Damage Points represent the injuries sustained by a unit or figure at any given time. Damage Points are, essentially, lost Hit Points. They are represented in several different ways in the game, most prominently by the Darkened Heart icons that replace the Bright Hearts in the unit statistics window. This icon also signifies both Damage Points, and damage in general throughout the wiki.
Units can suffer Damage Points in a multitude of ways, collectively termed "attacks". Should their amount equal or exceed the unit's Hit Points, that unit is completely destroyed. Thus, the primary way to kill a unit is to inflict a sufficient number of Damage Points on that unit. Multi-Figure units further consist of multiple individual figures. At regular intervals of damage taken, they will lose one of these figures, weakening their offensive combat capabilities.
Damage can be healed in several ways, particularly by a process known as "natural healing", whereby the Damage Points sustained by the unit are reduced by a certain amount at the beginning of each overland turn. Units can also be healed artificially with magic, or thanks to the powerful Regeneration ability.
Damage is the loss of structural integrity. As such, it is often not measured itself beyond the amounts that directly result from attacks. Instead, most games choose to measure the integrity itself. On one end of the scale, in role-playing games there is the physiological-, or bodily integrity of creatures or characters. This is sometimes called simply "health" or "life" but, more often, the term used is Hit Points, or "HP". This originates from the fact that this attribute determines how many "hits" the character or creature can take before being incapacitated or slain. Which means it really measures the ability to take Damage in the first place.
On the other end of the scale are strategy games. After a certain point, the differences between the sturdiness of individual creatures or soldiers become just too insignificant when considering the power of hundreds or thousands of these entities. Sure, it may still be a listed attribute, but what really matters is the amount of troops that are still battle-ready. Here, Damage is typically a measure of the soldiers lost from a unit.
Whatever the scale though, most games place a higher emphasis on the remaining health or troop count, and this is what is stored or written down. Master of Magic does the exact opposite: it only actually records damage taken. In other words, Damage Points. Remaining Hit Points, as well as figure counts and "top figure damage", are always a function of this information, combined with the unit's base statistics and any applicable special effects.
Units in Master of Magic consist of individual entities called figures. Some, most notably Heroes, ships, war machines, and powerful summoned creatures, contain only a Single Figure. Others, like early Normal Units, and the more common Fantastic ones, have somewhere between 2 and 8. The 9 heads of the mighty Hydra are also considered to be figures for all intents and purposes. The maximum amount of figures in a unit is one of its base attributes. This will also be their initial count whenever the unit is recruited or summoned.
Each unit also has a separate statistic called Hit Points or, more accurately, Hits per figure. The total (starting) "health" of an entire unit is thus its Hits times its figure count. Naturally, for Single Figure units, such as Heroes, the figure health translates directly into unit health. In either case though, this value represents the amount of Damage Points it takes to slay or destroy the entire unit. Other than increasing risk though, Damage Points have no individual effect until certain thresholds are reached, at which points figure loss and, ultimately, the destruction of the unit will occur.
Top Figure Damage Edit
By design, each unit in Master of Magic is limited to a single injured figure. All others are considered to be at full Hit Points at all times. Damage inflicted on this "top" figure is thus often called the "top figure damage". This is the damage visible in the Unit Statistics Window as a number in combat, and is what is indicated by the amount of Darkened Heart icons replacing the bright Hits icons, whenever the unit is inspected. This number allows the player to determine how much Damage Points the unit has suffered, or approximate how long it would take for it to recover naturally.
On the overland map, the game calculates the "top figure damage" in a very straightforward manner. It is the remainder of the recorded Damage Points, divided by the Hits per figure statistic of the unit. However, in combat, it has its own variable, and is actually tracked separately from damage taken.
Figure Loss Edit
Whether overland or in combat though, if the "top figure damage" reaches a unit's Hits per figure value, a figure in the unit will fall. For Single Figure units, this naturally means the destruction of the unit itself. Multi-Figure units, on the other hand, will survive, unless it was the last figure. However, as their offensive power comes directly from their numbers, the more figures a unit loses, the less capable it becomes at inflicting Damage Points on the enemy. Granted, having a large amount of initial figures can greatly reduce the impact of losing a single one.
The amount of figures that are still standing in a unit is only indicated visually in the game. The only exception is the afore mentioned Hydra, whose graphics remain the same until the end, and its "head count" is shown as a number instead. For all other units, the figures need to be counted while looking at them in combat, or by checking their image in the unit statistics window. While selecting units overland, their unit cards also display an overall health gauge, but this is often not enough to get an accurate figure count.
Example #1 Edit
- A Stone Giant is a Single Figure unit. It has 20 Hit Points per figure, so the unit as a whole also has 20 Hit Points. This means it can take up to 19 Damage Points before dying. However, none of that damage is going to hinder its combat performance in any way, although the risk of the giant falling to the next attack does keep steadily increasing as it is taking more and more damage. Once it suffers the 20th point though, the figure, and along with it, the entire unit, is destroyed.
Example #2 Edit
- A fresh Recruit High Men Cavalry unit contains 4 figures, and has a Hits per figure statistic of 3. The overall "health" of this unit is thus 3 × 4 = 12. Its base Attack Strength is 4, which means that at full strength, it can execute 4 attacks at strength 4 each. Taking 1 or 2 Damage Points will not change this situation, although the unit statistics window would reflect this both in its row of Hit Point icons, and separately as a "Damage" number in combat.
- Should the cavalrymen take a third point of damage, they will lose a figure. At this point, the image displayed when opening the unit statistics window will now only show 3 cavalrymen. At the same time, a full 3 icons return, indicating that the "lead"-, or "top" figure, has all of its Hit Points fully intact. However, should the unit engage in battle now, it can only make 3 attacks instead of 4, although its Attack Strength is still 4. That is, it has lost 25% of its offensive capability.
