Tactical Werewolves
Realm Icon Death.pngDeath
Spell Rarity Uncommon
Spell Type Summoning Spell / Instant Spell
Casting Cost Icon Mana.png 180
Research Cost Icon Research.png 400
Target friendly Normal Unit is instantly and permanently transformed into a unit of Werewolves.

Lycanthropy is an Uncommon Summoning Spell belonging to the Icon Death.pngDeath Magic realm. It is entirely different from all other Summoning Spells in several ways, and could even be thought of as a special form of Instant Spell.

Lycanthropy has a base Casting Cost of Icon Mana.png 180, and must be targeted at a friendly Normal Unit on the overland map. It will instantly turn that unit into Werewolves - a Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 6-figure Fantastic Unit of the Icon Death.pngDeath realm, with interesting and potentially powerful combat properties. Therefore in practice, Lycanthropy is a Summoning Spell which requires the "sacrifice" of a Normal Unit.

The transformation is entirely permanent and cannot be undone in any way. The original unit is not "Enchanted" with Lycanthropy, it is simply transformed into a completely different unit. In fact, the resulting Werewolves unit will always be the same - completely regardless of the properties of the original unit.

Lycanthropy has no Upkeep Costs - the spell itself is gone immediately after taking effect. However, the resulting Werewolves unit costs Icon Mana.png 5 per turn to maintain. If this Mana is not duly paid, the Werewolves are destroyed; they do not revert to their previous form.

Effects Edit

Lycanthropy mutates a friendly Normal Unit into a specific kind of Fantastic Unit called Werewolves. This completely new unit belongs to the Icon Death.pngDeath Realm, and has completely new combat properties and abilities. The transformation is permanent and cannot be undone.

Werewolves Edit

Main article: Werewolves
Realm Icon Death.pngDeath
Spell Properties
Upkeep Cost Icon Mana.png 5
Unit Properties
# of Figures Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 6
Moves Icon Movement Ground2
Melee Attack per figure Icon Melee Normal.png 5
Defense per figure Icon Defense.png 1
Resistance Icon Resist.png 6
Hit Points per figure Icon Hits.png 5
Unit Abilities

Ability ToHit +10% To Hit

Ability Regeneration Regeneration

Ability PoisonImmunity Poison Immunity

Ability WeaponImmunity Weapon Immunity

Ability IllusionsImmunity Illusions Immunity

Ability ColdImmunity Cold Immunity

Ability DeathImmunity Death Immunity

When Lycanthropy is cast on a friendly Normal Unit, that unit turns into Werewolves.

The Werewolves are a Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 6-figure unit of Fantastic Creatures, associated with the Icon Death.pngDeath Realm. The unit possesses a relatively-strong Icon Melee Normal.png Melee Attack, though it has barely any Icon Defense.png Defense. Ample Icon Hits.png Hit Points and the innate ability to Regenerate give the unit a rather fearsome reputation, as do all the various immunities it gets thanks to being a Icon Death.pngDeath creature.

Lycanthropy will always create the same unit of Werewolves whenever it is cast, regardless of the state, properties, or abilities of the original target unit. Note however that two things do get left over from the original - Unit Enchantments and Icon Damage.png Damage (more on this below).

As Fantastic Creatures, the Werewolves now behave somewhat differently from the original unit on several fundamental levels:

  1. Since this is no longer a Normal Unit, it cannot be targeted by spells that require a normal target.
  2. The Werewolves are associated with the Icon Death.pngDeath realm, and so will be affected by spells that can only affect such creatures (for good or for bad).
  3. Fantastic Units do not have an Experience level, and do not collect Experience points.
  4. Finally, note that all Fantastic Units are said to have a Icon Melee Magic.png Magical Melee Attack (in regard of ignoring Weapon Immunity, not in regard of increasing To Hit) - unlike Normal Units that would need to acquire it in some way or another.

The Werewolves cannot revert to their original form under any circumstances. The original unit is gone for good.

Retained Properties Edit

After the transformation is complete, the original unit's properties are lost entirely. It no longer possesses any of its abilities, innate bonuses, or even basic combat properties like Ranged Attacks or its former Resistance score and so forth.

The unit also loses any Experience points it has garnered so far. As a Fantastic Creature, the resulting Werewolves do not have an Experience level and cannot gain any Experience Points. Therefore it's usually wise to avoid casting this spell on a unit that's earned plenty of Experience - you get the same results casting Lycanthropy on a "Recruit" unit as you do on an "Elite" one.

On the other hand, two important factors do carry over from the original unit to the new Werewolves unit: Icon Damage.png Damage and Unit Enchantments.

