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Crusade

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Crusade
GlobalEnchantment Crusade
Realm Icon Life.pngLife
Spell Rarity Very Rare
Spell Type Global Enchantment
Casting Cost Icon Mana.png 1,100
Upkeep Cost Icon Mana.png 10
Research Cost Icon Research.png 4,500
Effects

All friendly Normal Units and Heroes are 1 Experience Level higher than they otherwise would be.

This allows "Elite" 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 Icon Life.pngLife Magic realm. For Icon Mana.png 1,100 it may be cast on the overland map to increase the Icon Experience Level.png 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.

This spell is cumulative with the Warlord Retort, and together they can unlock the "Champion" level for Normal Units.

Crusade requires an Upkeep Cost of Icon Mana.png 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 Icon Experience.png Experience Points and/or other spell effects.

Effects Edit

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

While Crusade is in effect, each and every friendly Normal Unit and Hero is bumped up by exactly Icon Experience Level.png 1 Experience Level. "Recruit" units become "Regulars", "Regulars" become "Veterans", and so forth.

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" Icon Experience Level.png Experience Level. For example, a unit created with Icon Experience.png 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 Icon Experience.png 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 - Icon ExpLevel 3.png Elite - when they accumulate Icon Experience.png 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.

With Crusade in effect, units with Icon Experience.png 120 are nonetheless bumped up by a level, reaching the previously-inaccessible level of Icon ExpLevel 4.png Ultra-Elite, gaining several additional bonuses as a result.

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, Icon ExpLevel 5.png Champion.

Note that the unit still ceases to accumulate experience when it reaches Icon Experience.png 120. It cannot maintain "Ultra-Elite" status if Crusade is dispelled: since it has Icon Experience.png 120 Experience Points it will revert to being an "Elite" unit as soon as Crusade is gone.

Demi-Gods Edit

Unlike Normal Units, Heroes can reach their highest attainable level simply by gaining experience. There are no extra levels to unlock for them.

Since Crusade pushes experience requirements down by a level, they will achieve the ultimate rank of Icon ExpLevel 8.png Demi-God much sooner than normal, at Icon Experience.png 600 Experience Points. Any hero who has already attained "Demi-God" level at Icon Experience.png 1,000 Experience Points will feel no effect from Crusade, as he has nowhere to advance to.

Crusade and Warlord Edit

The Crusade spell and the Warlord Retort are intimately related, as both have the exact same effect of raising the Experience Level of all units by +1.

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 Icon Experience Level.png 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 Icon Experience.png 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

Crusade also has a strong affinity with the other Experience-altering Icon Life.pngLife spell called Heroism.

Normally, and whenever Heroism is cast ad hoc in combat for Icon Mana.png 20 Mana, the enchantment will raise a unit's level to Icon ExpLevel 3.png Elite, lasting until the spell is removed, combat ends, or until the unit accumulates Icon Experience.png 120 Experience Points on its own.

With Crusade, an overland cast of Heroism will instead raise a unit's level to Icon ExpLevel 4.png 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 Icon Mana.png Mana.

With both Crusade and the Warlord Retort in play, Heroism will instantly raise the targeted unit to Icon ExpLevel 5.png Champion level - the highest attainable level in the game. As explained above, this can instantly turn the weakest Normal Units into deadly warriors.

Tables Edit

The (non-Hero) Ultra-Elite and Champion ranks confer the following attribute bonuses to every Icon Figure.png Figure in the unit.

Level Icon Level Name Attacks To Hit Defense Resist Hits
Experience 4 Ultra-Elite Icon ToHit.png +10% Icon Defense.png +1 Icon Resist.png +1
Experience 5 Champion Icon Melee Normal.png Icon Thrown.png Icon Breath.png Icon Ranged Bow.png Icon Ranged Boulder.png Icon Ranged Magic.png +1 Icon ToHit.png +10% Icon Resist.png +1 Icon Hits.png +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 Icon ToHit.png 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 Icon Experience.png Experience structure in the following manner:

Icon Experience.png EP Reqs: Normal Units Under a Warlord and/or Crusade Spell
Level Icon Level Name Base One Both
Experience 0 Recruit Icon Experience.png 0
Experience 1 Regular Icon Experience.png 20 Icon Experience.png 0
Experience 2 Veteran Icon Experience.png 60 Icon Experience.png 20 Icon Experience.png 0
Experience 3 Elite Icon Experience.png 120 Icon Experience.png 60 Icon Experience.png 20
Experience 4 Ultra-Elite Icon Experience.png 120 Icon Experience.png 60
Experience 5 Champion Icon Experience.png 120

Icon Experience.png EP Reqs: Heroes Under a Warlord and/or Crusade Spell
Level Icon Level Name Base One Both
Experience 0 Hero Icon Experience.png 0
Experience 1 Myrmidon Icon Experience.png 20 Icon Experience.png 0
Experience 2 Captain Icon Experience.png 60 Icon Experience.png 20 Icon Experience.png 0
Experience 3 Commander Icon Experience.png 120 Icon Experience.png 60 Icon Experience.png 20
Experience 4 Champion Icon Experience.png 200 Icon Experience.png 120 Icon Experience.png 60
Experience 5 Lord Icon Experience.png 300 Icon Experience.png 200 Icon Experience.png 120
Experience 6 Grand Lord Icon Experience.png 450 Icon Experience.png 300 Icon Experience.png 200
Experience 7 Super Hero Icon Experience.png 600 Icon Experience.png 450 Icon Experience.png 300
Experience 8 Demi-God Icon Experience.png 1,000 Icon Experience.png 600 Icon Experience.png 450

Usage Edit

Crusade may be cast only on the overland map, for the very high Casting Cost of Icon Mana.png 1,100.

As long as the spell remains in effect, each and every friendly Normal Unit and Hero will feel its benefits, including units created before or after the spell was cast.

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 Icon Mana.png 10 per turn - regardless of how many Normal Units it is affecting. Failure to pay this cost due to lack of Icon Mana.png 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 Icon Mana.png Mana for other spells.

Acquisition Edit

As a Very Rare Icon Life.pngLife spell, Crusade may become available to any Wizard who possesses at least Icon Life.png3 Spellbooks. However, its availability during the game is not guaranteed unless the Wizard acquires at least Icon Life.png10 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 Icon Life.png3 to Icon Life.png9 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 Icon Life.pngLife Spellbooks the Wizard possesses or obtains during gameplay. With Icon Life.png10 or Icon Life.png11 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 Icon Research.png 4,500.

With at least Icon Life.png3 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.

Strategy Edit

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 Icon Experience.png 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.

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