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* AllThereInTheManual: The manual being the Middle-earth legendarium itself, of course.
* BadassArmy: Possible for any force, but inherent to the Dwarves. Any force of them will be a tough challenge. They're that tough.
** Arnor's army is basically Gondor on crack. Most of their units are on-par with those of the Elves.
* BeefGate:
** Certain AI settlements will spawn reinforcements when attacked, discouraging [[ZergRush opportunistic sieges with small/weak armies.]]
** If you manage to seize a faction's capital city before pacifying the rest of their empire, a fairly large army consisting of late-game units with full armor upgrades will spawn in, take back the city, and then go ransack the rest of your empire. This can be bypassed if you manage to [[DecapitatedArmy kill the factions' leadership]] before attacking the city, through either open battle or assassination. For example, you can completely avert the Balrog's spawning in Moria if you kill the leader and heir of the Orcs of the Misty Mountains, thus eliminating the entire faction by turning all of their settlements neutral.
* BigBad: Sauron can show up towards the end of the game with disastrous or awesome results depending on the faction youíre playing at the time.
* BlackAndWhiteMorality: The forces of good, of many cultures, but many who are neighbors start the game allied, aligned against the forces of evil, who all have the culture ''Followers of Melkor''.



* AllThereInTheManual: The manual being the Middle-earth legendarium itself, of course.
* BadassArmy: Possible for any force, but inherent to the Dwarves. Any force of them will be a tough challenge. They're that tough.
** Arnor's army is basically Gondor on crack. Most of their units are on-par with those of the Elves.
* BeefGate:
** Certain AI settlements will spawn reinforcements when attacked, discouraging [[ZergRush opportunistic sieges with small/weak armies.]]
** If you manage to seize a faction's capital city before pacifying the rest of their empire, a fairly large army consisting of late-game units with full armor upgrades will spawn in, take back the city, and then go ransack the rest of your empire.
*** This can be bypassed if you manage to [[DecapitatedArmy kill the factions' leadership]] before attacking the city, through either open battle or assassination. For example, you can completely avert the Balrog's spawning in Moria if you kill the leader and heir of the Orcs of the Misty Mountains, thus eliminating the entire faction by turning all of their settlements neutral.
* BigBad: Sauron can show up towards the end of the game with disastrous or awesome results depending on the faction youíre playing at the time.
* BlackAndWhiteMorality: The forces of good, of many cultures, but many who are neighbors start the game allied, aligned against the forces of evil, who all have the culture ''Followers of Melkor''.



* GoingNative: The Free Peoples of Eriador are the remnants of the lost kingdom of Arnor, but they are culturally a Northmen faction. This changes once Arnor is rebuilt -- the faction becomes Dunedain again, and new cultural buildings have to be built to recruit Arnor troops.

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* GoingNative: The Free Peoples of Eriador are the remnants of the lost kingdom of Arnor, but they are culturally a Northmen faction. This changes once Arnor is rebuilt -- the faction becomes Dunedain Dúnedain again, and new cultural buildings have to be built to recruit Arnor troops.



* NoCampaignForTheWicked: Averted. The player can play as any faction, including Mordor, Isengard, Harad, Rhun, Dol Guldur, and the Orcs of the Misty Mountains.
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: You can lead one in the Fellowship mode of the game. In the Third Age campaign, the Free Peoples of Eriador are about as ragtag as one can be, being composed of Breeland settlers, woodsmen, hobbits, and Dunedain rangers, and a wizard. Rebuild Arnor, though, and watch this motley crew become a badass kingdom.
* ResurrectiveImmortality: In ''Divide And Conquer'', Nazgul who die will revive several turns later, their rings preventing their permanent loss.

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* NoCampaignForTheWicked: Averted. The player can play as any faction, including Mordor, Isengard, Harad, Rhun, Dol Guldur, and the Orcs of the Misty Mountains.
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: You can lead one in the Fellowship mode of the game. In the Third Age campaign, the Free Peoples of Eriador are about as ragtag as one can be, being composed of Breeland settlers, woodsmen, hobbits, and Dunedain Dúnedain rangers, and a wizard. Rebuild Arnor, though, and watch this motley crew become a badass kingdom.
* ResurrectiveImmortality: In ''Divide And Conquer'', Nazgul who die will revive several turns later, their rings preventing their permanent loss.
kingdom.

