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Thread: FATW: Dominion of Men Faction and Gameplay Guides

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    Default FATW: Dominion of Men Faction and Gameplay Guides

    These are inofficial guides that I thought would be helpful. Much of what is written in them has also occurred to other people, and if there's any further tips or tricks, feel free to add them. I'll be uploading them one by one, but some factions like North Rhn and Adnabr should perhaps be described by other people (those who actually play them).

    General pointers

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    When developing your provinces or preparing for conquest, examine them carefully (especially in early campaign, when you need money) so as to get the best deal out of them.

    Things to look out for:

    Fertility. Provinces in FATW vary greatly in terms of fertility. Check the description of farming upgrades in the building browser of your province to see how much revenue and population growth they provide. Try to develop the most fertile ones first (usually they‘re found near major rivers). Some provinces have no farming at all.

    Trade income. Trade income is determined by the number of surrounding provinces and by the nature of the tradeable goods found in your province or the neighbouring ones. If the goods are identical between two provinces (say, both have timber and fish), the amount of trade, and revenue from it, will be low. Luxury items such as gold or pipeweed generate more trade income. Provinces capable of building a port also tend to have lucrative trade income. This will help you decide whether a Financial policy is worth implementing.

    Strategic resources. Some resources are very important to your campaign, as securing them and developing a local industry around them can boost your income, facilitate construction, or even enable certain upgrades, units, or buildings. Here‘s a list:
    Timber – carpentry industries make construction cheaper. In coastal provinces, the presence of the timber resource will allow the implementation of naval ports and hence the construction of advanced warships.
    Stone – the quarry resource indicates the presence of quality stones. The stonemason industry makes construction cheaper, even more so than carpentry.
    Iron – the metalsmith industry makes construction faster (especially for Dwarves). It also confers a bonus to armour value (except Dwarves), and has an influence on the effects of Harad‘s Iron Foundry.
    Mithril (Dwarves only, in Moria) – Mithril mines are necessary for the Dwarven armour upgrade.
    Fish – tier 2 industry improves public health.
    Livestock – tier 2 industry provides an armour bonus. Required resource for Dunland‘s Sheep Trader DB and Rhn‘s Cattle Trader DB.
    Horses – required for Rohan‘s Horsemaster‘s Stables DB. Also required for a number of heavy cavalry units across many factions (see below).
    Wild Animals – shares industry with livestock. Also has an effect on Dunland‘s Hunting Parties DB.
    Wine – tier 2 industry improves happiness.
    Incense – tier 2 industry improve public health.
    Pipeweed – significantly increases trade income. Tier 2 industry improves happiness.
    Gold, Silver, Mithril – significantly increases trade income. Tier 2 industry requires Financial or Open policy.
    Precious Stones – significantly increases trade income. Tier 2 industry requires Financial or Open policy.
    Ivory – required for Harad's Mmakil Training Grounds DB.

    Situation. Some settlements are very open to attack, while others are in secure locations. Also keep in mind which settlements might be in the way of an expanding ally – taking them might provoke your ally to attack you. This is a bit of a no-brainer, but it is worth mentioning because in this mod, it plays a greater role than elsewhere.

    Recruitment. Some provinces offer a more powerful roster than others, or even unique units. Keep this in mind when deciding whether to implement a Military policy.

    Units that require special resources
    Asterisk(*) denotes units that may alternatively be recruited via SBs, or in certain provinces. Some other units also require an SB in addition to the relevant Resource.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Riders of Dale*
    Elvellyn Riders
    Scarlet Shields
    Dragonshield Riders
    Horse-archers of Khand

    King's Horsemen*
    Rhovanion Marchwardens*
    Riders of Rhn
    War Wains
    Horse-archers of Khand

    Riddermark Bowmen
    Riddermark Spears




    Emyn Muil (Lathron) has very poor trade (despite the presence of the Portage Way and the Argonath), no resources, and no farming. It does, however, offer a very decent selection of units for several factions. It is a prime candidate for either Military or Administrative policy.

    Dor-en-Ernil (Tarnost) offers great trade, has silver mines, and a port. It also has a good unit roster. However, any units available here can also be trained in the nearby province of Belfalas (Dol Amroth). Also, it doesn‘t have the opportunity of constructing a naval port, and its tier 2 and 3 commercial port as well as the tier 2 goldsmith industry and the Royal Mint (or Terracing) development building need the Financial policy. Hence, you‘re better off with implementing a Financial policy here.

    Reunited Kingdom

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The RK is perhaps the “default faction” of this game. It has a cool faction colour, a great tech tree, and a powerful roster. You get to play as the rightful heirs of Elendil's line (and the descendants of Aragorn and Arwen) and defend the true faith against the infidel heretics of the Shia... err I mean Shadow Cult. Ahem. Anyway...

    Starting out
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    At the beginning of the campaign, you start with two disjointed territories. This will likely remain the case throughout the campaign, unless you murder your allies or you lose the north. Gondor in the south is a large territory comprised of many provinces and secured by natural borders. Up north, the situation is much more dicey, as you only have three rather under-developed provinces (one of which is a fort) surrounded by Adunabar's land.

    However, public order is amazingly not a big problem. Move the capital from Minas Anor to Mornan for optimal income and public order. Your main problems are lack of funds and lack of manpower.
    - Crank up tax rates to the maximum (without causing population drops or unrest, of course). However, as soon as you can afford it, cut taxes again in places with low population or heavy recruitment strain, particularly in the North.
    - Check the building options. Your priorities should be farming and mines, then commercial ports (particularly in Tarnost!), to avoid getting into the red. You'll also need the mines to establish construction industries in MA, Annminas, and Calembel (and, optionally, in Calenhad, though I wouldn't recommend it as the silversmith industry there is more profitable). Several Gondorian provinces are more fertile than average and thus should be developed first – check the projected land tax income and pop growth on the building description.
    - Your main economic centres will be MA, Tarnost, Calenhad, and Bree, while Dol Amroth, Linhir, Mornan, and Emyn Arnen (and Threeways, when/if you get to conquer it) are also important. If you're building mines on the first turn, check where they are most profitable.
    [- There are two enemy assassins in your southern fiefs, one for each of your rival factions. You should recruit a spy in Dol Amroth on the first turn and move him to Linhir ASAP, or wherever the assassin(s) strike(s). The Adunabar guy is a pain in the arse, as he's absurdly powerful and will crash your economy by sabotaging the government buildings. Once you've located him with the spy, use nine military units and/or terrain features to surround and squash him (it's a little known, but hilarious trick in RTW). If he's on the bridge at Linhir, you'll need even less than nine units. This works better than training a counter-assassin, who would likely fail anyway. There's also a Haradrian assassin somewhere around there. If you spot him with the spy, rinse and repeat.] - Not necessary anymore in the full release.

    Going on the offensive
    Gather your eastern armies around MA on the first turn and march a large enough force on Anrien (Calenhad) ASAP. Taking that province will mean one less front to watch, and an upsurge in income, as it is very fertile and has a quarry and silver deposits. Then, you should focus your attention on defeating the remaining Adunabar forces around MA and possibly taking North Ithilien (Minas Ithil) and/or South Ithilien (Emyn Arnen). There are pros and cons to that, as Emyn Arnen is situated awkwardly below a hill and its province borders Harondor, which can mean a land border with Harad sooner than you would like. MI, meanwhile, has to be developed very slowly and expensively. On the plus side, taking one or both of those provinces will weaken your rival considerably and may even prompt them to ask for a ceasefire (which you should agree to, in exchange for some cash and maybe map information). S Ithilien is also very fertile (more so than any other province, except the Pelennor) and fairly developed.

    Watch out for corsair invasions around Dol Amroth. Keep a sizeable garrison (3-5 units, including archers. with a general) in that city.

    Long-term Strategy
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The main threat to your empire will usually be your two rivals, Adnabr and Harad.

    The first one you have no choice but to confront (see above). If you push them hard enough initially, they'll give you peace for a while.
    The latter is more distant geographically. Nonetheless, you should always keep a close eye on Harad's doings, regardless of your intended direction of expansion. If you don't, then you might find your campaign becoming a boring slugfest of fending off several red full stacks every turn.
    Here's what you should do:
    1) destroy their navy. This is annoying as Harad spawns new ships every turn, but it will lessen the risk of naval invasions or blockades, and it will keep Harad from retaliating against Harondor.
    2) support their rivals. Try to get on friendly terms with Harondor. Leave the island of Tolfalas alone – Harondor will always try to take it (of course, when/if Harondor is defeated, you should take that province as well). If necessary, support Harondor with troops.
    3) watch what Harad is doing with Far Harad and Khand. If Harad expands in that direction, or even defeats one or both of those factions, it'll be bad news for you.
    4) if Harad becomes too powerful, systematically raid their coasts. You may even want to establish a base in Umbar and conquer the surrounding provinces eventually. Umbar can serve as a naval base and you can re-train all three Southron mercenary types here (it also has the metalsmith industry, which will speed up local construction and upgrade armour).

    Also, try to avoid war with Rohan at all costs. Don't block their expansion routes – don't take Mid-deeping (it's not worth the effort, anyway) or any part of the Gap of Rohan (Dol Baran, Isenmarch, Dunchrioch). If Rohan decides to take Old Pkel-land and Andrast from Dunland or the rebels, let them. Those are not rich provinces, nor are they needed for your campaign victory. Taking Calenhad is OK though, as Rohan won't attack you for that.
    On a similar note, try to stay away from Dale.
    Keep in mind that Elves and Dwarves can't attack your settlements, but they will attack your armies if you linger in their provinces. Thus, when you need to move through their territories, proceed with great caution (use spies!). A border with those faction is a secure border. Therefore you should consider taking Rivendell relatively early on as you expand in Arnor, and then giving it to the Elves as a gift, along with some money (10000 mirian or more – or use force diplomacy). There's nothing really there of interest to your faction. Assuming it hasn't been converted into human lands, the Elves will make sure nobody can pass from Hollin through it to attack you from that direction.

    Choosing development options
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    As you can see, CD buildings are tied to specific policies. As a rule, the military ones cost a lot of upkeep in land tax, the administrative ones half as much, and the economic ones usually nothing. If you built GoW everywhere, it could ruin your finances.

    I've found that the go-to “standard” development is Terracing – while the bonus to population growth it provides is rather modest, it has no upkeep and this faction can really need that bonus. It's also available everywhere except in military provinces. There's a catch, though – some provinces, such as Emyn Muil and Tolfalas, have no farming. Don't bother with Terracing in those places, as it'll do nothing.
    In the North, the Ranger Holds are a serious contender – in exchange for some upkeep, you get a great unit and small bonuses to trade and law. They're also independent of policy. However, don't expect a positive net income from them.
    In provinces with a large trade volume, the Royal Mint might be worth erecting. It provides a good trade bonus while requiring no upkeep. It's thus the best option for boosting income.
    The Guild of Weaponsmiths upgrades armour. It is best to build it only in a few cities, preferably in strategic locations. I've found it most convenient to build it in places where you can get cumulative armour upgrades due to a combination with tier 2 Metalsmith or Tanneries and Woolmakers industries, for example Minas Tirith, Annminas, Umbar, or Threeways.
    Another military option are the Eorling Horse Traders. They upgrade your cavalry and enable King's Horsemen in Gondor. The downside is that they (the Horse Traders) are only available in Gondor and that again, their upkeep is high.
    The Venturer's Guild is the last military development option. It requires a Naval Haven and allows you to upgrade Mariners and recruit Alcarondas Venturer, your heaviest warships. It also provides a small boost to trade income, though the high upkeep means it does not pay for itself.
    The King's Court, being a speciality of the administrative tier, significantly improves public order and curbs corruption. It also allows you to recruit King's Spearmen even in outlying territories. Hence, it is largely superfluous in your core provinces, and best for outlying regions with low trade income and potential public order issues, and wherever you feel it's lore-appropriate. The catch is that you can't build it in most chief cities.

