Could Orion Nuke Ships have conquered the Solar System?

July 22, 2019

On the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing, I can’t help but think – what if the advanced USAF and US Navy advanced spaceflight projects of the 1960s hadn’t been cancelled by JFK’s Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara?

See, McNamara believed that the Cold War Arms Race was the US’ fault — that American technological prowess and advances made the Soviets fearful of their security, and drove them to keep up. So if US tech advances slowed, and the USSR achieved technological parity with the US, then there’s be nothing for them to fear, and we could achieve a lasting stable peMOLace with them. And one of the areas with the most dramatic advances was aerospace. McNamara shut down the X-20 Dynasoar, the Manned Orbiting Laboratory and many other projects – including the Orion nuclear pulse ship.

So in what alternate world could Orion Nuke Ships have conquered the Solar System?

Clearly, it couldn’t have happened if JFK had won the 1960 election. However, it could have happened under a Nixon presidency. So how do we get there?

The 1960 election was a close race, so close it was essentially decided by the nation’s first live televised presidential debate. The Nixon and Kennedy campaigns had agreed on the format, and also agreed to do the debate “aux naturelle” — that is, with no make-up on either candidate.

The Kennedy campaign took the debate seriously. They kept JFK in a hotel for several days drilling him on TV technique and practicing his lines and debate style. The Nixon campaign took the debate less seriously, as just one more check box to do. Nixon spent the day of the debate on the campaign trail, keeping to a grueling meeting and event schedule –while recovering from a cold.

The Kennedy campaign spruced up JFK — they made sure he wore the right clothes, they made sure every hair was in place and powder on his face to cut down on glare from the studio lights. Not quite keeping to the “no make-up” agreement. JFK looked rested, healthy and confident to the TV audience. In contrast, Nixon showed up after a long campaign day, in a rumpled suit and heavy 5 o’clock shadow. He looked tired and unkempt, the hot TV studio lights making him sweat.

After the debate, those polled who had listened to the debate on the radio thought Nixon had won the debate — that he seemed more authoritative, that he was in more command of policies and the issues. In contrast, those who watched the TV debate thought JFK had won — that he seemed youthful, trustworthy, and vigorous compared to Nixon.

But what if — what if Nixon’s campaign manager had pulled him from his heavy schedule that day, convincing him to rest and recover from his cold before the event? Nixon then would have not been as telegenic as the younger JFK, but the gap would not have been so apparent. Clean, rested, and in command of policy issues Nixon could have won the debate, and been elected president in 1960.

So that’s the kicking off point for my Orion storyline – we reverse the order of the presidencies: Richard M Nixon wins the 1960, and is reelected in 1964. Henry Cabot Lodge loses to John F Kennedy in 1968, Kennedy promises to build  a moon base in his first term.p01xs9fk

What big things also change??

  1. Nixon call Kruschev’s bluff on the Berlin Wall, knocks it down as being built.  So the Soviets pull back and instead build the wall around Berlin and the A-bahn, creating a larger DMZ zone anyways
  2. Nixon supports Bay of Pigs and topples Castro, which pulled the US into a guerilla war in Cuba.
  3. There is no Cuba Missile Crisis.
  4. Nixon continued Ike involvement in Vietnam, escalates but weak US involvement given Cuban focus.
  5. Nixon space speech claims US will land a man on the Moon by 1970
  6. In 1968 Kennedy is elected to end war in Vietnam
  7. August 1969 speech commits the US to have a permanent base on the Moon within his first term in office
  8. 1970 US withdrawal from Vietnam, Cuba largely pacified.

 

US Space Programs during the 1960s

  1. USAF remains in top spending/authority for manned space
  2. NASA cooperates more on R&D and science missions
    1. Orion nuclear spacecraft continues to testing, flight in 1964 problematic and program shut down. Resources shifted to NERVA spacecraft.
  3. USAF programs continue
    1. X-20A test flights start in 1964, goes operational in 1966 as the S-20
    2. Manned Orbiting Laboratory launched in 1965
    3. USAF plans to go to the Moon start with Lunar Reconnaissance probe missions in 1963
    4. USAF starts Lunar Manned Flight (LUMEN) ops in 1966, series of unmanned flights with animal test subject and automated spacecraft. plans to send manned lunar orbiter around the Moon and back in August 1969
    5. Soviet Orion moon shot on July 20, 1969 steals the world’s attention

 

