Damage Points represent the injuries sustained by a unit or figure at any given time. Damage Points are, essentially, the loss of Hit Points.
Units suffer Damage Points primarily when struck by Physical Damage - the most basic and most common type of damage in the game. Once a unit has suffered a number of Damage Points equal to its maximum Health score, that unit is completely destroyed. Thus, the primary way to kill a unit is to inflict a sufficient number of Damage Points to that unit.
Damage Points are indicated by the Darkened Heart icons that replace the Bright Heart icons in the unit's details panel as it gets injured. Therefore, a unit with 5 Damage Points will have 5 darkened hearts. The number of Bright Hearts remaining indicates how much more Damage that unit can take before being destroyed.
Things work a little differently for Multi-Figure units, because Health and Damage are tracked separately for each Figure. Once a Figure has suffered an amount of Damage equal to its maximum Health, that particular figure is destroyed. A Multi-Figure unit is only destroyed once it has lost all of its Figures.
Damage can be healed in several ways, particularly by a process known as "natural healing", whereby a unit's sustained Damage is reduced by a certain amount each overland turn. Units can also be healed artificially with magic, or thanks to the powerful Regeneration ability. Some units (those associated with the Death Realm) can only regain health through Regeneration.
Damage can be caused in a myriad of ways, but the most common way is through physical combat - in which one unit attempts to cause as many Damage Points to the opponent unit. Physical Damage, the most common type of damage delivered by most attacks, is designed specifically to cause Damage Points to the target (the process is not discussed in detail in this article because it is simply too complex).
Damage Points represent the injuries a unit has sustained, and the game will record these injuries from turn to turn, whether during battle or on the overland map. Although the Damage sustained by a unit can and will fluctuate (whether because the unit takes more damage or because it is healed in one way or another), Damage will constantly measure the condition of a unit, and so is a useful indicator of how close that unit is to dying.
Each unit in the game has a certain number of Hit Points, representing its total maximum health. This indicates how tough the unit is, or in other words, how much Damage it can sustain before it is completely destroyed. Thus, Hit Points and Damage Points are directly inverse to each other, and essentially describe the same thing: the more Damage a unit takes, the fewer Hit Points it has remaining, and vice versa.
If a unit ever reaches 0 Hit Points or less, it is completely destroyed. Therefore, in order to destroy a unit, it must suffer an amount of Damage equal to or greater than its total Health. Once a unit is destroyed, it can only be brought back by specialized types of magic, which are available only to some wizards and not others.
For Single-Figure units, Damage is a pretty straightforward property, and can easily be tracked in order to tell how close this unit is to death. Injuries do not affect the unit's performance - but obviously a unit with fewer Hit Points remaining is closer to death and thus requires only a little more Damage before being destroyed.
For Multi-Figure units, things are far more complex. The game tracks the remaining Hit Points of each figure separately from the others, so it is necessary to cause Damage to each figure separately - killing them off one by one. A Multi-Figure unit is only destroyed once it has lost all of its Figures. This is explained in much more detail later in this article.
Finally, the vast majority of units are living creatures, capable of slowly recovering from injuries. Thus, the amount of Damage a unit is suffering from will gradually decrease over time as wounds are healed and/or as reinforcements rejoin that unit.
Sources of Damage Edit
All Damage in the game is caused by attacks, made by a unit or spell against another unit. The strength of the attack, its Attack Type, and the type(s) of damage it delivers are all involved in determining how many Damage Points are inflicted upon the target. Nonetheless, the process of determining the amount of Damage caused to a target can differ radically between one attack and the next.
The most common source of Damage is from attacks delivering Physical Damage. This includes all Melee Attacks, Ranged Attacks, Thrown Attacks, Breath Attacks, and a large number of "direct-damage" spells. When Physical Damage strikes a target, the game will make a series of To Hit and To Block rolls to determine how many Damage Points the target will suffer as a result. The more successful the attack, or the less successful the target's defense efforts, the more Damage Points are inflicted on that target.
