|Req. Town Buildings||Parthenon|
|# of figures||4|
|Melee Attack per figure||3|
|Ranged Attack per figure||4 ()|
|Defense per figure||4|
|Hit Points per figure||1|
|Healing Spell x1|
Nomad Priests are a type of Normal Unit that can be recruited in Nomad Towns containing at least a Parthenon. Priests are an advanced support unit capable of healing friendly units both in- and outside of battles, as well as attacking enemies from a distance with their magic, and removing Corruption from overland map tiles. Although Nomad Priests have decent combat statistics, they are still quite fragile initially. However, they can become stronger through Experience.
Nomad Priests are a group of men (humans), wearing long, pale-green robes and hoods. They carry staves capped with yellow gemstones, which are used both for hand-to-hand combat, and to channel magical energy into useful applications.
The primary attack of Nomad Priests is a ranged one, which they can use up to 4 times per battle. Their initial Ranged Attack Strength is 4, with an average "raw" damage output of 4 × 30% = 1.2 per figure – enough to get through light armor, but not to consistently injure tougher foes. This Attack Type suffers no range penalties though, so the Priests can use it over any distance on the battlefield with the same effectiveness. It also improves with Experience, both in strength and accuracy. At the Elite level, the maximum normally attainable, each Priest can deal an average 6 × 40% = 2.4 points of "raw" damage per shot. At twice the initial value, this has a chance of getting through all but the strongest defenses.
The magic of Nomad Priests is considered to come from the Nature Realm, and this is what their Ranged Attacks are associated with. As such, they will trigger the conditional Defense modifiers granted by the Resist Elements and Elemental Armor spells, making them much less effective against targets bearing these Unit Enchantments. While they are not considered to be direct Spell Damage, and are not nullified outright by Magic Immunity, the ability's 50 will nonetheless make any opponent possessing it virtually impossible to hurt with these attacks.
Nomad Priests also have somewhat decent Melee Attacks. Their initial Melee Strength is 3, which yields an average "raw" damage output of 3 × 30% 0.9. Like their Ranged Attack, this may be enough to get through light armor, but will rarely penetrate anything stronger. However, this attack improves with Experience as well. At the Elite level, each Priest's Melee Attack will deliver an average of 2.0 points of "raw" damage instead, which is over twice the starting value, and has a fair chance of at least injuring most enemies.
Nomad Priests are well protected, possessing a Defense score of 4. They can deflect about 1.2 points from Conventional Damage attacks, on average – just enough to avoid those of the lowest tier Normal Units. However, like common foot soldiers, each Nomad Priest has only 1 Hit Point. In other words, every point of Damage inflicted on this unit will kill off one of its figures. On the other hand, being magic-users themselves, their Resistance score is above average. With 7, they have a fair chance of avoiding Unit Curses and other combat maledictions. All three of these statistics also improve with Experience.
Once per battle, Nomad Priests may call upon their deity to perform the equivalent of a Healing spell to remove up to 5 Damage Points from themselves or any other friendly unit. To use this ability, the Priests must be selected, and have Movement Allowance remaining. They need to take a "Spell" action, which will automatically end their turn, but requires no expenditure of Mana or Spell Casting Skill from their controlling player. In all other respects – including valid targets –, the ability works as if though the spell itself was being cast.
Nomad Priests move at a slow 1, and can only traverse land tiles. The unit has no special movement properties. It does however, possess the Healer and Purify abilities, both of which allow performing specialized functions on the overland map. The first trait recovers up to 20% of the total health of every unit on the Priests' tile at the beginning of each game turn – including themselves. This healing is always rounded down though, and as a result it won't actually help the Priests initially, since they only have a total of 4 × 1 = 4, the 20% of which rounds down to 0. Naturally, it also won't affect any other unit with an overall health pool lower than 5.
The Healer ability does not stack, so each unit can only benefit from it once per turn. Therefore, having multiple Nomad Priests in a group will not accelerate the recovery of injuries any further. Unfortunately, there is also a bug associated with this ability in the latest official version of the game. Any unit that is healed by Nomad Priests that were created before the unit itself will effectively forego its natural healing for the turn. This is not intended however, and is corrected in the unofficial v1.51, carrying over into the Community Patch.
The other ability of Nomad Priests lets them remove Corruption from overland map tiles. Although not overly common, and typically limited to being used by Chaos Wizards, the effect of Corruption can be quite troublesome, as it negates all Town contribution from the tiles it appears on, including that of any Terrain Specials. To cleanse a tile, the Priests must move onto it, and activate their ability using the "Purify" command at the bottom of the overland unit window – this also requires them to be selected and have Movement Allowance remaining. It takes 4 + 1 turns to remove Corruption from one map square, with the former number representing progress that can be shared among multiple units with the Purify ability.
