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FAQ/Walkthrough by LoneEagle013
Version: 1.0.3 | Updated: 04/17/05
/*----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lord of The Rings: Battle for Middle Earth FAQ Author: LoneEagle013 Version: 1.0.3 Date: 04/17/05 Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org -----------------------------------------------------------------------------*/ TABLE OF CONTENTS: -DISCLAIMER -INTRODUCTION -VERSION INFO -GENERAL COMMENTS REGARDING THE GAME -COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS -GOOD SIDE SINGLE PLAYER GUIDE (MEDIUM DIFFICULTY) -EVIL SIDE SINGLE PLAYER GUIDE (MEDIUM DIFFICULTY) -CONTRIBUTIONS (CLOSED DUE TO HECTIC SCHEDULE) ******************************************************************************* =============================================================================== DISCLAIMER: 1. Lord of The Rings: Battle for Middle Earth is copyright of EA Games. 2. All materials here are of original strategies and opinions, unless stated explicitly. 3. As of the current version, the FAQ is far from complete. I will continuously update the FAQ (hopefully on daily basis for the next 3 days). For questions please check the message board in the topic I created, w/ the topic regarding the writing of this FAQ. 4. Please do not plagiarize. Plagiarism is the worst form of flattery. If you want to use parts of this guide in your own, you may do so by giving credits where it's due. I'm not picky like big companies, just stick in my name (that is, LoneEagle013) somewhere in the credits section, or at the part where you are using my materials. On top of that, I am not a native English speaker, therfore my writing flavor is somewhat unique - I can see my writing style being copied without my permission pretty damn well. At the very least please paraphrase the ideas if you want to take some parts of this guide. 5. When sending me e-mails, I reserve the right for all the contents of the e-mail, and reserve the right to edit any parts of received e-mails I include in this FAQ. I will for the most part leave the messages intact, but I will edit some of the letters for content and clarity, if it is too confusing or offensive. Just letting you guys know. 6. Please put subject: BFME FAQ, or something like that when e-mailing me. I receive craploads amounts of junkmail, so every now and then the filter fails (hotmail, heh) and your mail might be going down to the junk folder. And please if you attempt to send me files, be clear on what kind of file attachment you are sending. I trust that people have good intentions, and that if I receive viruses, spyware, or trojan from any attachments with the BFME FAQ subject line on the e-mail, I will put the e-mail address in the subsequent update of the faq, and hopefully the community will punish you with equivalent pain and malice. END OF DISCLAIMER =============================================================================== NOTES ON VERSION 1.0.3: - Minor corrections and contributions. - New section devoted to Doug U., who discussed tons of BFME materials through e-mail, and gave me a whole lot of positive inputs to make this FAQ even more awesome than ever. NOTES ON VERSION 1.0.1: - Added new privacy statement. NOTES ON VERSION 1.0: - First finalized version of the faq, minor updates from now on. - Updates will be done at slower pace from now on. - Minor update on Black Gates. NOTES ON VERSION 0.9: - Formatting updates for easier reading. 0.8 formatting was converted to a very weird double skipping for unknown reason, fixed the problem. - Finished Evil Campaign. NOTES ON VERSION 0.8: - More evil missions completed. - More commentaries and contributions. - Minor corrections on spellings and grammar. - Major contribution at the end of the faq, recommended reading. NOTES ON VERSION 0.7: - Added some extra notes on Contact info. - Added some more common questions answered. - Minor update on mergable batallions. - Finished Mordor units guide section. - Added credits section at the end of the FAQ. - Added more evil missions. NOTES ON VERSION 0.6: - Added first four missions of Evil side. - Finished the Isengard unit guide. - Added some more commonly asked questions. NOTES ON VERSION 0.5: - Added general Ancillary mission strategies. - Finished Mordor guide for Minas Tirith (Evil final mission). - Added commonly asked questions regarding the game (always under construction) - Added contributions section. NOTES ON VERSION 0.4: - Minor updates on Aragorn. - Added my general comment of the game. - Finished Evil Heroes section. - Finished the Good Units guide section. NOTES ON VERSION 0.3: - Finished the GOOD main missions, with the rest of the ancillary mission coming up. - Put a contact info at the top. NOTES ON VERSION 0.2: - Fixed/updated GOOD heroes guide. - Expanded the GOOD campaign missions. NOTES ON VERSION 0.1: - Started the FAQ. - Good side Heroes with their abilities and comments of general usage. - First few missions of Good Side. =============================================================================== =============================================================================== INTRODUCTION: This is my first game FAQ ever, so any inputs and ideas are more then welcomed. This FAQ is a work in progress, and I will update the FAQ continuously as I refine my tactics and beat the game. As of this version I already finished both good and evil campaigns, but currently replaying the good side of the game in order to write up this FAQ, with the evil side coming up within a week or so. I will also include my brief version of strategies for important/critical battles. As of this version the FAQ covers mainly about the Single Player (SP) campaigns both good and evil. Multiplayer strategies will be included as people contribute more stuff to me. I will cover most of the important missions that are integral to the plot of LOTR, since these are the trickiest missions in the game. I will not cover all the ancillary missions due to its similarity between one to another and the objective is always to destroy all the enemies, so not a very hard thing to do if you have a powerful army at your disposal to begin with. CONTACTING ME (PLEASE READ PRIVACY STATEMENT AT THE END): I welcome any comments, you can send them at LoneEagle.email@example.com. If you have any strategies that you think works better than mine, I'll be happy to include it in this FAQ. Also, I haven't played all the ancillary missions yet, so if you have anything you would like to contribute, it is more than welcomed. Please understand if the replies are somewhat slow because I have a busy schedule and writing the FAQ is a spare time thing. (CONTRIBUTIONS ARE CLOSED AS OF 02/17/05, but questions are always more than welcome) I will try to respond to all the messages sent to me, and update my FAQ along with answers from the questions I received via e-mail. However, to avoid redundancy I will not reply to questions already covered in the FAQ, so please read the FAQ carefully for your questions and if you cannot find your answer then by all means ask me the question. I will make this FAQ as comprehensive as possible, and I will edit the contents to make them clearer if people find my explanations confusing. Update: I have received quite some e-mails within the few days of posting this FAQ, thereby confirming my questions on whether people actually read my FAQ or not. I am happy that a lot of people do, and so far all the mails I received have been very positive. However, I did notice that there were some e-mails that were written poorly, and asked questions that has been thoroughly discussed in other places (GameFAQ message boards, EA tech support, etc). I don't mind answering your questions, but I mainly focus on the strategic aspect of the game rather than technical and dollar value of the game. The message board is always a good place to start for finding information, and there are plenty of reviews out there in the web or printed media that asking me whether the game is worth to get or not is a bit of a subjective issue. Solutions to technical problems can often be found in the message board, or at the EA official tech support page. I will gladly answer your questions the best as I can, but I'll be much happier discussing gameplay tactics and finishing the faq to its final version. Ultimately, if you're still stuck and no one out there can help you, then by all means you are welcome to e-mail me and I'll try to help you out the best I can. Just remember I am just an individual and are not affiliated in any way with EA or Game developers, only a guy who happens to play the game and decided to write an faq about it. PRIVACY STATEMENT/IMPORTANT STUFF (READ BEFORE CONTACTING ME) Since the release of 1.0 faq, I have been receiving a whole lot of e-mail. Most of them were good questions and strategies, but some concerns me a whole lot. First of all, people are starting to instant message me, and add me to their buddy lists and asking me weird questions. While I do not mind having you in my buddy list, you will require my permission to do so (send me an e-mail regarding that topic). While I can filter e-mails sent at my direction, there is no way for instant messaging to do that except to block the person. To anticipate this, I have set up a new mail account exclusively for faq purposes, and set up several new rules so that hopefully it is easier to deal with the large amount of e-mail I am receiving because of this faq. So here is the deal: 1. PLEASE DO NOT ADD ME TO YOUR BUDDY LIST ON ANY INSTANT MESSAGING MEDIUM, UNLESS I GIVE YOU THE PERMISSION TO DO SO VIA E-MAIL. 2. PLEASE READ THE FAQ, AND ONLY CONTACT ME REGARDING STRATEGY CONTRIBUTIONS, OR QUESTIONS NOT COVERED IN THE FAQ. (Dumb questions will not be responded, nor will be questions that I have covered in the FAQ). 3. EMAIL TO: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have corresponded with me before, please send subsequent messages to the new account. I will not respond and block any e-mails regarding the subject that are sent to the wrong mailbox. 4. PLEASE PUT BFME FAQ ON THE SUBJECT LINE. There are tons of junkmail floating in my mailbox, and I don't feel like fishing your mail every time from the junk folder. I am doing this out of courtesy, but it is getting troublesome for me to fish all the messages. 5. PLEASE WRITE IN LEGIBLE ENGLISH. While I am well versed in L33tSP34K and the rest of internet lingo, please try your best to write something legible. It helps me to understand better of your questions and contributions, and saves me time of editing your stuff if it makes it to the faq. 6. DO NOT ASK ME FOR CD KEY!!! I am only writing a strategy guide, a free one to boot. I agree that often times games are really expensive to buy. So earn it, like get a job or something. Or you can save up. Before I had a job, I used to skip lunches and use my lunch money to buy expensive things I wanted that my parents would not get me for a million years (video games, etc). If you still want freebies, then search the web for it. They are out there, and tons of people are playing bootleg games on daily basis. Just don't blame me when the FBI comes knocking the door on you. Software piracy these days is a serious crime. Try it if you will, but then buy the game afterwards, when it is on sale or it is at the bargain bin. A lot of you are very friendly, helpful and sent me very good questions and strategies. But trust me, this is only the minority of the e-mails I receive. A majority of e-mail I received goes back to the questions I have answered a lot of times to different people who failed to read the faq CAREFULLY. For those of you who are in my good list, I apologize for the inconvenience and the new rules imposed on contacting me. I just have to do this before things get seriously out of control. For the rest of you who sent me some seriously dumb stuff, I forgive your errors in the past. But I will not be so forgiving, now that I made the rules clear for everyone. Thank you, and please enjoy the rest of the FAQ. =============================================================================== =============================================================================== GENERAL COMMENTS REGARDING THE GAME I have played many other RTS games before this one, and it is definitely a different experience. First of all the game is much simplified compared to other RTS games. It is even simpler than its cousin C&C Generals, which is already a simple RTS game compared to Warcraft III. Units are grouped based on hotkeys, force move/attack inputs are nonexistent, and the AI is very simplistic. So simplistic that units under attack often times do not react and welcome their untimely deaths instead. The game focuses more on large battles instead of resource gathering, since most resource gathering is done by building structures and do not require any management at all. Battles are huge and fun, very faithful to the movies. Units are well animated, and the background sounds of chaos in battle are also very good. Some units have death animations that can affect the surroundings, like Mumakils and trolls. Balancing of the game is a mixed bag. A lot of people seem to think that the balance of the game is broken, with the evil side is far weaker compared to the good side. IMHO the game is SOMEWHAT balanced, but in order to see that one must understand the mechanics of the game completely. Each faction is designed for a certain purpose, and if someone plays a particular faction outside of its specific strengths and weaknesses can be royally destroyed by a relative RTS newbie. Several times I was humbled by the AI in the single player campaign mode because I wasn't playing a faction the way I was supposed to play. So give the game a chance before rattling your sabers and declare the game is completely broken. I admit that the game is far from perfect, and it requires a whole lot of polishing before it's completely balanced and bug free. While I cannot speak for the multiplayer experience, I successfully finished both sides of the single player campaign at medium difficulty level. Some missions are designed to be challenging, but given the right strategies it becomes manageable and surprisingly easy at times. So what if you keep getting defeated over and over in a specific mission or against a particular faction? One way is to think carefully about what you did right and what you did wrong during the game. In one game I made 8 fatal mistakes, but it turned out that my opponent made 10 fatal mistakes, and I was able to come out as the winner of the battle of who screws up less. And on another occasion I was playing the single player campaign and kept on getting destroyed by the AI. I switched to a completely different tactics and decisively win the mission. Just keep trying different approaches to a problem, and eventually you'll come up with a solution that works. Ultimately, the game is more or less RTS lite, so it is not that hard of a game to begin with, single player wise. Multiplayer I cannot say because my record is not that great, and there are truly amazing players out there and I think they should write an FAQ about the multiplayer aspect of this game. So if you think you're pretty hot with the MP and would like to contribute strategies and discuss the contents of the FAQ, feel free to e-mail me. /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS REGARDING THE GAME NOTE: Most of this information is available in the user's manual, or in the tutorial part of the battle school. Please spend some five minutes on them before asking the rudiment questions. Watching the battle school will give you a much more deeper insight to the game, as the manual skips a lot of details when explaining things. Q: Will my computer run this game? A: Depending what kind of a computer do you have. The computer I use currently is an AMD Athlon 1.4 GHz, 512 MB PC2100 DDR RAM, and a GeForce 4 Ti4200 video card. I can run the game at 1024 by 768 with the lowest details with no problems except on very big battles, and even then it's still bearable. I would recommend a system with at least 512 MB RAM, Pentium 2.0 Ghz or AMD equivalent of that speed, and GeForce 5200 series and above video cards or its ATI equivalent of that. Message boards are a good place to research this question. Q: Should I get this game? Is it worth my money? A: Depends on whether you like LOTR stuff or not. If you hate it in the first place, don't bother. If you haven't seen the movie yet, it might spoil some of the story, so go watch the movie - it's been out for a year now. If you are a newbie to RTS games, it is a good place to start because it is more simple than other RTS games out there in the market. If you are an expert in other RTS like Starcraft or Warcraft III, then you might find the game on the easier side, and might be frustrated because the game does lack more complex features Blizzard RTS games have. As I said earlier, it is RTS-lite after all, low carbs and all. So don't expect a revolutionary gameplay. But it does have a seriously fun gameplay at times, and if you are an LOTR nut, it's probably one of the best LOTR based RTS ever created in the annals of middle earth history. In general, the average review on the game is very positive. Not as great as Warcraft III or Starcraft in a sense of being a classic RTS, but it is better than most RTS available out there, and it is aimed for mainstream audiences. For it's worth, I have spent more than 40 hours playing it, and I still am currently playing it over again because each time I play I found better tactics beating the AI in the campaign. Q: My units keep on dying whenever I start a mission. What's going on? A: This is a built-in anti-piracy measure of the game. If the game detects any altered files it will self destruct all of the player's units, effectively rendering the game unplayable. Unfortunately, it happens a lot to legitimate users such that EA posts a solution for this problem at their official tech support page. A quick fix for this problem is to navigate to the games installed folder and then to the support directory and to load the The Battle for Middle-earth_code.exe file. Just re-enter the key and all works again. If that doesn't work, then uninstall the broken version of the game, and do a clean installation of the game in the default directory, and it should work just fine. Q: How do you assign hotkeys? A: Hotkeys are the numerical keys 0-9 on the top of your keyboard. Select a group of units, then press ctrl-# (# of key you want to assign the unit to) to assign the selected units under that hotkey. Pressing the hotkey recalls the selected units you've chosen under that key, so it is very useful to access groups of units. Hotkey groups are different than merging units. Q: What is merging units, and how does it work? A: BFME has a unique feature for merging different types of units into one single batallion or horde. A batallion consists of five units for the side of good an a single horde consists of 10 units of uruk or orcs. A merged unit, for those of you who can add, consists of twice as many units as a single batallion or a horde. This merging ability is exclusive and only certain units can be merged to other specific units. Here are the list of known possible combinations of merging units: 1. Yeoman Archer - Peasant 2. Gondor Soldier - Ranger or Gondor Archer 3. Gondor Tower Guard - Ranger or Gondor Archer 4. Uruk-hai - Crossbow Uruks 5. Uruk-hai - Pike Uruks 6. Pike Uruks - Crossbow Uruks 7. Elvish archers - Elvish swordsmen (toggle the bow with the sword) 8. Mordor Orcs - Orcish archers 9. Gondor Soldier/Tower Guard - Gondor Knight 10. Rohirrims - Peasants (what's the point, though?) To merge units, click on a mergable unit, and hover your mouse pointer on another mergable units. The pointer should change into merge icon. Clicking the mouse on the unit with this pointer merges the two units together. Note that merging units are a permanent process: you cannot undo the change. And merged archer batallions cannot garisson towers. Merging has benefits because you only pay upgrades for one batallion, so you are paying half the cost when buying upgrades for merged units. Also new units merged to ranked up units gain the higher ranks. Some unit mergings are less useful than others, so use your imagination on how to use them properly, and tell me so that we can all share the tactics of using the units properly. Q: How do you garrison archer units to an abandoned tower? A: Some maps in the game have abandoned towers that can be garrisoned by your archer units. To garrison a tower, select your archer unit, and hover your mouse at the tower. The icon should change to the garrison icon, and click on the tower to garrison your unit at the tower. Note that garrisoned units are permanently lost, freeing up command points in the process. In this light it is best to garrison stock (non-upgraded) units and lower ranked ones, because it will be gone for good. You can recapture a tower garrisoned by enemy units by sending and garrison -ing the tower with your own archer. There will be a mini battle fight for the control of the tower, but the attacking unit will always wins the tower and garrison it for your side. Just escort the garrisoning units so they don't get killed approaching the tower. Q: Help! my unit is stuck on a wall, and cannot get out! What do I do? A: Blame the game testers for this. Unfortunately there are some bugs that can make units stuck on some weird places in the game. I had seen several of them, including stuck reinforcement units in Osgiliath, and someone asked me how to unstuck his Eomer on a wall. For Eomer, Gandalf, Theoden, Eowyn and Faramir, you can try mount/unmount them and try clicking around to see if that dislodges them from the sticky spot. Clicking around from different angles might dislodge a stuck unit from its position. If all else fails, you can just win the game without the hero (sucks), or you can restart the mission if you have the heart to do so (sucks even more). I hope the patch resolves these problems. There is one special case where stuck heroes are meant to be. If Lurtz is lurking around, he has the ensnare ability which pins down your hero to his standing spot and make him vulnerable to enemy attacks. In that case you just have to protect the hero until the spell wears off. Q: How do I turn on the autoset feature for the heroes' skills? A: Right click on their skill icon. You should see a circular shine on the edges of the icon if autoset is enabled for that particular skill. Q: I purchased upgrades from the building, but my units are still not upgraded yet. What's going on here? A: After the initial purchase at the building, you still have to INDIVIDUALLY upgrade your units by clicking on the icons by your units picture at the bottom of the game screen. You can check the battle school for more details. Q: In some of the missions, the objective mentions to find friendly units some where across the map, but after destroying everything and opening up the entire map, I still couldn't find them. What's going on here? A: This is probably a design oversight. What happens is that the AI explores the map continuously and employ search and destroy tactics. That being said, they sometimes wipe out friendly units (like the giant eagles) chilling around waiting for you to call them out and play with the bad guys. They will not defend themselves and will become easy preys for the enemy troops. The easiest way to deal with this is to send out a scouting unit to explore the map early on while you build and defend your main base. Sending out the knights or Gandalf is usually a good idea because they are fast and can evade enemy patrols without getting themselves killed. Q: Man, your guide sucks. It doesn't work with hard mode, and I think your strategy doesn't work in skirmish or multiplayer games. A: Okay, as I explicitly stated, I based the guide on MEDIUM difficulty, since most people play in this difficulty mode. I haven't tried HARD mode yet, nor do I play multiplayer often enough that I become an expert of that. That is where the contributions section comes in. If you have tips and guides for parts of the game that I DO NOT cover, please by all means e-mail me some contributions and I'll be more than happy append them to my guide and give you the credit where it is due. There might be other faqs out there that cover hard mode, and I have no intention to cover hard mode strategies other than from contributions. Q: Your guide is not complete. What about the other missions besides the ones they cover in the movie? I need help on mission <insert mission name here>, but you didn't cover it. What should I do? A: Those missions are called the Ancillary missions. Ancillary missions are battles not fought or explicitly mentioned in the LOTR main storyline. These are battles that are either background stories, or creative intepretation of the battles not covered majorly in the movie or the book. As such, the missions are more or less skirmish missions with some extra bonus objectives thrown in it. The basic idea of the mission is the same, to destroy all enemies lurking on the map. I wrote a section of how to win the ancillary missions right after the battle of minas tirith for the good side walkthrough. The tips do apply for the Evil side for the most general cases, and I will add some more tips and tactics for the Evil side once I completed all the ancillary missions available for the Evil campaign. Ancillary missions in general shouldn't be too challenging aside from the beginning rushes by the enemy. After that it is up to the imagination of the player to come up with interesting tactics, and that on its own is a huge part of the game. It kinda takes out the fun when you have someone dictate you play by play on what exactly to do. It's just a game, not a dinner recipe or college applications, so you won't die just by losing the mission several times. I had to rethink my plans on some of the missions I failed several times before finally succeeding. /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// SINGLE PLAYER CAMPAIGNS (PLAYED AT DEFAULT MEDIUM DIFFICULTY) ------------------QUICK COMMENT PLEASE READ FOR YOUR SAKE---------------------- This is the main course of the FAQ, and occasionally I will revise the contents to make things clearer and add strategies contributed by people. NOTE: Always try to accomplish the bonus points, because they tend to help you win the mission easier than not accomplishing them. And often times they are part of what you are about to do anyway (upgrading w/ heavy armor, duh). Accomplishing all the bonus objectives in a misison will give you total victory status, regardless of your accumulated points. Plus I would think that you are winning big time if you are indeed accomplishing the bonus objectives anyway. I based my strategies on medium difficulty, so it may NOT work for hard mode. Another point worth pointing out is that if you win with a very weak army, that army will be carried over to the next battle. If it is a tough mission, you will have a whole lot of pain playing the next mission if the only thing left in your army is stock (non-upgraded) units, and not much else. So always before destroying the last enemy building, hang around and build up your army until your units are maxed out, so you can save time on the next mission rebuilding your army all over again from scratch. If you are careful, you can get away with having your original units from the first mission survive the entire campaign and have tons of kills and maxed out at level 10. These guys are uber bad ass, so don't lose your units over stupid tactical errors. Good generals keep their men alive for as long as possible. