|Spell Type||Unit Curse|
Shatter is a Common Unit Curse belonging to the Chaos Magic realm. For 12 it may be cast on an enemy Normal Unit or Hero during combat to destroy that unit's weapons, reducing its Melee Attack, Ranged Attack, Thrown Attack and Breath Attack strength to 1 each (if they exist at all for that unit). This unit will have to resort to spellcasting and/or Special Attacks, if any are available, otherwise its combat effectiveness is virtually nil. The effects last only until the end of combat, so Shatter has no Upkeep Cost.
Attack Strength Penalties Edit
When Shatter is cast at an enemy unit during combat, the target must make a Resistance roll (with no penalty on its Resistance score). If the unit fails this roll, it will come under the effect of Shatter. Because there is no penalty to Resistance, units with 10 or higher are completely immune to this spell.
While under Shatter's effect, three of the unit's attack properties are reduced to 1.
Firstly, the unit's Melee Attack strength is reduced to 1 (or 1, 1, or 1, depending on what kind of weapons it has). As a result, this unit will deliver virtually no Melee Damage when fighting enemies in hand-to-hand combat.
Secondly, if the unit has a Ranged Attack at all, its Ranged Attack strength is reduced to 1 (or 1 or 1, depending on what kind of weapons it has). As a result, this unit will deliver virtually no Ranged Damage.
Multi-Figure Attack Strength Edit
When the target is a Multi-Figure unit however, attack strength is reduced to 1 per figure. This leaves the target with at least some combat potency - assuming the unit still has all its figures of course.
This is because attack strength is calculated on a per-figure basis. Therefore, when a Shattered unit with 8 figures and 1 Melee Attack Strength makes a Melee Attack against an enemy, it delivers up to 8 ( 1 * 8). Each lost figure reduces this total attack strength by -1, of course.
As a result, Shatter does not neutralize a Multi-Figure unit as much as it does a Single-Figure unit - but the reduction in overall combat effectiveness can still be very significant, as very few units (if any) have an attack strength of 1 to begin with, so reducing it to 1 is usually a massive reduction anyway.
Shatter may only be cast during combat, for the Casting Cost of 12. The target gets exactly one chance to Resist the Shatter effect (upon casting the spell on that target), but receives no penalty to its Resistance score for this roll.
Shatter must be targeted at an enemy Normal Unit or Hero. Fantastic Creatures are not valid targets. The game will not allow you to select Shatter for casting if there are no valid targets on the battlefield at the time.
Once a unit is affected by Shatter, an array of red squiggly lines will dance over the unit's image on the battlefield to indicate that it has lost much of its combat effectiveness. There is little to fear from this unit for the remainder of the battle - unless the enemy manages to dispel Shatter (restoring the unit's attack strength).
Shatter only lasts until the end of the current battle, whereupon the affected unit's weapons are restored to their normal values. As it does not linger on to the campaign map, Shatter does not have any Upkeep Cost to be paid.
As a Common Chaos spell, Shatter may become available to any Wizard who possesses at least one Chaos Spellbook. However, its availability during the game is not guaranteed unless the Wizard acquires at least 7 Spellbooks.
Customized Wizards possessing up to 10 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 with 11 Spellbooks are guaranteed to have this spell available for casting as soon as the game begins.
Wizards with 6 or fewer Spellbooks who have not chosen Shatter as a guaranteed spell have a random chance of being able to Research it. The chance for this spell to appear increases with the number of Chaos Spellbooks the Wizard possesses or obtains during gameplay. With 7-10 Spellbooks, the spell is guaranteed to appear for Research if it is not already available for casting.
Shatter has a base Research Cost of 190.
With at least 1 Spellbook, the Shatter 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.
Shatter is quite a potent spell, and can render a Normal Unit or Hero completely useless for the duration of the battle. Naturally, if the target has other means of delivering damage (such as spellcasting, Poison, Immolation and so on) it may still pose a threat, but taking away a unit's normal attacks can significantly help to win a battle.
The only downside is that the spell inflicts no Resistance penalty on the unit when rolling to see whether Shatter managed to take hold. Therefore, the spell will fail more often than it succeeds, unless of course something is done to reduce the enemy's Resistance scores.