Even though you do not encounter a fortress in Middle-earth until later on in the game, they do become an important mechanic which you need to digest later on in the game. This Middle-earth: Shadow of War Fortress Siege Guide will give you all of the basic tips that you require to fully comprehend the inner workings of the fortresses in Middle-earth.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War Fortress Siege
Fortresses are similar to outposts, apart from aesthetics and an overlord. They also have extra defenses to deter invaders and sieges. Their defenses are usually related to the warchiefs which serve under the overlord.
A combination of various factors makes up the fortress level, which is essentially a number letting you know how hard it will be for you to break into it. It is better to have an assault level higher than the fortress level of the building that you are attacking otherwise you will run into various problems.
How to capture Fortresses
It is not a complicated process that takes down fortresses. You rally the captains and smash the walls while you capture victory points by standing in them and fighting off enemy orcs. Once you have all of the victory points in your control, you move on to the throne room to face the overlord.
You can go in without any special preparations but that will probably make it extremely difficult to capture the fortress and cause massive casualties on your side. The main enemy that you face will be the overlord, but there are certain ways that you can make your journey towards the overlord a little more forgiving.
One of the ways to quickly get to the overlord fight is by getting to the warchiefs. The warchiefs serve a warlord and are integral to the defenses in the fortress. You can remove the defenses if you systematically take out the warchiefs as it will lower the fortress level by quite a bit and make capturing it easier. You can defeat the warchiefs by doing a warchief specific mission which is like a captain fight, only more difficult.
To make the fight with the Warchiefs a little easier, you can defeat captains in the area and recruit them to serve in your own army. They can then be used to infiltrate a warchief and his orcs will betray you during the battle and fight on your side.
Assault Upgrades are crucial to your forces and while you attack a fortress they will directly affect if you will win the fight or not. There are Siege upgrades as well and both the siege and Assault upgrades are determined by the number of captains you can use and that is dependent on what level Talion is.
You will be able to use 4 Assault Leader at level 35 and six at level 45. There are three upgrades available to each of these leaders and these upgrades dictate the type of troops they can take into battle, same goes for the six captains at level 45.
Every upgrade has its advantages during battle. Now it is up to you on how to use them. Now let’s discuss in detail Assault leaders of all tiers.
Tier 1 Assault Leader
Assault leader of Tier 1 have Sappers, Mounted cavalry and Olog-Hai with them.
They are used as explosives to break down gates as they are expendable. You need to be extra careful while using them as they can blow up near your troops as well if hit by a ranged attack. Get them to the required point as quickly ass possible or they would do more bad than good. In case of Iron Gates, it is recommended to used mounting or Ologs.
If you use these instead of actual fortress infiltration, then you have to very carefully look at the fortress you are taking on. If it has weak walls you are in luck but if that is not the case, they are not a good idea.
They are the best at breaking walls. Contraptions like Poison Spouts and Wall Spikes are easily dealt with by using Ologs but Fire Sprouts can be problem for them and if the fortress is using a combination of fire archers and Poison Sprouts. In these cases, use Fiery Siege Beasts along with them to help them out.
Tier 2 Assault Leader
At Tier 2 we get Savage Host, Defender host and hunter host.
Savages wield two axes and they are very useful when fighting with low armored enemies. If there are a lot of ranged enemies around, Talion will need to dominate them in order to help out the savages.
They check almost every box needed for a good warrior. They have shield and their power bar is big. They are a great help to Talion and they can even take on the enemy savages. They aer so great because they give Talion a lot of time to do what needs to be done but taking out enemies on their own might be a problem for them as they will eventually lose.
They will help you take out the enemy beats more efficiently. They are only recommended if your enemies have caragors or Graugs as their defenses because other orcs can take out the hunters pretty easily and they are no good other than this.
Tier 3 Assault
We will cut this one short. You get Fiery, Poisonous and Cursed Siege beats with this tier. Their name tells you what they can do but we will tell you what their targets will be.
The Fiery Siege Beasts will go for ranged units on the walls and take out all the archers and they are great at breaking walls. The Poisonous Siege beasts go for the beasts and take down the defenses. The cursed siege beasts focus on the infantry and captains.
