Ultimate Guide to Units
Right-click on a unit in the Army Screen or a commander on the World Map to enter the Unit Screen to view that specific unit’s statistics. Right clicking the various weapons, special abilities, spells etc. will give more information. The top of the unit screen shows the name of the unit. If the unit is a commander, it will show the name of the commander followed by his creature type, e.g. Falco the Captain.
Below the unit name are the primary statistics, which are explained below.
Hit Points (HP)
The amount of damage the unit can take before dying. Once Hit Points reach zero, the unit dies.
Strength affects the damage the unit does in combat. Strength is also used to resist some special attacks and spells. The typical human has a strength of 4, a troll a strength of 8 and a giant or other large, powerful monster a strength of 10 or more.
Morale indicates how courageous the unit is in combat. Units with low morale are likely to be easily disheartened and susceptible to fear caused by spells and hideous monsters and may run away from combat as a result. Units with high morale are less likely to do so. Mindless units, lacking the capacity to think or worry about anything, have a morale of 99 and are immune to fear.
Magic Resistance (MR)
MR indicates how likely the unit is to resist a hostile spell or special effect that can be resisted by MR. Average human units have an MR of 4, animals have an average MR of 2 and mages have a typical MR of 5 to 8. Highly magical creatures may have even higher MR.
Armor subtracts damage from all attacks against the unit. If the attack negates armor, this value is ignored. The amount of damage subtracted is the same as the armor value.
Experience points are an indication of how experienced the unit is. See section Experience for more information.
Front, mid or Back. See section Rank for more information on what the placement rank means and how it functions.
The number of enemies the unit has slain.
Most units have at least some item slots where they can carry magic items. There are several types of item slots.
- Magic weapon
- Magic helmet
- Magic body armor
- Magic gauntlets
- Magic boots
- Magic miscellaneous items
Magic items on a unit are shown as small icons after the primary stats. The item’s effects are added to the stats, magic and abilities of the unit. Applicable weapons (those wielded in the hands, e.g. broadsword) are replaced.
Any unit may use a magic item if it has the correct item slot. Human sized humanoid beings have all item slots. Cavalry units do not have a boot slot. Giant sized humanoids have a weapon and two misc item slots. Most other monsters only have two misc slots. Basic elementals have no item slots.
Some items have an activated power that can be used, but in this instance the unit using the item must be a commander. If the commander cannot use the activated power and tries to do so, there will be a message to that effect (e.g. a non-mage trying to use a spell scroll item).
Items can be transferred from unit to unit by clicking on the item slot where the item is located. This opens the Army Screen, where clicking on the target unit transfers the item to that unit. If the target unit does not have the appropriate item slot or the target’s applicable item slots are full, the item will stay with the current owner and the transfer fails without an error message.
If the bearer of an item dies in combat, surviving commanders pick up the items. If there are no commanders left or their item slots are full, surviving units pick the item up if they have the slots. Items are lost only if there are no units capable of picking them up after the bearer dies.
The weapons of a unit are listed after the primary statistics. Some units may have the same weapon more than once, indicating that they are skilled enough to make multiple attacks in one round with the same weapon. Barbarian Leaders and High Lords are examples of such units.
There are several weapon types. See Chapter Weapons Damage and Death for more detailed information on weapons and damage. Usually weapons with range 1 are melee weapons that can only be used in melee and those with longer range are missile weapons that cannot be used in melee. Spells only have a small chance of being used if the caster is engaged in melee combat. If a spell is cast no other type of attacks will be done that round. However sometimes the attack name is followed by a special marker (e.g. two stars or a hashtag) that indicates that it can be used in other circumstances than usual.
Weapons & Magic Items
Some magic items are weapons and grant the unit wielding the weapon a new one to replace the weapon they would normally have. For example, giving a spearman a Sword of Heroes will replace his normal Spear (1d5 piercing damage) with a Magic Sword (1d10 slashing damage). Many units have natural weapons like claws and bite, which cannot be replaced. Usually the only weapons which can be replaced by a weapon from a magic item are weapons that could be wielded by hand. Most units who do not have such weapons do not have an item slot for weapons either.
Both commanders and normal units may have spellcasting skills in some path of magic. There are a total of almost 100 different disciplines of magic with a wide variety of spells. Magic skills are listed by discipline below the weapons.
Spells act like weapons in combat and their effects usually only last the duration of the battle unless they cause permanent effects (e.g. disease). For the specific effects of a spell, right click on it to view more detailed information. The primary weapon of spellcasters is Cast Spell level x, which allows them to cast spells of that level or lower. A rare few mages may have more than one Cast Spell weapon. A mage of higher mastery level than the spell level casts an additional spell in his turn. A lvl 3 mage may cast 1 level 3 spell, 2 level 2 spells or 3 level 1 spells. Any time a mage casts multiple spells per round, it is always the same spell.