    Units and tactics


    Looking at the RK's unit roster, there's some general characteristics that should immediately catch your attention:
    - your units tend to be rather small in terms of size, especially cavalry,
    - they tend to have powerful stats, particularly in terms of armour, but also morale, arrow range etc., and
    - with the exception of the Grey Company (a rare bodyguard unit), all of your missile units are foot archers or siege engines. That means no regular horse-archers or javelineers.

    This makes your roster the most Dwarf- (or Elf-) like of the human factions. You'll have to adjust your battlefield tactics accordingly.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Knights of the White Tree
    The default bodyguard unit of the Reunited Kingdom. They are typical heavy lancers, equipped with lance, sword, and shield. They are also one of the heaviest-armoured human units in the game. Well able to go toe-to-toe with most, if not all human bodyguard units (and in fact defeat most of them), this unit has no weakness except perhaps a slight lack of stamina and speed.

    Kingdom Militia
    The basic spearman unit. True to the faction's image, it's tougher than most of its equivalents in other factions, yet still possesses a reasonably large unit size. They'll be able to function as main force in your army (unless you're planning on using high tier units only), so long as you don't expect miracles from them. They're also the standard garrison unit, although in well-protected provinces in the interior, it might be wise to replace them with archers in order to save upkeep.

    Bowmen of Gondor
    Reliable low-to-mid-tier archers, decently armoured but with small unit size. Another staple unit, and useful as garrison troops due to relatively low upkeep.

    Eriador Hunters
    In Arnor, you can't train Bowmen of Gondor, so you'll get these instead. The downside is that they're poorly armoured and not much use in melee. However, their unit size is decent by faction standards, their range is pretty good, and they are incredibly cheap to maintain, making them perfect garrison troops.
    There's also a mercenary version, which is slightly inferior on all those accounts, but still useful. You'll probably need to rely a lot on those mercenaries in early campaign, in order to not deplete your population. Later on, you can phase out most of them and replace them with the regular version.

    King's Swordsmen
    The standard mid-tier general purpose melee unit. They're a solid unit without special quirks or abilities.

    Gondorian Horsemen
    These are mid-tier cavalry, basically a mounted version of the aforementioned swordsmen. They are quite useful for engaging enemy missile units and can overpower most of those, as well as chase routers or charge enemies from behind. Take care though not to engage spearmen, lancers, or heavy cavalry one-on-one.

    Eriador Riders
    With the exception of Dol Amroth, Arnor generally has better cavalry than Gondor. These light/medium cavalrymen, though less armoured and not as suited for drawn-out melee situations, are more numerous per unit than Gondorian Horsemen, and they carry spears, which makes them a more traditional cavalry unit, and better suited for fighting enemy cavalry and charging anything in general. When campaigning in the North, you should always take one or two units of these with your army.

    This is a bit of an odd unit. They are medium swordsmen with naval ties – they are only available in cities with military ports and barracks, and they can swim (their real main role, fighting aboard ships, is not possible to recreate in TW games prior to ETW). The stabbing swords they carry are also treated as AP weapons, which considerably increases their odds against heavy units. They are best used for raiding coastal cities and assaulting walls. In battles at bridges or fords, they will also be very useful as, unlike other medium/heavy infantry, they can simply circumvent the choke point and attack the enemy from behind.

    King's Longbowmen
    The heaviest regular archers available to your faction, with great range, decent armour, and surprising tenacity in close combat. They shoot heavier arrows than your other archers, making them better suited for taking out trolls, oliphaunts, cavalry, and armoured troops. They're also the only ones capable of using flaming arrows to destroy siege equipment or sow panic.
    The only downsides to this unit (apart from the high upkeep that comes with its elite status) are its small size and some vulnerability to missiles due to its lack of shields.

    King's Spearmen
    These are the standard heavy spearmen of your faction, and they should form the core of your battle line, especially when campaigning against missile- and cavalry-heavy factions. They're well-armoured and reliable and can stand up to most enemies, including infantry.

    Heavy swordsmen, and one of the strongest (and easiest to use) regular units in the game. They can stand beside the spearmen in the battle line or work as flanking troops, and are also great for assaulting walls.

    King's Horsemen
    These are basically a heavier version of the Gondorian Horsemen. They are useful for brute force attacks, particularly against missile troops of all kinds, or charging in the rear of any enemy units.

    Blackroot Vale Bowmen
    These are the longest-ranged archers available to your faction, and this in combination with larger (but still not large) unit size and arrow supply compared to King's Longbowmen makes them great for defending settlements or decimating large numbers of foes.

    Lossarnach Axemen
    Another specialist unit available in only one region. Where the BVB are an asset, the axemen are almost a necessity, as they are anti-armour specialists and particularly suited for bringing down heavy infantry and cavalry alike. Very useful, especially against Adunabar. Just make sure to keep them away from missiles.

    Rangers of Ithilien
    Rangers of both kinds fill a gap in the RK's unit line-up, namely that of ambush specialists, being able to hide easily in many environments, especially woodland. They are good bowmen, although missile exchanges should be avoided due to small unit size and vulnerability. They are also decent at close combat, particularly when being able to unexpectedly flank enemy units and charge in with their swords. Like Mariners, rangers of both kinds can also swim and surprise an enemy entrenched in a seemingly unassailable position.

    Rangers of the North
    These are very similar to their brethren from Ithilien, but are even better in close combat.

    Dol Amroth Men-at-Arms
    The only heavy lancers you can recruit that aren't bodyguards. They can take on the best enemy cavalry units and also make great chargers. The downside (apart from their small AoR encompassing only two provinces) is their small unit size.

    Guards of the Citadel
    A slow, but incredibly tough infantry unit capable of taking on anything in close combat, they can inflict casualties even on trolls or Mmakil (and probably on Elves and Dwarves too, should the necessity arise. Hey, not judging...). They are technically spearmen, but also effective against armour.

    White Company
    A bodyguard version of the rangers, with even better stats (particularly armour) but generally retaining the same strengths and weaknesses. Good at ambushing, archery, and close combat, but vulnerable to cavalry charges.

    Grey Company
    In essence, a mounted version of the White Company. Being mounted archers, they are something of an oddity in this faction and tactically more in line with the fighting doctrines of Rohan, Khand, or Harad. The HA status also means shorter range than foot archers, though they can compensate for this by superior skirmishing capability.

    Knights of Dol Amroth
    This is the most powerful cavalry unit available to the RK (and potentially to any human faction). They are essentially the same as your regular bodyguards, with the added capabilities of frightening nearby enemies and piercing armour when charging.

    City Ballistas
    The low damage output and awful movement restrictions of this unit might tempt you to ask why you should use it in the first place. Well, it does in fact fill a vital role, particularly in Arnor where there are no catapults (good luck lugging catapults through Rohan and Dunland...).
    Ballistas are the best units for taking out trolls, who are the biggest tactical threat in Arnor, particularly in cities without stone walls (as trolls can breach wooden walls and thus surprise weak garrisons that are not backed by reinforcements). They are also good for assaulting towns with wooden walls themselves, particularly when you need to destroy towers or snipe defending trolls. Logically, they are also good for sniping Mmakil.

    Citadel Catapults
    Catapults (with regular, more accurate shots) make assaulting forts, or heavily defended cities, a great deal easier if you can't or don't want to wait for the defenders to sally or surrender.
    They are also tremendously effective if using flaming missiles against densely packed troops, something you will appreciate when fighting Harad. If they hit home, they are also excellent at killing Mmakil and trolls.

    Important levies and mercenaries: see their respective sections.


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Dale's starting position is very beginner friendly. It occupies several rich provinces (and a few poor ones) and shares most of its borders with the strictly non-expanding, but very vigilant Dwarves and Elves. The provinces south of Framsburg are held by the Beornings, the most peaceful of the human factions. Some of your other borders are secured by impassable mountains or forests. This means that your position is very secure. It is also possible (at least on the recommended campaign difficulty) to never get into a war with Dorwinion and Rhovanion. To the east, there are the Eastern Wildlands (Gaurgaul): North Rhn will probably attack you first, and you may want to consider taking Gaurgaul (converting it to your alignment can prove tricky, but should be doable). Beyond that, North Rhn is the first serious challenge you'll likely face.
    Dale already starts with a stable economy. Focus on building up the carpentry industry in Heorth, and farming in Framsburg, Dale, Esgaroth, Burne, and Eodor (and ultimately, everywhere). Burne and Framsburg have increased fertility. Many of the important units and upgrades have to be unlocked via city development buildings, and some building upgrades depend on the terrain of the province in question, so knowing where to implement which policy is important. For instance, in regions with no big river (which you can tell by looking whether you can build longboat workshops), you can't build water mills, and thus should choose to invest in e.g. ploughs or the fireworks factory.


    Building Tree
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Of all Northmen factions, Dale's economy and infrastructure are the most advanced. As with the military, the focus is on adaptability. In addition to getting to build any of the non-specific buildings the other Northmen get, Dale has a set of unique development options in the engineering tree, ranging from upgrades to public order, trade, and farming to the ability to recruit warships and crossbowmen.

    Cannot build tier 3 ports, conventional naval ports, tier 2 mines, tier 3 healers, academies, despotic law, caravan camps, and courtyards.

    3 specialization options (open, financial, military)
    7 development options (2 general, 2 financial, 3 military)
    (Emissary Headquarters; Levy Outposts, Toy Workshop, Trading Posts; Dwarven Armoury, Military Assimilation, Siege Workshop)
    5 engineering options (Fireworks Factory, Longboat Workshop, Heavy Plough, Windmill, Crossbow Workshop)

    Development options
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Dwarven Armoury (military; upkeep 20)
    A pretty straightforward SB, identical in effect to Rohan's and RK's weaponsmith SBs. Upgrades armour +2. Where possible, this should be combined with tier 2 metalsmith or tannery industries (e.g. in Dale, Framsburg, Eodor, Ereb-gobel, or Oldford), as only the presence of both upgrade mechanisms in the same town will grant the full +3 armour bonus.

    Emissary Headquarters (general; upkeep 10)
    This one is the easiest SB, as it has the lowest requirements and is independent of policy. The drawback is that it's only available in chief cities. Being able to train level 3 emissaries is nice, but the most important effect of this building is the quicker (and cheaper) construction of provincial control buildings it enables.

    Levy Outposts (general; upkeep 10)
    This is another very useful SB. It has low requirements (tier 2 barracks, independent of policy) and typically offers two local low-to-mid-tier units that you wouldn't get otherwise. It's almost useless in Rhovanion and around Greenwood (and in Gondor, you can recruit better units of the same type from your regular barracks), but everywhere else, it lets you recruit units such as Axemen of Rhn, Swords of Harad, Variag Riders, and even Rohan Riders.
    It's also a great way of getting decent recruitment options in a settlement with financial policy.

    Military Assimilation (military; upkeep 20)
    This one lets you recruit high-tier Dalic units (Dale Longbowmen, Riders, Black Spears) in a foreign province. In “fiefdom” provinces, it'll even unlock access to Hearthmen.

    Siege Workshop (military; upkeep 20)
    Necessary for the construction of ballistas, which are helpful in sieges and against trolls. Also a requirement for the Crossbow Workshop.

