Since "Wars of the East" adds numerous new units and heroes, as well as changing old things, the number of possible battle tactics have greatly expanded. Here, in the Training Academy, we'll discuss the strategies of the different factions in WotE, both to help newcoming captains and to improve our own skills.
IF YOU HAVE A GOOD STRATEGY OR ANALYSIS YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH OTHERS, POST IT IN THIS TOPIC !
(Just make sure that you post it according to the format seen below, cos' then I have less job adding it ) !
The students felt anxious. It was "Lore and Strategy" hour in the Training Academy. While they considered this curriculum quite lame, they knew that a good
strategy could decide either victory or defeat on the battlefield. And not only that, but it was also the time to write their final Strategy exams. Finally, the great door opened, and Loremaster MB walked in, dressed in his black Dunedain-style clothes, carrying a bastard sword on his back, and a slightly oversized book in his right hand, titled "The Chronicles of Master Tolkien". He slowly went to the teacher's desk and put the book down. "Alright, young titans," - he spoke - "it's time to see who is a real commander of Middle-Earth, and who will be hurled to Mount Doom tomorrow. Any resistance on your part is futile, so put down your bow, Legolas. You too, Mauhur. Now, take a piece of paper - a big one - and write down one of your favored strategies in WotE. Just be sure it's fitting to the following format...". The Loremaster took a piece of chalk and wrote upon the board:
Name: The strategy's name. It should be short, fitting and cool-sounding.
Faction: This point states which faction uses the mentioned strategy.
When: The time when the strategy works the best. It can be effective in more than one time category, though, but make sure it falls to the following categories:
Early-game, Early-mid game, Mid-game, Mid-late game, Late-game
Description: The description of the strategy. It's not a problem if it lacks some details, but make sure that the key points of the strategy are all mentioned and fleshed out ! This means the most important buildings, preferred units, etc.
Powers: The spellbook powers the strategy prefers.
Suggested heroes: The list of faction heroes who best fit the strategy. We consider heroes as a seperate part due to their exceptional skills (and cost XD ), plus they are usually optional, and not entirely neccesary for victory.
Warning: State the possible counter-tactics/units of the mentined strategy.
Note: If there is something special you would mention (like, "works better on small maps" etc.), put it here.
"However, if you can't think of any good strategy, then a tactical analysis is also acceptable. A tactical analysis can belong to the following categories: Spellbook, Faction and Counter-strategy. Got it ? I hope you do." - with that said, the Loremaster began writing again:
Name: the analysis' name. Same requirements as at the strategies.
Faction: where does the analysis belong ? State it here.
Type: the type of the analysis. It can be one of the following categories:
Spellbook, Faction, Counter-strategy
Strengths/Weaknesses: this is neccesary for the "Faction" -type analysis. It describes the mentioned faction's strengths, weaknesses, best units and heroes. Mentioning the best combinations and basic strategies is also recommanded.
Spell analysis: this is neccesary for the "Spellbook" -type analysis. It describes the effectiveness of Spellbook powers, one-by-one, tier-by-tier.
Description: this is neccesary for the "Counter-strategy" -type analysis. It should describe what to do when playing with "A" faction vs. "B" faction, where "B" uses "xy" strategy. Give as much detail as possible !
Conclusion: Be sure to describe your personal opinion over the case.
"...and I guess that's all. Any questions ?" - then, somewhere in the back of the classroom, a hand waved. "What is it, Tharna ?" - the Loremaster asked. "Just a question, sir... when does the exam end ?" - "You have time 'till the 4th Age begins, laddie. Now get to work !"