Some attacks will instead deliver Immolation Damage, Doom Damage or Poison Damage. These will also result in the target suffering a certain amount of Damage Points, though the process of calculating how much Damage is inflicted is significantly different from that of Physical Damage attacks. Immolation Damage involves a far-more-complex set of To Hit and To Block rolls, Doom Damage involves no rolls whatsoever, and Poison Damage involves only Resistance rolls made by the target. The processes are explained in greater detail in the individual articles regarding these damage types.
Applying Damage Edit
Whenever an attack has successfully caused Damage to the target, this amount is added on top of the target's current Damage, and the game must run a calculation to determine whether the target unit has been destroyed, or whether it has lost one or more Figures.
Single-Figure Units Edit
For example, a Stone Giant has 20 Hit Points when fully-healed. If the giant suffers 2 points of Damage, this is simply subtracted from his current Health score, so he now has only 18 Hit Points. If struck again by the same amount of damage, the giant now has 16 Hit Points, and so on and so on. Damage simply keeps piling up, until the Giant's hit points reach 0, at which point the Giant is killed.
Multi-Figure Units Edit
With Multi-Figure units, things are very different. When such a unit is fully healed, each Figure in the unit has the same number of Hit Points, and they are tracked separately. The unit's details panel will only display the Health and Damage indicators for the "lead" figure in the unit, and only that figure is slated to take damage.
- For example, in a unit of High Men Cavalry, each Cavalryman has exactly 3 Hit Points. With 4 Figures in the unit, we can say that the unit has a total of 3 * 4 = 12 Hit Points. However, the unit's details panel will only show the current remaining health of the "lead" cavalryman ( 3). If this cavalryman dies, the panel will show the health of the next "lead" cavalryman, and so on and so on until the unit is destroyed.
- The health of all "non-lead" cavalrymen is always assumed to be full - in this case 3. Their health will never shift until the cavalryman in front of them dies.
When such a unit suffers Damage, the Damage Points are first applied to the "lead" figure in the unit - reducing its remaining Hit Points accordingly. When that figure's health reaches 0, the figure is "killed off". If the unit has any remaining figures, the next figure steps up to the lead position, and will suffer any subsequent damage. A Multi-Figure unit is only completely destroyed once it has lost each and every one of its Figures in this manner.
- For example, lets return to the High Men Cavalry, and assume that it starts at full health when suddenly it is struck by an attack delivering 2 points of Damage to it. The "lead" figure in that unit, having 3 Hit Points, will suffer 2 and thus be left with only 1 Hit Point. All other figures in the unit are unharmed.
- Now lets say the attack was much stronger, delivering 10 points of Damage in total. The "lead" cavalryman only has 3 Hit Points, so he will take 3 points of Damage and be killed, whereupon the second cavalryman steps up to the "lead" position. We still have 7 points of Damage unaccounted for, so these are now directed at the new "lead" cavalryman. Again, he suffers as much as he can, which is 3, and is also killed. The same thing happens to cavalryman #3, who is also killed with 3. At this point only 1 point of Damage is still unaccounted for, and this is directed at the 4th and last cavalryman, lowering his health to 2.
- Had the attack been even stronger, delivering 12 or more to the unit, each and every cavalryman would've been killed, in turn, resulting in the High Men Cavalry unit's complete destruction.
Note: Whenever Damage is inflicted by a Physical Damage attack, a Multi-Figure unit may be able to reduce the "pending" damage carried over from figure to figure, thanks to being allowed to make a new set of Defense rolls. For a thorough explanation of this, refer to the Physical Damage article.
Implications of Damage Edit
As stated earlier, Damage Points represent injuries sustained by a unit, and can lead to the death of the unit or its individual figures. This is handled differently for Single-Figure and Multi-Figure units.
Single-Figure Units Edit
The implications of sustained Damage to a Single-Figure unit are pretty simple to explain. The unit is not adversely affected by any amount of Damage - unless that amount equals to or exceeds the unit's Health score. If that happens, the unit is completely destroyed.
For example, lets take a Stone Giant again. This is a Single-Figure unit that has 20 Hit Points when fully healed. As the unit takes Damage, its current Health score drops accordingly. However, the unit does not actually behave any differently nor is less effective as it accumulates Damage Points. It will remain combat-effective up to the point where that damage is equal to or greater than 20 - at which point the Stone Giant is instantly destroyed.