    Toy Workshop (financial; no upkeep)
    Grants a small trade bonus and a bigger happiness bonus. This is the go-to SB in regions that are difficult to keep, and Dale's only public order focused SB.

    Trading Posts (financial; no upkeep)
    This is the most economically viable SB of this faction. The effect (+2 trade boost) is identical to similar SBs of various other factions. It is however only possible to construct this in provinces with major rivers.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Crossbow Workshop (military)
    The “hidden” engineering option requires a Siege Workshop, and hence a tier 4 barracks, to be built first. This means it's slow to establish. The unit you get is well worth the wait, though, given its usefulness on the battlefield.

    Fireworks Factory (financial)
    This one is very similar to the Toy Workshop, granting a small trade bonus and a happiness bonus, thus improving public order. It can even be combined with the former.

    Heavy Plough → Turnwrest Plough
    Requires tier 4 farming upgrade.
    Plough and mill upgrades work the same; the first tier increases trade somewhat while the second adds a population growth bonus. Both are pretty useless in provinces where no farming is possible.

    Longboat Workshop
    Requires port or adjoining major river.
    This is the best option for increasing trade income. In coastal provinces, it also enables tier 2 warships.

    Windmill → Watermill
    Watermill upgrade requires adjoining major river.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    As with their economy, their roster is the most well-rounded of the Northmen cultural group. It is centred around archers and a variety of other infantry ranging from spearmen to swordsmen to axemen, and even crossbowmen. Dale can make good use of other Northmen factions' units, including halberdiers from Dorwinion, skirmishers and lancers from Rhovanion, and medium cavalry as well as horse-archers from Rohan. Their expanded levy system also allows for a wide range of non-Northmen units to be recruited in the appropriate regions.

    General impression: quite similar to the Reunited Kingdom's roster, lacking the former's “doom” units, but more adaptable, with more light cavalry and a heavier focus on powerful missile units, and more capable of integrating various foreign fighting styles.

    Fear – no
    Fire – Black Arrows, Ballistas
    Command – Black Arrows
    AP – Black Spears (javelins), Hearthmen, Crossbowmen, Ballistas, Dorwinion Halberdiers

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Bardings and top tier units
    These include the four Barding units (Militia, Longbowmen, Watch, and Mounted Watch) that are available in most Homeland and Outland territories, as well as the professional units of Dale including bodyguard units. All of them are characterized by decent armour and generally above average stats. They don't have special terrain bonuses.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The default general's bodyguard unit. Like most bodyguard units, they're armoured lancers with swords as secondary weapons. A good bodyguard unit, better than Rhn's, but not quite up there with Rohan's.

    Barding Militia
    Decent tier 1 spearmen, better than most of their counterparts from other factions (save Dnedain) and with a large unit size. Suitable as main infantry force on the battlefield as well as garrison duties.

    Barding Longbowmen
    What really stands out in this low-tier archer unit is its excellent range, making it one of the best light archers around. May be better in melee than Easterling archers, but still vulnerable.

    Dale Watch
    Medium swordsmen. Not necessarily a match for its Dnedanic counterparts or Rhn's axemen, but useful nonetheless.

    Dale Mounted Watch
    A mounted version of the Dale Watch. Primarily useful for attacking enemy missile troops and doing other light cavalry work.

    Longbowmen of Dale
    Medium-heavy archers, good but not spectacular. Slightly lower range and smaller unit size than Barding archers, but better armoured and more capable against cavalry and other “large creatures”.

    Riders of Dale
    Heavy lancers, not quite as good as Rohan's or Rhovanion's, but good enough.

    Black Spears
    Heavily armoured spearmen who carry a few armour-piercing javelins as well, which makes them ideal as a general-purpose core unit.

    Hearthmen of Dale
    Given their impressive stats, these heavy axemen are pretty terrifying – of all humans carrying Daneaxes or similar weapons, they are the heaviest-armoured. Great against anything that is armoured, no matter the size.

    Black Arrows
    These are essentially Longbowmen of Dale on crack, with better stats, even more arrows, a morale-boosting effect, and the ability to shoot fire arrows. They're also fairly decent in close combat, though it's best to keep them in a secure location and let them hit important targets like enemy archers, siege towers, or large creatures.

    Dale Crossbowmen
    This unit, while possessing slightly shorter range than your archer units (but still out-ranging many foreign archers), packs a much bigger punch and is decent in melee as well. One of the best general killers in the game (useful against any kind of bodyguard), and the nightmare of heavy infantry.

    Framsburg Guard
    A recruitable bodyguard unit on foot. Essentially the same as the Men at Arms of some other factions.

    Dorwinion Halberdiers
    The downsides to this unit are that it is only available in Belegant, and that it has no shields. Halberdiers are pretty well-armoured otherwise though, come in a decent unit size, are excellent against chariots and heavy cavalry, and can go toe to toe with heavy infantry as well. Combine them with Crossbowmen to get a Renaissance feel to your army.

    Rhovanion units
    Dale, like Dorwinion, gets low- and mid-tier units from Rhovanion. These are useful as cheap garrison troops, but also as auxiliaries. Their main advantages are terrain bonuses in scrub and forests, which Dale units lack, and also better stealth and ambushing capabilities. These are:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Rhovanion Foresters
    Skirmishers with javelins and a spear for close combat. Useful against a variety of targets, including armoured ones or large creatures.

    Rhovanion Hunters
    Light archers, with decent range (though inferior to that of Barding units) and unit size, but weak in close combat.

    Rhovanion Spearmen
    Light spearmen with a decent unit size.

    Rhovanion Axemen
    Fairly versatile medium infantry, good for flanking and ambushing.

    Rhovanion Scouts
    Light lancers with better stamina than your other cavalry units. Very useful for traditional light cavalry roles, but they also pack a punch when charging and can pose a danger to almost any unit that way. Just be careful not to expose them to missile fire (no shield!) or get them entangled in prolonged melee.

    Woodmen units
    These are identical with the basic Beorning roster (minus the three actual Beorning units). As with the Rhovanion units, they're less durable than Dale's core troops, but also cheaper and better suited for ambushing. They tend to have high combat bonuses in forests.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Woodmen Axes
    Basic light infantry, useful as flankers and for garrison duty.

    Woodmen Bows
    Light archers that are not very good in melee, but boast great range similar to Barding archers. Also dirt cheap.

    Woodmen Spears
    Decent light spearmen.

    Woodmen Riders
    They're light/medium cavalry, best suited for chewing up missile units and chasing routers, but also fairly decent at charging.


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Starting out
    Rohan has a relatively easy starting location. Your southern border is secured by the impassable White Mountains, and in the north there is Fangorn forest. To the east, there is only two fords of the Anduin you'll have to watch. In the south-east, Anrien (Calenhad) is held by Adnabr. The only immediate threat is Dunland to the west. You can either hunker down and wait for them to attack you, or go on the offense straight away.
    The economic situation is also very beginner-friendly, as it's possible to stay in the black right from the start. Nearly all of Rohan (except for the Wold, but including Isenmarch and Parth Celebrant) is very fertile, so farming upgrade are an excellent choice for getting the economy up and running. The other vital factor is the silver and jewel mines of Aglarond in the Westfold (Hornburg). You should start building the mines immediately, and then move on to upgrade farming. Later on, it's best to implement a gem-cutter industry (or alternatively, goldsmiths) at the Hornburg.
    You also have a fairly decent starting army. The true challenge, however, is of a geo-strategic nature. Your Gondorian allies are under heavy pressure, and if you don't send a relief army now and then, Minas Anor might fall. In addition to having to fend off Dunlending attacks, you have to be keenly aware of Adnabr's and Harad's doings. It might be necessary to punish Adunabar in order to allow your allies some breathing space.
    Depending on how the war goes against Harad, be prepared to send expeditionary armies south to either relieve the RK's cities, or launch raids and surprise attacks deep into Haradrian territory. You may even want to ally with Harondor and support them, unless they get into a war with the RK.

    Your best expansion targets in early game are Parth Celebrant (Feorfeld), Anrien (Calenhad), Isenmarch (Dunfreca), and Nan Curunr (Dol Baran). Parth Celebrant has the strategic resource timber and is in a very secure location, being wedged between rivers, Elven territory, and impassable terrain. Anrien is rich and tempting, but will get you into war with Adunabar and closer to trouble in general. If you take it, be prepared for counter-attacks.
    Nan Curunr and Isenmarch are both rich, despite the former only being a petty province with a fort, and very important expansion targets. Isenmarch is homeland territory and a chief city and will let you recruit the full cavalry roster.
    After that, you may want to conquer the entirety of Dunland sooner or later. Depending on how relations are in the north, you could even bag Tharbad and then go straight for Threeways [for the strategic resource iron, which will reduce local construction times after you've built up (or taken over) a metalsmith industry. [In the final version of the game, Hollin (Ost-in-Edhil), which also has iron, might be a better option because of its closer proximity and its safer situation.]
    If you decide to expand east at all, the Emyn Muil (Lathron) province is a noteworthy target. It has no farming and its trade income is basically nil, but it has a wonder and you can recruit good units there. Be careful though because if the RK recovers and gains strength, it may be more likely to attack you if you hold Lathron (and possibly Calenhad), because that province is required for the RK's victory conditions. Any Gondorian provinces, including the aforementioned ones, will let you recruit Retainer Swordsmen, a very useful heavy infantry unit.

    Building Tree
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Rohan's tech tree is slightly less advanced than Dale's, and at a significant disadvantage compared to the Dunedanic factions' or Harad's, but still slightly better than Dunland's. Its economical power isn't stellar, but still solid. Overall, it's pretty straightforward.

    Cannot build tier 2 ports, naval ports, tier 2 mines, tier 3 healers, paved roads, academies, despotic law, caravan camps, and courtyards.

    3 specialization options (open, financial, military)
    4 development options (2 financial, 2 military)

    Development Options
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Gondorian Metalsmiths (military; upkeep 20)
    Grants a +2 armour bonus. Best combined with metalsmith or tannery industry for the full +3 bonus. Only available in Rohan's homeland and in Gondor (not Arnor!). In Rohan, the best provinces to implement this SB are Isenmarch and the Wold, because of the “Livestock” industry.

    Marshal's Great Hall (financial, military; no upkeep)
    Provides an experience boost for all infantry units (including local levies!). Requires T3 taverns. The standard SB in provinces with neither exciting recruitment nor Horses resource, it nevertheless stands out as the only SB in the game to provide a modest land tax increase, likely meant to offset the upkeep cost of the t3 taverns you'll have to build as a prerequisite.

    Horsemaster's Stables (financial; no upkeep)
    The equivalent of Dunland's Sheep Trader and Rhn's Cattle Trader, boosting local trade. Requires “Horses” resource. Best implemented in provinces with high trade income (and appropriate resource), like in most of Rohan, but also e.g. Eastern Enedwaith (Anghal).

    Warhorse Trainers (military; upkeep 20)
    Provides experience bonuses for all cavalry units. Best placed in provinces with the “Horses” resource.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Rohan has the most diverse cavalry roster of all factions. Their infantry is solid, but less versatile than most of their neighbours'. They have a good selection of spearmen, and even a foot bodyguard unit, but their main strength lies in the cavalry, which is very dangerous at all but the longest ranges, and especially powerful when charging the enemy.
    Lacks dedicated anti-armour troops and skirmisher infantry.

    General impression: has units and entire armies that can move frighteningly fast; their main focus lies in lancer warfare, but they are also adept at skirmishing or even prolonged fighting in close combat.