- The next two Damage Points repeat the first procedure, and no figures are lost. The only impact is the damage visible in the unit statistics window. Then, at 6, another figure dies, reducing the unit's effectiveness to a mere 50% of its original. This cycle then keeps repeating until finally, at 12, the last figure perishes, and the unit is destroyed.
Sources of Damage Edit
Damage can be caused in a myriad of ways, collectively called attacks. These generally use one of two common mechanics, that differ both in the way they are resolved, and the defensive attribute that might be used mitigate their damage.
Conventional Damage Edit
- Main article: Conventional Damage
Conventional attacks are by far the most common sources of Damage Points. Melee Attacks, Ranged Attacks, Thrown Attacks, Breath Attacks, and even direct damage spells all use the same generic procedure to determine their damage. They start with an Attack Strength, that sets out their damage potential. An amount of 10-sided dice equal to this value are then used to find out how much of this potential is realized with that specific attack. This is called an Attack Roll, and it introduces the concept of "raw", or "unmitigated" damage, sometimes also called "successful hits". This is damage that is not yet fully processed, and as such is typically not ready to be applied directly as Damage Points.
The reason for this is that in most cases, Conventional Damage can be reduced, or possibly avoided entirely, using the Defense attribute. This allows a defending unit to use their own set of 10-sided dice, equal in number to this statistic, to also perform a Defense Roll. Every die that is deemed "successful" here (the base chance of success is 30% per die in both sets of rolls) will reduce the incoming "raw damage" by 1 point. If the remainder is more than the unit's Hit Points per figure value, then that much is slated to be delivered, and a new Defense Roll can commence to further reduce whatever is left over. This can repeat as many times as necessary, until all the damage is accounted for. Only then is it final, and ready to be applied as actual Damage Points. However, as noted below, the process is still not entirely complete.
Confusingly enough, Conventional Damage resolution can either ignore, or fully consider "top figure damage". That is, the second Defense Roll will take place either after a full figure's Hits worth of damage has been dealt - or after only as much as the "top figure" had remaining. Which of these will occur depends on whether the attack was made by a unit or a spell. Melee- and Ranged Attacks are always directed at a figure with maximum Hit Points, even if the unit does not have such a figure any more. They have to record at least that much in damage before they will allow another Defense Roll. In contrast, spells always target the actual "top figure" - the unit will get to defend again as soon as it takes enough damage to destroy this figure.
Special Damage Edit
- Main article: Special Damage
The other major group of damage sources are Special Attacks and Resistable spells. These are far less common than "Physical Damage" attacks. They are typically defended against with the Resistance statistic, although in a completely different manner. While this mechanic also uses 10-sided dice, in this case, the target number is actually the unit's attribute score. If the roll is equal to or lower than this, then it was successful. If it is above the score however, the check was a failure. This means that the higher the score, the better the chance that the unit "resists" these sources of damage. Many effects therefore apply a temporary Resistance modifier, to make the checks either easier or more difficult to pass. However, with a modified score of 10 or higher, the unit will always succeed with no random chance involved.
Most Special Damage attacks deal figure-based damage. That is, on a failed Resistance roll, the target unit suffers as many Damage Points as its Hits per figure value, effectively slaying one figure. How many Resistance checks are required depends on the attack. Touch Attacks, for instance, activate once for each figure delivering one. Gaze Attacks and spells, on the other hand, call for one roll for each standing figure in the target unit.
There are also a few Special Damage attacks that affect units as a whole. Poison Damage forces the target to make one Resistance roll for every point of its strength, and inflicts 1 on the unit for each failed one. Life Stealing Damage causes as many Damage Points as the target fails a single Resistance check by. Finally, Disintegrate and Cracks Call do not even allow for a roll. The former will automatically work so long as a unit can fail its check against it, while the latter has a flat 25% chance to succeed unless the target is Flying or Non-Corporeal. Both of these inflict a fatal 200 Damage Points, more than enough to destroy even the most powerful units in the game.
Applying Damage Edit
There are a few more quirks that may be worth remembering about Damage Points. First and foremost is that during battles, the game tracks three different types of Damage Points, not just one. When exactly are the points applied, and how much damage can be dealt to a single unit, are also not trivial questions to answer.
Types of Damage Points Edit
On the overland map, the game only tracks Damage Points in general. However, in combat, there are also two more types that can be applied by certain spells and abilities. "Regular", or "normal" damage is the generic kind. This is the type dealt by the majority of attacks, and is the one tracked overland. Whenever a battle ends, the other two types are automatically converted into regular damage. This means that any effect that they may have will not be carried with the unit from battle to battle, and is only considered during the one fight that they are applied in.
However, if either of their main effects do trigger, those are entirely permanent. This is because they only activate if the unit is destroyed during the battle. Essentially, these two types of Damage Points control whether the unit can be brought back from the dead, and if so, how.
Create Undead Damage Points Edit
- Injuries caused by Life Stealing Damage, and the Melee- and Poison Touch attack of Ghouls, has the power to bring slain units back as Undead under the control of their attacker. This mechanic is implemented by using special Damage Points that are only applicable during combat. Should a unit be destroyed in a way that is considered to be primarily "Create Undead Damage", the effect activates, and has the following consequences:
- Even if the unit has the Regeneration ability, it will no longer return to life if its side wins the battle.
- If the unit's original owner loses the battle, it will rise as an Undead unit, under the control of the victorious player. It should be noted though, that this specific effect does not work on Heroes and Death units (including those that are already Undead).
