and Hotfix. Installation: 1. If you have a previous...

The Fourth Age: Total War - The New Shadow v2.5

The Fourth Age: Total War - The New Shadow v2.5

Dec 13, 2007 Patch 50 comments

The Fourth Age: Total War – The New Shadow v2.5 patch is now ready for download. This new patch contains many new fixes, features, and improvements, including...

The Fourth Age: Total War - The New Shadow v2.4

The Fourth Age: Total War - The New Shadow v2.4

Dec 2, 2007 Patch 11 comments

The v2.4 Patch for 'The Fourth Age: Total War - The New Shadow' has now been released! There are many tweaks and improvements incorporated in this release...

The Fourth Age: Total War - The New Shadow v2.0b

The Fourth Age: Total War - The New Shadow v2.0b

Dec 2, 2007 Full Version 19 comments

‘The Fourth Age: Total War – The New Shadow’ is a modification for ‘Rome: Total War – Barbarian Invasion’ (v1.6). TNS is the third instalment in our successful...

FATW - The New Shadow (2.0)

FATW - The New Shadow (2.0)

Jul 21, 2007 Full Version 19 comments

‘The Fourth Age: Total War – The New Shadow’ is a modification for ‘Rome: Total War – Barbarian Invasion’ (v1.6). TNS is the third instalment in our successful...

FATW - Forth Eorlingas Wallpaper Pack II

FATW - Forth Eorlingas Wallpaper Pack II

Jun 30, 2007 Wallpapers 0 comments

The Fourth Age: Total War - Forth Eorlingas Wallpaper Pack II consists of five wallpapers in 1024 x 768 resolution. They can be previewed in the FATW...

Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 258)
RichardTheImpaler Jul 24 2014, 1:42pm says:

I really like the pictures of Minas Anor/Tirith. Will I be able to place my catapults in various places in the city so I can shoot the enemy without a large chance of hitting my own walls and buildings like in the vanilla version? Also, where can I find a tutorial to modify settlements in the manner pictured in your teaser pictures?

+1 vote     reply to comment
FeánaroTWC Jul 24 2014, 2:22pm replied:

From what I've seen, there is probably enough space to place siege engines on the walls, although I've never tested it myself.

As for making custom settlements, here is a link:

+1 vote     reply to comment
FeánaroTWC Jul 10 2014, 5:58am says:

If you are interested, visit our facebook page!

+1 vote     reply to comment
bluewario Jul 9 2014, 12:22am says:

Gonna try this mod out. I hope I get it running!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Frost235 Jul 3 2014, 12:16pm says:

So, when will the final Version come out? I simply can'y wait to play this.

+1 vote     reply to comment
FeánaroTWC Jul 3 2014, 3:10pm replied:

At some point this year most likely. And I am afraid the wait is making me even more anxious for the final version as well.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Commander_Tacticus 9hours 0mins ago replied:

I can't wait either! If you need a playtester I am free! lol.

And I am glad it is coming out sometime this year, next year I won't be able to do much internet/gaming wise. :(

Anyways, keep it coming!

+1 vote     reply to comment
RickEureka Jun 29 2014, 2:37pm says:

I use Steam and I like using the debug console from time to time (I'm not a hardcore player, more casual so I like to use a bump in money sometimes.) I went about the normal way of doing this shown here: but it didnt work for the Fourth Age. did you guys purposely put something in place to prevent this?

+1 vote     reply to comment
FeánaroTWC Jun 30 2014, 3:36am replied:

No, I don't think so. I've used the console a couple of times with a physical copy of the game to test its functions and it works fine.

+1 vote     reply to comment
goldfang17 Jun 22 2014, 6:21pm says:

is there a readme in the mod thing?

+1 vote     reply to comment
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Released Nov 5, 2007
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Highest Rated (2 agree) 10/10

10! only 10 for this great project. I am waiting Dominion of Men! I would like to play Arnor =)

Apr 24 2012, 2:16pm by BagaturKhan

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