The Lord of the Rings: War of the Ring Showcase
Take an exclusive look at the units, buildings, and heroes of the good and evil armies in Liquid Entertainment's upcoming game based on Tolkien's classic fantasy novels.
Liquid Entertainment's The Lord of the Rings: War of the Ring will be a colorful 3D real-time strategy game that will pit the forces of good against the forces of evil in an epic battle that will span several centuries of Tolkien's third age of Middle-earth. It's our pleasure to bring you this exclusive look at the two different armies, their military units, and their abilities. Both sides are built on the game's two resources: food, which comes from wells, and ore, which comes from ore piles. Both sides have five "tiers" of building technology that unlock higher-level units. However, each side has different high-level buildings and abilities that lead to very different strategies in the game.
The Side of Good
Buildings and Structures
The dark lord, Sauron, has risen to power, and only the combined might of the legions of man, dwarf, elf, and hobbit can hope to thwart him. Good-aligned players can defeat Sauron only by building a solid base of operations to support their armies. With a few exceptions, these structures must be built within a certain radius of one another.
Tier I Good Buildings
|The keep is the good side's basic town hall structure that lets good-aligned players begin building their bases by recruiting worker units--units that build all other structures. The keep is required to build the mill. The starting keep also lets you recruit your first hero unit.|
|The mill is the good side's basic food production structure. It can be built over a well. Once a mill is built, worker units can carry the food resource from it. The mill is required to build the barracks.|
|The barracks is a basic structure that good armies use to recruit low-level Gondor swordsmen and swift Rohan riders.|
|The foundry is built on top of ore piles to increase ore production. It's required to build basic defense towers, as well as to upgrade your keep to tier II.|
|This basic defensive structure has a ranged attack and also provides increased sight radius. The tower can be garrisoned, with up to four infantry units, to increase its attack power. Towers can later be upgraded to ballista towers once you've upgraded your keep to tier IV.|
|The dwarven hall is required to recruit powerful dwarf infantry units, like the axethrower and the shieldbreaker.|
|Camps serve the same purpose as housing in other real-time strategy games: They increase your general population limit so that you can recruit more workers and troops.|
Tier II Good Buildings
Once you've built a foundry, and collected enough resources, you can upgrade your keep to level two, which lets you recruit an additional hero unit. The upgraded keep also lets you construct the following buildings:
|The ranger post creates the good armies' stealthy ranger units; they serve as useful scouts with the ability to detect hidden units.|
|The forge is a general military research building that offers upgrades for Gondor swordsmen, Rohan riders, axethrowers, shieldbreakers, and towers. It also provides a general building upgrade that makes all buildings more resistant to damage.|
|The upgraded version of the standard camp further extends your unit population limit. It's a valuable upgrade that lets you increase your population limit without cluttering up valuable real estate around your base.|
Tier III Good Buildings
Once you have an upgraded keep and a silvan outpost, you can further upgrade your original keep building. This lets you recruit a third new hero unit. It also lets you upgrade directly to a fourth-tier keep. However, you may wish to divert your resources to these advanced structures first:
|This advanced building lets you recruit two of the good armies' most powerful allies: the beorning shapeshifter and the huorn ents.|
|The elven sanctuary lets you enlist the good armies' most powerful support units: the elven archer and the elven lightbringer.|
Tier IV Good Buildings
A third-tier keep lets you upgrade your keep to tier IV, which subsequently lets you build the following advanced structures:
|This upgraded tower has an increased sight radius and is equipped with a working ballista that packs a powerful punch against attacking armies.|
The arcane library is both a research building and a fate-based building. You can use the arcane library to purchase upgrades for spell-casters, like elven lightbringers, and you can also purchase fate powers here. The arcane library is also required for the final keep upgrade to tier V.
Tier V Good Buildings
The fifth tier for the armies of good consists of only the fifth-tier keep.
The fifth-tier keep lets you recruit the good armies' top-level hero: the legendary wizard Gandalf.
The Armies of Good
The armies of good comprise the legions of men, elves, dwarves, and hobbits. While they may not exceed the sheer brute force of Sauron's powerful uruk-hai and trolls, they do possess other advantages, including useful special abilities and an excellent command of sorcery.
