By John Abbott.
The middle turns saw a shift in the main players. Arthedain, Cardolan, Dunland, and SG had spent a long time building economic bases, and now it was time to put them to use. Cardolan and SG traded 2223 for 1614. Cardolan was pumping out HC, and 2223 made the march much shorter. 1614 gave SG a safe haven, and it eventually became the capital. Dunland built Orthanc up to a city/citadel, and it became his capital.
Arthedain moved into the Gap of Rohan and the Brown Lands, and he was also set to pump out HC. Cardolan had spent a long time developing a first rate emissary company. Northmen and Noldo had flipped 2 of the MT’s in the Eoplex. Now we were ready to march into battle.
Dwarves, however, continued to get mauled. At one point they were down to about 5 characters and no military. Luckily, we were able to cover them until they rebuilt. It took 10-15 turns to get them rolling again. The Easterlings were being pushed out of Khand but had built up in the Iron Hills and Havens of the west. The nation would survive losing his capital.
The QA and Corsairs began hitting with their navies, and SG was hammered hard. Pelargir had fallen to the Shadow, and the DS cursers were sitting on Dol Amroth. While it never fell, SG was forced to move the capital to 1614 around T22. Corsairs had taken the Sinda major town of Edhellond. SG was being gutted. But, Cardolan and the Noldo expeditionary naval force helped SG finally push the main invading forces out.
However, the DS agents were still terrorizing everything. The Blind Sorcerer had taken Morannon, but on T23 the FP had massive armies and emissaries galore who flipped it from him. We had finally managed to take down Morannon, and the Duns set up shop.
We caught a couple more breaks and found ourselves in position to Curse Ji Indur and Din Ohtar. We were also tracking the Ring of Wind and managed to kill Schadow Weaver of the CL to get it back. DS would later take the RoW back and actually ended the game with it. Nazog of the FK was the final owner.
Turn 24 saw NG and Duns finally destroy Barad Ungol of the FK. That opened the Ithil Pass. Duns owned the North Gate, and the Northmen emissaries flipped 3222 to completely open up the way into Mordor. DkLt had rebuilt Barad-dur just in time for a two direction crossfire.
Arthedain finally got his main force of 3000+ equipped and fed HC led by Argeleb through the Ithil Pass, and he wreaked havoc. His command rank was really high, and the replacement DS agents were unable to assassinate him. He went from town to town destroying everything in his path.
The DS were making a good push into Rhun during this time. On Turn 28, a massive force arrived at Shrel-Kain, and the Northmen capital fell. Sinda had HC in the area but was unable to reach in time.
Sinda and Noldo cavalry, along with the Woodmen, were pushing back in Northern Mirkwood and Iron Hills. The WK had come north and was helping the DkLt. WK had grown strong again. He had a solid base in the Dale/Eriabor region. Sarn Goriwing was rebuilt. DkLt continued to raid from his new cities in the horseshoe.
Sinda’s agent company, led by Legolas, continued to make kills by stopping army icons wherever they popped up. Duns and Woodmen also had strong agent companies. By the end of the middle game, the FP had more agents. We were racking up kill after kill. The DS had lost all of their early super agents and the others named early in the game.
The DS did an amazing job with Pectoral and The Voice. They were able to create a camp and have a major town in 5 turns or flip a village and have a MT in maybe 3 turns. We were never able to stop them at this. Noldo made an attempt at stealing Pectoral but kept missing the hex.
By Turn 30, the Corsairs push into SG had been slowed down. Osgiliath was a city. Only the capitals of Mordor remained. The Long Rider was in the Iron Hills. We had pushed the IK to a new capital at 3126. FK had lost all Mordor pop centers and was hiding in North Umbar. The Northmen capital was in the Eoplex. Finally, the QA and Corsairs would have to be dealt with.
Most importantly, Barad-dur was destroyed a 2nd time. Cardolan set a camp there on the same turn renaming it Barad-done. The FP would not give up the Mt. Doom the rest of the war. Lastly, the FP had established the ability to do capital strikes with characters openly.