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 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…
Dorwinion is the only faction in Dominion of Men to start with just one region. Even relatively poor or upstart factions, such as the Beornings or Tharbad, have at least a few settlements to lord over. But a leader of Dorwinion will begin the game in control of only the province of the same name.
But what a province it is! Most readers will be familiar with Dorwinion as presented in The Hobbit:a region known for its wine and trade with the northern powers of Dale and the Elvenking. And in DoM, Dorwinion is blessed with fertile farmland and vineyards.
Strategically, too, the faction is well-positioned. Bounded on the east by the Sea of Rhun, on the south bythe highlands of the Ered Rhun, and protected from northern invasion by defensible river crossings, a leader of Dorwinion could expect to grow his wealth and defend it from greedy neighbors.
The trick is staying alive long enough to accomplish those goals.
No doubt the gravest immediate threat to Dorwinion are the Easterlings, whether these belong to the powerful Chiefdom of Rhun or to the smaller -but hungrier - Chiefdom of North Rhun. It is almost certain that Dorwinion will come into early conflict with one of these factions, and possibly with both.
Other neighbors in the region include the Dwarves, who have a strongholdin the Ered Rhun, and the Northmen of Rhovanion and Dale. Since Dale and the Dwarves share a steadfast alliance, it would be wise to rely upon these factions as peaceful trading partners and bulwarks, aiding them when possible. A leader of Dorwinion who runs afoul of these two powers is unlikely to survive for long!
Rhovanion is a more ambiguous power. On the one hand, Dorwinion and Rhovanion share much - they are both Northmen, culturally speaking, and their armies look rather similar (many of Dorwinion's early units are in fact drawn from Rhovanion stock).
But both are also small, fledgling kingdoms trying to hold on to their own lands and expand their influence. A weakened Dorwinion may make a tempting target for a king of Rhovanion - and the reverse may also be true, especially if peace can be brokered between Dorwinion and its traditional Easterling enemies.
As a single-province faction, Dorwinion will need to be opportunistic if it hopes to retain its independence.
Perhaps more than any other faction, a player of Dorwinion will need to be sensitive to strategic and political shifts in fortune. Agents are vital for expanding trade routes, but also for determining the right time to strike out against a rival. Is North Rhun faltering against the stalwart men of Dale to the north? The time may be ripe to spend some ofthat wealth on an army to take one of the chiefdom's settlements. Is Rhun expanding too quickly, sending its hordes far into the west while leaving its homelands unguarded? Send a ship across the Sea of Rhun to secure some more land.
Culturally, Dorwinion counts itself among the Northmen, but like Khand, there are strains of other cultures' influences to be found. The article linked above - and the devs' interpretation of the region - posits a link to the Dunedanic forces who once held sway from the Sea to the land of Rhun.
So we envisioned a Dorwinion that still recalls some of the grandeur and military might of that ancient time. In game terms, some of Dorwinion's units resemble those of the staunch, sword-armed infantry
of the Reunited Kingdom. Though the resemblance may be only a half-remembered imitation, it lends a depth to Dorwinion's portrayal anda sense of continuity to the world - fragmented, maybe, but continuous nonetheless.
I like to think of Dorwinion as the 'Romano-British' of DoM: essentially left to their own devices after the shield of Gondor was removed from their region, they maintained a spiritual connection to the great kingdom, and became, like Dale and Esgaroth, an island of civilization in a sea of barbarism.
If Dorwinion resembles the Romano-British politically, on the battlefield they recall the foot-bound armies of Flanders and the Low Countries. Their Dorwinion-specific units tend to be defensive in
nature, often favoring weapons like the spear and halberd - weapons that can be used to great effect against the mounted or poorly-armed raiders of the East, especially when exploiting the natural defenses of Dorwinion's borders.
Other units are drawn from the hinterlands of Dorwinion, and resemble the lightly-armed infantry of their Rhovanion neighbors. Dorwinion has limited options for cavalry, as much of its arable land is dedicated to the famous farms and vineyards that are renowned throughout Middle-earth. Even its captains prefer to fight on foot.
All this means that Dorwinion will be a great faction for those who favor defense and carefully-planned battlefield maneuvers on the tactical side, and well-orchestrated alliances and invasions on the
strategic side. Maybe you will make the Sea of Rhun into Dorwinion's lake, planting loyal settlements all around its rim while fending off the predations of Easterling chiefdoms.
Perhaps it is time for Dorwinion to rule all the lands west to the Great River, serving as a defender of the West from the wild men who have too often threatened it from the East. Or perhaps you will turn a covetous eye upon the newly-rich lands of Dale - a faction that, if left unchecked, may well seek to pull Dorwinion into its own orbit.
Surrounded by potential allies and potential threats, Dorwinion promises one of the most risky and unpredictable campaigns in Dominion of Men.