The Fourth Age: Total War
|The Fourth Age: Total War|
|Rome: Total War: Barbarian Invasion|
|Fourth Age of Middle Earth|
The Fourth Age: Total War is a full-conversion modification for BI 1.6. With an aim to staying true to the works and spirit of J.R.R. Tolkien's world of Middle-earth, whilst also aspiring to original creative excellence, the Fourth Age: Total War is set to be a must-have for anyone who loves the setting and peoples of Tolkien's mythic world.
Set in the Fourth Age of Middle-earth, approximately 200 years after the events of the War of the Ring (the trilogy), it is based solely on the books and other official writings and not upon the movies.
- City Development & Diversification
Large cities can now be developed along a path of your choosing, ultimately providing greater diversification for your faction. For example, if you are playing as Rhûn (aka the Easterlings) you might choose to develop a Thrall Stockade in order to have that settlement rely upon cheap slave labour for the construction of buildings, or you may opt to bolster your economy by developing a Cattle Trader, or perhaps you may wish to develop a Wain Workshop to allow your Settlers to use Wains so that they can move greater distances and thus increase population growth and spread.
When you take a region with a Wonder you will not immediately gain all its effects. You will need to seize the Wonder, then secure it and then exploit it. Each of these phases will bring more of the Wonder's benefits to your faction. Wonders offer some faction-wide bonuses but such effects will vary by faction.
In addition to Wonders there are also Marvels such as The White Tree of Gondor. These Marvels act much like Wonders except that they exist in or by a settlement rather than distant from it and as such they are considered captured when the settlement itself is taken. Guard these Marvels well as they can bring great blessings to your faction!
- Unique Cities
Minas Tirith, Thranduil's Halls and other well-known cities of Middle-earth populate the landscape of the campaign map, each graphically designed and modelled to be unique and accurate.
- Landmark Features
Various features of Middle-earth that we all know and love are represented on the map - and some will even afford your faction with beneficial effects. These include the Beacon-tower Hills of Gondor, the Carrock, the Sea-ward Tower of Dol Amroth and other less prominent features such as castle ruins and barrows.
The Middle-earth Zone of Recruitment System has been designed like no other. As you would expect with any good ZoR system, units are not immediately able to be recruited as soon as you capture a foreign region but certain local levies drawn from the conquered population may be; you will need to build your own recruitment buildings in order to start training and recruiting your own troops. MEZoRS discriminates between the Mannish, Elven, Orkish and Dwarven races. It establishes up to three types of region per faction (homelands, fiefdoms and outlands) taking into account old loyalties as well as old hatreds. It allows for the deepening of loyalty among local levies but also restricts the building of certain troops that might be available in your faction's homelands.
- Assimilation Units
If you take a chief city of another faction, or (where they exist) the chief city of a subculture of a faction, you may in process of time be able to recruit a unit assimilated from the conquered faction. For example, if Dale was to capture Edoras it would have Riders of the Mark available for recruitment once it had built up to the appropriate level of stables.
- Settlers & Population Dispersion
Peasants have been renamed to Settlers, downgraded in ability and cost, upgraded in unit size and given zero-time recruitment. Their chief purpose will be to move your population about between settlements. They should be guarded by your armies when on the move, for although they will be able to engage battle they are very likely to run away, unless they seriously outnumber a foe. They should no longer be considered military units. They will also be recruited in a more realistic manner according to the geographic spread of the population.
- Factional Fertility
A relatively simple yet slick system has been implemented to base population growth more directly upon race/faction rather than region alone. In Middle-earth, the Elves and the Dwarves had few children, whereas the Orcs multiplied like the proverbial rabbits (except not so cute!). This system allows us to represent such factors in the game regardless of which regions those races occupy.
- Seven Cultures
The cultures represented visibly in the Mod will be the Dúnedanic, Northmen, Barbarian, Haradrian, Elven and Dwarven cultures, some of which will have subcultures. We have incorporated the extra culture slot to provide you with an enhancement and complement to these cultures.
- Advanced Unit Balance
All of the Mod's units have been balanced using a quite sophisticated and complex system that takes into account all sorts of attributes -ranging from unit class, weapons, armour and shield to special characteristics based on culture, role specialisation and availability- and translates them into statistics and costs. The system is constantly being improved with any new discoveries, such as the pioneering auto-resolve balance system, to ensure you enjoy the best balance out there, both on the campaign- and the battle-map.