Tier 4 Assault
This tier has Shelob’s Brood, War graugs and Wild drake.
Extremely efficient as it does not need any help from Talion to take down the defenses and kill a lot of enemies. This can make the attack very easy for you.
This is very helpful and if you used this in battle, you would be able to deal a lot of DPS. But before you use them, see if the fortress has hunters or Poisonous Siege beasts as they can be problem for the graug.
Drakes are great monsters and they can deal tons of fire damage, but heir drawback is that they don’t distinguish between friends and foe. So, you will need to be riding one in order to take control of what they damage.
Tier 5 Assault
You get fire archers in this tier that can take down a fortress with wooden walls and if the war chief is scared of fire, it is an added bonus. You also get Farsight archers that take out the ranged enemies on the walls other than that they are not very useful. The Mounted archers are archers that are mounted on caragors. They can be very useful.
Tier 6 Assault
This tier includes Inspiring Banners and overpower. Both of them will help out your general troops a lot.
Defending Fortresses (Siege Upgrades)
After you have captured a fortress, you need to begin building your defenses in case you are attacked. Immediately after capturing a fortress, you have to select a captain to be promoted to the overlord position and two captains to become warchiefs.
There are two ways that your fortresses can be attacked. One way will be another player in the online conquest mission tries to take over your fortress by killing your orcs and destroying your defenses.
You do not participate in the defense of your fortress this way. The second way is that defense missions occur in which enemy captains try to take on your orcs and overlord.
The aforementioned script is reversed and it can be extremely difficult to hold off enemy forces when trying to defend the fort.
To efficiently defend yourself, you need to do certain upgrades to your defenses. One of the easiest ways is to unlock extra defending warchief slots and upgrade your warchiefs.
If you have a lot of mirian lying around, you can also buy new followers using the market. The new followers will not exceed Talion’s level but they will keep pace with it. You can replace your warchiefs using the siege upgrades screen.
Training orders can also be used to give your captains a boost. However, those orders are extremely rare. Pit fight missions are a worthy alternative which pit two captains against each other and sees which captain is better.
Sending captains to pit fight missions yields you rewards such as gear, gems, skill points and mirian. At the same time, they also level up your captain. You can keep sending captains on these missions until they are on the same level Talion is.
Lastly, remember that you cannot level up your Warchiefs and the Overlord, however you can still swap them around and reposition them for level improving missions. You can repeat this process as many times as you want for maximum benefit.
We have discussed the assault upgrades, now let’s take look at the siege upgrades:
Tier 1 Siege Upgrades
With this upgrade you get Stone walls, then reinforced stone walls and then metal walls. Each pf them is stronger than the former and would make a huge difference when defending your fortress.
Tier 2 Siege Upgrades
In this tier you will get iron gates, Fire spouts and Poison sports to further better defenses. Iron gates protect against sappers, Fire spouts are great against Olg-hai and Poison spouts work great to counter mounted armies and beasts.
Tier 3 Siege Upgrades
This Tier will have Savage, hunter and Defender hosts. You already know what they are capable of what they are best against from the Tier 2 Assault upgrades.
Tier 4 Siege Upgrades
Like Tier 3 assault upgrades, Tier 4 siege upgrades include Fiery, Poisonous and Cursed Siege Beasts.
Tier 5 Siege Upgrades
Tier 5 of the Siege Upgrades will get you War caragots that help Talion get around quicker and take out orcs in this way. You also get Hellfire.
If you have a fire weapon or any else. This upgrade will use a drake to take out any uruk that enters and even captains get a lot of health taken from them.
The last upgrade of this tier is War Graug. If you want to get the most out of a Graug, mount it to focus its strength where it is most needed.
Tier 6 Siege Upgrades
From this upgrade we get spiked walls, fire archers and Farsighter Archers. All very helpful to your defenses.
Tier 7 Siege Upgrades
The last tier of siege upgrades has Poison mines and Fire Mines. These can take out a huge number of enemies at once.