A spellcaster can only keep a certain number of spells memorized simultaneously even if he knows many more. Only memorized spells can be cast in combat. If fewer spells than the maximum are memorized, random spells from the caster’s spellbook will be memorized to fill up the empty slots when the player exits the Unit Screen. If more spells than the maximum are memorized, random spells will be unmemorized when the player exits the Unit Screen. It is simply not possible to memorize fewer/more than the intended number of memorized spells.
Scripting Spellcasters for Combat
In combat, a spellcaster will cast spells randomly from among the spells they have memorized. They will not cast totally useless offensive spells. Some examples of totally useless spells would be trying to use fireballs on Lesser Devils (immune to fire). Spells that ward against different types of attack, such as Venom Ward against poison, will be cast regardless of whether they will be useful in that particular battle or not. The memorization and scripting mechanics are deliberate design decisions intended to reduce the reliability of magic, reduce the abuse potential of certain spells and to make it more beneficial to learn more spells.
The various units in the game have a wide variety of special abilities that affect their performance in combat, how quickly they move and how quickly they heal (if at all), among other things. Special abilities are shown as a row of small icons below the attacks (or in the case of spellcasters, below the spells) of the unit. Some of the significant and most common special abilities are listed here. The list contains some of the more common special abilities in the game, but there are a lot more of them, too many to describe in the manual.
Movement abilities affect how many AP a unit has and how many AP it takes for it to move to various terrain on the world map. Some movement abilities even allow moving to squares denied to other units. Normal units have 3 AP.
- Slow: These units have 2 AP (icon: snail)
- Fast: These units have 4 AP and move twice on the battlefield every combat round. (icon: moose).
- Battle Fast: The unit is fast on the battlefield, but moves at normal speed on the world map. (icon: rearing lancer)
- Immobile: Cannot move in combat.(icon: statue)
- Stationary: Cannot move on the world map.
- Aquatic: Cannot move on land (icon: shark)
- Amphibian: Can enter water squares.(icon: salamander)
- Flying: Can enter any land terrain at the cost of only one AP. In combat flying units move 3 squares every round until they land and fight (icon: wings)
- Floating: Can enter any land terrain at the cost of only one AP, except mountains, which cost two AP. (icon: jellyfish)
- Giant Sized: The AP cost of entering any square is reduced by 1 AP, to a minimum of 1.(icon: giant)
- Mountain Move: The AP cost of entering a mountain square is reduced by 1. (icon: mountain goat)
- Snow Move: There is no AP penalty for moving over snowy terrain (icon: a pair of skis)
- Swamp Move: Moving to a swamp square only costs 1 AP. (icon: hippopotamus)
- Desert Move: Moving through deserts and desert-like squares only costs 1 AP. (icon: camel)
- Wall Climbing: The unit can climb over walls in battle (icon: spider)
- Stupid: Cannot be controlled and will move on their own and without the need for commanders. (icon: donkey)
Stealth & Scouting
Stealthy and invisible units cannot be seen on the world map by armies without the requisite special abilities. Stealth and invisibility have no effect in combat, only on the world map. If an enemy enters the same square as the stealthy or invisible unit, there will be combat. The special abilities related to stealth and detection are:
- Stealth: A stealthy unit can only be seen by a unit that has the Acute Senses or Spirit Sight ability. (icon: hooded cloak)
- Forest Stealth: The unit is stealthy in a forest or jungle. (icon: hooded cloak behind leaves)
- Invisibility: Invisible units can only be detected by Spirit Sight. (icon: outline of an empty cloak)
- Acute Senses: Can see stealthy units.(icon: open blue eye)
- Spirit Sight: Can see stealthy and invisible units. (icon: open red eye)
For more on stealth and scouting concerning armies, see Chapter Armies.
Damage Reduction & Immunities
These special abilities affect the amount of damage or the effects suffered from attacks.
Resistances reduce the damage suffered from an attack type. Immunities offer complete protection against that type of attacks. A 100% resistance will also offer complete immunity.
Vulnerabilities increase the damage suffered from a type of attack. The icons for the vulnerabilities are the corresponding damage type icons crossed over with a red X.
- Blunt Resistance: Half dmg from blunt weapons
- Pierce Resistance: Half dmg from piercing weapons
- Slash Resistance: Half dmg from slashing weapons
- Fire Resistance (x): Fire damage reduced by x%. A value of 100 means complete immunity.
- Cold Resistance (x): Cold damage reduced x%. A value of 100 means complete immunity.
- Shock Resistance (x): Shock damage reduced by x%. A value of 100 means complete immunity.
- Poison Resistance (x): Poison damage reduced by x%. A value of 100 means complete immunity.