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* ResurrectiveImmortality: In ''Divide And Conquer'', Nazgul who die will revive several turns later, their rings preventing their permanent loss.


* BeefGate: If you manage to seize a faction's capital city before pacifying the rest of their empire, a fairly large army consisting of late-game units with full armor upgrades will spawn in, take back the city, and then go ransack the rest of your empire.
** This can be bypassed if you manage to [[DecapitatedArmy kill the factions' leadership]] before attacking the city, through either open battle or assassination. For example, you can completely avert the Balrog's spawning in Moria if you kill the leader and heir of the Orcs of the Misty Mountains, thus eliminating the entire faction by turning all of their settlements neutral.

to:

* BeefGate: BeefGate:
** Certain AI settlements will spawn reinforcements when attacked, discouraging [[ZergRush opportunistic sieges with small/weak armies.]]
**
If you manage to seize a faction's capital city before pacifying the rest of their empire, a fairly large army consisting of late-game units with full armor upgrades will spawn in, take back the city, and then go ransack the rest of your empire.
** *** This can be bypassed if you manage to [[DecapitatedArmy kill the factions' leadership]] before attacking the city, through either open battle or assassination. For example, you can completely avert the Balrog's spawning in Moria if you kill the leader and heir of the Orcs of the Misty Mountains, thus eliminating the entire faction by turning all of their settlements neutral.



* EarlyGameHell: All of the good factions suffer from this to some extent, but Gondor has it worst. You start off at war with Mordor and Harad, two factions that can churn out CannonFodder, and have protected settlements located deep within mountains or deserts, meaning that conquering either is a long slog. Meanwhile, Gondor has great infantry and a huge city, but slow recruit times, a very large and vulnerable coastline, and a lagging economy in its inland settlements. Playing as Gondor requires an active strategy of harrying both enemies until its economy is powerful enough to sustain multiple stacks of troops.

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* EarlyGameHell: All of the good factions suffer from this to some extent, but Gondor has it worst. You start off at war with Mordor and Harad, two factions that can churn out CannonFodder, CannonFodder and have operate from protected settlements located deep within mountains or deserts, meaning that conquering either is a long slog. Meanwhile, Gondor has great infantry and a huge city, but slow recruit times, a very large and vulnerable coastline, and a lagging economy in its inland settlements. Playing as Gondor requires an active strategy of harrying both enemies until its economy is powerful enough to sustain multiple stacks of troops.



* GradualGrinder: This will most likely be your grand strategy by necessity. Trying to attack [[AllThereInTheManual certain settlements]], no matter how lightly defended they seem initially, will result in fresh enemy units being [[TeleportingKeycardSquad spawned in]] to bolster the garrison, while {{Zerg Rush}}ing a faction's capital punishes you with a PurposefullyOverpowered counterattacking army. To avoid being overwhelmed by these constant reinforcements, you need to slowly build yourself up, chip apart opposing factions one battle at a time, and only attack special settlements when you're certain you can either win without serious losses or at least leave the generated reinforcements too crippled to seriously bolster the enemy military.

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* GradualGrinder: This will most likely be your grand strategy by necessity. Trying to attack [[AllThereInTheManual certain settlements]], no matter how lightly defended they seem initially, will result in fresh enemy units being [[TeleportingKeycardSquad spawned in]] [[BeefGate to bolster the garrison, garrison]], while {{Zerg Rush}}ing a faction's capital punishes you with a PurposefullyOverpowered counterattacking army. To avoid being overwhelmed by these constant reinforcements, you need to slowly build yourself up, chip apart opposing factions one battle at a time, and only attack special settlements when you're certain you can either win without serious losses or at least leave the generated reinforcements too crippled to seriously bolster the enemy military.



