Death Damage is a type of Special Damage that can be delivered by various units as part of their Melee, Ranged, Thrown, or Gaze Attacks. An attack delivering Death Damage stands a good chance of killing one or more enemy figures outright, regardless of the target's Defense score.
When a target is struck by Death Damage, it does not make any Defense rolls against it. Instead, each affected Figure in the target unit makes a single Resistance roll. The result of this roll determines whether the figure is killed instantly or left completely unharmed.
Death Damage is commonly found as the component of a Gaze Attack possessed by the Night Stalker and Chaos Spawn, thanks to their Death Gaze ability. Heroes may also add a Death Damage component to their Melee, Ranged, or Thrown Attacks by equipping a Magical Weapon that contains the "Death" enchantment. Other than these, no other units or attacks will deliver Death Damage.
Death Damage forces its target to make one or more Resistance rolls - with each failed roll killing off one Figure in the enemy unit. Death Damage behaves somewhat differently depending on whether it is delivered by a Touch or a Gaze Attack.
Touch Attacks (in this case called a Death Touch) are exclusive to Heroes wielding "Death" enchanted weaponry, and will only affect a single figure of the enemy unit. This is because only one Touch Attack of a specific type can be made by each figure in a unit, and Heroes are all single figures. Axe Throwing is the only exception to this rule, as detailed below.
On the other hand, Gaze Attacks will affect every Figure of the opposing unit. This type of attack also occurs before Melee Attacks do their damage, and thus will reduce the damage of the enemy unit if any figures are successfully dispatched by it, making this Damage Type rather useful and dangerous.
Resistance and Death Edit
Whenever an attack containing a Death Damage component strikes any target on the battlefield, the affected Figures within the target unit must make a single die roll - resulting in a random number between 1 and 10. This number is then compared to the target's Resistance score (with possible modifiers, which are explained below).
Each Figure that rolls a number higher than its unit's Resistance score is immediately killed off - regardless of how many Hit Points it has remaining or how high its Defense score is. The figure is simply destroyed. If all Figures in the unit have failed their Resistance rolls simultaneously this way, then the entire unit is destroyed.
Resistance Modifiers Edit
- Each attack that delivers Death Damage inflicts a certain penalty on the target's Resistance score. The stronger this penalty, the less chance each target Figure has to "win" the roll and avert its own death.
- The Resistance penalty varies from attacker to attacker, with the "strongest" penalty being that inflicted by a Chaos Spawn's attacks: -4 Resistance! This attack has no problem affecting units with 4 or less (it will completely destroy them on the spot!), and can occasionally affect targets with Resistance scores as high as 13.
- The weakest Death Damage attack is that possessed by a Night Stalker, at -2. Heroes delivering a Death Damage component inflict -3.
Death Damage is considered to be associated with the Death realm. As a result, it will never hurt any unit that possesses Death Immunity.
Similarly, Death Damage is also entirely blocked by Magic Immunity.
Finally, since the weakest Resistance-penalty given by Death Damage is -2, any unit with 12 Resistance or more may be completely invulnerable to Death Damage - it cannot possibly fail its Resistance roll. Of course, it's always important to remember that some Death Damage attacks inflict a greater penalty; if the penalty lowers the target's Resistance below 10, the attack has at least some chance to hurt that target.
Note that these immunities will only block the Death Damage component of an attack. If the attack also delivers any Melee Damage, Ranged Damage or any other type of damage, that damage may or may not go through the target's immunities unimpeded.
Sources of Death Damage Edit
Units with Death Gaze Edit
- Main article: Death Gaze
The Death Gaze ability is the more common source of Death Damage. Whenever a unit possessing this ability makes a Melee Attack or Counter Attack, it will first execute a separate Gaze Attack that delivers Death Damage.
A Gaze Attack occurs before the exchange of Melee Damage between the attacker and the target. As a result, any enemy Figures killed by the Death Damage do not get a chance of cause any Melee Damage or use Touch Attacks. Thus, Death Gaze protects the attacker by reducing the number of enemy Figures that retaliate against it. It may, potentially, kill the entire enemy unit outright, and thus end the combat round before the target can deliver any damage at all!
The strength of a Death Gaze ability is very important: it indicates how much Resistance penalty is inflicted on the target. The greater the penalty, the greater the chance of killing each enemy Figure.
The table below lists all units possessing the Death Gaze ability, and the Resistance penalty inflicted by the unit's attack.
Death Weapons Edit
- Main article: Death (Item Power)
The other source of Death Damage comes from weapons imbued with the "Death" Item Power. This enchantment can be placed only on weapons - Swords, Maces, Axes, Bows, Wands, and Staves. When the enchanted item is equipped on a Hero, it adds a Death Damage component to the attack associated with the item. Swords, Maces, and Axes add the Death Damage component to the Hero's Melee Attack (and Counter Attack), while Bows, Wands, and Staves add Death Damage to the Hero's Ranged Attack (this excludes Counter Attacks).
Axes also add a Death Damage component to the Hero's Thrown Attack, if they have any. In this case, voluntary attacks (but not counterattacks) made by this Hero will actually inflict Death Damage twice: once when executing the Thrown Attack, and then again with the Melee Attack. Since the Thrown Attack occurs before the exchange of Melee damage, any Figures killed by it will not get a chance to retaliate against the Hero.
Death Damage delivered by a Hero's attack always inflicts a Resistance penalty of -3 on the target.
During the custom Item Crafting process, the "Death" power is only available to Wizards possessing at least 3 Death Spellbooks. Naturally, it's always possible to find a weapon containing this bonus as a reward for defeating Encounters.
The Hero's attack will only deliver Death Damage while the Hero is holding the enchanted item. If the item is removed or lost, the Hero's attack no longer delivers Death Damage.