Strategy and Analysis List
Men of the West
- Peasant Rush (Early-game strategy)
- Wine War (Mid-game/Mid-late game strategy)
- Dorwinion Spellbook (Spellbook analysis)
- Isengard Spellbook (Spellbook analysis)
- River of Fire (Mid-late game game strategy) - submitted by Ring of Fate
- Evil Men Spellbook (Spellbook analysis)
Strategy and Analysis Descriptions:
Description: Alright, this is one of the easiest yet most effective strategy in WotE, even inexperienced players can do it. First, make sure you build up at least 2-4 Dorwinion Farms (if you know where is your enemy, rotate the farms into that direction), and then start recruiting Dorwinion Peasants like crazy. If you play on a wooden map (so there are many trees around), it is also a good idea to put up 1 or 2 Wineyards cos' they produce resources fast and if you level up the Wineyard then you can research Wine of Dorwinion which can give a big boost to your Dorwinion Peasants, or, if the rush fails, gives you the opportunity to move on to the "Wine War" strategy right away. However, the Wineyard-thing is optional; if you entirely put your faith into your Dorwinion Peasants, then don't bother researching Wine of Dorwinion (you can still keep one or two Wineyards around for the resource income, though). So, back to the peasants. In the very start of the game, you have 2 battalions of Dorwinion Peasants as starting units. Train at least 2-3 more battalions, then march straight to the enemy position, and start the siege; focus your strength on the lesser unit production buildings (so the enemy can't counter you with its own spamming) and on the cavalry/monster production buildings (so they can't trample your peasants). While the siege goes on, make sure your farms continue to produce Dorwinion Peasants, one battalion after another, and after recruited the march straight to the fray (a well-selected rally point helps much) ! If you are fast enough, you probably get into winning position within less than 15 minutes.
Powers: I vote for Birds of Cuiveinen, as it not only allows quick scouting, but also boost the movement and attack speed of your units. If you gather up another 5 power points, spend it on Rallying Call for further boosting.
Suggested heroes: This strategy doesn't really need heroes, but if you still want to have one, then go with Dasron, as his "Merchant Lord" skill can provide some serious economical adventage.
Warning: Whoever is your opponent, be wary of cavalry and monster attacks, as they easily crush the peasants away; a few cavalry battalions/monsters doesn't mean defeat, but they can slow you down, bringing the rush closer to the edge of faliure. A concentrated cavalry/monster assault, however, can often (if not always) turn the tides against you. In case you are fighting with Mordor, it is a bit risky to rush, as Mordor is still a strong faction in early-game (you are free to try, though).
Note: This strategy works better on small maps, where you can deploy your peasants quickly and the enemy doesn't have much time to prepare.
Description: This works either as a starting strategy or as an alternative method when the "Peasant Rush" fails. In any case: at the beginning, make sure you have 2-3 Dorwinion Farms, put up a Mustering Grounds and at least one Wineyard ! At first, you are just going to defend: recruit Dorwinion Peasants and Hildorien Pitchforkers to fend off early attacks ! While you defend, put up some new Dorwinion Farms, a second Mustering Grounds and make sure you upgrade the first Mustering Grounds and the Wineyard ! Once upgraded, research Wine of Dorwinion and start upgrading your Dorwinion Peasants, and recruit a few battalions of Dorwinion Bowmen. Thanks to these effors, your defenses are now much stronger. Now, just still defend and upgrade the second Mustering Grounds as well, and recruit Dorwinion Soldiers and Dorwinion Bowmen, and upgrade all of them with Wine of Dorwinion ! If you did everything well, you have a formidable attack force by now, so launch the charge - the Dorwinion units, if combined with some Hildorien Pitchforker battalions usually make short work of any defense. If you did your job well, one attack will be enough for victory. If by some means, you predict a long battle, put up an Armory and recearch Banner Carrier/Forged Blades (these upgrades will hasten up the work), plus recruit some Cuiveinen Pikemen - they are quite tough anti-cavalry units, plus their Starlight can support your units well.
Powers: Rallying Call - Volunteers - Rich Farmlands - Orocarni Allies (plus-minus Birds of Cuiveinen / Heal); this ensures both military and economic stability until the time of the final battle comes.
