I have a bit experience with Rome Total War, as well as Medieval 2. In the latter, I finished a successful campaign (i.e. hold 45 regions, including Rome) with the Holy Roman Empire (of German nation), with a bit of cheating vs. the Mongols, by reloading because of glitches involving game flaws involving engagement possibilities of my armies. I made it before the Timurids could take action .

I decided to try out the Middle Earth 3rd Age mod and it's fantastic. FANTASTIC! I decided to play Gondor, which means that I am where Mordor's hammer hits the hardest. I'm a complete noob with respect to that mod, but the strategy seems to be clear: Claim those few areas which aren't challenged (i.e. everything to the west of Osgiliath), gather strength with what you have (you start out with 8 provinces or so which seems to be pretty strong), forge alliances with everybody who isn't on Sauron's side and take opportunities whenever they offer themselves (like Mordor exposing themselves in East Osgiliath in my campaign ).

So what's your impression with it?