The Lord of the Rings: Rise to War is a faction-based multiplayer strategy game published by NetEase based loosely on The Lord of the Rings movies and books, whereupon you can pick the side of evil or good. With your fellow players, you will conquer Middle-Earth or die trying. You will usher in a new era of prosperity and happiness, or plunge the world into the depths of darkness and despair depending on which faction wins in the current season.
Of course, this isn’t the era of the Last Alliance anymore, so even if you pick a Good faction like the Erebor Dwarves, you might find trouble at the borders of another Good faction, like those pointy-eared no-good Lothlorien Elves south of the mountains.
One thing to keep in mind is that The Lord of the Rings: Rise to War requires patience. Usually, you’re better off logging in for short bursts of action, as a lot of the timers get rather long once you get past your first day conquering spree. Planning out your moves might take longer than actually doing them, since you don’t want to end up sending your armies on a 2 hour tavern Tip while they’ve still got stamina to burn. Stamina management and land tile expansion are everything.
Like in any war, economic might in the form of your resource gathering and Ring Power accumulation comes before everything, as your army cannot march on empty stomachs. There is also an emphasis on picking fights very carefully in The Lord of the Rings: Rise to War, making sure you pick fights you don’t just have a chance of winning, but you are sure to overwhelm.
You’re not taking a 60/h Soul Power tile with your starter army, so your other option is to accumulate a metric ton of weaker tiles and bully the weaklings guarding them, until your army is fat enough to flatten the bigger, more powerful tiles.
So without further ado, let’s delve into this comprehensive The Lord of the Rings: Rise to War beginner’s guide, as we share with you loads of tips, tricks and strategies for carving your destiny in Middle-Earth!
1. STRONG COMMANDERS FOR STRONG ARMIES
Above all, your efforts mostly lead to making your Commanders stronger. They get a Command point for every level, which is worth 100 infantrymen or 50 cavalry each. If you want to take the stronger tiles on the map, you’ll need a very strong army, especially since you might not want to send multiple commanders after the same tile. Here are some ways to level your Commanders up, so they can bring more and stronger troops to battle.
One thing to do at the end of your session, if you aren’t sending all your armies to do Tips because you already ran out and still have stamina to burn, is to have them engage in Mock Battles. This is a way to trade time for EXP without risking the massive, hilarious casualty numbers that tend to happen from real, non-curbstomp battles.
These give out less rewards compared to tips (roughly the same amount of EXP per time, and no extra stuff) but can be done on your own terms, since you can dictate how long they stay in their training exercise. That being said, once army production picks up speed, you may want to send them on gathering trips instead. Just remember that this also uses up Ability Points, not just stamina.
One advantage lower tier commanders have over their rarer counterparts is their ability to accumulate respect using good ol’ fashioned Ale, an item that all low tier commanders share as a preference. High respect gives extra skill points much like leveling up does, and this means lower tier commanders are much easier to power up. Not to mention high respect levels are mandatory to unlock more nodes in their skill tree.
As for earning the respect of higher tier commanders, they’re all happily sober, and they only want their one very specific item type. You do this from the Recruitment tab in the Tavern, whether or not you’re plying them with booze to get them, or make them stronger.
Commanders in The Lord of the Rings: Rise to War often specialize in powering up a certain unit type. This usually means you should match the armies to their commanders when you can. If you see a commander’s skill tree and they have a ton of skills for powering up ranged units, you may want to give them an unusually high concentration of units like archers and axe throwers, and maybe some defense-oriented units up front to soak damage for them.
Some commanders may prefer being in a cavalry unit, so give them cavalry. Heck some commanders work well with specific races, like Gimli having bonuses towards mixed Dwarf and Elf unit compositions thanks to his friendship with Legolas. This is usually a priority once you make it past your first day or around the end of your first week, when you have access to a more healthy variety of units.
Keep in mind too that certain units counter others, so if you’re short on commanders, you may want to base compositions on what the enemy has instead.
The Military Academy is a priority structure to get and upgrade, as each level gives all of your commanders an extra 2 command points. This lets your commanders bring more troops with them to combat, allowing them to take better tiles and fight harder. These upgrades take a while, but they are generally worth it since they only use up your basic resources.
2. MORE PIECES ON THE BOARD
Before focusing on strengthening the commanders you already have, it may be more useful to try and get more commanders instead, even the lower tier ones. You need to be able to do lots of Tips, take loads of terrain, and gather more resources. An incredibly strong commander will only be good for the conquering loads of good terrain part.
