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Damage Points

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Damage Points represent the injuries sustained by a unit or Icon Figure.png 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 Icon Hits.png 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 Icon Damage.png Darkened Heart icons that replace the Icon Hits.png Bright Heart icons in the unit's details panel as it gets injured. Therefore, a unit with 5 Damage Points will have Icon Damage.png 5 darkened hearts. The number of Icon Hits.png Bright Hearts remaining indicates how much more Icon Damage.png Damage that unit can take before being destroyed.

Things work a little differently for Icon MultiFigureUnit.png Multi-Figure units, because Icon Hits.png Health and Icon Damage.png Damage are tracked separately for each Icon Figure.png Figure. Once a Icon Figure.png Figure has suffered an amount of Icon Damage.png Damage equal to its maximum Icon Hits.png Health, that particular figure is destroyed. A Icon MultiFigureUnit.png Multi-Figure unit is only destroyed once it has lost all of its Figures.

Icon Damage.png Damage can be healed in several ways, particularly by a process known as "natural healing", whereby a unit's sustained Icon Damage.png 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 Icon Death.pngDeath Realm) can only regain health through Regeneration.

Concept Edit

In Master of Magic, the primary method to destroy any unit is to cause it a sufficient amount of Icon Damage.png Damage Points.

Icon Damage.png 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 Icon Damage.png Damage Points to the opponent unit. Physical Damage, the most common type of damage delivered by most attacks, is designed specifically to cause Icon Damage.png Damage Points to the target (the process is not discussed in detail in this article because it is simply too complex).

Icon Damage.png 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 Icon Damage.png 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), Icon Damage.png 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 Icon Hits.png Hit Points, representing its total maximum health. This indicates how tough the unit is, or in other words, how much Icon Damage.png Damage it can sustain before it is completely destroyed. Thus, Icon Hits.png Hit Points and Icon Damage.png Damage Points are directly inverse to each other, and essentially describe the same thing: the more Icon Damage.png Damage a unit takes, the fewer Icon Hits.png Hit Points it has remaining, and vice versa.

If a unit ever reaches Icon Hits.png 0 Hit Points or less, it is completely destroyed. Therefore, in order to destroy a unit, it must suffer an amount of Icon Damage.png Damage equal to or greater than its total Icon Hits.png 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 Icon SingleFigureUnit.png Single-Figure units, Icon Damage.png 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 Icon Hits.png Hit Points remaining is closer to death and thus requires only a little more Icon Damage.png Damage before being destroyed.

For Icon MultiFigureUnit.png Multi-Figure units, things are far more complex. The game tracks the remaining Icon Hits.png Hit Points of each Icon Figure.png figure separately from the others, so it is necessary to cause Icon Damage.png Damage to each figure separately - killing them off one by one. A Icon MultiFigureUnit.png Multi-Figure unit is only destroyed once it has lost all of its Icon Figure.png 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 Icon Damage.png 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 Icon Damage.png 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 Icon Damage.png Damage Points are inflicted upon the target. Nonetheless, the process of determining the amount of Icon Damage.png Damage caused to a target can differ radically between one attack and the next.

The most common source of Icon Damage.png 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 Icon ToHit.png To Hit and Icon ToBlock.png To Block rolls to determine how many Icon Damage.png 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 Icon Damage.png 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 Icon Damage.png Damage Points, though the process of calculating how much Icon Damage.png Damage is inflicted is significantly different from that of Physical Damage attacks. Immolation Damage involves a far-more-complex set of Icon ToHit.png To Hit and Icon ToBlock.png To Block rolls, Doom Damage involves no rolls whatsoever, and Poison Damage involves only Icon Resist.png Resistance rolls made by the target. The processes are explained in greater detail in the individual articles regarding these damage types.

The end result is, nonetheless, similar in all cases: the target of the attack will suffer a certain amount of Icon Damage.png Damage Points, which are summarily deducted from its current Icon Hits.png Health score.

Applying Damage Edit

Whenever an attack has successfully caused Icon Damage.png Damage to the target, this amount is added on top of the target's current Icon Damage.png 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 Icon Figure.png Figures.

The process is handled very differently depending on whether the target unit is a Icon SingleFigureUnit.png Single-Figure unit or a Icon MultiFigureUnit.png Multi-Figure unit.

