Shadow of War Fortress Assault and Siege Defense Guide

How does all of it work, what upgrades are best and how to best prepare for an attack or defense

One of the most important and heavily involved elements in the EndGame of Middle-earth: Shadow of War are Fortress Assault and the follow-up Siege Defense game systems. In this guide you will learn more than just the basics of how they work and what to do to take an enemy Fortress and then how to best prepare your Fortress for an incoming attack.

This Guide is split in 3 main parts – First we’ll learn how and when Fortress Assault becomes available, then we’ll take a look at what it means to Assault a Fortress and how to do it, last we’ll learn how to defend our Fortress against a Siege.

I’ve also got a ton of basic guides for beginner players. Here are a few you might like:

Ok, let’s start with how and when can you assault a fortress in Shadow of War.


WHEN CAN YOU PLAY FORTRESS ASSAULT OR SIEGE DEFENSE


In Act 2 of the main storyline you will recruit Burz and he will help you start off the Fortress Assault, where you will be building your own army of Orcs in order to attack and take all the enemy forts in Mordor. There are 5 Forts in total in the original game Shadow of War, before any of the Story DLCs are released.

Each region has one Fortress. The Fortress in Minas Morgul can be found in the south-eastern end of Minas Morgul and cannot be attacked or lost once you finish Act 3. Darz-ghorum is sitting on a cliff in the most northern part of Cirith Ungol, overlooking the Sea. Nurnen’s fortress is called Sharkburz and it’s situated in the north-west corner of the area. Ghashgor is in the most southern part of Gorgoroth. The final Fortress is Khargukor, located in the northern area of Seregost.

Shadow of War Fortress Management Screen

Each one of these can be conquered and lost endless number of times. Each attack or defense is a new mission and it grants you various rewards, based on your performance. During Act 4 in the late game you will be tasked to defend each fortress multiple times in 10 different stages until the Act is complete and you officially finish the story of the game with a special cinematic revealing Talion’s fate.


FORTRESS ASSAULT GUIDE


To own a Fortress, first you must take it from the Orc Tribe that is currently inhabiting it. Which one of the Orc Tribes is ruling which Fortress, is random for each player, depending on their previous action and the moment of the story they are at.

Taking a Fortress means taking out each one of the capture a number of victory points, marked on your map. It can be done in 5 or 50 minutes, based on how well prepare you are and what amount and kind of enemies you face during the mission.

The attack on a Fortress starts when you reach the mission starting point and progress it. These are usually located just outside the Fortress and are easy to reach. Before you begin your assault, you can choose to lighten the defenses of the Fortress by eliminating some (or all) of the captains and Warchiefs defending it. Around and inside the Fortress you will find several Missions allowing you to take out the Warchiefs and some of the defending captains. Each one of these missions is a stand-alone Nemesis quest that involves drawing out the Warchief and defeating or dominating them. Doing so will free up the slot on the Assault Management Screen. This is exactly what we will take a look next – what the Assault Management Screen is and what is available in it.

Shadow of War Fortress Assault Overview

If you are attacking a fortress, your available selections will be on the left side, while the defenders will be listed on the right side. At the very top of each side there is a number, telling you an average level of your Army vs your opponent’s army. Even if yours is way lower than your opponent’s, don’t get discouraged. This doesn’t mean it will be impossible, just might take more time to get through the various systems and traps set for you during the mission. The number is a total of all the levels of orc captains and upgrades you have chosen.

You can also assault Fortresses of other players in the Online Social Conquest Mode.

There are 6 available slots where you can place your Uruks as Assault Leaders and assign Upgrades to them. To be able to activate an upgrade, you must first place a Warchief from your army on that slot. Upgrades cost Mirian and are permanent for each region. Even if the Warchief is defeated, you can place a new Wachief for the next Assault and the upgrade will still be unlocked and available. I’ve got a handy Guide on how to get Mirian Fast.

Here is a break-down of all available Upgrades for each slot with a short description and a suggestion which is the best per slot under what circumstances. To make it easy, we’ll number the slots from top to bottom. Only one upgrade per tier can be active at a time.