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- THE SIDE OF GOOD: The side of good consists of Gondor and Rohan, as well as the heroes of the Fellowship. A quick info on the factions on the side of good is provided below. I mainly describe the characters properties in the game rather than an uber long biography of who's who in middle earth. I'll leave the movies, the books, as well as encyclopedia of Arda online to give you an exhaustive material on those. THE FELLOWSHIP: 1. ARAGORN: Abilities(level obtained): 1. Athelas(1): Heals all heroes within a small radius. 2. Blademaster(2): Aragorn deals 100% extra damage for a short period of time. Very useful to put on auto-activate mode. 3. Leadership(4): Passive ability, gives bonus to surrounding army with bonus damage, armor, and immunity to fear. 4. Elendil(5): A warcry that make enemies flee for a short period of time, while Aragorn can make chase and kill off the slow ones. 5. Summon Army of the Dead(10): Aragorn summons a small legion of Army of the Dead, lasts for a minute or two before it dissapears. Comments: Aragorn by far is one of the most useful heroes in the game, only second to Gandalf. He can pretty much go solo on his own with his abilities. He can be the heroes medic, clearing crowds away with his Elendil Shout, and rack up kills with his blademaster ability. His Army of the Dead ability, by far, is the most useful one. He can singlehandedly defeat a massive evil army on himself by summoning the secret service of the king (As I like to call it myself), protecting his flank while he's retreating. A general strategy using Aragorn is just to put him on one of the ctrl-# key, and just set him loose in the action while every now and then check on him. He will level up in no time that way. He is also one of the heroes you might want to level up the fastest so you can use all his cool abilities. If you have the Anduril evenstar power, Aragorn becomes a insane monster. With his blademaster ability and the Anduril, he can take down defensive towers in one swing! That's some raw power there. He can take down mumakils in two or three swings, so use him if there are no nearby fire archers. I wouldn't be surprised if your top 5 vanguished enemies would include him, Legolas and Gandalf. 2.. GANDALF: Abilities(level obtained): 1. Wizard Blast(1): Strikes and knocks back groups of enemies. 2. Lightning Sword(2): Creates a chain of lightning over a radius of area. 3. Leadership(4): Passive ability, gives bonus to surrounding army with bonus damage, armor, and immunity to fear. 4. Mount Shadowfax(5): Allows Gandalf to ride shadowfax, giving him advantages and disadvantages of mounted heroes. 5. Light of Istari(5): A powerful light beam that can take most units down in one shot. 6. Word of Power(10): Most useful spell in the game; creates a massive magic blast surrounding Gandalf and deals 500 damage to all enemies wthin the radius (it's a BIIIIGG radius, btw). Comments: Gandalf is the most powerful hero in the game, and no one comes close. In the campaign he's pretty much unstoppable if you use him correctly. The Evenstar power of Gandalf the White gives 100% extra damage, as well as doubles the recharge rate of his spells. Wizard blast clears up the area in front of Gandalf, and sometimes if it is done right it can take out an entire batallion of orcs. Lightning sword is very useful to clear out a region full of orcs, or sometimes trolls who are at the right time at the wrong place (trashing your normal units, for example). The light of Istari can take out big units in one shot, including the Nazguls (I use this skill exclusively sniping them out of the skies in the later missions). Word of power, is just pretty much an "Oh S***" button that literally clears the screen out of bad guys. While it may not kill all of them, it'll definitely knock out all the weaker units, leaving you to deal with the strong one. Mounting Gandalf can be very useful in larger maps so that he can cover a big area in a short amount of time, helping various sides of the battles. 3. LEGOLAS: Abilities(level obtained): 1. Hawk Strike(1): Legolas fires a two-volley of arrows with increased damage. 2. Knife Fighter(2): Legolas switches to his knife, gains 125% speed bonus and huge melee damage for a period of time. 3. Master Archer(4): Legolas teaches archer units within the radius and gives experience bonus. 4. Arrow Wind(7): Legolas rains massive amounts of arrows within a small radius, useful to take out small bulidings or a group of enemies. Comments: Although I rank Legolas #3 in my list of poweful heroes, by the end of the campaign, he'll have the most kills out of all your units (In my first game, he wasted 2000+ units with Aragorn came close to 1200-something). His range of vision is impressive, and his rate of fire is the fastest in the game in terms of archer units. At higher levels you can just have him guard a spot, and unless they bring out a horde to take him out, he can pick off 3 batallions of orcs one by one that by the time it reaches him only a few are left. Legolas is best used to scout for shrouded areas, because he can see enemy units before they can see them. He is also very useful to be the one left at the base guarding baby-sitting the hobbits while all your other heroes go out and level up, because he can level up THAT fast on his own compared to everyone else. Hawk Strikes are best used for sniping big enemies, including Nazguls and trolls. Knife Fighter is a very useful ability, but almost never used unless Legolas is completely surrounded by infantry units. Arrow Wind is useful later on to deny a small choke point of enemies, and sometimes for dealing rapid damage to small buildings like slaughterhouses, or lumber camps (kills all the laborer orcs within the camp). 4. GIMLI: Abilities(Level obtained): 1. Axe Throw(1): Gimli throws his axe at a single opponent; decent damage. 2. Leap(2): Gimli leaps to the air, with a powerful landing that knocks back opponents away on his landing area. 3. Slayer(5): Doubles speed and damage for a short period of time. Comments: Aye, the dwarf. He's pretty useful for crowd controls, but his use is somewhat limited. Powerful melee fighter, never hurts to put him at the front lines. His leap attack, which is his most useful attack, have to be abused whenever the situation calls for it. It simply clears up the area of bad guys, very useful for leveling up purposes and rescuing heroes trapped among enemies. Beware though, the leap attack needs to be initated from a set distance, meaning that Gimli has to actually run until he meets the distance for his leap - which can be problematic if there's a lot of enemies in the way. Leave his slayer skill on auto-set, that way you can maximize his damage dealing during the time. The easiest way is to have him guard an area crowded with enemies while he's on slayer mode. Prior to that, leave the axe-throw skill on autoset, so he always have at least one freebie ranged attack at an ugly orc's face. 5. BOROMIR: Abilities(Level obtained): 1. Horn of Gondor(2): Stuns surrounding enemies for a period of time. 2. Leadership(5): Passive ability, gives bonus damage, armor and immunity to fear on surrounding allied army. 3. Captain of Gondor(7): Boromir gives experience to the units within the radius of the skill. Comments: Boromir goes to the lower part of my list. Part of the problem is that he did not really make it very far in the original story, so EA didn't have that much material to work on his skills. The horn of Gondor is very useful to hold off a massive wave of enemy going down on your army, giving you some extra time to regroup your army, or move your heroes out of enemies' encirclements. Aside from that, Boromir is also useful to pump up your army and give them bonuses, so it would be wise to put him in the center of your army to maximize his passive ability of leadership. 6. THE HOBBITS (FRODO, SAM, MERRY, PIPPIN) Abilities(Level obtained): 1. Throw rocks/use Sword(1): Toggles between attack modes. 2. Elven cloaks(post Lothlorien); Invisible while not moving for a period of time. 3. Phial of Galadriel(Frodo only, post Lothlorien): Scares away enemies. comments: I group the hobbits together in this FAQ because their skills are identical, and I don't think you'll be using them that much in the game save for leveling them up or when it is required for missions. The easiest way to keep them alive is to set their skill on throwing rocks, as it actually gives them ranged attack and levels them up far faster than their swords alone. Hobbits are so slow compared to other heroes, often times they don't reach the enemies in time (the bad guys get wasted by everyone else). I surely wish they have a cool idle animation (like smoking the pipe), because most of the time they are left guarding my fort with Legolas baby-sitting them once he leveled up his share, and the battle is not very crucial. Group them together and they'll last longer. If you really want them to go to battle, then group them with your archer units so that way they don't get too much action for them to handle. GONDOR HEROES: 1. FARAMIR: Abilities(Level obtained): 1. Wounding Arrow(1): A powerful arrow strike that can kill most units in one shot, Nazguls losses 50% of the health bar. Ranger mode only. 2. Toggle Sword/Bow(1): Toggles between Sword/Arrow mode for Faramir 3. Ranger/Knight(4): Toggles Faramir between Knight mode and Ranger mode. 4. Leadership(6): Passive Ability. Gives leadership bonus to surrounding army (bonus damage, armor and immunity to fear). 5. Captain of Gondor(7): Gives 50% exp. bonus to units within area of effect. Comments: Faramir is probably one of the most versataile hero given his ability and his price. He can be an archer unit, and he can also be a knight unit, so next to Aragorn he can be anywhere in the battlefield without too much problem. While his archery skills is nothing compared to Legolas, he can still hold his own ground once he levels up enough, and being a knight with his leadership ability, you can group him with your knight batallions and have him wreak havoc all over the place. Think of a merging between Eomer and Legolas, watered down a little bit and you'll get Faramir. Very good hero overall. ROHAN HEROES: 1. EOMER: Abilities(level obtained): 1. Leadership(1): Passive ability, gives bonus to horsemen units. This ability also allows horsemen to get resource for each unit they kill. 2. Mount/Dismount(1): Mounts/dismounts from the horse, with advantages and disadvantages on each stance. 3. Spear Strike(6): A poweful spear throw against a single target, massive recharge time. Make sure it counts when you use it. Comments: Eomer is the hero on the Rohan side for most of the mission until you reach Helm's Deep. He's most useful when you put him into 1 single group, and group the rest of your rohirrims on another slot. He can lead successful raids on enemy positions, and strong enough to go around patrolling alone to level up. I use him mostly to bait enemies out of their camp, and have my rohirrims jump on the enemies while Eomer holding them off on his own. His resource ability is somewhat not as useful as the game progresses when your resource gathering becomes somewhat large. 2. THEODEN: Note: Theoden is already at level 4 by the time you obtained him in campaign mode. Abilities(level obtained): 1. Glorious Charge(4): Mounted only. Theoden and all horsemen in radius of effect takes 10% of damage while the skill lasts. 2. Mount/Dismount(4): Mounts/dismounts Theoden, with the advantages and disadvantages of each stance. 3. Leadership(4): Passive ability, gives horsemen bonus (damage, armor). 4. King's favor(6): Increases units' experiences. Comments: Theoden comes in during Helm's Deep, and he's more effective being grouped with the rest of your rohirrim units. That way whenever you activate the glorious charge (which should be on auto-set for making your life easier), it reaches the maximum amount of units receiving the bonus. I personally like mounting him at all times, that way he becomes the hero that is attached to the my army. 3. EOWYN: Note: Like Theoden, Eowyn is already at level 4 by the time you obtained her in campaign mode. Abilities(level obtained): 1. Mount(3): Mounts/dismounts horse with the advantages/disadvantages of each stance. 2. Shield Maiden(5): Eowyn gains 55% armor. 3. Disguise(4): Eowyn disguises as one of the rohirrim riders. 4. Smite (built in): Eowyn delivers a very powerful projectile strike. Use with care and don't waste it at weak enemies. Comments: Eowyn is pretty useful in MP, no doubt. Her disguise ability makes her look like one of the rohirrims, such that you can sneak slowly behind an annoying enemy hero and smite him in one shot. Her smite ability is so powerful, it can almost take a Nazgul in one shot. I usually mount her and group her with my rohirrim archers because of her ability for added protection, as well as her leadership bonus (that way i have heroes leading each of my grouped armies). 4. TREEBEARD: Note: Treebeard only shows up at the Isengard mission in the campaign, and he is already at level 10 when you get to use him. Treebeard does not appear anywhere else in the game as a playable hero unless you play skirmish/multi- player mode. Abilities: 1. Toggle melee/rock throwing: pretty obvious from the name, eh? 2. Grab chunks of buildings: Treebeard grabs a chunk of building and fling it to his intended target. Comments: Treebeard is like the super Ent. Massive Health bar and deals extra damage compared to other ents. Just like other ents, Treebeard is suspectible to fire damage, and will have to go to the nearest pool of water to put out the flames. In the Isengard mission Treebeard must survive, otherwise the mission will fail. /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// GOOD SIDE UNITS GUIDE: ROHAN UNITS ROHAN PEASANTS Rohan's basic foot infantry unit. Relatively weak and not much use other than repairing damaged gates and meat shields for the yeoman archers. Can be buffed with the arm peasants Evenstar power, but still worthless for the most part. I would recommend skipping creating these guys as most buildings repair on their own over time. Nonetheless, arming the peasant upgrade increases the armor and damage of peasants, making it somewhat more sturdier, but not by much. Gondor soldiers are much better suited for battling purposes. YEOMAN ARCHERS Rohan's basic archer unit. Not terribly strong, but definitely useful for defending basea or taking down units suspectible to fire arrows. Mostly useless until it is upgraded with everything. I prefer the elves because they are more versatile and have superior stats compared to yeoman archers, although they are more expensive. Archers are very useful when grouped together and focus their fire against a single target, as opposed to random aiming of targets. ELVISH ARCHERS In the movie, elves came to aid humans during the seige of Helm's Deep. You will encounter the Elvish units at Lothlorien for the first time, but you won't be able to see them until Helm's Deep. Far more superior in range and damage, the Elvish warriors can also switch to their swords to fight melee against other infantries, but they won't very last long because they were not designed to go toe to toe with orcs. ROHIRRIM (RIDERS OF ROHAN) The Rohirrims are the bread and butter of Rohan army. The cavalry is strong against most normal infantries, and it can trample over batallions of infantries, destroying them in a single swoop before they have time to strike. Be careful, however, for trmapling enemies cost health. You might lose several units in a batallion if you attempt to trample veteran or upgraded units. The Rohirrims are vulnerable to Troll attacks and pike units. Nazguls have a field day against Rohirrims; they swoop down and pick up horsemen and drop them from a height. It's a sight that's both gruesome and awesome, depending whose side are you on. Avoid the piked units like a plague, because even a level 10 Rohirrim can fall against a level 1 uruk pikemen or rhun warriors. Both the Rohirrim and Rohirrim archers are useful for fast reacting units, they can be raiding the enemy outpost one instant and return to help defending your base from across the map. There will be a lot of instances in the Ancillary missions that requires this due to the small unit cap of the game. Rohirrims with wedge formation have 125% damage at 25% armor penalty, so use this formation while being led by a hero with armor boost to nullify the penalty. With Theoden's glorious charge, this formation amplifies insane damage to the already excellent raw damage the riders have. ROHIRRIM HORSE ARCHERS The Rohan horse archers are great complements to the already awesome Rohirrims. They are very powerful and mobile, very effective in groups of four. Upgrading them with fire arrwos allows them to become great counters to pike units, mumakils, trolls, and nazguls. They are effective because of their ability to run around slower units while riddling them with arrows. They are somewhat decent in taking down buildings, too. Horse archers can take down pike units while your main cavalry army retreats from the battlefield while minimizing losses. Just like the Rohirrim's the horse archers are suspectible to piked units, so keep them far away from the tip of the pikes. ENTS Ents are slow, lumbering ancient living trees that can dish out a lot of pain to the Evil side. Ents are generally expensive, and in the campaign mode are exclusive units only available through Evenstar powers, special situations and the Isengard mission.Ents can throw rocks and building chunks aside from their melee attacks, so they are very useful for destroying buildings from far away. Ents deal extra damage when attacking lumber camps, because they are enraged from the destruction of their kinds. Ents' weaknesses lie on the fact that they are made of wood, and they can catch fire easily. Fire arrows are the bane of Ents' existence, and orc laborers can chop up ents faster than the ents can run away, although a smart ent would be able to kick the orc stupid enough to swing around his axe on a very angry moving tree. Find pools of waters to put out the fire, otherwise the Ent will keep on losing health until it either dies or finds a pool of water to quench the flames. If an ent successfully put out his fire, he'll be royally pissed and will do more damage than usual for a short period of time. Ents do not level up in rank in the campaign mode. And last but not least, just like other siege units, rocks don't discriminate between friends and foes, so keep your units out of the intended target of angry ents throwing big chunks of rocks. GONDOR UNITS GONDOR SOLDIERS The basic foot unit of the Gondor Army. Very cheap to produce and takes the least amount of command points, you can create oodles of these men if you plan to expand rapidly. They can be combined with the Gondor Archers and Rangers to become meat shields, so they are very useful and worth the money you put in to produce them. Gondor soldiers can form block formations, increasing its armor by 25% but at the cost of 40% speed penalty. The added armor bonus is useful when they are defending their position from attacks. The block formation is not a good retreating formation, however. Just remember to switch formations accordingly to the situation. GONDOR TOWER GUARDS The elite soldiers of the Gondor Army. More powerful and tougher than the soldiers, but at 4 times the cost and at 15 command points. But the costs are justified with what can they do in terms of abilities. Tower guards have shield wall formations, which offers a whopping 80% armor bonus at the expense of 75% speed penalty. In terms of defense, it's huge. Arrows are basically worthless against tower guards in this formation. I particularly like the tactic where I draw enemy fires to my tower guards, while my other units destroy the enemy and their structures during my assault to their base. In order for a barracks to produce tower guards, it must produce at least five gondor soldiers beforehand. GONDOR ARCHERS Just like their Rohan counterparts, the Gondor Archers are your basic archer unit. Archers can be stationed along the walls of a base and become a very effective defensive unit. They are prone to cavalries and siege projectiles (ballistas and catapults) if they are grouped together, so be warned. To level up a Gondor Archery range, it must produce at least 5 gondor archers before you can start creating rangers and obtain fire arrow upgrade. GONDOR RANGERS The elite archer unit of Gondor. Rangers can cloak in forest areas, allowing
