New "Scry Companions Spell" suggested

I continue to really hate agents (only because of 615/620 orders) in Fourth Age and how they start to spoil the game once they gain the ascendancy.

What makes it especially difficult to deal with them is that nation messages aren’t enough to provide you with who’s agents are targeting you. And the only thing you can do to fight off enemy agents if they are stronger than yours, is to try to double them by putting your emissaries in harms way.

I’d like to see a new spell called “Scry Companions” or perhaps “Perceive Companions”. The difficulty to cast would be hard, of course. When cast, it has a chance to name one or more of the others in the specified character’s company, partly perhaps based on their stealth. The character named need not be the company commander. Perhaps success is also based on the stealth rank of the target character. Say Sauron cast it on Gandalf, he wouldn’t find out much about the Nine Walkers.

You can bet Sauron cast it again and again to figure out who was traveling with Gandalf! :slight_smile:

P.S. Perhaps it would also have a chance of identifying the company commander.


Along the same lines, I’ve often thought there should be a Hard level lore spell to “Scry for Characters” in a hex. As it stands now, there is a Scout Hex and Scry Hex, Scout Pop. Center and Scry Pop. Center, matching agent recon power with a mage’s divining powers. But the mage has no equivalent for the agents’ Scout for Characters. Maybe the original design for balance was considering the placement of the 330 order. Mages have the upper hand if they can kill an agent with spirit mastery before the agent has a chance to do anything. True, the Reveal Character and Reveal Character True spells can get the job done, but only if you already know the agents’ ID. Anyway, there hasn’t been a spell added to the game for 25 years, has there? I’m sympathetic to the call for something along these lines but not getting my hopes up.

That’s a great idea too!! Really excellent thought!

Also, remember in the original game, although the Dark Servants had an edge in agents, the FP also had powerful agents in the long-term, and also had the edge in locating agent artifacts.

(And once enough games were played, everyone knew who the names of the starting power-agents.)

I must admit, I find it particularly frustrating in the two tri-nation FAS gunboat games I played or am playing, because I only have three nations to give me nation messages. But even in a regular game, often powerful agents never get reported in nation messages.


+1 for the principle of allowing mages some sort of ‘Scry for characters’ spell. In fact I’d go further - I’d like to see all classes have something similar (the commander dispatching members of his squad out to search the village… the emissary asking all members of the town council to ask around after suspicious strangers…). Agents are horribly overpowered (obviously: personal opinion) and skew the latter game in a fashion I find unpleasant (I mean… I have 5000 troops and you’re telling me they’re all just going to disappear into thin air if one of them dies?? Best you never take that particular army into battle where, you know, troops die…).

I think Agents have a role but it’s too significant and the dilution of some of those special abilities would be a good starting point.


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I love the scry characters idea.


what about this…

if an army looses its commander it has a 2-5 turn life span–like dead nation characters. we would be able to move a commander in with–move/assume command order.

I’m in favour of a scry character spell.

I also like the idea that it takes troops a few turns to decide to go native when their commander dies. That would still give agents significant power but not the ability to wipe out 5k troops at a single stroke. Let’s go for a move and assume command order.

It feels bad to lose an army to agents, thats why you want several backup commanders in your major armies. Reducing agents to basicly just delaying troops would require so much rebalancing that it’s an idea born dead.
Dragons are also “unfair” in this context…

I don’t think it would require any rebalancing. In some respects agents are just too powerful and I think we should be doing something to reduce that power. This is especially the case in Fourth Age, a situation that I’m currently exploiting in game ………

I find curse squads a lot more troublesome, agents I can deal with.

Why does that make Dragons unfair? The last time I fought an army with a Dragon in it (it had two actually) I destroyed it and then took the Keep fortified pop centre and still had troops left.