Nomad Priests are a versatile support unit that can fill multiple roles both in- and outside of combat. They are capable ranged attackers which, combined with their above average defensive attributes and healing abilities can make them excellent defensive units, particularly in Walled Cities. They are more powerful – albeit also considerably more expensive – than Nomad Bowmen. However, while their Ranged Attacks are stronger and more difficult to defend against than those of Horsebowmen or Rangers, the higher mobility, ammo count, Hit Points, and Melee Strength make the latter units generally more useful in offensive armies, unless the enemy uses an abundance of Resistance-based attacks, or possesses Missile Immunity.
To train Nomad Priests, a Town needs a Parthenon, and consequently a Builders' Hall, a Shrine, and a Temple as well, to get there. Although usually not a high priority, the Parthenon has good economical value, and is therefore desirable to have in every settlement. However, the same is true for the Animists' Guild, and thus also its prerequisite, the Stables which, coupled with the Barracks – the cheapest Town Building in the game –, unlock Rangers and Horsebowmen respectively. As a result, while Nomad Priests tend to have decent availability, so do their competitors for a primary ranged support role in a Nomad army. Regardless though, they may be worth recruiting for their other abilities anyway.
The overland healing skill of Nomad Priests can significantly reduce the time it takes for wounded soldiers to become battle-ready again. If recruited for this trait alone though, a single unit of Priests is usually enough for each army stack. In fact, it may be better for them to follow the fighting group instead of being part of it in this case. This not only prevents them from being sniped, but also allows a full 9 other units to be used in the stack they are supporting. Granted, the Priests will not get battle Experience this way, but since the Healer ability does not scale with their level, this should not make much of a difference if they stay out of combat anyway.
On the other hand, Experience is probably the easiest way to improve the unit's survivability to the point where they can be relied on to be able to use their Healing Spell in battles. Initially, Nomad Priests have a total of only 4 Hit Points with all figures intact, which is dangerously low considering their high target value. The enemy will often try to focus its spells and Ranged Attacks on them, and even if they do survive, it may feel wasteful to cast their Healing on themselves, as the spell can restore up to 5. For this reason alone, trying to increase their Hit Points should be a top priority – but doing so allows them to benefit from Healer as well. Alas, it requires reaching at least Elite level to gain additional Hit Points, which is usually not trivial.
Finally, Nomad Priests may be necessary to recruit when going up against practitioners of Chaos magic, as Corruption can be a serious hindrance to the player's economy. Whether a single unit can handle the task of cleansing the neighbouring lands will of course depend on the frequency of the opponents using spells with this effect. While it may be tempting to create 4 units of Priests to get the fastest Purify times, this is not always efficient, especially when one unit can cleanse a tile before another Corruption appears, or the entire group is even recruited. On the other hand, treasury allowing, having a dedicated full group can ensure that critical resources, such as Terrain Specials, are regained in the most timely manner possible.
Ranged Attack x4
- This unit may use a Ranged Magical Attack instead of a Melee Attack up to 4 times in each battle. Once the unit's ammo is expended, it must resort to Melee Attacks.
- At the beginning of each overland turn, every friendly unit that is on the same map tile as one with this ability is healed for up to 20% of its total Hit Points, rounded down.
- This ability has no effect on Undead and Death creatures.
- Multiple instances of this ability are not cumulative.
- This unit can remove Corruption from overland map tiles.
- To use this ability, the unit needs to be on a valid tile, be selected, and have Movement Allowance remaining. If all requirements are met, the "Purify" command becomes active in the unit window at the bottom right of the screen.
- Cleansing a tile takes 4 + 1 game turns, with the first number representing progress that can be shared among multiple units with this ability – resulting in total times ranging from 2 turns with 4 units, to 5 with a single one.
Healing Spell x1
- Once per battle, this unit may execute a "Spell" action to cast Healing. This automatically ends the unit's turn, but does not use up any of its controller's Mana or Spell Casting Skill.
The following table illustrates how Nomad Priests improve with Experience. Any properties that are not listed here are not affected by Experience in any way.
|Level Icon||Level Name||EP||Melee||Ranged||To Hit||Defense||Resist||Hits|
|Recruit||0 - 19||3||4||30%||4||7||1|
|Regular||20 - 59||4||5||30%||4||8||1|
|Veteran||60 - 119||4||5||30%||5||9||1|
Average Damage Output
The table below details the average amount of "raw" damage that each Figure in a Nomad Priests unit will deliver with each type of attack, based on Experience Level. It can be used in comparison to the target's Defense rating to approximate the chance of hurting that target.
Nomad Priests may be recruited in any Nomad Town that has a Parthenon already built. The Construction Cost of this unit is 100. Nomad Priests may also appear as Mercenaries, provided that the player has a presence on Arcanus. In this case, they cost between 200 to 300 to hire per unit, based on their Experience – or half that much for Charismatic Wizards.