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Factions Guide by LordSiege

Version: 1.1 | Updated: 12/24/05

*--------------------------------------------------*
|The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle Earth|
*--------------------------------------------------*
Author: Rick Spenik
contact @ R724reddog@aol.com
Version 1.0
Copyright 2005 Rick Spenik

This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal,
private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed
publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other
web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a
violation of copyright.


Updates:
Version 1.1
-Made Specific Strategies

Version 1.0
-Made Table of Contents
-Made Overview of Game
-Made Overview of Factions
-Made General Strategies


Table of Contents:
   If looking for something specific, use the "find" function (cntl+f) and put
   number and/or letter corresponding to what you want to find.

1 - Overview of Game
2 - Overview of Factions
	2a - Gondor
	2b - Rohan
	2c - Isengard
	2d - Mordor
3 - General Strategies
4 - Specific Strategies

I plan on making walkthroughs on major campaign missions in the future (Helm's
Deep, Minas Tirith, Isengard...)

If you have a question about the game or about a certain mission, e-mail me
(my e-mail is at the top of the page). Please put the subject as
"Question: BFME FAQ", or else I might accidentally skip it. I will try to 
answer all your questions.

______________________________________________________________________________

1 - Overview of Game


 First, I must say that LOTR: Battle for Middle Earth is one of the best RTS
games I have played. The graphics and sounds are absolutely stunning. The game
itself looks like none other that I have played, and compared to the Ages of
Empire series, it beats the graphics by a long shot. There are, however,
several flaws in this game that I shall explain.

 The game has been made much more simpler than other RTS games in many
different aspects. For one thing, you are limited in both the number of
buildings that you can have and where you can build them. The castles are
pre-built and they have anywhere from 7-9 "build sites" (depending on the
chosen faction). The resource gathering is not nearly as specific as in Ages
of Empire. These are the two main problems I see with the game, although
others might disagree. All in all, the game is great and I highly recommend
it.

______________________________________________________________________________

2 - Overview of Factions


 In BFME, there are four playable factions to choose from. There are the
Forces of Light (FOL) consisting of Gondor and Rohan, and there are the Forces
of Darkness (FOD) consisting of Isengard and Mordor. Each faction has it's own
advantages and disadvantages. In general, FOL is more defensive as they begin
with walls, and FOD is more offensive as they do not have walls, but twice the
command point limit as Gondor and Rohan.

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2a - Gondor


 Gondor's strength lies within its defense. They have stronger walls than
Rohan. Battle Towers, Trebuchets, and Postern Gates can all be built on the
walls. Furthermore, Gondor's castle can be upgraded with a Gondor Stoneworker,
one of the buildings allowed only to Gondor which can strengthen the walls and
gate, and can also make battle towers more damaging.

 Gondor collects their recources from Farms and Blacksmiths. Farms provide a
lower cost of the Gondor cavalry, Knights. Blacksmiths allow upgrades to be
purchased and reduces the cost of those upgrades. Only farms can be built on
settlements, so I advise having a higher number of blacksmiths than farms in
your castle.

 Gondor has several units that can be trained from unit production buildings
(Barracks, Stables...). They have several strengths and weaknesses:

 Barracks:
Soldiers - A simple battalion of soldiers. They have a secondary formation in
	which they form a box giving them greater armor but reducing their
	speed. They are cheap to build and can do well on the battlefield.
	They are good for attacking archers and are excellent against pikemen.
	However, cavalry and monsters can easily crush soldiers. Most useful
	as a counter to pikemen.

Tower Guards - The elite infantry of Gondor. They have more health, armor, and
	damage than the Soldiers. In thier shield wall formation, they take
	extremely small amounts of damage, but move extremely slowly. They are
	four times the cost of soldiers, but they are worth it. They do well
	against all enemies except monsters (mumakil, ents, and trolls). Once
	they enter combat, it is wise to put them into shield wall, and then
	change them back once the battle is over.

 Archery Center:
Archers - Basic battalion of archers. They have a fast rate of fire compared
	to other basic archer units and can hold their own in ranged combat.
	They have a secondary formation in which they do more damage, but also
	take more damage as well. They will get massacred in close combat,
	which is why it is important for there to be an infantry force always
	accompanying archers. They are good at taking out monsters and pikemen
	but beware of siege weapons like catapults and ballistas. They are
	very effective on the walls, as no melee unit can reach them.