** To put a few of these into perspective, in the original game it wasn't uncommon to get population growth up of a settlement to four or five percent, particularly with high chivalry governors. In the Third Age, getting it to two percent is hard even if you cut taxes and max out all available population buildings, and most places have very small populations on top of that. For troops, a militia unit in Medieval II would replenish at one per turn, so you could always at least raise one of those if you had the florins. Here, the approximately equivalent units often take ''five'' turns to replenish.
** Even further, [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard the AI will receive multiple stacks of units for free whenever you attack important settlements]], as well as an army of elite units if you try to seize a capital city [[SequenceBreaking too early]]. This is ostensibly to help the AI compensate for player mission rewards and to foil ZergRush tactics.

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** To put a few of these into perspective, in the original game it wasn't uncommon to get population growth up of a settlement to four or five percent, particularly with high chivalry governors. In the Third Age, ''Third Age'', getting it to two percent is hard even if you cut taxes and max out all available population buildings, and most places have very small populations on top of that. For troops, a militia unit in Medieval II would replenish at one per turn, so you could always at least raise one of those if you had the florins. Here, the approximately equivalent units often take ''five'' turns to replenish.
** Even further, [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard the AI will receive multiple stacks of units for free whenever you attack important settlements]], as well as an army of elite units if you try to seize a capital city [[SequenceBreaking too early]]. This is ostensibly intended to help the AI compensate for player mission rewards and to foil ZergRush tactics.



* TeleportingKeycardSquad: Done to punish [[ZergRush rapid invasions]] - Certain settlements will have their garrisons be automatically bolstered by extra units when attacked, while capturing a faction's capital city without destroying the rest of the empire will spawn in a BeefGate army the following turn to counterattack.

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* TeleportingKeycardSquad: Done to punish [[ZergRush rapid or opportunistic invasions]] - Certain settlements will have their garrisons be automatically bolstered by extra units when attacked, while capturing a faction's capital city without destroying the rest of the empire will spawn in a BeefGate army the following turn to counterattack.


* NamedByTheAdaptation: The seven Nazgul who received no name in the book are all named here based upon the tabletop role playing game.



* NoCampaignForTheWicked: Averted. The player can play as any faction, including Mordor.

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* NoCampaignForTheWicked: Averted. The player can play as any faction, including Mordor.Mordor, Isengard, Harad, Rhun, Dol Guldur, and the Orcs of the Misty Mountains.

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[[quoteright:350:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/third_age_total_war.png]]

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* TechTree: Factions can not recruit their more elite units until the automated Barracks Event script activates.


Of course, there are many sub-mods for ''Third Age'', with two of the most notable being the campaign-focused ''Divide and Conquer'' and the multiplayer-focused ''Third Age: Reforged''.

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Of course, there are many sub-mods for ''Third Age'', with two of the most notable being the campaign-focused ''Divide and Conquer'' ''VideoGame/DivideAndConquer'' and the multiplayer-focused ''Third Age: Reforged''.

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* WarElephants: As you might expect, Harad has access to Mumakil in their late game. Mordor has similar units in the form of thier Great Beasts.


''Third Age: Total War'' is a [[GameMod full-conversion modification]] of ''[[VideoGame/MedievalIITotalWar Medieval II: Total War: Kingdoms]]''. It is designed to be a faithful rendition of Creator/JRRTolkien's [[Franchise/TolkiensLegendarium Middle Earth]], set around the time of ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''. The main campaign lasts from the year 2980 TA until the end of the Third Age. The game is currently on version 3.2 and is one of the most popular mods of ''Medieval II''. There are over 125 settlements, including more than 25 custom settlements based on Tolkienís descriptions. So, not only do they look distinct on the campaign map, they offer interesting environments and present unique challenges when engaging in battle in them.

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''Third Age: Total War'' is a [[GameMod full-conversion modification]] of ''[[VideoGame/MedievalIITotalWar Medieval II: Total War: Kingdoms]]''. It is designed to be a faithful rendition of Creator/JRRTolkien's [[Franchise/TolkiensLegendarium Middle Earth]], Middle-earth]], set around the time of ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''. The main campaign lasts from the year 2980 TA until the end of the Third Age. The game is currently on version 3.2 and is one of the most popular mods of ''Medieval II''. There are over 125 settlements, including more than 25 custom settlements based on Tolkienís descriptions. So, not only do they look distinct on the campaign map, they offer interesting environments and present unique challenges when engaging in battle in them.


