Battle for Middle Earth

The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth is a PC real-time strategy game developed by EA Los Angeles. It is based on Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, in turn based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s original novel. The game uses short video clips from the movies and a number of the voice actors, including the hobbits and wizards. It uses the SAGE engine from Command & Conquer: Generals and was released on December 6, 2004.

The sequel, The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II, was released on March 2, 2006. The game retains the basic mechanics of real-time strategies. Warring factions gather resources, then use them to construct military bases and armies on-site. In Battle for Middle-Earth, buildings may only be constructed on the building slots of predefined plots. Plots range from farmhouses to full-fledged castles, with different slot arrangements and available buildings, and plots can be purchased when they’re in the sole presence of a side’s forces. The only resource are the nebulous “resources,” which are produced inexhaustibly in dedicated buildings. Four factions on two sides wage the War of the Ring: Representing the Free Peoples are the horse-lords of Rohan, and Gondor with its forges and battlements. The Forces of Darkness are the fighting Uruk-hai of Isengard, and Mordor’s orc hordes, bolstered by Haradrim, Mûmakil and Trolls.

LOTR-BFME-I – Good Campaign battles

  • Mines of Moria: The Fellowship makes the dangerous trek through the ancient halls, surviving goblin attacks, the ambush at Balin’s Tomb, and even a Balrog of Morgoth. This mission takes the alternate storyline of Gandalf surviving the battle to meet up with the rest of the Fellowship outside.
  • Lothlórien: Having escaped Moria, the Fellowship is still being pursued by vicious goblins. They meet up with the elves of Lorien, who help drive off the invasion and demolish nearby lumber camps.
  • Amon Hen: Ambushed by uruk-hai raiders, the Fellowship must rally to the aid of their friend Boromir and escort Frodo and Sam safely to the boats so they can continue the Ring Quest. In this alternate storyline, Boromir can actually survive and contiue to accompany the fellowship in there quest to save Merry and Pippin.
  • Eaves of Fangorn: As a Rohirrim patrol led by Eomer, you must destroy Isengard’s forces in the area, and rescue Merry and Pippin from their captors.
  • Helm’s Deep: Rohan must make its last stand in the Hornburg by defeating the invading uruk-hai, and then riding out at dawn to crush the remaining forces.
  • Isengard: In the Last March of the Ents, Merry, Pippin, and Treebeard must invade Isengard and put an end to the tyranny of the evil wizard Saruman.
  • Northern Ithilien: Faramir and his rangers must ambush the Haradrim army meeting with Mordor, as well as protecting Frodo and Sam.
  • Osgiliath: Faramir’s dwindling forces must secure the ruined city of Osgiliath and drive the armies of Mordor out. In the beginning of Minas Tirith, Boromir can be seen fleeing Osgiliath with Faramir; speculating that Boromir went to assist his brother and had to retreat with him.
  • Shelob’s Lair: Sam must brave the dangers of Shelob’s den, rescue the Gondor patrols trapped in the caverns, and fight the demonic spider herself, before mounting an assault on Cirith Ungol.
  • Minas Tirith: In the epic clash of good and evil, the White City must be defended against Sauron’s oncoming forces. In this alternate storyline, Theoden can survive and accompany Rohans armies to the Black Gates of Mordor.
  • The Black Gate: The Free Peoples must muster the strength for one final, desperate stand at the gates of Mordor itself to buy time for Frodo and Sam to cast the One Ring into Mount Doom.

LOTR-BFME-I – Evil Campaign battles

  • Isengard: Saruman, allying himself with Sauron, must build up his uruk-hai army, as well as driving off invading elves, ents, and Rohirrim.
  • Fangorn Forest: The armies of Saruman must advance into Fangorn and kill Treebeard and his ents before they become a serious threat.
  • Amon Hen: Lurtz leads an uruk-hai raid to Amon Hen to ambush the Fellowship and kill Boromir, Merry, and Pippin.
  • Edoras: With Rohan’s main army evacuated, Isengard can lead an assault on Edoras and slay the refugees who have escaped their forces, as well as the meddling Lady Eowyn.
  • Helm’s Deep: No enemy force has ever taken the Hornburg, but that won’t stop Saruman from trying. Lead the hordes of Isengard into the fortress and crush Rohan once and for all.
  • Near Harad: The armies of Mordor advance into the deserts of Harad to recruit the local Haradrim into Sauron’s employ. Either bribe the tribal leaders, or destroy their settlements and scare them into submission.
  • Southern Ithilien: Faramir’s rangers have hampered Mordor’s armies too long. Seek out their base at the Forbidden Pool and wipe them from the face of the earth.
  • Osgiliath: The ruined city of Osgiliath is a key border point to launch an assault on Gondor. Raze the defenses to the ground and claim the city for Mordor.
  • Cirith Ungol/Shelob’s Lair: Frodo and Sam have been spotted trekking through Shelob’s Lair. Unite with the ancient spider, kill the hobbits, and claim the One Ring for Sauron.
  • Minas Tirith: With the One Ring regained, Sauron’s victory is all but assured. Mordor and Isengard unite forces to assault Minas Tirith and crush the last Free Peoples.

