Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne LOTR Ring Wars Custom Map FAQ Created by Samuel E. Enderle ------------------------- LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This is an unofficial FAQ based on a custom map, created by Lord Allout (www.alloutmartin.net), which is used on Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne, created by Blizzard Entertainment. The Lord of the Rings was written by JRR Tolkien. In no way am I affiliated with the creators of the game, nor am I affiliated with the creators of the map, nor am I affiliated with Tolkien. This FAQ is for use on www.GameFAQs.com. Do NOT plagiarize this guide. You may take it and use it on any site you wish without contacting me, but please be sure to give me credit. ------------------------- INTRODUCTION: Now that the legal stuff is out of the way, let's get down to business. This guide is, well, a newbie's guide to the custom scenario for Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne, entitled Lord of the Rings: The Ring Wars. The map is like a game in itself, as it sort of departs from the normal rules of Warcraft 3. I would highly recommend finding the map over the internet and downloading it by hand there rather than downloading it from Battle.net, since the map is HUGE and takes a bit of time to download (not to mention you'll most likely be booted before you can download it). The current model is Beta 18b, with beta 19 having the possibility of being out when you read this. For the most part, Beta 18b is still widely used. Find and download both of them! Also, before you get online and start, take the time to play through this offline. Read the Quests menu to see the rules and just get a feel for the game. The computer AI hasn't been set, so they'll remain still and not produce units, giving you all the time you need to get a feel. ------------------------- BASICS: ((Note: These rules apply to every player but Purple. We'll get to them.)) For those of you who are familiar with Warcraft as a whole, you're probably thinking that the first thing you need to do is set up a keep. Well, you'd be sort of wrong. You will need to build a castle, but this is not done using a workers. See, every player starts off with 5000 gold and 3000 lumber. Lumber is used by your workers to create towers and farms. The gold, however, is used to build castles. However, to build a castle, you must go to your Stronghold (ie, the unique building your team has). There will be an option to build a castle for 5000 gold. Build it and you're broke. Now, that may sound like a gip, but as soon as your castle finishes, you get your gold back. Units are produced by the castles at set intervals. The more castles you have, the more units will spawn at the set intervals, as well as the more unique and powerful. Also over time, your army will upgrade a level. This also creates more powerful units per interval. However, you will notice is that castles will take time to be created and most players have more than one Stronghold, which leads to confusion as to where the castles should be created. This leads to a strategy part of the game that is almost unrivaled in any other custom map out there. For every player, there are numerous strategies to be used. And each player has its own strengthes and weaknesses. So let's get to them. And also, you may notice some teams have gates, some even have two. To open them, type -open. If you have two, the second should open by typing -open2. ------------------------- PLAYER SPECIFIC STRATEGIES: ------------------------- The Forces of Middle Earth: ------------------------- RED (Gondor): Suggested Player Experience: Pro Strongholds: 4 Gondor is the most important part of the Forces of Middle Earth's team. Any player who decides to control Gondor must be able to commit to being in the game until they are COMPLETELY decimated or until they win. Gondor's heroes are generic, but they are strong once they get their Ultimates. They receive a good number of units. Gondor's one big problem, though, is that from the start, they are surrounded by four players. With the release of Beta 17-C, the strategies for the game have changed and Gondor is one of the biggest. Once, Gondor needed to be prepared for attack ASAP, but with the addition of Dale, Gondor is no longer the first target of the other team's attacks. That was a big thing that gave Gondor an advantage at the beginning. BUT, with the release of the 18's, it didn't take players long to devise a way to attack both Dale AND Gondor at the same time. More often than not, you will be rushed by Harad and the Nazgul (possibly Mordor too) at the beginning of the game. Be ready for it. You will most likely lose your southern towers in the attack. I suggest