And even then wasting your commander’s stamina on conquering the lower tier tiles standing between him and the juicy land might be mitigated by having other commanders take up the slack, with your weaker armies carving a path for your strongest force to reach that one really powerful and dangerous tile you want.
And even if all your commanders are of equal strength, they can be made to support each other if fights go badly enough to end in a draw. Here are some ways to get more commanders, and take note this overlaps with upgrading their respect levels too.
The most obvious one is to go to the Mathom Peddler (this game’s equivalent to the Gacha) and spend Coins to hopefully get the materials your commanders want. If you’re lucky, you’ll just straight up get a commander’s Invitation letter, skipping the part where you try to save for their favorite gifts, usually Ale if they’re a tier 1 commander.
Always make sure to check the rates of each Mathom gacha banner: Sometimes, they raise the chance of invitations for the lower tiers at the cost of utterly removing the chance for tier 3 commanders. The gacha you pick usually depends on whether you want higher tier commanders, or simply more commanders to get things started.
Drunken Rumors, Or Important Tips?
Tips (not to be confused for advice!) are quests found in the Tavern, marked by a horse icon on the bottom right of your screen. You have to dispatch commanders currently inside your Settlement tile to do them. Some Tips give out Commander Respect, which you need to either recruit new commanders, or power up ones you already have. That way you aren’t completely reliant on the Mathom gacha.
They also occasionally give out equipment for your Commanders. All of them also give out Commander EXP, so they can have more Command points and have more troops follow them around. Tips are best done before bed, either after you’ve expended all your commanders’ stamina, or generally if you feel like logging off for an hour or two.
Ironically, Tips are another reason to get more commanders: Later on, tips start having requirements, occasionally asking for multiple commanders or commanders of a specific race.
Mathom Voucher Trade? Nah!
This is one thing you should never ever do, as it’s a massive, fat newbie trap. You can trade respect materials for commanders you don’t want, to get vouchers which allow you to get other materials you might want. Sounds cool, until you realize the payout just isn’t worth it. More often than not, being overly picky with your commanders only helps when you’re picking which of the ones you already own to upgrade.
Heck, even if you can’t outfit them all with troops, you can still use them for scouting parties (You lose the troops, but not the commander when scouting) and for doing Tips. Trying to get higher tier commanders is something you pretty much just have to rely on luck to do.
3. TROOP LOGISTICS
In any war, you need soldiers to win. The more you can deploy at any given time, the better. A lot of your time and resources will be spent giving your commanders the troops they need to do their jobs and fight.
Allies From Across Middle-Earth
So you’re new to The Lord of the Rings: Rise to War and have finished a few quests. Suddenly, a bunch of armed Men barge into your clearly Dwarven barracks and ask to join your army, rather than looking for Aragorn’s boys.
Who are these new guys? They’re too tall to be Dwarves! You get quite a lot of units you can’t actually build and replace early on, usually from other races belonging to your faction, like tier 2 human Spearmen if you’re playing a Dwarven nation like the Sons of Durin, or even certain tier 3 units you don’t get until much later.
You can use these troops for emergencies, say if you want to finish a certain tile-conquering quest quickly. Otherwise, you’ll want to upgrade your troop quarters (Like the structures under the Durin Folk Quarters tab) so you can get higher tier units you can actually replace and recruit. That being said, a level 6, 7 then 10 Main Hall allows you to build quarters for races allied to yours, allowing you to recruit units that don’t belong to your starting race.
Except of course for their unique tier 4 units. If you’re using the Dwarves, you’re getting a Dwarven tier 4 for your unique troops. Making these allied race structures also give you extra Gold levy and resources to upgrade your troops with.
The Barracks tab allows you to conscript troops for your commanders. Ideally, you should keep this full, and if not, it should be training troops until it is. Keeping it full and running means you constantly have replacements for troops you’ve lost. If you run out of space, you can either disband lower tier troops, or upgrade it in the Build tab for more space. You actually have two structures related to conscription: The Barracks and the Conscription Post.
The Barracks increases the maximum space for your army, and the Conscription Post increases not just the speed at which you recruit, but also your number of Conscription and Hiring queues. Keep them both upgraded, along with your resource Tribute structures, if you want to make your armies large and easily replaceable. This is also where you spend Gold to upgrade your currently available units.
Remember Your Apothecary
So your army’s running short on units and the barracks is taking forever to conscript replacements. If you’ve been through a few battles, head to the Apothecary and check on the injured. You need to make sure you have space in your Barracks before you can heal them.
In the meanwhile, they’ll stay in the Hospital until it fills up too. If the Apothecary is full, any troops you lose end up six feet under instead, so if you still have room in your Barracks, you may as well tell your doctors to do their jobs!