ASSAULT LEADER TIER 1 UPGRADES
  • Sappers – Good for easy and quick entrances into a fortress. Be careful, however, as the sappers may also damage your own orcs. Sappers are weak against well defended (iron) walls with ranged units on them.
  • Mounted Cavalry – Very useful against captains with weakness against Caragors, but useless if you have no good way of penetrating the fortress’ walls
  • Olog-hai – Great for breaking walls. Comes handy when the defenders have poison spouts or fire, making climbing the walls difficult. This is the best fit for most cases and scenarios upgrade.
ASSAULT LEADER TIER 2 UPGRADES
  • Savage Host – Provides great savage army of dual-axes wielding uruks. Weak against Ranged defenders.
  • Defender Host – Defenders are arguably the strongest and toughest to beat uruks and that’s why this is the best choice for most situations.
  • Hunter Host – The perfect counter for animal-heavy opponent.
ASSAULT LEADER TIER 3 UPGRADES
  • Fiery Siege Beasts – The ideal counter for ranged units on the walls. However, be careful as these beasts may also cause friendly fire. Talion can mount them and control their shots.
  • Poisonous Siege Beasts – By poisoning the enemy, the siege beasts will slowly weaken their caragors and graugs
  • Cursed Siege Beasts – These units will target captains by default. The effect of their attacks can split the warchiefs form their guards (if they have any at all). Probably the best upgrade, unless you have spent a lot of time clearing up warchiefs before you start the Assault. Also best choice for Online Assaults.
ASSAULT LEADER TIER 4 UPGRADES
  • Shelob-s Brood – Spiders are the best upgrade for this tier. They cause a ton of damage and chaos, while almost not affecting your actions.
  • War Graug – fantastic tool for quickly breaking the doors. Weak against hunters, poison and fire.
  • Wild Drake – Spreading deadly fire from the skies sounds great, but this is almost always a big risk due to friendly fire.
Related Posts
ASSAULT LEADER TIER 5 UPGRADES
  • Fire Archers – If the enemy has made the grave mistake of not upgrading their walls. Fire can take down a Wooden Fortress in no time. Useful if you are facing Warchiefs with weakness against fire.
  • Farsight Archers – If you don’t want to waste time clearing up the top of the walls in the beginning of an assault, the farsight archers can do that for you. Not a very useful upgrade over all.
  • Mounted Archers – A better version of the previous upgrade as your uruks will now be riding Caragors and this can be a useful combo against Warchiefs with weakness against Caragors.
ASSAULT LEADER TIER 6 UPGRADES
  • Inspiring Banners – Like in a real war, banners serve to boost morale. While they are easy to take down, Banners improve the performance of your uruks significantly.
  • Overpower – Giving a great speed boost to your uruks will allow them to capture victory points quicker, thus speeding up the whole Assault. Recommended upgrade for most situations.

SIEGE DEFENSE GUIDE


After you have captured a Fortress, you have to organize its defenses if you want it to stay yours for good. This will also cost you Mirian and some time. Be sure to place good and capable uruks on each of the 6 available slots with most important one being the Overlord as this gives the whole Fortress a name and style (not just visual).

There are 7 available slots where you can place your Uruks as Assault Leaders and assign Upgrades to them. Same rules apply to Siege as they do for Assault. To be able to activate an upgrade, you must first place a Warchief from your army on that slot. Upgrades cost Mirian and are permanent for each region. Even if the Warchief is defeated, you can place a new Wachief for the next Siege and the upgrade will still be unlocked and available.

Each fortress has similar layout in terms of places where you can put your warchiefs – up to 4 slots in the 1st line of defense and up to 2 slots on the 2nd line of defense, followed by the Overlord slot for the ruler of the Fortress. Each Warchief can have several followers or guards, who will stay near him and protect him during the Siege. You can assign captains from the region to do that. First, of course, you have to dominate them in the open world.

Shadow of War Siege Upgrades Screen

Similar to the Assault, when you defend you only need to unlock each upgrade once per region and you will be able to activate it whenever you see fit. Only one upgrade per tier can be active at a time.