you not build anything until you've pushed away the first rush. Then, you can probably build a few towers in the south, and possibly some towers at the eastern entrance, to be ready for the next attack. Your best offense is a strong defense and, if you can hold the attackers off until one of your allies can get their forces to you, you'll be able to get the win. A strategy I once suggested is that Purple give both gold and wood to Gondor but, with the removal of Purple's gold in 17-C, that's not possible. So the best bet is for Purple, and anyone else with spare wood, to send wood Red's way or build towers in Gondor. Also, Orange is going to have a harder time getting to Gondor to help defend it, so Red will have to fight to get a very strong ally for the future. And if you catch a hero of the enemy's off guard in Gondor, have Faramir get it with his net and jump all over them. Something else I have seen players do is have yellow give their gold to Gondor to dual build one time, then have Gondor give back the gold once he's done dual building. This'll give Gondor a slight edge with its units, but then again, the Forces of Good are more reliant on their heroes than their units. BLUE (Rohan): Suggested Player Experience: Semi-Pro Strongholds: 3 Rohan starts off in a pickle. Helms Deep (of Two Tower's fame) is right across from Isengard. And if Sarumon is leveled up, well, he could easily rack up more kills with the guys inside. Blue's spawns are good, and if Helms Deep doesn't fall by late in the game, it can produce some hella good forces. The other Stronghold they possess spawns mostly knights, as well as the infamous Riders of Rohan. Erkenbard, the blue hero at Helm's Deep, should immediatly leave and make his way to Gondor. The rest of the heroes are alright where they are, though the battles at Gondor could level them up pretty well. Teal should commit the majority of its archers to defending Helms Deep within its walls. If Teal can produce a good number of archers and get them inside, that should be enough to hold Helms Deep and possibly mount an offense against Isengard later. Also, Blue and Teal shouldn't hesitate building Archer towers in Helm's Deep and filling them up. Just be sure to build them so you can hit Saruman if he tries flaming up Helm's. If Helms Deep's defense looks bleak at the beginning, build castles at the other stronghold. If you're confident you can hold until the castles are built, build at Helms Deep. Remember that anyone not at Helms Deep should help defend Gondor. Also, Blue should build a few towers along the gate of Helms Deep and then build the rest in Gondor along its Eastern Border (just in case). Teal (The Elves): Suggested Player Experience: Average Strongholds: 4 The Elves start off all over. One of its Strongholds is located right below Pink, which can be good or bad depending on how you play. The other is located in the Shire and is well defended by Lightning towers. In Beta 14 and up, there is one last Stronghold located near Orange, which is alright since it is hidden. The heroes of the Elves are more support than direct combat, which could suit them well if they're placed at the back of an attacking force. Teal really doesn't need any help at the beginning unless they're really being pounded on from the get go (in which case there may be a cheater playing). As I've said a few times, its archers should commit themselves to Helms Deep (archers as in regular spawned archers). Normally, I would say the rest of the Elves should go to Gondor, but Dale will need the Elves' help a lot more than Gondor at the beginning. And of course, the heroes should follow the Fellowship to begin with, then make their way to Gondor. There's really nothing else that can be said. Remember to alternate where you are building your castles and, I cannot emphasize this enough, commit your archers to defending Helms Deep. Your workers should build towers around the healing fountain of Gondor (not blocking it in, but enough to protect it from intruders who will target it. Purple (The Fellowship of the Ring) Suggested Player Experience: Veteran Strongholds: 0 This is the most targetted player in the game. Everyone on the other team is going to want to kill Frodo and take the Ring. But thankfully, the Fellowship is no pushover. Every member is strong to begin with and if they get to 10, there may be no stopping them. If Frodo ever gets to Level 6 and learns the Ring Throw, make sure he gets to Mount Doom to throw the ring in. This used to be an automatic win, but now it will only eliminate Mordor and the Nazgul, that's it. If Frodo does die and loses the ring, nab it ASAP. You won't be able to get the automatic win, but your guy's stats'll get a boost and it'll prevent the other