Champions in 1650/2950 - who should they be?

Clint posted today that he is looking for player input on who the Champions should be in the new 1650/2950 variants. I thought I would post some of my early thoughts here and hope others will do the same. Larry Lee and I were looking over the Champions addition and felt that the Champions with more than one skill would have greater use of the 3rd order per turn. That is not the only benefit of Champions, but it’s a clear advantage based on the value of skill orders.

It seems to me that Champion status should be applied to the perceived leader of each nation. Personally, I would find it unusual for the DS not to have the Nazgul + Urzahil as their Champions. I went through the Guide and wrote down every leader mentioned for each nation and listed them below with the skills each leader has. In some cases, nations are listed as having multiple leaders. In those cases, I list them both for review and make a recommendation.

The goal with the list below is not to create parity between all nations and equalize powers, but to apply the Champion fairly across each nation. In this case fair being defined as all characters having multiple skills. Some characters and some nations are better than others.

[Starting artifact bonuses not listed below]

3rd Age, 1650:

1: Beoraborn (C40/A10/M10) and Waulfa (C30/A10/M10) [Beoraborn would be preferable]
2: Eoder (C40/A10) and Gaerandil (C30/E10) [Eoder would be preferable]
3: Uirdiks (C20/M30) and Mahrcared (C50) [Uirdiks would be preferable]
4: Argeleb II (C50/E20)
5: Hallas (C40/A10)
6: Tarondor (C60/A10/E20)
7: Celdrahil (C60/E10)
8: Bain I (C50/E10)
9: Thranduil (C60/E30) and Amroth (C60/E20) [Thranduil is preferable]
10: Cirdan (C40/A20/E40/M50) and Elrond (C40/E70/M70) [Cirdan is preferable based on scope]

11: Murazor (C40/E40/M70)
12: Khamul (C30/A30/E30/M40)
13: Dendra Dwar (C20/E20/M60)
14: Ji Indur (C20/A40/M40)
15: Akhorahil (C20/E20/M60)
16: Hoarmurath (C30/A20/M50)
17: Adunaphel (C30/E30/M40)
18: Ren the Unclean (C30/E20/M50)
19: Uvatha (C60/A20/E20)
20: Urzahil (C20/E40/M70) and Gothmog (C70/A30) [Urzahil is preferable]

21: Angamaite (C50/E20/M10) and Teldumeir (C50/A20/E10) [Equal choices here]
22: Haruth Ramam (C40/A10) and Carlon (C30/A10/E10) [Carlon is preferable]
23: Enion (C50) and Eribhen (M50) [Only single-skilled leaders]
24: Arfanhil (C40) and Broggha (C20/A10/M10) [Broggha is preferable]
25: Tros Hefnef (C40) & Ovatha II (C40/A10) [Ovatha II is preferable]

1650 Champions Summary: Based on the info above, all 25 nation Champions could be multi-skilled, except for the Dunlendings. This could be fixed by giving Enion or Eribhen an extra skill (my preference) or by selecting Aonghas (C40/A10), Daonghlas (C40/E10), Raonull (C20/A10/M10), or Urdrek (C30/A10) instead.

3rd Age, 2950:

1: Beorn (C40/A20/M10)
2: Bard I (C40/E20)
3: Theoden (C50/E30)
4: Aragorn II (C50/A10/E20/M20)
5: Thanduil (C60/E30)
6: Ecthelion II (C60/E20)
7: Imrahil (C50/E30)
8: Thorin II (C60/A10/A10)
9: Galadriel (C20/E70/M70)
10: Elrond (C40/E60/M70)

11: Murazor (C40/E40/M70)
12: Khamul (C30/A30/E30/M40)
13: Dendra Dwar (C20/E20/M60)
14: Ji Indur (C20/A40/M40)
15: Akhorahil (C20/E20/M60)
16: Hoarmurath (C30/A20/M50)
17: Adunaphel (C30/E30/M40)
18: Ren the Unclean (C30/E20/M50)
19: Uvatha (C60/A20/E20)
20: Urzahil (C20/E40/M70) and Gothmog (C70/A30) [Urzahil is preferable]

21: Sangarunya (C50/E30)
22: Huz III (C40/A10/E30)
23: Enion (C60)
24: Saruman (E70/M90)
25: Ovatha IV (C60)

2950 Champions Summary: Based on the info above, all 25 nation Champions could be multi-skilled, except for the Dunlendings and the Khand Easterlings. For the Dunlendings, this could be fixed by giving Enion an extra skill (my preference) or by selecting Aonghas (C40/A10), Calmuad (A10/E30), Jeroibha (C30/A10), or Urdrek (C40/A10) instead. For the Khand Easterlings, this could be fixed by giving Ovatha IV an extra skill (my preference) or by selecting Avas of Igath (C20/A10), Gorovod (A10/M40), Kionid II (C20/E20), Urdrath (C10/M30) or Urig (C20/E20).

Exactly. In the event a single skill char is to be made Champion, I would prefer that any 2nd skill added would be balanced by removing it from another character. For example, give Enion or Eribhen Aognhas’ Agent skill or Daonghlas’ Emissary skill, leaving whichever of those as 40-o-o-o characters. Agent more likely as that is a Dun SNA.


  • randomizing it at game start without sharing with all game players - Champions are automatic targets…
  • make the 21st character a Champion all the time. Congratulations - you managed up to this and your game actually lasted this long~!


As a frequent KS player, I do think champions add a lot of dynamic to the game. So basically I support this idea, but I think there need to be some tweaks.
Over the years, there has been a lot of discussion about game balance in the 1650 and 2950 scenario. With more than 20 years of experience, I would say that when equally-skilled teams meet, the DS will mostly have the edge. As another rule of thumb, if the FP don’t manage to win the military game until about turn 15, the DS tend to win the game due to character superiority. I think if the Nazgul are made champions, this disparity will increase to some extend. The accumulated skill points of the suggested DS champions are 1090, while the FP have 740. And look at how the champion status will speed up the naming of new chars at game start. Khamul could name one C 30, A 30 and E 30 in one turn. Plus, with the option of doing two skill orders and move, skills can be trained much faster which also favors the Nazgul more than the average FP champion.
So IMO the character balance, that is already tilted to the DS a fair bit, would get even more skewed.
My suggestion would be to give all FP and Neutral champions who have a skill point total of less than eighty, enough bonus skill points to reach 80, to be distributed at game start by choice of the player. That would also solve the problem oft he single-skill Dunlendings.

I agree with Mormegil and Brads points. Champions are very powerful, and in the hands of a Nazgul…my goodness. On balance i agree with the random determination from one of the starting characters as Brad suggests, sometimes you’ll get lucky, sometimes you won’t…

Simon Aalders
Playing in just enough games to cope with reality!

I hope champions don’t become the norm in 1650, because I’ll never play a 1650 with champions, period end of story. Akin to sacrilege!

Agreed all around.

I wouldn’t like random designation of champions, and I need to think more about the suggestion of giving FP and neutral champions more skill points (up to 80). I’d been thinking more about not making champions of Agents. Any class can benefit from a 3rd order, but it’s particularly valuable for assassins, and I’d hate to exacerbate an existing imbalance.