|As of Master of Magic v1.31, Chaos Surge is known to be malfunctioning in at least one way. Please read the Known Bugs section below. The earliest game version that does away with (all of) these, thus in which Chaos Surge works fully as intended, is v1.50.|
|Spell Rarity||Very Rare|
|Spell Type||Global Enchantment|
Every unit (in the entire game) associated with the Chaos Realm receives the following bonuses:Attack Type.
Each such creature, regardless of ownership or location, receives a +2 to its Melee Strength (if it has a Melee Attack at all), a +2 to its Ranged Attack Strength (if it has a Ranged Attack of any kind), and a +2 bonus to any direct damage short-range attack it possesses ( Fire Breath, Thrown Attacks, or Doom Gaze). These bonuses linger as long as Chaos Surge is in effect, and are cumulative with any other bonuses.
Chaos Surge requires a very high Upkeep Cost of 40 per turn to remain in operation.
Chaos Surge increases the magical energy flowing from the Chaos Realm into all creatures associated with it, thus making them all significantly more powerful in battle. While in effect, the spell bestows three separate bonuses - though each unit will only receive bonuses to Attack Types it can already make use of.
Each and every creature that belongs to the Chaos Realm is affected, regardless of its location in the game world or its allegiance. Even neutral Chaos units guarding Encounter Zones will be affected. This also includes Normal Units or Heroes that have been Chaos Channeled, as they are now considered to belong to the Chaos Realm as well.
Melee Attack Bonus Edit
While Chaos Surge is in effect, each affected creature that already has a Melee Strength of at least 1 will receive a bonus of +2. This increases the maximum potential Damage that the unit can deliver when making a Melee Attack or Counter Attack (and vicariously its average Damage output in these cases). This, in turn, also makes it easier for them to Damage better-armored enemy targets.
Note that in Multi-Figure Units, each figure will utilize this bonus, so the total Melee Strength of a fully healthy Multi-Figure unit can be significantly increased as a result. For example, a 4-figure unit of Hell Hounds receives +2 to each Hound's attack, increasing the potential Damage output of the unit by +8 in total! However, because any targets attacked by this unit will still roll To Block separately for each attacking Figure, the actual Damage increase will typically be much lower than what a +8 bonus to a single attack would suggest.
Ranged Attack Bonus Edit
Similarly, as long as Chaos Surge is in play, affected creatures that have a Ranged Missile Attack will receive a bonus of +2. The same applies to creatures using Ranged Boulder Attacks and Ranged Magical Attacks, granting +2 and +2 respectively. Just like the Melee bonus, this increases the potential (and average) Damage of each Figure in the unit, and applies to each and every one of them simultaneously.
For example, an 8-figure unit of Chaos-Channeled Slingers receives +2 to each Slinger's attack, increasing the potential Damage output of the entire unit by a total of +16! The same as with Melee though, each figure's attack will still be defended against independently. Eight separate +2s, while formidable, are still not quite the same as a single +16.
Short Range Bonus Edit
Finally, Chaos Surge enhances short-range attacks by the same amount if the affected unit possesses any of these. The attacks this can typically apply to are Fire Breath, Thrown Attacks, and the Doom Gaze of the Chaos Spawn. The only exclusion is the Chaos Breath, one of the random enhancements granted by Chaos Channels. This attack will not be improved by Chaos Surge. While the spell would technically also affect all other short-range Attack Types, they will never be available on Chaos units in unmodded games.
The Multi-Figure implications of this bonus are identical to those mentioned above for Melee- and regular Ranged Attacks. Chaos Surge is also one of only very few effects that can universally improve short-range attacks (although Thrown Attacks can be improved by other means).
Chaos Surge may be cast only on the overland map, for the substantial Casting Cost of 1,000. Immediately, each unit associated with the Chaos Realm begins enjoying the above bonuses, and will continue to do so for as long as the spell remains in effect.
Chaos Surge applies to all Chaos creatures, including the caster's own units, their rivals' units, and any neutral creatures encountered anywhere in the game world. New Chaos units created while the spell is already in operation will also enjoy its effects, as will any units modified through Chaos Channels.