team from getting the win. Purple doesn't spawn, but I will tell you not to forget your three hawk friends up north. These guys are usually forgotten, and, although they aren't heroes, they can be of great use. Before, Purple should've commited itself to eliminating Dunland. Now, with the introduction of Dale, it should make its way to Dale ASAP. This will be a hard trip, because you'll be passing above Moria, who may or may not be waiting for you, as well as walking past several Wargs. Once Purple arrives in Dale or Thrandil's Cavern they should immediately assist Orange and Teal in fighting back the attackers. Once Dale is safe, you can make your way to Gondor. From there, Purple can just be the guy to help out other teams when they strike someplace. If you start to take a beating in actual battle, pull your them to the back, but keep them close enough were they aren't in harm's way, but they are gaining experience. It may be a dirty tactic, but it sometimes is the only way. Of course, a lot of times the other team will specifically target a member of the Fellowship with a large number of guys, so running away is another thing the Fellowship winds up doing a lot. Something new that was added between the 17 and 18 betas is Aragorn's ascension to King of Gondor. You may notice that Aragorn is also missing his level 6 skill of summoning Oathbreakers. Well, both of these things are now part of one interesting mini-segment of the game. The two major players in this (the ones that you ABSOLUTELY need) are Gandalf and Aragorn. Both of them must be level 6 and Gandalf must be Gandalf the White (which can be achieved by having Gandalf the Grey die). Over time, he'll reappear as Gandalf the White at the same level Gandalf the Grey was. He can still level up, so he can die at any level and you'll be good to go. Once Aragorn reaches level 6, you'll get a message telling you to go to walk through the Path of the Dead. It'll point out the location to you, so don't worry. Once Aragorn travels it, there will be a monument. Click on it and you will gain the Oathbreaker ability. Once Gandalf and Aragorn are level 6 (it may be 10 now with 18b), head to Minas Tirith. Gandalf will crown Aragorn the King of Men and Aragorn will change, and become more powerful. Another event that was recently added is the Mines of Moria. Simply enter the mines through the entrance with the Watcher guarding it and go through till you see a tomb-like room. You'll see Gandalf speak, and immediately, pink will spawn units there that will attack. I'm not sure WHAT happens once you defeat them, but it is new...and there. One thing that the Fellowship should also do at the start is give all their lumber to Gondor, since they don't build anything. Yellow (The Shire and the Ents) Suggested Player Experience: Average Strongholds: 3 Yellow gets two different types of units. Their largest force will be, by far, the Hobbits. But their muscle will be the Ents. Yellow gets four different heroes: Halbarad (18b), Radagast the Brown, Tom Bombadil, and Fangorn Treebeard. Bilbo Baggins is now a unit rather than a hero, and he creates tomes every 120 seconds. Bombadil is by far the most useful hero of the Shire, and maybe on the entire side of Good. Level him and his healing abilities as soon as possible. Yellow was one of the least attacked players until someone playing as green found out that Isengard could rush the hobbits if Blue wasn't really that good. If you do wind up having a sucky Rohan, tower up the Shire. Do not send your lumber Red's way. If Helm's is good, though, send both Gondor's way. The Ents, on the other hand, should split up. Send Fangorn and a few Ents to Teal's base located just above Entmoot. Root them and have Fangorn there for defensive reasons. The Entlings and Huorons, however, can split between defending Entmoot from Green if they get past Helms Deep and helping out Helm's Deep by attacking Isengard. The Ents are almost ungodly strong and I've seen a level 10 Fangorn and a small squad of Huoron take out Sauron(!!). Unfortunatly, they spawn slowly. The first thing yellow should do is build one...maybe two castles in the Entmoot. Afterwards, you can do one of two things: 1) Build castles in the Shire 2) Send your Gold Gondor's way The hobbits aren't really strong, but having a lot of them rush a place can panic the enemy, so strength doesn't matter. Orange (The Dwarves) Suggested Player Experience: Average Strongholds: 3 The Dwarves are one of the only two players in the game that get inner mountain Stronghold. This leads to them usually being the last team left if Sauron's forces overpower the Forces of Middle Earth. The three heroes it gets are what you'd expect: slow but STRONG. If Orange can get a hero to level 10, they