The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II: The Rise of the Witch-king (abbreviated ROTWK) is a real-time strategy video game published by Electronic Arts, based upon the fantasy book The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien and the film trilogy based on the book, directed by Peter Jackson. First announced during The San Diego Comic-Con of 2006, The Rise of the Witch-king is the official expansion to The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II, which was published by the same company and released in 2006, exclusively for the PC. The Rise of the Witch-king was shipped to stores in the United States on November 28, 2006 and was officially released on November 30 of 2006.
Story setting Edit
After 1000 years of peace that followed the Battle of the Last Alliance, evil once more began to spread across Middle-earth. In the year 1300 of the Third-Age, evil things started to stir in Middle-Earth again, and the Nazgul re-appeared. The Witch-king settled in Angmar, and after having built an army there, invades Arnor in the year 1409, and waged a 500-year war against the kingdom of Arnor, the Northern-Kingdom of men. The tower of Amon-Sûl is destroyed, but the great fortress of Fornost is defended, and war continues. After the Great Plague in 1636 which devastates Gondor and desolates many parts of Eriador, the southern part of Arnor, the Witch-king finally destroys Fornost, and takes it as his own fortress.
The Rise of the Witch-king tells the story of the evil Witch-king’s rise to power, domination of Angmar and invasion of the great kingdom of Arnor. In the campaign, the player must dominate the land of Angmar, gather a huge army, and then launch a massive invasion that will span half a millennium in Middle-earth's history.
New Angmar Faction Edit
The Angmar faction can be thought of as the evil counterpart to Dwarven faction The Battle for Middle-earth II; they are strong and sturdy, but slow. They also have mixed units similar to Mordor, combining cheap spammable units with elite infantry and heavy support units.
- Thrall Master - A Black Númenorean emissary who can summon and command a horde of Orc or Hill-men class thralls in the service of the Witch-king. These thrall units are extremely weak but can serve as the first line of defense against a variety of enemy unit types. You can only summon one type of unit battalion per Thrall Master. Thrall Masters and their thralls can not be upgraded with armor or weapon upgrades. You should also beware that if the Thrall Master is killed in action, the entire battalion dies as well. This is why the Thrall Master always remains in the back of the battalion for protection. He can summon:
- Rhudaur Spearmen - The Rhudaur Hillmen are wild Men made savage by the cold and hardship of life in the far north. They wield spears to take down enemy cavalry. Due to their low level of training they do NOT get the Porcupine formation.
- Rhudaur Axemen - Axe-throwing Hillmen with short range.
- Gundabad Warriors - Gundabad Orcs live far from Mordor, but they are just as bloodthirsty and savage as their southern brethren.
- Gundabad Wolf Riders - The orcs of Gundabad ride wolves instead of Wargs. This unit is the primary cavalry of Angmar. They have less physical constitution than the Warg Riders of Isengard, who are notoriously easy to kill.
- Mountain Giants (Special Missions only)
- Barrow-wights (Special Missions only) - See below for details.
- Black Númenóreans - The core Angmar elite infantry unit, composed of Black Númenórean Men clad in splinted armor and wearing fearsome iron masks. They wield giant two-handed swords and have larger health pools than the Uruk-hai and dwarven infantry. They can also gain the Black Mask passive debuff upon gaining enough experience, which reduces any hostile infantries attack and defense by 25%.
- Barrow-Wights - A special melee unit. They are not overly powerful or have much health, but they can heal themselves when killing units based on the damage. They are summoned by their respective power, a Thrall Master (Special Missions), and by killing units with a Morgul-blade/Morgul corruption or the Well of Souls.
- Dark Rangers - The core ranged unit for Angmar. Dark Rangers wear the iron masks of the Black Númenórean and leather armor. They wield Númenórean-style longbows.
