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Shadow of War Fortress Sieges: How to prepare, capture Victory Points, defeat Overlords and defend your position

Capture and defend compounds as you march towards the end game.

Fortress Sieges are an integral part of Shadow of War's late story, and learning how to prepare, capture and defend them becomes key.

You'll have to undertake four Sieges as you work your way through Act 2, and during the endgame in Act 4 you'll unlock a series of increasingly tough opportunities to demonstrate your might,

If you're interested in other parts of the game - including a run rundown of every main mission - our Shadow of War guide and walkthrough can help.

Digital Foundry takes a look at Shadow of War.

How Fortress Sieges work and how to prepare for Sieges in Shadow of War

The first of these occurs in Núrnen after completing the Brûz quest Ring of Power, and serves as a tutorial while the game teaches you the mechanics, and once Núrnen is yours the fortresses in Gorgoroth, Cirith Ungol, and Seregost will unlock.

These can be captured as soon as you feel ready, but we'd recommend waiting until you've reached the points in Eltariel's quests that require you to hold an individual fortress before taking them on - by the time you get to that point in the story you should be in a position to build a strong enough army.

How to prepare for a Siege in Shadow of War

While it's theoretically possible for you to capture a fortress completely unaided, attempting to do so is sheer madness, so your first job is to recruit Captains to join your Army.

The more you have and the higher their levels the easier your job will be - the Siege summary screen will show you the comparative strengths of your army versus your opponent's.

Pay close attention to the strengths and weaknesses of the defenders, and choose your invading force appropriately; if the defenders have several Warchiefs immune to fire damage, for example, it's no good sending in a squadron of troops that deal fire damage. Pay particular attention to the Overlord's vital statistics for later, too.

Commanding some of your Captains to become Spies and infiltrate the opposing Warchief's ranks will further push the odds in your favour, so sending a few out to the Pits to prove their worth is an investment in time worth making.

How to capture Victory Points, defeat Overlords and defend your Fortress

While the exact details will vary from fortress to fortress due to slight variations in layout, the siege itself all follow the same structure.

The Initial Assault

Your exact experience here will obviously vary depending on your Army, your tactics, and a large element of chance, but the overall process is as follows. First, get inside. The bulk of your Army will need to make a hole in the wall or door to get inside, but rather than waiting for them we'd suggest scaling the walls - some of your troops will also gain entry this way so you'll have some backup, and the rest of your forces will burst in eventually.

Once inside there will be four Victory Points labelled A-D to capture, and they need to be done in alphabetical order. Head for the relevant marker and try and remain within the area marked on the ground while the progress bar creeps up, and when it hits 100% plant your flag before moving on.

In addition to capturing the control points you'll need to defeat all the defending Warchiefs - the number remaining will be displayed on the top left of your screen.

Most of the Warchiefs will be defending their control point but some may be lurking in other areas of the fortress and need chasing down. If you recruited spies then this is where they come into their own as they will deal with their respective Warchief with a single blow saving you a lot of work.

Defeating the Overlord

As soon as you enter the throne room make any changes to your equipped skill modifiers and weapons to account for any of the strengths or weaknesses of the Overlord before moving forwards to trigger the fight.

Need more help? Our Shadow of War guide and walkthrough gives you an overview of everything you need, but if you need something in particular, we have pages on Shadow of War Fortress Sieges, how to earn Mirian in Shadow of War, a guide for how to import your Nemesis and Follower to Shadow of War, collectibles guides like how to get all Shadow of War Legendary Armour and Weapons sets, a list of Lost Artifacts and Web of Fate locations, and Ithildin Door poem solutions and Shadows of the Past, along with how to grind XP in Shadow of War to power through the tricky Shadow Wars endgame and get the true ending. Finally, there's Shadow of War's army building explained and the best skills and how to earn Skill Points.

Each battle takes place in an identical room with a number of gratings in the floor that shoot cursed flame at random, a few Elf Arrows dotted around the edges, and a small raised area at the rear.

Each fight against an Overlord will include a broad assortment of other Orcs to deal with, but they can provide a ready source of healing and backup when Dominated so they're both a blessing and a curse.

Defending Your Position

As part of Brûz's quests and during the lengthy endgame you will be required to defend yourself. This boils down to more or less the same procedure as your initial conquering, but instead of capturing the points you're now defending them.

Most attackers will have six Warchiefs that need to be eliminated, three at a time.

As with storming a fortress, it's possible but highly impractical to go it alone so preparation is key - each of the control points will need to be guarded so the bigger and stronger your Army is, the higher your likelihood of success.

You can compare your strength with that of your attacker by starting the Siege mission, and if you're seriously outgunned you can back out before committing to anything.

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Middle-Earth: Shadow of War

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Mat Hall avatar

Mat Hall


Mat has been playing video games since the late 70s, and hopes one day to be good at them. Still believes the Amiga was the greatest computer ever, and is waiting for the current Windows and console fad to pass.