- To trigger any of the above, the amount of "Create Undead" Damage Points must at least equal the regular damage suffered by the unit, and must be at least one point higher than any Irreversible Damage Points. To assist with this though, if a unit has both "Create Undead" and regular Damage Points inflicted on it, then all combat healing effects are set to remove the regular damage first. However, that does not mean that "Create Undead Damage" can not be healed. For example, if a unit has suffered 3 "Create Undead" Damage Points and 2 points of regular damage, a Healing spell cast on it will still remove all 5.
- "Create Undead Damage" also does not work against units that possess Magic Immunity. That is, all such Damage Points are automatically converted to regular damage before being applied. The Unofficial Patch 1.50 also extends this mechanic to units with Death Immunity.
Sources of "Create Undead Damage" Effect Type Availability Life Steal Unit Ability
Wraiths ( -3 modifier)
Death Knights ( -4 modifier)
Demon Lord ( -5 modifier)
Ravashack the Necromancer (no modifier)
Create Undead Unit Ability Ghouls only, converts Conventional- and Poison Damage
(but not Spell Damage, ie. Immolation)
Vampiric Item Power
9 premade items, or
Create Artifact: 5; 800; Axe / Mace / Sword
(no Resistance modifier in either case)
Life Drain Combat Instant
RC: 160; CC: 10 - 50; targets 1 unit
no base modifier, but -1 for every extra 5 (up to -8)
can affect units with Death Immunity in v1.31 (but not later)
affected by - Spell Save items from Insecticide onwards
Irreversible Damage Points Edit
- Some attacks cause injuries so severe that they can not be recovered from while in combat. No healing spells or effects, not even the Regeneration ability can remove these "Irreversible" Damage Points during the battle. Should the unit survive though, they can be healed normally afterwards, as they are converted to regular damage. On the other hand, units that are destroyed primarily by damage like this are lost forever. This effect triggers if the amount of Irreversible Damage Points dealt to the unit are at least as much as both the regular and any "Create Undead Damage". That is, if it is the highest (or equal) out of the three types.
- Units destroyed this way are no longer valid targets for either Raise Dead or Animate Dead. Regeneration will also not bring them back, even if their side wins the battle. Naturally, since the requirements conflict with those of "Create Undead Damage", that may not take effect either, and neither can the unit be affected by Zombie Mastery. If a Hero is slain this way, not only do they become unavailable for Resurrection, but any Magical Items they carry are also destroyed along with them, and can not be recovered after the battle. However, it still remains possible to summon Torin the Chosen again using the Incarnation spell, and he does get to keep his level and abilities.
- Irreversible damage is only available from Special Damage sources, nearly all of which are figure-based. That is, they inflict damage equal to the unit's Hits per figure value for every failed Resistance check. The only two effects that don't conform to this are those of the Disintegrate and Cracks Call spells, both of which destroy their target by dealing 200 Irreversible Damage Points.
Sources of Irreversible Damage Effect Type Save Availability Stoning Gaze Unit Ability
Stoning Touch Unit Ability
-3 Cockatrices Stoning Item Power
-1 10 premade items
Enchant Item / Create Artifact: 2; 150; any weapon
Petrify Combat Instant
0 RC: 960; CC: 35; targets 1 unit
affected by - Spell Save items
Destruction Item Power
0 14 premade items, or
Create Artifact: 5; 1,000; any weapon
Dispel Evil Unit Ability
affects only Death and Chaos units
applies an additional -5 against Undead (total -9)
Holy Avenger Item Power
-4 10 premade items, or
Create Artifact: 3; 500; Axe / Mace / Sword
affects only Death and Chaos units
applies an additional -5 against Undead (total -9)
Dispel Evil Combat Instant
-4 RC: 450; CC: 25; targets 1 unit
affects only Death and Chaos units
applies an additional -5 against Undead (total -9)
affected by - Spell Save items
Holy Word Combat Instant
-2 RC: 1,700; CC: 60; targets all opposing Fantastic Units
applies an additional -5 against Undead (total -7)
affected by - Spell Save items from Insecticide onwards
Banish Combat Instant
-3 RC: 1,120; CC: 20; targets 1 Fantastic Unit
-1 for every extra 15 spent (up to a -8 total)
affected by - Spell Save items
Word of Death Combat Instant
-5 RC: 2,000; CC: 40; targets 1 unit
can affect units with Death Immunity
affected by - Spell Save items from Insecticide onwards
Disintegrate Combat Instant
0 RC: 2,000; CC: 50; targets 1 unit
automatic if the target can fail its Resistance check
affected by - Spell Save items
Cracks Call Combat Instant
- RC: 300; CC: 20; targets 1 unit
25% success chance
can't target Flying and Non-Corporeal units
Simultaneous Damage Edit
Damage Points are often not applied immediately after resolving an attack. Or, to be more precise, it is actually not all that common for an individual attack to to be performed by itself. This practically only happens when single target Conventional Damage-, or unit-based Special Damage spells are cast; or when Single Figure units perform Ranged Attacks with no "added effects".
In all other scenarios, the target unit will be hit by multiple attacks at the same time. As a general rule of thumb, the game will always resolve all of these attacks before applying any of their damage. For example, when executing conventional attacks, all eligible figures in a Multi-Figure unit will perform that attack. However, no Damage Points are registered to the defender until all of these are resolved. The same is true for Special Attacks that are delivered as "added effects". The Special Damage is also evaluated before the Conventional is dealt.
The situation is slightly different when two units engage in Melee. This is a multi-stage process by itself, and damage does get applied at the end of each of its phases. However, units are not destroyed here regardless of the amount Damage Points they took. The entire sequence is always played out as if both units were still present. Since slain figures can't perform any attacks, this does not matter in terms of damage caused to the surviving side, but it can make all the difference when considering the types and amounts of Damage Points done to the destroyed unit, as illustrated in the examples below.