- Snow Troll - Snow trolls are native to the frozen northern wastelands taken over by Angmar, and now obey the Witch-king. They are not as big as their southern relatives (the Cave and Mountain trolls), but they are faster and smarter. They wear fur wraps to insulate against the cold, and carry picks and shields. Because of their size and speed they serve the purpose of the main cavalry unit of Angmar. Even though they are considered calvary, most pikemen have troubles taking down Snow trolls due to their large health and damage output.
- Hill-Trolls - Hill trolls inhabit the hills and swamps of the North. They are the more advanced pikemen of Angmar, who are a threat to evenmy cavalry, and unlike the Hillmen, they can be upgraded, and know the porcupine formation.
- Dire Wolves - The shock troops and raiders of Angmar, Dire Wolves are abnormally large members of their species. While as fast as most cavalry, they do not have the overrun ability associated with that type of troop. They should be considered as very fast swordsmen. They are very brittle, though, and without upgrades will die fast to any serious defense.
- Sorcerers - The Sorcerers of Angmar are followers of not just of the Witch-king but of darker powers still. A Sorcerer battalion consists of a single Sorcerer and his Acolytes. Each spell a Sorcerer casts consumes the souls of one or more of his Acolytes. A Sorcerer's Acolytes "re-grow" over time (the rate at which they return can be increased through the "House of Lamentation" Fortress upgrade for Angmar). The Sorcerer has a standard attack which targets a single enemy unit or battalion element at close range, but his primary use is for his powerful spells. Sorcerers can cast Black Ice (slows the enemy), Fell Strength (augments friendlies), and a choice of a third: Soul Freeze (freeze an enemy), Well of Souls (damages units, turning any it kills into wights), or Corpse Rain (downpour of exploding cadavers).
- Troll Stone Thrower - A siege engine that utilizes the brute power of trolls to power a counterbalance engine similar to the historic petrary type of machine. Although simpler to construct than a Trebuchet, the Troll Stone Thrower has a similar range and power thanks to the awesome might of its troll crew.
- The Witch-king of Angmar - Fleeing defeat at the hands of the Last Alliance, the Witch-king's ambition and lust for power is not so easily thwarted. He seeks to create a mighty empire while his Dark Lord's strength returns. The Witch-king no longer rides his Fell beast, but strides the battlefield in full regalia, wielding his Morgul Blade and a mighty iron scepter signifying his rule of Angmar… and all the lands west of the Misty Mountains, should his crusade be victorious.
- Rogash - A Troll of exceptional cunning and cruelty, Rogash destroys the Witch-king's enemies with unparalleled might and brutality. His leap attack is especially feared, and can destroy multiple forces in one powerful blast.
- Morgomir - One of the Nine and Lieutenant of Carn Dûm. This one-time Captain of the Black Númenóreans is the Witch-king's right hand and rules over the corrupted Men of Angmar with an iron fist. His greatest power is the ability to completely destroy structures and render them useless.
- Karsh "the Whisperer" - The shade of a celebrated Captain of Arnor, the Whisperer's victims often hear only the slightest whisper before they join in his fate.
- Hwaldar "the Brigand" - A Rhudaur hillchief secretly in league with the Witch-king, Hwaldar paves the way for Angmar's invasion but must escape from the clutches of the loyal Rhudaur hillmen to complete his treachery. He is an ideal early-mid game hero to support the weak Rhudaur Hillmen.
- Angmar has access to walls from their main fortress that can be set up with troll stone throwers, main gates, side gates, or battle towers.
- They build Mills to gather resources.
- The Hall of the King's Men allows training Black Númenóreans (when at level 2), Dark Rangers (when at level 3), and Thrall Masters (who allow the further use of Gundabad Warriors, Rhudaur Spearmen, Rhudaur Axethrowers and Wolf Riders).
- The Temple of Twilight will allow the training of Sorcerers to battle and three spells (each can be acquired at a level of the Temple).
- Angmar also have Battle Towers, which can be upgraded to shoot an Ice Arrow instead of a normal Arrow, dealing more damage, two units can be garrisoned in here (when they have a ranged attack, they will use this when enemies come close).
