A little bit late for July 2020 but I was pretty busy otherwise. The news letter also got bigger again due to this. In the next days I will also write a little note since I am looking for people supporting me at the newsletters here, maybe some of you are interested in it ^^
Released or updated mods
A new old modding project which appeared is Third Age Total War 4.0 for Medieval II: Total War: Kingdoms. The mod creator sees it as an unofficial continuation for Third Age Total War, the well known mothermod of many LotR Total War mods, adding new features, changing existing ones and fixing many bugs. I find it a bold statement to say that his work is how the original Third Age Total War would have been if the developers there had continued working on it since that's something other mods can claim as well. In my opinion it would have been better to give the modding project an own name and see it as another submod, enriching the community with something new. You will find the download here.
At Mount & Blade: Warband the mod The Last Days (of The Third Age of Middle Earth) got updated to version 3.6, equivalent to TLD 3.5 patched with the nightly r3282, released on 2020-07-20. It is a standalone version that works as their new base package. However, to get the latest features and fixes please regularly patch it with the latest nightly at tldmod.github.io.
The standalone submod for it, TLD Overhaul, has also been updated to version 1.8.3L. It contains the latest Woodland Realm rework and bug fixes, setting the base for the upcoming update in winter with an overhaul of the factions Gondor, Rohan and Harad.
At the BfME game series, H4lbarad's map pack got updated with a singleplayer campaign map. Players can lead the heroes and people of Rohan through the entire conflict against Isengard. Version 1.0, map made for Edain mod 4.5, you can find it here. pallandoya also updated Blue Wizard Mod for Battle for Middle-earth to version 0.2.2, you can find it here. And the mod Power Of the Ring - Campaigns Of Middle Earth for Battle for Middle-earth II got a new version uploaded two weeks ago, fixing some minor issues. JUS_SAURON also posted a guide for how to get BFME1 maps working in BFME2, have a read for it here.
Activity at modding
The last month containted in average nearly a daily upload of work getting done at the developer team of the mod Heirs of Elendil for Medieval II: Total War: Kingdoms. Since I cannot show off all of them here, I encourage you to visit their image gallery to have a look around. You will find some informations about minor settlements (repurposed forts) and governor's (repurposed priest agent), see the planned new look for the Dunlendings and (probably inspired by the Games Workshop units) for Cardolan, a huge bunch of new strat models and swords (not sure how prominent they will be in game though), some parts of the world map remapped and with better water texture, portraits for the Anduin Vale as well as Dunland/Enedwaith, and more.
However, there are also other members of the Total War community eagerly working at their projects. Beneath them the ones from the modding project Silmarillion: Total War. They showed off a new unit, the Lords of the Golden Flower, and also started a Battles of Beleriand Documentary Series beside uploading a gameplay from the House of Fingolfin.
At the TMC discord I got pinged from some developers of Conflicts of Eriador. They are active too but appearantly too lazy to upload screenshots at moddb. New units for Angmar, Rhudaur and Dunland have been done beside some other little work.
After the launch of their open beta the developers of DCI: Last Alliance are for a while probably busy with bug reports and co. Still nice to see some little work which has been added shortly before the release, I hope they will gain enough drive from the beta to continue their work with the same motivation!
It's also nice to see some activity at the modding project Third Age: Fall of Arnor with the Nobles of Belfalas
It's really nice to see again more new work by the developers of Total War: Rise of Mordor for Total War: Attila. Maeron_ made a lot of really nice looking concept designs for Khand, Dol Guldur and the Noldor. I hope they have a good modeller who will be able to get this pieces of art done in the same lovely way. Perhaps it will be Manuborz who did the other models they show off. Who knows what the future will bring ^^
Sara_Temer is working at Elves as well at the moment for the modding project Last Alliance: Total War for Total War: Shogun 2. The Kingdom of Lindon seems to be the next faction coming into the mod. It's also always nice to have a look at the linked timelapse video to see how the work got done.
Switching now to another game, Mount & Blade: Warband, and to another mod of which I thought that the update would have already been released by now: Persistent Lord of the Rings (PLotR). The update release date has already been cancelled twice with the 9th of August being the new one for now. They polished a couple of scenes (Shire, Bree, Bag End and few others) to limit any kind of bugs/exploits and last npcs and points of interest are being added.
Venlesh is also eagerly working at Legends of Middle-Earth 5.0 for Age of Mythology: The Titans. The House of Elrond and Amon Hen got nice new touches. Also he plans to host the first ever competitive LOME tournament for which I wish him good luck and success. You can read more about the tournament here.
Coming to the BfME game series. There is also a newcomer project to be noted, Shadow Over Middle Earth for Battle for Middle-earth. Their idea is to base the mod on the timeline between The Hobbit and LotR. You can read about the Iron Hills Faction Plan and some screenshots of the work done are also already available.
The work on the Woodland Realm continues at the modding project Age of the Ring for Battle for Middle-earth II: Rise of the Witch King. They wrote down an article introducing the themes and concepts behind the newest faction in development, you can have a read here. MattTheLegoman also uploaded an addon, Gulf of the Surubeki, a three player multiplayer map set in Rhûn, you can find it here.
And lord_ellessar is as always showing off his lovely work for Folks of Middle Earth (edain submod), always nice to look at ^^
MacbethTheTyrant linked me also a gamplay video for the modding project Lord of Universalis 2 for the game Europa Universalis IV. He also mentioned something of a quite huge update coming soon, more I cannot reveal ^^
Tolkien in games outside the modding area
MikeTheEmperor is also processing well with his game project The Ring Roleplay Project - TRRP, showing off screenshots of the High Beacon, the tallest of the warning beacons (for which there will be a questline to light them), and The Enchanted Forest that separates Gondor and Rohan.
And the developers of The Battle for Middle-Earth: Reforged announced a video which will show the alpha (precursive) gameplay for the first time. That would have been something which I would have just showed off without announcing it but that's just me ^^