    Fear – Riders of the King's House
    Fire –
    Command – Guard of the King's House
    AP – Riders of the King's House, Shields of the Mark (javelins), Riddermark Spears

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Levies of Rohan
    Bog standard levy spearmen with spear and shield. They are decent as garrison troops and main infantry force, and have a decent unit size.

    Bowmen of Rohan
    The only native foot archers of this faction. Not equal to the higher tier Dnedanic (or Dale) archers, but still pretty good.

    Axes of the Mark
    Dependable medium melee infantry, best suited for flanking or assaulting walls.

    Shields of the Mark
    The combination of spear (and shield), good armour, and armour-piercing javelins makes this the unit of choice against heavy cavalry and “large creatures”, as well as the centre of the battle line.

    Guards of the King's House
    Though these elite heavy spearmen are technically meant for guarding the royal capital, they sure are useful on the battlefield, as they provide a solid anchor for your infantry line, boosting the morale of nearby allies.

    A foot bodyguard with sword and shield, only available at Helm's Deep. Very similar to the “men at arms” of other factions.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Riders of the King's House
    This is probably the most powerful default bodyguard unit in the game. They are heavy lancers, carrying lance, sword, and shield, with good armour and a very powerful charge. In addition, like all cavalry bodyguard units from cavalry-heavy factions, they cause fear to any nearby enemy.

    Rohan Spears
    Unlike most other factions, Rohan gets a tier 1 cavalry unit. They have a very large unit size and are fairly good in a charge, but lacking shields and heavy armour, they're very vulnerable to missiles or heavy infantry.

    Riddermark Scouts
    Light horse-archers with decent range (though lower than in foot archers) and unit size. A staple unit, especially against Dunland.

    Rohan Riders
    Medium lancers, equipped with javelins, a spear, and a shield. They're a decent all-round unit and particularly useful against factions that field a lot of heavy armour.

    Riders of the Mark
    This is a general purpose heavy cavalry unit, the main “workhorse” of Rohan's heavy cavalry, and perhaps the most typical or emblematic unit of the faction. They carry spear, sword, and shield and are very reliable and tough.

    Riddermark Bowmen
    Heavy horse-archers with swords for close combat. The advantage of this unit is that they can deal with light cavalry that might try to chase them off, and when faced with foot archers (whose range and unit sizes are superior) they can charge in and slice them up.
    Requires the “Horses” resource.

    Riddermark Spears
    These are specialized chargers, who deal even more damage in a charge than Riders of the Mark. The main drawback is that they're more difficult to use than the latter, and more vulnerable to missiles. The best way to use them is like an “ace up the sleeve” – keep them in reserve until the right moment (preferably hidden in a forest) and then strike.
    These are the best bodyguard killers of any regular cavalry in the game, and their armour-piercing attack makes them a nightmare for enemy cavalry in general. They can also wreak havoc charging infantry (and even trolls or Mmakil!) from behind when set up properly.
    Requires the “Horses” resource.

    Assimilation units
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Retainer Swordsmen
    These are basically the RK's Men at Arms. Their armour and shields are better than any of your regular units', and they are very tough. A great asset to have.
    Available from any provinces in Gondor (not Arnor!) that are “Fiefdom Dominions”. This includes Lathron and Calenhad, but not Erindl.

    Retainer Longbowmen
    Basically a slightly better version of Barding Longbowmen. These are better armoured and longer-ranged than your own archers, so it makes sense to use them, should you ever hold a province in Dale's homeland.



    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Dorwinion is not only blessed with a rich starting location, but also with a fairly strong economy, despite the lack of Specialization Buildings and sundry. Its main strengths are markets, which receive an extra income bonus for this faction, and farming. It is also the most navally inclined of the Northmen factions, with good sea trade.

    Dorwinion has an “urban” core roster of well-armoured units suitable for defending or taking walls, as well as fighting traditional field battles, but most of its light units are actually Rhovanion units, which have more of a guerrilla flair, considering their aptitude for fighting, and hiding, in rough terrain. Dorwinion's strengths lie in its infantry, particularly units equipped with spears or polearms. They also field good archers and swordsmen, as well as light lancers. As with the Beornings and Tharbad, their cavalry roster is extremely limited.
    Lacks missile cavalry and heavy lancers.

    Native Roster
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Dorwinion Bowmen
    Tough archers that can also serve at flanking and defending walls.

    Dorwinion Halberdiers
    Halberdiers carry no shields, so they are somewhat vulnerable to missiles. Otherwise though, they are pretty well-armoured, come in a decent unit size, are excellent against chariots and heavy cavalry, and can go toe to toe with heavy infantry as well.

    Dorwinion Men at Arms
    Well-armoured, heavy swordsmen. Essentially the same as the Men at Arms of some other factions.

    Dorwinion Nobles
    These bodyguard riders are very similar to the Rhn bodyguards, but are better armoured. Like their Easterling counterparts, they are good at destroying skirmishers and flanking the enemy, but should not be committed against enemy bodyguards or lancers.

    Dorwinion Watch
    Heavy spearmen. Their weapons even count as armour-piercing, which makes them even more of a good choice against missile-happy enemies, and a more defence-oriented alternative to halberdiers.

    Rhovanion units
    Dorwinion gets low- and mid-tier units from Rhovanion. These are useful as cheap garrison troops, but also as auxiliaries. Their main advantages are terrain bonuses in scrub and forests, which your native units lack, and also better stealth and ambushing capabilities.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Rhovanion Axemen
    Fairly versatile medium infantry, good for flanking and ambushing.

    Rhovanion Foresters
    Skirmishers with javelins and a spear for close combat. Useful against a variety of targets, including armoured ones or large creatures.

    Rhovanion Hunters
    Light archers, with decent range and unit size, but weak in close combat.

    Rhovanion Riders
    These light cavalry are your only lancers, and you will have to depend upon them quite a lot. They are good at charging and traditional light cavalry roles, but unfortunately their armour is very light and they don’t carry missiles.

    Rhovanion Spearmen
    Light spearmen with a decent unit size.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Harad is one of the major players in the Fourth Age. Very much unlike its unique (but lore-inaccurate) depiction in the recent movie trilogy, Harad is a fairly sophisticated faction inspired by real life Middle Eastern/South Asian/North African cultures with an advanced tech tree and a great unit roster. Also unlike its situation in the Third Age, it is now free from Sauron's yoke (or is it? … you can elect to re-join the forces of evil by going Cultic) and can choose its alliances and strategies freely.

    Starting Out
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Like its two Dnedanic rivals, Harad starts out as a fairly large empire. Your first tasks will be securing your borders and consolidating your economy. Unlike the provinces of factions farther north, most of your territories (except those along the Harnen) are rather poorly suited for farming, so you should bear in mind that trade will be more important in supporting your economy.
    Your starting cities are:

    Umbar City (Open Policy) – already well-developed at the beginning, it has great potential in all directions and is home to unique units. It does have rather poor farming though.
    I'd recommend building up a metalsmith industry to facilitate and speed up local construction, then replacing the Corsair Fortress with an Iron Foundry, since the armour bonuses from that building stack with the metalsmith armour bonus.
    Special buildings:
    Grand Market of Umbar
    Special units:
    Umbar Guard
    The Serpent Black (regular bodyguard unit)
    Black Nmenoreans (Cultic bodyguard unit)

    Caranbad (open policy) – your secondary capital. Like Umbar, its agriculture is rather weak, but it has a decent trade income and choice of recruits. Good location for Merchant Guild or Iron Foundry.

    “Regular” Cities

    Achas Annabon
    Caras Agar
    Caras Nann

    Building Tree
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Boasting one of the most advanced building trees of any faction, Harad can become an economic powerhouse quickly and can adapt to a wide range of challenges, not least managing a very extensive empire. As with Dorwinion and Tharbad, their markets are more effective than other factions'. They can also train spies from market level 2 onwards, in line with their generally superior agent training.

    Cannot build tier 2 mines, paved roads, tier 2 academies.

    4 specialization options (open, financial, military, administrative)
    8 development options (2 financial, 4 military, 1 administrative, 1 financial/administrative)
    (Brotherhood of Assassins, Merchant Guild; Corsair Stronghold, Iron Foundry, Mmakil Training Ground, Cultic Scions of Harad; Inquisitors' Network; Cultic Temple City)

    Specialization Buildings
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Harad, unlike any other faction, has eight of these. Two of them are Cultic though, which means that some are mutually exclusive.

    Brotherhood of Assassins (financial; upkeep 10)
    Has relatively low requirements; allows training of improved assassins. Also useful for ancillaries or traits.

    Corsair Stronghold (military; upkeep 20)
    This one lets you train high-tier warships. It also improves Corsair and Corsair Archer experience.
    Requires coastal settlement. Also requires a naval port and/or a province located in Harad.

    Cultic Scions of Harad (military; upkeep 20)
    Allows you to train Axes of the Shadow, Spears of the Shadow, and Shadowriders.

    Cultic Temple City (administrative/financial; upkeep 10)
    This SB lets you stage festivals to improve public order. Also enables training of Cultists.

    Inquisitors' Network (administrative; upkeep 10)
    Improves public order through law, and enables training of Inquisition Enforcers.

    Iron Foundry (military; upkeep 20)
    A good “middle-of-the-road” SB. In provinces with the “Iron” resource (e.g. Umbar), it improves armour +2. In other provinces, it improves armour +1 and provides a moderate trade boost. Its effects tack with the effects of tier 2 metalsmith or tannery industries, so it's best to build it in provinces where those are available.

    Merchant Guild (financial; no upkeep)
    Grants a powerful bonus to trade income. This should be your default SB, given its general usefulness.

    Mmakil Training Ground (military; upkeep 20)
    Necessary for the recruitment of Mmakil. Requires the “Ivory” resource.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Harad combines Rhn's numbers with Dale's missile power, and the Beornings' aptness for psychological warfare. Their main infantry forces are spearmen, swordsmen, and archers of various tiers, combined with skirmishers. They can adopt heavy infantry units from Harondor and Far Harad to complement their line-up.
    Their cavalry roster is also very good and can almost compete with Khand's and Rohan's in terms of power and versatility. Unlike Harondor, Harad can't recruit siege engines, but they do have Mmakil, the most powerful unit in the game.

    Lacks (non-Cultic) AP specialists.

    General impression: One of the most powerful and versatile unit rosters; less durable in a straight fight than the Dnedain's, but more mobile. Large unit sizes.

    Fear – The Serpent Black, Scarlet Shields, Inquisition Enforcers, Mmakil, Southron Champions
    Fire – Archers of Harad
    Amok – Mmakil
    Command – Umbar Guard, Inquisition Enforcers
    AP – Swords of Harad (javelins), Mmakil; Axes of the Shadow

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Many of Harads units have terrain bonuses in deserts (especially those from the “desert” roster) and their fighting style needs open spaces for manoeuvring, so try to fight on favourable ground whenever possible.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Footmen of Harad
    These basic spearmen are some of the weakest in the game. They're mostly good as cheap garrison forces and meatshields, but you can use them for guarding your archers against light cavalry. With proper supports and upgrades, they can be useful on the battlefield, especially in deserts.

    Plainsmen Skirmishers
    Another cheap garrison unit. Their javelins can be of some use against heavy units, especially when standing on a wall. They are very weak in close combat, though.

    Desert Skirmishers
    Slightly tougher than their Plainsmen counterparts, but still best kept out of close combat with real infantry.

    Redsand Archers
    Due to its great range, large unit size, and incredibly cheap maintenance, this is one of Harad's most important units. They are especially important for guarding your cities against Khandian raids. Their only drawbacks are their weak armour and melee stats.

