Fourth Age sample setups

In a recent FA gunboat game, the Rhun nation was FP but surrounded by enemies, and was quickly eliminated. I don’t have access to his setup, but I started wondering how I would set up in that scenario in order to survive. So I created, with Ernest Hakey, an Elvish Rhun setup oriented around agents, since armies would be futile in this situation.

Here is the SNA section of the setup.


And the PC’s, notice the capital is on the island but the backup major town is off everyone’s map on the right-side of the lake. I won’t post an image of the army, just figured to start with 800 LC.


And finally, the starting characters:


This is a nation that will be a powerful agent nation and very hard to take out. It will need to send its emissaries far away in order to create safe camps, into whatever area is more dominated by the FP.

Thanks for reading!

P.S. I’m posting images into the forum for the first time, and what I see in my post is some gobbledegook, I’m hoping that when I click “Create Topic” that it will resolve the references and post the images. If not, I will try again…



Woops, forgot to mention, the Elvish ability to hide 4 levels of pc would have them hide the town at 4015 and the camp at 3916.


Heya Jeremy, I really like hidden pop. centers for a harried and surrounded FSA nation. Reveal Pop Center, without mage artifacts to assist in the research and casting of the spell, is just very hard to pull off in the early going. As many (but not all) players might know, the spell itself requires a “double check” in order to overcome the hidden status of a pop. center. In other scenarios, a dedicated Elrond or Murazor or Zimrakhil can pull it off before Turn 7ish, but in FAS, I doubt many nations could reveal a hidden pop center before turn 10. Ten turns to slip out of the Rhun knot? Odds are pretty good for that I would think.

For my money, having a hidden capital is better than creating new agents at 40. But yes, interesting situation and interesting post! Thanks

Reminds me of your setup in South Mordor in FA 45!

Noone else seems to want to post sample setups. They’d be very helpful for people getting into these formats.

I find this very interesting post. Thank you Jeremy & Ernie. Some notes:

a. note that Jeremy believes this will be a super strong agent nation - with only one reason, Name Agents at 40 SNA. He starts no characters with stealth or higher agent rank. So it will eventually be an agent power, but not for 10+ turns, and he’ll be naming a bunch of new agents with his first character hires. I am not sold on how much of an agent power it will be as there’s not enough (yet) to determine that. but wait, there is good rationale in his design:

b. It’s fourth age. gunboat. The first 5-7 turns of fourth age are a race to establish economic base. That is… camping. He foregoes creating uber agents in favor of 4 emmies who will immediately go out and camp like crazy to build his economy. This is super counter-intuitive but really important in a GB game. no team backup / help with gold transfers. It’s all on your nation to be self-supporting financially.

c. why name C40??? capital orders. C30s fail relatively often (always when you can’t afford for them to) on capital orders. But C40 and above are much more reliable. Remember he said he wan’t going to be a military power. So this C40 SNA looks really questionable. My belief is it’s for the capital orders.

There are lots of subtle reasons for the way he and Ernie crafted this setup. It’s based on their wisdom in playing FA. If you’re a newbie to FA, think about the above, especially for GB. in GB, you are ALL ALONE. So just creating massive agents for an agent nation and foregoing your economy (not enough 40+ emmies) will HURT. and the artifact game in GB is… long odds.

Anyway, kudos to you Jeremy & Ernie. some nice thinking.

Hey Dave,

Regarding agents, you forget double scouting, that can be one of the most important SNAs for an agent nation, which is why it is so expensive. :wink: And yes, would name almost exclusively A40s and C40s.

Jeremy may be exaggerating when he says “No armies” - certainly if I were playing the nation, I would be recruiting, if just to slow down incoming forces with blocking armies. Also, if you don’t count a navy as an army… :slight_smile: The 12 transports are in case there are targets reachable along the river; if nobody else has a navy, then warships aren’t needed, and 12 transports can carry a pretty sizable force! So the pirates of Rhun cannot be completely ignored, either.

But the long term evolution of the nation would be towards agent and economic power.

Ernie III

1 Like

100% agree on value of double scouting! and the transports are an awesome option for force distribution that the other side might well not have a counter for.

Hi Dave and Movan,

Thank you for posting! Very interesting comments.

I want to respond first to Movan’s comments about hiding the capital. It’s true that by not taking C40 and force-march SNA and not taking the ships that hiding it is possible, but I NEVER hide my capital. Both Kingdoms get a recon which is within one hex of your capital at the start of the game, and if you start with an army, it will immediately reveal where your capital is. Yes, it can be hard for the enemy to manage to reveal, but it’s a lot harder when they don’t know where the pc is they are trying to reveal! So my advice is never hide the capital; hey, if you really want, you can hide another pc and use your emissaries to raise it to a capital.

