|Spell Type||Combat Enchantment|
|All Fantastic Units of the Life Realm receive +1, +1, and a universal Attack Strength bonus of +1, while those of Death suffer equivalent penalties of -1.|
True Light is a Common Combat Enchantment of the Life Realm. For 20 it may be cast during battles to both enhance Fantastic Units of the Life Realm and hinder those of Death. This manifests as bonuses of +1, +1, and a +1 to all non-spell Attack Strengths of Life units; and respectively penalties of the same magnitude for Death and Undead ones. The effect lasts until the end of the battle, or until dispelled by the opponent.
Life Creature Bonuses Edit
While True Light is in effect over the battlefield, each and every Fantastic Unit of the Life Realm will receive the bonuses outlined below. The spell doesn't care about the unit's allegiance though, so it will affect enemy Life creatures as well as friendly ones.
Attack Strength Bonus Edit
- True Light gives a universal Attack Strength bonus of +1 that applies to nearly all Conventional Damage attacks that the affected units make, with the exceptions being those that deal spell damage. This is extremely straightforward for Life creatures though, as they can only ever make Melee Attacks, which essentially transforms this effect to a simple +1 in practice. The only other ways for a Life units to deliver Conventional Damage are through the Immolation Unit Enchantment or the Caster ability, neither of which are affected by True Light, as they are always considered to deal spell damage.
- The extra point of Melee Strength allows the use of one extra die on each of the unit's Attack Rolls, improving their "raw" damage output by an average of 0.3, plus an additional 0.1 for every +10% To Hit they have above the base chance. Naturally, this benefit is stronger for Unicorns - the Life Realm's only Multi-Figure Unit - as they can make more attacks with a single action.
Defense Bonus Edit
- True Light improves the Defense of the affected units by +1. As a result, they can use an extra die on their Defense Rolls when trying to mitigate Conventional Damage. This yields an average reduction of +0.3, or +0.4 if Prayer or High Prayer are also in effect. Although Unicorns can be said to receive more of a benefit from this as Multi-Figure Units, this is only true if, after a first Defense Roll, an attack still inflicts at least as much damage as they have Hits per figure - the condition for triggering another roll.
Resistance Bonus Edit
- True Light also improves the Resistance of the affected units by +1. This makes them harder to affect with Unit Curses and most forms of Special Damage. Any unit that reaches 10 thanks to this bonus is now immune to all ill effects that don't impose a Resistance penalty, as they can no longer fail their checks against them.
Death Creature Penalties Edit
Attack Strength Penalty Edit
- True Light reduces the Attack Strength of nearly all Conventional Damage attacks made by the affected units, with the exceptions being any attacks that deal spell damage. Unlike Life units however, Death creatures are capable of possessing nearly every type of attack there is, owing largely to the fact that all Undead are irrevocably associated with this Realm, even if they belonged to a different one in life.
- In general, this decreases the amount of dice they can use on their Attack Rolls by one, resulting in an average "raw" damage output loss of 0.3 plus 0.1 per every +10% To Hit that the unit has above the base chance. Naturally, Multi-Figure Units are struck harder by this, as they can normally perform multiple attacks with a single unit action. The same is true for units with Thrown- or Breath Attacks. However, a reduction in Attack Strength can also have further implications. Namely, if it is reduced to zero as a result.
- When the strength of a certain conventional Attack Type goes below 1, a unit is no longer able to perform that attack any more. In the case of Melee Strength, it of course can't Counter Attack either. More importantly though, in the official game, disabling an attack this way also disables any "added effect" attacks that normally accompany it. This affects Touch Attacks and Gaze Attacks. For the former, this is straightforward, even if not exactly intuitive. For example, if the Melee Strength of a unit with Poison Touch is reduced to zero via magic, then its poison attack will no longer trigger from Melee- or Counter Attacks, even though the poison's strength is unaffected. The effect is simply not executed at all.
- With Gaze Attacks, the biggest problem is that their exact method of operation is not documented in either the game's manual or its Official Strategy Guide. In fact, Gaze Attacks work more or less the same way as Touch Attacks, apart from the way they determine how many Resistance checks need to be made by the target. They are also "added effects" that are triggered by Conventional Damage attacks. Except this attack is hidden from the player entirely, and its Attack Strength is not listed in the unit statistics window. As such, it is important to know that all Gaze Attack units have a Short-Range Attack Strength of 1. Apart from the Chaos Spawn that is, which has a 4 thanks to its Doom Gaze.