- Charm Immunity: Immune to charm attacks (icon: old male head)
- Sleep Immunity: Immune to sleep spells (icon: Zzz)
- Mindless: Immune to fear and morale reduction (icon: a pale, drooling face)
- Invulnerable: units are immune to blunt, piercing and slashing damage, both normal and magical. (icon: a suit of armor)
- Fire Vulnerability: Double damage from fire. If the unit is set on fire, it burns for longer.
- Cold Vulnerability: Double damage from cold.
- Shield: A shield reduces the damage of incoming attacks by 0-1. Shields are extra effective vs ranged weapons and will reduce damage from bows, slings and similar weapons by 0-2.
- Large Shield: A large shield reduces the damage of incoming attacks by 0-2. Large shields are extra effective vs ranged weapons and will reduce damage from bows, slings and similar weapons by 0-4.
- Magic Shield: A magic shield reduces the damage of incoming attacks by 0-3. Magic shields are extra effective vs ranged weapons and will reduce damage from bows, slings and similar weapons by 0-6.
- Tiny: 50% of all attacks made against creatures with this attribute miss. (icon: mosquito)
- Air Shield (x): x% chance of taking no damage from normal non-magical missile attacks. (icon: human covered by a curving magic shield)
- Ethereal: 75% chance of taking no damage from non-magical attacks. (icon: blue cloaked figure)
- Luck: 50% chance of not taking any damage from an attack. (icon: four-leaf clover)
Aura abilities are abilities that affect other units for good or ill.
- Leadership (x): The unit provides a bonus of x to the morale of units under his command. The units must be assigned to this commander. (icon: red standard with crown)
- Local Leadership (x): The unit provides a bonus of x to the morale of all other units within two squares on the battlefield. The other units need not be under the command of this unit. Stacks with the bonus from Leadership. (icon: red standard)
- Causes Fear: The unit strikes fear into the hearts of enemies. Any adjacent enemy must pass a morale check vs 1d7 every combat round or flee. (icon: screaming face)
- Causes Dread: The unit strikes dread into the hearts of enemies. Any enemy within 2 squares must pass a morale check vs 1d8 every combat round or flee. (icon: screaming face)
- Causes Terror: The unit strikes terror into the hearts of enemies. Any enemy within 3 squares must pass a morale check vs 1d9 every combat round or flee. (icon: screaming face)
- Awe (+x): Enemy units attacking this unit in melee must pass a morale check (with a penalty of x) in order to successfully land an attack. Awe does not affect ranged attacks or spells. (icon: halo)
- Fire Aura (x): Any enemy attacking this unit in melee will take some fire damage. They may also be set on fire, suffering more fire damage every turn until the fire goes out. Units with Fire Aura (5) or greater will automatically set forest and jungle squares on fire upon entering them. (icon: flaming silhouette of a man)
- Cold Aura (x): Any enemy attacking this unit in melee will suffer some armor negating cold damage unless immune to cold. (icon: swirling snow)
- Poison Aura (x): Any enemy attacking this unit in melee will be poisoned unless immune to poison. (icon: hydra silhouette inside a dark green cloud)
- Shock Aura (x): Any enemy attacking this unit in melee will take some armor negating shock damage unless shock immune. (icon: man surrounded by lightning)
- Disease Aura: Any enemy attacking this unit in melee will be diseased unless it succeeds with a magic resistance check or is undead. (icon: vomiting face)
- Petrification Any: enemy attacking this unit in melee risks being petrified (MR check to avoid 1d999 points of magic damage). (icon: head of a medusa)
- Blood Vengeance (+x): Any enemy damaging this unit must succeed in a MR check or suffer the damage himself while the target is unharmed. The bonus (+x) is the penalty to the MR check (icon: man bleeding from his side).
Final Strike abilities are triggered when the unit is killed and usually cause damage to any nearby enemies.
- Fire explosion on death (x): When this unit dies it will explode in a ball of fire. The fire will hit everyone around the unit, both friends and enemies (icon: broken fiery snowflake).
- Poison Explosion on death (x): When this unit dies it will explode in a cloud of poisonous fumes. The poison will hit everyone around the unit, both friends and enemies (icon: broken green snowflake).
- Shard explosion on death (x): When this unit dies it will explode in a hail of sharp fragments. The shards will hit everyone around the unit, both friends and enemies (icon: broken white snowflake).
- Putrid explosion on death (x): When this unit dies it will explode in a spray of putrid, rotting flesh. The shards will hit everyone around the unit, both friends and enemies (icon: broken brown snowflake).
Healing & Sanity
Healing abilities have an effect on how fast the unit heals and sometimes allow it to heal battle afflictions (see section Battle Afflictions).
- Never Heals: All damage done to the unit is permanent (icon: drop of blood).