Damage Edit

When creating the new Werewolves unit, the unit retains exactly as much Icon Damage.png Damage as it had before the transformation. Essentially, after creating a fully-healed Werewolves unit (with its Icon Hits.png 5 Hit Points per Icon Figure.png figure), the game deducts the inherited Icon Damage.png Damage from the unit's total Icon Hits.png Hit Points. It kills off any Werewolf figures as necessary.

Fortunately, thanks to the Werewolves' innate Regeneration ability, this unit will automatically heal during combat, and will be restored to full health the next time its army wins any battle!

Damage Example Edit

A unit of 8 Barbarian Spearmen has Icon Hits.png 1 Hit Point per Icon Figure.png Figure, for a total of Icon Hits.png 8 Hit Points.
This unit suffers Icon Damage.png 6, killing off Icon Figure.png 6 figures. The unit is left with Icon Figure.png 2 figures - Icon Hits.png 1 Hit Point each.
Lycanthropy is cast on this unit. It is instantly transformed into a Icon Figure.png 6-figure unit of Werewolves, with the default Icon Hits.png 5 Hit Points each, for a total of Icon Hits.png 30.
The Icon Damage.png 6 suffered by the original unit is now deducted from the new unit's health. In other units, the new Werewolves unit suffers exactly Icon Damage.png 6.
This is enough to kill one Werewolf figure (for Icon Damage.png 5) and inflict Icon Damage.png 1 extra damage to the next Werewolf. Therefore, this new unit starts life with only Icon Figure.png 5 figures, the last of which is slightly damaged.
The unit may heal this damage over time, and will do so constantly during battle thanks to its innate Regeneration. In fact, the next time its army wins a battle, any figures still missing will be restored to life with full health!

Unit Enchantments Edit

In what is likely a design oversight, the new Werewolves unit gets to keep most (if not all) Unit Enchantments that were in effect on the original unit at the time of the casting of Lycanthropy. All these enchantments will continue benefiting the unit as they did before.

This essentially conserves Icon Mana.png Mana that would otherwise be required to apply the same enchantments on the unit a second time.

However, it has an important side-effect: it allows the new unit to possess Unit Enchantments that cannot normally target it.

In other words, the new unit, which is essentially a Fantastic Unit for all intents and purposes, can keep Unit Enchantments that cannot target Fantastic Units at all. For example, an Eldritch Weapon spell cast on the original unit will carry over to the Werewolves, even though it is not legal to cast this spell on a Werewolves unit.

If such a Unit Enchantment is ever dispelled, it is not possible to cast it on the Werewolves again - since they are not an actual valid target for it. Nonetheless, as long as the Werewolves keep the enchantment, they continue to enjoy its bonuses as normal.

The Sacrifice Edit

Unlike other Summoning Spells, Lycanthropy must be targeted at an existing friendly Normal Unit. In effect, that unit is sacrificed (completely destroyed) and completely replaced by a brand new unit of Werewolves.

The original unit ceases to exist completely. It cannot be restored in any way.

Most of the unit's original properties are completely discarded and replaced by the default properties and abilities of a Werewolves unit. As explained in the section above, the new unit does keep Icon Damage.png Damage and Unit Enchantments, but everything else is lost - including any Experience the unit had gathered up to the time of the transformation.

In other words, it doesn't matter if the original unit was comprised of fearsome Doom Drakes, common Klackon Halberdiers, even lowly Settlers or a single Catapult; the end result is a basic unit of Werewolves, with all the physical and metaphysical traits that Werewolves possess.

Therefore, Lycanthropy is often best cast at units that are weak, cheap or common - rather than powerful, expensive or unique units. The result is the same, so there is no point in wasting a powerful unit by turning it into Werewolves. There are some cases where Werewolves (and their specific special abilities) are required desperately enough to make it worth sacrificing a high-end unit - but they are few.

Usage Edit

Lycanthropy may only be cast on friendly Normal Units. It cannot target Fantastic Creatures - including Werewolves - and may not target Heroes.

If the desired target is in an overland army stack, click on that stack to get a list of units inside it, and then select your desired unit.

Lycanthropy may only be cast on the overland map, and has a base Casting Cost of Icon Mana.png 180. Although normally considered a Summoning Spell, Lycanthropy is often considered an Instant Spell because of the need to target it at a specific unit - which will then be destroyed and entirely replaced by the new Werewolves. There is no other Summoning Spell that behaves in this way.

As explained earlier, the targeted unit's properties are almost entirely disregarded - resulting in almost the exact same Werewolves unit being created each time the spell is used. Therefore, it does not matter whether you cast this spell on Settlers or on a Stag Beetle - the resulting unit is almost always identical.