    Swords of Harad
    Another staple unit, they are useful in a variety of roles, particularly flanking. Their armour-piercing javelins are a great asset against heavy infantry or cavalry, probably even against trolls. Rather infamous for the way the AI loves to exploit them.

    Archers of Harad
    Comparatively “heavy” archers, they differ from the other two archer units through their better armour and heavier arrows, which are better against large creatures. This is augmented by their ability to shoot flaming missiles.

    Spearmen of the Serpent
    These are the most reliable regular spearmen of any Southron faction. They're a vital anti-cavalry unit, fairly arrow-resistant, and generally help to stabilize your battle line.

    Umbar Guard
    An elite spearmen unit, similar in stats and abilities to their Rohirrim counterpart. Best for anchoring your battle line or supporting an assault on fortifications.

    Men of Far Harad
    A strong offensive unit, but very vulnerable to missiles. Best used for flanking, where their massive weapons combined with the fear effect on infantry come in handy. Available in Far Harad's starting provinces.

    Harondor Armsmen
    The Harondor version of the common “Men at Arms” unit type. They're heavily-armoured and disciplined, perfect for assault troops, but they can also be used in a battle line. Available in Harondor.

    Corsair Archers

    Light archers available in naval ports, compensating for the lack of Redsand Archers in coastal areas. They're less cost-efficient than the latter, but maybe slighly better in close combat. Both Corsair units can swim.

    Corsairs of Umbar

    Reasonably good swordsmen that are best suited for flanking. They're one of the heaviest units to be able to swim, which makes bridge battles easier.

    Black Nmenreans
    As heavily-armoured infantry bodyguards wielding two-handed swords, they bring a bit of Dnedanic flavour into your army. The catch is that you can only recruit them if you go Cultic.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The Serpent Black
    Your default bodyguard unit, they are heavily armoured mounted archers. As such, they do pretty well in close quarters with their scimitars, but should not take on heavy infantry, spearmen, or spear cavalry (especially enemy bodyguards!) on their own. Their chief uses lie in skirmishing – they out-range most enemy horse-archers – and in their fear effect on enemy troops.

    Haradwaith Riders
    They're fast and reasonably cheap and come in really large units. Good for chasing missile units (including light cavalry) and routers, and flanking (in most situations), but not a match for heavier cavalry, particularly lancers.

    Plainsmen Mounted Skirmishers
    This unit is a great asset against large creatures (more important for Harondor than for Harad, though, for obvious reasons), but they are also good for decimating armoured units and chasing routers. Very weak in close combat, though.

    Horsemen of the Harnen
    One of your bread-and-butter units, these are medium lancers. Their chief job should be engaging the enemy cavalry (don't put them against hopeless odds, though), and they're also good at flanking.

    Scarlet Shields
    This unit is a dedicated lancer unit, made to lead the charge. They fare very well against other cavalry, and (aside from heavy infantry) only the best enemy lancers are capable of standing up to or defeating them. Their “fear” attribute is especially useful for routing enemy armies.
    Requires the “Horses” resource.

    Inquisition Enforcers
    In effect, an even better version of Scarlet Shields. Available only from the High Inquisitor's Headquarters.

    The strongest unit in this game on an individual basis, these super-sized elephants are vital to Haradrian blitzkrieg tactics, being able to overcome wooden walls or charge headlong at the enemy general. They are prone to getting stuck in infantry units (especially spearmen) though, which can result in their death. Also, try to keep them away from javelineers, especially Swerting Skirmishers.

    Employed properly, they can rout or destroy entire armies.

    Assimilation Units
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Vassal Axemen
    Axemen of Rhn. Medium infantry whose “warcry” ability allows them to take on heavier opponents.

    Vassal Macemen
    A vassal version of Adnabr Macemen, an excellent heavy infantry unit, particularly against other armoured units. Found in Mordor.

    Vassal Pikemen

    These are Dunlending tribal pikemen. They're good anti-cavalry troops, but vulnerable to missiles because they don't carry shields.


    Main guide see here:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Dwarf units
    Dwarves are well-armoured and disciplined fighters with great morale and above average stamina, but they are among the slowest units and may have serious trouble catching Mannish troops, let alone Orcs or Elves. Thus, their greatest weaknesses are massive missile fire (particularly from units with AP missiles) and being “kited” by faster units, particularly skirmishers.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Dwarven Axes
    Axe, shield, some armour; no special abilities (aside from the archers, they're the only Dwarf unit without an armour-piercing weapon). They're the largest Dwarf unit that you can field, but also the least impressive. Still, they make a decent multi-purpose unit. Good for garrison duty in precariously situated Dwarf settlements and as a backbone to your armies in early game.

    Dwarven Archers
    These are among the most heavily-armoured archer units in the game, which is handy for winning archery “duels” against low-tier enemy missile units (not against Elves, though). It's often a good idea to use them to take out poorly armoured but dangerous targets, particularly Orc Champions, Uruk Berserkers, and Great Axes of Rhn. They're also passable in close combat.

    Dwarven Warhammers
    A mid-tier anti-armour and anti-cavalry unit. Although some regions have stronger alternatives to offer (Longaxes, Iron Hills Dwarves), Warhammers are available everywhere and have a relatively large unit size. Can be an important unit, especially in early campaign.

    Dwarven Axe-throwers
    This unit carries a couple of throwing axes and a backup axe for close combat. They are tough and a very good, versatile unit, with a decent unit size (by Dwarf standards) to boot. A good choice for forming the core of your army.

    Dwarven Shieldbreakers
    A very defensive anti-armour unit, with large shields and the ability to form a testudo. Obviously, they are a good choice wherever the hail of enemy missiles is thickest, e.g. when you're assaulting a settlement.

    Dwarven Longaxes
    This is probably the best anti-cavalry unit the Dwarves get, and their weapons count as armour-piercing to boot. Excellent defensive infantry, particularly against War Wains.

    Dwarves of the Iron Hills
    Essentially an elite version of the Warhammers, with similar, but better, attributes. They can chew through entire armies, if employed properly.

    Drin's Guard
    A very strong infantry bodyguard. They can take on well nigh anything in close combat, but should be wary of cavalry charges from unexpected directions, as well as javelin units.

    Dwarven Wain Bows
    The only Dwarven “cavalry” unit, they are still slower than regular cavalry, but they add a great deal of long-ranged firepower to Dwarven armies, and their effect on enemy morale is very helpful, too. Just keep them out of close combat.
    Good for sniping high-value targets such as generals.

    Dwarven Ballistas
    Like all ballistas, they are primarily an anti-troll or anti-elephant weapon. They're also great for destroying wooden palisades, particularly the towers.
    Dwarf engine crews can also fight in melee if needed, which is very useful given your notoriously small armies. They're not very strong, though.

    Dwarven Catapults
    These engines are invaluable because of their utility against both troops (flaming shots) and fortifications (regular ammunition). Dwarven catapults deal the greatest amount of splash damage of all catapults in the game, and also possess superior range. Always bring one or two units of these if possible, especially when taking on Orc forts and their enormous garrisons.

    Hirelings are modified versions of regular Mannish units. They almost always have better armour values than their “regular” counterparts though, and are fairly reliable.
    It takes some time to get Hirelings, during which you'll have to make do with mercenaries.
    The peculiar thing about them is that they're hired from waypost networks, which incidentally include Harad's caravans. This means you'll have your Hireling “barracks” pre-built for you, should you ever conquer anything in and around Harad!

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Hireling Spears
    The basic Hireling unit you'll get everywhere. They're equivalent to a lower-mid-tier Mannish spear unit and are modelled on the Barding Militia, with inferior unit size, but better armour. They can be used as affordable core troops.

    Hireling Guards
    A heavy infantry unit, good for guarding your flanks, particularly against cavalry. They are also widely available.

    Hireling Riders
    Once you get these, they are a great asset. Unfortunately, they're restricted to Northmen regions and getting them is time-consuming.
    Require SB.

    Hireling Hearth-troops
    These are human axe-throwers, similar to the Dwarven ones (except for the race-specific characteristics). Unique in that they don't have an equivalent in any of the other factions. A well-armed and versatile high-end unit.
    Require SB.

    Hireling Bowmen of Eriador
    They are available in Eriador and are a good choice for your main archer contingent there.

    Hireling Woodmen Axemen
    Basic melee infantry, slightly stronger perhaps than their equivalent in other factions. Useful as meatshields and for flanking and ambushing.

    Hireling Dale Longbowmen
    If you get to conquer any of Dale's homeland provinces for whatever reason, you'll find these archers useful. They're one of the best archer units available to the Dwarves.

    Hireling Rhovanion Bowmen
    The basic archers in Rhovanion. Good for ambushing and in difficult terrain.

    Hireling Rhovanion Scouts
    Light lancers that are available in Rhovanion. They're easier to get than Hireling Riders, and obviously very useful to have. Just remember that the Dwarves need cavalry mainly for mopping up routers and catching light missile troops, and don't waste them in melee brawls.

    Hireling Slingers
    The main Hireling unit in all of Rhn. They're decent missile troops.

    There are a slew of other, good Hireling units available for recruitment all over the map. The ones in Khand, Mordor, and Harad are especially strong (check the Custom Battle roster).

    Mercenaries are very important for both Dwarves and Elves in the early stages of the campaign, before you can get to recruit their Hireling equivalents (which are usually stronger). They'll continue to be an important part of your armies later on, filling any remaining gaps in your roster, or making up for the lack of available recruits.

    All mercenaries are available to all factions. The most important ones for the Dwarves are the Rhovanion Riders (the earliest cavalry available to you), followed by the various missile troops you get in Wilderland and Eriador.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Campaign pointers

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Chieftain's Guard
    Decent heavy cavalry, armed with sword and shield. They will be able to fulfil the traditional role of heavy cavalry, alongside the Riders of Rhn, however they are no match for other factions' bodyguard units (especially the heavy lancers of Khand, Rohan, the Dnedain, or the lesser Southron factions). In fact, they'd probably lose a melee duel against any other default bodyguard unit in the game, infantry or cavalry. This makes them one of the weaker BG unit in the game and means they should be used more like light cavalry. If you have to use them against enemy heavy cavalry, try to charge an already engaged unit in the back.
    Since patch 3.3 (IIRC), they carry heavy javelins that are excellent against trolls and Mumakil as well as small, heavily armoured units (e.g. Dwarven bodyguards), however they still should not engage those units in close combat.

    Tier 1-2
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Easterling Skirmishers
    Traditional skirmishers, they suck in close combat, but can dish out a fair amount of damage if they get their javelins to hit anything. Not always easy to use, but very useful once you face slow, heavily armoured units. Also very cheap to maintain, so a great choice for garrison duty.

    Easterling Warband

    Light spearmen, not very good, but suitable as mobile roadblocks and for garrison duty. Just take care to keep them supported by stronger units.

    Easterling Archers

    These are not particularly great, but they do their job. They are particularly important when facing Khand and its various horse-archers, as they out-range and outnumber the HAs and can provide covering “fire” for the rest of your army to advance. Also, like any archers, important to have on the walls in front line cities.

    Eastland Raiders
    Light lancers, not very remarkable, but numerous. Useful for all traditional roles, like chasing HA and routers, as well as charging skirmishers or supporting your heavy cavalry.

    Tier 3-4
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Axemen of Rhn
    This is your first “heavy” infantry unit, and one of the main damage dealers for this faction, due to their large unit size and the damage output, which is amplified by the warcry ability. A staple unit against any enemy.

