Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-Earth
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About this mod

Return of Shadow greatly expands on Battle for Middle-Earth adding in 15 new factions (11 are currently released) including Lothlorien, Imladris, Erebor, Dunland and Harad.
It also expands the size of hordes, introduces the Expanding CPL system, adds dozens of new maps a larger spell store and much much more.

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Return of Shadow

Return of Shadow is a large scale mod for The Lord of the Rings:Battle for Middle-Earth this mod greatly expands on the base game and adds many new factions and features to take the game to a whole new level.
No other mod for BFME comes close to the scale and scope of Return of Shadow.

On top of the original 4 factions this mod also adds new factions in Lothlorien, Imladris, Erebor, Free Peoples, Southern Fiefdoms, Dunland and Harad.
With more factions to come in the future.
Every faction is unique and have a different playstyle from the powerful ranged units of Lothlorien, to the magically supported elite units of Imladris, the fast swarming light infantry of Dunland, the sturdy Dwarves and the aggressive Haradrim.

  • Return of Shadow has an expanded spell store allowing 12 spells instead of the usual 8.
  • Expand your army by expanding your reach, as you build new bases you expand your capacity to field larger armies thanks to the Expanding CPL system.
  • Battalions are larger with on average double the amount of units per battalion.
  • New unit types have been added with specialised roles like the Axemen, Heavy Infantry, Hammers and powerful elite units.
  • Citadels have been expanded upon with the Great Keep system, you can upgrade your Citadel into a Great Keep that has more health and improved armour but also unlocks a hero that functions as the leader for the faction which count as a base and can expand your CPL.
  • The Great Keep also unlocks the Horn of War a powerful 1 time spell the Great Keep can use to greatly power up your faction for a short time.
  • On top of that you get access to special upgrades that will upgrade units or structures, unlock new heroes, improve your spells and much more.
  • Explore and fight in every corner of Middle-Earth in the over 100 new maps from the frozen waist lands of Forochel to the deserts of Harad and the steppes of Rhun.



To install you'll need BFME and patch 1.03 (versions 1.04, 1.05 and 1.06 will work but the mod bypasses them).
Download the base edition (Currently Southron Edition 1.0) and the follow up patches (Currently Southron Edition 1.5).

Gondor has been expanded with new units like the Citadel Guards and Royal Knights, their leader is Elessar AKA Aragorn
Gondor gain some new heroes like Damrod and Mardil.

Formerly known as Rohan. Riddermark have been expanded with 2 Specialisations East-Mark and West-Mark that unlock an exclusive hero for each as well as 3 new units.
West-Mark unlocks Erkenbrand and the Westfold units, while East-Mark unlocks the Elfhelm and the Eastfold Yeomen, Spearmen and Archers
Riddermark also gets the new heroes Gamling and Grimbold.
Theoden is their leader and he's well supported by new units the Door Wardens and the Royal Guards.
The faction now has a greater array of cavalry with the Westfold Riders being strongers against structures and the Eastfold Lancers being better against enemy cavalry.

Mordor returns with the Witch King as the leader.
He is supported by new heroes Gothmog, Grishnakh, Gorbag, Lugmog and Shagrat and through the Great Keep techs they can recruit a Nazgul.
Mordor gains new units like the Morannon Soldiers, Cirith Ungol Enforcers, Battle Trolls and the Morgul Uruks, Tower Guards and Archers.

Isengard is led by Saruman the White.
He is joined by new heroes Ugluk, Lugdush, Sharku and Mauhur.
Isengard gain new elite units from the White Hand Quarters such as the heavy infantry White Hand Shieldbearers.
They also get an additional cavalry unit in the Warg Raiders that specialise in destroying structures.

The first of the new factions is Lothlorien led by the Lady Galadriel.
She is joined by Celeborn, Haldir and his brother Rumil and Orophin.
Lothlorien specialise in ranged warfare and ambush, if you like laying ambush to enemies and letting loose thousands of arrows this is the faction for you.
The core of Lothlorien's army will be the Lorien Archers the only ranged starting unit in the mod, they can be upgraded with the White Fire Arrows and can be upgraded with cloaks to allow them to hide.
The also have other support from additional ranged units like the Marchwardens and late game melee from the Galadhrim Warriors and the Caras Galadhon Watch and Guardians.

Imladris also known as Rivendell is led by Elrond Halfeven.
He is aided by his daughter Arwen and his sons Elrohir and Elladan as well as by the legendary hero Glorfindel and Gildor.
Imladris have access to the unique unit the Lightbearer a powerful solo unit that can use magic to damage enemies or be upgraded to provide buffs or healing or improve attack.
Imladris boasts some powerful late game units.

Dunland the land to the west of Rohan have long been home to fierce foes of the Rohirrim.
Dunlendings are regarded as primitive and generally lack in cavalry but they make up for that with ferocity.
They are a fast moving light infantry faction, they move fast hit hard and a can take a hit but lack defensive upgrades and cavalry they focus on getting map control early on and raiding enemy bases and keep aggressive pressure early on.
Dunland is led by the High Chief Borgo and is served by the matron of war Orleth and the wild Halbar as well as the loyal Talbor, the sketchy Darlas and the wolf trainer Ulric.
Dunland has access to not only the fastest early infantry units but also the Warhounds who they use to scout and harass enemies.

The Dwarves of Erebor are led by King Dain Ironfoot and is supported by some very familiar faces Gimli son of Gloin, Gloin, Dwalin, Bifur and Bofur the surviving Dwarves of the Quest of the Lonely Mountain.
Erebor are a strong defensive infantry and siege faction, they lack cavalry but field some of the toughest infantry in the game.

Fiefdoms of Gondor
Fiefdoms for short is a faction made up of the Southern lands of Gondor led by Prince Imrahil of Amroth.
He is supported by men of the various Fiefdoms of Gondor such as Forlong of Lossarnach, Duinhir of Morthond, Angbor and Golasgil.
The Fiefdoms are a faction of great flexibility with the Specialisation system allowing them to unlock exclusive heroes and units.
The true strength of the Fiefdoms are the Knights of Dol Amroth the famous Knights of the Swan a powerful elite heavy cavalry that will crush all that oppose them under their hooves.

Free Peoples
The Free Peoples are a special faction that serves as a sort of compilation of various peoples of Middle-Earth particularly of the lands of Eriador.
They are led by Gandalf the Grey along with the courageous hobbits Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin aided by Halbarad the Dunedain and Galdor of Mithlond.
The Free Peoples boast units from the Shire, Bree, Dunedain, the Blue Mountains, the Lossoth of Forochel and elves of the Grey Havens. They also get access to the Ents of Fangorn and the Great Eagle Gwaihir and the Lesser Eagles.

The Haradrim are the latest faction added that are led by the King Serakh the Black Serpent.
They are a light cavalry, infantry faction that tend to be fast and hard hitting but lack armour upgrades, they use their strong attack and mobility to control the map and raid while they gather resources for their trump card the fearsome Mumakil.
Mumakil are true monsters on the battle field and can turn the tide of battle, with upgrades from the Great Keep they be even more powerful.

New factions are also in the works such as Rhun, Strongholds and Rhovanion which will be added with the Black Edition in the future.

The Dwarves of the Blue Mountains join the Free Peoples.

Free Peoples fight off the forces of Mordor

Join the Official Return of Shadow Discord for exclusive updates and access to regular test patches.

Check out the Return of Shadow Youtube Channel

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