Soviet Space Programs in the 1960s

  1. Spurred on by US actions the USSR embarks on the MiG 105 Spiral (Raketoplane) program, launches in 1966
  2. Almaz space station launches in 1967
  3. Increasing sophistication of US space programs worries Politburo, set backs in Cuba and embroilment in Vietnam cast doubt on the Soviet project. They need to gain world attention as leader. Always seem a step behind in space. Decided on Moon mission to steal US thunder of manned lunar orbiter. Crash program, priorities ahead of Soyuz plans.
    1. Soviets stole Orion plans, fit in with their design philosophy and approach to nuclear power use, big bold program, bigger than Sputnik and will allow them to dominate the high ground of space. Their Orion program was commited to live launch. Series of underground tests, leading to above ground tests disguised as “normal” nuke tests fooled the West.
  4. Launched manned Orion spacecraft to the Moon on August 20, 1969 – same day landing at Tycho Crater stunned and amazed the world. Cosmonauts spend 3 days on the Moon, and return to Earth. Cosmonauts return via Vostok-style lander, the Orion is programmed to try and land in the Aral Sea, mostly destroyed. Soviets stage triumphal celebrations and announce plans to conquer the Solar System. The mission uses the one available Orion vehicle they have.

 

  • US response: August 1969 speech JFK commits the US to have a permanent base on the Moon within his first term in office. Activates Project Horizon lunar base, full resources. Reactivates Orion, also plans NERVA space testing.
  • Soviets respond with plans for their Zvezda moon base plans.
  • Both super powers begin to pour resources into Space, taking away resources otherwise planned for next gen ICBMs and strategic weapons systems.

 