Rangers - Arguably the best archer unit in the game. Rangers have the ability
	to hide when standing in a forest or near trees, which is very useful
	for ambushes. I highly recommend upgrading your Rangers with fire
	arrows, as they will do much more damage to enemies and buildings,
	making them a good raiding unit. They have another formation similar
	to that of the Archers, in which they do more damage for less armor.
	They can also do some damage in melee combat, but will most likely
	lose. Use against all units in the game, especially monsters but be 
	wary of cavalry and elite infantry units (Tower Guards, Soldiers of
	Rhun...).

 Stables:
Knights - Most likely the best cavalry unit in the entire game, knights are
	heavily armored and have lots of health. They easily trample over
	infantry units, but keep them far away from pikes. Stay away from
	archer units as well until you upgrade your knights with Horse
	Shields. They are excellent at raiding settlements and destroying
	siege weapons. A must-have in any Gondor army.

 Workshop:
Trebuchet - The siege weapon of Gondor. They are relatively cheap to build and
	can be upgraded with Fire Stones, which increase the damage that they
	do. This upgrade can also be used on trebuchets built on the wall.
	Useful on taking down walls and buildings, and Trebuchets do a pretty
	good job on archer units. If they get caught in melee combat, they'll
	get slaughtered, so protect them.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2b - Rohan


 Rohan's strength relies in three things. One, the fact that they have seven
recruitable heroes. Two, the fact that they can build Ents. Three, the fact
that they can make Elves, Rohirrim Archers, and Peasents. Their weakness,
however, is that Rohan has the worst economy in the game (no argument). Also,
Rohan's upgrades can only be purchased from the Armory, which costs 1500.

 Rohan's only resource building is the Farm. The advantage to Rohan's farms is
the fact that Peasents can be built from them. They can be very useful in the
right hands. Also, Rohan can build Ents and Rohan has a power to summon them
(huge advantage).

 Rohan relies mainly on its cavalry force and numerous heroes. The Rohan units
are built from Farms, Archery Ranges, Stables and Entmoots.

 Farm:
Peasents - Although you might not guess, Peasents are one of the most
	dominating forces early in a game. Why? Because they are made from
	Farms. I will explain in the Strategies section. Peasents themselves
	are not that great. They start out extremely weak. That is why if you
	plan on making Peasents, the first power to buy is Draft, which makes
	Peasents equal to Soldiers, basically. Ironically, they are the only
	infantry of Rohan.

 Archery Range:
Yeoman Archers - The basic archer unit of Rohan. Not as good as the Gondor
	Archers in my opinion. Their second formation is absolutely useless, as
	they will be killed before you know it. The only reason these archers
	should be made is to gain access to the Elves and Fire Arrows. Grouping
	Yeoman Archers with Peasents is probably the best thing to do.

Elves - The Elves are the best archer unit in the game. They perform exactly
	like the Gondor Rangers do, except the Elves have some advantages. They
	have the ability to be upgraded with heavy armor, unlike the Rangers.
	Also, they can be given Forged Blades and can actually become
	a very slow infantry unit. I do not recommend using the Elves for melee
	combat, unless you are being charged by enemy cavalry. For some reason,
	the Elves with swords equipped are a very good counter to cavalry.
	This makes them better than the Rangers.

 Stables:
Rohirrim - The famous horsemen of Rohan. They can trample against infantry and
	destroy siege weapons with ease. However, they are weak against pikes
	and archers. If you think that the Rohirrim are better than the Gondor
	Knights, you're wrong. I don't know why either. The only advantage they
	have is that they are cheaper to build than Knights. The Rohirrim can
	become better than Gondor Knights if you recruit Theoden, the King of
	Rohan, and have him ride with your Rohirrim. Before a large battle,
	have Theoden use Glorious Charge (if he has it), and your Rohirrim will
	be the strongest force on the battlefield.

Rohirrim Archers - The famous horsemen of Rohan, with bows and arrows. They are
	an excellent counter to Pikemen and even more deadly to enemy cavalry.
	If the enemy runs away while the Rohirrim Archers are attacking, then
	they will continue to fire while chasing the enemy. If the Rohirrim
	Archers are shooting at infantry or other melee units and the enemy
	starts to get close, run away and fire some more. Rohirrim Archers are
	weak in close combat. Also watch out for seige weapons.