''Third Age: Total War'' is a [[GameMod full-conversion modification]] of ''[[VideoGame/MedievalIITotalWar Medieval II: Total War: Kingdoms]]''. It designed to be a faithful rendition of Creator/JRRTolkien's [[Franchise/TolkiensLegendarium Middle Earth]], set around the time of ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''. The main campaign lasts from the year 2980 TA until the end of the Third Age. The game is currently on version 3.2 and is one of the most popular mods of ''Medieval II''. There are over 125 settlements, including more than 25 custom settlements based on Tolkienís descriptions. So, not only do they look distinct on the campaign map, they offer interesting environments and present unique challenges when engaging in battle in them.

to:

''Third Age: Total War'' is a [[GameMod full-conversion modification]] of ''[[VideoGame/MedievalIITotalWar Medieval II: Total War: Kingdoms]]''. It is designed to be a faithful rendition of Creator/JRRTolkien's [[Franchise/TolkiensLegendarium Middle Earth]], set around the time of ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''. The main campaign lasts from the year 2980 TA until the end of the Third Age. The game is currently on version 3.2 and is one of the most popular mods of ''Medieval II''. There are over 125 settlements, including more than 25 custom settlements based on Tolkienís descriptions. So, not only do they look distinct on the campaign map, they offer interesting environments and present unique challenges when engaging in battle in them.


''Third Age: Total War'' is [[GameMod full-conversion modification]] of ''[[VideoGame/MedievalIITotalWar Medieval II: Total War: Kingdoms]]''. It is a faithful rendition of JRR Tolkien's world. The main campaign lasts from the year 2980 TA until the end of the third Age. The game is currently on version 3.2 and is one of the most popular mods of Medieval II: Total War. There are over 125 settlements, including more than 25 custom settlements based on Tolkienís descriptions. So, not only do they look distinct on the campaign map, they offer interesting environments and present unique challenges when engaging in battle in them.

to:

''Third Age: Total War'' is a [[GameMod full-conversion modification]] of ''[[VideoGame/MedievalIITotalWar Medieval II: Total War: Kingdoms]]''. It is designed to be a faithful rendition of JRR Tolkien's world. Creator/JRRTolkien's [[Franchise/TolkiensLegendarium Middle Earth]], set around the time of ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''. The main campaign lasts from the year 2980 TA until the end of the third Third Age. The game is currently on version 3.2 and is one of the most popular mods of Medieval II: Total War.''Medieval II''. There are over 125 settlements, including more than 25 custom settlements based on Tolkienís descriptions. So, not only do they look distinct on the campaign map, they offer interesting environments and present unique challenges when engaging in battle in them.


Additional sub-mods for the ''Third Age'' include the campaign-focused ''Divide and Conquer'' and the multiplayer-focused ''Third Age Reforged'' mods.

to:

Additional Of course, there are many sub-mods for the ''Third Age'' include Age'', with two of the most notable being the campaign-focused ''Divide and Conquer'' and the multiplayer-focused ''Third Age Reforged'' mods.
Age: Reforged''.


** This can be bypassed if you manage to [[DecapitatedArmy kill the factions' leadership]] before attacking the city, through either open battle or assassination. For example, you can completely avert the Balrog's spawning in Moria if you kill the leader and heir of the Orcs of the Misty Mountains, thus eliminating the entire faction by turning all of their settlements neutral.



* GradualGrinder: This will most likely be your grand strategy by necessity. Trying to attack [[AllThereInTheManual certain settlements]], no matter how lightly defended they seem initially, will result in fresh enemy units being [[TeleportingKeycardSquad spawned in]] to bolster the garrison, while {{Zerg Rush}}ing a faction's capital punishes you with a PurposefullyOverpowered counterattacking army. To avoid being overwhelmed by these constant reinforcements, you need to slowly build yourself up, chip apart opposing factions one battle at a time, and only attack special settlements when you're certain you can either win without serious losses or at least leave the generated reinforcements too crippled to seriously bolster the enemy military.