them to set up nasty ambushes. Rangers can also switch to their swords if they are engaged by melee units, but don't count on their swordplay abilities. The only rangers I respect their swordfighting abilities are Aragorn and Faramir, and even then Faramir is better with his bow rather than his sword. Rangers with fire arrows give a lot of headache to mordors, because rangers can bring down mumakils really, really fast. This is an economic disaster because rangers are faster to produce than mumakils. A mumakil costs 2000, an equivalent of 2 ranger batallions complete with fire arrow upgrades. With their skirmish formation, rangers scatter and deal 300% damage with 75% armor penalty. Use this formation to set up ambushes in the forrests, and the enemy will never know what will hit them. NOTE: Rangers can be detected if enemy units comes too close to them. GONDOR KNIGHTS Gondor knights are identical to their rohan counterparts, except they are far more expensive than the Rohirrims, especially for identical stats. Having Faramir leading thema around as a knight tremendously boosts their armor and damage, so if you can spare Faramir to do so, do that. Wedge formation allows knights to deal 125% damage at a cost of 25% armor penalty. You need to create at least three knights on a Gondor stable before you can get the shield upgrade. GONDOR TREBUCHETS Trebuchets are awesome catapults the Gondor Army uses. Relatively mobile and has a decent range. It does wonders of breaking formations and buildings. The Gondor base defense can also mount trebuchets on the walls. Very useful to attack big lumbering things coming at your way such as trolls and siege units. Trebuchets can be upgraded with fire projectiles to deal more damage. Pay attention to where the trebuchets are aiming, because often they aim at enemies that are engaging your units, thus creating splash damage and friendly fire. Trebuchets can create huge casualties on your army if you are careless, but there is a bright side to this part. If your command point is at its limit, you can force fire your trebuches to kill off PARTS of your batallions so the unit size falls down, just enough to produce another unit so when your wounded batallion respawns to full strength, you have more units than your normal limit would allow you to have. ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// GOOD SIDE CAMPAIGN MISSIONS: TIP: ALWAYS SAVE YOUR MISSION AFTER COMPLETING A HUGE OBJECTIVE. THIS IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT IN LONG MISSIONS LIKE HELM'S DEEP, MINAS TIRITH AND BLACK GATES, BUT NOT LIMITED TO THOSE THREE. 1. MINES OF MORIA (FELLOWSHIP) First off, Group your units accordingly. Put Aragorn on 1, Gandalf on 2, Legolas on 3, Gimli on 4, Boromir on 5, and the Hobbits on 6. Then set the hobbits on rock throwing mode. AFter that, get the evenstar power of elven gifts to increase your heroes' damage by 50%. The priority is to level up Aragorn, Gandalf, and Gimli as early as possible, because when things get ugly, they're the ones that can bail the rest of the group out. There will be six veteran upgrades, and here are the list of who should obtain it (in no particular order, but my preference) 1. Aragorn 2. Gandalf 3. Gimli 4. Legolas 5. Boromir 6. Aragorn (again). Once Aragorn received the upgrade, have him guard the rear flank while the rest of the army presses forward. As other heroes gain rank, rotate them to the rear of the line so the other ones can gain a level. I noticed that once a hero gains a level in a mission, he needs much more kill to level up to the next level, almost impossible to level up twice for a hero unless you have the veteran upgrade bonus (only available in moria). The idea is so that everyone gets leveled up at least to level 2. That way you can use the important skills each hero possesses. Trust me, you'll be needing them to survive. At some point you'll find trolls, use the following things to deal with them: 1. Gandalf wizard blast and lightning sword. 2. Aragorn's blademaster ability. 3. Gimli's leap. 4. Legolas' hawk strike. 5. Boromir's horn to hold off the goblins. don't bother standing toe to toe with the trolls, you gonna get hurt pretty bad. Speaking of injuries, use Aragorn's athelas ability liberally when one of your fellowship members is hurt; it regenerates pretty fast, and it will fill up the health meter to the max. After halfway through, you should buy the evenstar ability of heal as soon as you can afford it. In general, let the melee fighters gain level while having legolas chill around for a bit - he'll have his time of his life picking off goblins during the stairs section, when no one else can reach them with their swords (but the elf can, har har). After the stairs, comes the Balrog slugging match. Apparently a lot of people have problem with this one. I finished this part in one try in medium level. All you have to do is guide Gandalf around, and make sure the he doesn't get raped by the Balrog while he's casting his spell. The trick is to click the spell on Gandalf himself, because that way he'll cast the spell while the Balrog is walking toward him, eating all the damage by the time it reaches Gandalf. Then, have that old man run around like a chicken while he's recharging. If you get punished by the Balrog, use the heal ability and it will max out Gandalf's health bar. After 5 shots of lightning sword, the Balrog should go down and the Fellowship escapes the mines of Moria. 2. ROHAN (EOMER) There are several choices, but I picked Rohan first. The mission is relatively easy to finish. Just be patient and let the resources flow in. Build farms, stables, archery range and a well for your units to heal up. Lead Eomer around to level him up, then have the Rohirrims join him whenever he needs backup. You should heal up the rohirrims whenever things are quiet so that they can be at full strength when they really need it. Here's my unit groupings for this mission, as well as general Rohan missions: #1 - Eomer #2 - Rohirrims (Include Theoden here later) #3 - Rohirrim Archers (Include Eowyn here, she can be at #2 as well) #4 - Archer batallions, include Elves here. #5 - Whatever you want to put here. Some people like to micro their units, then by all means use up the other grouping keys. I personally like to have all the units within the grasp of my left hand fingers for quick access. With your stable, build rohirrims so you have four of them, and build a group of archers and level them up whenever the situation allows, with priority on leveling up the rohirrims. Make sure you send the peasants you found to their untimely death, because you need all the command points given at this point, and there is simply no room for worthless units. 3. LOTHLORIEN (FELLOWSHIP) This mission starts on the top of the map, and here are my groupings for this mission: #1 - Aragorn #2 - Gandalf #3 - Legolas #4 - Boromir and Gimli #5 - Hobbits (All 4 of them, set in rock throwing mode) #6 - Elvish units Set these skills on auto-set: 1. Aragorn's blademaster 2. Boromir's horn 3. Gimli's axe throw These 3 sets should always be on auto-set mode for best usage throughout the campaign. First off, have Aragorn go forward so he can go medieval on everything evil that moves, with the rest of the fellowship taking care of business in the rear. Before you make the right turn to the bridge, clean up the Lumber camp on the left side first, you'll get bonus resources by taking care of that camp. Afterwards, enter Lothlorien, build barracks and train elves as soon as possible, all the while sending the hobbits to take care of the lumber camp on the top right while Gandalf cleans up the one in the center top part of the map. It's a good idea to merge knife-wielding elves to protect the archer elves. Have your trained elvish archers and the rest of the heroes guarding the northwest bridge from the siege. Gimli should be leaping to the fray often, and once he levels up have him take care of the trolls (but pay attention to his health bar). Boromir can blow his horn and take care of the small goblins and orcs, while aragorn can do whatever and play medic if he needs to be. Don't forget to bring gandalf to the fray at the bridge. Legolas's hawk strike can be used to deal with the trolls as well. At this point you can leave the hobbits gathering resources around the base, or have them fight, but that would be unwise because if frodo gets killed, the mission is over. You will then faced with several waves of attack, both of them happens either at the northwest bridge or at the western bridge. The strategy for both sites are the same. just use your heroes to thin take care the majority of the bad guys, with the elves providing fire support and meat shield for the trolls. Don't worry about losing the elves, they don't get carried along through the rest of the campaign, so they are expendable. 4. EAST ROHAN (EOMER) At this point you should have more command points, so start building more units. Build six farms to fulfill the bonus mission, and whatever peasants you rescue, send them back to the orc camps so they die and free up the command points. Also build a well to rejuvenate your rohirrims. Try exploring the map and build farms whenever possible. Use your rohirrims to wipe out any orcs dumb enough to attack any of your farms (AARGH!). After you got enough money, build 3 rohirrim archers, which is enough to buy the shield upgrade for the rohirrims, and upgrade the four rohirrims you have through the armory. Upgraded rohirrims are much more durable and can last you the entire campaign if you take care of them properly. So upgrade them with the heavy armors, forged blades and banner upgrade if they still at rank 1 (but they should at least level up somewhat if you've been using them all this time). Also build 2 archer batallions and give them all the upgrades. Save some room for archer batallions so you can get the fire upgrades once and for all at when you can get the upgrade. Once you got the army to the max of the command point, explore the map and wipe out all the enemies, and you're done. 5. AMON HEN (FELLOWSHIP) This mission can be tricky at first, if you are not careful. You start the mission with Aragorn, Gandalf, Frodo and Sam, and the hobbits must survive the mission or otherwise it fails. Toggle the rock throwing for Frodo and Sam, they can take out an orc for every shot they take. Have Aragorn defend one side, with Gandalf going to the other direction. Once the attacks are over, the camera shifts to Gimli and Legolas, and depending on your luck they can level up in this process. Have your first four heroes run up and meet them, but be ready for a pair of trolls ambushing you in between. If that's the case, have Gandalf use his spells on the trolls (the wizard blast knocks those beasts down so you can finish them off without taking too much damage), and have Gimli and Legolas come and support you once they finished their share of orcs. The second half of the mission is a bit trickier. Boromir is stuck against truckloads of orcs, and Lurtz is among them. Have Legolas take care of the archer orcs, and the hobbits can help him so long as they are not the prime target of the orcs (watch their health bar). When rescuing Boromir, use Aragorn's Elendil ability (he should be at level 5 if you have been following my walkthrough thus far), Gandalf's various spells and Gimli's leap attack. Boromir is stuck at where he is standing because of Lurtz's special attack, so just heal and use athelas if he's dying. Gang up on Lurtz and he'll die within 30 seconds or less. After he dies, gather up the fellowship, and heal the ones that are injured. The ship is protected by a massive horde of orcs, and several trolls. Use Gandalf to kill the trolls, and Legolas' hawk strike can take out the trolls really fast too. It should be a really easy battle so long as the hobbits don't die. Once you kill everything evil that moves, move Frodo and Sam to the boat and the mission ends. 6. EASTERN ROHAN (EOMER) You begin the mission with whatever unit survived last time with Eomer. The mission begins with a camp already set up for you, so start building 3 farms and an archery range. Building a well doesn't hurt either, because you'll be needing that well a lot after the massive barrage of orc attacks. There are several ways to finish the mission, either way it's relatively easy and straightforward. The first way is just to rush the bad guys out to oblivion. With most of your units intact from the previous mission, you can just rush the orc positions and win the mission under 10 minutes. However, you would not get the more powerful unit upgrades like fire arrows and such. But if you feel getting those upgrades for later, be my guest. The rest of this mission's guide is devoted for obtaining all the upgrades available at this point. At this point you should have almost maxed out your unit cap, around 170 or so. If you maxed out your unit production already, sacrifice enough of your units so that you can have around 20 - 30 free command points. Build an archery range and start churning out sacrificial archers. Sacrificial being that you will send them to scout the map and intentionally send them to their deaths, so that you can keep churning archers until you're reached level 2 archery range. I think you only need to make five archer batallions before the building upgrades. After getting the fire arrow, ideally you can have at least 4 rohirrims, 4 archer batallions, and 2 yeoman archer units. This maxes out at 190 (my current unit cap at this point if you follow my guide). A trick a lot of people use is to queue the productions at the stables or the archery range so that when some of your units are dying, hopefully they open up enough to produce a new unit, and if you bring the injured unit to a well, you will have more units that your command point allows you to have. Kinda cool, eh? I finished the mission with 230 points worth of units with a 190 cap. Once your army is ready, proceed with cleaning up the map, slowly but surely, and if you can spare extra resource, it doesn't hurt to rebuild the destroyed enemy buildings with your own, that way the AI has to go and attack them, giving you extra time to defend your actual base. There will be plenty of bad guys around if you use this strategy, so use this opportunity to level up your units and Eomer. Just be careful with the pikemen orcs, because they can decimate your rohirrims and Eomer before you can say ouch. Use the horse archers and let them deal with the pikes from a distance, and micromanage them so that they don't stray to dangerous areas. Before finishing the last building, make sure all your units get the important upgrades and are at least on rank 2. 7. EAST EMNET (EOMER) This mission is pretty similar with the previous Eomer missions, just mop up the area with your units while leveling them up and make sure you don't lose a single batallion. Just remember to build and rebuild wherever you can find a location to build, and build wells on outposts so that your army don't have to return to your base for health recharging. The bonus mission is to clear out the Warg Rider patrols across the map. It actually works pretty well to level up your units this way - just leave one building intact from the enemy base, and explore the rest of the map. When you come back it may start rebuilding again, but that just means more experience points for your units. 8. EAVES OF FANGORN (EOMER) This mission begins with 2 squads of rohirrims and 2 horse archers. Group them by their type, and destroy the outpost nearby. Build the outpost, and build a well to replenish the healths of your units, because that's pretty much what you will have to settle with until Eomer arrives. In the meanwhile, rescue the ents and have them wreak havoc at the orc formations. At this point the orcs do not have fire arrows yet, so you can leave the ents alone and watch your base from any enemy incursions. Just have your horsemen chill around the outpost and try leveling them up by attacking any orcs within reach, but don't make them stray in too deep. Once Eomer arrives, regroup your armies and free the hobbits. AFter rescuing the hobbits, proceed with cleaning up the map. There is an orc camp at the top, and it churns units like crazy. Best strategy is to have the ents soak up the damage from the arrows and let them destroy the camp. Your horsement in the meanwhile can pick the units coming out of the pits and the rest that survived your prior assault. If you need to level up your units and Eomer, Destroy most of the base, but leave one uruk pit and one resource gathering building that doesn't shoot arrows at your direction (or if it does, just stay away out of its range). You might have to wait for a while, but leveling up heroes and units are always useful. 9. FANGORN (EOMER) This mission is the same like the rest of Eomer's mission, except this time you will have supports of Ents, provided if you can find them. They are on top of your starting point, but the path can be loaded with bad guys depending on your luck. Secure the ents' supports, and let them guard the top path so enemies don't come pouring in to your base while you're securing the bottom part of the map. The enemy camp is located in the top left part of the map, so take your time and clean them up just like before, after leveling up most of your units and Eomer. 10. EASTFOLD (EOMER, GANDALF) This is a fun mission, because for once you have Gandalf under your command. Group Eomer with the rest of your rohirrims, and have Gandalf take the usual Eomer's spot (I usually put important heroes at hotkey #1). The rest is just normal practice. But before heading to battle, you should level up Gandalf until he reaches level 5, so that he can mount shadowfax and gains the light of istari - powerful spell. That thing can take out a Nazgul once you maxed out Gandalf's rank. Once Gandalf has a ride (a horse, not a pimp my ride Escalade), go ahead and proceed with mopping the map of baddies. Sounds like the rest of Eomer's missions, no? 11. HELM'S DEEP (FELLOWSHIP minus the HOBBITS, ROHAN HEROES) Build an archery range on the left side of the map, and start churning out archers as fast as you can from one archery range. Build an armory and start getting all the upgrades, but the most important one is the banner carrier one, so fallen units can come back. Put your archers along the wall, and put legolas among them and have him give out experiences to those newly minted archers. Group theoden and eowyn with your rohirrims, and have them go out the gate and save the refugees, and be sure to come back and grab the money at the front of the gates. After that, have them stand by in front of the main gate and have it locked shut, after the Elvish reinforcements arrived. Have the Elves stand by along with your yeomen archers on the left wall. Your heroes should be standing by the archers and have their own hotkeys so that you can micromanage them when berserkers and siege ladders start coming in. They're the ones who are responsible to keep your archers alive as long as possible. Just hold on to the attacks, and whatever archers you lose, just retrain them from the archery range. At the third wave of the attacks, be careful of the mines on the left wall, because if a berserker runs toward it and lights it up, that left wall will be history, along with many of your units stationed there. So make sure to keep a good eye on orcs planting mines, and have all your archers shoot them down before the mine gets too close to the wall. Occasionally the main gate will be attacked. Have gimli do his leap from the top of the wall and once he clears up the space. Afterwards send your cavalries and mop up the survivors, then get everyone back inside and have the peasants repair the gate. If the left wall does break, pull all your units back to the inner wall, and post the archers again at the walls while the rohirrims and heroes cover their retreat. Leave the buildings as it is, because the uruks will go attack them before they attack your retreating units. Once the reinforcements come in, regroup your units, clean up any enemies lingering by the walls and inside (if they breached in), then slowly take out their encampments. Once you destroy both camps, the mission ends. 12. ISENGARD (MERRY, PIPPIN AND TREEBEARD) This mission is relatively easy, if you're careful. Otherwise it can be a pain in an orc's arse because ents are vulnerable to orc laborers and fire arrows from the orc crossbows. Group Merry and Pippin together, and hotkey Treebeard in one of your hotkeys. For every 5 ents make a group of them, that way you will have one group that's ranged and the other on melee mode to protect the ones attacking with rocks. Be sure to destroy the cave troll's lair on top of the map so you will get extra resources. The hobbits can take out the crossbow orcs very quickly with their throwing rocks abilities, but pay attention to their health bars. If they're in trouble, make them run toward treebeard's direction and let him take care of the orcs. The easiest way to beat this mission is before destroying any walls, destroy any buildings within the reach of the ents' rocks within the wall. Start from the top of the map, and slowly make your way down. This way there would be less uruk pits to produce more crossbow orcs, and preferably if you can take down the armory, the less likely the fire crossbows will give you hard time. As you gather resources, build more ents to replace the ones you lost, and to reinforce your main battle group. If you have the rohirrim reinforcement summon, it makes this mission much, much easier. Summon them, and have them trample the armored fire crossbows, and have the ents take care of the pikes. You should be able to finish this mission in under 20 minutes if you're careful and systematic enough on cleaning up the mission. Saruman is not too hard to handle either. He may flame-broil one of your ents, but that's just one shot. Have your ents go melee on his old, bony arse and he will go down faster than he can say ouch. Don't bother with the tower - it has a really huge health bar, and I don't think it's destructible. Just go for the dam, and the mission ends once you take the dam's health bar to 50%. NOTE: If Treebeard dies, the mission immediately fails. You cannot resurrect Pippin nor Merry if either of them falls in battle, but you can still win without the Hobbits. 13. NORTH ITHILIEN (FARAMIR, SAM AND FRODO) This mission introduces us with Faramir, and reunites us with Frodo and Sam. You start the mission by the forbidden pool and a few ranger units. Group the rangers together, have Faramir at #1, and group the hobbits together and arm their rock throwing abilities. Faramir can pick units from far away with his bow, so abuse this skill royally. He can typically take an entire batallion of Haradrim Lancers without taking damage because he kills all of them as they approach him. If you let Faramir do some soloing, he might gain 2 ranks in this mission, which is good because he is handicapped for showing up so late in the game but with only rank 1 experience. Proceed the mission by killing any units and buildings you see. You might want to build 2 more ranger units, and 4 gondor soldiers to upgrade the pool so you can buy fire arrows. Any mumakils you see, waste it with the rangers' fire arrows, but once it reaches critical (red) health, stop attacking and let it go rampage on the enemy lines. It's pretty fun watching this, actually. But while you are having fun, don't let Frodo or Sam die, because then the mission is over. Doesn't hurt to keep Faramir alive and well until the end, too. He's too important to lose to some careless unit management. You can also group the gondor soldiers with your rangers, they will become good meat shields for the rangers, but that eliminates the cloaking ability of the rangers. Later on it might be more useful to group the soldiers with the archers because they can get the armor upgrade, but I think the rangers have a slightly better range and rate of fire (Not too sure, so don't quote me on this one). After cleaning up the top part, you then move the lower part, where there will be more ranger reinforcement and a trebuchet. Before this, take out the Mumakil and make it panic so it tramples the haradrim lancers. Kill anything that moves, and take out the Mumakil Pen before it spawns another mumakil to worry about. Build some knights if your money allows you, and purchase fire arrows for all your ranger units. Lure the patrols to your rangers with faramir, this minimizes casualties. To retake the camp, bombard it with the trebuchet while your other units take on the other buildings. Aim the trebuchet at the defensive towers, but make sure it stops firing at buildings your friendly units are working on. The trebuchet deals massive damage to your units, and can take out whole batallions with one volley. Set up a camp from the destroyed mordor camp, and build 2 blacksmiths, a farm, a barracks, a stables and one well for recharging units. Prepare for the ambush by putting rangers at the designated locations, and once you cover all the spots reinforce the spots at the bottom with your spare rangers. Put the trebuchet in one of the spots and it'll do decent damage. Have your knights ready at the top of the incline so it can charge in and clean up the rest of the convoy after the rangers take out the mumakils, but be careful with the rhun warriors because they are pike units. After the ambush, take your time and hold the enemy attacks at the front of your base to upgrade all your units with the blacksmith upgrades and fire arrows. Build some soldiers and sacrifice them so you can build tower guards. If you can build 4 of them and upgrade them with everything, they can take all the arrow damages and hold the front line from incoming infantries with their tower shield formation wihtout taking any casualties. The idea is that have all the tower defenses aiming at them while your other units take out the important buildings. Also build some knights at your stable (not at the pool) to get the shield upgrade for the knights, also very important. Leave the hobbits at your base camp when you're attacking the enemy camp, and everything should be good from there. 