The Melee Sequence is also typically finished with a mutual attack phase, where both combatants strike at each other simultaneously. In this stage, all damage from both sides, whether Conventional or Special, is delayed until every standing figure of each unit has concluded all of their available attacks. For example, two unhurt units of Nightblades fighting each other would make 12 individual Melee attacks and another 12 Poison Damage attacks before either of them suffers any damage from the other.
Overkill Damage Edit
Damage Points are by no means limited to the total health of a unit. The game does not stop tracking or applying them just because there's already enough inflicted on a unit to destroy it. This is most prominent during Melee combat, where a unit that perishes to short-range attacks ( Thrown, Breath, or Gaze) will still be dealt Melee Damage. However, it also happens almost every other time a unit is destroyed, and can be very important to consider when trying to create Undead units through Life Stealing Damage. The only exception is Area Damage, which is incapable of inflicting more damage on a unit than it has remaining Hit Points.
In any case though, Damage Points do have a hardcoded limit of 200 each, to prevent excessive amounts from wrapping around and actually reducing the damage inflicted. This is more than the double of the total Hit Points of a Hydra, the unit that has by far the most Hit Points in the game (twice as much as any other contender).
The following examples should help understand most of the quirks of applying Damage Points. For the sake of simplicity, Conventional- and Special Damage attacks are grouped together throughout them. In reality though, the resolution order is "added effects" followed by the conventional attack for the first figure, then the same order for the next figure, and so on, until every attack has been concluded. Because of the simultaneous application of the damage however, the actual order of execution has absolutely no practical relevance, as the outcomes are always exactly the same as in the illustrations below.
Stoning Touch vs Gaze Edit
- A unit of Cockatrices is facing off a Basilisk in a Nature Node (+2 to all stats for both units). Since neither has a Ranged Attack, they have to duke it out in Melee combat. Both can attack the other, and who initiates the engagement has no impact on the outcome. The Basilisk's Stoning Gaze goes first, as it always happens before mutual Melee in the sequence.
- This is an ordinary Gaze Attack, which means it is performed as an "added effect" to an otherwise hidden short-range attack that matches the Realm of the Special Attack itself. Because it is enhanced by the Nature Node, it has an Attack Strength of 3. The Basilisk rolls 3, 4, and 9 which, counting in its universal +1 To Hit, means it registers 2 "raw" points of damage. Cockatrices have a natural Defense score of 3, which is also boosted to 5 because of the Node. They make their Defense Roll, and get 2, 5, 6, 6, and 9. There are no modifiers To Block in play, so only one of these rolls is "successful", blocking 1, and leaving the other 1 slated to be delivered.
- Before that however, the Gaze effect takes place. It has an innate modifier of -1, but again the Node Aura grants +2, bringing the Cockatrices' score to a total of 8 against the attack. Since Gaze Attacks require as many Resistance checks as the target unit has figures remaining, the Cockatrices have to make 4. The dice come up as 2, 3, 6, and 9. That's three successes and one failure, meaning that the attack will deal one figure's worth of Hit Points in damage. In this case, this is 3, as this attribute is not enhanced by the Node.
- This concludes the Gaze Attack, and the short-range attack phase also ends with it. The Cockatrices take a total of 1 + 3 = 4, which is now applied. They lose one figure, leaving them with 3 for the rest of the sequence. The extra 1 "top figure damage" does not have any effect on their performance.
- Continuing to the actual Melee phase, the Basilisk has a modified Attack Strength of 17. Rolling a fairly average series, it scores 7 "successful hits". The Cockatrices roll better than last time though, and with their 1, 3, 3, 6, and 10, manage to block 3. However, the remaining 4 is still above their Hits per figure value, so the computer records 3 for delivery, and makes another Defense Roll against the remaining 1. This time, the beasts roll 2, 3, 4, 7, and 8. Although this is enough to block 2, it unfortunately can not affect damage already slated for delivery. That is, it blocks only the remaining 1, with one success becoming effectively wasted. Thus, the total damage that the Cockatrices will take is 3.
- Before that can happen though, they also get to strike this time. With their remaining 3, they perform 3 attacks at an enhanced 6 each, against the Basilisk's also boosted 6. Unlucky for them, even with their +1, only one of them manages to get through, with 2 left after the Basilisk's Defense Roll. Despite this however, all three of them also get to execute their Stoning Touch. It is not required for their conventional attack to do damage for this to happen, it simply has to be capable of doing so (i.e. must have an Attack Strength of at least 1).
- The Basilisk has a natural 7, enhanced to 9 by the Node. However, the Cockatrices impose a penalty of -3 on their Touch Attack, bringing this down to 6. The Basilisk has to make 3 saves, one against each attacking figure's Stoning Touch. It rolls a rather unlucky 6, 8, and 9, meaning it fails two out of the three rolls. Since it has 30 per figure, this means it will suffer a whopping 60.
- As all attacks are now resolved, damage can be applied to both units. The Cockatrices suffer 3, and lose one more figure. They emerge from the battle with a total of 7 Damage Points, out of which the unit statistics window will show 1. The Basilisk, on the other hand, is completely annihilated, as it takes a total of 62 versus its Hit Points of 30.
- It may also be worth noting that a simple Resist Elements spell could have helped the Cockatrices avoid more than half of the damage they took. It would have made them immune to the Gaze effect entirely by raising their Resistance to 11, while also providing an extra +3 against the hidden Conventional Damage component.The same spell cast on the Basilisk would still only have resulted in 9, meaning that over the course of multiple engagements with multiple enemy figures, it would still have had a fair chance of being slain.
- Tauron is trying to crack open a Tower of Wizardry with his Chaos Spawn, so he can get some Settlers over to the Power-rich Myrror. His scouts report a Hydra inside. Unfortunately, when he enters the battle, he is greeted by an additional 8 Fire Elementals supporting the beast. This instantly foils his grand plan of Fireballing it into oblivion, as he will need to save his Spell Casting Skill to deal with the elementals.
