Before jumping into content, I would like to briefly introduce the latest additions to the HE development council and take the opportunity to offer a formal introduction to the rest of the team.
The HE Council
Gyn Steel - "Project Manager" - Gyn was the first addition to the team in 2018 after he helped coordinate playtesting and fix the One Ring script bug. He handles our "foreign relations" with other modding teams and is sort of the informal head of human resources.
Isen - 3D Art Lead - Isen joined the team in late 2018 and has been doing excellent work in the units department. He specializes in re-textures and attachment swaps and his skills have been improving on every project. You can see some of his work in the pictures on this mod's page.
Krcko - Scripting Lead - The most recent addition to the team, Krcko is a talented scripter with experience in CS, EDCT, and EDA scripts. In just the last few weeks, he has contributed greatly to fixing bugs and implementing new ideas. He has several script submods for DAC on Total War Center, some of which may eventually be included in HE.
El Monstero - Audio Lead - El is another recent addition to the team. Many of you will know him from his sound overhaul which was included in DAC V3. El also brings extensive modding experience in other areas such as scripting and he is one of the most prolific DAC submodders on TWC.
heavenoverhell - Compatibility - heaven has been responsible for ensuring that submods for HE and compatible with the latest version and that other DAC submods are compatible with HE. He has also provided input for multiplayer balance and unit stats.
V!S!ON - Multiplayer - It's likely that V!S!ON brings more multiplayer experience than the rest of the team together. He has been leading the effort to prepare HE for competitive multiplayer and is also learning custom settlement design. He is very active on the HE, DAC, and Reforged discord servers.
Callistonian - Project Lead - Most of you already know me as I was the sole developer on Version 1. I'm extremely grateful to now be working with such a talented and dedicated team. This has allowed me to focus my efforts on scripting, writing, and 2D art.
and now for the main course...
For centuries, only the fabled refuge of Rivendell has given the Dúnedain any cause to range into the eastern fringes of Eriador. The wicked woodlands, from which Rhudaur derives its name, conceal many perils and have ever been the home of trolls, goblins, and savage hill tribes. It was in this unforgiving land that two of the previous chieftains of the Dúnedain lost their lives: Arador, son of Argonui, captured and killed by hill-trolls, and his son Arathorn, father of Aragorn, slain by a goblin's arrow. Since these tragedies, the Dúnedain have rarely deviated from the remnants of the Great Road in their eastward travels.
But where the Dúnedain dare not go, the Haeranedain still venture. The "Far Wandering Edain", estranged cousins of the Dúnedain mixed with native hillmen, still see promise in the highland dells and deep forests of Rhudaur. Their campfires are graced by stories of Rhudaur's settlement, rise to power, and eventual decline and of the bravery and independence of her people.
Rhudaur was probably the least-played of the three successor kingdoms in HE V1 and for good reason, it was the least interesting. Unifying Rhudaur resulted in a few low-to-mid tier units, trashed diplomacy with the good factions in Eriador, and an inevitable war with both Angmar and the Orcs of the Misty Mountains (now renamed Goblin Hordes). For 2.0, we've completely rethought the successor kingdom system. Instead of simply unlocking some units, the successor kingdoms have been designed to play like entirely new factions with their own units, buildings, religions, traits, ancillaries, generals, and diplomatic relations. The little quest involving scouting Angmar has been scrapped. Now, in order to form a successor kingdom, the following steps are taken:
(1) Capturing a single core region will give a prompt to begin the 'pathway' to unification. Only one pathway may be started per campaign. --> (2) The pathway is started which will require you to capture a single capital region, a number of peripheral regions, and construct a building in the capital. During the pathway, the low-tier units of the kingdom will become available. (3) Unification of the kingdom, all buildings and units unlocked.