14. CROSSROADS (FARAMIR) For the next few missions, you should be leveling up Faramir and getting used to the Gondor army. They're much more infantry based, and their knights aren't that special compared to the Rohirrims, they are slightly weaker. But they can still be useful to flank enemies, but expect more casualties from them. Gondor's bread and butter lies at the tower guards holding the line, supported by the rangers' fire arrows. Begin the mission by setting up your base camp. Build 2 blacksmiths and 2 farms, and start building your unit production buildings. Have your knights explore the map, and find the rangers close by to your encampment. If you see guard towers, have your rangers garrison the building as soon as you can, becaues the towers can hold the area for a very long time and at a very cheap cost. Just make sure you don't send your uber rangers, instead send the low ranked rangers without any upgrades, because you're not gonna see them again ever once they check in. Use the similar strategy used with Eomer's Rohan army, slowly taking buildings and outposts, and build wells and defensive towers at any outposts you take. If you find out you're losing units, start churning archers, soldiers, and knights and send them to their doom until you can get the 2nd rank of the buildings and you can build shield upgrade, fire arrows, and tower guards. It's cruel, but that's the only way to repopulate your elite units. So the lesson is that you have to be very careful with your elite units, if you lose them it's a pain to rebuild that kind of army once again. Keep pushing forward, killing enemies, and soon you'll reach their base. Have the tower guards take the arrow damages, your ranger/archer groups to take out the buildings, and have the knights cover the flanks of dumb orcs coming in. If you see trolls, take them out with fire arrows - they work for anything in this game. 15. CAIR ANDROS (FARAMIR) In this mission the battles are fought among ruins, so cavalry units have a very limited role. Instead, I hope your fire archer batallions and tower guards are in enough quantities that you can take out the enemies without too much trouble. Build your base, and build an archery range. Churn out archers, and station them in the towers, they'll be your lookout and defense for a long while. If you man all the towers most of the important passes of the map would belong to you. Be careful of catapults when attacking, because they can make a short work of your uber upgraded units. So send a pair of knight batallions (a pair is enough) to take out any catapults you see. Have them attack unguarded catapults, and pull them back once they're destroyed. The knights are so fast that they can duck under the flying projectiles. To the left of your base there is an enemy outpost with three troll cages. Destroy them with your fire archers before the trolls give you more headaches. You can then build more resource gathering buidling in this outpost. The enemy have several bases, it is up to your preference which you want to take out first. If you have rohirrim summons, summon them and let them attack the bases first so they become the meat shields, while your units take out any arrow shooting buildings (defensive structures, resource gathering buildings). After that's been cleared send in your knights because they make such a good wrecking crew. 16. OSGILIATH (FARAMIR) This mission is divided into 2 major parts: Holding the bridge until Faramir arrives and then mop up the rest of the map. We all know the drill. For safety purposes, do not send anything across the bridge until Faramir arrives, or at least you have enough fire equipped archer units. First because of it will initiate the script for the Nazguls to attack, and on top of that there are a lot of catapults across that provoking them without enough means to counter them means a suicide. Once you regain control, start building your base with blacksmiths, farms, and unit production buildings (barracks, archery range and stables). If you have enough money get the marketplace and purchase all the upgrades because over time they'll make you rich a lot faster. Build archers and soldiers, and combine the batallions together so you have soldier-archer units. Defend each bridge with at least 2 of these batallions. You can also merge rangers and soldiers together as well, so to save money you can do that for the surviving initial defenders. Tower guards are worthed for their price, so build some for later onslaughts. Garrison the towers on your side to add firepower and reducing command point burdens. Don't forget to build the camp nearby the southernmost bridge. If you just wait and defend, the enemy will occasionally send in some orcs and archers to attack. Waste them and get some experience. Once the timer runs out, do not immediately call Faramir. Max out your command point cap with units, then summon him afterwards. You'll have 600/300 units in this manner. Knights in this map aren't that much useful other than destroying buidlings and taking out catapults. Let them sit in friendly areas because they will become Nazgul food if they're stupid enough to participate in the attack. Begin the assault from the southern bridge, because it's the least defended. Have the 2 soldier-archer batallions guarding there charge across the bridge, and hold the other side while bringing in Faramir and the rest of your archers in from that direction. Leave the archers defending the other bridges as it is. Attack the nearest camp from that bridge, be careful for trolls, nazguls, and orcs. You can use your tower guards to soak up the damage by attacking orcs who are attempting to flank your archers. Have everyone aim at the Nazgul when it shows up and within range of fire, otherwise your army will be wiped out clean. Have the knights stand by behind the lines so that if any catapults show up, they can get to their positions fast. Once you've taken out the first camp, the other two will be relatively easy, and there are two nazguls total in this map so don't be so happy when you just dropped only one. 17. SHELOB'S LAIR (SAM) Frodo's been captured, and it is up to Sam to save the day. The sting glows whenever there are orcs nearby, so keep that feature in mind. Free the soldiers as you go, and grab all the loots you find. Not only you'll finish the bonus missions, you will also need it for assaulting Cirith Ungol. The phial is very useful to fight hordes of enemies, so remember the shortcut key for that. Explore the map with Sam, and arm him with rock throwing because he can take out most small enemies in one throw. He should join the red sox and pitch after he gets out of this cave, in my opinion. Anyway, do not waste the rescued soldiers needlessly, because you will need a lot of meat shield fighting Shelob and one lost troll in the cave. So just use Sam to explore, group the soldiers together because they are stronger in large groups. Let Sam pick the orc archers at the north east part of the cave with his pitching arm. There is a lost troll in the northern part of the cave, so I hope you have enough men to deal with it before venturing there (at least 8 men total of soldiers/archers). By the time you reach Shelob, you should have enough men to take her out. Have Sam stay far away and throw rocks at her, while healing the dying soldiers. Use the phial if things get too desparate and you need 3 second time-out. After Shelob's been killed, explore the rest of her cave and get all the loots and the captured soldiers. You should have more than 10,000 resources if you get all the loot. On to Cirith Ungol. There is an orc outpost right before the bridge; bumrush that outpost with soldiers. Destroy the lumber camp and grab some more loot. build an outpost, along with a blacksmith, barracks and an archery range. Train 5 soldiers and 5 archers, then upgrade them up with everything, and i mean EVERYTHING. That means waiting for the blacksmith to go up to level 2. So grab a comic book and read while you wait, occasionally defending the bridge from orc incursions. Create 5 soldier-archer batallions, upgrade them, and clean the rest of the fortress with impunity. Sam can tag along too, as long as he is not in the front lines. After everything is destroyed, the mission is over. 18. MINAS TIRITH (FELLOWSHIP minus SAM and FRODO, GONDOR and ROHAN HEROES) If you have been waiting for the largest battle ever taken on middle earth, this is it. You have to survive for 25 minutes before the Rohans arrive, and another 10 more minutes until Aragorn and his army of the dead arrives. So that is 35 minutes of trying to survive onslaught of orcish hordes. Okay, now on to the strategies. There are two ways of base building - one where you build your blacksmiths at the ground level with your unit production buildings on the top, or the other way around. The former works better in case of things get too ugly and you have to retreat to the second story of the city, so that you don't lose any upgrades your unit production buildings have accumulated. I myself prefer the other way around, because I am pretty confident of holding the line and never got the gate broken down even once. So it's definitely your call there. You will need as much as summoning allies abilities as you can get, but if you can only pick two, get the rohans and the eagles, because the eagles can take care of the nazguls really fast while your archers worry about the threat coming from the ground. Otherwise just use Gandalf's Istari light and hope his aim is pretty decent. Build trebuchets surrounding your city walls. They will take care of any big seige units the enemy throw at you from far away. They can also give the trolls nasty headaches as well. Rebuild any of the destroyed the mounted trebuchets if you can afford it because it will make surviving the siege much easier, even more so if the grond (a very big huge seige engine) decides to show up. The trebuchets will also prevent the enemy from building anything close to your walls. Don't bother with the farms outside of the walls because you simply do not have the resource to defend them. Position your archer units across the walls, and focus them at by the main gates because the enemy will mostly converge there. Have Boromir pick one side, and Faramir on the other side to guard the archers from incoming units from seige towers. Have the heroes deal with the seige tower units, and destroy them as fast as you can because they can distract your archers pretty badly if orcs start to board your walls. Use Gandalf liberally to help at the hotspots. You can also use Pippin in this case to help guarding the walls from incursions by orcs as well, he does hero damage, albeit small damages, to the seige towers. The rest of your units such as tower guards can stand by behind the gates, and they can storm outside if the grond comes in pounding. Open the gates, have your tower guards deal with the grond, and have Gandalf support them with his spells. Gandalf is the single most important factor for victory. Mount him so that he can move from one spot to another with ease. However, if he is standing by at the walls by the main gate, have him dismount so he doesn't take so much space and has an easier time going through the crowds. Keep Gandalf alive at all costs, because every second without him the enemy can overwhelm you with their numbers. Nazguls will show up during the seige. If you can summon the giant eagles, do so and let the archers focus on the ground assault while the eagles have a big nice lunch with nazgul meat as the main course. They are much stronger than the ugly Nazguls, and will distract the Nazguls the entire time. Otherwise you can use Gandalf's Istari light (instant Nazgul kill), or Faramir with his wounding shot and have your archers all focus on the Nazgul. Fortunately Nazguls tend to focus on the trebuchets, so if the ground troops are not attacking, you can focus all of your forces on taking them down. Once Rohan shows up, if you have the chance, have Gandalf and your surviving knights join the rohirrims and attack the first enemy camp. After destroying the enemy camp the rest of the Mordor forces will focus their assault on the Rohans. If you are not careful you can lose the entire Rohan reinforcement in this manner. So just bring the horses out to play in the field, and have the incoming archer units reinforce the rest of your archers by the walls. Keep the horse archers safe because they will be essential to bring down the mumakils. Send Merry to the walls, joining Pippin or he can guard the opposite end of the wall. You can use Eowyn's smite to take out the witch king, with Eomer's spear strike to take him out if it's not enough. The horse archers can also contribute some damages to that creature as well. Depending on circumstances, it could be the case where the enemy is depleted of units to be sent at your direction in great quantities. If that is the case, instead of bringing your rohirrims back to the castle walls, have all your remaining archers group outside of your castle walls, and begin assaulting the second enemy camp. This is a risky maneuver, so save the game before attempting to do so because there are enemy reinforcements coming out from the camp area. But the benefit is that you would keep pressure on the enemy, and prevent them from breaching the castle walls. Be prepared to lose a lot of units this way, but some people prefer this tactics rather than holding the walls. Regardless of your choice, the enemy will keep on pouring until Aragorn shows up with his army of the dead. If you survive up to this point, you practically won the day. The army of the dead is pretty much invincible save for magic damages, so they can wipe out the rest of the enemies without taking a single casualty. Let your army rest and be their support while they clean up the map. After everything is destroyed and killed, victory is yours. ***************************************************************************** Note: Beyond this point, you are not required to complete the missions save for Dagorlad, before you can attack the Black Gates. Howefver, I would recommend to acquire all the Evenstar powers because it would make playing the final mission at the Black Gates much easier than it supposed to be, although it won't be as dramatic or desparate as the actual battle was portrayed. But hey, it's a game and I am not attempting to recreate middle earth history. I find that the mission is so much easier with all level 10 heroes, and all the summoning powers. In fact, my strategy is based on the assumption that you maxed out all your heroes and obtained all the Evenstar powers. I will not post all the missions' in depth strategies unless I have massive request on them because all the missions are a derivative of the same idea: destroy all evil forces. Not that hard, once you know the trick and if you are generally careful with your units. Here are some general tips in the Ancillary missions: - Make sure you don't lose any high-ranked units, because they are hard to replace if you lost them due to carelessness. If you build beyond the unit capacity, the game will automatically sort the units based on their rank, and will eliminate units with the lowest ranks until it reaches the optimum number of 300, although I am not too certain how the algorithm works because at one point I had 350/300 units finishing a mission. On the next mission my units got cut to 295/300, and I overbuild again to 320/300, and ever since then it has been 320/300 for the past six missions. Very peculiar, I should say. - On captured outposts build 3 wells and have your units guard the area while they are away from the main base. Since you cannot produce units anyway, it is better to close down the gates, build decent defenses on your base, and let it pile tons of resources for higher score at the end. - Exclusively level up your heroes whenever you have the chance.Have the more powerful heroes solo on their own (Aragorn is a best candidate for this, so is Gandalf), and for a fast way to do things is have your archer units guard in front of an enemy barracks, or a pass where enemies tend to rush. Put your heroes among the guading units because they get the benefit of experience without actually entering direct combat. I have my hobbits ranked up in this manner, killing less than 100 enemies over the period of the campaign. This is so that you can have an easy time in the final mission, the Black Gate. - Grouping cavalry based heroes (Rohan heroes, Faramir) among the cavalry units gives them a lot of bonus and advantages. Leave Theoden's glorious charge and Eowyn's shield maiden skills on auto-set, and your cavalry can take on hordes of pike units without losing their health (50% armor bonus and takes only 10% of the damage from theoden -> fricking awesome). The heroes also level up at a much faster rate when they are leading units to battle, because they get a fraction of the experiences the units gain, on top of their own kills. Just remember to rotate them to the rear if they are injured, because respawning rank 10 heroes take a long time and lots of resources to pay to bring them back to the game. - Always check the bonus objectives, they are really easy to fulfill. They have only a few different variations. The first one is build specific units or buildings, and usually it can be done automatically when you set up your base. Upgrades are usually fulfilled just because I assume by this point your units are fully upgraded. Ranking up is not a problem too, as long as your units are always active in combat. Finding reinforcements can get tricky - you have to be fast on finding them, because often times the enemy's initial rush can wipe them out before you can actually come in contact with them, so explore and find them as soon as possible. Finally, destroying enemy patrols and special units (i.e. Nazguls) requires you to explore the map, but it is not as urgent as finding reinforcement units. Reinforcements ranging from stray knight batallions, hidden rangers, and giant eagles. - On some maps the enemy rushes you with tons of their units. Sometimes it can be downright difficult, because you barely have the chance to set up and they come in attacking in very large numbers.Immediately group your archer units and have a hero with leadership passive skills standing among them, giving them support. Find a spot where you can bottleneck the incoming enemies so that your archers can focus their fire, eliminating enemies before they come in contact with your units. In my case Mordor army tends to rush with their mumakils, haradrim lancers and Rhun warriors, so keep your knights and riders behind your archers. You can level them up by having them demolish the enemy buildings after the initial rush. Heroes should be kept at the front lines, they can absorb much more damage than your normal units, but pay attention to their health. Mounted heroes can get hurt royally by pike units, while hobbits are just weak to begin with. The only hero that is truly safe on his own is Aragorn, as I have stated in the hero guide earlier. - After a while the missions can become a chore. This is where you send in your summoned allies to do the dirty work. Have Gandalf scout the map, and once you spot the enemy's bases, let your Army of the Dead wipe out the base of dangerous units and defensive towers, while Gandalf does his word of power to dish out 500 damage across the screen. Summon the rohirrims and have them tear down the buildings while taking damage from the arrows. Send in your knights/riders to support them and finish up the job. It helps to have your units attack 4 different targets at once (one for the army of the dead, one with gandalf's lightning sword, one for the rohirrim summons, and one from your original cavalry). You can always press Q for selecting ALL of your units and have EVERYONE bum rush the base. I can finish some missions under 15 minutes using this strategy, once I survive the initial rush. - Attack regions that yield a lot of powers, because that saves time to buy the Evenstar powers. Harad and Rhun gives oodles of power, +4 for each of the land if I am not mistaken. If you feel like your resource is not gathering fast enough, by all means get the resource multipliers. But in my experience you can summon so many allies that they thin out the attacking waves such that replacing your army became unnecessary during the last battle. ****************************************************************************** FINAL MISSION: THE BLACK GATES You will begin the mission with two bases on the left side of the map: Rohan base on the top and a Gondor base on the bottom part. Start building farms, blacksmiths and all the basic unit production buildings (barracks, stable, etc). I recommend building 2 gondor farms and 2 blacksmiths with a marketplace upgrade, they're very efficient. Just leave them be because they'll produce so much money, and most of the time you would be maxed out to your unit limit that the money is not that important anymore in this mission. Once the resources start coming in, build all the appropriate base defenses to counter the occasional orc raiding parties. Units wise, group your units accordingly, with cavalries in one group, and the archer units in another. The rest of your hotkeys are reserved for the heroes. Group boromir and gimli to the big army, they'll be fine among the crowd. Aragorn, Gandalf and Legolas are important enough that they can get their own hotkeys(1, 2 and 3 for easy access). Set all the autoset abilities on before things get ugly. Also, mount Gandalf and group Faramir with your knights. They will be the quick response units: their job is to clean up the orc raiders attacking your base and flanking the orcs while your archers stand their ground. Last but not least, keep Pippin back in the gondor base and have him sit there. Merry can join him when he comes in with the Rohan reinforcements. Position your army relatively in the center of the map, but keep a good distance from the gates because there are orc archers stationed on top of the gates and they have fire arrows that can waste anything that comes close. You will be enduring 4 waves of attacks, and during this 4 you want to minimize casualties because the last wave can be really troublesome. I hope at this point you have bought all the Evenstar powers available, because you'll be needing all of them at this point. The summoning powers are useful to water down the incoming waves of enemy heading at your main army's direction. Save the Army of the Dead power until at least the fourth wave, because they are almost worth like a "get out of an attack wave free" card. If you don't have this power by this point, I suggest reload and finish the other missions first. Summon Rohirrims in front of your main army, and have them charge at the initial orc hordes marching at your direction. Then summon the elvish archers again in front of your main army, and have them set up so they soak up the damages coming in from the horde. Summon the ents besides the summoned elves and have them pick the trolls with their thrown rocks, or just have them go