Suggested heroes: Summoning Dasron is highly recommanded. Using him together with Tharna is also a good idea; while Tharna is weak on low leves, he gets "Call the Brown Company" on level 6, which summons a band of tough Adventurers - this can help you much. In mid-game, your pick should be Bladorthin, as his skills are quite versatile. In late-game, you should summon Ratvith - his skills are devastating, and often help to win even unfair battles.
Warning: Look out for concentrated archer attacks in early-game (the peasants and pitchforkers don't endure arrows well) and cavalry/monster attacks in mid-game (the pitchforkers are early-game units, so don't count on them against too strong foes) ! Keep those in mind, especially when you face Elves, cos' they can train strong archers and cavalry even in early-game. In late-game, you don't have much to worry about if you have the Cuiveinen Pikemen with you.
Note: This works better on large maps where the enemy needs some time just to get to your base. Oh, and if there is an Inn nearby, you can recruit Jarkand City Guards - they are much more efficient than Hildorien Pitchforkers, which can help much in the beginning.
River of Fire - submitted by Ring of Fate
Faction: Evil Men
When: Mid-late game
Description: Alright, let's begin. First, put up 2 Harad Farms and an Archery Range, and start recruiting Haradrim Archers. Although they are basic archers, their Barbed Arrows can cause severe wounds to any opponent, so use the archers to fend off early attacks. While you are at it, put up 2-3 more farms and later - when you have enough archers (3-4 battalions) build a Hall of Rhun, then recruit some Easterling Pikemen; this combo can counter both infantry and cavalry. If possible, send a battalion of Easterlin Pikemen to hunt for creeps and earn extra gold. If you think the economy and defenses are stable, then put up a Tavern and upgrade it immediately to level 2. Now comes the main part. Once the Tavern is on level 2, recruit some Black Numenorean Marauders and upgrade them with the Spill Oil ability ! Now, start spilling oil around your base - you don't have to cover up every single farm, but focus on the areas where the enemy usually attacks. Send some spearmen and archers to stand guard just behind the oil trap (use the "Porcupine Formation" of the spearmen, and put the archers onto "Offensive Stance") and even build up some Sentry Towers. What you have now is perhaps the best base defense of the Evil Men; when the enemy approaches, just simply set the oil aflame with the Black Numenorean Marauders or order some archers upgraded with Fire Arrows to fire at the oil trap. Not many unit can survive the burning oil, plus they will be attacked by the archers / towers who stand behind the oil trap; and those who still get trough will be stopped by the spearmen. If you get attacked from afar (by archers or siege weaponry), then deploy Corsair Ballistas and some cavalry (like Haradrim Lancers) also doesn't hurt. This way you've secured the safety of your base, and now you can amass enough resources to build up a formidable attack force. From this point, it is entirely up to you what army you use (my favourite is an army of Soldiers of Rhun, Easterling Archers, Variag Horsemen plus-minus a few Corsair Ballistas).
However, if you want to further strangthen your defenses or harass the enemy a bit from a safe distance, then upgrade your Fortress (Ivory Plating, Dragon's Nest) and summon a Were-Worm; it can set the oil aflame, too by using its "Flames of the Last Desert" ability, and, being a big flying monster, it is perfect for crushing away enemy infantry and harassing the enemy base. Just keep it away from enemy archers cos' that will hurt.
While defending your base, you can also slip out with some of your units, capturing neutral buildings and then spilling oil around them with the Black Numenorean Marauders, and protecting the building with a group of Haradrim Archers. This doesn't protect the building for long, but you can cause severe losses to your enemies before they would actually attack your base.
An another favored trick is to upgrade some Black Numenorean Marauders with Spill Gunpowder ability, and launch suicide attacks: distract the enemy with a fake attack (Haradrim Lancers are good for this), then send in a battalion of the marauders and start spilling gunpowder amongst the enemy buildings, then simply blow it up. If you do this over and over again, you can cause serious damage to the enemy base only at the cost of a few battalions. The only problem with this trick is that the gunpowder upgrade is pretty expensive.