Single-Figure Units Edit

For a Icon SingleFigureUnit.png Single-Figure unit, the amount of Icon Damage.png Damage sustained from any attack is simply subtracted from the unit's current remaining number of Icon Hits.png Hit Points.

For example, a Stone Giant has Icon Hits.png 20 Hit Points when fully-healed. If the giant suffers Icon Damage.png 2 points of Damage, this is simply subtracted from his current Health score, so he now has only Icon Hits.png 18 Hit Points. If struck again by the same amount of damage, the giant now has Icon Hits.png 16 Hit Points, and so on and so on. Icon Damage.png Damage simply keeps piling up, until the Giant's hit points reach Icon Hits.png 0, at which point the Giant is killed.

Multi-Figure Units Edit

With Icon MultiFigureUnit.png Multi-Figure units, things are very different. When such a unit is fully healed, each Icon Figure.png Figure in the unit has the same number of Icon Hits.png Hit Points, and they are tracked separately. The unit's details panel will only display the Icon Hits.png Health and Icon Damage.png 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 Icon Hits.png 3 Hit Points. With Icon Figure.png 4 Figures in the unit, we can say that the unit has a total of Icon Hits.png 3 * Icon Figure.png 4 = Icon Hits.png 12 Hit Points. However, the unit's details panel will only show the current remaining health of the "lead" cavalryman (Icon Hits.png 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 Icon Hits.png 3. Their health will never shift until the cavalryman in front of them dies.

When such a unit suffers Icon Damage.png Damage, the Damage Points are first applied to the "lead" figure in the unit - reducing its remaining Icon Hits.png Hit Points accordingly. When that figure's health reaches Icon Hits.png 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 Icon MultiFigureUnit.png Multi-Figure unit is only completely destroyed once it has lost each and every one of its Icon Figure.png 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 Icon Damage.png 2 points of Damage to it. The "lead" figure in that unit, having Icon Hits.png 3 Hit Points, will suffer Icon Damage.png 2 and thus be left with only Icon Hits.png 1 Hit Point. All other figures in the unit are unharmed.
Now lets say the attack was much stronger, delivering Icon Damage.png 10 points of Damage in total. The "lead" cavalryman only has Icon Hits.png 3 Hit Points, so he will take Icon Damage.png 3 points of Damage and be killed, whereupon the second cavalryman steps up to the "lead" position. We still have Icon Damage.png 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 Icon Damage.png 3, and is also killed. The same thing happens to cavalryman #3, who is also killed with Icon Damage.png 3. At this point only Icon Damage.png 1 point of Damage is still unaccounted for, and this is directed at the 4th and last cavalryman, lowering his health to Icon Hits.png 2.
Had the attack been even stronger, delivering Icon Damage.png 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 Icon Damage.png Damage is inflicted by a Physical Damage attack, a Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 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 Icon ToBlock.png Defense rolls. For a thorough explanation of this, refer to the Physical Damage article.

Implications of Damage Edit

As stated earlier, Icon Damage.png Damage Points represent injuries sustained by a unit, and can lead to the death of the unit or its individual Icon Figure.png figures. This is handled differently for Icon SingleFigureUnit.png Single-Figure and Icon MultiFigureUnit.png Multi-Figure units.

Single-Figure Units Edit

The implications of sustained Icon Damage.png Damage to a Icon SingleFigureUnit.png Single-Figure unit are pretty simple to explain. The unit is not adversely affected by any amount of Icon Damage.png Damage - unless that amount equals to or exceeds the unit's Icon Hits.png Health score. If that happens, the unit is completely destroyed.

For example, lets take a Stone Giant again. This is a Icon SingleFigureUnit.png Single-Figure unit that has Icon Hits.png 20 Hit Points when fully healed. As the unit takes Icon Damage.png Damage, its current Icon Hits.png Health score drops accordingly. However, the unit does not actually behave any differently nor is less effective as it accumulates Icon Damage.png Damage Points. It will remain combat-effective up to the point where that damage is equal to or greater than Icon Damage.png 20 - at which point the Stone Giant is instantly destroyed.

Therefore, the only implication of suffering Icon Damage.png Damage for such a unit is that it is at more risk. While the Stone Giant still has Icon Hits.png 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 Icon Hits.png 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

Icon MultiFigureUnit.png Multi-Figure units, as their name indicates, consist of several individual Icon Figure.png Figures. To destroy such a unit, each figure must be killed separately. They also suffer Icon Damage.png 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 Icon Figure.png Figures and is destroyed.