- This matters because even small negative effects, like that of True Light, can easily reduce this to 0, thereby disabling a Gaze Attack entirely! A prime example of this is the Night Stalker, a native Death unit with a powerful Death Gaze that, when subjected to True Light, will turn from a very dangerous opponent into an almost harmless one.
- It's also worth noting that starting with the Unofficial Patch 1.50, the zero Attack Strength mechanic is changed such that "added effects" are no longer disabled by it. This means both that Gaze Attacks can not be negated with universal Attack Strength penalties, and that when forced to attack or Counter Attack, zero Melee Strength units will still execute any Touch Attacks they may have.
Defense Penalty Edit
- True Light inflicts a Defense penalty of -1 to the affected units. As a result, they will have 1 less die to use on their Defense Rolls when trying to mitigate Conventional Damage attacks, decreasing their damage reduction by an average of 0.3. This makes these units more vulnerable to weaker attacks and, in the case of Multi-Figure Units, increases the likelyhood of them losing more figures to a stronger attack.
Resistance Penalty Edit
- True Light also inflicts a Resistance penalty of -1 to the affected units. This makes them slightly easier to affect with Unit Curses, and more prone to suffer Special Damage.
True Light vs. Darkness Edit
True Light and Darkness are designed to be identical and opposite. True Light gives bonuses to Life creatures and penalizes those of Death, while Darkness exerts the exact same effect the other way around. The two spells are not mutually exclusive on the battlefield. Therefore, it is possible to have both spells affecting the battle simultaneously. Because they are equal and opposite effects, they essentially cancel each other out.
Heavenly Light Edit
Heavenly Light is an Uncommon Town Enchantment that causes True Light to automatically be active in every battle that takes place at the enchanted Town. Instead of being displayed in the defender's enchantment window however, it is shown in the combat information window ("Info" button) as "Holy Light". These effects are one and the same though, to the point that the defender can't cast True Light if "Holy Light" is already active.
True Light may only be cast during combat, for a basic Casting Cost of 20. If the casting is successful, the spell's icon will appear in one of the enchantment windows at the bottom of the screen, underneath the name of the Wizard whose side has cast the spell (left or right depending on whether it is cast by the defending or attacking force). True Light will then start exerting its effect immediately, and remains active until the end of the battle, or until it is dispelled. Since it does not carry over to the overland map, the spell has no Upkeep Cost.
As a Common Spell of the Life Realm, True Light may become available to any Wizard who acquires at least 1 Spellbook. With none, the spell can naturally not be learned during the campaign. This is the minimum requirement for it to be traded for, appear in Treasure, or be found in the spoils of victory when conquering the Fortress of a rival Wizard who already knows it.
The base chance for True Light to be researchable (at some point) in the campaign is roughly 30% (with 1 book), which gradually increases with the amount of Life Spellbooks possessed or found during gameplay. With 7 or more, the spell is certain to show up sooner or later, unless acquired from another source. It has a Research Cost of 190, although its research is quicker for Wizards possessing the Sage Master Retort, or a bookshelf containing 8 or more.
In theory, True Light is a great and quick way to empower an army made up primarily of Life units. However, that's a fairly rare scenario in practice, not only because there are only 5 types of Life units in the game (one of whom is actually unique), but they are also generally better suited to support an army rather than form the bulk of it. As such, this effect, by itself, is often not worth the Casting Cost or, to be more precise, spending that Mana on other spells may be much more effective.
On the other hand, True Light is an excellent spell to weaken an enemy army made up primarily of Death and/or Undead units. Of course, if they are controlled by another Wizard, then there's a high chance that they will respond with casting Darkness - but then it's also likely that they would have done that anyway, and True Light is not a bad way of countering it. Where this spell really shines though are Encounter Zones featuring defenders from the Death Realm. Here, it will almost always be worth its Cost if there are multiple enemy units. Unless, of course, it can't be afforded, for example in an early game where Prayer is also available.