- Confident in the spawn though, he sends it forward, stopping just so that it can get the jump on the advancing Hydra. The elementals can't attack the Flying spawn, so there's no need to worry about them for the time being. Sure enough, the 9-headed monstrosity steps right up to the Chaos Spawn, and in so doing exhausts its Movement Allowance. Thus, the spawn can attack first without having to worry about any incoming Fire Breath.
- Unlike the single Gaze Attacks of other creatures, the Chaos Spawn's "Multi-Gaze" does not require a hidden conventional attack to attach the gaze effect to. This is because the Doom Gaze already delivers Conventional Damage, which Special Damage attacks can be added to. So much so, that even the creature's Poison Touch is triggered from it. That will not be considered in this example though, as it has no effect on any of the enemies here.
- As the spawn is attacking, the Melee Sequence starts with its Gaze Attacks. The Doom Gaze is easy to resolve, as it deals Doom Damage, which requires neither Attack-, nor Defense Rolls, and does a fixed amount of 4 Damage Points to the Hydra. These can not be applied yet though, as along with this attack come two more gaze effects (and a Poison Damage attack that fails to do any damage because of the opponent's high Resistance).
- First is the Death Gaze. While the Hydra has a rather high 11, the spawn also applies a penalty of -4 to this attack, bringing that down to only 7. Having 9 figures (each head counts as one), the Hydra is in big trouble, and has to make 9 individual Resistance checks. It rolls fairly well: 1, 1, 3, 5, 6, 6, 7, 8, and 10. Only the last two of these are failures, meaning it will suffer two figure's worth of Hit Points in damage. Since each of its heads has 10, this is a total of 20 Damage Points.
- Before that can be finalized though, the Chaos Spawn has yet another Gaze Attack: a Stoning Gaze. This also entails a penalty of -4, so the Hydra has the same 7 against it. However, because none of the above damage could be applied just yet, it is still considered to have all of its heads, or figures. Thus, it now has to make another 9 Resistance checks. It rolls much worse this time: 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 7, 8, 9, and 10. That's a total of 3 failures, translating into a full 30 Damage Points.
- With the Multi-Gaze resolved, the short-range attack phase ends, and the Hydra is dealt the entire 4 + 20 + 30 = 54 Damage Points. It loses 5 out of its 9 heads, with one more slightly damaged, but mutual Melee can now commence. Although the Chaos Spawn also has the Cause Fear ability, it has no Resistance modifier, and so the Hydra shrugs it off just like the poison. The same thing happens with the spawn's actual Melee attack. It has an Attack Strength of only 1, with no To Hit modifiers, and fails to score a hit entirely with a single roll of 9.
- It is now the Hydra's turn to strike back. It has 4 figures remaining, so it can attack 4 times with a strength of 6. It also has +1 To Hit, making it slightly more likely to do some damage against the spawn's 6. It gets 2, 3, 2, and 4 successes on the Attack Rolls, while the Chaos Spawn manages 3, 1, 2, and 1 on its Defense ones. The first head thus deals no damage, the second 2, the third again none, while the last one does 3, for a total of 5. Since there are no more attacks, these 5 Damage Points are applied to the spawn, while the Hydra does not get hurt this time.
- Tauron, trusting the monster's lack of intelligence, decides to use the remaining 0.5 of the Chaos Spawn to withdraw instead of commencing with another attack, and the combat turn ends. The Hydra, unfazed by its injuries, follows the retreating enemy, again sacrificing the advantage of its Breath Attack. It does regenerate 1 point since not all of the damage done to it was Irreversible. This reduces its total recorded damage to 53, but does not allow for any of its heads to regrow.
- It is again the spawn's turn, and it moves in to attempt a finishing blow. Its Doom Gaze deals the same 4 unblockable Damage Points. However, this time, the Hydra only has 4 figures left for the other two Gaze Attacks. Unfortunately for the beast though, that's still two times four Resistance checks, as any damage done by one gaze will not be applied until both are resolved. It rolls 4, 6, 8, and 9 for the Death Gaze; and 2, 2, 4, and 8 for the Stoning Gaze. Alas, that's two failures on the first set, and one on the second, resulting in a total of 4 + 20 + 10 = 34 Damage Points dealt to it at the end of the short-range attack phase.
- Things look grim for the Hydra. It has now suffered a total of 87 Damage Points, and has only a single head remaining. Although it does avoid the spawn's Melee attack entirely again, it also fails to inflict any damage on it. Its single successful die gets blocked by the spawn's own one, ending this Melee round.
- Realizing that the Hydra can no longer survive even just the Doom Gaze, Tauron orders the Chaos Spawn to attack again this time, obliterating the monster. Even though it manages to Resist both of the other gazes, the total damage done to it is now 91, and its last head falls at the end of the short-range attack phase. As it has no more figures left, it can inflict no Melee Damage to the spawn, who survives the "duel" with 10 Hit Points remaining. Aided by Tauron's entire Casting Skill, the elementals are now no match for it despite their numbers and immunities, leading to the swift capture of the Tower for the Chaos Wizard.
Undead Through Life Stealing Edit
- Rjak has just arrived on Myrror, conquering a Tower of Wizardry with his Wraiths. Two turns later, while scouting the vicinity, he spots a small Dwarven Town nearby. Although his Wraiths have sustained some damage in the previous fight, and are logging 4 Damage Points, they are very strong against Normal Units, so he decides to attack the hamlet anyway. It is defended by 5 units of Halberdiers: two Veterans, two Regulars, and a single Recruit.
