On a path, the Free Peoples side is always the defender and the Shadow is always the attacker. Follow the steps below to resolve a combat.
1. Count the number of icons on Shadow cards and tokens on the path.
2. Cancel a number of icons equal to the number of icons on the path itself, including any defense tokens added to the path ( icons or defense tokens on characters are considered in the next step).
3. If there are any remaining icons, the Free Peoples player(s) must cancel as many of them as possible, eliminating their cards from the path until either the number of icons eliminated equals or exceeds the number of remaining icons, or they run out of cards.
4. Any leftover Free Peoples cards on the path are cycled.
A Free Peoples character must be eliminated if it cancels even a single icon, regardless of how many icons it has (remember that items with defense icons cannot cancel attack icons separately from the character wielding them).
At the end of path combat, all Shadow characters in that combat are eliminated.
Note: If the Free Peoples players cannot decide which characters to eliminate, the Shadow players can decide for them.