Therefore, the only implication of suffering Damage for such a unit is that it is at more risk. While the Stone Giant still has 20 Hit Points, it is generally safe from most attacks and isn't likely to be killed in direct combat. However, when the giant only has 1 Hit Point left, combat would be extremely risky: even a lucky hit by an opponent will bring the Giant down.
Multi-Figure Units Edit
Multi-Figure units, as their name indicates, consist of several individual Figures. To destroy such a unit, each figure must be killed separately. They also suffer Damage in sequence, so the first figure must die before the second figure can be hurt or killed - and so on and so on until the unit runs out of live Figures and is destroyed.
However, unlike with Single-Figure units, the combat effectiveness of a Multi-Figure unit degrades as it loses figures. This is because, when such a unit attacks, its total strength depends on how many Figures it has left. Each figure lost therefore reduces the strength of the unit, making it less dangerous to opponents.
For example, imagine a unit that has 4 Figures when fully-healed. If this unit loses one of its figures, the unit's offensive strength is now only 75% as high as it normally would be; it will cause only 75% as much damage to the enemy when performing Melee Attacks or Ranged Attacks. With 2 figures gone, the unit's strength is only 50%, and with three gone its strength is only 25%. The unit can only regain its combat effectiveness by regaining lost Figures, as explained Below.
Of course, partial injury to any of the figures in the unit does not reduce combat effectiveness. For example, take a unit of High Men Cavalry: each figure has 3 Hit Points, so it would take 3 Damage Points to kill one off. A figure that suffered only 2 Damage Points, however, is still as effective as one that is fully healed. Damage only reduces the unit's combat effectiveness when one or more figures is fully killed.
This effectively removes the unit from the game, and in most cases that unit will not come back. This is the primary reason why injured units should be kept out of combat (to avoid the chance that some attack will get lucky and finish them off), and also the reason why low- Health units are generally considered unsuitable for serious combat.
There are, of course, ways to bring a unit back from the dead. The realms of Life and Death possess powerful spells that will cause a unit to reappear, with Life Magic specializing on actually restoring the unit to life, and Death Magic specializing in turning a destroyed unit into an Undead unit (which is a little different from its original form, with new advantages and disadvantages it didn't previously have).
Furthermore, one of the most powerful measures available to prevent or undo destruction is the Nature spell "Regeneration" (also a Unit Ability of the same name found on various units, even non-Nature ones). Its effect is a little too complex to explain with brevity, but one of its primary effects is that it will automatically restore a destroyed unit to life (and full Health!) after a battle, as long as the unit's friends manage to win that battle.
If none of these measures are available to a wizard, then units destroyed due to suffering excessive Damage are gone for good. This is particularly important for Heroes, since most other units can be easily replaced whereas Heroes are unique: if you lack the measures to bring a Hero back from the dead, that specific Hero will never return to your service in any way.
Healing Damage Edit
For some units, particularly the Fantastic Units associated with the Death realm (including the Undead), any Damage they take is permanent: there is no way to undo injuries suffered by such a unit. As it participates in more and more combat, it will eventually suffer enough damage and will be destroyed.
First of all, all non-Death units will lose a certain amount of Damage at the start of each overland turn. This is called "natural healing". The amount of Damage removed each turn is equal to at least 5% of the unit's total maximum Health, and increases if the unit is garrisoned in a Town, or if accompanied by a Healer unit. This means that any injured unit that's allowed to heal naturally will return to full health within no more than 20 turns, assuming it does not suffer additional Damage in the meanwhile.
Secondly, the Life Realm and Nature Realm possess several spells that will instantly heal the injuries of a unit (or several units) by a certain amount. The Life Realm specializes in doing so during combat, while the Nature realm has overland spells for the same purpose.
Finally, the Regeneration ability and spell allow a unit to regain 1 Hit Point automatically each turn during combat, and can completely heal a unit after a battle is over (including, as mentioned earlier, bringing dead units to life). As a result, Regeneration is one of the most coveted Unit Abilities in the game, and many Nature wizards rely heavily on it to keep their units alive almost indefinitely.