The following is a break-down of all 6 tiers (slots):

SIEGE LEADER TIER 1 UPGRADES
  • Stone Walls – Wooden walls are incredibly weak and vulnerable to… well everything! Upgrading to stone walls will not do much for you as it is the cheapest upgrade, but it’s still better than Wood.
  • Reinforced Stone Walls – A step up in terms of durability compared to the Stone Walls.
  • Metal Walls – By far the best upgrade for this slot. The metal walls will hold up any army for long enough so you and your defenders can wreck havok and potentially even stop the enemy early on before they even break in.
SIEGE LEADER TIER 2 UPGRADES
  • Iron Gates – Good upgrade against Sappers and overall against an Assault that is focusing on your gates.
  • Fire Spouts – Similar to the Iron Gates, but improves defenses against assault on your walls. Great vs Olog-hai attackers.
  • Poison Spouts – Great counter for mounted armies and beasts. Poison is a great tool for defense, but it will work even better if your walls are strong enough to hold off for a while at least.
SIEGE LEADER TIER 3 UPGRADES
  • Savage Host – Provides great savage army of dual-axes wielding uruks. Weak against Ranged attackers.
  • Defender Host – Defenders are arguably the strongest and toughest to beat uruks and that’s why this is the best choice for most situations.
  • Hunter Host – The perfect counter for animal-heavy opponent.
SIEGE LEADER TIER 4 UPGRADES
  • Fiery Siege Beasts – The ideal counter for ranged units on the walls. However, be careful as these beasts may also cause friendly fire. Talion can mount them and control their shots.
  • Poisonous Siege Beasts – By poisoning the enemy, the siege beasts will slowly weaken their caragors and graugs
  • Cursed Siege Beasts – These units will target captains by default. The effect of their attacks can split the warchiefs form their guards (if they have any at all) as well as neutralize captains’ special abilities for a while. Probably the best upgrade, unless you have spent a lot of time clearing up warchiefs before you start the Assault. Also best choice for Online Assaults.
SIEGE LEADER TIER 5 UPGRADES
  • War Caragors – Provides Talion with useful quick mobility as he can hop on a beast and quickly move from one point to another to help organize the defenses of the fortress. Also a great option against orcs with such a weakness.
  • Hellfire – If your weapon of choice is Fire (and not only) this is the upgrade you will need. Situated just next to the doors, caged Drakes will burn to a crisp any uruk that dares to enter. Captains also take a huge hit form them.
  • War Graug – The intelligence of the Graugs is not their strongest feature, but if you mount the War Graug, you can focus its lethal force exactly where you need it. On their own, they will likely get surrounded and killed quick.
SIEGE LEADER TIER 6 UPGRADES
  • Spiked Walls – If you are relying on Poison or Fire spouts on your gate or walls, you will likely find this upgrade of great use too. It stops enemy orcs from easily jumping over the walls.
  • Fire Archers – Good and useful in addition to other fire related upgrades.
  • Farsighter Archers – If you have the capability of keeping your enemy outside the keep for a while, the Farsighter Archers can deal massive damage to anything that attempts to climb over the walls or break them. Works great in a combination with Metal Walls.
SIEGE LEADER TIER 7 UPGRADES
  • Poison Mines – Spread between your fortress’ walls and the victory points, the mines spread deadly poison to any enemies, effectively slowing them down and weakening them over time.
  • Fire Mines – These are placed outside of your fortress. Perfect tool to stop grunts and also cause serious damage to any armies that dare advance through the fire to reach your walls. This is the better of the two options in almost any case.

Check out my Shadow of War: The DOs and DONTs (Beginners Guide) to learn important tips that will give you a nice head-start in the game. I’ve also got a ton of other useful guides in both written and video format. You can find them in the Shadow of War Guides category.

Get New Posts Notifications via email! ◄ | ► Subscribe to Vulkk's YouTube Channel


Shop Related Products via my Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CA Links :)
You might also like
Comments