- Since the Dwarves don't have any Ranged- or short-range attacks, the Wraiths are free to pick and choose their targets. To maximize the chances of gaining an Undead garrison, Rjak starts the battle with Black Prayer, inflicting penalties of -1, -1, and -2 on all of the Halberdiers. Since most of his other spells would only hinder his goal in this scenario, he dumps the rest of his Spell Casting Skill into a Life Drain instead. It's just enough to fully empower the spell. He targets one of the Veteran Dwarves, the same one he intends to attack first with the Wraiths.
- Dwarf Halberdiers have a base Resistance score of 8, the highest of any Race. Veterans also receive +2 on top of this. However, Black Prayer effectively cancels this out with its -2 penalty, and a fully powered Life Drain carries a further -8. This brings the Dwarves' overall Resistance against this attack down to 0, meaning that they will take damage regardless of what they roll: they can not possibly succeed the check. Fortune does not favor them either, as the die comes up as a 7, and they take 7 - 0 = 7 points of "Create Undead Damage". As they have 3 Hit Points per figure, they lose two of them to the spell.
- Now the Wraiths attack them too. This is a Melee only fight, and the ghastly creatures attack 4 times with 7 strength and +2 To Hit. Their Attack Rolls yield 2, 4, 3, and 4 raw damage. The Dwarves have a base Defense score of 3, increased by +1 from Experience, but also reduced by -1 from Black Prayer. Their first Defense Roll is 3 failures, and they take 2 points of regular damage. The second series does get a success, so they take 3 this time. The third set is even better and gets 2, reducing the damage to a single point. However, the last roll is all failures again. Because they only have 3 per figure though, they can roll again after the first 3 of the original 4 have beed recorded for delivery. This time, they do get a success, blocking the remaining 1.
- The total regular damage thus comes to 2 + 3 + 1 + 3 = 9. Before it is applied though, there is still the matter of the Wraiths' Life Steal. This is a unit-based Special Damage Touch Attack that causes Life Stealing Damage, similar to the above Life Drain spell. However, these creatures' ability carries a fixed penatly of -3, rather than an adjustable one. In addition however, they will be healed by the damage they inflict with it. The spell can also grant Casting Skill points to Wizards, but that was ignored above, as it would not take effect during the battle anyway. If cast by Heroes though, Life Drain does also heal them much the same way as the ability would.
- The Halberdiers have a final score of 8 + 2 - 2 - 3 = 5 against this Life Stealing attack, which is executed once for each attacking figure. In this case, that is 4, so the Dwarves have to make 4 Resistance checks. They get fairly lucky with a 2, 4, 5, and 7. Three of these are successes, avoiding the damage entirely. The last one does inflict 7 - 5 = 2 though, removing 2 Damage Points from the Wraiths in the process. With the previous Life Drain, this brings the "Create Undead Damage" done to these Halberdiers up to 9, and the total up to 18. This is exactly as much as the total Hit Points of the unit, which means that they will be destroyed after their Counter Attack.
- Dwarf Halberdiers start off with a Melee strength of 4. This is improved by +1 for Veterans, but they also get a -1 from Black Prayer. Since two of their figures were lost to the Life Drain spell beforehand, only 4 can actually attack. Their Attack Rolls are average, and generate 1, 1, 2, and 1 "raw" damage. Unfortunately for them though, these Dwarves only wield normal weapons. This causes the Wraiths' Weapon Immunity to trigger, and the creatures' Defense is raised to 10 from its original 6. They easily avoid all of the hits with success counts of 2, 3, 4, and 2 on their Defense Rolls.
- The first Halberdiers units is now destroyed. They took a total of 9 of both regular- and "Create Undead Damage", thanks to the Life Drain. Because an equal amount of Damage Points does count for creating Undead, these Dwarves will rise again to serve Rjak, provided he wins the battle. However, the numbers demonstrate fairly well that without the spell, the Wraiths would not have accomplished the task on their own. Although they are in no real danger while fighting these Normal Units, the Dwarves high Resistance means they take much less Special- than Conventional Damage.
- The other Veteran unit proves this point quite aptly. In their first attack, the Wraiths inflict 9 points of regular damage, and only 6 "Create Undead Damage". The Dwarves survive this attack, forcing the Wraiths to attack again in order to eliminate them. However, this only increases the difference between the two types of Damage Points. This time, 10 points of regular damage are dealt, but only 5 "Create Undead Damage". This yields totals of 19 versus 11, which is not even close to creating Undead. On the other hand, the Wraiths at least manage to get rid of all of their own Damage Points, as the Dwarves offer little in the way of doing damage against them, more or less as expected.
- The chances of raising Undead improve slightly against the Regular Halberdiers, but still not quite enough. These units have both Defense and Resistance one point lower than Veterans, but the latter is still too high in comparison. The first one takes 11 regular- and 9 "Create Undead Damage"; while the second, again requiring two attacks to take out, receives 22 and 16, still in favor of the regular damage.
- Finally, with the Recruits, the chances start to at least even out. They have yet again one point less Resistance which, with the penalties from Black Prayer and the Wraiths' ability yields a final score of only 3. This results in an expected average Life Stealing Damage of 2.8, although the variance here is still quite high. With 4 attacks however, and the expected Physical Damage also being only an average 2.9 per Wraith, the chances of whether the unit will turn or not are fairly close to equal, since the regular damage has to be higher for the unit to not turn.
- Rjak and the Wraiths get lucky this time. With a single attack, the Wraiths deliver 11 points of regular damage, but also 12 "Create Undead Damage" to the last Dwarf Halberdiers unit. Since this unit will also turn, Rjak gets a total of 2 Undead units for his garrison, just enough to reduce Unrest by 1 without having to produce any living units. The Wraiths also emerge from the fight fully healed, as the Recruit Halberdiers ultimately fail to inflict any damage on them. Even though they make 6 attacks, their Attack Strength of 3 proves to be no match for the 10 granted by Weapon Immunity. Should they have landed a point of damage though, the Wraiths would have retained it in the end.