    Spearmen of Rhn

    Dependable medium/heavy spearmen, they too should not be missing in any scenario, especially against cavalry heavy armies. They are the best choice for forming a battle line.

    Eastland Darkhelms

    Heavy swordsmen, useful for flanking and assault roles.

    Riders of Rhn

    Heavy cavalry with sword and shield, they are useful, but no match for the heavy cavalry of most other nations. Use them to hack away at missile troops and for hammer and anvil tactics.

    War Wains

    A distinctive support unit, they must be employed with care, and in radically different ways depending on which enemy you're facing. Against infantry, skirmish and avoid any contact, or your chariots will die. Against cavalry, charge them (with support from your own cavalry). Also keep away from sustained missile fire. Handled correctly, they are a useful tool and especially useful against Khand. Their biggest enemies, apart from infantry equipped with polearms, are trees and boulders.

    Berserkers of Rhn

    Another “special unit”, they are meant for psychological combat, but can also dish out copious amount of damage, and greatly facilitate routing enemy armies. Just keep them away from missile fire as long as possible.

    Vassal units
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Eastland Slingers
    Slightly tougher than your archers and having a slightly longer missile range, these are good missile troops to have.

    Great Axes
    These are hard to get, but well worth it. They are the main anti-armour unit in your roster and you should make it your goal to always bring some of them along when facing heavy armour (both infantry and cavalry!), especially Dnedain. They share the Berserkers' vulnerability to missiles, though.

    Steppe Outriders
    They're a superior version of the levy Outriders, though slightly fewer in numbers. Outriders of both kinds (as well as the mercenary version) are very useful to have for a wide variety of battle theatres. The main drawback of this unit is their uselessness in any kind of melee. Apart from archery/skirmishing, they're only good for chasing routers.

    Horse-archers of Khand
    These are the longest-ranged horse archers you'll get (save the Dragonshield mercenaries) and they're well-armoured. They're also far superior to Outriders in close combat, in fact they can beat Riders of Rhn! (though they still shouldn't be committed against proper heavy cavalry, or mass lancers). Unfortunately, their unit size is pretty small.

    Vassal Macemen (recruited via regular Warlord's Barracks)
    A vassal version of Adunabar Macemen, an excellent heavy infantry unit. They are essentially a more defensive version of the Great Axes, also being an anti-armour unit.

    All Mercenaries at one glance
    There are relatively few mercenaries in this mod. Some regions have up to three different mercenary types, but most have only one. Most of them are low-to-mid-tier, but elite mercenaries are available in Mordor and Khand.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Blackland Warriors – elite heavy swordsmen from Mordor. The toughest mercenaries in close quarters, and very well protected, but also very expensive to maintain. No particular bonuses.

    Coastal Armsmen – relatively cheap swordsmen from coastal regions of Gondor. Useful for garrison duties, population management and as cannon fodder.

    Dunlending Axemen Mercenaries – heavy skirmishers from Dunland. Useful for harassing heavy infantry and for flanking, particularly in forests.

    Gondorian Swordsmen Mercenaries – medium/heavy swordsmen from inland Gondorian provinces. Fairly versatile, no particular bonuses.

    Mercenary Bowmen of Eriador – cheap, light archers from all over Eriador. Good for missile exchanges, decimating unarmoured targets, and population management.

    Mercenary Dragonshield Riders – elite heavy cavalry from Khand, armed with bow and lance. Too small in numbers (and too expensive) for missile exchanges, but heavily-armoured and good at harassing slower units and for charging anything, particularly other cavalry. The fear effect demoralizes nearby enemies.

    Mercenary Harondor Riders – medium lancers from Harondor. Particularly useful for factions that lack light cavalry or lancers. Large unit size, good at charging missile cavalry or already engaged foes, screening your other units, and catching routers. Not particularly suited to fighting heavy infantry, and will be outclassed by heavy lancers from Harad or Rohan, so use with caution.

    Mercenary Longbowmen of Dale – professional archers from Dale homeland regions. Good at missile exchanges and other traditional archer roles, due to long range and decent armour. May double as light swordsmen. No particular bonuses.

    Mercenary Outriders – light horse-archers from Khand. Great for harassing enemies and chasing routers. Very weak in close combat. Particularly good for factions without similar units.

    Mercenary Slingers – ranged light infantry from all over Rhn. Good for missile exchanges (decent unit size, long range, shields). Weak in melee, but can act as flankers, particularly in woods and snow, where they receive terrain bonuses.

    Mercenary Southron Spears – light/medium spearmen from Harad, with shields and basic armour. Serviceable as line infantry, good at screening against cavalry and acting as cannon fodder.

    Mercenary Swerting Skirmishers – light infantry from Far Harad, with 4 javelins, spear and shield. They are excellent at taking down oliphaunts (and presumably trolls) and acquit themselves reasonably well in melee (particularly in deserts and scrub), helped by their fear effect versus infantry. Their big Achilles heel is their lack of armour, so keep them away from enemy missile units and well-rested close combat infantry!

    Rhovanion Bowmen Mercenaries – cheap light archers, good at missile exchanges. Particularly stealthy and effective in scrub and grasslands. Weak in melee.

    Rhovanion Ranger Mercenaries – heavy skirmishers/commandos from Western Rhovanion with axe, shield, and 3 heavy javelins. Good at flanking and assaulting. Particularly stealthy and effective in scrub and forests. Despite their ability to skirmish, their javelins should be used against high value targets (trolls, elite infantry) and not be wasted in skirmishes against light units.

    Rhovanion Rider Mercenaries – light lancers from Rhovanion. Good at traditional light cavalry roles, including charges at already engaged enemies. Weak in protracted melee and very vulnerable to missiles. Particularly useful for factions without light cavalry.

    Variag Warrior Mercenaries – elite axemen from Khand. Good at flanking any kind of enemy, including heavily-armoured foes. Despite their own armour, they should be kept away from missiles and shouldn't be placed in the main infantry line.

    Woodmen Mercenary Axemen – cheap, unarmoured but numerous infantry from Wilderland with axes and shields. Useful as cannon fodder and for population management. They may also have some use as flankers and ambushers, particularly in forests.


    Additional, in-depth Guides (with pictures!)
    (by Count MRVHS, if not specified otherwise)





    See here:


    Far Harad
    See here:




    North Rhn

    Reunited Kingdom

    See here:

    See here:


    General guide:


    Strategy and Tactics

    All factions

    Specific factions (several different strategies may be valid)
    Rohan: upcoming


    Faction strenghts and weaknesses at one glance
    Asterisk (*) means "aside from Assimilation units"
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    biggest roster
    best selection of orcs and “large creatures”
    strong navy
    complex tech tree
    strong economy
    can switch alignment

    no Assimilation Units

    preferred environments: urban; mixed; choke points, set-piece battles

    good at ambushing and psychological warfare
    good starting position

    lacks heavy spearmen and heavy cavalry*
    weak economy

    preferred environments: forest; ambush

    very adaptable
    best at using local levies
    innovative tech tree
    solid economy
    good starting position

    lacks missile cavalry*

    preferred environments: depends on army composition

    good infantry
    solid economy

    lacks heavy lancers and missile cavalry*

    preferred environments: urban, mixed, scrub;

    versatile infantry roster
    good at ambushing and psychological warfare
    can switch alignment
    good starting position

    most units poorly armoured
    limited cavalry
    weak economy

    preferred environments: forest; ambush

    great infantry and siege units
    strong economy
    two-species roster

    small unit sizes
    cavalry difficult to get
    low population growth in homeland provinces
    cannot build ports (but can use them)

    disjointed territories

    preferred environments: urban; choke points

    stealthiest faction
    powerful units, including the best archers
    strong navy
    two-species roster
    agents start with extra skill

    small unit sizes
    low population growth in homeland provinces
    cannot build mines (but can exploit them)
    difficult starting position
    disjointed territories

    preferred environments: forest; ambush,

    Far Harad
    good at psychological warfare
    fairly balanced roster

    difficult starting position

    preferred environments: desert; hit-and-run,

    versatile roster
    strong navy
    complex tech tree
    strong economy
    can switch alignment


    preferred environments: open, mixed, desert; set-piece battles, hit-and-run

    good cavalry
    solid economy
    can change alignment

    lacks heavy spearmen*
    challenging starting position

    preferred environments: open, mixed, urban; set-piece battles, hit-and-run

    versatile roster
    strong cavalry
    can horde

    weak economy
    lacks heavy spearmen*
    challenging starting position

    preferred environments: open, desert; hit-and-run

    North Rhn
    fairly balanced roster
    can horde

    weak economy
    little heavy cavalry

    preferred environments: forest, snow;

    Reunited Kingdom
    strong units all round
    best navy
    complex tech tree
    strong economy

    small unit sizes
    expensive units
    no Assimilation Units

    preferred environments: urban; mixed; choke points, set-piece battles - depending on unit composition

    good cavalry
    can switch alignment

    weak economy
    lacks heavy spearmen
    difficult starting position

    preferred environments: scrub, forest, open; hit-and-run

    versatile roster
    can horde
    can switch alignment

    lacks heavy lancers
    relatively weak economy
    challenging starting position

    preferred environments: mixed, open; set-piece battles,

    great, versatile cavalry
    best default bodyguard
    solid economy
    good starting position


    preferred environments: open; hit-and-run,

    strong economy
    strong navy

    lacks heavy cavalry*

    preferred environments: mixed, urban; choke points, set-piece battles,


    To be continued......

  2. #2

    Default Re: FATW: Dominion of Men Faction and Gameplay Guides

    Nice, thanks for doing this! The resource list is a good idea.
    One of the most sophisticated Total War modders ever developed...

  3. #3

    Default Re: FATW: Dominion of Men Faction and Gameplay Guides

    Updated with two more guides. Formatting and standardization might take some time, though.

  4. #4
    demagogos nicator's Avatar Domesticus
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Default Re: FATW: Dominion of Men Faction and Gameplay Guides

    Very usefull guides. What DB and BVB stands for?

  5. #5

    Default Re: FATW: Dominion of Men Faction and Gameplay Guides

    Develpment Building (otherwise called SB, i.e. Specialization Building) and Blackroot Vale Bowmen, respectively.

    The advice on the RK assassin problem might be obsolete in the official release since AFAIK the team has moved them to less threatening positions on the map.

  6. #6
    webba84's Avatar Artifex
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: FATW: Dominion of Men Faction and Gameplay Guides

    Thanks for putting all this together Athanaric, have stickied it as a valuable resource for players.

    And yes, we moved all starting assassins out of 1 turn movement range, so security traits can initialise.

  7. #7

  8. #8

    Default Re: FATW: Dominion of Men Faction and Gameplay Guides

    Seems like this thread is due for an update, no?

  9. #9

    Default Re: FATW: Dominion of Men Faction and Gameplay Guides

    Quote Originally Posted by Wambat View Post
    Seems like this thread is due for an update, no?
    Haven't played FATW in a while, so I was mostly absent. I don't know if I'll write any more guides myself, however those made by Count should be linked here eventually. If I don't get to it, any team members or local moderators are free to update this thread, including the OP, with links and additional info.

  10. #10

  11. #11

    Default Re: FATW: Dominion of Men Faction and Gameplay Guides

    Harondor is still missing:

    Was there ever a guide written for Dorwinion btw.?

  12. #12

    Default Re: FATW: Dominion of Men Faction and Gameplay Guides

    I... *think* I wrote a Dorwinion guide...
    One of the most sophisticated Total War modders ever developed...