- They have a Dark Iron Forge, used for researching upgrades and building Troll Stone Throwers.
- To train Hill Trolls, Snow Trolls, and Dire Wolves (with their upgrade Spiked Collars), they have a Wolf & Troll Den.
- Unit upgrades include Dark Iron Blades, Dark Iron Armor, Frozen Arrows and Banner Carriers. Dire wolves have an exclusive upgrade called Spiked Collars, which provides an increase in defense.
- House of Lamentation - Fortress upgrade that decreases the strength and defense of nearby enemies.
- Flames of Darkness - Fortress upgrade that provides a leadership bonus to units near the fortress.
- Razor Spikes - Fortress upgrade that lines the edges with spikes that damage attacking enemies.
- Freezing Projectiles - Increases damage of arrows and boulder weapons on the fortress.
- Frost Hardened walls for the Fortress upgrade. Pre-requisite to the Angmar Tower Upgrade.
- The Sanctum of the Witch-king - The Angmar Fortress Tower Upgrade which allows the prices of heroes and revival times to be lowered. Its primary function is to hurl a huge ice boulder at a target area, causing massive damage and slowing down surviving units. This is similar to Mordor's Gorgoroth Spire, but with ice instead of fire.
Campaign Storyline Edit
Foundations of Angmar Edit
The Witch-king and Morgomir arrive at a barren land to the North near the Ettenmoors. They immediately notice a highly intelligent warrior troll, Rogash, and recruit him on the promise that they will reunite the Snow and Hill Trolls. The three Angmar Champions rush to the fighting Trolls, where the Witch-king fulfills his promise to Rogash and unites the Trolls. The Witch-king orders the foundation of three mighty Angmar fortresses while his armies eliminate the Black Númenóreans in the area, freeing other trolls in the process. Soon after, a great army of Black Númenóreans arrive to eliminate the intruders, but the Witch-king and his troll army easily crush them. The Witch-king forces the allegiance of the Black Númenóreans, and Angmar is successfully founded.
Fall of Rhudaur Edit
A group of Hillmen of Rhudaur begin to rebel against Arnor, led by Hwaldar. Hwaldar is seized and arrested, but Morgomir recognizes a valuable ally to control the Hillmen of Rhudaur. The Witch-king and his army eliminate the Loyalists and recruit the rebels. Soon after, they destroy the Dúnedain guarding Hwaldar and free him. They then proceed to attack the mighty Arnor fortresses in Rhudaur, but the attack (while successful on one fortress) weakens the Angmar forces badly and King Argeleb I soon arrives to finish them off. Morgomir brilliantly trains the Thrall Masters to replenish the Angmar army and wipe out King Argeleb and his army. They then destroy the other fortress, claiming total control over Rhudaur.
Invasion of Amon Sûl Edit
Further invasions from Angmar are thwarted by King Arveleg I, who uses the Palantír of Amon Sûl to foresee attacks. To proceed in Arnor's destruction, the Witch-king must destroy Amon Sûl and claim the Palantír.
Rogash, Hwaldar, Morgomir, and the Witch-king are all involved in this battle. The forces of darkness start off by destroying five Mallorn trees that power various defenses of Amon Sûl. After they are destroyed, they proceed in destroying the main fortress. Reinforcements of Arnor later arrive, but the enemy wipes them out completely. The Angmar forces turn back towards Amon Sûl and begin destroying the structures in the fortress despite heavy resistance. Angmar eventually summons two Mountain Giants and proceeds to attack the watchtower, destroying it once and for all. Though Angmar has destroyed Amon Sûl, Arveleg has escaped with the Palantír. The Witch-king sends Morgomir and Sauron to retrieve it.