Melee Overkill Edit
- Merlin has been eyeing a nearby Sorcery Node for some time now. It is guarded by a Sky Drake, one of the most powerful creatures in the game. After a few dozen turns of preparation, he finally feels ready to take it on. He has one unit of Ultra-Elite Berserkers (thanks to Heroism and his ongoing Crusade spell) wielding Mithril weaponry, and boasting all of the Unit Enchantments he could muster. These are: Giant Strength, Holy Weapon, Stone Skin, Holy Armor, Bless, Resist Elements, and True Sight; in addition to the already mentioned Heroism. He also takes along one unit of fresh Barbarian Spearmen from a nearby Town, who only benefit from the Crusade (and are thus Regulars), but should be of strategic importance.
- The dragon is surrounded by a host of Phantom Warriors, but Merlin knows they will be of little significance if he manages to slay mighty beast. Paying no mind to its "followers", the Sky Drake quickly closes the distance between the two armies to only a single tile. Merlin prepares his tactical play, and moves his Spearmen right in front of it, while retreating a square with the Berserkers. This is so that even if the dragon decides to go after the stronger unit, it would only be able to attack it once at most, before exhausting its Movement Allowance. But fortune smiles on Merlin this day, as the Sky Drake takes the "bait", and swoops right down on the brave, but suicidal Spearmen. Because it is initiating the Melee Attack, the defenders won't be able to use their Thrown Attacks.
- The dragon, on the other hand, opens the engagement with its Lightning Breath. The strength of this attack is normally 20, but it is increased to 22 due to the strong presence of the Sorcery Node. It also fully benefits from the Sky Drake's +3 To Hit. The Attack Roll yields an overwhelming 16 successes. In addition, this ability also deals Armor Piercing Damage! The poor Spearmen's Defense is cut in half while resolving it. Not that they had much to begin with though, their original 2 simply becomes 1 now.
- The first Defense Roll is a failure, which is more or less expected, since it only uses a single die with the base 30% success chance. This means all 16 "raw" Damage Points are still intact. However, the unit only has 1 Hit per figure, and thus can only record this much damage before a new Defense Roll must be made. As a result, another roll now follows against 15, while 1 is logged for delivery. This roll is also too high to succeed, allowing the attack to record another 1.
- The third roll succeeds however, reducing the remaining 14 to 13, before adding 1 to the damage waiting to be delivered. The next five Defense Rolls after this are again failures. By this point, the total damage recorded for delivery is 8, while one point was blocked, and 7 are still waiting to be processed. Technically, all of the Spearmen should now be dead. Despite this though, damage resolution continues just like before, as if nothing happened. The same would also be true if those 16 points of "raw" damage originated from 2, 4, or 8 individual, separate attacks, such as two units of Spearmen fighting each other. The next Defense Roll succeeds, and so does one more down the line. Thus, overall, 3 points get blocked, while 13 are ultimately delivered.
- At the end of the short-range attack phase, this damage is dealt, and the Spearmen are slain, with no figures left standing. However, the unit is not removed from the field just yet. This is because units can not be truly destroyed during a Melee Sequence, only at the very end of it. True, they can no longer fight back, but they can, and do, still take damage. In this case, from the Sky Drake's somewhat less powerful Melee Attack.
- While the strength of this attack is the same ( 22 with +3), it is not Armor Piercing. That is, the Spearmen can use their full 2 against it, ignoring for a moment that they are all slain already. The dragon also gets only 11 successes this time. Just like before though, for every 1 recorded, a new Defense Roll can take place. The first one is a complete failure ( 1 dealt, 10 remains), while the next two score a single success each ( 3 dealt, 6 remains). Then comes another failure ( 4 dealt, 5 remains), with the next roll blocking both points that it can ( 5 dealt, 2 remains). Even though this is followed by another two sets with zero successes ( 7 dealt, 0 remains); if this was the only attack, the unit would actually have survived despite their very low Defense. Granted, their single remaining figure would not have been very useful on the battlefield, but the unit may have lived to tell the tale, and gain some Experience.
- That's not what happened though, as the total 20 Damage Points ultimately delivered does destroy the Spearmen at the end of the Melee Sequence. Having electrocuted the first opponent, the Sky Drake then closes in on the Berserkers, just as Merlin had hoped. It is now within Melee range, with no moves left for an attack. This gives the Berserkers a significant advantage, since they can initiate the combat themselves, enabling them to use their Thrown ability, while avoiding the dragon's Lightning Breath. To help them further, Merlin attempts to cast a Prayer spell, but unfortunately it is countered by the Node's Dispelling Aura, and fizzles (it had a 100% × 30 / ( 50 + 30) = 37.5% chance of getting through).
- Berserkers have 6 figures, and a base Thrown Attack Strength of 3. However, these particular ones benefit from Experience ( +2), Mithril equipment ( +1), and Giant Strength ( +1), so their total is actually 7. The universal +2 To Hit they gain from being Ultra-Elite also applies, but as this example is based on the official 1.31 game version, the other +2 that they should get (from Mithril- and Holy Weapons), do not. With 6 Attack Rolls though, they still manage 5, 3, 5, 1, 6, and 3 successes. The Sky Drake defends against these individually, with a score of 10 + 2 = 12, thanks to the power of the Sorcery Node. It gets 3, 4, 4, 2, 6, and 3 successes, negating four of the attacks entirely, but taking 2 + 1 = 3 Damage Points nonetheless.