** A non-item variant: Certain settlements, when controlled by the AI, have the ability to instantly generate new units the moment it comes under siege, in order to supplement the existing defenders. Assaults on any settlement with this ability ([[AllThereInTheManual Usually designated in the lore-bearing 'structure' in the settlement's details]]), no matter how insignificant or under-defended it might seem, will require a fairly large army and lots of preparation beforehand. And no, [[MyRulesAreNotYourRules your own settlements do not have this ability]]. Even better, if you abort the siege or otherwise fail to take the settlement, the generated units don't go away. Too many botched sieges can easily swell an AI empire's military beyond your ability to reliably fight. Finally, this also occurs in AI versus AI sieges, meaning that your well-intentioned allies may end up bolstering your opponent's forces with botched sieges of their own.
** If you seize an enemy capital while the empire itself still exists: A large army full of late-game units equipped with armor upgrades will spawn in and attempt to take back the capital. Unless you know it's coming, this will most likely end with your worn-down occupying force wiped out effortlessly, and your enemy now in possession of a PurposefullyOverpowered fighting force.
** This can be bypassed if you manage to kill the factions' leadership before attacking the city, through either open battle or assassination. For example, you can completely avert the Balrog's spawning in Moria if you kill the leader and heir of the Orcs of the Misty Mountains, thus eliminating the entire faction.

to:

** A non-item variant: * TeleportingKeycardSquad: Done to punish [[ZergRush rapid invasions]] - Certain settlements, when controlled by the AI, have the ability to instantly generate new units the moment it comes under siege, in order to supplement the existing defenders. Assaults on any settlement with this ability ([[AllThereInTheManual Usually designated in the lore-bearing 'structure' in the settlement's details]]), no matter how insignificant or under-defended it might seem, will require a fairly large army and lots of preparation beforehand. And no, [[MyRulesAreNotYourRules your own settlements do not will have this ability]]. Even better, if you abort the siege or otherwise fail to take the settlement, the generated their garrisons be automatically bolstered by extra units don't go away. Too many botched sieges can easily swell an AI empire's military beyond your ability to reliably fight. Finally, this also occurs in AI versus AI sieges, meaning that your well-intentioned allies may end up bolstering your opponent's forces with botched sieges of their own.
** If you seize an enemy
when attacked, while capturing a faction's capital while city without destroying the rest of the empire itself still exists: A large army full of late-game units equipped with armor upgrades will spawn in and attempt to take back a BeefGate army the capital. Unless you know it's coming, this will most likely end with your worn-down occupying force wiped out effortlessly, and your enemy now in possession of a PurposefullyOverpowered fighting force.
** This can be bypassed if you manage
following turn to kill the factions' leadership before attacking the city, through either open battle or assassination. For example, you can completely avert the Balrog's spawning in Moria if you kill the leader and heir of the Orcs of the Misty Mountains, thus eliminating the entire faction.counterattack.


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** Certain settlements, when controlled by the AI, have the ability to [[TeleportingKeycardSquad instantly generate new units]] the moment it comes under siege, in order to supplement the existing defenders. Assaults on any settlement with this ability ([[AllThereInTheManual Usually designated in the lore-bearing 'structure' in the settlement's details]]), no matter how insignificant or under-defended it might seem, will require a fairly large army and lots of preparation beforehand. And no, [[MyRulesAreNotYourRules your own settlements do not have this ability]]. If you abort the siege or otherwise fail to take the settlement, the generated units don't go away. Too many botched sieges can easily swell an AI empire's military beyond your ability to reliably fight. Finally, this also occurs in AI versus AI sieges, meaning that your well-intentioned allies may end up bolstering your opponent's forces with botched sieges of their own.
** If you seize an enemy capital while the empire itself still exists: A large army full of late-game units equipped with armor upgrades will spawn in and attempt to take back the capital. Unless you know it's coming and prepared accordingly, this will most likely end with your worn-down occupying force wiped out effortlessly, and your enemy now in possession of a PurposefullyOverpowered fighting force.