4. IT’S NOT THE ONE RING, BUT IT’S THE ONE RING YOU’VE GOT
You’ve got a ring. There are many like it, but this one is yours. The Lord of the Rings: Rise to War has a heavy focus on accumulating land to get more Ring Power. Most of your Ring Power ought to go to your kingdom in general, rather than straight to your army’s killing power. Early on, these are your priorities for powering your ring up. Then you can get the fun murder-based upgrades!
The most important upgrade for your ring whenever it’s available is always, always Dominance, for one simple reason: More land tiles. It really helps to conquer as much land as possible, even if the land isn’t of particularly high Ring Power. You’re doing this for all the other resources, as while two pieces of land have wildly different ring power, the resource difference between tiles are a bit more flat.
Bottom tier flat tiles are also unique in that they give a small amount of all resources rather than a large amount of a single resource. Grabbing as many low tier tiles as you can early on provides a strong resource base, ensuring your ability to conscript larger armies and keep the construction works running.
Once your armies are big enough and your commanders at a high enough level to command such armies, then tackling the higher level tiles becomes viable. Besides, all those 1, 10s and 15s still rack up Ring Power while you sleep.
Another good priority for Ring Power use are your Commander EXP rate upgrades. Getting these as early as possible is useful to making the most of your time spent playing the game, allowing you to power up new commanders faster, and get bigger armies early. Get the general EXP upgrade first, then focus on the ones that give you extra EXP for whichever task you do the most often.
This way, any new commanders can get stronger armies earlier, allowing you to, oddly enough, get the more fun and murdery Ring upgrades faster by being able to conquer better land earlier.
Riches and Plenty
Another good path to try and rush to, albeit a bit harder, is in the direction of getting more resources like Wood, Stone, Ore and Grain. The Harvest node allows you to get resources faster, which is always nice. That being said, you might be better off getting this second, as you’ll need a well-upgraded Storage to make the most of this upgrade.
5. GENERAL TIPS AND TRICKS
The advice down here is for your day-to-day play, and a few things that might be easily missed. Doing Tips, scouting dangerous tiles, simply remembering to burn Stamina and the like. These will hopefully make your everyday sessions more productive.
You can only conquer tiles next to tiles you already own. So abandoning tiles might be dangerous since they might cut you off from your main settlement right? Wrong! Tiles completely disconnected from your settlement still gather resources for you as long as you own them, and you can still take tiles next to them without a hitch.
This is useful to know if you’re wondering which tiles to ditch if your tile cap is full yet you’re this close to finishing your tile capture Chapter Quest, while being too far away from a Dominance ring upgrade. Don’t worry about disconnecting a blob of tiles from your settlement, it won’t do anything, and you can go finish that quest to get that delicious, tasty Tile Cap upgrade reward. And another thing, you can take tiles diagonally too.
Scouting And Battle Reports
If you’re about to attack a tile, it might help to send in a scout unit consisting of a single commander with a few t1 units. After a defeat, the game tells you via the Battle Report system (This is located in the mail tab) what enemies they had fought. Since your scouting force only consists of a few cheap cannon fodder- oh we mean- “brave volunteers”, your losses are minimal.
By callously sending scouts into the meat grinder, you can send in a real army afterwards that hard-counters the force on that tile (say if that tile had lots of cavalry on it, send in a ton of Spearmen), since you now know what’s waiting for you there. This can save more troops than if you had attacked blindly and come upon a force that counters yours.
Of course, if your commander’s army power number is ridiculously huge compared to your enemy, you probably won’t need to bother. And keep in mind that this still drains the unlucky scout commander’s stamina.
Know Your Allies
Don’t worry if you start next to a bunch of other kingdoms, at least if their territory is marked by purple tiles. That means they belong in the same faction as you, and cannot attack you, unless they pick the Betray option after clicking your profile icon, which typically carries a lot of risk for them too. In fact, you can help each other since they can take tiles next to yours, and vice versa, as long as those tiles are within the range of your Settlement or one of your Forts.
This also goes for blue tiles since those belong to members of your Fellowship. You can use their tiles to reach places that either you or your fellowship wants, such as potential fort construction points or a tile next to something big your fellowship wants to attack.
On the other hand, if you see red tiles, that means you’re near the border of another faction, and those are potentially hostile players. If you start near that, you might want to relocate by expanding away from them then using a Relocation Ability item on a 3×3 set of tiles you own.
