Valarian Mod Studios has been working towards a release for Wars of Arda for quite some time. The last playable public release was old Fall of Sauron mod. However the mod team has worked to give Wars of Arda as much tuning as it can before a public release. Now, Wars of Arda will finally be able to be played publicly with two factions with full support for skirmish and multiplayer provided all parties are using the mod.
The mod's two factions have plenty of depth, with a minifaction system which allows the player to purchase rights from the subdomain or ally whose infantry will best serve his strategy. The elves, for example, can choose Fangorn late in the game to effectively lay siege on large bases. Mordor can get some elite units to balance out their generally spam/monster based strategy. Mordor also boasts the nine nazgul as individual heroes. Similar to the Witch King's battle outfit each nazgul has their own personalized weapon and look, also all having a different ability set while still keeping most of the traditional nazgul abilities where possible. So you can use the unarmed Odnirh to support your units and perform stealth missions while you are going to be more likely to want the mace bearing Kirmaz to help batter the powerful enemies.
The mod also boasts a diverse set of inn minifactions which will come to the aid of any faction of its affiliation and era. These units can give something to every faction that can use them, from hobbits to the oathbreakers. Between these units and the individual factions there is freedom to use a faction many strategically different ways.
The demo release does not include support for War of the Ring, all units can be built but several issues are making it something that will not work properly in the near future. It also doesn't have the expanded skirmish map lineup, and the campaign is not yet public. However as the mod team continues to work on the mod, patches will be issued with additional maps and eventually a third faction will join the mix.
So without further ado, I present the "Return of Shadow" demo for Wars of Arda.
At the moment the mod is awaiting approval on ModDB, so I have uploaded it to an alternate site in the time being to make sure you can get it today.
Also available are four promotional desktops made from Wars of Arda contributer, JEV3.
To watch for updates and discuss the mod go to the Wars of Arda forums. Also keep an eye out for the possibility of a Wars of Arda tournemant in the near future.
On behalf of Valarian Mod Studios, I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope you enjoy Wars of Arda's first public release!