Game Info

Middle-earth: Shadow of War Siege Upgrades explained - make fortress attack and defense easy

All's fair in love and war, but the sieges in Middle-earth: Shadow of War can be particularly gruelling at times. These epic large-scale battles aim to give you your very own Helm's Deep style moments for where Talion can look like a particularly formiddable commander, but if you're not careful things can go awry. Key to winning are siege upgrades, important enhancements to your forces that can seriously turn the tide of a siege in your favor - and that goes for attacking and defending alike.

It's important that Talion himself is kitted out with the best skills and high quality gear, but the power of your army around you is equally as important. Sometimes the odds might feel insurmountable - but fear not, as you can still secure even the unlikeliest of victories with some careful planning. We're here to provide you with some pointers!

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How To Raise Your Assault Force Level

Whenever you look to assault a fortress your Assault Force Level will be shown in comparison to the Citadel Level, and, more often than not, you will be placed at a disadvantage. To swing the odds more in your favour, away from levelling up Talion and taking on everyone alone, raising the Assault Force Level largely comes from two areas: recruiting Captains to have more Assault Leaders, and then spending Mirian to buy Siege Upgrades.

It won't come as a particular surprise, but the higher the Captain's level the more impact that it will have on raising your Assault Force Level. Then, any Siege Upgrade that you purchase will raise it slightly further. These will aid your assault, and aren't something that you should fret about for too long - it's more a personal preference, rather than having any wider impact.

However, the more that you throw at an assault, the easier it will hopefully feel to overcome your opponent's defences. The Siege Upgrades that I preferred were: Olog-hai to help destroy fortress walls; Defender Host to capture Victory Points more quickly; Fiery Siege Beasts as igniting your enemies will see them be more preoccupied with putting the flames out than swiping at you; Shelob's Brood to terrorise enemies; Farsight Archers to keep your archers out of harm's way; and Inspiring Banners to lend your Assault Force a more aggressive edge.

Tips For When Attacking

  • Leap up the walls and take out any Siege Beasts as soon as you can. The projectiles that the graug hurl can make life difficult for you and your army.
  • Capture Victory Points as soon as possible. This not only pushes enemy Captains back, it also drives your own forces forward.
  • You may want to kill enemy Captains, but it's far more useful if you Dominate them. This will bolster your own ranks during the assault, and they will remain as part of your army if they survive it. Be careful though as, later on, some may have the  Iron Will trait meaning that they will never bend to your will.
  • Make sure to keep an eye out on your Captains. These are the strongest allies that you have in your assault, and an indicator will show when they are Bleeding. This will give you a limited window to review them before they bleed out, their recovery simply requiring that you use the Dominate skill with the B (or Square) button.

Siege Upgrades When Attacking

Assault Leader 1

Sappers
The attacking army is strengthened with a group of explosive Sappers who charge the fortress gates.

Mounted Cavalry
The attacking army is strengthened with a group of caragor riders.

Oloh-hai
The attacking army is strengthened with a group of Olog-hai who can destroy fortress walls.

Assault Leader 2

Savage Host
The attacking army is bolstered with Savages, axe-wielding shock troops.

Defender Host
The attacking army is bolstered with Defenders, shield-bearing heavy infantry that can help capture Victory Points faster.

Hunter Host
The attacking army is bolstered with Hunters, who hurl jagged spears that are especially deadly to Beasts.

Assault Leader 3

Fiery Siege Beasts
The attacking army fields Siege Beasts that rain fiery destruction on the fortress walls and the archers atop them.

Poisonous Siege Beasts
The attacking army fields Siege Beasts whose projectiles create toxic clouds that choke defending Siege Beasts and monsters.

Cursed Siege Beasts
The attacking army fields Siege Beasts that pummel War Chiefs and their minions with dark, crippling artillery fire.

Assault Leader 4

Shelob's Brood
Clusters of deadly arachnids swarm the fortress, poisoning and panicking the defenders.

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War Graug
The attacking army is supported by a War Graug, a massive Beast capable of terrible destruction.

Wild Drake
A drake swoops in to rain fiery chaos onto the fortress. Be warned, the drake's fire does not discriminate!

Assault Leader 5

Fire Archers
Archers ignite their arrows to rain fire on their targets.

