Tactical Catapult
Req. Town Buildings Mechanicians' Guild
Construction Cost Icon Production.png 100
Upkeep Cost Icon Gold.png 2
Icon Food.png1
Unit Properties
# of figures Icon SingleFigureUnit.png 1
Moves Icon Movement Ground1
Ranged Attack per figure Icon Ranged Boulder.png 10
Defense per figure Icon Defense.png 2
Resistance Icon Resist.png 4
Hit Points per figure Icon Hits.png 10
Unit Abilities

Ability Quiver Ranged Attack x10

Ability WallCrusher Wall Crusher

Ability LongRange Long Range

The Catapult is a type of Normal Unit. This unit may be created at any town that can produce a Mechanicians' Guild, and thus can only be produced by the High Elves, High Men, Nomads, Orcs, Beastmen and Dark Elves. It has a Construction Cost of Icon Production.png 100.

Catapults have a Ranged Attack that can be used to damage even highly-armored enemy units, but is primarily used for destroying walls during siege combat at an enemy town. Each attack that hits a wall has a 25% chance of destroying that wall, thus opening a way in for other units.

Catapults require an Upkeep Cost of Icon Gold.png 2 and Icon Food.png1 to maintain. Failure to pay these costs will result in the unit being disbanded automatically.

Unit Properties Edit

Physical Description Edit

A Catapult is a large mechanical device designed to hurl boulders at great speeds and to great distances. It is comprised of a wheeled wooden platform topped with a large spoon-like arm. Using a rope and winch system, the Catapult's crew bend the arm back forcibly, and then load it with a massive boulder. When the winch is released, the arm suddenly springs back to its original position, throwing the boulder with immense force. The boulder's weight and speed are so great that on impact it can break through solid stone walls, not to mention cause severe damage to anything it hits.

In our world, Catapults of various designs (sometimes referred to as "Mangonels" or "Onagers") were in use for at least a millenium, from Roman times all the way up to the appearance of cannons at the end of the Medieval age.

The Catapult is a Icon SingleFigureUnit.png Single-Figure unit.

Attack Properties Edit

The Catapult possesses only a Ranged Attack, with a strength of Icon Ranged Boulder.png 10. This allows it to deliver, on average, about Icon Damage.png 3.0 points of Damage per attack. Though ranged boulder attacks normally suffer To Hit distance penalties, the Catapult has the Long Range ability which means that it never suffers more than Icon ToHit.png -10% (when firing at targets 3 tiles away or further). This reduces its damage output by only a small amount.

Due to its strength, this attack is pretty much guaranteed to do at least some damage to most enemy units. On the other hand, with only a single Icon Figure.png figure, its overall strength is limited, and does not improve very well with Experience. It is still much more likely to cause damage to enemy units than a group of Bowmen.

In addition to causing damage to units, the Catapult's attack also utilizes the Wall Crusher ability. During a siege battle at an enemy town surrounded by City Walls, the Catapult can target individual wall sections in the same way that it normally targets enemy units. When such an attack is made, it has a 25% chance of turning the targeted wall section to rubble. This opens a breach through which Icon Movement GroundWalking units can pass freely, and the defenders behind the wall lost most of their cover bonuses. The same 25% chance applies when targeting any enemy unit that's adjacent to a wall section - in which case damage may be dealt both to the target unit and the nearby wall section!

Note that the Catapult completely lacks a Melee Attack. While it can initiate such attacks against enemy units, it will never cause any damage to them. It will also deliver no damage when Counter Attacking. Note however that the Catapult's Wall Crusher ability applies to its Melee Attack, meaning that it can attack wall sections and have a 50% chance to destroy them, a much-higher chance than when using the Catapult's Ranged Attack. It will still cause no damage to any enemy unit taking cover behind a wall section, though.

Defense Properties Edit

The Catapult possesses a Defense score of Icon Defense.png 2 - common among Normal Units. It can deflect about Icon Damage.png 0.6 points of Damage from any damage source, on average. This is barely enough to protect it from anything but the weakest attackers.

Coupled with the catapult's Icon Hits.png 10 Hit Points, it still has about as much survivability as a unit of Spearmen or Swordsmen, and can survive some combat against enemy Normal Units. Remember of course that the Catapult does not inflict any damage during its Counter Attack, so there's little point to allowing it to engage enemies in Melee combat - it serves no purpose and will usually lead to the Catapult being destroyed sooner or later.

Catapults are also quite susceptible to Curses and other combat maledictions, due to a low Resistance score of Icon Resist.png 4. They will only occasionally resist such effects.

Other Properties Edit

Catapults move at a slow Icon Movement Ground1, and can only traverse land tiles. They have no additional movement-related properties.

Basic Strategy Edit

Catapults can serve two main purposes in an army: making Ranged Attacks against heavily-armored opponents, and destroying City Walls during a siege.

In its first capacity, a Catapult is more likely to inflict at least some damage to a well-defended opponent than a whole group of Bowmen. This is thanks to its high Ranged Attack strength, which can overcome high Defense scores. This is often best used against enemy Heroes and Fantastic Creatures. Unfortunately, because the Catapult is a Icon SingleFigureUnit.png Single-Figure unit, it is NOT likely to cause more damage to small, Icon MultiFigureUnit.png Multi-Figure enemy units than a group of Bowmen would.