medieval, it doesn't really matter at this point - use your imagination. Save the eagles until the Nazgul appears at the 2nd or 3rd wave of attacks. If done right, the summons alone can take out 80% of each wave, leaving your main army to clean up the rest with very minimal casualties. Just remember to use gandalf and have him use the word of power right as the first few orcs comes in contact with your front lines to maximize the effect of the spell. Once the Rohan reinforcements come in, merge the rohirrims with your knight batallion, and send faramir down to his ranger mode and join the archers crew. Have all your elvish and yeoman archer units and merge them with your previous archer units. The horse archers you group them together, and they become an additional reactive unit, they can be anywhere and support anyone that needs extra firepower. Merge Eomer, Eowyn, and Theoden in your main cavalry group, and set their skills on auto-set so they can use them consistently. By this point the fourth wave should come soon, and Frodo's 5-minute timer should be activated. Summon the Army of the Dead and have them clean up the 4th wave (summon them at the mouth of the gate to maximize their time and usage) . By this point, you should have so many units, that you can take a bathroom break and still win the battle til the very end. Just make sure to keep ALL your heroes alive until the very end (no respawning at all) to win the bonus mission. This part is actually harder than the actual mission, I only have done it once. Heroes that are prone to death in this mission: 1. Gandalf - because everyone want a piece of him. Use his spell, then pull him back. 2. Hobbits - if they wander to the front lines too far ahead. 3. Any heroes that happen to get stuck at the front lines and go further than they are supposed to go, because of careless management (Even Aragorn can die if you are too careless with him). 4. Giant Eagles are considered heroes, so if they die you won't get the bonus objective. Don't let them fly in too deep and get killed. Once the timer is over, you win the mission, and thus the Good Campaign ends. Enjoy the credits. This mission should be far more easier than Minas Tirith or Helm's Deep, because your units are maxed out and you can use all the hero's amazing powers to its maximum potential. ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// THE SIDE OF EVIL The side of evil requires a completely different approach in playing compared to the side of good. Evil units are far more weaker than Good units, therefore their strength are in numbers. On top of that, healing for evil units are very rare, only heroes and mountain trolls can actually do explicit healing. On the other hand, evil units respawn faster compared to the Good units, so banner upgrades are a must for all evil units. The lack of heroes makes the Evil side even more complicated. Isengard have two heroes, Lurtz and Saruman. The Mordors have the Nazguls, but they do not show up other than at the critical battles. So get used to not seeing very many heroes, instead more of your normal units in action. The evil side has advantages in resource gathering. Many of the one ring powers amplify the already efficient evil economy system. Notice that Evil bases do not have any walls and have only very minimum defensive network. Just like the movie, the Evil side is always on the offensive, continuously producing units and replace the ones that fall in the heat of a battle. EVIL HEROES ISENGARD 1. SARUMAN Abilities: 1. Wizard Blast (1): Similar to Gandalf's Wizard blast, knock-back attack. 2. Fireball (2): Saruman fires a huge fireball at the direction of enemy. 3. Wormtongue(4): Controls enemy units for a short period of time 4. Evil Speech(5): Saruman gives experience points to friendly units. Comments: Saruman is the evil version of Gandalf, and no where as powerful as Gandalf. So you must be more tactical when using him. One advantage Saruman has is that his recharge rate is relatively fast for a hero unit, he can dish out a lot of damage in a very short period of time, making him quite versatile in helping out your troops. Wizard blast is very useful for quick leveling up and cleaning out dangerous units in the way. Fireball is the most useful spell against ents, and can bring down main gates' health to 50% in one shot.The wormtongue is best used when he is surrounded by enemy units. Use the spell and suddenly you have a lot of units under your command, ready for a suicide attack. Evil speech can be used sparringly by your unit production centers so they can gain a bit more experience. 2. LURTZ Abilities: 1. Toggle Bow/Sword: Toggles between sword and bow attacks. 2. Cripple(1): Pins down heroes in their standing spot for a period of time. Ability only works in bow mode. 3. Berserk(3): Lurtz receives speed and damage bonus for a short time, and turns red while this spell is active. Ability only works in sword mode. 4. Leadership(4): Passive ability. Gives bonus damage/armor for friendly units. 5. Pillage(6): Passive ability. Lurtz gets resources for destroying enemies. Comments: Lurtz is the other Isengard hero. He is exceptionally good against heroes, but he needs to be protected among other units at lower levels because he is very prone on dying. His bow attacks are not very far compared to Faramir (let's not even talk about Legolas), and the damage is not that great. His sword ability is not that bad, but not very powerful either. At higher levels he can later pick infantries one by one with his arrows, but until then keep him safe among the other Uruk units while he is attacking. Too aggresive with Lurtz and you will lose him fast in the heat of battle. Lurtz is the uber counter-hero unit that complements any evil army. Cripple locks down a hero to its place, and you can riddle the hero with fire arrows. This strategy works really well for taking out Good heroes without taking too many casualties from your army. Be warned that crippled heroes can still attack, so with a level 10 Gandalf beware of his word of power if he hasn't unleashed it already. MORDOR HEROES NAZGULS/THE WITCH KING Ability: 1. Scream(10): Frightens enemy units. Enemy units affected will flee and be vulnerable to attacks. 2. Leadership(10): 200% damage bonus. Passive ability only for the Witch King (only available at Minas Tirith). Comments: The Nazguls are very powerful heroes, they start at level 10 when you receive them. They are pretty useful as scouts because they can open up the map and attack any good heroes that are at a wrong place at the wrong time. They can destroy seige weapons in a single swoop, but not very powerful in destroying buildings. Nazguls can take out cavalry units and batallions in a single swoop, so use them as flankers taking out enemy units with highest threat to your attacking army. Nazguls are very vulnerable to fire arrows, so be very careful when using them. They are often under attack by massive rains of fire arrows, and sits there doing nothing, so keep a good eye on their health bars. The witch king is a beefed up nazgul unit, with a better attributes and leadership passive ability. You can group the three nazguls together in Minas Tirith, and deal a lot more damage in this manner according to EA. But I haven't seen the results very clearly yet, so please take this with a grain of salt. EVIL SIDE UNITS GUIDE (under construction) ISENGARD ARMY ORC LABORERS Orc laborers come free from lumber camps. They can also be produced from the lumber camps as well for very cheap cost and fast production time. They do not have much use except for resource gathering and taking down ents, even though ents have the talents of playing soccer with orc laborers as the ball. So make sure you attack in a big horde, and have fire arrows supporting them if you want to make use of this special ability. URUK-HAI Uruk-Hais are dirt cheap base units and very fast to produce. On their own they are not very useful, because they die way too easily. Putting them on the defensive formation makes them last much longer than normal. They are best when they are merged with pikemen or crossbows because they are very effective at becoming meat shields for other units. They also tear down buildings better than other uruk units, but fire arrows does the job too. URUK CROSSBOWS You'll be using a lot of Uruk crossbows playing the evil campaign. But unless they are sufficiently protected by merging them with Uruk-hais, they won't last long and you will be losing a lot of resources upgrading them. Upgrading uruks are an expensive investment, so make sure that you don't lose them over some careless management. Properly used, the merged uruk crossbows can last from the very first mission until the final showdown at Minas Tirith. URUK PIKEMEN Uruk pikemen is the sole salvation against cavalry charges. They can take out tons of cavalries without taking damage, but they are very vulnerable to everything else out there, especially fire arrows. They are not fast either,so they are best when merged with uruk-hais or uruk-crossbows. Fully upgraded, all the uruk units can last forever with proper usage and careful tactics. BERSERKER Berserkers are crazy Uruks that do insane damage and can kill a lot of things with their massive damage dealing potentials. They can also perform suicide attacks by jumping to an armed mine and blow out walls that way. They cannot rise in ranks. I often build enough of them because they are fast moving and versatile enough to be deployed on any battle situations. WARG RIDERS Warg riders are the only cavalry unit the evil army has. Not very powerful compared to the good cavalry units, warg riders can do fast raids and run back and forth across the map supporting assault while at the same time defending your base from attacks. They are also very efficient at tearing down buildings, as expected from cavalry units. BATTERING RAM The uruk battering ram is a very important unit. Considering all Good bases have a main gate that always need to be breached, you will need at least one battering ram to break the open before your uruks can rush in and destroy the base inside out. Unfortunately they die rather easily, so usually you might need a pair of them when approaching gates because one will draw the fire while the other does the dirty work. BALLISTA The uruk Ballista works well agaisnt archers stationed at the walls. It can also be used in breaking up enemy formations. But it is expensive and does take up command points, so I didn't find very much use in them.If anyone has good strategies using the ballista, I would love to hear it. SIEGE LADDER I didn't use siege ladders much, but they are basically a portal to have your units climb the walls and attack the base from the walls without breaching the front gates. My strategy always involves breaching the main gates, then slowly clean the base with my uruks flowing in from the front door. Any tips for this part is also welcomed. ISENGARD MINE Now, this is da bomb, quite literally. Very powerful against buildings and walls, but if the enemy has heavy ranged defense, it might explode before it reaches the intended target. Keep your units away from the mine because things get ugly when it explodes prematurely. Another thing someone pointed out at me is that once the mine is deployed, it doesn't have take a berserker to light it up. Any fire source damage would do the job. So you can use your fire arrows or Saruman's fireball attack to detonate the mine safer and more certainty than a suicidal berserker. MORDOR ARMY ORC LABORER Same deal with the Isengard Orc Laborers. Scroll up to read my comments because I want to save some space here. (Although on the second thought, my ramblings kinda waste more space than me just copying and pasting it down here... meh). ORCS There are one cool thing about orcs: they are FREE!!! That's right, I say this again, free. Kinda like instant rebates at Fry's electronics (A Walmart version of electronics superstore common in the Western part of the US, they give out insane deals sometimes), no hassles and no problemos, it's free. But as it is in this world, all free things has a catch or two. What's the catch? Read on. Orcs are free to produce, but they do still take up commang points. On top of that, orcs take a while to produce, sometimes lagging up your unit production. Always a good idea to create two orc pits, so the other one can produce orc archers (you need them more) while the other constantly churns out orcs. You should fill up your spare command points with orcs, because they are insanely weak and die really really fast. Orcs are the weakest units in the game, so you get what you paid for. Orcs are not without uses. They can be combined with your orc archers (also very weak but somewhat more useful), and they are very expendable for taking on exploring the maps, or attacking archer positions. In a big horde orcs are effective at taking out rangers and archers who are quite the threat for the rest of mordor units. You can also level one group up with their ability to consume fellow orc hordes, so you might have some elite orcs and they are much more durable than stock orcs. Trolls can feed on orcs to replenish their health so keep this option in mind as well. ORC ARCHERS Orc archers are the only fire arrow capable units of Mordor. They are weak like their non-bow orc counterparts, so merging them with the weaker orcs are always a good idea to give them some extra meat shield while they do their dirty work. You will be using these guys often because they can be garrisoned in abandoned towers and mounted inside the mumakils. HARADRIM LANCERS Haradrim Lancers are the more robust projectile units of the Mordor Army. They are classified as archer type units, even though they throw spears and not bows. Their range are pretty decent, and they can take out basic infantries usually before the infantries come in within range, so they are pretty effective units to produce in large quantities. Cavalries take heavy damage when trampling Haradrim Lancers, so you can use them as meat shields in front of your orc archer batallions, though the Soldiers of Rhun are better suited for this job. SOLDIERS OF RHUN The Mordor Army version of pikemen, the soldiers of Rhun are very efficient cavalry killers. Their porcupine formations are nothing short of deadly, and sometimes people get confused between them and Haradrim lancers because they look very similar at a glance. I've seen people charged at them in error and lost their entire cavalry battle group in online battles. If you go against them pay a careful attention on which is which so you don't make careless mistakes that can cost you the game. Fire arrows deal no damage to the Soldiers of Rhun, but normal arrow does, albeit at very little damage (I think it's around 25%, but not so sure yet until I see the number breakdowns of the units). You can use them to lure fire arrows attack, while your other units deal with the archers without taking too much damage on their part. MUMAKIL Mumakils are huge elephant type units of the Mordor Army. Super strong against building and Rohan riders, but very suspectible to fire arrows. Mumakils can have panic attacks if they are attacked by fire arrows before they die, thereby trampling any units within its vicinity. Also when a mumakil perishes, units mounting them and any units under the big creature will be crushed and killed, so don't have your infantries hanging under these giant beasts, even when it's raining outside and they hate to get wet (hmmm, elephant hide... works better than an umbrella). Seriously though, mumakils can do trememndous amount of damage against horse units with their charge attack, and buildings can go down fast with a group of mumakils attacking simultaneously. Mounting Haradrim Lancers or orc archers on top of a mumakil is always a good idea, because they get more protection and rank up differently than the mumakil they are mounted upon (the mumakil ranks up based on its own attacks, not along with the archer units mounted on it). The charge attack has its drawbacks, however. The mumakil needs to be in a roughly straight line with the intended target, and if there are obstacles in between, the skill might be used up, but the attack is never initiated. It may be a game bug that is causing this, so be warned. When a mumakil dies, units mounted on it dies along with the mumakil, so get them out when the mumakil has 25% of health left, so they have enough time to get away from the beast when it actually falls. MOUNTAIN TROLL Mountain trolls work wonders against buildings, cavalries, and basic infantry units. Trolls have a hard time against heroes, fire arrows, and pikemen. Fire arrows kill trolls really fast, and pikemen get double damage when dealing with trolls. Heroes got their own set of power attacks depending who the hero is, so trolls shouldn't be dancing too close with them. Trolls are also great against siege units, so send them out because they can run underneath the projectiles fired at them. Trolls can pick up rocks and trees to augment their attacks, but I think it might make them more vulnerable to attacks, albeit it enhances their attacks by a lot. So it's a win-lose situation, use with discretion. Trolls can regain their health by eating orcs, so have some orcs handy in case your trolls get hungry. Trolls that picked up trees permanently holds on to the tree, removing his normal abilities to eat up orcs and pick up rocks. They also do less damage against buildings and non infantry units, so be careful when using this skill. Veteran mountain trolls turns into Attack Trolls, and these guys are tough. Try to not losing them because as they rank up, they gain a whole lot more damage and armor bonuses, as well as more health. DRUMMER TROLL Drummer troll emits 300% leadership bonus to all mordor units. They are substitutes for heroes because the Mordor Army lacks of any decent heroes save for the witch king (and you don't get to use him very often either in the campaign, which is a shame). Drummer trolls can hold their own ground and can attack using their giant drumsticks, but while doing so it loses balance and stops emitting the leadership bonus. So try to keep them busy beating drums and let the other units beat up the enemy real good. CATAPULT Catapults are the main siege unit of the Mordor Army. Capable of shooting fire based rocks, catapults work best at taking out defensive structures that are attached to the walls (guard towers, trebuchets etc). Catapults can also fire skulls to make enemy units run in fear and panic. They are vulnerable to any other units in the game, so keep track of their whereabouts. Catapults do not rise in rank, just like any other siege units. BATTERING RAM Same deal with the Isengard Battering Ram, a big door knocker device. SIEGE TOWER Same idea with the Isengard siege ladders, except these are pushed by trolls and much more durable than the ladders. GROND Gronds are the uber battering ram, available only at Minas Tirith in the single player campaigns. Gronds have insane health bar, and can take a lot of damage. Gronds do massive damage against buildings and gates, but cannot attack ground units. Have orcs escorting the grond while moving and attacking buildings. Just give the other units distractions while the grond is delivering mucho pain to your foes. EVIL SIDE CAMPAIGN MISSIONS TIP: JUST LIKE PLAYING GOOD CAMPAIGN, DON'T FORGET TO SAVE THE GAME AT IMPORTANT MOMENTS OF THE MISSIONS. NOTE: The evil side is more challenging than the Good Side, because of its reliance on quantity versus quality. Therefore your resource gathering basis must be really sound, otherwise your army production will suffer. The fun part is that once your Isengard army is ready to rock and roll, they can trample over anything the good side can throw at you. Both Saruman and Lurtz should have the same identical army, because aside from the evil heroes, you are still commanding the same types of units. Here are my Isengardian unit breakdowns: Uruk-Hai - Uruk pikemen combined horde (build at least 3, ideally 4): Works really well for taking out builidings and holding against cavalry charges. Uruk-Hai/Pikemen - Uruk crossbows (build at least 3, ideally 4) Works for taking out practically anything. Warg Riders (build no more than 4) -> efficient at taking out buildings, rachers, infantries, and siege units. Upgrade all the units with all the necessary upgrades, and you're set to beat the rest of the evil campaign with impunity. Leave some command points to build siege units, berserkers and isengard mines because you will need them to break the gates or overcome the walls of enemy bases. A lot of the evil missions deal with Ancillary missions. These missions are indicated by the option to choose either Lurtz or Saruman to lead the attack. The missions which I only list one hero are main missions that are integral according to the main storyline. You can take either Lurtz or Saruman to the ancillary missions, but my suggestion is to alternate between them so they level up evenly, and gives you the chance to build each of the armies equally. This way you will have a powerful reinforcement when attacking Helm's Deep with either hero. Strategies between Lurtz and Saruman are similar, only Saruman gets to solo and level up on his own faster, whereas Lurtz are much better with the horde backing him up. 1. ISENGARD (SARUMAN) This mission introduces us to the beginnings of the Isengardian Army, how they came to be and how they cleared out the forests around the tower. The best way to complete this mission is by completing all the bonus objectives available, because in a way they work like partial credits on a math test problem. Getting the bonus objectives make the actual mission much, much easier. Build 16 buildings, but that should consist of 1 Uruk pit and 15 lumber camps. Since you have a limited unit cap anyway, you don't need that many uruk pits to cover your army production. Just take things slowly, and have Saruman explore the map a little bit to level him up. His fireball attack is unlocked at level 2, and I think it is the most useful skill Saruman can have. It lights Ents in a single shot, and it has massive damage against buildings. Hopefully you'll get this power before the ents come down knocking your walls. For your army, merge the two given uruk fire crossbows with uruk-hais so they have some extra meat shield when things get ugly. You'll need them to take down the attacking ents. I also should mention that by this point you should have a whole village of orc laborers - they can chop up ents faster than a japanese restaurant chef making sushi rolls. After the ents and elves are gone, build your uruks until you have at least 100 of them, but the more the better. Prepare your fortress against a Rohan attack. The Rohans are pretty vicious against stock (non-upgraded) uruk units, so bottleneck the main gate with your other normal uruk-hais, with any available uruk crossbows behind them. This is a very important point - have your uruk-hais stand in the defensive formation. They will gain armor bonus with speed penalty, which is very good considering they are fast enough in this formation and make them last longer compared to their line formation. Save the fire crossbow - uruk batallions by the walls destroyed by the ents earlier up north. You will have these two units flank the Rohans as they breach the main gates. As your army taking massive casualties, do not panic and just queue more uruks at the pit - you should have enough money from all the lumber camps to build a whole new army in case yours is wiped out. Have Saruman fire his spells at big crowds - he can take out batallions of riders in a single properly aimed fireball or wizard blast. once the Rohans are pushing daisies by the ground, you win the mission. 2. FANGORN (SARUMAN) The attack of Fangorn can get a bit tricky, because depending how much uruks survived from your previous mission, it can be a rough start if you have too few uruks at the start. Prepare for an attack by elves. Once the attack is over, move Saruman to a campsite to the right of your starting point, and have uruks escorting him. The moment you unpack the camp, there will be some more elves (not too many) ambushing your new camp. Waste these foolish elves. Build one pit, one armory, and have the rest of the slots filled with resource buildings (slaughterhouse and furnaces).Get the banner carrier upgrade from the armory so your surviving orc hordes can regenerate. Once you have a decent army, start attacking the elvish base up top of the map. Bring your fire crossbows because there will be two ents chilling with the elves, and they can wipe out your army if you are not ready for them. Don't forget to level up Saruman all this time during the attack. Have him participate in the attack and he'll rank up in no time. Remember to put all your Uruk-Hais on defensive formation before any battles. After the elves are gone, build the outpost near their base with more resource gathering buildings. Now you need to produce at least 4 hordes of the merged crossbow uruks - uruk hai combos, equipped with fire. We gonna be hunting Ents, and you'll need the firepower. Across the river there are more elves ambushing your army, so teach them a lesson not to do that anymore. Toward the East you will see the Entmoot with several ents standing around. Have your main army wait outside the range of the ents, and have Saruman himself approach the ents as a bait. Have him use his fireball spell on one of the ents, and retreat as the angry ent chases after him. Lure him to your main army, and have them take the ent down, rinse and repeat. If for some reason the ent is stupid enough to be burning and went back to his poker game, just have Saruman recharge his mojo and fire at another ent, and rinse and repeat. Eventually they all will burn to their death. For Treebeard, prepare for some comedic combat scene. Have Saruman shoot his fireball at Treebeard, and have him run around like a chicken while Treebeard tries to catch him. From the sidelines have your army watch the spectacle while firing fire arrows at Treebeard. If Saruman has his fireball spell ready, turn and fire at him again. Keep doing this until Treebeard goes down. He has a huge health bar, so it might take a while. Wipe out the rest of the ents using the same strategy, and tear down the Entmoot. It has a really powerful armor, so tearing it apart might take a while, but you will have all the time in the wrld once all the ents are gone. 3. GAP OF ROHAN (SARUMAN) Set up your base and get your economy going. Start exploring the map with Saruman, and leave some of your army at your base to defend against occasional Rohan raids. Make sure you build some defensive towers because the cavalries will eat your uruks for breakfast, lunch and dinner, minus the salt. To the top of your camp lies the refugee camp. Destroy it and you'll get some loot. In fact, there are a lot of creature caves and random farmer buildings that drop loot when they are destroyed, so grab the ones you can find. Build 4 lumber camps on the spots that used to be Rohan farms, to fulfill the bonus objective. The main base lies to the southeast of your base, so attack them once your army is ready. Make sure you have all the upgrades from the armory before attacking to make your life easier. 