LOTR: Battle for Middle-earth II - Rise of the Witch-king - hands-on

If the missions we've completed are any indication, however, these good guys are no wimpy pushovers. Unlike the story campaign in theoriginal game, which frustratingly held the player's hand through most of the building, planning and combat, ROTWK assumes you know what you're doing by now and throws you right into the fray. The armies of men you'll face are well trained, well prepared and well entrenched, so you'll need smart strategy from the start.

Say, for example, that you want to turn the sacred stronghold of Amon Sul ("Weathertop" in the LOTR films) into a smoking pile of rubble. Perfectly understandable. But if you think you can simply build a fort, slowly amass your army, then march over and overpower the other side like in previous BFME's, you'll soon find yourself scraping the slaughtered bodies of your precious minions offMiddle-earth's terrain.

These men, you see, have magic -a bunch of magical trees, to be exact - on their side. Spread across the map, each has its own special power: summoning enemy troops into your camp, rebuilding enemy structures, striking blind fear in your troops, etc. You'll obviously want to cut down every single one of these accursed plants, but deciding on an order of attack is where the improved tactics emerge, as the most irritating trees also tend to be the most protected. Do you build up your army while enduring blast after blast of wizardry, or do you send a ragtag group after the vulnerable trees right away?