** ''Divide and Conquer'' has this in the form of the Northern Dunedain. Dunedain units are extremely powerful; even their archers can go toe-to-toe with most orc heavy infantry. Consequently, they are expensive and take a long time to both recruit and replenish their numbers. In addition, they can recruit ''any'' human unit from any faction (outside of ObviouslyEvil units like Temple Guard), so it's possible for the Dunedain to eventually forge an army of the best human soldiers from across all of Middle-Earth.



** ''Divide and Conquer'' adds a garrison script which automatically spawns a group of tough defensive units to support a major settlement when it is under siege and when a large army first advances into certain critical regions. As a result, pushing into the heartland of an enemy faction can result in a very large army abruptly spawning to stand in your way, and this also serves to keep a weakened AI faction from being immediately overrun by another AI faction.



** ''Divide and Conquer'' grays things up a little bit with some human factions that are neutral (Clans of Edenwaith, Vale of Anduin, Vale of Dorwinion) who can go either way in the campaign. And even if you run with an "evil" or "good" faction, nothing is really stopping the player from aligning with the villainous or heroic factions. It is entirely possible to have Isengard pull a HeelFaceTurn and fight Mordor, or turn the Free Peoples of Eriador into another conquering empire that subjugates everyone else in Middle-Earth.



** ''Divide and Conquer'' explicitly does this for certain factions, particularly the Northern Dunedain and Dwarves of Moria. The former have a large but undeveloped homeland with low population and expensive, slow-to-recruit and slow-to-replace units, with powerful enemies nearby who can spam units. The latter start with no cities and must immediately try to retake and hold Moria from the much more numerous Orcs of the Misty Mountains. Imladris also starts with very little territory, Dale begins with a depressed economy, and Dol Amroth borders multiple very powerful enemy nations that they must invade to expand.



* RisingEmpire: Mordor, Harad, Rhun, and, especially [[MagikarpPower Arnor]], which goes from being a faction of wandering woodsmen and rangers to being a kingdom equal to Gondor in strength, wealth, and prestige, as it was before the kingdom fell. In ''Divide and Conquer'', the Northern Dunedain and Dwarves of Moria both aspire to this as well.

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* RisingEmpire: Mordor, Harad, Rhun, and, especially [[MagikarpPower Arnor]], which goes from being a faction of wandering woodsmen and rangers to being a kingdom equal to Gondor in strength, wealth, and prestige, as it was before the kingdom fell. In ''Divide and Conquer'', the Northern Dunedain and Dwarves of Moria both aspire to this as well.



** With ''Divide and Conquer'', nearly every settlement has a lore booklet that can be clicked on to show the history of that particular region, as well as listing unique benefits and effects that the region gives, such as special troops that can be recruited there.
* TeleportingKeycardSquad:



* VestigialEmpire: Gondor. All of its former land east of Anduin starts off as rebel territory or controlled by Mordor, including East Osgiliath.
** Eriador is even worse off; that motley patchwork quilt of Breeland settlers, woodsmen, hobbits and wandering rangers is the last remnant of the Dunedain kingdom of Arnor (you ''can'' reverse Arnor's fortunes however, [[GameBreaker in a big way at that]]).

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* VestigialEmpire: Gondor. All of its former land east of Anduin starts off as rebel territory or controlled by Mordor, including East Osgiliath.
**
Osgiliath. Eriador is even worse off; that motley patchwork quilt of Breeland settlers, woodsmen, hobbits and wandering rangers is the last remnant of the Dunedain Dúnedain kingdom of Arnor (you ''can'' reverse Arnor's fortunes however, [[GameBreaker in a big way at that]]).

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** This can be bypassed if you manage to kill the factions' leadership before attacking the city, through either open battle or assassination. For example, you can completely avert the Balrog's spawning in Moria if you kill the leader and heir of the Orcs of the Misty Mountains, thus eliminating the entire faction.

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