Tier I Good Units
Human, Elven, and Dwarven Workers
|Workers are the backbone of the good armies' economy and research. They gather resources from mills and foundries, and they also build new buildings and repair damaged ones.|
|The brave soldiers of Gondor may not have fancy sorcery or magic rings, but they are the good armies' basic infantry.|
Tier II Good Units
|Shieldbreakers are stalwart dwarf infantry units that can learn the shieldbreak ability, which lets them decrease the armor of their enemies with each blow of their warhammers, thereby making their enemies more and more vulnerable to damage as the fight continues.|
|The swift riders of Rohan are legendary for their speed. In the game, these units will be the fastest-moving members of the good armies, and, while they can deal a decent amount of damage in battle, they're not especially tough and are best used for ambushes and hit-and-run attacks.|
Tier III Good Units
Tier IV Good Units
The Heroes of Good
Leading the charge against the armies of Mordor are the legendary heroes of the fellowship, who swore to accompany the one ring on its journey to Mount Doom where it was to be destroyed. The armies of good begin their journeys with the unlikely hero, Frodo Baggins, and with each successive upgrade of their keep building, they can recruit an additional hero. With the fifth and final upgrade, the good armies may call upon the mighty wizard, Gandalf, to fight for their cause.
Starting Good Heroes
Midgame Good Heroes
Each time you upgrade your keep to tier II, III, or IV, you may recruit one of the following heroes in any order:
Gimli, Son of Gloin
Top-Level Good Heroes
The Side of Evil
Buildings and Structures
In his quest to conquer the whole of Middle-earth, the evil Sauron has recruited some of the foulest creatures ever to walk above (and below) its surface. The armies of Sauron seek to not only recapture the one ring and its bearer, but they also seek to corrupt the land. As such, they may build their structures only on land that has been corrupted by a war post structure. Evil armies usually begin each game with all three first-tier buildings in place.
Tier I Evil Buildings
|The war post is one of the cornerstones of building an evil army's base, since it corrupts the surrounding ground so that other buildings can be placed on it. War posts are built by slave master units.|
|This miserable hut produces three of the evil armies' basic units: goblin slaves, goblin spearmen, and slave masters.|
|The slaughterhouse supplies the evil armies with food, once it's placed atop a well.|
Tier II Evil Buildings
The evil armies usually begin their missions with a slaughterhouse, a goblin hovel, and at least one war post to provide corrupted ground for more building. These three structures also happen to be the only requirements to advance to second-tier buildings, so, in some cases, the evil armies enjoy something of an early start.
|The armies of Sauron keep animals imprisoned in the beast lair so that they can be forced into his service. The beast lair structure lets you recruit warg riders (orcs who ride wolves) and giant spiders.|
|The dark foundry is a mining structure that can be placed atop an ore pile to gather ore. It's required to build the shadow lair and the troll den, and it's required to upgrade your keep to tier II.|
|The orc mound acts as a basic barracks that lets you recruit orcs and their darker brethren. Orc bowmen, orc slashers, and uruk-hai may be recruited at the orc mound.|
The evil armies must also build a keep to fortify their holdings. The basic keep lets the evil army build the torre and dark arsenal structures. It also lets the evil armies recruit their first hero, Gollum. Once built, the basic keep may be immediately upgraded to a second-tier keep.
|The torre is the evil armies' basic defensive tower, which can be garrisoned by up to four infantry units to increase its attacking power.|
The dark arsenal is the evil armies' basic military research building, and it allows for various upgrades to orc units.