 Entmoot:
Ents - The mighty Ents of Fanghorn Forest. They are the siege weapons of Rohan.
	They can break down walls either in melee combat or by simply throwing
	rocks at them. Ents have the longest range of anything in the game.
	They can virtually not be killed hand-to-hand. Of course, there is a
	downside. They are made of wood. Wood catches fire. Fire comes from
	Fire Arrows. Avoid units with Fire Arrows no matter what it takes.
	Also stay away from Mumakil.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2c - Isengard

 Isengard has no walls. Not a good thing. Isengard also has only 2 heroes, one
that costs 5000 resources. What is Isengard good at, you might ask? Offense.
Isengard has the best siege weapons in the entire game. They also have a fast
economy.

 Isengard has three resource collecting buildings, the Slaughterhouse, the
Lumbermill and the Furnace. The Slaughterhouse lowers the cost of Wargs and the
Furnace lowers the cost of upgrades and siege weapons. Furnaces will be much
more important than Slaugherhouses in your castle. Lumbermills can only be
built on settlements and reduce the cost of buildings.

 Isengard has three unit production buildings. They are the Uruk Pit, the Warg
Pit, and the Siegeworks.

 Uruk Pit:
Uruk Hai - The basic infantry of Isengard. Instead of coming in battalions of
	five, like the Gondor Soldiers, they come in hordes of ten. Uruk Hai
	have a unique advantage that makes them the best infantry in the game.
	They can run faster than any other infantry unit. That means that they
	can raid enemy settlements and retreat before the enemy gets there.
	Individually, they are weaker than the Gondor Soldiers, but as a horde,
	they are efficient. They also have a second formation exactly like that
	of the Gondor Soldiers.

Uruk Crossbows - The archer unit of Isengard. They, like the Uruk Hai, are
	faster than the other basic archer units. That, however, does not mean
	they are better. They need to be closer to their target than Gondor
	Archers do, and Uruk Crossbows get slaughtered in close combat. One
	thing the Uruk Crossbows do have is a faster rate of fire, meaning they
	shoot their bolts quicker. They have the same strengths and weaknesses
	that other basic archer units have in this game, but infantry is not
	as big of a problem because the Uruk Crossbows are fast.

Uruk Pikemen - The feared pikemen of Isengard. Most likely the best counter to
	cavalry in the game. They, like the other Uruks, have an increase in
	speed. Although they are good against cavalry units, the Uruk Pikemen
	are terrible against everything else. Keep these hordes towards the
	front or sides of your force in case of cavalry flanking.

Uruk Berserker - My favorite unit in the game. The Berserker comes equipped
	with a Forged Blade. They are used primarily for sieges. They can go
	on the top of siege ladders and can light mines. Another great use for
	them is raiding enemy settlements. Get a group of five berserkers
	attacking an enemy building, and it will go down in seconds. They do a
	good job on all units in the game except for monsters.

 Warg Pit:
Warg Riders - The cavalry of Isengard. Wargs are very good at raiding enemy
	settlements and are an excellent counter to enemy cavalry. Warg Riders
	have a unique ability called "Howl". It gives them +150% Damage. They
	also have a second formation that makes them do less damage but
	increases their armor. Very good to have Warg Riders stay in this
	formation all the time, except when attacking enemy buildings with no
	enemy troops around.

 Siegeworks:
Battering Ram - The simple ram. What does it do? Well, it rams. Very quick and
	cheap to build. The Battering Ram is very resistant to pierce damage.
	They, along with all siege equipment, are very weak to melee damage.
	Sending a group of four or five at a time at an enemy's base is better
	than sending them one at a time. If you send a Battering Ram at a
	Gondor Castle Gate and the enemy has upgraded battle towers everywhere
	along his walls, your Battering Ram will die right before reaching the
	gate. As I said, very resistant to pierce damage.

Ballistas - The best siege projectile. The Ballista is the most
	damaging siege weapon that fires from a distance. It also has the 
	fastest reload time, matched by the Mordor Catapult. Ballistas will
	destroy archer units either on walls or on foot. Be careful though,
	as they can be destroyed easily by infantry or cavalry. A must have for
	any siege.

Siege Ladder - Isengard's gateway to a victory. The Siege Ladder enables Uruk
	Hai, Uruk Crossbows and Uruk Berserkers to climb on top of the walls
	of Rohan or Gondor. A very good idea is to have an Uruk Berserker
	climb the ladder before it reaches the wall so when it does, the
	Berserker will hop off and kill all in its way. Another must-have for
	any successful siege.