Powers: Desert Winds - Deception of Romestamo - Summon Drogoth -> March of the Dead (plus-minus War Chant / Cave Bats OR Shadow of Rhun) ; this selection of powers gives you a vast number of possibilities to hold the enemy in check and even if they get trough, you can eliminate them quickly. Then you can give a final blow with a powerful summoning.
Suggested heroes: As always, heroes aren't neccesary for victory, but if you want someone to lead your army with this strategy then pick up Suladan. He's a strong archer, and in later game he's perfect for harassing and leading the final attack. If you predict a very long game, you should also summon Groth the Worm because he can slip in and out without being caught, plus he is a powerful siege hero. If the battles still goes on, then summon Khamul; he and his Fell Beast can mean a big help.
Warning: In general, you should be wary of concentrated ranged attacks; units with long ranged attacks often just don't walk into the right place but can attack your units already. This is the most notable when fighting against Elves (strong archers and Ents), Isengard (Ballistae and Uruk Bombers) and Men of the West (strong archers and Trebuchets). Things become even worse when such ranged attack force is coupled with cavalry, as the riders are swift and you can't always react in time (so they just slip trough the oil trap). The defenses will probably hold, but you'll have to spend a smaller wealth to build it up yet again.
Note: First: don't forget that the oil will dry up after some time, so you'll have to spill oil over and over again. Second: evade fighting on multiple fronts ! If you are surrounded by enemies, then you won't have enough space for your farms, and you'll run out of resources quickly. Not to mention that you'll have to divide your forces (and attention). If the enemy can attack only from 2-3 directions, then fine, but 4 or more can be troublesome, especially if you don't have any allies to cover your sides.
TIER 1The basic powers of Dorwinion are all about boosting, but they fulfill this role by different means.
The same as the Heal of other Good factions. This spell restores the health of all units and heroes in its area-of-effect, and even resurrects one unit per battalion, and recharges somewhat quickly. In great battles, this spell can be a tide-turner, but in early game it is more recommanded to go with Rallying Call or Birds of Cuiveinen, as casting Heal on 1-3 battalions just doesn't pay off as much as a fine boost.
The same as the Rallying Call of other Good factions. It can boost the damage, armor and experience-gaining rate of selected units, and recharges somewhat quickly. It should be used at places where many of your troops are clustered. A good boosting power useful for any strategy; a must-choose.
Birds of Cuiveinen
This spell summons a flock of birds; good line of sight, great speed - excellent for scouting. Also, the birds increase the movement and attack speed of nearby friendly units, thus this spell is quite versatile and useful in most situations.
TIER 2The more advanced powers of Dorwinion are either offensive or economic - you decide...
This spell summons a large group of Dorwinion Peasants and Hildorien Picthforkers. They are good against both infantry and cavalry, and can be used either for defense or harassing enemy bases. The only thing you should fear when using this power is a concentrated archer assault - the peasants and pitchforkers are very vulnerable to arrows. Yet, this spell can mean a serious advantage if used wisely.
Requires: Heal / Rallying Call
This spell can provide vast economic bonuses if used wisely, increasing the resource income of a selected Dorwinion Farm by 300%. If the selected farm if well-defended, then you can ensure a serious income. The spell recharges slowly, though, so you may not experience the true effect until later game. Also, if the enemy uses rushing tactics, it's better to go with Volunteers or Arrow Volley.
Requires: Rallying Call / Birds of Cuiveinen
A very effective anti-infantry spell; it can finish off entire battalions within moments (at least unupgraded ones). It is not good against cavalry, though, as the arrows need a few seconds to be fired, and the fast-moving cavalry might rides away from the area of effect until the spell takes place. Apart from that, it is effective and can be pretty useful at any time of the game.
Requires: Birds of Cuiveinen
A passive economic power; if a building is destroyed, you receive 50% of its constructing cost. When fighting against factions with serious siege capeabilities (Mordor, Isengard, Dwarves), it can prove to be useful, but most of the time it is quite useless. Think things trough before choosing it.
