Not sure if this has been talked about before, but this is just something I have noticed from playing the mod. Apologies in advance if anything of the sort has been discussed or suggested before!
I have played this mod for a while now, and out of all the factions and regions I've come across Rohan and Isengard are neighbouring and feuding factions with the greatest disparity in power. This is in terms of gear, NPC strength and hiring cost, spawn rates and so on.
The two sides of the 'war'
On one end we have Isengard, with its army of Uruks that are of equal strength to dwarves and capable of besting elf warrior in combat, but spawning much more frequently, supported by sappers, wargs, and beserkers capable of standing toe-to-toe with mountain trolls (I did test this). They are armed with Uruk weapons of diamond strength and armour of dwarven strength, backed up by snaga cannon fodder and capable of buffing themselves with orc-draughts, and able to survive in sunlight.
On the other end, we have the Rohirrim. Comparatively, they have less health, weaker weapons and armour that is two tiers lower than the Uruks they face. In combat, it takes 2-3 Rohirric warriors to kill a single regular uruk, not to mention beserkers. In Rohan, they spawn as frequently as Uruks do at night, and are often unable to handle the orcish hordes. The life of a Rohirric NPC is a sad and short one indeed...
I understand that some may argue that mounted Rohirrim are one of the most dangerous enemies and hired units to have in the game, but I would argue that their situational use in open areas and the cost of hiring them should not result in their NPCs being one of the weakest in the game, at least compared to their enemy faction. Mounted Rohirrim are easily countered by having hired NPCs of your own, which are more than likely able to solo them due to their strength, or even having a mount of your own. The same cannot be said for any individual who enters the Uruk Highlands, or even Rohan at night for that matter, only to be beset by hordes of literal walking tanks; fast-moving, hard-hitting bloodthirsty uruks. Also noteworthy is the fact that in spite of the difference in their power, Uruks and unmounted Rohirric warriors have the same cost and alignment requirement to be hired by players. The regular Uruks that one can hire, the main body of Isengard's fighting force, are also much stronger than Gundabad Uruks, supposed to be the most elite among the legions of the Misty Mountains, and the infamous bodyguard of Bolg that the dwarven and elven forces, even led by Thorin were unable to breakthrough.
Suggestions for Improvement
So, how might we go about rebalancing these units? I have several suggestions in that regard:
First of all, I feel like the most logical option would be to nerf the Uruk-Hai. While stronger than orcs and bred for war, I doubt that they should be stronger than Gundabad Uruks considering what I have mentioned above, compared to the ease at which the Rohirrim were able to kill them in The Two Towers, even with the advantage of fortifications. As such, I would suggest that the health of the Uruks be reduced, to make them more manageable, perhaps to 22 health from 26. Due to the nature of their armament, being clad in protective but heavy, mass-produced armour and damaging but cumbersome weapons they should be more unwieldy in combat too, suffering from a reduced hit speed. (These are unit-related nerfs and should not affect players using Uruk gear)
Something that could be implemented too would be to buff Rohirric troops. (Even after receiving such a nerf, Uruks will still have higher health, better armour and higher damage than their Rohirric counterparts) While cavalry should not be touched, (they are already pretty strong and have their uses) I feel that the footsoldiers of the Rohirrim need to be buffed slightly. While some might argue that the Rohirrim are more so trained in mounted combat, this does not mean that they are vulnerable on foot! You might recall that Erkenbrand led a force of footsoldiers to come to the aid of Helm's Deep, and even managed to intimidate the forces of the Uruks and Dunlendings there. I would, therefore, suggest a new type of armour that can be crafted with iron ingots and have the strength of iron gear, which would be renamed to be Rohirric armour. The existing leather and iron gear the Rohirrim use would be renamed to something like "Rohirric cavalry armour", but perhaps more elegant. Rohirric footsoldiers will be equipped with the new iron-strength plate mail while cavalry will retain their lightweight mail for better mobility and make them easier to handle for enemy players. I feel that Rohirrim with iron gear is not that far-fetched as it was mentioned in Unfinished Tales that "The Rohirrim had the advantage in being supplied by the metal-workers of Gondor", making equipment of equivalent strength not too unreasonable. (Unfortunately, I have zero artistic skill so I am unable to support this with any potential Rohirric plate armour textures)
With that, this is my take on the current situation of the mod when it comes to combat between Rohan and Isengard, and how I feel it can be reworked to be fairer. What do you guys think?
Taking down spawn rate might work and might be easier to implement, but I feel that reworking their stats to be more reasonable lore-wise and realistically would be better overall. I've always been frustrated when I see a skirmish between rohirrrim and uruks and the uruks always win with minimal casualties even when there are more Rohirrim. Theres also the issue of balance cos the alignment and cost of both units lore-wise as regular troops are reasonable, but 30 coins and 100 alignment for an evil unit that can stand up to a good unit that requires 400 alignment and 50 coins? Yeahhh... Even dwarven warriors require 250 alignment to hire, which is 1.5x more than uruks xd
A very well written response so defiently Kudos from me.
However I see a simple alternative to this problem without debuffing the Uruk'Hai, thought I agree with the Rohan buffs and the need for changes to alingment requirements and costs of hiring Uruks, I think that as an alternative to lowering the Uruks health their spawning should instead be greatly lowered while Snaga spawns should increase, Uruk'Hai should be an elite force of Isengard but they seem to spawn at such greater rates than the Snaga, this should be solved.
Nah, the Uruk-hai weren't elite units, they were bred en masse and made up bulk of the fighting force of Isengard in the Battle of Helms Deep. Isengard already has elite units in their Uruk Beserkers. The snaga were more like the grunts bred by Saruman to carry out menial tasks, while the Uruks were bred for war. The word 'snaga' in Black Speech meant 'slave' or 'servant', after all.
Drowsy Kitty wrote: Nah, the Uruk-hai weren't elite units, they were bred en masse and made up bulk of the fighting force of Isengard in the Battle of Helms Deep. Isengard already has elite units in their Uruk Beserkers. The snaga were more like the grunts bred by Saruman to carry out menial tasks, while the Uruks were bred for war. The word 'snaga' in Black Speech meant 'slave' or 'servant', after all.
I guess so but I still feel like the spawning of Snaga is too low while Uruks are too high, I see rampaging legions of Uruk'hai but Snaga are rarer than snow trolls.
Hmm yeah maybe they should spawn more frequently, but it would only make sense for them to spawn in Isengard, or maybe in like invasions and stuff, to support the Uruks. I don't think they should naturally spawn in large numbers in Rohan like other faction orcs cos they arent supposed to be Saruman's vanguard, which would be the uruks.