Explosive Mine - The ultimate siege weapon. The Explosive Mine will decimate
	any and all that are unlucky enough to be close to it when exploded.
	Explosive Mines can get to walls during a battle and will be put
	against the wall. Once there, it can never be moved again. After it is
	set, Fire Arrows or a Berserker with a lighted torch can blow it up.
	Keep it away from the rest of your army, though, because if the enemy
	shoots a Fire Arrow at it, it will blow up. A successful explosion will
	change the tide of battle and your enemy will most likely cry.

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2d - Mordor

 My favorite faction. Mordor has strength in numbers. Their greatest advantage
is the fact that orcs are free. That's right. They cost no resources
whatsoever. Mordor also has the fastest economy of all four factions. Not to
mention, Mordor has access to the monsters (Trolls, Mumakil...)

 In any Mordor battle, one of the first things to build is an Orc Pit. When it
is finished, make all the orcs you can get. That way, you have an advantage 
and can probably attack the enemy with about four orc hordes. If they all die,
then send another four hordes. If they die, send more. In the meantime, save
up for trolls or Nazgul.

 With the great economy that Mordor has, the price of the units isn't too bad.

 Orc Pit:
Orc Warriors - Orcs. What can I say? They're FREE!!! Of course, just because
	they're free doesn't mean they're good. Individually, they are the
	weakest infantry unit in the game. But as a group, they are one of the
	best. The only upgrade that they can get is the Banner Carrier. It's
	not worth getting though, since orcs get killed rather fast. A must for
	any Mordor player.

Orc Archers - The archers of Mordor. Orc Archers aren't very skilled, but a
	large group with Fire Arrows can hold their own. As soon as you get
	your resources going steady, stop making Orc Warriors and make a few
	Orc Archers. Doing this will make your Orc Pit level up much faster.
	At least when it's at level two, you can start making Orc Warriors
	again. Not too bad, but don't rely on them for everything. Equip them
	with Fire Arrows and mount them to the back of a Mumakil and you get
	the coolest siege weapon ever.

 Haradrim Palace:
Haradrim Lancers - The Evil Men of the South. Haradrim Lancers throw spears
	from a distance at their target. If their target comes up close, then
	the Haradrim Lancers stab them with their spears. They are very
	effective against infantry and cavalry. Keep them away from all archer
	units. Haradrim Lancers will die extremely fast from archers. Mount
	them to the backs of Mumakil to have them shoot arrows at your enemies.

Soldiers of Rhun - The elite infantry of Mordor. The greatest advantage to the
	Soldiers of Rhun is that they take very little damage from archers.
	They are also an anti-cavalry unit and can hold their own against other
	infantry. Very good overall unit.

 Troll Cage:
Mountain Troll - The strong Troll. It can break down gates and other structures
	(except walls) and can kill all infantry with one hit. Trolls are great
	for destroying siege equipment and for countering cavalry. The death of
	all Trolls come from archers. If you are planning for a Troll to kill
	mostly units, then have it pick up a tree. If you are planning for a
	Troll to destroy siege equipment and structures, don't have it pick up
	anything (picking up a rock is ok).

Drummer Troll - What's better than a Troll? A Troll with drums. Drummer Trolls
	are used for providing leadership to other units like Orcs and Trolls.
	It can also fight against infantry, but they should only fight if
	needed. Keep them away from archers.

 Mumakil Pen:
Mumakil - The mighty Mumakil. They can charge through the enemy and can kill
	enemy heroes easily. Mumakil are the counter to all infantry and
	cavalry. They are great for destroying enemy walls and towers. Have
	Orc Archers or Haradrim Lancers mount Mumakil, and it's a walking siege
	machine. The Mumakil itself attacks the wall while the Orc Archers or
	Lancers kill enemy units. Keep Mumakil away from archers, especially
	archers with Fire Arrows. If the Mumakil dies, move your units away.

_______________________________________________________________________________

3 - General Strategies


 There are countless ways to beat missions and skirmishes. I will list the
general tactics used by many RTS players. If you have your own strategy, e-mail
it to me and I will include it and give you credit.


 Rushing:
	One of the most simple tactics, and yet, one of the most effective
	tactics is Rushing. Rushing is taking all the force you have and
	attacking your enemy at the start of the game. While you attack your
	enemy, you build up another force and send it at your enemy. Continue
	the process until you win. Best used with Mordor or Rohan.