TIER 3Things are getting hard ? Be sure to choose one of these...
Requires: Volunteers / Rich Farmlands
This spell summons a band of Dwarves of Orocarni and Khazad Warriors. The warriors can take care of most enemies on their own, while they are supported by the crossbowmen; a deadly combination in most cases. A cavalry charge can be troublesome, though. This spell is best used in minor sieges due to the high damage of the Khazad Warriors.
Requires: Rich Farmlands / Arrow Volley
The same as the Cloudbreak of other Good factions. This spell dispells other weather effects and stuns enemies. However, it doesn't last long, so be sure to cast it only when the time is right; using it just after when the enemy uses "Darkness" or "Freezing Rain" is not a bad idea. Also, in great battles it can turn the tides quickly, but don't waste it to stun one or two battalions harassing your farms or to simply slow enemy army movements.
Requires: Arrow Volley / Siege Materials
If you want to speed up unit production a bit, this is your best choice. This spell greatly reduces the time required for the training of regular units; the effect doesn't last for long, so you have to be quick youself if you want the spell to be effective. However, amassing resources before using this spell is a good idea. If you want to train an army for a final strike or you've lost a battle and the enemy is about to respond then invoke it at once, but otherwise leave it to be.
TIER 4Time for the final assault ! Either by strength of arms or magic.
For the East
Requires: Orocarni Allies / Cloudbreak
The ultimate summoning spell of Dorwinion; it summons a small army of Knights of Dol Amroth, Hildorien Axemen and Moriquendi Archers - these units are all strong late-game units. This spell is best used in open battles, because then the summoned units will have a great space for movement.
Strength of Kalorme
Requires: Cloudbreak / Training Officers
The only real destructive power of Dorwinion - but at least a strong one. This spell hurls fiery doom upon a selected area, causing massive destruction. It is the most effective when used against enemy bases just right before the final attack is launched, but using it against a few enemy battalions is simply foolish.
Conclusion: Overall, Dorwinion's spellbook is mostly about support or economy. Spells rarely compliment each other, but each summoning spell can be effectively combined with "Rallying Call". The most favoured ways of using this spellbook are:
Heal -> Volunteers -> Orocarni Allies -> For the East (plus-minus Rallying Call / Birds of Cuiveinen) ; this maximalizes the summoning capeabilities. When the spells are combined, one can easily win the game by summoning a whole army out of thin air.
Birds of Cuiveinen -> Arrow Volley -> Training Officers -> Strength of Kalorme (plus-minus Heal / Rallying Call) ; this is the best for people who don't rely on summons but prefer offensive tactics.
Rallying Call -> Rich Farmlands -> Cloudbreak -> For the East OR Strength of Kalorme (plus-minus Heal/i] / Birds of Cuiveinen OR Arrow Volley) ; this is for strategists who prefer to have strong defenses until they build up a stable economy and amass a strong attack force.
Of course, there are many possibilities, but these are the most well-known ones.
TIER 1The basic poweres remained the same - scouting, boost and debuff.
The Palantir can reveal anything - including stealthed units and heroes - and recharges quite quickly, thus it is good for scouting or revealing hidden enemies. It isn't good for anything else, though. If you ask me, you should rather go with War Chant or Crebains and save the Palantir for a later time when you can use it to place your summonable units or select a target for your destructive spells without sending a single battalion only to get some line of sight.
The same as the War Chant of other Evil factions. It can boost the damage, armor and experience-gaining rate of selected units, and recharges quite quickly. It should be used at places where many of your troops are clustered. A fine buffing spell which can prove useful in almost any situation.
This spell summons a flock of crebain; great speed and good line of sight, perfect for scouting. These birds also reduce the armor and damage of nearby enemy units, making them versatile and useful in many situations.
TIER 2Most of the second-level powers have been replaced by lesser summoning spells.