As of the press release of the 22nd February 2006 (on SCC), the FATW team has aimed at making 9 factions:
- The Reunited Kingdom of Gondor and Arnor
The Reunited Kingdom of Arnor and Gondor was reforged by King Elessar Envinyatar Telcontar after the Fall of Barad-dûr. The Men of the Reunited Kingdom have highly-trained, well-equipped infantry and a large variety of special units, though their cavalry is very limited.
- The Kingdom of Adûnabâr
The Kingdom of Adûnabâr has declared its independence from the Reunited Kingdom, and the two realms are now in open civil war. Under the evil influence of Herumor, the Lord Black, the new king and his loyal lords have grabbed all land east of the Anduin and made Mordor into a fortress. And rumour has it that an old evil has worked its way back into the Black Land.
- The Kingdom of Rohan
Rohan was originally a Gondorian province called Calenardhon but after Eorl, the first King of the Mark, assisted Cirion of Gondor in battle he was awarded the plains north of the White Mountains. The Rohirrim are famous for Middle-earth's best cavalry, but they lack in infantry units.
- The Empire of Harad
The Haradrim are many in number, and have long lusted after the lands of Gondor. Their units are balanced, they have a strong fleet thanks to the feared Corsairs, and on the battlefield their Mûmakil cause great terror to their enemies.
- The Chiefdom of Rhûn
The Easterlings are the only faction capable of hording. Only the Haradrim and the Orcs can field larger armies than them, and they have a good mix of troops, with strong infantry such as the bloodlusting berserkers and the wains their chieftains ride - a fearsome sight.
- The Chiefdom of Dunland
The Dunlendings have been the enemies of Rohan since the Mark's foundation, but their hatred was renewed under Saruman's influence and they took up arms and attacked the Rohirrim during the War of the Ring. The Dunlendings are Barbarians with little cavalry and few bowmen, but their infantry consists of good pikemen, strong hillmen and efficient skirmishers.
- The Kingdom of Dale*
The Kingdom of Dale lies betwen the Celduin and Carnen with its heartland on the edge and north of the Long Lake. It is famed for its trade in toys among other things. Despite this, it boasts fearsome warriors - in particular its Dragon-slaying archers who carry great bows of yew. Tall and proud, the Men of Dale use longswords and wear fine mail, although they lack cavalry.
- The Kingdom of the Elves*
The Elves are the Eldar, the Firstborn, created by Ilúvatar when the world was young. Excepting wounds from battle, they are immortal, though most now have departed Middle-earth across the Sea. Those who are left, though few in numbers, are master warriors, and have the best archers available.
- The Kingdom of the Dwarves*
The Dwarves are a tough race. Unlike the Men and Elves they were created not by Ilúvatar but by Aulë the Smith; many Dwarves take his trade as their own. They have no cavalry, but heavy axemen and strong infantry of other kinds. They also have a large variety of siege weapons and employ mercenaries to good effect where needed with their gold.
The development team consists of these members (in alphabetical order):
- Aradan - Team leader, coding manager, build manager, researcher and balancer
- Éorl - Team leader, skinner, environments mapper
- CountMRVHS - Writer
Some past team members:
- Palantir - Team leader, Coding Manager and former assistant Faction Design Manager. Also known as MasterOfNone at TWC and Dol Guldur at the Org
- -apocalypsis- - Team leader and Faction Design Manager
- Arakorn-eir - Audio Manager and co-webmaster
- Jones King (a.k.a. Cronus) - Co-webmaster, 2d-artist and composer
- Balbor - Team leader and graphics manager
- Spraehbuer - 2d-artist, skinner and the man behind the interface
- Tittils - Map Manager
- Professor420 - Former Art Director
- Tb0ne - Former Art Director
- fatsheep - Founder
- Astaldo - Designer and Writer
- Xerex - Coder, Balancer
- cedric37 - 2d artist
- Jarlaxe - Modeler, skinner
 History & the founding of FATW
Rome: Total War was to be released shortly and there was a shortage of things to discuss on the message boards. We had already discussed and discussed all the screen shots, interviews, and other info Creative Assembly had released about their upcoming release. I was skimming through the topics on the boards when I came upon a thread about an idea. An idea that would turn from one discussion into one of the largest modifications in the Total War community. Being a fan of the books and Peter Jackson's movies I instantly took to the idea of modifying Rome into a Lord-of-the-Rings-style game. No other strategy game I have played has done J.R.R. Tolkien's writings justice.