4. AMON HEN (LURTZ) This mission is by far one of the most trickiest throughout the entire game, mainly because you don't have any resource gathering building, and you have no way of resurrecting Lurtz if he dies. You do not automatically lose the mission, but without the ability to churn out tons of uruks, without Lurtz the army wouldn't stand a chance against the Fellowship heroes. This mission also needs the one ring power of devastation. It gives you instant resource at the expense of destroying surrounding trees. But since you're evil, it's a good thing. If you are finding yourself hard-pressed, do not press on and attack, instead camp and wait until you can use this power to generate more money so you can build more new units. You can get 2000 resources per usage easily if you aim for the maximum amount of trees within the radius of the power. Start the mission by building two uruk crossbows, and merge them with your starting uruk-hais. Get the the armor upgrade, the single most important upgrade in this mission. Attack the elves and try ranking up your units to level two as soon as you can because of the banner upgrade. Without the banner upgrade your hordes do not regenerate fallen units. Go slowly and upgrade your units with fire arrows once you have enough loot. Legolas and a band of elves will be waiting at the foot of the hill, so have Lurtz cripple Legolas and attack him continuously with his bow while the rest of your army deals with the elves. Have everyone gang up on Legolas afterwards, and he should meet his end fast. Before climbing up the hill to chase Legolas should he escapes or to fulfill your objective, take a left turn around the hill and find the hidden troll cave to obtain a pair of cave trolls and fulfill the bonus objective. The trolls can take out entire elf batallions in a single sweep, and they are free to boot. If they die, another pair will show up in front of the cave. Up the hill you will encounter even more elves and Gimli. Make sure you have Lurtz's cripple spell ready, because gimli can really mess up your army good. Cripple him, have the rest of your army take out the elves, then take Gimli out before he can leap and stomp your army to the ground. Gain control of the top of the hill, and you will see your uruk reinforcements getting ambushed by Rohan riders. Get some cash via loots or the one ring power, and build some uruk pikemen units, and if you have extra cash invest on heavy armors for them and the rest of your units. Heavy armors literally doubles the life expectancy of uruks, enabling them to survive cavalry charges. Proceed the attack with your pikemen in the front using porcupine formation. The porcupine formation gives insane bonus damage against cavalry, and the pikemen do not have to face the horsemen to get the bonus (unrealistic but makes life easier for playing the game). Have the pikemen clean up the Rohans, and start moving up north. You will encounter boromir and another band of elves. Clean them up, and Aragorn will show up as the last hero standing. Cripple him, and waste him with your arrows. Once he dies, the mission ends. 5. ROHAN (LURTZ or SARUMAN) Rohan is a relatively short mission, but the initial cavalry rush can be quite overwhelming if you are caught unprepared. Garrison the towers as soon as you can clear the area and move your crossbows safely to the abandoned towers. They will then hold and lighten the continuous raids coming from the enemy's main camp. Explore the map and build lumber camps on the available spaces. Build your army accordingly (with my recipe above, hopefully) and prepare for the reinforcements. There will be a whole lot of riders coming in, so don't say I didn't warn you about it. Build defensive towers because occasionally some riders will attack from the rear of your camp, so have some units guarding the camp, preferably pike units. Level up your hero by exploring the map and attacking any units you see. Once you take out the reinforcements, begin your assault at the main camp. There will be some riders and archers at the main camp, but the fighting should be minimal and relatively easy. Destroy the camp and the mission is complete. 6. EAVES OF FANGORN (LURTZ of SARUMAN) There are some surviving ents and elves lurking around this area, so clean them up before destroying the Rohan main base. Leave the base alone if your bonus objective is not completed yet. These wandering units give huge experience gain for your hero and units, so get them while you can. Build lumber camps as you explore the map to fuel your economy. Beyond that, it's pretty much a clean up operation and you can move on to the next clean up mission. It should be really easy with your upgraded Uruk-units to wipe everything good in the region. 7. EDORAS (LURTZ or SARUMAN) Edoras is the capital of Rohan. You start at the Western end of the map, across the river. Build the outpost and assuming you have a large army already from your previous missions, just build furnaces and slaughterhouses. Proceed with attacking the two camps outside of the town. I would suggest dividing your army into two groups and attack the camps simultaneously. Attach your hero to the army that will face more enemy. This map has no fog of war, so analyze the land to see where the enemy is saturated the most. Build your own base camps at the two locations, and build warg pits and siege works at the bottom part of the camp, as the gates are located at the southern part of the map. The top base you can fill with furnaces, slaughterhouses and one armory for upgrades. Use your crossbow horde to take out any archers defending the wall, and the defensive towers surrounding the camp. Build two battering rams and breach the main door. At this point you should have gotten your warg riders armed to the teeth and have them hold the cavalries and wipe out the elves. Slowly destroy the buildings level by level, and do not destroy the main king's hall at the top until the very end. Grab all the loots the buildings drop, and as a priority take out any defensive towers attacking your army. Take out Eowyn with your fire archer, and Lurtz can cripple her with his attack if you brought him along in this mission. Sack the city, gather all the plunder and Edoras shall fall before the might of Sauron. 8. DUNHARROW (LURTZ or SARUMAN) Another ancillary mission, it involves the same strategy I've covered before. Build your base, get some siege units ready, and systematically wipe out the map with your already powerful army as it is. 9. WESTFOLD (LURTZ or SARUMAN) This mission introduces you to the giant eagles, allies of the Good army. There are several of them dispersed through the map, and they can wreck your army good, unless you bring along your fire crossbows and hunt them down before attacking the Rohans. Build outposts along the way, and build keeps on the captured outposts to hold the area from incoming attacks. Once the eagles are down, you can proceed attacking the Rohan base using the normal strategy from the previous missions. 10.HELM'S DEEP (LURTZ or SARUMAN) This is the next big mission for the Evil campaign, after Amon Hen. The choice between Lurtz and Saruman does not matter much, except that I find having Saruman is a bit easier to deal with the kind of opponents present at this mission. Begin the mission by building the two camps at the bottom of the map. Build your economy, and defend against occasional raids by rohan riders. Your Warg riders should be used mostly to deal with this problem, freeing your other units to set up and siege the wall. Once you are set up and ready to mount your assault, there are several plans on approaching helm's deep. You can attack either the left wall, or the main gates. I prefer attacking from the left wall, and slowly sweeping the enemy to the right, destroying enemy units along the way. The alternative route is faster to breach the fortress, but the main gates are so small that you will end up creating a bottle neck for your army, and therefore must endure heavier casualties. Now suppose you choose to attack the left wall, there are several different ways to destroy the wall. One is to use the Isengard mine (just like the movie) and the other is to use your battering rams. The mine attack is much more dramatic, faster and takes out huge amounts of enemy defending the wall, but it is extremely risky bringing in the mine close to the wall intact. Have your fire crossbows engage the enemy along the wall, and have your mine run under the wall while there are gaps in the arrow volleys. Have your berserker light up and run to the mine, and the rest is history. The alternative approach is to take out all the archers, use several battering rams and slowly but surely damage and destroy the wall. Less dramatic, but it works when you don't feel like upgrading for the mine. Ballistas are useful to take out archer units, because they inflict splash damage. Build some to level up your siege works. Sometime in the battle, there will be ent reinforcemnt coming in from the western part of the map. Destroying them takes a huge priority, because left alone they will destroy your base camp and attack your units from the rear. Use Saruman's fireballs and the fire crossbows to take them out as fast as you can. After the main wall is breached, bring in your battering rams and destroy the inner gate, and by this time most of the good units are dead, and the heroes should be overwhelmed by your force. Let the fire arrows take care of the heroes while your pikemen-uruk hai batallions destroy any buildings left standing. Destroy everything inside Helm's Deep and you will win the game. I prefer winning the mission before Eomer arrives at the scene, so be efficient and it shouldn't even be an issue at all. However, should Eomer come in with his reinforcements, have your pike units protect your fire crossbows and focus your attention on him and not the fortress. Wipe out the reinforcements before continuing your path of destruction. Either way, Helm's Deep will be yours to keep. 11. NEAR HARAD (MORDOR ARMY) This mission introduces you with the Mordor Army. Take good care, because unlike the other factions, I think Mordor requires the most skill and tactics to use. The reason is that Mordor units are generally weak and each of them has very specific purposes and do not perform well outside their specific usages. I personally find playing the Mordor side very challenging. You will start with several hordes of orcs. Start butchering the refugees to get money, and explore toward the east and you'll find a camp building spot. Build your camp, and get ready for raids from the south by tons of Haradrim Lancers. Apparently they are not ready to become Sauron's b*tch yet. Two ways to complete this mission: subjugate them to the ground, or bribe them so that they swear allegiance to Sauron. For simplicity I chose the bribing direction, because after a while I realized that my orcs don't stand much of a chance against the huge number of Haradrims lurking around the map. Build your defenses, and build tons of orcs (build two orc pits to support your unit productions) to hold the enemy. Your orcs will die so fast, at times it gets pretty frustrating. Once you have 10000 resources, click on your citadel (the building in the center of your base, the first building built when you unpack a base), and click on the tribute cart. It will be built instantly you click on it, so the wait is not that bad at all. Search around the map for the nearest enemy camp (they should be uncovered by default anyway), and clear a path for your tribute cart. It is a good idea to escort your tribute cart until it arrives at the destination, because you lose 10,000 everytime it gets destroyed, a very expensive investment. Escorting in the Mordor sense means distracting the enemy from attacking the cart, since there is no way your units can overcome the large numbers of attacking haradrims. If you tribute cart arrives in one piece, the camp immediately surrenders to you, along with all the units it produced lurking around the map. You will roughly double your army size everytime you bribe a camp. After getting the first camp, explore the map for vacant spots to build more resource gathering buildings to speed up your economy. The reason is that the other two camps have mumakils, and mumakil rushes are really really bad unless you have orc fire archers, and even then it's still pretty bad. Use the same tactics on escorting the cart to the second camp, and be careful of invading mumakils. Once you won over the second camp to your side, it is your call whether to destroy the last camp, or to bribe it over. Note that you can build the tribute cart on ANY citadel you have, so build it from the camp closest to your target camp. Bribe/destroy all the Haradrims, and the mission ends. 12. SOUTH ITHILIEN (MORDOR ARMY) South Ithilien is the home of the forbidden pool, the Gondor Rangers' hideout. Start your camp at the bottom of the map. You will be overflowing with units at the beginning, but after several ranger rushes, you'll be lucky if you have a quarter of your units left. Prepare your units for assault, and move the mumakils to the rear because they are big, fat juicy targets for the rangers' fire arrows. And considering the high ranking rangers going down on your camp, it's definitely a good idea. Churn out orcs like crazy as soon as you set up your orc pit. Have them attack the rangers in droves (bum rush them like crazy because thankfully rangers only use bows and not m-60s like US Army Rangers), and expect massive casualties. Your haradrim lancers can support the attacking orcs from the rear, but they will take a heavy hit too. Try not to cross the river until everything is ready for a big battle, because there are more rangers hiding on across the river. You should produce tons of soldiers of Rhun in this map, because with their porcupine formation they can soak up arrow damages, while your other units can attack the rangers and archers aiming at the rhun soldiers. There is a path veering toward the west from your camp, and you can send a raiding party down here to take the abandoned towers by the enemy's main camp. These abandoned towers are priceless for holding the enemy down. Once your army is ready, attack across the river. I hope at this point you have oodles and oodles of units because most likely they won't make it til the end of the mission. Send one lone haradrim lancer toward the northern orc base to get extra reinforcemnts. Without this base the mission will be insanely hard to pull off, since you won't have enough spots to have a large economy to support your army. Build some trolls, some siege weapons and mount the mumakils with your orc fire archers once most of the rangers are gone from the map. Have the mumakils, trolls and siege weapons destroy the main castle, while your other units hold back the ranger reinforcements coming from the forbidden pool. Destroy the castle, and make your own castle so that the enemy will not retake it once you leave the area. Proceed to the north, and you will encounter Faramir and the survivors of his ranger batallions desperately guarding the pool. Attack them with all of your forces, and destroy the pool before more rangers come out from there. The mission is completed once you wrecked the forbidden pool. 13. EMYN ARNEN (LURTZ, SARUMAN or MORDOR) I decided to use the Mordor Army in this one, and man it's quite the challenge. I surely hope you have enough Rhun soldiers survived from the previous mission, because this map is saturated with knight patrols. Build your army and as fast as you can attack immediately west of your camp. There is a camp spot nearby your base camp, and given the chance the enemy will create a huge trebuchet factory from here. Claim this camp as yours, and prepare for the infamous Gondor Ranger Rush (TM) down upon your base. Hide your mumakils in the back, produce truckloads of orcs to bumrush the rangers, you know the drill. Except this time around there might be knights supporting the rangers, so have your soldiers of Rhun get busy and deal with them. Assuming you survived the great ranger rush, slowly rebuild your army and explore the map. At the center of the battle you'll have an outpost, take it out and defend this outpost at all costs, because all enemy traffic must go through here. Northwest from this outpost lies the enemy's main base camp. At the northeast lies another camp owned by the enemy - it produces massive numbers of gondor soldiers and tower guards. Take out the Northeastern camp before attacking the main camp. The painful part of this mission is that the enemy have allies to summon, and they come by fast and furious. In my game the AI had elves and rohirrims to summon and crush my army whenever I am mounting an assault, so be prepared for any surprises. Build trolls for this purpose; they can take out cavalries and infantries really fast, but they are really weak against arrows. They also work wonders taking out trebuchets. Speaking of trebuchets, they sometime send a squad of trebuchets from the sides and ambush your main camp that way. Watch where your unit queues after they are spawned, because the trebuchets love to bombard that spot. It took me a while to realize that all my newly produced orcs were being decimated by the trebuchets. Once you conquer all the camps, just have your army prepared for a final attack at the enemy base camp. Prepare for tons of knights, tower guards, hidden rangers, the whole nine yards of gondor defense. Build catapults to deal with the wall mounted trebuchets, and have a diverse army (build everything that is available at this map within reasonable numbers) so you can be ready for anything the enemy throws at you. This mission can be a long, drawn out one if your units keep on getting killed by small groups of gondor raiders. 14. CROSSROADS (MORDOR) I used mordor in this mission, and Sauron sent an Nazgul to support my army. It is somewhat cool, but not to the point of super useful like some other heroes (gandalf, aragorn, etc). The Nazgul will not show up until seven minutes into the mission, so you have to do the heavy lifting on your own. Build your base, and assuming you have a large surviving army from the previous fight, you can start rushing toward southwest, pushing and clearing the Gondor army that is sparsely populating this place. I didn't get any ranger rushes here, so it is somewhat more manageable than the other missions. Continue attacking, expanding your territories until you've reached contact with the main base, down southwest of the map across the bridge. There is an outpost at the very western corner of the map, and that belogns to the enemy. They will bring out reinforcements from this outpost, so it is a good idea to bring this outpost to your side before attacking the main base camp. If you're good, you can have all this done by the time the Nazgul arrives. The Nazgul is very useful in breaking apart the enemy's formation with its scream, making them very vulnerable to your army's attacks. They can take out trebuchet emplacements in one swoop, and they wreck enemy's formation with their swoop attacks. Just be careful with fire arrows, because Nazguls take heavy damage from them. Normal arrows shouldn't be too much of a problem, but too much of that can take out a Nazgul as well. Just pay attention to its health bar and Sauron's pet will be fine. Bring out your catapults and start destroying the base from the outside. The catapult can siege bases without breaching the gates, which is kind of a cool feature to have. You just have to guard them from attacking soldiers because they can dismantle your catapults really really fast. Destroy half of their bases, breach the gates with battering rams, then send all of your forces into the camp, with the Nazgul drawing the heavy fire from the defensive forces guarding the base. It shouldn't be too much of challenge at this point, with 450+ command points worth of units attacking the base. Just be careful at where your catapults are aiming to avoid friendly fires. 15. OSGILIATH (MORDOR) This mission is one of the easier/harder missions, depending on your tactics. I personally found this mission relatively easy compared to the other ones, even though you don't get mumakils in this one. You do however, receive the Nazgul support sometime throughout the mission. Set up your base, and immediately start churning out orcs, orc archers and haradrim warriors. You have a lot of catapults, so use them to dismantle the camp to the left of your starting point. Guard the catapults from incoming foes by rushing them with your orcs and orc archers. Garrison any abandoned towers you see with orc archers, because they are a pain to deal with, but a very useful benefit if you can keep them under your control. Build your second camp, and proceed with the third camp a little bit northeast from your starting camp. Once you have the three camps under your control, start massing your army by the bridges on your side. Be careful for invading trebuchets, the enemy has plenty of these. Build trolls to counter the trebuchets, and have them eat orcs to replenish their health. Begin your assault from the southernmost bridge. If you played the good campaign, you should notice that the map is EXACTLY the same, much like other main battle missions. From this point on it's all about urban close combat and capturing towers. Capturing towers deny the enemy huge territories, so that they cannot attack you if they have to go pass the towers.The best tactic to capture the towers is to escort an archer/haradrim lancer along with two or three horde of orcs. The orcs will take most of the arrow damages while your archers take ahold of the towers. Keep pressing using the same strategy, all the while producing continuous flow of orcs and lancers. You should build Soldiers of Rhun and station them on the South bridge. There is a camp at toward the left edge of the map across the south bridge,, so build another unit production site here so your units do not have to travel as far.