This spell summons a warband of Wildmen of Dunland. These guys are poorly armored but deal good damage in close combat, plus they earn resources when hitting enemy buildings; these traits make them perfect for harassing enemy bases or weakening approaching enemy armies, but don't expect them to last for too long.
Wargs of the North
Requires: Palantir / War Chant
This spells summons a larger pack of White Wolves. These beasts are swift, endurant and deadly cavalry units, perhaps the best summonable units of Isengard ! This spell recharges slower than other summoning spells, though. As Isengard isn't strong in matters of cavalry, this spell is best used as an alternative cavalry charge, cleansing the path before the rest of the army and slaughtering lesser enemies.
Requires: War Chant / Crebain
A good economic power which immediately converts the selected trees into resources. The instant cash can come handy if spent wisely, and clever strategists can also use it to reveal hidden enemies by making their "hideout(s)" disappear. However, on maps where very few trees can be found or aren't any trees at all, the Devastation is often completely useless.
Creatures of the Deep
This spell summons a warband of Goblin Warriors and Goblin Archers from Moria. The least powerful of Isengard's summoning spells, but can be effective if used well. The goblins are swift infanry units, perfect for harassing enemy resource buildings or small outposts. While goblins have poor defense and small health, they have the ability to use "Poisoned Blades" and "Poisoned Arrows"; these skills can deliver some nice damage over time, so even if the goblins perish quickly in battle, their venoms can cause considerable damage and weaken approaching enemies.
TIER 3Destruction and mayhem !
Requires: Pillagers / Wargs of the North
One of Isengard's new destructive powers; this spell places an Explosive Mine in the center of the selected area, which immediately explodes. This bomb has the potential to blow up half of the enemy base, but recharges slowly. Don't bother to use it against enemy units or heroes (except when many are clustered in a narrow place); the Hidden Mine, more often than not, is a siege power.
WARNING: when you try to place it "beneath" buildings, the program can't place the Mine and the game crashes.
Requires: Wargs of the North / Devastation
This spell summons a rainstorm, dispelling other weather effects, lowering the moral of your opponents thus rendering any enemy Leaderships completely useless. Best used just after your enemy invokes his own weather-based spell (Cloudbreak, Darkness, Freezing Rain), or just before you launch your final attack. It is also good when the enemy has a couple of heroes or units with strong Leaderships marching straight towards your base and then you can disable their bonuses at once. Apart from these situations, this spell it isn't worth much.
Summon the Watcher
Requires: Devastation / Creatures of the Deep
This spell awakens the Watcher and summons it to the selected area. The Watcher can deal massive damage to close-combat opponents, but is immobile and thus very vulnerable to enemy archers. It is best used when you place it right in the middle of an enemy army, or just inside the enemy base to damage the buildings a bit before you would send in the main army. It is also important to note that the Watcher doesn't hesitate to devour anything, be it friend or foe, so keep your units away from it until it goes away.
TIER 4Now, let's see... what should we destroy first ? Their army, or their base ?
Requires: Hidden Mine / Freezing Rain
The ultimate debuffing spell. This spell weakens enemies in its area of effect in every possible way: it reduces damage, armor, movement and attack speed, deals minor damage over time, and even scares enemies away from the center of the spell. This power has great area of effect, large enough to effect entire armies. It doesn't destroy enemies, but gives you the opportunity to wipe out your opponent's main forces within small time. Before using the spell, make sure you have some archers and cavalry around so youcan hunt down the fleeing opponents quickly because otherwise the enemy will re-organize its ranks as the effect wears off and then it was worth for nothing apart from causing small damage.
Wrath of Caradhas
Requires: Freezing Rain / Watcher
The second destructive spell of Isengard; this spell causes an avalanche upon the selected area. It doesn't deal so much damage as the Hidden Mine, but has much larger area of effect so it can seriously damage the whole enemy base. Do not use it against enemy units; this power is for siege purposes, and is most effective when used before the final attack is launched.