- Mutual Melee can now commence, and the Barbarians continue with another 6 Attack Rolls. Their Melee Strength is 4 points higher than their Thrown (base 7 with the same enhancements, for an 11 total), and this time, every bonus they have To Hit also applies, which brings them to a success chance of 70% per die. With this, they get 8, 7, 7, 4, 10, and 9 hits. The dragon's Defense is the same, and its Defense Rolls generate 4, 3, 4, 2, 7, and 2 successes. None of the attacks are blocked completely, and the damage sums up to 4 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 3 + 7 = 23, slightly more than what was needed to bring the creature down (it has 25 Hit Points, but it also took 3 from the Thrown Attacks).
- Before that can happen though, it also gets a chance to strike back at its red-haired assailants. Its mighty attack scores a lucky 16 successes. Berserkers normally have a base Defense of 3, but again, this unit is Normal only in name. It gets +2 from Experience, +1 from Mithril armor, and +3 total from protective enchantments (the conditional ones do not apply). This yields 9 altogether, and they get 3 blocks on the first Defense Roll, bringing the "raw" damage down to 13. They also have 4 Hits per figure thanks to their level, which means 4 are now recorded, and a new Defense Roll is made against the remaining 9.
- This time, only 2 dice succeed, so another 4 are logged against the Berserkers, while 3 "raw" hits carry over for a third roll. Now there are again 3 successes however, so those remaining points are avoided entirely. This brings the total damage to a final value of only 8, exactly half of the original 16. Even though only 2 figures were actually hit, the damage was reduced by 3 Defense Roll's worth, normalizing the outcome despite the above average Attack Roll (which would have been 13 successes). This demonstrates the tendency for Multi-Figure Defense to limit damage to whole multiples of the target's Hits per figure value. The higher the Defense, the more likely this outcome becomes against attacks with the potency to kill multiple figures. In fact, out of all possible values between 0 and 22 in this particular example, taking exactly 8 Damage Points was by far the most probable result, with around 40% chance of happening, despite the amount of randomness involved.
- And with this, Melee is over, the dragon is slain, and the Berserkers still have 4 figures left. Three rounds of stalling later, Merlin manages to successfully cast a Healing spell, restoring both lost Berserker figures. The Phantom Warriors are easily dispatched afterwards. Even though a few of them do not fall to the Thrown Attacks, True Sight ensures that the stragglers can't do any serious harm with their Illusion attacks. They manage to inflict only 3 Damage Points overall, and the Berserkers end the encounter with 6 total, and 5 figures remaining.
- The astute reader will probably notice that two enchantments were precast, but did not come into play. They were used in case Merlin's ruse failed, and the Berserkers were attacked first by the dragon. Although the Sky Drake is a Sorcery creature, its Lightning Breath Attack is actually Chaos-aligned. This means that the conditional protections offered by both Bless and Resist Elements trigger against it. This would have provided an overall +3 even against this Armor Piercing attack, by using just two Common Spells.
Extra Hits Edit
- Kali is besieging one of Horus' walled High Men Towns. After a long battle, exhausting both Wizards' Mana and Spell Casting Skill, four units are left standing on the battlefield. Kali's attacking force is reduced to a single unit of Death Knights that has suffered 20 points of regular damage, and thus has only 2 figures left. The defenders are still worse off though, with three units of Priests who have already used up all of their spells. Even though they are Veterans, carry Mithril armaments, and one of them is protected by an Invulnerability enchantment, they have next to no hope of victory. Kali has previously cast both Black Prayer and Darkness, although the latter spell was promptly cancelled out by Horus' True Light, and has no effect as a result.
- The Death Knights are attacking one of the non-enchanted Priests. They have an Attack Strength of 9 with a bonus of +3, so each die of their Attack Rolls has a 60% chance of succeeding. With 2 figures they make 2 attacks, and score 4 and 7 hits. The holy men have a base Defense statistic of 4, improved by +1 from equipment and +1 from Experience, but reduced by -1 because of Black Prayer. This static score of 5 is also halved by the knights' Armor Piercing ability, rounding it down to 2. However, since Kali wants to capture the Town as intact as possible, she has to attack through the City Walls. These can't be pierced, so the Priests' total will be 2 + 3 = 5 instead.
- The first Defense Roll gets two successes, reducing the raw damage of the first attack to 2. Of this though, only 1 can be dealt directly, as that is the Priests' Hits per figure value. Another Defense Roll follows, and blocks the remaining 1 with 2 more successes. As for the second attack, the first Defense Roll is a complete failure, leaving all 7 intact. 1 is thus slated for delivery, and a next roll is made against the remaining 6. This time there are 3 successes, meaning another 1 gets logged, with 2 left pending yet a third Defense Roll. On this however, two of the dice are again low enough to succeed, so both of the hits get blocked. The total Conventional Damage will be 1 from the first attack, and 2 from the second.
- Death Knights also have strong Life Steal, applying a Resistance penalty of -4. Since the Black Prayer ( -2) and Experience ( +2) effects practically cancel each other out, this brings the Priests' Resistance down to an overall 3 from their base score of 7. They make two checks as there are two attacking figures, and get a 2 and an 8. One is a success, but the other fails and results in 8 - 3 = 5 points of Life Stealing Damage. At the same time, the Death Knights remove 5 of their own Damage Points. Because they possess First Strike as well, and have inflicted a grand total of 8 during their Melee phase, the Priests can no longer execute a Counter Attack, as they have no standing figures left to do so.
- On the other hand, since this example is based on the latest official game version, the above Life Steal triggers what is known as the "combat healing bug", described below. With 20 Damage Points, the Death Knights have "top figure damage" of 4, the remainder of 20 divided by their Hits per figure of 8. Removing 5 from that brings it to a negative value, and since they do have missing figures, they can now regain one as a result of this healing. Their new "top figure damage" comes to 4 - 5 + 8 = 7, which means they will also gain 7 ÷ 4, rounded down to 1 temporary maximum