|Spell Rarity||Very Rare|
|Spell Type||Global Enchantment|
|Normal Units to reach the otherwise unreachable "Ultra-Elite" level. With the Warlord Retort, Normal Units may now reach "Champion" level.|
Crusade is a Very Rare Global Enchantment belonging to the Life Magic realm. For 1,100 it may be cast on the overland map to increase the Experience Level of each Normal Unit and Hero by +1, as long as the spell remains in effect. Normal Units who would otherwise be "Elite" are now "Ultra-Elite", an Experience Level not normally accessible to them.
Crusade requires an Upkeep Cost of 10 per turn to maintain. It will continuously automatically affect all valid units, including those created after the spell was cast. If Crusade is removed or dispelled, all affected units return to the Experience Level they should have based on their current Experience Points and/or other spell effects.
Crusade triggers a feeling of zeal in all friendly Normal Units and Heroes, allowing them to fight as though they were more Experienced than they otherwise are. This also allows units to eventually gain a higher Experience Level than they could ever hope to achieve without this spell.
Bonus Experience Level Edit
This occurs automatically, and applies to every existing unit as well as any unit created after the casting of Crusade. Each unit receives bonuses appropriate for its new Experience Level.
The unit's Experience points are not affected - they will continue to accumulate, and are still used to calculate the unit's "actual" Experience Level. For example, a unit created with 0 Experience Points is considered "Regular" instead of "Recruit" (thus gaining combat bonuses appropriate for "Regular" level). It can then gain experience as normal, whether by sitting around or fighting battles. When it reaches 20 Experience Points, it would normally become a "Regular" unit, but while Crusade is in effect this unit will now become a "Veteran", again gaining the relevant bonuses from this level.
If Crusade is dispelled, all units will revert to the Experience Level they would normally have - based on their accumulated Experience Points.
Ultra-Elites and Champions Edit
Under normal circumstances, Normal Units reach their highest allowed Experience Level - Elite - when they accumulate 120 Experience Points. At this point the unit ceases to accumulate any additional points, and thus will remain "Elite" for the remainder of its existence.
The only other way for a unit to reach this high level is through the Warlord Retort (more on this below). Having both assets in play unlocks an even higher experience level for normal units, Champion.
Note that the unit still ceases to accumulate experience when it reaches 120. It cannot maintain "Ultra-Elite" status if Crusade is dispelled: since it has 120 Experience Points it will revert to being an "Elite" unit as soon as Crusade is gone.
Since Crusade pushes experience requirements down by a level, they will achieve the ultimate rank of Demi-God much sooner than normal, at 600 Experience Points. Any hero who has already attained "Demi-God" level at 1,000 Experience Points will feel no effect from Crusade, as he has nowhere to advance to.
Crusade and Warlord Edit
These two effects are completely cumulative. As a result, while a Warlord wizard has Crusade in play, each and every Normal Unit and Hero under his command will enjoy 2 extra Experience Levels above the unit's normal level.
Therefore, with both effects in play, "Recruit" units are considered "Veterans", "Regulars" are considered "Elite", and so on.
The spells are also cumulative in increasing the upper limit of Experience Levels. Units accumulating 120 Experience Points will now be "Champions" - gaining massive bonuses to their combat performance appropriately for this level. Even the weakest Normal Units can thus reach amazing combat potential.
Crusade and Heroism Edit
Normally, and whenever Heroism is cast ad hoc in combat for 20 Mana, the enchantment will raise a unit's level to Elite, lasting until the spell is removed, combat ends, or until the unit accumulates 120 Experience Points on its own.
With Crusade, an overland cast of Heroism will instead raise a unit's level to Ultra-Elite, thus making the spell far more potent! Again, the unit continues to accumulate experience points, and will eventually reach "Ultra-Elite" status on its own (at 120 experience points), at which point Heroism goes away in order to conserve Mana.
With both Crusade and the Warlord Retort in play, Heroism will instantly raise the targeted unit to Champion level - the highest attainable level in the game. As explained above, this can instantly turn the weakest Normal Units into deadly warriors.
Level Icon Level Name Attacks To Hit Defense Resist Hits Ultra-Elite +10% +1 +1 Champion +1 +10% +1 +1
Units with lots of figures and low base scores, such as Bowmen, Spearmen, and Slingers, will achieve a drastic boost in performance. The increases To Hit ensure that even inherently-tough units with low figure-counts, like Dragon Turtles and Minotaurs, become a lot more dangerous.
Crusade and Warlord modify the Experience structure in the following manner:
EP Reqs: Normal Units Under a Warlord and/or Crusade Spell Level Icon Level Name Base One Both Recruit 0 Regular 20 0 Veteran 60 20 0 Elite 120 60 20 Ultra-Elite 120 60 Champion 120
EP Reqs: Heroes Under a Warlord and/or Crusade Spell Level Icon Level Name Base One Both Hero 0 Myrmidon 20 0 Captain 60 20 0 Commander 120 60 20 Champion 200 120 60 Lord 300 200 120 Grand Lord 450 300 200 Super Hero 600 450 300 Demi-God 1,000 600 450
Crusade may be cast only on the overland map, for the very high Casting Cost of 1,100.
Note that the act of casting this spell worsens your relationships with rival wizards, not as much as Spell of Mastery does though, so it's better to cast just before beginning the conquest of your opponents' lands.
To keep Crusade in effect, the casting wizard must pay an Upkeep Cost of exactly 10 per turn - regardless of how many Normal Units it is affecting. Failure to pay this cost due to lack of Mana will cause the spell to dissipate.
After casting the spell, its name will appear on the "Overland Enchantments" list in the Magic menu. The color in which the name is printed indicates which wizard controls the spell. If the player controls the spell, he or she may cancel it manually by clicking the name of the spell. The primary reason to do this would be in order to remove the spell's Upkeep Cost, thus conserving Mana for other spells.
As a Very Rare Life spell, Crusade may become available to any Wizard who possesses at least 3 Spellbooks. However, its availability during the game is not guaranteed unless the Wizard acquires at least 10 Spellbooks.
Crusade may not 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 acquired through other means.
Wizards with 3 to 9 Spellbooks have a random chance of being able to Research Crusade during the game. The chance for this spell to appear for research increases with the number of Life Spellbooks the Wizard possesses or obtains during gameplay. With 10 or 11 Spellbooks, the spell is guaranteed to appear for Research at some point, if it is not already available for casting.
Crusade has a base Research Cost of 4,500.
With at least 3 Spellbooks, the Crusade 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.
Crusade is an absolutely crucial spell for any wizard who uses plenty of Normal Units and/or Heroes. Even the weakest units produced by non-upgraded Towns will become stronger, and units reaching 120 Experience Points will become exceptionally deadly.
Needless to say, wizards who've picked the Warlord Retort will probably be looking high and low for this spell, as it will essentially double-up on the effect of this Retort. "Champion" Normal Units are significantly more powerful than most other Normal Units, and a whole army of them can smash through significant opposition with ease.
Once you acquire it, try to keep Crusade in play all the time, if possible. Though there is no permanent loss when the spell is dispelled, you obviously want your units at their peak performance at all times. The bonuses bestowed by Crusade are so significant (especially to "Elite" units becoming "Ultra-Elite") that your army's overall strength drops significantly when the spell is lost. Cast it again as soon as you can.
With Crusade in play, you have much more incentive to use the Heroism spell as well - on any newly-created unit going off to war. It may also be prudent to create Fighters' Guilds and War Colleges in every unit production center to ensure that new units are that much closer to "Ultra-Elite" status when they are created.