  13. #13

    Default Re: FATW: Dominion of Men Faction and Gameplay Guides

    Quote Originally Posted by CountMRVHS View Post
    I... *think* I wrote a Dorwinion guide...
    Can you link it here please? Might be buried somewhere deep (or maybe I'm too dumb to find it).

    And thanks to Din for spotting the missing elements.

  14. #14

    Default Re: FATW: Dominion of Men Faction and Gameplay Guides

    The only thing about Dorwinion I could find was this old strategy preview:
    It would just need a few updates. For example, it started with only 1 province in this version.

  15. #15
    webba84's Avatar Artifex
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: FATW: Dominion of Men Faction and Gameplay Guides

    I know you started on the Dorwinion guide Count, but IIRC had some trouble finishing it and moved on to other factions in the meantime. Did you ever get it complete?

  16. #16

    Default Re: FATW: Dominion of Men Faction and Gameplay Guides

    I'll have to check my files. I looked through the forum back a ways and couldn't see it, so perhaps I never posted it. I should have at least the draft saved somewhere, though.

    Strange, though, I remember my intention being to have Adunabar be the final guide, and I have posted that one. Dorwinion must have gotten lost in the shuffle.
    One of the most sophisticated Total War modders ever developed...

  17. #17

    Default Re: FATW: Dominion of Men Faction and Gameplay Guides

    To ease the wait for Count's Dorwinion guide, I've uploaded a summary of their economy and unit roster.

  18. #18

    Default Re: FATW: Dominion of Men Faction and Gameplay Guides

    Thanks, athanaric
    One of the most sophisticated Total War modders ever developed...

  19. #19

    Default Re: FATW: Dominion of Men Faction and Gameplay Guides

    Updated with corrections and strategy guides.

    Strategies (M/M or M/H)

    I – Aggressive Dale (British strategy)
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The goal is to win the campaign without having to fight endless battles on every turn, and without seeing any of your allies go extinct. For this to happen, you need to be proactive and ensure a balance of powers. Some powers (usually Adnabr, Rhn, and Harad) will need pruning. You will need to send out moderately-sized, but well-equipped and fast-moving expeditionary forces to far-flung regions, in order to achieve strategic goals and help out local allies.
    Ideally, this play style will ensure fun and variation throughout the campaign, and prevent the frustration that can arise when one faction becomes too powerful and starts flooding the entire map. Through the cunning use of buffer states (especially Dwarves and Elves) you can also prevent many tedious battles and wars against most other human factions, and keep your home lands safe.

    Build order and economy

    Basically, follow what has been outlined in the guide(s). The most difficult part will be deciding on the strategic placement of SBs and Engineering developments.
    Consider the following factors:
    You will need top tier recruitment from Dale city, so upgrade its barracks as soon as you can afford it. Ideal SB/industry: Dwarven Armoury + Tanneries. Emissary HQ is also a good choice, but is perhaps better to get at Oldford, Rhovanost, and/or Belegant.
    Framsburg will need to operate autonomously. Try not to deplete its population too much; you'll need to upgrade its farms (high fertility!) and build healers while also upgrading its barracks. Ideal SB/industry: Dwarven Armoury + Tanneries.
    Burne is a good initial choice for a third military centre, because of its location. As with Framsburg, be sure to always be building/upgrading some relevant buildings there. That includes roads and lower tier farms/markets/healers. Ideal SB: Siege Workshop, mainly for crossbowmen. In late campaign, you may wish to move your crossbow production to Ereb-gobel or Holt, and convert Burne to an economic centre.
    Most settlements in and around the Greenwood (Heorth, Holt, Grimhold) have a poor economy and will be best suited for military policy and crossbow production.
    Belegant is an important settlement to take, as it's rich and can produce halberds and other interesting units. Ideal SB/engineering: difficult to say, probably Emissary HQ + Longboat Workshop, for local naval superiority.
    Ith-in-Rhaw should be a military settlement as well, with Tanneries and a Dwarven Armoury (if possible).
    Ereb-gobel is a border line case, as it's useful for either policy, depending on what you do with Burne and Holt.

    All other provinces in Wilderland should be economic centres, to be developed as your treasury allows.

    Expansion and control of the map

    1) gather eastern army from field armies and from all settlements except Framsburg.
    2) at the same time, recruit smallish army from Framsburg (including starting garrison)

    You now have two separate main army groups. The main one in the east will be responsible for fending off the Easterlings and expanding your territory east and south between Holt and the eastern edges of the map. The western one will be responsible for fending off potential Beorning assaults, conquering Beorning and rebel territory in the Anduin valley, and making forays into Eriador.

    1a) The Carnen fort will be besieged by North Rhn on the first turn. Gather enough units (including cavalry!) to relieve it and destroy the besieging army on the second turn.
    1b) start combining all of your forces (except Framsburg, see above) starting on the first turn, including the victorious relief force on the second or third turn (minus units that need to be re-trained), and gather them under the command of a spare FM (one of the new ones, not a city governor).
    1b) Consider where you move them next, depending on whether North Rhn sues for peace or not or whether any of our neighbours attack you. All neighbouring provinces are good expansion targets.
    Also consider training some Black Spears and/or Riders of Dale in your capital, in order to increase your army's potential against rival factions. Against any of them, archers are the most important unit type. Make sure you have a unit composition that can counter Easterling and Beorning Axemen, as well as Halberdiers and Marchwardens.
    1c) Watch how the situation unfolds around Minas Anor. Be prepared to launch punitive raids into Mordor or even into Harad, in order to prop up your southern allies and maintain a balance of powers (you don't want endless red stacks to swarm your southern borders).
    1d) Whatever course you decide upon, be mindful of your victory conditions, and try to keep your borders as compact as possible, and your holdings as contiguous as possible.
    1e) When you can recruit Crossbowmen and Hearthmen (and ideally, Halberdiers too), you will be able to counter anything any human faction throws at you, and you can launch your most effective expeditions south. Reserve your low tier units (e.g. Bardings and Dale Watch) for garrison duty and fending off local rivals, while using the higher tiers for conquest and expeditions.

    A top notch Dale Army should look something like this:
    1 FM
    1 Black Arrows (moral support, destroying special targets, killing archers)
    1-2 Hearthmen (anti-armour)
    2 Crossbowmen (sniping bodyguards and other dangerous units)
    1-2 Halberdiers (anti-cavalry, flanking)
    at least 4 Black Spears (main battle line, all-purpose)
    2 Dale Longbowmen (killing enemy archers and thinning out main force)
    1-2 Riders of Dale
    1-2 Rhovanion Scouts (ideally the recruited version, though mercenaries will service, too)
    1-x local mercenaries, e.g. Rhovanion Rangers, to fill any remaining ecological niche. Remember not to take too many archer units, because of the intense micro-management needed (and because it feels cheesy and unrealistic).

    If you happen to control parts of Rohan, you can augment your cavalry, and maybe replace some units, with Riddermark Bowmen (HAs) and Retainer Riders (medium cavalry).

    2a) Parallel to your operations in the main, eastern theatre, make sure Framsburg is guarded adequately (the local governor, maybe two units of Woodmen archers plus one or two units of Woodmen Spears and/or Axes, and a spy from Esgaroth).
    2b) Gather your cheap expeditionary force of at least four units (>2 archers, >1 Woodmen Riders, >2 spearmen, etc.) under a junior FM or two, and pick up any mercenary you can find in the region, while moving across the High Pass into Eriador. If you can (as timing and funds permit), include higher-tier units from your freshly upgraded Hosting Halls.
    Make sure your force is powerful enough to traverse the High Pass unmolested, or at least be able to defeat the defending orc army if it attacks you. Also make sure to avoid Beorning ambushes on the way through their territory (this is where the spy starts to become important).
    2c) Upon arriving in Eriador, take Lastbridge and sack surrounding Adunabar settlements as you see fit (so as to give the RK or Tharbad the chance to strike back), or as your remaining army strength permits. When sacking or taking settlements in Eriador, always destroy Shadow Cult conversion buildings, Adunabar barracks, and local governments. The rest is up to your preferences.
    Mercenaries (at least the bowmen from Eriador) can be re-trained at Lastbridge. Whether you raid that town, or permanently take it, depends on the circumstances (e.g. do you have enough soldiers to defend it against counter-attacks, or from a rogue RK or Tharbad attack?). If you decide to stay on the first visit, remember that this is an Outland province and it'll take long to build up the necessary infrastructure for it to be autonomous and independent of reinforcements. In any case, don't get too many of your FMs stuck there, because most of them will be needed in civilizing the Anduin valley.
    2d) Try to take Rivendell, particularly if it's controlled by Adunabar. Give it to the Elves (either as a gift together with 10000 mirian, or via Force Diplomacy). It's pretty much useless for you, or any other human faction. In Elven hands, it'll prevent Tharbad or Dunland from attacking you from the east.
    2e) Conquer all of the Anduin valley right up to the borders of Lothlorien. Ideally, the Beornings should not be destroyed, but confined to Langwyke and/or Mid-deeping, to act as a buffer between you and anything from the south.
    2f) Keep a close look on Eriador from Lastbridge. If necessary, you'll have to save the Shire or even Mithlond. Take Angmar and the surrounding forts, and give all of them (including Angmar) to the Dwarves.

    3) The war in the North and securing assimilation units
    3a) Speaking of giving away provinces, try to bribe Orodengrin (the only proper rebel province in the north) from the single orc unit occupying it, and give to to the Dwarves (as a gift, plus 100 mirian). Or you could just conquer it. Eventually, do the same for all rebel forts in the region (especially Gundabad!), except the one bordering your northern province. That one you should keep for yourself.
    3b) Try to conquer Lathron at some time. The top tier barracks there will let you recruit Retainer Swordsmen, AKA Men-at-Arms. It also has a wonder, which is always helpful.
    If you can, try to secure a piece of Rohan, unless it means going to war with that faction, in which case it's probably not worth the effort. This could come to pass if for example you liberate that province from Adunabar or another hostile faction. Rohan provinces (with military policy plus the Levy Outpost SB) will allow you to recruit excellent light cavalry units, two of which (horse archers and mounted skirmishers) fill a niche in your unit composition that other Northmen units don't, and are really useful. Remember though that you can't get these units in Feorfeld.
    These are secondary goals and should be addressed when you can spare funds or forces.

    4) Usage of diplomats
    Using diplomats is particularly important for this strategy to work, be it for obtaining map information and military access, or bribing or giving away provinces, or extorting money. Hostile factions that haven't shared a border with you for one or two turns will readily agree to a ceasefire, usually even if your condition is a hefty fine of several thousand mirian. For more details, see wambat's official diplomacy guide.

    II - Rhn

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Economy and resource management


    Rhn's homelands are rather extreme when it comes to differences in economic potential. Because most of them share the same resources, trade volume tends to be very low. At the same time, you will need as many economic centres as possible, and be economical with military specialization buildings, which swallow a lot of income.

    Your capital, Thm, has open policy. There are several good options for specialization, and you have to decide between a Cattle Trader (if you're notoriously low on cash), a Thrall Stockade (makes upgrading your barracks cheaper and helps with population replenishment), and Hunting Lodges (gives extra experience to your missiles and cavalry). Be sure to get the tier 2 tanneries for the armour upgrade.
    The two starting cities with the best trading (and general economic) potential are Fennas-rim and Raichost, both of which can construct ports and benefit from a diversity of trade resources.
    Fennas-rim has high fertility, and fish. It doesn't have horses or livestock, so a military policy is nonsensical here (nothing special, no chariots). As the Cattle Trader is not available, the best, least expensive, option is a Thrall Stockade.
    Raichost is even more of a trade centre. It should definitely have a financial policy and a Cattle Trader, everything else is sub par. The same goes for Erebost, once you get around to taking it.
    Amrndr is tucked away in a corner and despite being theoretically rich, receives very little trade. It could be turned into a recruitment centre, with tanneries and Hunting Lodges or some such, or you can use it to get your first Berserkers here (again, the tanneries help). The latter is probably the best option.
    Adel has the same problem as Amrndr, but profits from a more central (and exposed) position. This makes it the best candidate for a military policy, combined with Hunting Lodges and tanneries.