Dark Lord's Eye Edit
A small Angmar scout party sent by Morgomir pursues Arveleg. The Dire Wolves make a mad rush for King Arveleg, while the Thrall Masters summon Gundabad Orcs to attack the Tower Guards. The combined forces successfully wear down Arveleg, but before he is killed he smashes the Palantír, causing a huge explosion killing everything nearby.
Morgomir and more powerful forces later arrive and notice a shard of the Palantír, which is still filled with power. Arnor also notices it and sends orders to retrieve it. Angmar and Arnor compete and race for mastery of the shards, partially since both of their powers have been nullified by the blast and are regenerated with the Palantír shards. Angmar gets most of them, but when Arnor brings some to their outpost Morgomir and his forces destroy the outpost. After the Arnor outpost is destroyed, Morgomir easily gathers the seven shards and gains victory for Angmar.
Barrow Downs Edit
Cardolan wasn't affected by the destruction of Amon Sûl so the Witch-king attacks the Barrow Downs, planning to draw out Cardolan's forces into a foolish and self-destructive charge. He sends Hwaldar to claim the royal barrow. To assist the conquest, Hwaldar destroys the attacking forces and kills some Dúnedain rangers that planned to attack the reinforcements of Angmar. With him are some Thrall Masters and Sorcerers that have gained power from the Palantír shards. When Hwaldar reaches the Royal Barrow, Cardolan becomes enraged and sends its forces to destroy him. But, the Rhudaur Warriors hold back each attack and the Sorcerers cripple and destroy Arnor's soldiers, turning some of them into corrupted Wights. As time passes, more Sorcerers, Thrall Masters, and Trolls arrive; at one point, Morgomir joins the battle. In the end, the Prince of Cardolan himself arrives to answer the challenge, but so does the Witch-king and Rogash at the same time. The Prince is eventually killed by the Witch-King and his forces, and Cardolan is laid bare to the enemy.
Carn Dûm Edit
Glorfindel, Elrond, and the Elves prepare to lead a charge on the capital of Carn Dûm, in an attempt to destroy Angmar and give Arnor time to recover. The Witch-king lights a beacon to call Rogash, and some builders and Hwaldar begin setting up defenses. By the time the Elves attack, Carn Dûm is ready. Despite this, the battle originally goes ill for Angmar as more and more trebuchets and Elves pound on the assault. Just as Carn Dûm appears to be taken, Rogash and Morgomir arrive with armies of Trolls and Black Númenóreans. With these powerful new reinforcements, Carn Dûm is saved from the Elves. Glorfindel is defeated, but before he can be killed he is rescued by the Elves (later to launch a more successful invasion of Angmar. He is also one of the heroes in the good campaign of The Battle For Middle-earth II). In the meantime, however, Angmar is weakened but not destroyed, and the Witch-king continues to plan the next assault even as both Angmar and Arnor recuperate.
Plague Bearer Edit
After an unsuccessful attack by Men and Elves on the fortress of Carn Dûm, the Witch-king contemplates his next move. The audacity of his enemies angered him greatly, and an example should be made. However, Angmar has been significantly weakened, and his next attack needs to be planned in order to prevent failure.
With the help of Morgomir, he decides to unleash a terrible plague upon the unsuspecting Arnor, created by his Black Numenorean sorcerers. These wicked men, already deeply immersed in the Dark Arts, have become even more powerful due to acquiring the shards of the Palantír; their powers have already been demonstrated in the Battle for Cardolan. However, the Witch-king needs a ground zero from which his diabolical plague will spread. With utter malice, he chooses the most sacred ground in all of Arnor: the Barrow downs. These quiet and dignified monuments of the Dúnedain are essential to the morale of Cardolan, which Angmar is perfectly aware of.
