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The Lord of the Rings: Total War

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The Lord of the Rings: Total War
Platform Rome: Total War: Alexander
Mod Type Overhaul
EraWar of the Ring period
Mod Leader wlesmana, Bardo
Release Status v3.0
Forum / Thread Here


The Lord of the Rings: Total War is a fan-made full conversion modification of Rome Total War Alexander. The mod is set during the War of the Ring period in Middle-earth based on stories by J. R. R. Tolkien but mostly based on the The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. The visuals are based heavily on the films supplemented with original designs based on the lore not shown in the films to fill the world. The main goal of this mod is to present a game with the grand epic scale seen in the films, letting the players to live out, control or alter the conditions and outcomes of the iconic epic stories and battles in the films.


  • 14 playable factions: Gondor, Rohan, Mordor, Isengard, Easterlings, Haradrim/Southrons, Noldor Elves, Galadhrim Elves, Silvan Elves, Dwarven Clans, Dale, Dunlendings, Orc Rabbles, Free-peoples.
  • Unique factions: all factions have unique units and differing playstyle and difficulty in completing their main objectives.
  • A Huge Cast: due to Alexander's expanded limitation in the number of unique models, LOTR-TW has over 300 models.
  • Relive Epic Moments From The Films: faithful recreation of characters and designs seen in the films. Even new factions not seen in the films such as Dale and Dwarven Clans are created following the design philosophies of the makers of the films.
  • Heroes: Due to Alexander's features of unique models and portraits of generals, famous characters such as Aragorn, Gandalf, Theoden, Denethor, Witch King and many others are recreated faithfully and playable. Heroes command powerful units that are not recruitable. Even their signature weapons are recreated faithfully.
  • Ageless Campaign: the campaign is set during the time of War of the Ring. There is no time limit to complete the campaign as the passage of time is purposely set to be vague. Your generals do not age and will not die of old age, leaving you to concentrate on building your foces and destroy your rivals.
  • Powerful beasts: the gargantuan oliphaunts, the flying terror fellbeasts, ferocious wargs, monstrous trolls and others are yours to command and unleash upon your enemies.
  • Immortal Nazgul: Mordor is a unique faction that has nine immortal Nazgul generals, that cannot be killed completely. Dying only means resurrection at their home base. Find the One Ring and bring it to its rightful owner to unleash the terrible power of the Dark Lord Sauron!
  • Battle Over The One Ring: the Ringbearer is hidden in the wild. Slay him to obtain the One Ring for yourself or protect him from enemy forces and help him destroy the Ring in Mount Doom! Killing a bearer of the Ring will transfer that Ring to your general along with its tremendous powers and curse. Bring the Ring to Mount Doom to destroy it and eliminate the Mordor faction before the Nazgul finds it and unleash the Dark Lord once more!
  • Randomly Awarded Units: some special units cannot be recruited and instead given to you if you fulfil certain conditions. You may receive the aid of the Ents when controlling the Fangorn forest or the Army of the Dead when you bring Aragorn to Dunharrow.
  • Unique RPG Mode: choose to play as the Free-peoples and you will control the Fellowship of the Ring as they must travel and overcome obstacles to bring the Ring into Mordor and destroy it at Mount Doom. With background scripts, this mode is done lovingly by Bardo as a unique role-playing experience.
  • Custom Animations: extensive additions in unique animations such as the Elven Swordsmen seen in the opening sequence of the first film. Trolls, Ents, Sauron, fellbeasts and other creatures feature new animations.
  • Unique Cities: Minas Tirith, Isengard and others are recreated to mimic their appearance in the films, on the campaign map as well as battle map.
  • Custom Music and Sounds: listen to the epic film soundtracks and sound effects.
  • Optimization: full LODs on all regular models as well as sprites. The mod is playable without sacrificing performance.

