Friday, April 1, 2011

Battle for Middle Earth 2 - Evil Campaign - Mission 5 - Mirkwood

Battle for Middle Earth II - Evil Campaign Mission 5 - Mirkwood
This is a hint/walkthrough post for Battle for Middle Earth II. You can find an index of all our Battle for Middle Earth II posts here.

This should be a very easy mission, except you cannot set fire to the trees although the Tutorial showed that you can do so with a unit equipped with fire arrows.
You can clear trees with the Devastation power, but although Tainted Land will also remove all but the largest trees, elves can still be stealthed as if none of the trees were removed.
Stealthed elves cannot be targeted even if they are shooting, and a unit that was attacking them will lose track of them. However, once you are close enough to a stealthed unit (generally melee range), they are revealed. Also, a location with a stealthed unit can be Bombarded by appropriate units (e.g., trolls) and can harm units at the Bombarded location.

Because of the targeting issues in this mission, all your units need to get close to elves and unless you retreat them at long range, you will probably be committed to engaging them. Until you destroy the Elven Barracks, you will be hit by waves of Mirkwood Archers, sometimes several battalions. To combat this, hold ground with fortresses reinforced by a full complement of archer towers and retreat units behind fortresses to try to lure them out. Whenever you have to assault their positions, do so en masse with trolls quickly charging into melee with trees for multi-unit hits, and to trample.

At the river, you will have to pass a gauntlet of rock-throwing Ents. Orc Archers do not have the range to properly attack them, and as stated, you cannot set fire to the woods. Instead of trying to bring your troops over, first charge your heroes over to the western edge, where it is largely safe after they take out one or two of the nearest Ents.
While going to this location, stop for nothing and you will probably not be hit by any rocks. All rock-throwers (e.g., Ents, Trolls, Giants) throw at a location, not a unit, so even if a unit has moved away, they will throw their rock at the location at the time targeting was established. Keep moving and you will be fine. Massed troops are hit because troops are sometimes around the target location when the rock lands.

Once the west side is safe (typically after 1-3 Ents from the western edge of the map are slain), you can rush a builder over to plant a fortress or other buildings to consolidate your position. Trying to bring troops over later from across the river will take too long anyway.

The Spider Lairs can be put under your control simply by moving Shelob close. The Untamed Allegiance power will not work. Any Spiderlings will come under your control and inflate your Command Points, so you may want to kill them first, or send them on a suicide run.

If you get too close to the road, the race to plant towers at four key locations will be on. Instead, protect your advance so far by putting Fortresses on the two main paths leading to the road to block them off from your support buildings. Prepare an assault force, bank enough resources to plant one or two fully upgraded towers, then advance.

I recommend advancing from the eastern path and rushing straight up (to the northeast corner of the map) to destroy the elven buildings there and quickly plant a Fortress to hold the position and protect the tower build point.

If the Elves put a tower on all four critical locations, you will have about 5 minutes to destroy at least one.
Whenever you put one of your own towers there, the Elves will typically send a sizable force to destroy it. If you don't build there, the Elves generally send just one builder.

Advance west but don't put down any towers yet. Instead, secure your advance with fully upgraded fortresses to watch the mission-critical tower positions. As long as you can keep even one site clear, you are not on a deadline to finish this mission.

The Elven fortress in the northwest has a lot of troops. I recommend fighting to the outside and letting them close the gate, then planting a fortress to help you hold ground once they charge out at you for destroying a section of their wall. Note also that a fortress can fire over walls, so your fortress outside can hit troops behind the Elven wall whereas regular troops cannot do this.
Secure the road south of the elven fortress and put down another fortress of your own to further box in the elves. Clear the rest of the map but don't build guard towers at the 4 sites yet (or leave at least one clear), unless you don't want to fulfill the optional objective of destroying the Elven Fortress.

Destroy the guard towers and elven fortress first to protect you from too many arrows when you rush in later to destroy the Stables and Barracks. Whenever archers come out, withdraw behind your fortress and let it handle the elves.

Once the guard towers and fortress are gone, look for the "secret" path at the western edge of the map -- a slope going up into the fortress. The Elven Barracks is conveniently close at the top of the slope, and you really want to destroy this as it will stop the Elves from recruiting any more Mirkwood archers.
Go in with the Mouth of Sauron to use Dissent on the troops there (probably Rivendell Lancers), then rush in with trolls and orc archers. Target the Barracks and destroy it no matter what. Remember that Dissent won't last forever. Also, retreat your heroes because they'll get cut down by archers.
The final phase of destroying the Elven Fortress area is to take out the Stables tucked in the northwestern corner. There will probably be maybe 8 battalions of Rivendell Lancers. This is bad because your orc archers have no trample protection. If you have patiently drawn out and destroyed the last of the Mirkwood Archers, then you can go in with a bunch of trolls. Hit the building first so that enemy troop production is halted. The rest is attrition.

Once the Fortress and all Elven buildings are destroyed, build your four towers to win the game. Ironically, there will probably be more of your Mordor Fortresses than towers securing the road.

Mordor Heroes can reach level 6 on this map.

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