Early on, Chapter Quests give okay rewards but nothing too impressive. A little later on though, they reward you with delicious, tasty Tile Limit upgrades, important for maintaining a large, prosperous kingdom. Keep doing these to get ever more territory, for ever more resources and an ever larger military. They’re also a great guide to progression, pretty much telling you what your kingdom might be missing at the moment.
The Red Book of Westmarch in your tavern lets you see the history of Middle-Earth, starting with the War of the Last Alliance. This is a great way to get free resources provided you know what you’re doing, not to mention a good way to burn time if your commanders are busy. You aren’t bringing your own units to combat, but using pre-determined army compositions on a small map.
Make sure you check which units your enemies have, as this is all about countering them with the compositions available to you. You can finish as many campaigns as you can if you keep winning, but you get only one reset at a time, which takes a whole day to cool down.
Forts On The Edge
Try not to waste gold by building forts immediately. Their main function is to act as outposts for your army, since their movement range is based on where they’re stationed on the map. You can conquer up to a 50 tile radius around your main settlement, and that goes the same for your forts, and at one point, you won’t be able to take terrain 50 tiles away from your Forts.
Forts are therefore best placed on the outer edges of your settlement’s (or other forts’) range. That way, they extend your range as much as possible for as little gold expenditure as possible. Your fellowship will also occasionally mark good places to construct forts, and putting them there would be a big help for your comrades.
It is important to expend your army’s stamina, especially early on where they have tons of things to do and lots of land to conquer. Whether it be Gathering, taking tiles or doing Mock battles, make sure you burn your armies’ stamina dry before logging off and telling them to do Tips. This way, you make the most of each session. Just remember though that Gathering and Mock Battles also expends Ability Points, so if that’s dry AND your tile cap is full, you might as well take a break anyway.
6. THE FIRST DAY RAMPAGE: BUILDING AN EMPIRE’S FOUNDATION
The first day of your game is possibly your most important one, as the game slows down a lot once you’ve accumulated enough land and built enough stuff that the timers start taking hours rather than seconds.
The first day is your best time to go absolutely insane and just be extremely expansionist towards low level tiles (not tiles owned by enemy players by the way, you don’t want to end up in a war with other players THIS early on if you had the misfortune of spawning right next to a different faction), overwork your construction crews because of the quick earlygame build times, and generally run rampant across your little slice of Middle-Earth. Make the most of your first day and the slower future days will prove more productive than they would otherwise. Be aggressive!
Absolutely Aggressive Expansionism
See that little flat tile over there with 1 Ring Power per hour? Looks worthless right? Nah, grab it anyway! Accumulating a boatload of low tier tiles early on with your small starting forces is way better than staying a small kingdom and waiting forever to gather enough resources to take higher level land, all because you want to save your oh-so-precious terrain capacity.
The lowest tier land gives you 50 per hour of every resource, while any higher tier tiles give you much more, but only of a single specific resource. All those little weak 1/10/15 Ring Power per hour tiles from your first day pile up, and you’d be surprised how much Ring Power and resources those lower level tiles give you in your first night if you have enough of them to fill your terrain cap.
Besides, you can ditch them later once you have armies huge enough to take stronger tiles, probably after a few more days, though this is generally not recommended. After all, you can just make more tile space by upgrading the Dominance node on your ring and completing Chapter Quests.
Keep The Construction Crews Busy
You’ve got two measely build queues, and you better put them to use. Upgrade and build as many structures as you can early on. If it takes anywhere below 5 minutes to build? Build it! Of special note is your Barracks and Conscription office: You need those to power up your Main Hall, which makes more advanced recruitment structures available.
Do this, work your construction crews overtime, and take a break only when you start getting 30 minute build queues. And don’t hesitate to use a few of those free small speed-ups you get if popping one or two can instantly complete an annoying 15-30 minute construction job.
Conscription Papers For Cannon Fodder
So you’ve only got one unit type available on your first day. No problem, since you’re supposed to be fighting relatively weak tiles by the acre, keep conscripting as many troops as you can, even if it’s just the t1 cannon fodder you get at the start of the game. Keep the troops flowing for your armies and reinforcements, so they can keep getting as many tiles as they can on the first day.
And in the meanwhile, upgrade your recruitment structures until you get at least one t2 unit to replace those free troops the game gives you that you cannot replenish with your current recruitment structures. If you find that you run out of barracks space for your fancy new t2 units, you have the option to either disband some of your weaker troops, or try to upgrade the Barracks for more space.
And this wraps up our beginner’s guide for The Lord of the Rings: Rise to War. We hope this helped, and if you have any tips of your own, leave them in the comment area below for others to read!