The Dark Council (abbreviated as DC) was an online forum for The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game players, founded in 2005 with the aim of leading the Forces of Evil during the The War of the Ring Online Campaign, hosted by Games Workshop. The Dark Council changed after the War of the Ring, and later joined up with other sites to make a "Campaign of LoTRs" for the "veterans" of the original campaign.
War of the Ring CampaignEdit
- Main article: The War of the Ring Online Campaign
Compared to the Good side, the Dark Council were highly organised during the War of the Ring Campaign, credited by GW as "playing like professionals", and remembered by their opponents for their "Ruthless efficiency". Towards the start of the campaign, the Dark Council was the most quickly organised of any campaign forum (on either side), uniting from the beginning the outnumbered Evil players against the various Good forums (which were at the time vieing among themselves for dominance).
Week 1 went disastrously for them, as Good overwhelmed every region, but Harad, causing many to lose trust in the Dark Council, and thus fracturing Evil's hopes. There were also countless wild theories as to how Good outposted Evil so much; some claimed it was because some Good players were cheating by falsifying results, while others blamed hackers or even Games Workshop themselves for influencing the campaign. Whatever the reason, all the councils from both sides agreed on an "Anti-Cheating Policy", effectively closing the discussion insofar as was possible.
Through cunning strategies, the Dark Council clawed their way back from Week 2, and were highly successful in the campaign. The key to Evil's success was both thorough planning and fortunate accident (particularly in an unplanned but successful take-over of Eriador, and the one-sided Wrath of Umbar Roadshow), but it restored the Evil players faith in the Dark Council; this gave them the support necessary to take Lórien in a mere matter of days, striking fear into the Good players and forcing them to band more tightly together. One of the Dark Council's developments of the Campaign was that of "strike-forces", adopted from the previous year's Storm of Chaos Campaign. These were well co-ordinated and quite effective during the campaign, but The Alliance of Light (now the main forum for Good) learned from their example, and formed a number of their own (most notably the Grand Host of Light).
Nonetheless, the Dark Council drove Evil close to victory, giving them the Balance of Power for the first time in the last two weeks. Then the Alliance redirected itself, and focused all its attack on Mordor and the Morannon, both strategic areas. This received massive support from roleplayers (especially since the Grand Host of Light was roleplay-oriented), and Evil made the mistake of trying to defend these two regions. Ultimately this undid Evil's success, and they lost by 3 Victory Points to the Forces of Good.
The Dark Council TodayEdit
The Dark Council carried on after the War of the Ring, with over 180 members today, and recently hosted a successful custom-built "Campaign of LoTRs", with Cheeseweb and members from several other Lord of the Rings websites. They are now busy devising a new campaign, which will be hosted some time next year.
- White Dwarf, issue 312 - "Victory for the Free Peoples", by Alessio Cavatore.
- Battle Games in Middle Earth, issue 56
- The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game
- The War of the Ring Online Campaign
- Games Workshop Online Community
- The Alliance of Light