I was just remembering the good old days of 1650, when half the players dropped by turn 5 and the other half, if balanced, could have a titanic battle lasting 150 turns. Would it be a good variant for 1650 to play with only half the nations, and the other half fully present but “eliminated” (popcenter available for taking, characters for recruiting) ?
See below, based on my recollections of nations most dropped.
Eliminate DS: DragonLord, Ice King, Quiet Avenger, FK, DogLord, Rhudaur
Eliminate FP: Woodmen, Northmen, Eothraim, Cardolan, North Gondor, Harad