Lycanthropy does not act as a Unit Enchantment - the spell itself is gone as soon as it is cast. The new Werewolves unit is not considered enchanted, and cannot be "dispelled" (nor can the Werewolves be reverted to their original form). The spell thus has no Upkeep Cost, though the Werewolves do - Icon Mana.png 5 must be paid every turn to keep them. Failure to pay this amount, due to lack of Mana, leads to the destruction of the unit, rather than it reverting to its previous form.

Casting Lycanthropy is accompanied by an animation of a dark shadow (resembling a grim reaper) passing over the unit. It is then transformed immediately, with the new Werewolves appearing in its place. If the unit had any movement points left before being targeted by the spell, the new Werewolves can move or attack immediately. However note that the Movement Allowance is not reset until the start of the next turn.

Acquisition Edit

As an Uncommon Icon Death.pngDeath spell, Lycanthropy may become available to any Wizard who possesses at least one Icon Death.pngDeath Spellbook. However, its availability during the game is almost never guaranteed.

Customized Wizards possessing Icon Death.png11 Spellbooks at creation time may choose this spell as one of their default spells before starting the game, in which case the spell will already be researched and available for casting immediately on the first turn.

Wizards who possess at least Icon Death.png8 Spellbooks, or Wizards with Icon Death.png11 Spellbooks who did not select Lycanthropy as a guaranteed spell, will be able to Research this spell at some point during their campaign. Wizards with fewer than Icon Death.png8 Spellbooks have a random chance of being able to Research it. The chance for this spell to appear increases with the number of Icon Death.pngDeath Spellbooks the Wizard possesses or obtains during gameplay.

Lycanthropy has a base Research Cost of Icon Research.png 400.

With at least Icon Death.png1 Spellbook, the Lycanthropy spell may be acquired as a reward for winning encounters in creature Lairs, Towers, et cetera, or when conquering the Fortress of a rival wizard who has already researched this spell.

Strategy Edit

Lycanthropy can turn a mediocre or low-level Normal Unit into the useful Werewolves. For the tactical use of Werewolves, please read that article.

The choice of unit to transform is the critical part to be considered here. It's always important to remember that the game really doesn't care much about which unit is transformed - the resulting Werewolves will be almost identical each time, taking into account only the original unit's Icon Damage.png Damage and whatever Unit Enchantments it had. Everything else is disregarded.

Therefore, it is completely wasteful to cast this spell on high-end Normal Units, when the most basic (and cheapest) Spearmen will do the same trick. Naturally, since Icon Damage.png Damage is taken into account, if you have two units you may as well transform the one that's least damaged at the time, but it's more important not to waste resources - so try to target the cheapest units you have, rather than ones that are already strong on their own right. Again, Experience level should also factor into this: it's better to transform a low-experience unit than a high-experience one.

As a result, most players will create new cheap units - the cheapest they can - to turn into Werewolves. Remember that any Normal Unit is a valid target - even Settlers and Catapults!

Lycanthropy as a Life Saver Edit

Lycanthropy can save a unit from death, or at least turn a heavily-injured unit into a combat-worthy one in an instant.

This is because Werewolves not only have more Icon Hits.png Hit Points than most units, but their innate Regeneration ability will also save them from death more often than not, and will help the unit recover health quickly during battles.

Therefore, if you have an army containing one very-poorly unit that's about to be attacked (or has to keep advancing into enemy territory), consider casting Lycanthropy on it just for the sake of getting a mildly-useful but healthy unit instead of a powerful-but-dying one.

Exploiting the Enchantments Bug Edit

Lycanthropy will move all Unit Enchantments from the original unit to the newly-created Werewolves. It does not check whether an enchantment is valid on the Werewolves!

This can result in the unit receiving spells that it could not otherwise get. For example, Eldritch Weapon and Flame Blade are commonly cast on the original unit before the transformation, so that these spells will affect the new unit. If such enchantments are removed for any reason, they cannot be re-cast on the Werewolves since they are not a valid target for them.

While this may sound like a negligible exploit, remember that Unit Enchantments specific to Normal Units are often very powerful - they are limited to Normal Units because those are usually weaker than Fantastic Units. Getting Eldritch Weapon and Flame Blade on Werewolves, for example, can make the unit significantly stronger than it usually is.

Exploiting the Magical Weapon Bug Edit

Lycanthropy will also move Icon Melee Magic.png Magical, Icon Melee Mithril.png Mithril and Icon Melee Adamantium.png Adamantium Weapons from the original unit to the newly-created Werewolves, making them superior attackers. In case of Icon Melee Adamantium.png Adamantium Weapons, the Werewolves will receive Icon Defense.png +2 Defense, Icon Melee Normal.png +2 Attack and Icon ToHit.png +10% To Hit.