can be used as Tanks against some of the weaker teams. Gloin, who starts off next to his son Gimli, should stick with the Fellowship and help them out. In Beta 14, Dale was just a badly placed Stronghold for Orange. Now, as of Beta 17-C, Dale plays a much more important role. If it can last the early parts of the game, Orange can provide the majority of the forces for the side of good. If it is taken out easily, then there is nothing to stop the attacking forces from taking out two more bases: Thrandil's Cavern and the northern Orange base. Get backup immediatly for Dale and build towers in its vicinity FAST. It won't take long for the first attack to commence. Build your castles solely in the underground lair first. If you are confident that you can keep it safe or that it will stay safe, you can begin building castles at your northern most Stronghold. And if you are extremely confident...and it is still there, go ahead and build them at Dale. And here's something else to look at: when Dale is safe, build some Dwarf Miners in the Underground base and mine those rocks in the eastern part of that base. There's some nifty gifts waiting in them. ------------------------- Sauron's Forces: ------------------------- Green (Isengard): Suggested Player Experience: Pro Strongholds: 2 Isengard's three heroes are Ugluk the Uruk-Hai captain, Grima Wormtounge, and Saruman. Of these three, Saruman has the potential to become the biggest threat to the Fellowship. And since Isenguard is across from Helms Deep, Saruman can go over and use his magic to destroy any forces within the walls of the fortress, thus leveling him up easily. The stronger he becomes, the more powerful magic he possesses. And if you keep Grima and Ugluk behind him, they can leech off his kills and become stronger too, though Grima may be the worst hero in the game :P. Isengard will have to pound away at Helm's Deep in the beginning. Send Uruk-hai warriors (with Defend on) over to Helm's Deep and take out the gate first. If they have it open, do not send any heroes at all over there. They'll trap you within the walls and kill them. Dunland also is much safer than it used to be, since the Fellowship and some of the Shire's heroes are commited to saving Dale. I don't recommend building there at first, but if you feel safe doing it, then build away. In 17b, Saruman the Terrible (Saruman's form if he got the Ring) was severly weakened. However, in the 18's, he was rebuffed. The reason? If Green gets the ring, he becomes everyone's enemy. If he wipes out the forces of Good, he still gets the win with all evil, but rarely does the player who is green want to make the effort to prevent his guys from attacking his former allies. Pink (Moria): Suggested Player Level: Average (If you want to use Gollum to the best of his abilities, Above Average) Strongholds: 2 Moria is one of the hit or miss groups in the game. Any average player can take Moria and get their heroes to level 5 or 6 before they die. And they could probably fortify the actual Mines of Moria to the point where they could wait out the rest of the opponents before pounding them to the ground with a flock of Goblins, Balrogs, and Fell Beasts. But if a player can get Gollum, one of Moria's three heroes to level 10 and use his abilities wisely, they have a force that could possibly wipe out every single hero on the map! Moria is best used as a support group, since the Mines of Moria, which hold one of the two Strongholds, are almost impeneterable until the very end. Goblin Town's spawns aren't that good (at its best, it'll start to spawn Wargs), which hurts it, but it's location is right above Entmoot and the Elves' secondary Stronghold, so if played right, it could net the Forces of Sauron an early lead. Of course, Goblin Town is going to need a lot of support from Dark Green, Grey, and Brown, who are the only players who can safely reach it. Also, Pink now has control over the Waterwatcher, which previously blocked him from any attacks on Yellow by moving through the mines. Now, he has access to the Shire if needed, which serves them will if they need it. I pretty much outlined Goblin Town's spawns, which are relatively weaker than most. But the Mines of Moria themselves can spawn Cave Trolls, Balrogs, and Fell Beasts, which means always build castles there to begin with. And if the Mines are fortified with more towers than they start off with (which is a lot), you could use them as a last resort for fending off the Forces of Middle Earth. Towering Goblin Town up is not recommended unless you are hell bent on keeping it. One addition I should say they added in Version 17 is that now, if Gollum gets the Ring, he's "freed" and becomes Smeagol, who can pretty much reek havoc on any heroes he