Halfway through your assault, the knights of Gondor will mount a counterattack, led by Faramir. He will assault your attacking force with a huge batallion of level 6 knights, so they are really powerful and will wipe out your attacking force. That is why at this point you need to have replacement units at the other side of the bridge. You will roughly lose half of your army during this assault. But fear not, for a Nazgul will come to your aid. Have the Nazgul do his scream attack skill as he swoops down on the big pile of knights. Have your orcs keep the knights busy while the Nazgul take care of them from above. In my game I had the knights in complete panic and dissarray that they ended up bunching together by the bridge, so each swoop my Nazgul took out a whole lot of knights. If you survive the knight counterattack, you pretty much have won the game. The enemy will only have one base camp left, and it is minimally defended and do not have any gates, so you can just bum rush them with your massive horde of orcs. Take control of the bridges using the archer-garrison tactic I mentioned earlier. Bring some trolls to deal with the trebuchets, and the rest should be really straightforward and easy. 16. SHELOB'S LAIR (GOLLUM and SHELOB) The map for this mission looks identical to the good side mission, so if you played the other campaign previously, you should remember the general outline of the map. There are some math involved here. My personal strategy involves 2 to 3 hordes of upgraded uruks, because they can clean up the map with the support of shelob and berserkers rescued from the cave. So Allocate resources enough for at least 2 fully upgraded uruk hordes, and the rest of the funds are at your discretion to spend. A lot of orcs does not hurt if you can afford it. First of all, to gain control of Shelob, you need to sacrifice a horde of orcs to her. Have a batallion move to Shelob's lair, and leave them there for Shelob to consume. After her dinner, Shelob will be yours to control. Use gollum to explore the cavern, and have Shelob and the rest of your orc hordes following close behind. Free up the berserkers you see, because they can even the odds inside this cave slugfest. You are fighting against time here because the gondor army encountered here do respawn after a while, so find the hobbits as fast as you can. You need to collect any found loots to fund your uruks, so do exactly that. Once they're beefed up, have them join your orcs in the field. All this time you should be producing back up orc hordes so you should have gajillion orcs for the final showdown with the hobbits and the gondor search party (it's a huge search party). Shelob is pretty powerful, but she won't last that long if she gets attacked by fire arrows or surrounded by gondor soldiers. She's definitely useful for supporting your orcs and soaking up some of the melee damage going 1 on up to 4 soldiers. Explore the cave, searching for loots and captured berserkers. Get your uruks going and find the hobbits, they should be easy to find with Gollum lurking around the cave. Bring your entire army to meet with the hobbits, and the one ring shall be yours after they have fallen in battle. Alternative Approach: Thanks to Doug U., who pointed out that the orcs are not free. In fact, orcs cost 100 a piece, so here I posted his alternate strategy to the mission. To start off, the limiting constraint for this levelis resources. Since Orcs aren't free, resource management becomes very important. Especially since you will need to face multiple waves of upgraded Gondor Troops in the caves. The complicating factor is the fact that there is only a small amount of resource available in the cave before you run into a LOT of Gondor Troops. Thus, my strategy is to spawn 2 buildings only. An Orc pit, and a Troll Cage. (Trolls only cost 500 in this level). Start by sending the Orcs/Uruks down into the cave to take control of Shelob. Assign Gollum to hotkey #1 and send him in the cave to collect the easy Treasure & free the Berzerkers. At this point, I build 2-3 Trolls, and then churn-out a bunch of Orc Hordes. (Gondor Troops will pour out of the Caves, but if you stage all of your troops just outside of the cave enterance the trolls will take apart the Gondor Soldiers when they emerge). Use the bloodthirsty ability of the Orcs to get 2 hordes upgraded to Rank 2. At this point, merge them with Orc Archers, and assign them to Hotkey #4. (Trolls/Shelob go to Hotkey #2, and Berserkers go to Hotkey #3). At this point, use all additional resources to build more Trolls. (Since your 2 Orc Hordes now have a banner carrier, you can Eat Orcs with the Trolls to heal them, and the Horde will regenerate) Now you can rush a group of Gondor Troops by setting the Trolls/Archers to attack the Soldiers, and send the Berserkers back to take-out the Archers. (I use Gollum go snatch treasure chests and cut the Berserkers free) If done correctly, this strategy will allow you to steam-roll through the caves since Trolls take down upgraded Gondor Troops like a hot knife cutting through butter. The main reason why I advocate this strategy versus producing fully upgraded Uruks is because of the resource constraint. It only takes about 4-5 treasure chests to have a battle-ready army of combined Orcs & Trolls. The Uruk Upgrades are so freakin' expensive that you need to do a bunch of cloak and dagger sneaking in order to get enough resources built-up, while hoping that the Gondor Troops don't bum-rush your base. ******************************************************************************* NOTE: Beyond this point you can attack Minas Tirith and end the campaign when- ever you are ready to do so. I would advise to level up your Isengardian heroes and get at least 3.0 resource multiplier. You also will need the ability to summon the Balrog, because it is your only chance to stop the Army of the dead. The Balrog is also very powerful to destroy the buildings in a very efficient manner. My Final Mission strategy assumes that you will have a constant cash flow to build up your army, and the ability to summon the Balrog. There will be two different versions of the final strategy, one with the Isengard army and one with the Mordor army. The Ancillary missions are similar to the good side, so some of the tips from the Good side can be applied here as well. I will mention some other tips that are unique to the Evil side alone. To recap the important points: - Must have Balrog. - If you plan to play Mordor for the rest of the time, make sure to get the increased orc production power. This power is uber mad! So useful that I was surprised that I did not use this power the first time I played through - Get all the One Ring powers if you can. - At least 3.0 resource multiplier. - Isengard army is overall better than the Mordor, depending on your strategy. - Level up Saruman and Lurtz if you decide them to use them in Minas Tirith. - Save the game everytime you survive a big event; there are many of there during the assault of Minas Tirith. ******************************************************************************* FINAL MISSION: MINAS TIRITH The final mission of the Evil side involves the final attack at Minas Tirith, and it is perhaps one of the most difficult battle in the entire single player campaign missions. The defense of the Minas Tirith is very solid, and they rebuild so fast that unless you defeat the enemy in one single solid attack, they will rebuild most of their destroyed buildings by the time your next wave of units come in to attack. Nonetheless, set up your base camps and start building your economy. You will need a lot of money in this mission, so have at least a 3.0 resource multiplier before attempting this mission to ensure steady cash flow. Start producing your units, by building the various units you have. Depending on which army you use for the final mission, the strategy differs slightly. On my first play I used the Mordor army for "historical" accuracy, and I found that it was pretty challenging because of massive casualties due to very weak units. Build several groups of orcs, archers, haradrims and rhun warriors. Build some mumakils, but not too many because they tend to die fast and takes too much command points, resource and time to build. Do build more trolls because there will be knight raiding parties at very high levels from inside the city. They will be pretty useful too when the Rohans show up. Build a lot of catapults (at least 5 at a time) and destroy the trebuchets guarding the city, and any archers defending at the wall. The faster you can clean up these units, the better because your Nazguls can take care the raiding knights without getting shot down by fire arrows. Gandalf will come out and attack. Attack him with everal waves, in case he fires off his word of power. He never did in my game, but don't risk your entire army getting wiped out by his single spell. Keep the nazguls far away from him because he'll drop them out from the sky like flies. Eagles will also show up, lure them to your archers and kill them, because the Nazguls are weaker than the eagles. The Rohan reinforcement will show up after a timer runs out. Eowyn is a high priority target because she can kill your nazguls in one shot. Horse archers are also high priority because you cannot use your mumakils safely while they are around. Mumakils can make a short work of the rohirrims, and your Rhun warriors should deal with the Rohans without too much problem. After the Rohans are defeated, your next objective is to capture the outpost in the west, since you are told to receive reinforcemnts from the west after a timer runs out. If you know how the story unfolds, the reinforcement is a trick; Aragorn captured the corsair fleet and brought with him the army of the dead. Use your Balrog to hold the horde of Army of the Dead, because once they rank up they dissapear, because they fulfilled their oaths when they rank up. Kill off the remaining heroes (Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas) with the rest of your units (keep the nazguls away from legolas, he's bad news for them too). Once they are taken care off, begin the main campaign of bringing the city down. Bringing the city down requires a lot or resource and cunninc tactics. Nazguls are priceless in taking out trebuchet positions, they can take them out in a single swoop. You can rebuild them if they go down, but it takes a very long time to respawn one of them back. Build a Grond once it is available, and break the main gates with this giant super battering ram. Use your orcs to engage the archers, and trolls and mumakils to detroy the buildings. Summon the Balrog every time he is available and have it fly to the different areas of the city. The Balrog's firebreathing is so powerful that it destroys anything that it touches upon. Summoning the Balrog by the main gates is a good thing too, since the Balrog deals so much damage when it shows up from the ground. Use the Balrog's whip to take out trebuchets, and have it destroy as much buildings as possible for each summon. On average it can destroy up to four buildings per summoning. Have some of your units stationed at the destroyed building sites to prevent nny major rebuilding attempts. After you destroy all the buildings of both levels of the city, the mission should be over and Evil wins the day. Congratulations and enjoy the credits, you evil dark lord. /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// SPECIAL SECTION: GUEST FAQ WRITER DOUG U. This section is to put all the contributions made by Doug U., who between the two of us churned a whole lot observations and tactical innovations for the game. Since his has a lot of materials I think worth sharing to everyone else, I decided to make a special section for his stuff. ON GONDOR RANGERS. Doug wrote: Lone Eagle, I am currently playing Gondor, and have discovered the virtues of merging Tower Guards with Archers. However, I was wondering if there is any discernable advantage to merging Rangers with Tower Guards? Since Rangers and Archers both take-up the same # of command points, there is no benefit/penalty to army size. Since the principal advantage of Rangers is the forest-stealth ability, it would seem that the answer to my question is No. But I was wondering if Rangers have better firing range, rate of fire, or base damage in comparison to archers? Side Note: Having spent 6 years in the Marines, I appreciate the fact that Battle for Middle Earth incorporates fields of fire, maneuver, distraction, etc as legitimate combat tactics. Other RTS games are little more than an attrition battle. I would also like to comment that the fixed placement of outposts, camps, and settlements are much more realistic than Starcraft / Warcraft. In the real world, there are certain places that are better suited for setting-up bases or settlements than others. Likewise, combat operations tend to center around controlling those key locations. BFME incorporates a simple elegance that makes the game simultaneously less cumbersome, and more realistic. I believe that most of the criticism comes from people that have pigeon-holed themselves into one particular kind of RTS gameplay, and are unwilling to adapt. My Principal critique of the game is inconsistency with the LOTR storyline. How hard would it be be to have Gandalf fall into the pit after defeating the Balrog and come-back during the Eomer Missions? Similarly, why couldn't EA program-in a feature where Hero's that are killed don't carry forward into subsequent missions unless they are revived. (Example: Rescue Boromir at Amon-Hen, or he is lost for the rest of the game.) I am also of the opinion that any mission should be automatically lost if Aragorn Dies. (Plus: Galdalf is WAY too powerful) Thank you for writing an awesome FAQ, answering my questions, and listening to my rants. -Doug My Reply: Hey Doug, As you pointed out, rangers lose their stealth ability once they are joined with any other infantry unit. If you are considering merging units, perhaps it would be more beneficial to merge archers, because they can receive the armor upgrades, while rangers will not receive any armor upgrades even after they are merged with armor upgraded units. (because it would unbalance the game in a big way if a stealth unit receives armor upgrades) Rangers has a slight damage/firing rate advantage over the archers, but archers can stand their grounds much better as a merged unit because the armor bonus (they don't die as easily as rangers). And according to the manual, rangers has a better melee defense should they go hand to hand combat against infantry, but in practice they still get mowed down even by the weakest orcs. I hope a future patch can fix this problem. As for the game design, the idea of settlements and taking bases are actually much simpler than conventional RTS of maintaining resources (Starcraft and what not), because BFME is designed for mainstream gamers who may not be familiar with the normal RTS mechanics. I agree with your critiques, I think EA made several poor game design choices. It is not much harder to implement the ideas from your critiques, and I am pretty certain they talked about it, but why they made the game this way, it's a question EA can only answer. Reply by Doug: Lone Eagle, Your Ranger comment is right-on. I have stopped producing Rangers because they simply die too fast for effective use in guarding flanks and setting-up ambushes. I have found that a Gondor Strategy centered around fully upgraded Tower Guards / Archers in merged stacks, supported by Trebuchet's and 2-3 battalions of upgraded Knights for flanking can mow-down the mordor army in pretty short order, with minimal losses. Will you be adding a Skirmish section to your FAQ any time soon? I enjoy the campaign missions, but think that the breadth of skirmish games will ultimately provide the greatest challenge. I find that your analysis of the game scenarios is some of the best out there, and would love to read your thoughts on skirmish strategy. Thanks, -Doug ON GONDOR KNIGHTS VS ROHIRRIMS Doug wrote: One small thing that I just noticed from your FAQ . . . You mentioned that the Gondor Knights have identical stats to Rohirrim. That is mostly true, except for the fact that Knights have 240 health, instead of the Rohirrim 200. Not sure if it's worth the extra resource cost, but it's something to be aware of. Not sure when/if I'll get around to writing an FAQ, but if it happens, I'll definitely make use of and give credit to your work. My Reply: Hmmm, I never noticed that. Maybe it is due to the fact that the gondor knights are better armored and it is the sole cavalry unit for the gondor army. The 240 extra heatlh doesn't seem to matter much, because in my experience it seems that the rohirrims last longer than my gondor knights, but then again my gondor knights always had to face ugly lines of enemies whereas the rohirrims deal with stock (non upgraded) uruks, so there you go. I think the hero bonuses when they ride with your cavalry have more impact compared to the intrinsic properties of the units they have (health points, attack points, etc) in the long run. But when it comes to skirmish, I think the Rohans have the advantage because they have more heroes that can give cavalry units benefits (theoden, eomer, eowyn), whereas gondor is more generic when it comes to hero bonuses (works on all units, but not as special). Doug Replies with: No argument w/ your observations. If you try and run Gondor Knights through the same circumstances as a "Glorious Charge" / "Shieldmaiden" Rohirrim attack, they will get cut to pieces and served for dinner. Maybe EA watered-down the Rohirrim health to balance-out the game? Could you imagine a Rohirrim army with 20% more Hit Points being led by Eomer, Theoden, and Eowyn? -Doug ON EVIL SIDE CAMPAIGN OBSERVATIONS Doug wrote: I have recently been playing the Evil Side Campaign, and have noticed a couple of small tips/enhancements on your already magnificent FAQ: 1) Amon-Hen: Start the mission by churning out a bunch of Uruk Hordes and use the bloodthirsty ability to get 2 hordes up to Rank 2, then merge with Crossbows. (Immediate Banner Carrier Horde) 2) Merging Hordes: You regularly recommend merging hordes, but I noticed a very usefull strategy w/ merged Uruk Hordes: Since Orcs don't have a healing well to regenerate troops at, the only way to heal troops is to kill them off, and have the banner carrier regerate them. Thus, with a merged stack, you can charge into a group of enemies, start taking casualties, retreat to the rear, and re-charge with full-health units. (Single Hordes get cut-down too quickly, whereas a merged horde can go down to the last Orc and regenerate up to full strength at full health) Unfortunately, this strategy is much more effective for Isengard since they have many upgrades available, and lots of unit-merging options. (I'll let you know if I ever figure out a way to make Mordor strong :-) Thanks for the FAQ, My Reply: Doug, 1. Tried it and works. It's an alternative strategy, but I found out a weird quirk in some people with sacrificing units - they think it's a very vile thing to do, which is the idea in the first place ( you tell me, evil side -> lol). It is a gamble, however, to do this because if you somehow flubbed the level 2 units and they get wiped out by the elves (happened to me couple of times already), then you're pretty much doomed. Otherwise it's a nifty alternative strategy. 2. You noticed the very idea and principle behind the unstoppable Isengard war machine. Merging the normal uruks and the pike uruks have a usage of pretty much destroying most things that exist in the game. They can take out archers, infantries, cavalries and combinations of them with ease. And they can absorb a whole lot of punishment while your uruk/crossbows combo work their bows and give massive support firepower to them. What I usually do is rotating them around, because usually I have 3-4 companies of sword-pike uruks, and additional 3 companies of crossbow/sword uruks as my main battle group. It pretty much looks like the ancient roman army with legionnaires, except more evil. And as the front lines take damage, they get rotated to the rear while the other fresh units move forward and keep on pressing. This way you don't let up the pressure on the enemy. Mordor always gives me headaches because I don't like having massive amounts of units that die too easily - I prefer tactical approach to thing rather than mob warfare. I'll definitely could use some real solid mordor tactics on the faq, and I am planning on updating it soon. Mind if I put some of your great material on the faq? Just let me know and tell me how would you like to be credited on the faq (if you want your real name withheld and use your screen name and what not -> privacy purposes), and I'll let you know which part of our tactical disccusions I will post on the faq. Doug's Reply: Use any material you would like. (Doug U. is fine for the source citation) More observations for Isengard: Sieging Rohan gates: I just build 4 Ballistas, and set them to fire on the Gate. Since Rohan's only Artillery is the Ents, my Ballistas sit safely outide of Archer Range, while the Uruks/Pikeman are waiting to push back any cavalry strikes. (I don't bother with Battering Rams or ladders because they both die too fast.) By shooting Ballista rounds at the gates, I force Rohan to come to me. (Evil laugh) Once the Siege Works is upgraded, the Mines can be used to have some fun. Population Control: Sometimes, I need to change the composition of my army for an assault. (Example: I started the Edoras level with 7 merged hordes of Uruk/Crossbows . . . with only 400 Command Points) In this case, you shouldn't be afraid to chop-up a horde or two in the slaughterhouse. (Just use the lowest-level ones) Since the Evil Economy is so freakin' strong that upgrading new merged hordes is relatively easy. Thanks, -Doug ON STRATEGIES USING MORDOR IN THE CAMPAIGN: Doug wrote: I was playing Mordor on the Emyn Arnen mission, and stumbled into what may be a decent strategy. First is surviving the initial onslaught of Gondor knights. Assuming that a few Soldiers of Rhun survived, this is fairly easy to do. Once this has been accomplished, I moved north, took the outpost, then built 3 Orc Pits and set a build queue of 15+ orc hordes from each to spawn north of the Outpost. What I found was that the AI fully tied itself up with slashing the Orcs, and I was ablet to take my "War Party" (3-5 Merged Fire archers, 3-5 Rhun Soldier Hordes, 3 Troll Drummers, and 3 Mumakill) to sweep, and clear all of the Gondor Camps. The strategy I discovered is that 2-3 Orc Pits can effectively overwhelm your opponent by producing a permanent stalemate at one particular point of the map. This allows the "Combat Force" of upgraded troops to take-out all of the ancillary Camp & Outpost sites so that the enemy castle is isolated. Once the castle is Isolated, the game is practically over. Just use the expendable Orc Hordes to distract enemy Archers/Artillery while your Catapults bust down the main gate. Then its time to raze and pillage. I find Mordor to be more challenging, but more fun to play. It requires you to un-learn the skills of Warcraft and Starcraft, where you built-up a horde of upgraded troops before making a frantic assault on the enemy camp. 600 cp worth of Mordor Troops will get blitzed if you try to head-on assault any other clan. But . . . if you use the infinite spawn ability of Orc Pits to create a stalemate situation, your forces can sweep across the map and isolate your opponent. From a resource perspective, you can send your free Orcs out to slaughter all day long without giving a care. They will have to sacrifice upgrades, or ancillary building sites to fight your infinite hordes. Think of the first classic blunder from Princess Bride: "Never start a land war in Asia." Why is this a blunder? Answer: Because you will be overwhelmed with a near-infinite amount of troops, and worn down through attirtion. The answer to playing as Mordor is to stop thinking like an American (Every soldier counts) and start thinking like a Guerilla Warrior. (Winning counts, the body count doesn't) As Yoda says, you must un-learn what you have learned. Thanks, -Doug /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// CONTRIBUTIONS and CREDITS This section is for strategies and comment I have received from my e-mail or from the message boards. I will experiment with some different versions of posting them to make them easier to read. So far all the contributions posted here are in their original form, unedited. UPDATE: I have been receiving tons and tons of contributions, and a lot of them are very similar or very trivial in nature. Please take no offense if I haven't plugged your contributions down here, because I am simply too busy as of late due to my school schedule and other commitments. I will probably not touch this faq for any more updates for a while, since I have a whole lot that I still need to post and I have to cut off the supply so I can catch up with the updates. I will update this spot once I caught up with every single contribution sent in my mailbox. I will personally write to the contributing person, and post their battle tactics here along with their name and credits. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- From "Chaos Marine": Well for the evil side I have a few tips: Start of making 2 iron forges(or whatever they are called). Then when you get enough make a third. After the third make the uruk pit. Make a few uruk horde soldiers. Then make 1-2 more iron forges if you can, that is, if you are plannin to expand. When you get a second uruk horde soldiers, send them to find some camps, make lumber mills at the expansion camps. When you expand to the outposts, make a armory and seige or warg pit, depending what your attack plan is and who you are playing against. Also importanly get a hero when you can afford one. Also another tip is if you are playing against gondor or rohan, and they are surrounded by walls, get the seige workshop to rank 2, and build mines. Mines are very very strong and super effective against the walls and building, one hit kills anything in a small radius. You need berserkers to blow the mines up though. Anyways that just a few stuff to add to your faq if you want. Make as much corrections to it as you want, but if you include this, plz add my name to your faq: "Chaos_Marine" ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- From "I Vegeta": Hi there, Maybe this could be useful: When you have trouble completing the Isengard mission you could try rushing things. At the beginning a fairly large group of orcs storms out of Isengard to attack you. What you could do is this: Take all your ents and hobbits to the north. The Orcs will follow you but they are slower. Not to the trolls but to the far northen wall. Destroy it and walk in with the ents and try to focus on the dam. This way you complete the mission within 5 min and if your good, without loosing any ents. When you're inside the walls Saruman will come, so you can decide wheter to attack him or not. Greets, I Vegeta Comments: Confirmed strategy, it works great because you only need to bring health of the dam down to 50%, not completely destroying it. Just make sure treebeard is alive until the end. This is by the way for the Good side Isengard mission, in case anyone is wondering. