I play a lot of 1650 GB and I want to open a conversation here about the CloudLord nation. Of course, DO NOT COMMENT about ongoing games!
The real reason I am posting is because I too often see the CloudLord players make what in my opinion are three deadly mistakes, probable or possible game-losing mistakes for the entire team.
The first is, since they are teamed with Rhudaur, or Rhudaur and the WK, they send agents up there to help out, and sometimes actually build up popcenters and armies there later in the game. The problem is, Mordor was not designed to survive the FP onslought without the aid of CloudLord agents. It is imperative IMO for the Cloud Lord to devote agents to killing off army commanders who are trying to force their way into Mordor or Durthang or whereever. If the SG player goes against Mordor rather than the Corsairs, the weight of troops coming into Mordor is just too much to match militarily, and once the FK and DkLts capitals are gone, the economic pressure practically guarantees a loss, though it might take 20 turns of downsliding.
The second mistake I see CloudLord players make is to not realize how important their starting troops are for guarding the NW Mordor entrances, and thinking it would be a good idea to attack Harad.instead. The truth is, they can’t do much damage to Harad, maybe take a major town or so. And not going northwest is especially lethal when the players sends his agents into Rhuduar, completely abandoning Mordor! IMO It is critical to send his army westward and when it gets in range, to do whatever scouting/recon/scrying is needed to determine whether to go to 3124 or 31222 or 3221.
The third mistake, which I made recently in a game which is now over in good part because of my error, is not to prepare for the possibility at any point in the game, for FP cavalry from 3231 just off their map to suddenly appear at 3631. When sending out their initial troops, I suggest they withhold the 1200 men at army. I also recommend planning on camping 3531 and putting a tower there, once the game gets underway. It is also not a bad idea to scry 3231 once you are able to, on occasion.
Lastly, there is a team mistake to discuss regarding the Cloud Lord. The Dark Lieutenants and the DogLord need to be willing to part with their agent artifacts to enable the CloudLord to be effective from the start. Both players should via a T1 diplo arrange for the transfer of their artifacts – say invite a specific CloudLord agent to their capitals on turn 2, to receive on turn 3.