On a battleground, one side is the defender and the other side the attacker. On a Shadow battleground, the Shadow side is always the defender, and the Free Peoples side is the attacker; on a Free Peoples battleground, the Free Peoples side is the defender and the Shadow side is the attacker.

The attacking and defending factions of a battleground are fixed by the battleground card, regardless of how it is activated. For example, on Dol Guldur, Mordor is always the defending faction; Elf and Wizard are always the attacking factions.

Follow the steps below to resolve a combat.

1. Count the number of icons on attacking cards.

2. Cancel a number of icons equal to the number of icons on the battleground itself, including any defense tokens added to the battleground ( icons or defense tokens on characters or armies are considered in the next step).

3. If there are any remaining icons, the defending player(s) must cancel as many of them as possible, eliminating their cards from the battleground until either the number of icons eliminated equals or exceeds the number of remaining icons, or they run out of cards.

4. Any leftover defending cards on the battleground are cycled.

A defending card must be eliminated if it cancels even one icon, regardless of how many icons it has.

At the end of battleground combat, all attacking cards are eliminated.

Note: If the defenders cannot decide which characters or armies to eliminate, the attackers can decide for them.