Timeline

  • 1969
    • July – Soviet manned lunar mission
    • December – US manned lunar mission lands at Sea of Tranquility
  • 1970
    • January – 2nd Soviet lunar mission using modified Soyuz and lander, Apollo style, while they are constructing more Orion ships
    • March – Launch and assemble large multi module Almaz space station, plans for it to be an Earth orbit way station to the Moon.
    • September – US begins assembling SS-1 Wheel space station in Earth Orbit
    • October – Soviets launch failure of second Orion ship, cosmonaut crew killed
    • US-North Vietnam sign armistice, US troops withdraw from Vietnam.
    • November – US launches Pilgrim Lunar space mission, leading to a manned based module placed on the Moon in the Fra Mauro highlands
    • December – Soviets 3rd Orion launch success, places initial manned base module on the Moon on Mare Imbrium.
  • 1971
    • US launches first NERVA rocket test flight to moon and back
    • US expands lunar base
    • USSR expands lunar base
    • USSR launches Mars mission with a Orion craft – announce dramatic fly-by success and “Grand Tour” mission to fly-by Jupiter and return. Had actually planned to land on Mars, but bomb propellant failure led to high speed fly by, had to slingshot around Jupiter and back to Earth. Dropped Mars probes onto Io and Europa.
    • US launches first test Orion
  • 1972
    • US launches second space station
    • US launches Orion mission to Mars – land and not return
    • USSR launches Orion mission to Mars same day
    • US launches NERVA follow-on mission to Mars with intent to be Mars shuttle cycler craft, take crew back and forth.
    • USSR launches 2nd Almaz space station
    • President Kennedy re-elected with VP Jimmy Carter
  • 1973
    • US Expands lunar presence, lands base at Gardner Megadome sites northern tip of Mare Tranquilatis at site of huge cave/lava tube complex
    • USSR expands Tycho base, lands new base on Mare Nubium to also take advantage of lava tunnels.
    • North Vietnamese assault on South Vietnam fails, US Air and Space Support help foil the invasion. The value of space-based weapons shown when US THOR kinetic bombardment systems devastated PAVN logistics centers and mauls a PAVN armored brigade from orbit. New armistice signed between the Republic of Vietnam and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
  • 1974
    • With US assistance the UK launches its first space station
    • US and USSR expand Martian bases
  • 1975
    • With US assistance a NATO/EU base landed on the Moon
    • With USSR assistance a Warsaw Pact base is established on the Moon
    • European Space Agency launches NERVA mission to Saturn with US assistance
    • US and USSR launch Jupiter and Saturn missions
  • 1976
    • China lands first base on the Moon
    • General Atomics (US), PanAm and BAE launch the first commercial space station for tourism and research, serviced by the UK’s new Multi-Unit Space Transport And Recovery Device (MUSTARD) space plane.
    • Jimmy Carter elected as President, beating a weak Gerald Ford GOP candidacy.
  • 1977
    • The US retreats in Space:
      • Jimmy Carter taps Robert McNamara as his Secretary of Defense, and begins a series of détente initiatives to the USSR and begins to slow down US space programs. Carter believes that continued US military investments in nuclear, space technology and systems fuel an unwinnable arms race, and heavily promoted the Space Assets Limitations Treaty (SALT) to restrict and denuclearize space systems and de-weaponize space.
      • US cancels plans for a next generation Orion ship, cancels the Titan observation base (at Saturn) and begins restricting the number of Orion missions. Carter hopes the USSR will reciprocate.
      • Carter gets the Emergency Natural Gas Act passed which stalls new nuclear reactor and propulsion project and levies a punitive tax on the nuclear industry in favor of new non-nuclear energy sources like Natural Gas and Solar.
      • Carter beings a global campaign for human rights, talks down US and Soviet competition and severs aid to South Vietnam as punishment for their poor human rights record.
    • The Soviets, whose economy had been pouring resources into strategic space missions was flagging, and they saw Carter’s overtures as signs that they had outlasted the US – that the Capitalists were on the ropes. They engage in a political Maskirovka campaign, fueling the Space for Peace protests in the West and negotiating the SALT treaty which they have no intent on keeping.
  • 1978
    • The US and USSR announce the joint Titan Friendship Base mission to Saturn, with US science modules and crew to fly on a Soviet pulseship to establish a base at Saturn.
    • Carter begins steeply taxing commercial ventures in space and denying licensing, reaffirming US commitment to the Outer Space Treaty which forbids private ownership of space bodies – which he also interprets as space resources.
    • Carter begins steep defense and space project budget cuts, steering money into social programs and renewable energy research. He decommissions the THOR orbital strike system, directing the DoD to remove the satellites from orbit. His focus on Middle East peace leads to the Camp David Peace Accords between Egypt and Israel. He pressures the Shah of Iran on Human Rights issues, cutting off millions in aid and forcing Iran to allow more active free speech dissident movements in the country.
    • The PRC announces a Vietnam moon base next to its own, declares space will be for all the developing nations of the world. In a copycat move, the USSR announces a new Cuban presence on the Moon.
    • The Soviets put a new generation of ground based ASAT missiles into place. The A-35M can also be used as an IRBM, and NATO nations begin protesting the deployment of this system into Eastern Europe.
    • Soviets secretly begins deploying its new PZ-1 orbital strike satellites into Low Earth Orbit, and also place a small number of PZ-1s into Mars and Lunar orbit, assuring the US these are a new generation of communications and navigation satellite.
  • 1979
    • US Malaise
      • Jimmy Carter’s policies wreak havoc on the US economy, causing energy prices to sky rocket. He gives his famous “malaise” speech, that the US cannot expect to tap limitless resources, and points to diplomatic successes in arms control and peace treaties.
      • Deep budget cuts lead to a significant number of US space assets being retired in place, US support for the Titan Friendship Base is defunded and the crew returned home.
    • USSR Expansion
      • The Soviets return a small metallic asteroid to Earth Orbit, reaping a windfall of hundreds of billions of dollars, pumping new life into the Soviet economy. They announce their intent for follow on missions.
      • With USSR and PRC material support, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam launches an invasion of South Vietnam. In a turn about of events, the USSR conducts a devastating series of strikes on South Vietnamese forces with the PZ-1 system. Supported by PRC airstrikes, Soviet satellite recon and PZ-1 strikes, the South Vietnam is quickly overrun by the North.
      • The Soviets also launch or support a series of coups and invasions globally to pressure the US into further retrenchment and collapse, including revolutions in Nicaragua, Angola, across South East Asia, and directly invades Afghanistan.
      • The Shah of Iran is toppled by revolution, and the US embassy staff taken hostage.
    • 1980
      • US Shock
        • Carter is shocked by Soviet actions, and responds with confusion. In an attempt to regain influence he authorizes a hasty rescue of US hostages in Iran. Budget cuts and confusion within the various service branches leads to disaster as one of the three US space shuttles used to land troops in Iran crashes. In the confusion, one shuttle is abandoned almost intact and the troops flee on the third shuttle back to orbit. The Iranians reap a PR windfall while the USSR reaps an intel windfall from the US shuttle.
        • Carter’s diplomatic overtures fail as Soviet backed forces topple a number of nations, he boycotts the 1980 Olympics as a symbolic protest.
        • Carter begins to restart US space defense projects, expanding budgets and demanding the DOD revitalize demoralized services.
      • USSR continued expansion
        • The USSR finds its attention captured by its Afghanistan invasion, but goes forward with a series of asteroid missions to identify and exploit several likely targets.
      • Ronald Reagan defeats Carter in the 1980 US presidential election, promising to reverse course and make the US strong again.
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NUTS & Hell Hath no Fury tank control sheets & extra rules

June 8, 2019

Hell Hath No Fury from Two Hour Wargames is basically NUTS! but focused on tanks — your Star is a TC, and is in charge of a tank platoon. Just like in NUTS you’ll have various missions to complete.