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Just wanted to notify you of another battalion available to at least gondor. You can bix both foot soldiers and tower guard with the knights of gondor. The footmen take the front with the knights in trotting along behind.When told to attack, they charge and both footmen and knights make one line and smash into the target at the same time. Still attempting to discover advantage. Just a suggestion, but you could add the advantages for all of the possible combinations. ie. archer/footmen-more defense for archers while footmen block arrows with shields. -Raykersw Comments: Another contributor pointed this out, so thanks for the input. I have added this feature at the top on my current list of mergable units. =============================================================================== Huu Tran wrote: Hi there, Great FAQ! I found it to be a very good read. Anyways, just wanted to send an addition to your merged units list - I've successfully merged Gondor Knights and Gondor Soldiers. However this really slows down the Knights as they only move as fast as the foot guys so its not a very good combo. Also had a question, do you know if there is a complete numerical list of the unit stats anywhere? Thanks for the FAQ. Comments: Yep, someone else pointed this out as well. Thanks guys. As for unit stats, I believe Mentality (the other FAQ writer) is working on this one at the moment, so please be patient. You can look at the gamedata.ini file to look at the numbers, but it is somewhat long and complicated. The message boards have instructions on how to extract the file from the zipped archives of the game files, but someday I will post the how-tos here if I have enough room. =============================================================================== Dougs Joson wrote: Hey Loneeagle! I bought the game as a Christmas gift for myself and I haven't stopped playing it since. The game is truly awesome! Anyway, I came upon your faq and decided to share some tips of my own. I've pasted them below. Anyway, good luck to the completion of your faq! -dougs battle for middle earth tips 1. secure your resource gathering. while others might say this is pretty obvious, it is nuanced by several aspects of the game. since you cannot just build structures anywhere on the map, a usual issue is whether to build resource buildings first or build them proportionately with the military or unit buildings. my suggestion is to build 3-4 resource buildings first and one other military building. that way, your units can go explore your map first (be sure to build defensive structures if you don't want your bases to turn to dust while you go exploring the world). for mordor and isengard forces, i actually prefer the slaughterhouse rather than the lumbermill because once the trees have been cut off, you fail to receive additional resources. plus, orcs that cut trees may attract enemies to your unprotected building. 2. explore the map as early as possible. since units are carried over from the previous missions, chances are they are at a higher level than most other units in the map. heroes can take in a huge amount of damage before things get dangerous so allow him/her/it to tank the damage while support units close in to finish the job. that way you can cover most of the map before your enemy does and get spots for your additional buildings. 3. supervise the stampede. mounted units are wonderful to have since they excel in smashing everything to bits unless they were mumakils or pikemen. but the rampaging horses of gondor or rohan should be carefully guided. you do have to click the mouse in succession so that they continue their stampede. otherwise, they remain stationary and attack with their swords/lances wasting their advantage from being mounted. remember that the stampede is best used for mounted swordsmen and not archers. plus, mumakils, trolls and wargs should never be charged at with mounted units. use upgraded ranged units instead. 4. ballistic over ballistas. if your one the side of good, be wary of ballista. send units to destroy them asap. if your on the side of evil, make use of ballistas. lots and lots of them. a group of five when properly deployed, can decimate a camp in minutes. but they are vulnerable to attack so have your pikemen, archers and even wargs protect them. they are a tad slow and cumbersome to manouver but once you get the hang of it, even gates would seem like pieces of paper. 5. level up and upgrade. more powerful units mean more powerful damage and upgraded hit points. that way even if some of your units get hurt, they can heal themselves (good side) or be replaced (evil side) once they are killed. sub tip: do not let a unit be annihilated. retreat from battles if need be. as long as there is one or two members of a unit they can heal themselves (good side) or recruit other units (evil side). for the good side, units can return to their normal number via the heal spell. heroes should increase a level at least once in a battle map. 6. make use of special abilities and spells. heroes have wonderful abilities which can help turn the tide during major battles. spells bought via the power points also aid in strengthening your side or weakening theirs. to my surprise, i have found the elven wood/forest spell to be a charm. once cast around your base, enemies don't even stand a chance against your deployed archers on the 2nd deck of your castle. the eye of sauron is useful for helping your units kill their enemies and gain experience faster. gandalf's lightning sword and word of power, saruman's wizard blast and wormtongue, aragorn's athelas and blademaster, gimli's leap attack and the hobbit's ability to throw rock (their ranged damage is higher than their melee damage ) are blissful additions that enhance gameplay. and ah, the dark, fiery glory that is the balrog! hope these tips help! enjoy, everyone! -dougs1879 Comments: Whoa, very neatly organized and all the tips are really good ones. I totally agree with all of his tips, although I could add that fire arrows work especially well against ballistas. They are extremely vulnerable agaisnt fire arrows. Aside from that, solid tips from dougs1879. ============================================================================== Minh Luan Pham wrote two (2) contributions: First, I would like to ask a question: what's the meaning for leveling up points in skirmish, I was putting my time trying to level up the Isengard army, what I got now is level 4, what will happen if I get to the highest level, will my command point expand ?, or I'll have more resourses from the start, and what is the highest level ? In return, I'll tell you: _My favourites are Isengard and Rohan, but it's would be better to use other side in certain battles online. My point is the weaknesses,examles, Isengard always good at army construction, really stick together to make it hard to destroy legions of uruk-hai if they know how to work---but---it makes me insane that my beloved legion get trouble against ents, mumakils as well. So put Warg raider on scout of opponents ents to keep the main legion away from them as far as possible--or else--- lure them to some explosive mines ( as I always do) and ......KA-BOOM You won't get trouble to lay siege to evil side, but good side...well, I could tell you that with Mordor, don't give Mumakils to destroy the wall, it's INSANE! well protected castle can knock down Mumakils by fire arrows and catapults.----I faced a defensive online friend before, he did every thing he could to protect the main castle, an sometimes send a group of horses to fight me, his point is to make me tired and give up---- I defeaded him--I 'll tell you how : if someone fight like that, you will have an advantage on resourses, just take all the outpots and camps outside, and....Catlste of you need to, but to beat a castle, sacrifice your Nazgul and witch-king to destroy fire arrows and catapults, putting Mordor catapult to fire wall-catapult is the most stupid thing I have never mentioned about, then, if you thing his castle is ready for a siege, knock the gate down by ram or mumakil, and do whatever you like then, just beware of Gandalf, that's why I used"sacrifice" to say about the nazgul. _If the you can, knock two side, one by mumakil, one by ram, to seperate opponent's power, and try to do like in the movie^^, put troll to be the first one get into the castle, you definitely victory is yours. _ I'll give you some more tips, just because I think my letter is really big now, and I'll have some answers later on, but, I enjoy your guide. Comments: Great tactics, not too long at all. Sorry I have to edit some of the exclamation points so I can fit the GameFAQ rules of no more than 80 chars per line for writing FAQs. I haven't played skirmish mode, but I think leveling up in Skirmish mode is nothing more than bragging rights, kinda like Generals skirmish buttons (build 50 tanks and aircrafts in one battle... ookaay there). Here's the second contribution: The High level detail is so slow to my computer, what can you have in high detail beside good-looking army. -a well skill fighting, maybe- Another tip: to bring down wall by Isengard army, use explosive mine of course, but beware for ents, they will knock your minions down while you finish the enemy's wall. Be sure to bring fire arrow in the siege, you will learn the convenience of using Fire arrow than armor or weapon upgrade, use all, but be familiar with the habit of upgrade fire arrow for 2 or three crossbowman(as well as other archer), it will be helpfull to defend household and attack. Don't use Uruk-hai in a siege, (just my opinion), merge pikemen to crossbow to protect them, battalion(raider) will have trouble against killing archer. I know how to make a good use of resourses, so I allways have a pack of 20 berserkers and I'm proud of it, an undefeadable legion against minions, and you should know that 4000 resourse points go to hell when I meet an ents or a mumakils, so keep your eyes on them and use fire bow as best as you can. _Using a lot of berserker really expensive-not my problem- but you have the advantage on taking fire to the mine, berserker could lost much health because they are fast, on the way, they're about to be the first one to face defensive enemy and die or lost much HP. you may well get two Berserker to a mine ( I always do that^^) but If you fear to waste berserker, don't think about making a siege, cuz a siege need lots of sacrifices to be succeed, earn more resourses, and the important role in Isengard army is mine, berserker, fire crossbow, general as well. _It's really unfair that Saruman is alot weaker than gandalf, the are both... White, no doubt about it. _Keep Lurtz safe, he is not a good type of survive in melee fight like Gimli or aragorn, and I think you mentioned it before. Don't think this is much, I enjoy helping guides, and I'm looking forward to see my tips are used. Comments: Don't be so humble. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, and they can always provide insight to the more finer workings of the game. The main advantage of playing the Evil side is the insane efficiency of their economy. A lot of the one ring powers focus on resource gathering bonuses, so you can have a whole lot of resources sitting on a pile in a very short amount of time. This is definitely worthed for making a lot of units for suicidal attack runs. The idea is to overwhelm your enemies with your own units. RTS vets should know this kind of strategies based on the Starcraft Zergs and WC III undeads. =============================================================================== Davis/ farshot xxl wrote: Greetings, fellow gamer. I was very happy to find your faq and have some info that i hope will help people in the future. You see I started the good side campaign and started building forces(I had much experience in the evil forces and love wielding isengard's uruk combos) when i noticed an odd sight. My rohhirim could combine with something! I thought it was the horse archers that i was had the cursor over, and I clicked it, i saw a sight that would make sauron cry and laugh at the same time. my peasant forces joined with the rohhirim! It was a waste of free peasants, command points, and my precious horses! the combination was very evil, and when enemies came, my poor peasants were nothing compared to trained uruks, and the horsemen lost all their good fighting skills and speed. Please don't let anyone else suffer this fate. I look forward to your updates of the evil campain, because i'll need them to help me win. Thanks. Davis/ farshot xxl. Ps. please mention my name if you put this info in your faq, and note that I love c&c and lord of the rings. Comments: Thank you for reading the faq, I should complete MOST of the main evil campaign missions by version 1.0 of the faq. I have added the rohirrim/ peasant combo at the top on the common asked questions section, and here is your credit and name. =============================================================================== This is a huge input from one of my great contributors, so read on and see what he has to say, because a lot of his points are very valid and important to know for better understanding of the game. This is shown unedited as I received it in my mailbox. <BCrossL@aol.com> wrote: First off, merged units will always move the ranged units to the rear, this is very useful, as it eliminates the biggest disadvantage to ranged units, which is their vulnerability to close assault via swordsmen, et. al. The swordsmen or pike men in the unit will automatically engage any unit that attempts to attack the archers. If there are a lot of trees around, I usually don't want to merge Ranger units with anyone, as when they do, they lose their auto-stealth ability in woods. Similarly, I don't usually merge anyone with the Gondorian Knights, as their biggest asset is their speed and ability to trample units, which they lose if they merge. On the other hand, I almost always merge Rohan peasants and yeoman archers together, as they are generally far too vulnerable otherwise. For the most part, I never make an archer unit without an accompanying melee unit unless I'm either garrisoning towers, or have a ton of merged units anyway and just want extra ranged firepower. As for garrisoning archers, you're completely correct in not upgrading them with banners, armor, etc. The only thing you want to upgrade them with is flaming arrows, as if the unit has flaming arrows before it goes into the tower, then the tower gains the +15 damage and flaming attacks. It's probably worth mentioning that garrisoned towers fire faster than any other ranged unit or structure in the game, which makes the extra damage from fire arrows really add up quickly, a fire arrow garrisoned tower can completely slaughter any basic infantry unit before they have a chance to respond (if it hasn't been upgraded) For Gandalf, all his abilities work against structures as well, aside from the Word of Power, I personally only use his lightning sword against structures or very tough units, as almost any structure hit by all the bolts is going to be destroyed. For Gimli, it's worth noting that even at level 1, he's got 2000 hit points, which is insane to say the least, use Gimli, Aragorn, and Legolas together as a combat team, Legolas starts his sniping, enemies run towards him, Gimli then steps in their way and plays the part of the dwarven wall, Aragorn can then come in and start hacking away while everyone's concentrated on Gimli, for hero and unit leveling, there's actually a small radius where a unit can be close to another, or even a tower, that will continually gain them experience. Want a 10th level hobbit? park them next to a garrisoned tower with the elven cloak on, and they'll gain experience while doing nothing. Boromir goes up there with Saurman and (to a lesser degree) faramir, legolas, and Theoden, as their top level abilities give the units around them free experience, making them good at guarding a base, pumping up new recruits experience (after the banner upgrade of course) and sending them out, Boromir in particlar excels at this, because of the Horn of Gondor, which can be used to keep an invading enemy at bay long enough for the towers to continue picking them apart, and for a relief force to arrive. For the Isengard ballista, it does good damage, not quite up to a Mordor catapult's at a fantastic range, Two of them can easily batter down a gate as quickly as battering rams, though they're not as useful against walls, I tend to use 4, put into two control groups, with a high level Lurtz (and Saruman as well if they have Nazgul or Eagles) in the middle of a horde of merged uruks and uruk crossbowmen in front of them. I usually have a few mines and berserkers (with already lit torches) on the flanks. If I'm going against Rohan, I put hordes of merged pikemen and crossbows instead of uruk warriors. This essentially forces the enemy to come out of his base and attack, or be forced to be shot to pieces, as once the gate and outside towers are gone, I send a couple of mines, one on each side of the gate, then blow the whole front wall out, with all 4 ballistas focusing on a target, most things (other than the citadel/keep/etc.) will fall in only a salvo or two. If you treat them similarly to catapults and trebuchet's, you won't go far wrong. Siege ladders can be merged with uruk bezerkers, the bezerker hops on top of the ladder and is deposited immediately when the ladder hits the wall, it's very useful in areas like helm's deep, etc. As 2-4 bezerkers running around on the top of someone's wall will slaughter practically anything they can send up there. For the mines, it's best to actually attempt to place them between buildings that you wish to destroy, as the explosion is extremely large, and anything within the radius takes full damage, regardless of how far away from the center of the explosion (either that or the mine just does so much damage that it doesn't matter) For trolls, picking up a rock just gives them a ranged attack, picking up a tree is permanent, makes them do less damage, but gives them a much greater area of effect, (ex. instead of doing 150 damage to 1 or 2 units, it can swipe at 6 or 10 for 75). One very important thing to note is that if a Troll picks up a tree, it can no longer heal itself by eating an orc, nor can it get rid of the tree or pick up a rock, it's stuck with it, and the tree does very little damage to buildings. Basically, if you're going to use the trolls against infantry, archers, or pikemen, get the tree, as even the reduced damage is still usually enough to kill them. If you want them to be useful against siege units, cavalry, heroes, and buildings, don't pick up the club, as they do FAR more damage without it. The advantage for infantry and the knights of gondor attacking a unit at once, is that the footmen draw the brunt of the attacks, meaning that the knights loose their massive disadvantage against pikes (since they won't trample them, they won't take damage unless they're attacked, and the footmen/tower guard are the ones that are acting as the meat shields) The forces of good are essentially quality units over quantity units, and are supposed to be defensive (hence the walled castles and the lack of siege units) Gondor is supposed to favor turtling players, as they're the only side that has Casle walls, two types of castle defenses, AND that can build keeps on outposts, a couple of keeps along with a unit of gondorian knights can tie up an enemy at a choke point for hours. Rohan is supposed to favor micro-managing players, the kind who like heavy spellcasting armies in Warcraft 3, where each unit has a purpose (maybe two) and you need to use them all well in order to survive. Rohan also has (in multiplayer) the most heroes, although they lack Gandalf, they've got Eomer, Eowyn, Merry, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Theoden, and Treebeard, all of which have different strengths and weaknesses. Isenguard is supposed to favor protoss players from starcraft, they're the strongest base-line units in the game ( Uruk-hai I mean), A group of uruks vs. any other infantry until of equal upgrades and experience will carve them up in very short order. They heavily favor siege units, as they've got the ladder, mine, ram, and ballista. Isenguard is meant for players who want to park outside peoples castles and blast them to death with mines, archers, ballista, and the occasional beserk uruk running around on their walls Mordor is for zerg lovers, quantity, quantity, quantity. They have the games weakest player controlled units ( Orcs ), and the strongest ( Mumakil ) so they favor hordes of cheap units supporting a few uber-units. As for game balance, it's very well balanced, you just have to know the counters, as every unit has at least one unit on any side that can kill it or effectively neutralize it without dying in 2 seconds flat. It's incredibly well balanced compared to the movie, otherwise you'd have newbies playing Mordor all the time and using the Witch King to slaughter everyone that didn't bring Eowyn out. Or you'd have the Balrog stick around, like he does in Moria,
flaming everything that moves, whipping heroes left and right, and generally making himself a monumental pain in the ass. Or the part in Cirith Ungol, where you kill Sam and Frodo and get the one ring, after that, it'd be it, no more Minas Tirith, no more Fellowship, Sauron would come out of Barad-Ur and smack everyone around again. (still don't know why they didn't include Sauron as some super-uber character for Mordor that you had to fully power up the one ring to get) Oh well, that's my input. Comments: Whew, what a read. This is by far the most uber useful contribution I have received thus far, almost working like a crash-course mini-FAQ. I might put this contribution on a mini-FAQ section on its own due to its important information it covers. Everything is covered in great detail, and I agree with all of his points. In fact, he said pretty much all things that I haven't able to say in great length while writing this FAQ. I greatfully thank you for the input, and I hope I can see more great contributions such of these. ============================================================================== Hi LoneEagle013 I've just started reading through your FAQ and spotted the question asking why units all die for no reason. It happened to me although I've not modified any of the files. I found the quick fix was not to reinstall the game but to navigate to the games installed directory and then to the support directory and to load the The Battle for Middle-earth_code.exe file. Just re-enter the key and all works again. ps. Great FAQ viceroy Comments: Thanks for the tip! I hope you guys who are having this problem can try this before dropping the hammer and reinstall the game all over again. Nice job, dude. =============================================================================== If you want to play a skirmish using Mordor, you should start by building two slaughterhouses to make ressources enough to get an orc pit. Once you have the pit, you create Gollum and go to explore the map in search of settlements and outposts. While he is exploring, you can create tons of Orcs since they're free and make a Haradrim palace. You should by now have found some settlements, make slaughter houses on them because they reduce the cost of trolls and mumakils. You should still have two camp slots available at your base. Use them to create the Mumakil pen and a Troll cage. Build some trolls and a Mumakil with Haradrims on it. Now you're ready to rush in the enemy camp with your orcs and the trolls to help them. The mumakil should be used to destroy the gate if you're against the Good side or just destroy everything while making sure your units aren't in the way. In some skirmish maps, you will find ruined towers, man (or orc :D ) them with archers. You now control the way to your base. It usually can whitstand a lot of attack so it gives you time to prepare your army. Willby Comments: Appreciate the tip. Definitely a powerful starting point for Mordor users, because by far they are the trickiest faction to use in this game. I completely agree with the ruined tower strategy, but they can always destroy the towers with siege weapons, or regarrison the tower with their own unit, so it is not a guaranteed win. =============================================================================== END OF CONTRIBUTIONS (AS OF THIS UPDATE) ******************************************************************************* END OF FAQ VERSION 1.0.3 2005 - LoneEagle013