 Turtling:
	A tactic used mostly by beginners or people who have a lot of time to
	spend. Turtling is when you keep your entire force in your base and
	make lots of towers. This tactic is best used with Gondor because you
	can then get defensive upgrades. Turtling takes a lot of time, however,
	and usually doesn't work. Not exactly my favorite tactic.

 Hero Rushing:
	Basically filling your base with resource buildings and waiting for
	heroes. I personally think that this is the worst strategy of all. This
	is used mostly with Rohan because of the number of heroes. This can
	also be used with Gondor to get Gandalf fast. This is dangerous to use
	because you have no defenses. By the time you get one hero, your enemy
	can have a decent-sized army and siege weapons.

 Upgrading:
	Similar to Turtling, except that you focus on upgrading one type of
	unit instead of your defenses. When you get a fully upgraded army, you
	attack in one giant wave. Whenever this tactic is used, cavalry are
	usually being upgraded.	Used mostly by everyone except Mordor, as they
	have no real upgrades.

 Raiding:
	My favorite strategy. A combination of Rushing and Upgrading. Send out
	your starting units to attack the enemy settlements and do what you can
	to get cavalry ASAP. Once you get cavalry, keep raiding enemy
	settlements. Doing this delays the enemy. While you raid, build up your
	force or build siege weapons and destroy the enemy.
		-If you are using this tactic as Isengard, it is a better idea
		to simply raid using Uruk Hai and build siege weapons or
		upgrades.
		-If you are using this tactic as Mordor, raid enemy settlements
		using orcs. Since Mordor has no upgrades of their own (except
		Fire Arrows if you want Orc Archers), make Trolls and Siege or
		Mumakil.

 Expanding:
	A lighter version of Turtling, but with some more offense. The point is
	to take over all expansion points (camps), and fill them with keeps or
	other defensive buildings. This doesn't make much of a difference
	against the computer, but can frustrate other players in multiplayer
	and make them quit.

_______________________________________________________________________________

4 - Specific Strategies

Elves:
 One of the most used and hardest to beat strategies in the game is upgrading
an army of Elves. This is very hard to beat because Elves can easily fight
infantry and archers. Cavalry do not stand a chance because the Elves can equip
their swords, making them similar to Uruk Pikemen, but not as efficient.

 This, like all strategies, can be beat because they have a weakness. In the
case of the Elves, that weakness is the fact that they are probably the slowest
unit in the game to create and upgrade. Also, Rohan has the worst economy in
the game. From the list of strategies above, the best one to use is Rushing.
If you can demolish your opponent's gate before they can get an Armory, then
you are most likely going to win.

 If you are Gondor, then this will be one of the hardest battles for you.
The first thing that you should do if you can, is build a workshop and do your
best to knock down your enemy's gate with Trebuchets. In the meantime, attack
your enemy's settlements with your starting Soldiers and Pippen to slow them
down. When you break the gate, make sure that you have soldiers ready to storm
in and destroy the Archery Range. Then the battle is yours. If you don't
manage to break down the gate, then build an Archery Range of your own and
create Rangers with Fire Arrows. Luckily, Rangers take only fifteen command
points, unlike the Elves who take twenty. Also, Gondor can summon Rohirrim.
Summon the Rohirrim right in the middle of the Elves so that they have their
swords equipped, and then attack them with both the Rangers and the Rohirrim.

 If you are Isengard, then you are lucky. Uruk Hai have a bonus of +300% damage
vs. Elves. Start off by building two furnaces and get a lumbermill with your
starting horde. Then raid the enemy settlements with that horde and War Chant.
While you are raiding make some more Furnaces and an Uruk Pit. After making
some more Uruk Hai, make a Siegeworks and create two or three Battering Rams.
With those Rams, break down the gate, and you will do good. If you don't break
the gate early, then just make Uruk Hai and Ballistas. When the Elves attack
your Uruk Hai, attack the Elves with your Ballistas. Also try using Saruman's
Wormtongue ability on as many Elves as you can get. It's funny to watch your
enemy's forces attacking each other.

 If you are Mordor, then you have a pretty good chance. Start by making an Orc
Pit, a Slaughterhouse, and Gollum. Go straight to attacking your enemy's
settlements with Orc Warriors and get your own settlements with Gollum. Make
some more Slaugherhouses and then make a Troll Cage. Make trolls when you can
and send them to attack the enemy's gate. If you don't break the gate, then
make a Haradrim Palace and spawn Soldiers of Rhun because they are like an
anti-archer unit. Attack Elves with Soldiers of Rhun and Trolls.

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