After playing several games of Hell Hath no Fury, I wanted to add a few things that I think will add to the game. Since it’s tank-centric, I created Tank Control sheets that range from a tankette scale tank on up to a larger 5-crew tank. The control sheets also reflect each crew station, and lets you see at a glance what their REP is. The diagram of the tank also makes it easy to see your armor ratings, and it also includes your ammo stowage tally.

Full tank control sheet

The TC startled in shock as a Tiger tank burst from the tree line.

“Gunner, tank, 200 meters, 3 o’clock, load HVAP! Driver, hard left and gimme the gas!”

“We only got one golden BB, sarge,” the gunner yelled back as the loader scrambled to get the HVAP round into the breech as the tank lurched into motion.

“Well, we only got one shot at this anyway boys, so make it count!”

Welcome to the world of NUTS and Hell Hath no Fury
*******************************************
INTRODUCTION
NUTS simplifies things so a player doesn’t have to worry about too many details during a game, trying to strike a balance between fun, playability and realism. But there’s a lot of variation in vehicles, guns, ammunition and other capabilities in WW2 that can add flavor to your game and let you toss some fodder to your inner realism bug. Here are some rules to add a little more detail and decision making to your NUTS and Hell Hath no Fury tank combat games. These rules include:

  • Range and Penetration
  • Angle of attack on your target
  • Different types of ammo (HVAP, HEAT, etc.)
  • Ammo stowage

You can apply these rules to all of your AFVs on the table, or just use them for your Star’s vehicle for a more dramatic effect on your game play.

Oh, and don’t forget to add the advanced vehicle rules from the NUTS! Compendium for the best tank on tank game ever!

HHTF enhanced AFV rules vDRAFT 091018

Here are the tank control sheets:

HHNF-NUTS Tank Star control sheet v083018

 

Bugs, Mr. Pink? Yes, Bugs Mr. Rico!

May 7, 2019

So Two Hour Wargames has the Bugs Trilogy on sale — time to do some bug hunts!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Complete Bug Wars!

  • 5150: Bugs – Into the Tunnels. Join the Star Army as they attack a Bug Infested world.
  • 5150: Bugs – No Retreat. The Bugs are on the offensive and you’re the last line of defense.
  • 5150:Bugs – Breakout. The Bugs have invaded New Hope City and it’s up to you to lead the Civilians, Plice, Gangers, Surviors, Star Marines and more as you try to save the city. 

Kill the Brain Bug; save the world!

 

Well, my chosen book will be 5150: Bugs – Breakout.  This one, well, I wrote it so I’m biased :P, puts you into multiple scenarios that you need to win in order to defeat the Bugs in New Hope City.

Bugs in New Hope City!

In 5150: Bugs Breakout you’re a resident of New Hope City, making ends meet in a usually uneventful life. That’s all going to change as the Bugs have arrived!

You can play the Bug Outbreak from six different points of view – Civilians, Police, Gangers, Survivors, Planetary Militia and lastly Star Marines. Each group has their own goals and although they may be different they agree on one thing…

the Bugs got to go!

http://2hourblog.blogspot.com/2019/05/5150-all-bugs-titles-50-off.html

So this book will require a range of figures. Bugs, Civilians, Police, SWAT, Gangers, Survivors, Militia and Star Marines. First up, lets get some Bugs painted up!! These are W40K Hormagaunts painted and based as Bugs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up – Star Marines!

 

Dux Arda – On Religions in Middle Earth

February 19, 2019

Where Are the Religious Figures and Structures in Dux Arda?

In Dux Britanniarum, religious figures and buildings for the Romano-British, Saxons and other factions play a role in battles and campaigns. This is not the case in Dux Arda — the fan mod for gaming the battles of Middle Earth using the Dux Britanniarum rules from Too Fat Lardies.