Sequel: The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II

Unlike its predecessor, the game is set mainly in the northern regions of Middle-earth, and focuses on the war there. Factions include the Elves, Dwarves, Men of the West, (Gondor and Rohan combined) and the Goblins, along with Mordor and Isengard. For the Good campaign, the story starts in Rivendell where the Goblins from the Misty Mountains are poised to attack, while the Fellowship of the Ring journey south. For the Evil campaign, it begins with the siege of Lórien from Mordor’s stronghold of Dol Guldur.

LOTR-BFME-II – Good campaign battles
  • Mission 1: Rivendell – As the Fellowship sets out to destroy the One Ring, Elrond, Glorfindel and Glóin stay behind in Rivendell to plan the war in the North; however, Rivendell is attacked by a Goblin army from the Misty Mountains. You must rally the elves and defend Rivendell.
  • Mission 2: High Pass – Elrond sends Glorfindel and Glóin to unite the Elves and the Dwarves against Sauron and to take on the Goblin hordes. Before the attack on Rivendell can be traced to its source, the High Pass road must be retaken from the Goblins as it is the vital connection between East and West.
  • Mission 3: Ettenmoors – The war of the North has begun in earnest and you are pitted against Trolls, Mountain Giants, Goblins and their new ruler Gorkil, who is being controlled by Sauron. The level is set in the Ettenmoors and the ruins of the Witch-king’s previous fortress of Carn Dûm.
  • Mission 4: Blue Mountains – You have a chance to gain favour with the Dwarves of the Blue Mountains, impeding Sauron further. You must fight your way through the Goblin-infested Dwarven halls of the Blue Mountains and kill the dragon that lurks there.
  • Mission 5: Grey Havens – Your next mission is to defend the Grey Havens from a combined land and sea assault by the Corsairs of Umbar and a Goblin army. If it is captured then Sauron will be able to open up a new front in the war.
  • Mission 6: Celduin River – Sauron has deployed a huge army from Dol Guldur to conquer the surrounding Elven and Dwarven lands. One of the targets is the Manish settlement of Esgaroth on the banks of the river Celduin. The people of Esgaroth are allies of the Dwarves of Erebor and the Dwarves must help them defend their town.
  • Mission 7: Dale and Erebor – The army of Dol Guldur lays siege to the city of Dale and the Dwarven mountain fortress of Erebor. This is a critical battle in the war of the North.
  • Mission 8: Dol Guldur – The combined Elven and Dwarven armies lay siege to Dol Guldur, the source of Sauron’s power in the north. These united armies have decided to assault this evil stronghold and destroy it for good. The first force to come is led solely by Elrond, but later, Thranduil, Glorfindel, Gloin, Arwen, and King Dain join in with armies of their own. Together, with the help of some Ents and an Eagle, these armies charge upon Dol Guldur and destroy it, freeing northern Middle-earth of evil once and for all.

LOTR-BFME-II – Evil campaign battles

  • Mission 1: Lórien – The Goblin armies, led by the Mouth of Sauron with a retinue of Ringwraiths, must assault the Elven realm of Lothlórien, burn the forest to the ground and claim this haven for Sauron.
  • Mission 2: Grey Havens – The Goblins and the Corsairs assault the Grey Havens. If they succeed, then Sauron will be able to pour troops into the Northwest of Middle-earth and open up a new front in the War of the Ring.
  • Mission 3: The Shire – The Goblins decide to burn the Shire and conquer the Hobbits (something about a prior grudge, most probably the attack of the goblin chief, Golfimbul and his warg riders on the Shire that was thwarted by Bandobras “Bullroarer” Took), and the Dúnedain garrison. Halfway through the battle, Isengard’s Uruk-hai forces, led by Gríma Wormtongue, attempt to claim the Shire for themselves, attacking the Goblins’ army.
  • Mission 4: Fornost – The Dwarves and Dúnedain make a stand at the ruined city of Fornost. The Goblin army returns from the Shire and lay siege to the fortifications.
  • Mission 5: Mirkwood – Dol Guldur deploys a huge army to crush the Elves of Mirkwood and their Ent allies, who stage a fighting retreat but are overwhelmed.
  • Mission 6: Withered Heath – Before assaulting Erebor, Sauron’s armies move Northeast to destroy a Dwarven outpost and recruit the native dragons and Drogoth their leader as their allies.
  • Mission 7: Erebor – In this crucial battle, you command a vast army and lay siege to the city of Dale and the Dwarves’ mountain fortress of Erebor.
  • Mission 8: Rivendell – The final battle of the Evil campaign takes place at Rivendell. You command a huge army but the defenders will fight to the death to protect their homes.
Strategy guides & fan sites:

1 thought on “Battle for Middle Earth

  1. Pingback: Sierra’s War of the Ring | The Australian Wargamer

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