Farsight Archers
Archers can shoot targets at greater ranges.

Mounted Archers
Archers ride caragors, giving them increased mobility.

Assault Leader 6

Inspiring Banners
Inspired Orcs enter a bloodthirsty rage, attacking with increased ferocity.

Overpower
Attacking Orcs capture Victory Points much faster.

How To Raise Your Fortress Level

Later in the game when Talion is tasked with defending the fortresses he captures, players will then have to worry about raising their Fortress Level. This works in exactly the same way as the Assault Force Level, requiring that the player recruits more Captains to promote to Warchiefs to help defend the fortress.

It's worth mentioning that the sixth Warchief that you can promote will require that the player completes the Fight Pits mission in that particular region. The more the merrier, as always.

This will provide access to Siege Upgrades that can be purchased with Mirian once again, which is where things start to get different. In my experience with defending fortresses, I would recommend: Metal Walls to withstand the pounding that they are about to get; the Fire Spouts as keeping Olog-hai away from them will make them hold out for longer; Defender Host as these shielded troops will help you hold Victory Points for longer; Cursed Siege Beasts, as enemies will lost health more quickly; Hellfire, as the catching enemies on fire will keep them from actually attacking anything; Spiked Walls, as this will delay any enemies getting into your fortress; and Poison Mines, which will help you maintain control over Victory Points.

Tips For When Defending

  • Tackle your biggest problems first. If the enemy assault force has Siege Beasts or Drakes these will be a priority - their attacks having an area of effect that can quickly become a troubling concern.
  • The enemy Captains are your next focus, who will constantly look to secure Victory Points. You will want to stop that from happening as much as possible, as once a Victory Point is lost, it will rally another Captain who will break through the fortress wall. The more Captains, the larger the headache you will have.
  • It's not all bad, though. With more Captains on the battlefield, there is a wider chance to Dominate them all. This will always be your greatest tactic when defending, so keep an eye out for when any of them become broken - that's when their icon turns green. 

Siege Upgrades When Defending

Overlord

Stone Walls
Solid stone walls to repel attackers.

Reinforced Stone Walls
These stone walls have been strengthened for increased resistance to attack.

Metal Walls
Strengthened and reinforced with thick iron plating, these walls can withstand a tremendous amount of damage.

Warchief 1

Iron Gates
Both outer and inner gate are strengthened against attack.

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Poison Spouts
Clouds of toxic gas boil from cunningly placed mouths on the walls, blistering and choking attackers as they try to climb up.

Fire Spouts
Flames issue from slits in the walls, setting Olog-hai trying to destroy them on fire. An unconventional choice for a fortress with wooden walls.

Warchief 2

Savage Host
The defending army is bolstered with Savages, axe-wielding shock troops.

Defender Host
The defending army is bolstered with Defenders, shield-bearing heavy infantry that can help hold Victory Points longer.

Hunter Host
The defending army is bolstered with Hunters, who hurl jagged spears that are especially deadly to beasts.

Warchief 3

Fiery Siege Beasts
The defending army fields Siege Beasts that rain fiery destruction and terror on the attackers.

Poisonous Siege Beasts
The defending army fields Siege Beasts whose projectiles create toxic clouds that choke attacking Siege Beasts and monsters.

Cursed Siege Beasts
The defending army fields Siege Beasts that pummel Assault Leaders and their minions with dark, crippling artillery fire.

Warchief 4

War Caragors
A pack of vicious caragors stalks the fortress, ready to pounce on and eviscerate attackers.

Hellfire
Gates are guarded by caged drakes whose breath incinerates attackers. An unconventional choice for a fortress with wooden walls.

War Graug
A War Graug defends the fortress, eager to crush and devour all attackers.

Warchief 5

Spiked Walls
Walls are augmented with Spikes that prevent attackers from climbing them.

Fire Archers
Archers ignite their arrows to rain fire on their targets.

Farsight Archers
Archers can shoot targets at greater ranges, eliminating more enemies before they reach the fortress.

Warchief 6

Poison Mines
Attempts to reach Victory Points are hampered by toxic mines that blister and choke attackers.

Fire Mines
The approach to the fortress is littered with volatile mines to incinerate and terrify attackers.






 

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