- Fast Heal: The unit will be fully recovered from any non-fatal damage in at most two months and will heal battle afflictions over several months (icon: snake wrapped around a staff).
- Regeneration: The unit heals roughly 10% of its HP every combat round. Battle afflictions take at least a month to heal. A regenerating unit killed in battle may rise from the dead unless it suffered at least 150% of its HP worth of damage (icon: two-headed hydra).
- Immortal: units will reform in their home when they are killed. Reforming can take a few months, during which time they cannot act. Immortal units heal battle afflictions at the rate of roughly one affliction every two months. See chapter Immortality for more information (icon: phoenix rising from a pyre).
- Diseased: units have their Strength lowered by 1 and have a 50% chance of taking 1 point of damage each month. This check is applied every month until the unit dies or the disease is cured. Disease is considered a battle affliction for the purposes of healing (icon: pockmarked face).
- Insanity (x): Insane commanders have a chance of refusing to follow orders on any given turn. Certain types of actions and spells inflict insanity (icon: gray bearded face).
- Regain Sanity (x): The unit regains x amount of sanity every turn. Insanity is usually caused by necromantic reanimation of human and animal corpses (icon: red x over a gray bearded face).
Special abilities in this category don’t fit well into any of the other categories.
- Army Trainer: +1 experience point per month for every unit in the same army (icon: sword diagonally over a red standard).
- Berserker: A unit with the berserker ability will go berserk if it is hit in combat. Going berserk grants a +1 strength bonus, a +10 morale bonus and the ability to continue fighting event with negative Hit Points. Negative Hit Points cannot exceed 20% of the normal maximum number of Hit Points (icon: berserking warrior).
- Blessed: units gain a bonus to their combat abilities when a spell of blessing is cast on them. The particulars of the bonus depend on the degree of divine favor of their god (icon: candelabra).
- Corpse Eater (x): This monster can reproduce quickly by devouring corpses. X is the chance of devouring a corpse each month (icon: ribcage and bone).
- Spawn Monsters: This monster will create other monsters of some type every turn. For example, a Dwarf Queen creates Dwarf Workers.
- Trample (x): This monster will run over and trample every smaller enemy in its way. The value of this ability is the damage rating from being trampled (icon: elephant).
As they spend time traveling and fighting battles, the player’s troops gain experience. Experience points (XP) are displayed in the primary statistics of a unit and accumulate at the rate of 1 XP per turn plus 1 XP per battle. The only other source of XP is a commander with the Army Trainer special ability. Mindless units do not gain experience at all. Once a unit gains a sufficient amount of experience, it becomes experienced and gains bonuses.
Experience bonuses are denoted by star icons on the row of special abilities. The maximum experience level is four stars. Experience bonuses are listed in the table below.
- XP: 20
- Bonus: +1 HP, +1 Mrl
- XP: 60
- Bonus: +1 HP, +1 Str
- XP: 120
- Bonus: +1 HP, +1 Mrl
- XP: 200
- Bonus: +2 HP, +1 MR
Units have three placement ranks, which determine where the unit is placed in the army organization and on the battlefield. Back rank units are usually pure mages or non-combatant leaders and are always placed in the rearmost rows of an army or on top of walls or towers. Middle rank units are units that (usually) possess a ranged weapon or a spell as their primary mode of attack, but also include commanders who do not lead from the Front. They are placed behind the Front line units in the army. Front rank units are units whose primary attack is a hand to hand weapon. These units are placed in the Front rows of the army.
Battle afflictions are permanent injuries and disabilities that the unit has suffered as a result of being wounded in combat. Battle afflictions cause the unit to have various penalties to primary statistics or otherwise hinder its performance. Battle afflictions do not heal over time like regular wounds unless the unit has a special ability that allows healing afflictions as well (e.g. Fast Heal, Regeneration or Immortal). There are no spells or rituals that heal battle afflictions. See Chapter Healing for more on healing. Cursed units have a greatly increased chance of suffering battle afflictions when wounded.
Battle afflictions appear as red hearts on the row of special abilities, one heart for each affliction, except for disease, which has its own icon. Right click on the icon to get a description of what penalties it gives.
The affliction of Temporary Insanity is kind of special, it renders the unit 100% insane until it heals. There is a chance to heal from Temporary Insanity every turn and this is the only affliction that will heal by itself. Note that it is possible for regenerating or immortal units afflicted with temporary insanity to heal from the affliction immediately on the next turn, but they will still be unable to move. This is because at the beginning of the turn the unit is insane and will refuse to accept orders during that turn. Healing checks for afflictions occur after the insanity check, so the unit is still recovering even though the affliction disappears. It will be able to move normally the next turn. This means that normal units will also lose one turn when they finally heal from this affliction.