With Rome, the massive scale of battles, the cities, the sieges, and tactics were already in place. We had the means to create something amazing. However, we knew that this would not be achieved without many hours of work. I shot some messages back and forth with the creator of the thread, Realm Lord, and decided that I should look around for others who shared our interest in making a LOTR modification for Rome. I didn't have to go far. I came to the SCC forums and immediately after posting a topic about our idea, Amirsan decided to host our mod. I had the luck of running into many talented modders. Spongebob created some of the first work ever done on the mod, including a variety of Orcs, Elves, and an awesome Mûmak. Another modder, Gutang, did some of our first work with the campaign map, a Ring-wraith unit, Riders of Rohan, and some very original Elves. TigerVX did an amazing job on the Easterling faction as well. WhiteWolf, who acted as the Art Director for some time, breathed new life into the project's graphics work. We lacked organization at the time and although we were getting loads work done, as a team we weren't going to be able to complete a total conversion mod the way we were going.
Our project was growing fast and filled with talented modders but we lacked the knowledge of Tolkien's works to make it a success. Then OncleJibi, a guy who possesses an amazing knowledge of Middle-earth, came into our mod. OncleJibi realized that the a game about the events that happened during the War of the Ring would not fit Total War's engine. The Ring could not be represented using the TW engine and we would have problems with overpowered factions such as Mordor and Isengard. We needed a setting with looser alliances, a free-for-all between all the countries of Middle-earth. From this idea came Fourth Age: Total War, a setting where no one country would be too much of a dominating factor. Mordor had been crushed, Isengard dismantled, and the strength of men had increased. However, new enemies would come in from the North, the East, and the South to make things interesting. In the Fourth Age, since Tolkien had written little about what transpired after the destruction of the Ring (the end of the Third Age), we were free to use some creativity.
Fortunately I've had the luck of running into many dedicated and gifted individuals that have helped greatly in not only keeping the project alive but turning it into something successful. We still have much work ahead, the cast has changed and will likely continue to in the future. However, as long as there is still interest in Tolkien's amazing world of Middle-earth and the great Total War series then there will be more success in this project's future.
Here are listed all the releases by the FATW team.
 Latest Release: The New Shadow
The New Shadow’ is a provincial campaign taking place on a map that is roughly half that of the full map of Middle-earth. Players can choose between six factions: The Reunited Kingdom, The Kingdom of Rohan, The Empire of Harad, The Chiefdom of Rhûn, The Kingdom of Adûnabâr, and The Chiefdom of Dunland. In addition there are three new factions playable in custom battles: The Kingdom of the Elves, The Kingdom of the Dwarves, and The Kingdom of Dale. You will be treated to a whole host of new features including a new alignment, over 50 new units (more Dwarves, Elves, Orcs, & Trolls), a complete overhaul of the unit & faction balance systems, new animations, new traits and ancillaries, new music, and much more.
Current version: The current (fully updated and supported) version of The New Shadow is TNS 2.6 Full, and (optionally) TNS Wars of Men + Wars of Men Fix.
- * The New Shadow 2.6 is also available in an unsupported RTW 1.5 Version (without BI).
See here for information, download links, and installation instructions for all available downloads.
 Older Releases
 Forth Eorlingas
The Forth Eorlingas-expansion pack adds two new factions to the old Corsair Invasion mini-campaign; The Kingdom of Rohan and The Chiefdom of Dunland. The other playable factions are The Reunited Kingdom (of Gondor and Arnor), The Empire of Harad, and The Chiefdom of Rhûn. It has an expanded map, now including roughly half of western Middle-earth, with five wonders; The Stone of Erech, The Ruins of Osgiliath, Edhellond, The Treegarth of Orthanc, and The Argonath, 3 unique cities Minas Tirith, Helm’s Deep, and Edoras, and three Marvels (wonder-like structures): The Sea-ward Tower (Tirith Aear), The White Tree of Gondor, and The Gardens of Ithilien.
 Corsair Invasion
The Corsair Invasion is the first release with a campaign map by the Fourth Age: Total War. It includes three factions; The Reunited Kingdom, The Chiefdom of Rhûn, and the Empire of Harad, and two factions for custom battles; The Kingdom of Rohan and the Chiefdom of Dunland. The map consists of the lands of Gondor and Northern Harad, with some of the territories eastern of Mordor, where the hordes of the Easterlings are.
 Demo: Battle of the Crossings of Poros
The first release was finally released, a year delayed, but with a historical battle; the Battle of the Crossings of Poros. It also has four playable factions in Custom battles; Dunland, Gondor, Harad and Rohan.