Conclusion: in general, all of Isengard's powers are effective if used in the right time for the right purpose. Spells can be effectively combined, mostly for weakening opposing forces. The most favoured ways of using this spellbook are:
War Chant -> Wargs of the North -> Hidden Mine -> Despair (plus-minus Palantir / Crebain) ; this is for players who prefer very offensive tactics.
War Chant -> Devastation -> Freezing Rain OR Summon the Watcher -> Wrath of Caradhas (plus-minus Palantir / Crebain OR Wargs of the North) ; this is for players who prefer defensive tactics until the time of the final strike comes.
Of course, there are many other ways, but these are quite well-known.
Evil Men Spellbook
Faction: Evil Men
TIER 1Even the basic spells are various; a fine boost, a cool direct attack, or an effective debuff ? Oh man...
The same as the War Chant of other Evil factions. It can boost the damage, armor and experience-gaining rate of selected units, and recharges quite quickly. It should be used at places where many of your troops are clustered. A fine buffing spell which can prove useful in almost any situation.
The opposite of Angmar's "Fell Wind"; this spell hurls the selected enemies into random directions all over the battlefield, and also causes minor fire damage. When cast upon larger enemy warbands, this spell can turn the tide for your favour even if you are outnumbered, because - thanks to this spell - your opponent will have a hard time to regroup and until this happens you can hunt down the enemy units one-by-one, weakening your foe until the real battle takes place. Versatile, effective yet recharges quickly - the number one choice of many Evil Men players.
This spell summons a pack of cave bats; good line of sight, great speed - excellent for scouting. Also, the bats reduce the armor and damage of nearby enemies, making this spell versatile and useful in most situations.
TIER 2Even more variety ! If you can master all strategical possibilities, raise your hands...
Requires: War Chant
This spell summons a larger group of Axemen of Khand. While not too numerous, these guys are quite strong against most units - except for cavalry. Useful for both defending against larger enemy forces and harassing enemy bases; having this spell can mean a great advantage.
Deception of Romestamo
Requires: War Chant / Desert Winds
This spell turns enemy units against each other in its area of effect; a versatile power, but hard to master. However, do not use it on enemy archers - most of the time, it is useless; the archers - due to their attack range - will continue to fire at your units, so it is best used on clustered melee-fighting opponents. However, this spell can rarely be used with maximum effect, so choose it only if you face rushing tactics so the amassed enemies will slaughter each other while you buy some time for yourself, or you predict a concentrated assault in a narrow path. Otherwise, go with other Tier 2 powers.
Shadow of Rhun
Requires: Desert Winds / Cave Bats
Similar to the "Enshrouding Mist" spell of the Elves. This spell can hide allies and greatly weaken enemies in its area of effect. It is mostly used to debuff enemy forces, but clever strategists can also use it to hide their own units - when cast upon your archers, you get some invisible and deadly ranged support. However, if the enemy can't see your units, it usually tries to get closer to the mist so it can reveal your units - and so, it will be affected by the mist's weakening effect. This is all great, but be wary of cavalry charges - this can ruin things, so keep some spearmen just next to your archers to avoid such suprises. Overall, this is a versatile and strong spell, recommanded for any strategy.
Requires: Cave Bats
Similar to the "Heal" spell of the Good factions, but stronger. This spell fully heals every unit and hero in its area of effect, and resurrects two (!) units per battalion. If used wisely, it can turn the tide of battles, but it recharges slowly - this is a fact which renders this spell less effective than its Good version. If you ask me, you should rather go with Shadow of Rhun and save Black Healing for a later time, but it's your choice.
TIER 3Damn ! They are still resisting ?! These will break them...
Requires: Variag Allies / Deception of Romestamo
This spell summons the dragon lord Drogoth to spread fiery destruction. However, Drogoth is very vulnerable to archers, so if you are facting hordes of ranged attackers, then avoid using him. Apart from this, Drogoth is quite strong against infantry and cavalry, and his abilities are effective for siege purposes. It is a good idea to distract enemy archers with a fake attack and then send Drogoth to burn up a building or two. He is a good siege hero, but it is hard to use him effectively; most of the time, it is better to go with Darkness or Horror of Far Harad.