Tier III Evil Buildings
Once the evil armies have a basic keep in place, they can upgrade it to a second-tier keep, which lets them commission a second hero unit. The second-tier keep is required for the following third-tier buildings:
|The shadow lair produces wraiths and haradrim assassins--skilled spies who can eventually move and fight invisibly and can also learn a powerful poison-based attack.|
|The breeding pit is a sinister laboratory where Sauron's minions use torture and other means to strengthen troops. It's an advanced military research structure from which you can purchase upgrades for trolls, warg riders, and giant spiders.|
Tier IV Evil Buildings
After upgrading their keep a second time, to third-tier status, the evil armies of Sauron may recruit a fourth hero unit. Then they may upgrade their keep a second time to commission a fourth unit. At fourth-tier status, the evil armies may also build:
|The troll den produces the fearsome troll units of Sauron's retinue, the bonecleaver and the stonehurler.|
|The black vault is an advanced research building that let you research upgrades for the haradrim assassin and uruk-hai units.|
Tier V Evil Buildings
The fifth tier for the armies of evil consists of only the fifth-tier keep.
The fifth-tier keep lets you recruit the good armies' top-level hero: the corrupt wizard Saruman.
The Armies of Evil
Sauron has cast his eye over Middle-earth and recruited some of the foulest and most brutish creatures in the land for his armies. In the earlier part of a conflict, the armies of evil rely on strength of numbers to overwhelm their enemies, and, once they've developed their holdings and their armies, they begin to recruit massively powerful top-level units, like trolls and uruk-hai.
Tier I Evil Units
|These wretched creatures carry out menial tasks for the armies of evil, like collecting resources and building and repairing structures.|
|These weak infantry units aren't especially strong, though they are fairly light on their feet and can be upgraded to move even faster.|
|Orc bowmen are low-level ranged units that deal decent damage in early battles, though they can be upgraded to shoot fire arrows that deal siege-based damage to buildings.|
|Orc slashers are stronger melee units than goblin spearmen, and, while they're not incredibly strong themselves, they can be troublesome when used in large packs.|
Tier II Evil Units
|Warg riders are extremely fast units that are useful for making quick raids on enemy armies and bases.|
|The giant spiders of Mirkwood, who once captured Thorin Oakenshield and his band of stout dwarves until they were liberated by Bilbo Baggins, have been forced into the service of Mordor. These creatures aren't especially hardy, but they have the ability to briefly stun their enemies.|
|Wraiths are the evil armies' scouting units, since they can detect invisible enemies, but they can also be upgraded so that they can either blind or slow their enemies.|
|The haradrim assassin is actually a highly skilled assassin from a far-off land. These assassins may be upgraded to gain the power of invisibility as well as the ability to launch poisoned darts from afar.|
|Black riders, also known as nazgul or ringwraiths, are swift and terrifying apparitions that can detect Frodo when he wears the one ring. They can also be upgraded to wield poisoned morgul blades.|
Tier III Evil Units
|These huge, lumbering creatures attack their enemies by hurling boulders at them. Upgraded stonehurlers can throw even larger boulders, which explode upon impact and deal damage to all nearby enemies and enemy buildings.|
Tier IV Evil Units
|This huge monster is the strongest melee unit in Sauron's army and deals tremendous damage in battle. The bonecleaver can also be upgraded with the sweeping axe ability, which lets the brute deal damage to a group of nearby enemies.|
|The uruk-hai are dark and twisted creatures that possesses alarming speed and uncanny skills with the bow. The uruk-hai can be upgraded to augment their already formidable archery skill with a built-in knockback ability.|
The Heroes of Evil
Though the forces of Sauron are ferocious and thoroughly evil, they're unruly and need strong leadership. With the guidance of these five heroes, the armies of Sauron can channel their incredible brute strength into a focused goal--that of thwarting the fellowship, capturing Frodo Baggins, and returning the one ring to its rightful home in Mordor--where the shadows lie.
Starting Evil Heroes
Midgame Evil Heroes
Each time you upgrade your keep to tier II, III, or IV, you may recruit one of the following heroes in any order:
|The nazgul king is a terrifying apparition, mounted on a ghostly horse. His very presence debilitates his enemies, thanks to his aura of weakness ability. The nazgul king also has the call black riders ability, which lets him summon one of his eight ringwraiths to do his bidding.|
Top-Level Evil Heroes
Saruman the White
This ends our showcase of the structures, armies, and heroes of The Lord of the Rings: War of the Ring. The game itself is scheduled for release later this year.
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