Most Factions in Dux Arda will not have Religious followers in their Retinue (check each Faction listing). That’s because in Middle Earth, while there is an epic struggle between Good and Evil, organized religions play little role in the War of the Rings.

The faith story of Middle Earth is essentially Judeo-Christian in nature in that there is a God (Illuvatar); He created the Angels (the Valar); He created all the universe (Middle Earth); some of the Angels grew arrogant and Fell in a great war (Morgoth); and He has a plan for the world.

iluvatarHowever, the world depicted by The Lord of the Rings intentionally has very little religion or myth-making in it.  Tolkien appears to be implying that not enough time had yet passed for the “historical facts” to have become fully mythologized. This means that though characters across the various books written by Tolkien reference or venerate higher powers, most cultures don’t have an organized religion, and faith would therefore a personal matter with few or no priests or worship leaders.

  • Elves revere and respect Illuvatar, but would most likely call upon their “personal” Valar, Elbereth. No Religious Figures.
  • Dwarves revere and respect Illuvatar, and would most likely call upon their “personal” Valar, Aulë. No Religious Figures.
  • Men have more variety in faiths than the Elves and Dwarves, depending on their culture.
    • Free Peoples of the West: Will revere and respect Illuvatar and may call upon a Valar they most identify with. No Religious Figures.
    • Men of Sauron: Have created a Cult of worship around Sauron, and would most likely have a priest class. They have elevated Sauron to God status and deny that Illuvatar is the Creator. This Cult involves ritual human sacrifice and dark practices. May use Religious Figures per normal Dux Britanniarum rules.
    • Wildmen: The “uncivilized” Men of Middle Earth may have fallen back to animism and spirit worship that would be unique to each tribe. May use Religious Figures per normal Dux Britanniarum rules.
  • Hobbits will revere and respect Illuvatar and may call upon a Valar they most identify with. No Religious Figures.
  • Orcs have elevated Sauron to God status as their Creator, and proclaim Illuvatar as the Enemy. This Cult involves ritual human sacrifice and dark practices. May use Religious Figures per normal Dux Britanniarum rules.

Faction book for Dux Arda – Durin’s Folk, Book of the Dwarves

February 4, 2019

Continuing the Dux Arda project for gaming Middle Earth is the first kingdom book – Durin’s Folk – the Book of the Dwarves. This fan-mod book created using ideas from Gunnar Lopez’s Dux Arda project uses the Dux Britanniarum rules from Too Fat Lardies and includes:

1. Brief history of the Dwarves in Middle Earth
2. Updated Faction forces
3. Faction cards
4. Creating a Dwarf as a Dux Arda character, including names, what Clan and the different characteristics.
5. Dwarf career paths tied into modified retainers and Kingdoms
6. Magic in Middle Earth
7. Underground Terrain
8. Modified Kingdom Enhancements
9. Specifics on Dwarven Kingdoms and Provices, and how they differ from other Factions
10. Modified Battles and Raid
11. Description of the Dwarven Halls at the time of the War of the Ring

 

durin_the_deathless_by_frerinhagsolb_dcdwtk0-pre

Here’s the book file: Dux Arda – The Dwarven Kingdom Book v021919

Any comments/feedback welcomed!

Dux Arda – Durin’s Folk (the Dwarves)

January 12, 2019

Gunnar Lopez over at the War to End All Blogs has completed a series of Force descriptions for using Dux Britanniarum from Too Fat Lardies to wargame the battles of Middle Earth.

The project is called Dux Arda (aka Lard of the Rings).

Durin’s Folk (the Dwarves)

Durin’s Folk, the Dwarves, are stalwart warriors and dedicated protectors of their realms. Occupying the Iron Hills throughout the Third Age and periodically Erebor and Moria, they greedily delve deep into the earth for precious gems and metals. These riches are fiercely guarded, which often leads to conflict with other races of Middle Earth. Caring little for anything beyond their mountain homes, they do not take part in the wars of Middle Earth, unless they directly affect them. However, the location of their homes and their enmity for orcs leads to much conflict with the Orcs of Gundabad and the Orcs of the Misty Mountains.

Here are the Unit cards and Force description of Durin’s Folk (the Dwarves).

sample durins folk card

Dux Arda – Durin’s Folk (the Dwarves) faction cards

Dux Arda – The Orcs of Gundabad

January 12, 2019

Gunnar Lopez over at the War to End All Blogs has completed a series of Force descriptions for using Dux Britanniarum from Too Fat Lardies to wargame the battles of Middle Earth.