However, unlike with Icon SingleFigureUnit.png Single-Figure units, the combat effectiveness of a Icon MultiFigureUnit.png Multi-Figure unit degrades as it loses figures. This is because, when such a unit attacks, its total strength depends on how many Icon Figure.png 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 Icon Figure.png 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 Icon Figure.png 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 Icon Figure.png Figures, as explained Below.

Of course, partial injury to any of the Icon Figure.png figures in the unit does not reduce combat effectiveness. For example, take a unit of High Men Cavalry: each figure has Icon Hits.png 3 Hit Points, so it would take Icon Damage.png 3 Damage Points to kill one off. A figure that suffered only Icon Damage.png 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.

Destruction Edit

When the total injuries of a unit exceed its maximum Icon Hits.png Health score (or, for Icon MultiFigureUnit.png Multi-Figure units, when each and every one of its individual Icon Figure.png Figures have been killed off), the unit is "destroyed".

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-Icon Hits.png 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 Icon Life.pngLife and Icon Death.pngDeath possess powerful spells that will cause a unit to reappear, with Icon Life.pngLife Magic specializing on actually restoring the unit to life, and Icon Death.pngDeath 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 Icon Nature.pngNature spell "Regeneration" (also a Unit Ability of the same name found on various units, even non-Icon Nature.pngNature 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 Icon Hits.png 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 Icon Damage.png 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 Icon Death.pngDeath realm (including the Undead), any Icon Damage.png 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.

However, for the great majority of units, Icon Damage.png Damage is a transient property: it will slowly diminish over time, and can be removed by use of various types of healing spells and effects.

First of all, all non-Icon Death.pngDeath units will lose a certain amount of Icon Damage.png Damage at the start of each overland turn. This is called "natural healing". The amount of Icon Damage.png Damage removed each turn is equal to at least 5% of the unit's total maximum Icon Hits.png 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 Icon Damage.png Damage in the meanwhile.

Secondly, the Icon Life.pngLife Realm and Icon Nature.pngNature Realm possess several spells that will instantly heal the injuries of a unit (or several units) by a certain amount. The Icon Life.pngLife Realm specializes in doing so during combat, while the Icon Nature.pngNature realm has overland spells for the same purpose.

Finally, the Regeneration ability and spell allow a unit to regain Icon Hits.png 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 Icon Nature.pngNature 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 Icon Damage.png Damage is healed, a Icon MultiFigureUnit.png Multi-Figure Unit will potentially regain any Icon Figure.png Figures it has lost, one by one, until eventually the unit returns to full strength (having as many Icon Figure.png 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 Icon Damage.png 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 Icon Figure.png Figure to life, and heal it accordingly. Eventually, with sufficient healing, the unit will have regained all of its Icon Figure.png 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 Icon Figure.png 4 Figures and Icon Hits.png 3 Hit Points per figure. This time we'll assume that the unit has just lost Icon Figure.png 2 Figures in combat, and that figure #3 in the unit is slightly injured, currently suffering from Icon Damage.png 1. In total, we can say that this unit has Icon Damage.png 7 points of Damage - 3 for each dead Cavalryman, plus 1 for the injured cavalryman.
If we heal Icon Damage.png 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 Icon Hits.png 1), and subsequent healing will go towards bringing this cavalryman back to full health (Icon Hits.png 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 Icon Figure.png Figures back, with each figure being fully healthy (Icon Hits.png 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 Icon Life.pngRaise 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 Icon Life.pngRaise Dead, Icon Life.pngResurrection, Regeneration, Icon Death.pngAnimate Dead, or Icon Death.pngZombie Mastery. The Icon Life.pngIncarnation 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:

Except as noted, Icon Damage.png damage is equal to the Icon Hits.png hit points of Icon Figure.png figures destroyed.

Overkill Damage Edit

Note that a unit can take more Icon Damage.png Damage than it has Icon Hits.png 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 Icon ExpLevel 1.png Regular High Men Swordsmen, it will average Icon Damage.png 18 of Life Steal, but will then do another Icon Damage.png 20 of normal damage, probably not resulting in any Undead. Note that since Icon Chaos.pngDisintegrate and Icon Nature.pngCracks Call spells deal Icon Damage.png 200 of irreversible, any units killed by these spells won't be able to be brought back for sure.

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