Focus: infantry, construction
Unique General: Coruven
Demographics: 20% Haeranedain, 80% Hillmen
Can form Arnor: no
Max Armor Level: 3
Bonus: faster/cheaper buildings, clan recruitment from Dunland, Enedwaith, Vale of Anduin
Malus: poor diplomacy with good factions, can't unite Arnor
Although it still has a large Dunedain population percentage, the Angle is no longer a starting region of the Edain, so the lands of Rhudaur feel quite remote in the east of Eriador. The Edain start at war with Angmar and the Goblin Hordes and both of these factions will seek to control Rhudaur. In particular, Angmar can also unite Rhudaur until their control and the AI will be prompted to be more aggressive in the region when the Edain begin the Rhudaur pathway.
The region is plagued by trolls and hill tribes and will not be as easy to settle as the depopulated lands of old Arthedain and Cardolan. However, Rhudaur was the smallest of the three kingdoms and has the fewest regions to capture for unification. The new hillmen religion (culture) can mostly be found in eastern Eriador and in some mountain regions around Middle-earth.
As the Rhudaur pathway progresses, there is a random chance of Dunedain and middlemen rebels spawning in the Breeland and Arthedain. If these settlements are left undefended, they will almost certainly fall to these rebellions. The Dunedain will frequently express their disapproval of your decision to seek to unite Rhudaur. And if you should unite Rhudaur, break off your alliance with Imladris, and form an alliance with Angmar... they will be most displeased.
The Rhudaur roster has seen the addition of several units: Haeranedain Rangers, Haeranedain Thegns, Haeranedain Huskarls, the modification of several others, and the removal of the pikemen. On the whole, their focus is infantry units who train quickly and with additional experience bonuses from Rhudaur's unique buildings. The word "Rhudaur" has been removed from all unit names. Each successor kingdom has its own "ranger-type" unit and Rhudaur has the Haeranedain Rangers. When the Rhudaur pathway is started, all Dunedain Rangers will express their strong disapproval by leaving your forces but you will be able to train Haeranedain Rangers instead from the Dunedain Encampment. The Dunedain religion is used for the Haeranedain units and the hillmen religion for the hillmen units.
During the Rhudaur pathway, units are unlocked by a lottery system. Each captured region has a chance of spawning one of three random pre-unification units which is then unlocked for subsequent recruitment.
Haeranedain Rangers - have slightly lower ranged attack than their Dunedain counterparts but compensate for this with more ammunition and higher charge bonus
Hillmen Warband - poorly trained and equipped but replensh quickly
Hillmen Raiders - once the scourge of Eriador, they are effective at range and in melee
Highland Hunters - won't compete with rangers but are replenished much faster
Coldfell Axemen - the most elite pre-unification unit available
Hillmen Outriders - have been changed to a jav-cav skirmish unit
Longboat (ship) - Rhudaur is the only successor with its own ships, not the best ships, but they can be built quickly
Haeranedain Infantry - backbone of Rhudaur's army
Haeranedain Huskarls - heavy infantry who throw axes before charging in with greatswords making them a highly versatile unit
Haeranedain Thegns - Rhudaur's elite unit weilding great two-handed axes and capable of holding their own against the knights of Arthedain
Trollhunters - an elite javelin unit effective against trolls and armor, the most elite hillmen unit
Haeranedain Nobles - the woods of Rhudaur do not lend themselves to heavy cavalry, the Nobles are Rhudaur's only heavy cavalry option and their lances have been removed
Dragon Ship (ship) - Raiders from Rhudaur once terrorized the Greyflood on such ships
The Rhudaur roster is augmented by 'clan recruitment' which applies in Dunland, Enedwaith, and the Vale of Anduin. Due to cultural similarities with these peoples, some of their pre- and post-barracks-event units can be recruited from the hillmen barracks in those regions.
To Be Done
Each successor kingdom has its own religion: Arthedain = Dunedain, Cardolan = Middlemen, Rhudaur = Hillmen. This means that each kingdom can have its own unique general portraits. I am currently in the process of finalizing these portraits for Rhudaur. The rebel garrisons in Rhudaur also need to be tweaked and the recruitment of ships checked. Special thanks are due to Isen for his fantastic work on the Rhudaur roster (art and stats) which has rounded out the sub-faction.
Next Up: Kingdom of Arthedain