sees fit. And, as of the 18's, Pink becomes hostile towards everyone, and also winds up being more dangerous than Green, as Smeagol is a bit stronger than Saruman the Terrible. Grey (The Easterlings): Suggested Player Level: Any Strongholds: 2 The Easterlings are probably the best choice for any new player to start off with. While a pro or veteran could probably do some real big damage with them, losing the two Strongholds early in the game won't hurt the Forces of Sauron much. Kurgath and Ovatha are purely support heroes (Ovatha is a healer while Kurgath can frenzy an army and help them win previously unwinnable battles). Gwahir, on the other hand, should lead the forces to attack Dale. The Easterlings should immediatly prepare for an attack on Dale with their northern forces. Once Dale is out of the way, move north to the other Dwarven bases. If that goes down easy, move to Thrandil's Cavern and attack them. When that is done, you can begin the attack on the underground Dwarf base to the North. Interestingly enough, the Dwarves can be handled somewhat by Grey alone, though Thrandil's Cavern will require assistance from Mordor. Upper Easterling territory produces Wain Riders and Easterlings. The number is enough to make for some good raiding parties each time they spawn. Southern Easterling territory produces Siege Engines later, with Variag Riders and Spearmen early. Always remember to use your workers to make towers south of Gondor to prevent them from hitting Light Blue's guys. And alternate between the two locations as far as tower making goes. Light Blue (Harad): Suggested Player Level: Above Average Strongholds: 3 Harad is the bulk of the Forces of Sauron. It is to them like the Elves are to the Forces of Middle Earth. In fact, some of the spawns from Harad are archers. Of the three heroes, the Corsair is the one you want to level up first. If you can get him to level 8 or 9, you should be good. The other three heroes are more for support, so keep them in the back of the battles so they can run if necessary but still level up. Harad produces a whole lot of guys. And since they take up the majority of the Southern portion of the map, they're going to spend their time hitting Gondor from the South. Every single spawned unit needs to meet up with Grey south of Gondor, and every worker you have needs to be building towers in that location. If Gondor ever penetrates that Southern Border, it has a straight shot for Harad and, unless a whole lot of support from everyone else comes, you can kiss your Strongholds goodbye. If they ever do penetrate the Southern Border, get all your heroes and any spawned unit still alive to Mordor ASAP and be sure to build a tower there too. As long as a building still stands, you're still in it. There's really no set place you need to build your castles. Just go from left to right and you should have enough guys to make it. The eastern most Stronghold produces those large, elephant like creatures, the middle Stronghold produces sums of Wildmen, and the western most Stronghold produces Corsairs, swordsmen, and archers. In previous versions, it was wise for Harad to tower up the South of Gondor. Now, build at the towered part of the river. It may seem dumb, but believe me, it is much more effective. Dark Green (The Nazgul): Suggested Player Level: Semi-Veteran Strongholds: 1 The Nazgul have 9 heroes. Those 9 heroes are, of course, the Ring Wraiths. Wraiths 2-9 have the same abilities, while the 1st Wraith, the Witch King, has personalized abilities. As bad as it sounds, no matter who you are, you're going to lose one or two Ring Wraiths. Just be sure it isn't the Witch King. It won't guarantee you lose, but it won't be good. But be sure to get at least four of the Wraiths to level 6. Their Ultimate technique allows them to become Winged Nazgul, which mean you can reek havoc upon almost anyone. First and formeost, the Nazgul who can learn wave moves should learn the wave moves. The others should learn spike attacks, but really, you can make that decision. The Wraiths should accompany any spawned units to Southern Gondor to assist Grey and Light Blue in taking down Gondor. The Wraiths themselves should stay in the back to pick up experience and probably should stay out of huge group combat until they hit level 7. And the Witch King should always stay out of huge group combat. A lot of players target him solely. You can use your Snaga Workers to build towers in one of two places: the Eastern Border of Gondor, which also happens to be the non-Gated entrance to Mordor, or Southern Gondor. I'd suggest Southern Gondor, since most players who use Gondor or one of their allies attack here the most and avoid Eastern Gondor/Western Mordor unless they're provoked (or getting