    When you get to conquer Mldn, turn it into a military centre and try to get to Tributary Camps ASAP. The same goes for Thordram in the north.

    In Mordor, the situation is different. At least one settlement (ideally Lond-nurnen, with its open policy and developed infrastructure) should have top tier barracks, so you can recruit Vassal Macemen.
    Should you take Barad-eden, it'll also be a good location to get more macemen. All other settlements in Mordor should have a financial policy in place and Cattle Traders for maximum profit. Where there's no livestock resource, resort to Thrall Stockades. The only possible exceptions from this rule might be either Athrad-morn or Amrun-Mgor, because they're the only places in Mordor where you can get top tier factional units. But that decision should also depend chiefly on the trade income from those places, or absence thereof.

    For more info, especially on starting out (and chariot usage), consult Count's guide on this faction.


    Playing as Rhn, you're faced with an early game conundrum. Unlike other factions, you have enough soldiers to defend your homelands, and even expand. You also have enough potential recruits to make up for losses, and train new units to complement the starting army. There are two key problems, however: one, your economy is weak and you hardly have the funds to support your starting troops (and even at top strength, Rhn's economy is rather mediocre), two, your strategic position is rather precarious, as your lands are totally open to invasion from three sides.
    All of this means that turtling is not an option. Also, this faction is surprisingly difficult to start with for a major faction.

    Your first major challenge is Adnabr. You're best off attacking them straight away without bothering to sort out the rebels in between, otherwise you may just lose the game.

    On the battlefield

    One of the key strengths of the Easterlings is that they have a very balanced roster, and can find an answer to every kind of challenge, eventually. Another one is that their units are quite large.
    However, during early campaign, you will have to make do without most of your strongest units, since even if you take the relevant settlements right away, it will take a lot of time to produce Great Axes and Khandian units.

    Fighting Adnabr
    Excluding Dwarves and Elves, Adunabar (and even more so, the RK) is the most difficult type of faction for you to face in battle. All of their human units can beat their Easterling equivalents in close combat, and their archers out-range yours and are better armoured. In fact, nearly all of their regular units are so well armoured that your regular units have difficulty inflicting damage. Fortunately for you, Dnedanic and (Mannish) Shadow units tire rather quickly due to their heavy armour (remember that the reverse is true for orcs and rangers!). Try to use fatigue and the terrain to their maximum potential.

    You will need all available axemen and heavy spearmen to make up the bulk of the army you send into Mordor to sack their provinces.
    The spears should form a line, and (possibly on guard mode) take the brunt of the enemy assault. If there's a heavy cavalry unit present, you might want to keep at least one spearmen unit in reserve to face them. The axemen will be needed to inflict the main damage, by triggering Warcry and crashing into the flank of units that are engaging your spears.
    Don't bother with Warbands, unless you want to garrison a town, or fight off some rebels. Your available Warband units should guard against Khandian and northern incursions. They might also be needed in some places to hold up public order.
    Your skirmishers, however, are a different story. While they're hardly a prime anti-armour counter unit, they can play a vital role in flanking heavy infantry and causing missile casualties from behind. They are micro-intensive though, and will die like flies if caught in close combat by anybody. Use them to specifically target Axes of the Shadow and Nurn Guard, both of which are devastating melee units whose main weakness is their lack of shields.
    Most of your available archers (might be a good idea to train some more of them) will be needed as garrison troops to fight off attacks by fellow Easterling factions. You could take one unit, or some mercenary slingers, to Mordor, to combat the enemy's Dark Bows (expect to lose many archers, but hey, they're cheap), or defend a conquered settlement.

    You will also need cavalry. To this end, train at least one unit of Eastland Raiders. They should be used to chase routers, and charge the enemy cavalry from behind. Again, they're weaker than their Adunabar counterparts, but the spear bonus helps somewhat.
    You have several units of Riders of Rhn at the start. They are useful for flanking enemy infantry, but can't take on heavy cavalry in a straight fight.
    You'll also have one unit of wains, which are hideously expensive and the main reason behind your debts. One the one hand, their javelins can help against the elite units you're facing. On the other, wains are difficult to use. Try to seek out the heaviest enemy cavalry unit, and charge at it with your wains (alt+ right click if their javelins aren't spent yet). They can cause heavy casualties even to bodyguards and Shadowriders. Have this unit immediately followed by a unit of Eastland Raiders, also charging at the same enemy unit (take care to keep both units separate until after the chariots' impact). They can mop up the rest, and help out your chariots if they get stuck.
    Be careful NOT to engage any infantry unit on your way with either unit, or your attack will end in disaster. Either way, expect heavy casualties.

    Remember not to use your Chieftain's Guard against enemy heavy cavalry, unless you really hate your general.

    Luckily for you, there are several very useful mercenaries available in the region. The main difficulty is being able to afford them.
    Firstly, slingers. They're slightly more powerful than your archers, but less numerous. Can be used to quickly get a sufficient amount of missile units.
    Secondly, Outriders. They are only marginally useful against Adunabar however, and better used against other factions with less armour.
    Then, there's Blackland Warriors. They are stronger than any of your own infantry, and can directly face Adunabar's best troops. Very expensive though, so don't waste them and only hire them at need.
    Also of vital importance are Variag Warriors. They carry the only armour-piercing melee weapons you can field until Great Axes come into play! Remember to keep them in reserve, far away from Dark Bows and trash units, and only use them against the heaviest enemy units (Spears of the Shadow, Swords of the Shadow, Shadowriders, bodyguards), and never alone, if possible.
    Finally, the Dragonshield Riders. Along with the wains, they provide a much needed fear bonus (against all units!) in order to facilitate routs. Their arrows should be used to weaken unshielded units, while their lances will help you against heavy cavalry in a pinch, seeing as your other anti-cavalry units are either slow (spearmen, Variags), or weak (Eastland Raiders), or unreliable (wains). Again, try not to waste them in suicide missions, archery duels, or melee brawls.

    Once Berserkers and Darkhelms hit the field, you're probably out of the most dire straits. Dorkhelms are decent assault troops (more reliable than axemen), though still not equal to elite Shadow infantry. Use them for taking walls, and flanking. They might also make good ambushers to surprise light infantry and archers with, if you can find anything resembling a forest, that is.
    Berserkers are in a category of their own. They can make your battles much easier, even against the superior Shadow/Dnedain infantry. Obviously, they need to be unleashed in the right place at the right time, and kept in reserve before that, otherwise they'll get stuck or shot to pieces.

    If you can manage to field Great Axes against Adnabr at some point, do so ASAP. They're your best unit against that faction, and unlike the rare Variag Warriors, you can have as many of them as you want.

    Against Khand
    Fighting Khand is easier (IMHO) than facing the Shadow, but can still be frustrating. While Adnabr can ruin your day in a melee engagement, Khand shines with superior archers, the best of any “Barbarian” faction (the suspiciously “Asian” design is a dead giveaway). They also field better cavalry than Rhn, and their bodyguard unit is about twice as good as your own.
    Here, then, your main advantage is actually infantry, and (again) sound tactics.

    The key to defeating Khand's archer spam is bringing your own foot archers and/or slingers, lots of them, and concentrating fire on the most dangerous units first.
    If Khand attacks you early on, you'll have to rely on Easterling Warbands for the initial battles. They should be used to shield your missile units, who are the main damage dealers.
    They can themselves beat Outriders or Steppe Archers in a melee (which is rare enough, given the speed of those units), but will struggle, or lose, against pretty much every other Khandian unit.
    If/when you can spare Spearmen of Rhn, they will earn their pay against Khand, fending off its infantry and presenting an almost insurmountable obstacle to their cavalry, if used properly. They will play the anvil when all of your other units are hammers.
    Don't bother with skirmishers (use them in the northern and western theatres instead) – any Khandian unit they would be effective against (Variag Warriors come to mind) can also be killed by archers, or is too fast-moving anyway.
    Heavy infantry, like Axemen and Darkhelms, can be put to good use against Khand's main infantry force, particularly when taking settlements.

    Be wary about using cavalry against Khand. You will need lots of it, but using it is difficult.
    One way to approach this issue is to use Khandian mercenaries. One on one, these are roughly equal to their recruit-able equivalents, but will usually be out-numbered, so it's difficult to use them against enemy mounted archers.
    Wains are one of your best options here, being able to decimate any enemy cavalry unit, but be very careful not to expose them to too many arrows. As before, make sure to support them with (trash) cavalry, ideally Raiders.
    Speaking of Eastland Raiders, they are an important tool for tackling and destroying enemy horse archers. However, sent out on their own, they will quickly melt in the face of a missile barrage, or when fighting heavy cavalry. Ideally, you should have enough foot archers to render the enemy missile troops impotent before sending Raiders or other cavalry to finish off the rest.
    Riders of Rhn will have a difficult time against Khand, because they are not cost-effective against its cavalry. They will lose melee duels even against Khandian Horse-archers. The best way to use them is to only attack Outriders and Steppe Archers, while giving all other units a wide berth, and in classic hammer-and-anvil manoeuvres against infantry. Same goes for the Chieftain's Guard.

    Against North Rhn
    Here, you know what you get. North Rhn doesn' field any unit that you can't, with the exception of getting slingers and Great Axes by default.
    Missiles, particularly archers, will be crucial to take out the enemy's Great Axes, the only really dangerous unit you'll face here. Archers (and potentially mercenary slingers) should also be used judiciously against enemy slingers, and regular axemen. Skirmishers will be useful to deplete enemy heavy infantry.
    Berserkers can be used to great effect, and are a real game changer even in defensive battles.

    Against other factions

    Dorwinion's strengths are fairly similar to Adunabar's, so adapt your tactics accordingly. Dale can be a nasty piece of work, due to their varied roster and their large territory. Depending on what they field, you'll have to adapt the tactics used against Adunabar, or North Rhn, or even Khand.

    Harad looks like a really scary enemy on paper, but can be beaten with proper tactics. Their chief strengths are their superior archers, their lancers (also superior, unless you have a lot of Dragonshield Riders), and the horribly bugged Swords of Harad.
    Try to deal with the archers and cavalry as described in the Khand section. The swordsmen and other assorted infantry nasties can be dealt with by a solid core of heavy infantry, supported by Berserkers. Indeed, morale isn't Harad's strong point, so make sure to use Berserkers and wains to make them see the error in their ways, and leg it. It's also helpful to use horse archers to shoot at the swordsmen before they can throw their missiles. If Men of Far Harad are present, they are a priority target for your (horse) archers.
    Try to take out the Serpent Guard with lancers at some point, and/or decimate it with concentrated arrow fire beforehand.
    If you suspect Mmakil to be present in the enemy force, bring one or two units of skirmishers. Hire Swerting Skirmishers whenever possible, they're best for this task and also demoralize infantry.

  20. #20

    Default Re: FATW: Dominion of Men Faction and Gameplay Guides

    Excellent guide! The strategies listed here would have prevented me from some headaches in Eriador and the south when I last played as Dale. And Dale is wonderfully suited to project its power in this way.
    One of the most sophisticated Total War modders ever developed...

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