Requires: Deception of Romestamo / Shadow of Rhun
The same as the Darkness spell of Mordor. This spell is the ultimate boosting power of Evil Men; it dispells other weather effects and strengthens all of your units for a long time. However, you must choose wisely when to invoke it. For example, using it just after the enemy uses a Cloudbreak or Freezing Rain is just a good time. Using it just before you launch a major attack against your opponent is also perfect, but don't waste it just to strengthen a battalion protecting your farms.
Horror of Far Harad
Requires: Shadow of Rhun / Black Healing
Now, that's what I call a strong Tier 3 summoning spell. This spell summons a small army of Half-Trolls of Far Harad; these guys are the strongest spearmen of the Evil Men faction if not the best in the entire game. They can counter almost anything; cavalry charges and infantry attackers mean nothing for these brutes, and they are endurant against most ranged attacks as well. You should use this spell in open battlefields, because then the half-trolls will have a greater space for movement.
TIER 4Those fools have survived so far... only to witness horrors like man never seen before.
March of the Dead
Requires: Summon Drogoth / Darkness
Tremble, living, for the dead are walking again... this spell summons an army of Wights, Wraiths of Rhun and Mewlips. All of them have the ability to drain health from their opponents, and are strong in melee combat; neither cavalry or infantry can stand against them for long. However, the undead are slow, and vulnerable to arrows; you should summon these abonimations right in the middle of the enemy army so archers can't run away and take them out and cavalry units can't delay them with charges. This spell is very powerful when used against larger enemy armies, but don't use it for siege purposes.
Requires: Darkness / Horror of Far Harad
This spell awakens Ungoliant, mother of all spiders. Her strength is nearly equal to that of a Ring Hero; her powers can finish off entire armies within matters of seconds, and she can also trample enemies. Ungoliant isn't quite a siege hero, though; she is best used directly against regular units. It is unlikely that the enemy can finish her off, but she doesn't remain in the battlefield for to long, so use her skills as many times as possible to maximalize the destruction. However, single targets or few battalions of strong units slow her down a lot, yet you shouldn't waste her abilities on such foes. Ungoliant is the most effective when facing masses of enemies.
Conclusion: the Evil Men faction has good summoning spells and versatile support spells, but lacks destructive powers. Creative strategists can make up effective combinations, such as hiding archers with "Darkness of Rhun" and then confusing approaching foes with "Deception of Romestamo". The most favoured ways of using this spellbook are:
War Chant -> Variag Allies -> Summon Drogoth -> March of the Dead (plus-minus Desert Winds / Cave Bats) ; this enables a large amount of summonable reinforcements, either for defending or attacking.
Cave Bats -> Shadow of Rhun OR Black Healing -> Horror of Far Harad -> Summon Ungoliant (plus-minus War Chant / Desert Winds) ; this ensures tactical superiority in early game and some heavy muscle in late game.
Desert Winds -> Shadow of Rhun -> Darkness -> March of the Dead OR Summon Ungoliant (plus-minus War Chant / Cave Bats OR Deception of Romestamo) ; this is the path of the most experienced Evil Men leaders. This selection of powers is hard to master, but can be extremly effctive when used correctly.
Of course, there are many possibilities, but these are probably the best ones.
Suddenly, the Loremaster's voice was heard: "Alright, time is up !" - "But sir, we are still in the 3rd Age..." - said Boldog. Loremaster MB replied: "And you are supposed to be dead since the 1st Age, so shuddup. Now, bring those exams to the desk at once !"
- A day later -
[i]Loremaster MB walked into the room. His face was radiating with proudness: "Ladies and gentlemen, I have great news: you have all passed. Once you get out of the Training Academy, you guys will make history !"
Edited by MorrisB, 28 June 2008 - 05:24 PM.