To maintain this spell, an Upkeep Cost of 40 must be paid at the start of each turn. If there is insufficient Mana in the caster's Mana Pool to pay for Chaos Surge, it will automatically dissipate.
After casting the spell, its name will appear in the "Overland Enchantments" list on the Magic screen. The color in which a name is printed indicates which Wizard controls that particular spell. In the case of the human player, they may cancel Chaos Surge manually from here, at any time, by clicking on its name. The primary reason to do this would be in order to remove the spell's Upkeep Cost, thus conserving Mana for other spells.
Note that two or more Chaos Surge spells cast by different Wizards are not cumulative with each other. As long as at least one of these spells remains in operation, all valid creatures will receive exactly +2 to the appropriate attributes. The only reason to cast another Chaos Surge if one is already in play is to ensure that the spell remains in operation if the other Wizard(s) decide to cancel theirs (or simply run out of Mana to keep them up).
At least, this is the case in game versions where a related bug (see below) is no longer an issue.
As a Very Rare Spell, Chaos Surge may never be acquired at the start of the campaign, regardless of how many Spellbooks the Wizard possesses. It must either be Researched during the game, or obtained through other means. Chaos Surge may become available for research to any Wizard who possesses at least 3 Spellbooks. However, this availability is not guaranteed unless the Wizard obtains, or starts with, at least 10 books.
Wizards with 3 to 9 Spellbooks have a random chance of being able to research Chaos Surge, which increases with the amount of Chaos Spellbooks possessed or acquired during the game. The spell may otherwise be obtained by trading; found during the conquest of the Fortress of a rival Wizard who already knows it; or won as a reward from an Encounter Zone. However, in all of these cases the minimum requirement of 3 Spellbooks still applies.
Chaos Surge can confer an unbelievably powerful advantage to any Wizard relying primarily on creatures from the Chaos Realm, including Wizards who make a habit of casting Chaos Channels on their Normal Units (thereby turning them into Chaos creatures). In conjunction with Doom Mastery, it is possible to create very powerful armies with great ease.
On the downside, rival Wizards using Chaos will, of course, experience the same benefit, and could thus capitalize on the effects of Chaos Surge to advance their own agendas. It may or may not be a good idea to cast this spell when involved in a war with such a Wizard.
Finally, while the spell is in effect, it will be significantly harder for any wizard to conquer Chaos Nodes. This may be either beneficial (if an enemy Wizard is attempting to take such Nodes) or detrimental (if the caster is hoping to take them).
As mentioned above, Chaos Surge is one of very few ways to improve certain types of attacks. This pertains mainly to Ranged Magical Attacks, Fire Breath, and Doom Gaze. Naturally, Chaos Node Auras will also benefit these abilities for Chaos-related Fantastic Units, but for Normal Units, the only other options are Experience or turning the units into Undead.
Experience Levels are cumulative with enhancements from either Chaos or Death, provided that they are earned before the unit is turned into a creature of either of these Realms. However, the two Realms generally exclude one another. With that in mind, Chaos Surge is typically a better large scale investment, although the combination of Darkness and Black Channels provides a higher overall boost.
However, Black Channels must be individually preserved on each unit for this, while Doom Mastery provides a convenient way of affecting all newly created units with Chaos Channels. In addition, the abilities gained through this can be quite potent, and can not be dispelled by rivals in combat either. Furthermore, this combination has excellent synergy with Warp Reality to increase the staying power of the Wizard's forces, as it will only penalize the To Hit values of the opponents (unless, of course, they are also creatures of Chaos).
Known Bugs Edit
In version v1.31 (and also in Insecticide), the Chaos Surge spell will only exert any effect if it is cast by the human player. While the code does contain the basics of a loop designed to check the spell's existence for all Wizards, unfortunately when it does so it always checks the same memory address that belongs to the human player. This means not only that the AI Wizards' Chaos Surges can be safely ignored (as they have no effect), if the human player desires the benefits of this spell, they can only gain them by casting Chaos Surge themselves.
This bug is fixed in the Unofficial Patch 1.50 (W141FIX.TXT).