Morgomir is to lead the attack on the Barrow downs. His Sorcerers are to control as many barrows as possible to corrupt the souls of Arnor's ancestors before the new day's sun rises. Cardolan's forces, outraged at this desecration, sends its own armies (led by Captain Carthaen) to destroy Angmar's forces even as the Sorcerers begin corrupting souls. Morgomir, however, instructs his Sorcerers to cast their own terrible spells on the Cardolan army, weakening it significantly. To finalize victory, Morgomir summons an evil, ice spectral wolf to crush the opposition. The Sorcerers complete the plague, and the Barrow-wights are fully created. Captain Carthaen is soon trapped by the Sorcerers, and Morgomir stabs him with a Morgul-blade. And so, Karsh the Whisperer is created.
Angmar has almost completely dominated Arnor, but Fornost still remains to be taken. The Dúnedain and their allies all gather for this final assault. In order to prevent a foolish advance (and subsequent destruction), the Witch-king prepares a base and gathers his forces first. After all the preparations, they begin the assault. Angmar starts by destroying the front gate and some of the outer defenses. Combining the fury of the Angmar army and deadly Angmar ice powers, the Witch-king slowly wears down the fortress one building at a time. Casualties on both sides are high as the Dúnedain desperately battle for their lives and Angmar's army fights in a berserk rage. In the end, the citadel of Fornost is destroyed and the structure falls. Angmar has achieved complete victory over Arnor, and has now opened the opportunity for complete domination of the North.
Epilogue, The Fall of Angmar Edit
After all Arnor had been conquered king Eärnil of Gondor dispatched reinforcements to finally crush Angmar. He sent his son Eärnur to ally with Glorfindel and Elrond to destroy Angmar. After an epic battle the Witch-king flees to the lands of Angmar.
First the Men and Elves army met with Morgomir and a Black Númenórean army. Morgomir fought back all three heroes and nearly killed Eärnur, but was forced to flee as his army was destroyed and was shortly defeated. Builders arrived and began to construct a base. The army went north, meeting with Karsh, his sorcerers and his wights. Karsh‘s soul was put to rest and the army continued to the hill of the snow trolls where they find Rogash and a troll army. Rogash is slain and his army defeated. At last they reach the Angmar camp where the Witch-king is hiding. All enemies were killed, their structures are destroyed but the Witch-king fled to Mordor. Watching his escape, Glorfindel made his famous prophesy: “he will not return to this lands for far off yet is his doom, and not by the hand of man will he fall.".
- The new Angmar faction, bringing the total of playable factions up to 7.
- New Angmar Campaign, consisting of 8 missions telling the rise of the Witch-king; and an epilogue of how the Elves and Men of Gondor drove the Witch-king out of the North.
- The War of the Ring mode is receiving a major overhaul. Some of the major improvements include army persistence from RTS mode to the World Map, the introduction of an economy to the World Map, and the introduction of siege weapons to the World Map. There are 14 new territories and battle maps for the player to fight over, as well as a whole new region to control (The Forodwaith). Four hero armies will be available per faction, and these can now move through two friendly territories.
- Two new historical scenarios for the War of the Ring mode, including the Fall of Arnor and the War of the Ring.
- New units added to all six existing factions, including an Hero Unit which is close to hero status called the mini hero horde. These hordes heal when not in battle, but can only regenerate their fallen forces at a healing structure like a fountain.
- Upgrades to the skirmish and multiplayer AI.
- A whole new Olog-hai troll class added to Create-a-Hero.
- More customization options for Create-a-Hero. These include new weapons and armour.
- A brand new cost system for created heroes. The more powers you give your hero, the more he costs. Also a '"No Power" option has been added allowing power levels to be skipped.
- Every faction except Angmar now has an elite hero unit. These units have a large amount of health and damage, but there are a small amount of them in each battalion and you are not allowed more than 3.
- Fourteen new maps, including Angmar, Amon Sûl, Rhudaur, Fornost, Bree, Carn Dûm, and Forodwaith.
This game is an expansion pack, meaning that one must already own The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II to play it. It is also a PC-exclusive, meaning it was never released for (nor is compatible with) the Xbox 360.
See also Edit
- The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth
- The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II
- Foundations of Angmar