Each of these methods of healing is discussed in greater detail on the article regarding Hit Points.
Regaining Figures Edit
As Damage is healed, a Multi-Figure Unit will potentially regain any Figures it has lost, one by one, until eventually the unit returns to full strength (having as many Figures as it had when first created).
This is done on a figure-by-figure basis, in a process exactly inverse to how such a unit suffers Damage. The "lead" figure in the unit will always be the first to receive any healing. Once that figure is at full health, additional healing points will restore the next Figure to life, and heal it accordingly. Eventually, with sufficient healing, the unit will have regained all of its Figures this way, and will therefore have returned to full combat effectiveness.
- For example, once again we'll take a High Men Cavalry unit, with 4 Figures and 3 Hit Points per figure. This time we'll assume that the unit has just lost 2 Figures in combat, and that figure #3 in the unit is slightly injured, currently suffering from 1. In total, we can say that this unit has 7 points of Damage - 3 for each dead Cavalryman, plus 1 for the injured cavalryman.
- If we heal 1, that will go towards the injured cavalryman, who is now back to full health. The next healed point will actually restore one of the dead cavalrymen (who returns with 1), and subsequent healing will go towards bringing this cavalryman back to full health ( 3). Once he's fully healthy, any additional healing will first restore the last missing cavalryman, and then work towards bringing him back to full health. At this point the unit has all 4 of its Figures back, with each figure being fully healthy ( 3).
For a more thorough explanation, see the article on Hit Points, where healing processes are explained in more detail.
Types of Damage Points Edit
Internally, Damage Points are actually tracked in three separate pools: Normal, Create Undead, and Irreversible. This article primarily describes Normal damage points; the other two types behave slightly differently, as follows:
Create Undead Damage Points Edit
The injury caused by Life Drain, Life Steal, and units with the Create Undead unit ability is of type Create Undead, not Normal. Any unit primarily killed by Create Undead Damage Points (total ≥ Normal and > Irreversible) suffers several special effects:
- The unit may not be brought back with Raise Dead.
- If the unit has Regeneration, dies, and its owner wins the battle, it will not return to life, the way it normally would.
- If the unit dies and its owner loses the battle, it will return as an Undead unit, as described under Create Undead.
If a unit is healed and has both Create Undead and Normal damage points, the Normal damage points are healed first. Units with Death Immunity take Normal damage from units with the Create Undead property.
Irreversible Damage Points Edit
A number of abilities cause Irreversible damage, which also has its own special rules:
- Irreversible damage cannot be healed in combat, though it may be healed after combat.
- A unit primarily killed by Irreversible damage (total ≥ Normal and ≥ Create Undead) is permanently dead, and not subject to Raise Dead, Resurrection, Regeneration, Animate Dead, or Zombie Mastery. The Incarnation spell will, however, work for Torin the Chosen.
- A hero primarily killed by Irreversible damage has his magic items destroyed, rather than leaving them available to be picked up by another hero.
The following effects cause Irreversible damage:
- Dispel Evil
- Stoning Touch
- Stoning Gaze
- Destruction (Item Power)
- Dispel Evil
- Holy Word
- Word of Death
- Disintegrate ( 200)
- Cracks Call ( 200)
Overkill Damage Edit
Note that a unit can take more Damage than it has Hit Points -- counters are only removed at the end of casting a Combat Instant or applying a Ranged Attack, or after each stage of the Melee Attack Sequence, and until the unit is actually marked as destroyed it can keep on absorbing more damage. Thus, if you kill half of that unit of Shadow Demons with Dispel Evil, and the other half by shooting at it, there's a good chance it will be able to regenerate, and if a unit of Death Knights attacks a unit of Regular High Men Swordsmen, it will average 18 of Life Steal, but will then do another 20 of normal damage, probably not resulting in any Undead. Note that since Disintegrate and Cracks Call spells deal 200 of irreversible, any units killed by these spells won't be able to be brought back for sure.