OK, on to Dave :slight_smile:

Regarding C40’s, it’s true that by taking this SNA I can put in minimal build points into command rank in my starting character base, but still have some good command skill for relations. But the real issue is, what are you going to do with 3000 points and one SNA slot? You could take 3 SNA’s and say 2 artifacts, but I have never gotten an artifact other than a +500 combat which doesn’t seem worth it to me. Ernie has gotten some very good arties; but I once took 6 artifacts in my setup, determined to get at least one decent one, and ALL OF THEM were +500 combat artifacts. I’ve never taken artifacts again :slight_smile:

Bottom line, what do you take instead of C40 for 3000, or eliminate Force-March and you have 4000 but then two slots to fill? I think this is the best option,better than artifact, more ships, new armies at 40 morale, teleport, or fortifications for 1/2 timber. And I think that with the character setup I proposed, without C40 SNA you have only one decent commander for taxes and relations which I think is not enough.

Regarding the future of this nation agent-wise, not sure what you are suggesting. The Prince can’t use his Prince points for an A50, and IMO +10 stealth is not worth the points. And with A40 SNA, why start with more A40’s which are so expensive in build points? So you may be saying, start with an A50 or two? I think they are too expensive. It reduces your other character strengths too much, IMO for a short-term gain. And as many of us know first-hand, the Stealth-SNA is bogus (sorry Clint! :slight_smile: ) and doesn’t result in more stealth. At least two players I know, including Ernie, took this SNA and NEVER got a stealth bonus, only challenge or character attribute bonuses.

So, It’s true that it will take some time to develop this nation as a powerhouse, but I think it has the foundation of an unstoppable agent nation, due to double-scouting which is essential. And since this is gunboat, those A40’s can go out right away and steal from your other nation’s camps and boost their rank quickly.

All that said, one could certainly give up the M60 and M40 and the fourth emissary, and put together something like this:


Which some players might prefer. I don’t like what feels like a basic “character poverty” of the nation myself. :slight_smile:


Yes, my experience with +stealth SNA is I get +Challenge Rank, not +stealth. AND that’s what Uncover Secrets says about the nation also. The SNA is bugged. agree.

Sorry you have had such horrid luck on starting artifacts. I’ve had much better luck getting nice artifacts, but if it’s an even distribution, there are a lot of +500 combat artifacts out there… :slight_smile:

And yes, the point of the C40s is all those downgrades and the occasional tax order where you want them to work.

I think your original build was very smart. That’s what I was trying to say. Just that it wasn’t what I’d call a near-term agent threat. more like an ultimate agent threat if a bunch were named and grew in their skill. Economy is very important. most nations are limited in what they can do by economics, and sometimes, can die from a lack of economy care. That’s why the plethora of emmies in the first build.

BTW I calculated that if the odds of getting a +500 combat artifact are the same as getting any other artifact (all of the FP alignment), then the odds of getting 6 +500 combat artifacts are 1 in 43,000. !!

Question: Do you think name 40 emmies is worth the cost? I’m thinking it would give a massive economic headway. Since they’re camping ready, they’ll also develop faster and end up 10-20 points higher than other emissaries when the camp limit is reached and more ready for offensive actions.

I haven’t take this SNA for a long time, but not because of the cost. I always seem able to start with the 3-4 emissaries I feel I need for the game, always rank 40 or higher. The build points for emissaries cheap, and I’m rarely in position to hope to build a cadre of 10+ offensive emissaries at the expense of commanders. Also, it seems to me that agents dominate the later game so completely, that having 3 or 4 super-emissaries later in the game seems all I need.

well, FA 45, SK used this SNA to nice effect, taking many pop centers with an emmie company.

In FA the camp limit snaps shut very quickly. You have just 3 or 4 turns to make camps before the window closes. Sometimes it opens back up as early as turn 7, other times it’s very hit or miss for many many turns. Ergo the premium on good emmies straight out the gate. You don’t have 3 turns to build up a bullpen of 40 emmys at the expense of laying down those critical early camps.

Kingdoms are a bit different as they can name so many characters and have such strong economies to start that E@40 can be pretty helpful.

Just as a minor (fun) point - in CME 843 as the DS, I managed to get Sauron to reveal Caras Galdhon in turn 3 (captured turn 5), and then Cerin Amroth in turn 4 (captured turn 6).

Wrong topic I think

Free Uruk Nation. A fierce but peaceful nation of liberated Orcs has finally found a home for themselves. They most of all want to be left in peace after thousands of years of war.
How would you build this nation?

Well, that’s the point! One would have to know more about the region layout, which region you are in and where your enemies and allies are. One can’t just say, I’m Orcs, how should I set up? I imagine you are in a game with me, either 401, 402 or 403. Otherwise I would love to work with you (or anyone) on a nation setup. I suggest that if there is a player here who feels he is good at setups and isn’t in the game with you, get on to Discord with him and talk through your setup.

  • Jeremy

These days I always talk through my setups with Ernie. It’s great to have someone who brings different idea, sees my mistakes of thinking, and let’s my talk out my thoughts.


I’ve never played in any FA game and am not in any queue for it either.