The project is called Dux Arda (aka Lard of the Rings).

The Orcs of Gundabad

The Orcs of Gundabad are, like all orcs a numerous and well equipped, but brittle force. They do not suffer from the lack of arms and armor that their cousins in the Misty Mountains and elsewhere do, having stormed and taken the Dwarven Halls of Mount Gundabad during the War of the Last Alliance of Men and Elves. They are able to provide all necessary equipment needed to combat their enemies. Sworn enemies of the Dwarves of Erebor, the men of Dale, and the Elves of the Woodland Realm, they are one of the primary dangers facing the good people of the Northern Dorwinion.

Here are the Unit cards and Force description the Orcs of Gundabad.

sample orcs gundabad card

Dux Arda – the Orcs of Gundabad faction cards

Dux Arda – Elves of Rivendell

January 12, 2019

Gunnar Lopez over at the War to End All Blogs has completed a series of Force descriptions for using Dux Britanniarum from Too Fat Lardies to wargame the battles of Middle Earth.

The project is called Dux Arda (aka Lard of the Rings).

The Elves of Rivendell

The Elves of Rivendell, or the Noldor, are the oldest and wisest of the races of Middle Earth. Long acting as protectors of the land, the Noldor have begun to take a less aggressive role in recent times. After the first defeat of Sauron, they have begun to return to Valinor, leaving Men to rule and squabble over Middle Earth. While they do not take part in much of the warring around them, they still defend their realms with unmatched skill and resolve. The Elves of Rivendell defend the Imladris and the surrounding area from orcs and evil men from Angmar and the Misty Mountains, killing any who dare stray too close to their realm.

Here are the Unit cards and Force description the Elves of Rivendell.

sample rivendell card

Dux Arda – the Elves of Rivendell faction cards

Dux Arda – The Remnants of Angmar

January 12, 2019

Gunnar Lopez over at the War to End All Blogs has completed a series of Force descriptions for using Dux Britanniarum from Too Fat Lardies to wargame the battles of Middle Earth.

The project is called Dux Arda (aka Lard of the Rings).

The Remnants of Angmar

The Remnants of Angmar are, much like their brethren in Mordor, a multitudinous but brittle force. While they were formerly led by the Witch King himself, they are no longer a primary threat to the West in the same way they once were. However, the forges of Angmar still burn and there are multitudes of orcs and evil men willing to fight the forces of good. Residing in the Northwest of the Misty Mountains as well as the Hills and Forests of Rhudar, these servants of Sauron are less well equipped than their cousins in Mordor. However, they have adapted well to their circumstances, utilizing more skirmish tactics and playing into their skills at ambushing. They also utilize the evil Hillmen of Rhudar to bolster their ranks and provide strength and stability to their forces.

Here are the Unit cards and Force description the Remnants of Angmar.

sample angmar card

Dux Arda – Remnants of Angmar faction cards

Dux Arda – the Free Peoples of Eriador (and Dunedain)

January 12, 2019

Gunnar Lopez over at the War to End All Blogs has completed a series of Force descriptions for using Dux Britanniarum from Too Fat Lardies to wargame the battles of Middle Earth.

The project is called Dux Arda (aka Lard of the Rings).

The Free Peoples of Eriador (and the Dunedain)

What was once the greatest kingdom in Middle Earth, Arnor, collapsed into squabbling petty kingdoms over the course of the Third Age. Due to infighting between the sons of the line of Isildur, Arnor was split into three kingdoms competing for supremacy, which left them vulnerable to a rising threat, Angmar. The Witch King of Angmar absorbed Rhudaur after the line of Isildur became extinct and launched an assault on Arthedain and Cardolan, the other two petty kingdoms of Arnor. While the Witch King was ultimately defeated and Angmar destroyed, this victory left the region so devastated that both petty kingdoms collapsed, leaving the remaining Dunedain as nomadic protectors of the free peoples living in Eriador. This region is dangerous and wild, the Remnants of Angmar threaten the North, Dunland threatens the South, and bandits and orcs raid with relative impunity. Left with little industry and dwindling populations, the Free Peoples of Eriador do not have standing armies or well-equipped forces. However, the Northern Dunedain and other free peoples are not without defenses and will defend their homes to their dying breath.

Here are the Unit cards and Force description the Free Peoples of Eriador (and the Dunedain).

sample eriador card

Dux Arda – the Free Peoples of Eriador and the Dunedain faction cards