Included Submods

These submods are included but have been heavily modified in LOTR:-

  • Campaign map from Middle-earth Total War
  • Darth Vader's AI formations
  • Sinuhet AI formations
  • Pinarius' Realistic Horses
  • Trees and sky from Napoleon 2 Total War
  • Trees and environment from Roma Serructum II

The Team

  • wlesmana - responsible for creating the mod and doing pretty much everything
  • Bardo - creator the campaign scripts, responsible for balancing, formations, environment and many other upgrades
  • Honorable mentions of non-regular contributors:
mac89, lupus, Metal Storm, bluepowder, Baaza, Rhytalion, Echolyn, Seth Krnell, Tranky


In middle 2004, wlesmana first saw videos and screens of the real-time strategy game "The Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-earth" from EA Games. As a big fan of the films, he was very excited for this game as it promised to bring the epic battles seen in the films to every game player. Unfortunately, the gameplay of the game is not about huge, epic armies clashing but more in the traditional RTS genre with powerful Hero units in the vein of "Warcraft III". Though a solid game, it was a disappointment for wlesmana, who at the same time found the game "Rome Total War". RTW has the grand epic scale of the LOTR films. Even the opening movie of RTW appears to be influenced by the LOTR films. So wlesmana looked around for a possible modification of RTW into The Lord of the Rings.

At the time, there were 2 mods of RTW based on Tolkien's books: "Middle-earth Total War" and "Fourth Age Total War". But the two were made to be faithful to the books and "fixed" the inconsistencies seen in the films. wlesmana asked if these two mods would consider making a mini-mod of using the visuals of the films, particularly the controversial Gondorian soldier's design. There were no such plan so wlesmana detrermined to create the Gondorians soldiers as they appear in the films. This were to be a mini-mod of adding Gondorian soldiers into regular Rome Total War which could be easily tweaked to be inserted into either of the existing The Lord of the Rings-based projects. He planned to call this mini-mod "Rome of the Rings".

After finding out that it's impossible to create a proper Gondorian soldier just from reskinning an existing RTW model, wlesmana learned how to make models in 3D Studio Max. While creating the models, wlesmana got the urge to create other models for the Gondorians to fight. He made orcs, uruk-hai and elves. Gradually more models are made and refined until there are enough for Gondor, Isengard, Mordor, Rohan and Elves factions. His stubbornness for details even forced him to learn how to modify new animations so he could make the Elves use their long sword as they appear in the opening sequence of the first film. Eventually wlesmana decided to complete his own mod: a Custom Battles only mod for RTW version 1.2, officialy calling the mod "The Lord of the Rings: Total War". This became the first beta release: Custom Battles with 1 Historical Battle (The Battle of the Last Alliance) featuring 7 factions: Gondor, Rohan, Elves, Mordor, Isengard, Easterlings, Southrons and 3 mini factions: Free-peoples (the various townfolks and villagers of Middle-earth), Numenoreans (Second Age Gondor) and Second Age Mordor (with Sauron).

After obtaining permission for using the campaign map from Middle-earth Total War team, wlesmana started working on the campaign. The existing factions got further refined: the Elven faction is split into 3 to represent the different communities while 3 new factions were added: Orcs Rabbles to represent the orcs/goblins of Misty Mountain, the newly rebuilt Kingdom of Dale and the Dwarven Clans, allies of of the Men of Dale. More units were also added to existing factions. With the release of "Rome Total War Alexander" and its features of ageless generals and custom models and portraits, the format was chosen over "Barbarian Invasion". Earlier, Bardo offered his help in balancing the units and factions. Eventually he became the first official member of the previously non-existent modding team. Other than balancing Bardo started work on campaign scripts and discovered ways to replicate the transfer of the One Ring to whomever killed the previous bearer. More tricks are discovered which added more unique flavor to the campaign as well as the implementation of AI behavior upgrades. Over the years, members came and went as only wlesmana and Bardo remain active.

In late 2007, the Open Beta (2.0) version of "The Lord of the Rings: Total War" was released to the public. Patches and other additions later formed the 2.08 version back in late january 2011.

Wlesmana and Bardo recently released the final version, version 3.0, which was realeased on march 21 2013.

Visual Material

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