In its second capacity, a Catapult is brought along to help breach enemy walls. The Catapult can concentrate on opening gaps in the rear side of the walls (allowing units to outflank the defenders) or to destroy the forward side of the wall and allow other Ranged Attack units to more easily kill the defenders (who now have little cover to hide behind).

Do not allow Catapults to wander about on their own near enemy territory. While they may cause some damage to an enemy army, Catapults generally cannot fend for themselves. Either put them in a strong army where they are defended by other units, or keep them well back and out of the action.

Ability Overview Edit

Ability Quiver Ranged Attack x10 Edit

  • This unit may use a Icon Ranged Boulder.png Ranged Boulder Attack instead of a Melee Attack up to 10 times in each battle. Once the unit's ammo is expended, it must resort to Melee Attacks.

Ability WallCrusher Wall Crusher Edit

  • This unit can make Melee Attacks and/or Ranged Attacks (as available) against City Walls. Each attack has a certain chance to destroy the targeted wall section for the remainder of the battle.
  • A Ranged Attack has a 25% chance of destroying the targeted wall section. A Melee Attack has a 50% chance of destroying the targeted wall section.
  • If an enemy unit is standing behind the wall when it is attacked, the Wall Crusher unit attacks that unit as well. Defense bonuses to the target unit depend on whether or not the wall is destroyed during this attack.
  • This ability can only destroy City Walls. Other, magical wall types are not affected.

Ability LongRange Long Range Edit

  • When using its Ranged Attack against distant enemies, this unit cannot suffer a To Hit distance penalty greater than Icon ToHit.png -10%.
  • As a result, the unit has the same To Hit chance when firing at a target 3 tiles away as it does at a target on the extreme opposite end of the battlefield.
  • Note that Ranged Attacks at targets within 2 tiles still suffer no To Hit penalty at all, as normal.

Experience Table Edit

The following table illustrates how Catapults improve as they gain Experience. Any properties that are not listed here do not improve with Experience in any way.

Level Icon Level Name EP Ranged To Hit Defense Resist Hits
Experience 0 Recruit Icon Experience.png 0 - Icon Experience.png 19 Icon Ranged Boulder.png 10 Icon ToHit.png 30% Icon Defense.png 2 Icon Resist.png 4 Icon Hits.png 10
Experience 1 Regular Icon Experience.png 20 - Icon Experience.png 59 Icon Ranged Boulder.png 11 Icon ToHit.png 30% Icon Defense.png 2 Icon Resist.png 5 Icon Hits.png 10
Experience 2 Veteran Icon Experience.png 60 - Icon Experience.png 119 Icon Ranged Boulder.png 11 Icon ToHit.png 30% Icon Defense.png 3 Icon Resist.png 6 Icon Hits.png 10
Experience 3 Elite Icon Experience.png 120 Icon Ranged Boulder.png 12 Icon ToHit.png 40% Icon Defense.png 3 Icon Resist.png 7 Icon Hits.png 11
Experience 4 Ultra-Elite Icon Experience.png 120 * Icon Ranged Boulder.png 12 Icon ToHit.png 50% Icon Defense.png 4 Icon Resist.png 8 Icon Hits.png 11
Experience 5 Champion Icon Experience.png 120 ** Icon Ranged Boulder.png 13 Icon ToHit.png 60% Icon Defense.png 4 Icon Resist.png 12 Icon Hits.png 12

* To achieve this level, either the Warlord Retort or the Crusade spell must be in play.
** To achieve this level, both the Warlord Retort and the Crusade spell must be in play simultaneously.

Average Damage Output Edit

The table below details the average amount of damage that a Catapult unit will deliver with each type of attack, based on Icon Experience Level.png Experience Level. It can be used in comparison to the target's Defense rating to figure out the chance of hurting that target.

Select weapons:
Level Icon Level Name Melee Ranged * Thrown Breath
Experience 0 Recruit
Experience 1 Regular
Experience 2 Veteran
Experience 3 Elite
Experience 4 Ultra-Elite
Experience 5 Champion

* This column assumes a Icon Ranged Boulder.png Ranged Boulder Attack at a distance of 1-2 tiles from the target. Beyond this distance, Icon ToHit.png To Hit penalties apply that can severely reduce Icon Damage.png Damage output.<img src="Icon_Melee_Normal.png"><img src="Icon_Melee_Magic.png"><img src="Icon_Melee_Mithril.png"><img src="Icon_Melee_Adamantium.png">

Acquisition Edit

Catapults may be produced in any town that can build a Mechanicians' Guild. Only the High Elves, High Men, Nomads, Orcs, Beastmen and Dark Elves can build Mechanicians' Guilds, so towns populated by other Races cannot create Catapults.

Should a town lose its existing Mechanicians' Guild, it can no longer produce Catapults until a replacement structure is built.

The Construction Cost of this unit is Icon Production.png 100.

Catapults may appear for hire as Mercenaries. They may already have some Experience on being hired, and several units may be hired simultaneously. Hiring these units requires a certain cost in Icon Gold.png Gold that depends on many different factors. Catapult Mercenaries have the same Upkeep Cost as a normally-constructed unit.

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