Frodo passage). And here's a tip. You only have one stronghold, while Mordor has two. Lend your gold to Mordor so he can dual build once, then have him give your gold back so you can build normally. The Nazgul are your most important units, not your spawns. Brown (Mordor): Suggested Player Level: Pro Strongholds: 2 Mordor is the Gondor for the Forces of Sauron. Just like Gondor, whoever plays as Mordor needs to be able to commit to the whole game. The two heroes for Mordor are the Mouth of Sauron and Shelob, the spider. They also gain control over the Eye of Sauron, which is an invulnerable Shade. It's always best to put the Eye of Sauron in the middle of Gondor to see what they are doing. Also, the Mouth of Sauron and Shelob should be leveled up to at least 6 or 7. An edition to the FAQ, Brown gets, I believe, two more heroes. They're good, but not great. The Mouth should still be considered your most important hero. The first thing Mordor should do is empty its fortress in the middle of the forest of spawns and join up with Grey to attack Dale. This almost ensures the defeat of Dale if it doesn't have any help...and usually it doesn't. From there, see what your team would prefer you to do. The only two LOGICAL options for them to give you are to attack the Dwarves with Grey or to help hit Gondor. If it is to attack Gondor, send ALL your spawns there. If it is to attack the Dwarves, just empty out your fort in the middle of the forest. And be sure to tower up that fort. If the Dwarves do survive, they'll hit it with a vengance. The spawns for Mordor are pretty good. They get plenty of Orcs at the get go, which are subsequently followed by Fell Beasts, Trolls, and the occasionally Ogre. The Stronghold in the middle of the forest produces a lot of Ogres, and even produces some stronger Ogres if it lasts long enough. If you are hell bent on keeping this Stronghold, tower up the area. Otherwise, send your workers down to Southern or Eastern Gondor's borders and fortify them. Oh yeah. It seems Saruman and Gollum are the only two who transform when they get the One Ring. Every other character seems to just get a stat bonus. But for some real fun, have them bring it to your Mordor Stronghold. Sauron himself makes an appearance. From this point on, it SEEMS like the game may be over. However, I have seen a cocky player or two get control of Sauron and send him into an over defended Gondor. After every watch tower, soldier, and everything else that could attack targeted him, he got surrounded. And eventually, he died. Also, there was the Fangorn/Sauron incident they I outlined earlier. It is extremely difficult to get Sauron to die (he is insanely strong and has Splash damage capabilities), but it is possible so don't get cocky. ------------------------- PLAYERS TO AVOID ------------------------- I am not really a person who gets mad at people to the point where I put them on some make believe "Blacklist", but there are a few people who should be avoided totally. Please note that this isn't a personal thing, everyone on this list is on here because of one major reason: LAG. Cheaters are impossible to list, and people coined as noobs can always get better. But these people lag constantly (I'm talking more than 10 games worth of experience). If you see any of these people in a game, tell the host to get rid of them ASAP. And if you see them hosting, don't join, cause you won't get a full game. Note that I make a note of whether they lag as hosts and not players, or just lag all around. The list, thankfully, is short, but this game gets bigger with every update, so expect it to grow with the number of updates. SPIRIT (Host lag only. Poor guy tries to host, but rarely gets a game to go the full distance. Still, when I've played with him in non-SPIRIT hosted games, he does just fine). Karana (Player lags consistently. And honestly, this is the worst kind of lag, the kind where he lags for 40 seconds, and just when it hits one, the countdown stops. Sure enough, though, he'll start lagging a little later. This is also one player who seems to be on quite a bit, so you'll run into him at least once. Do yourself a favor and save yourself from a game where you'll spend the majority of it watching him lag, and have the hosts kick him on sight.) ------------------------- CONTACT ------------------------- I don't like giving out my E-Mail addy, so I won't. But as far as Battle.net goes, you can probably see me on US East as BilBoHeyden. I usually only play Ring Wars, though I have been playing the Legends RPG lately and may do an FAQ on that soon. ------------------------- Copyright 2003-2004 Samuel E. Enderle All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their respective trademark and copyright holders.